This story originally appeared in the Brotherhood2
fanzine, which, btw, was such an awesome book. I was so honored to
be in the presence of such phenomenal writers. And now, months
later, as we look toward the Brotherhood4 (keep an eye out for it), I
am now posting this.
Special thanks to KHannaKorossy for editing this so carefully and spending so much time helping me clean this up.
The story is set sometime during season 2 and will be posted in three parts.
Thump in the Night: Chapter 1
"Ah! Why don't you just hit every pothole in the road, Sammy?"
Sam gripped the wheel tighter and ground his teeth together. Dean was injured; he had to remember that. However, in all fairness to himself, Dean had been grating on his last nerve all week…although it seemed the feeling was mutual. It had been a tough hunt, and the brothers hadn't agreed on much throughout. The problem was, they had been hunting a broxa, a large demonic bird that fed off the blood of farm animals. And unfortunately, the broxa could be eliminated more than one way. It was that fact, along with a year of high stress and spending all their time together, that had led to the two of them being at each other's throats.
The broxas were dead, and in the end it had been Sam's plan of treating the steers' coats with tea tree oil—poisonous to broxas—that had killed the giant birds off. However, that was not before one of them had picked Dean up off the ground by his arm and flew him around the area before dropping him, abruptly. Considering how high up Dean had been when he went down, Sam was surprised he hadn't been more hurt. His worst injury seemed to be a dislocated arm, which with Sam's help was quickly reduced. Other than that, Dean had just sustained a series of cuts and bruises. He'd be sore for a while…which certainly wasn't helping his attitude.
The car bounced as it rode over another pothole. "Ow! Seriously, Sam! Are you freakingaiming for them?"
Sam grit his teeth and strained to see through the torrential downpour and high-speed windshield wipers. Taking a breath, he tried to speak calmly and slowly. "Dean…it's a dirt road…it's pouring…there are no lights…I can't see anything…you're lucky I'm staying on the road…"
Dean winced as the car jolted again. "Dude, then let me drive. I'm not having a problem seeing through this."
Sam scoffed, "Oh, right. I forgot about your super-vision. You have super healing powers, too, Dean?"
Dean glared and carefully pushed himself up in the seat. "I couldn't do any worse than you…" Another pothole, and Dean became angry. "All right. That's it. You're doing it on purpose."
Sam briefly glanced over at his brother disbelievingly before bringing his eyes back to the rainy windshield. "Yeah, Dean, that's right. I'm doing this on purpose. I even went so far as to create the rain with the magical potion I keep in my back pocket, all so I can make your life a living hell. After all, that is what I live for."
Dean squinted at his brother's sarcasm and pointed with his good arm. "Pull over. I'm driving."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Dean…"
Dean pointed again, deepening his voice. "Sam, I'm serious, man. Pull over. Now!"
Sam tightened his grip on the wheel and yelled back, "No!"
Furious, Dean stared his brother down, but Sam wouldn't give in. Taking a breath, he tried to reason with his injured sibling. "Dean, your arm needs to stay immobile. You're not driving."
With a scowl, Dean looked through the windshield, only to find a large flooded area twenty feet in front of the car. "Sam, stop!"
Reacting to the urgent tone of his brother's voice as opposed to the previous angry one, Sam hit the brakes. The car skidded on the muddy road before coming to a stop at the edge on the flood. For a moment, both boys stared at the large puddle in front of them.
Finally, Dean spoke. "Turn the car around. We'll find another road."
Sam looked over at his brother. "This is the only road out of here, man. Unless you want to go north across the cliffside road, which would be suicide in this weather."
Dean thought for a moment. Sam was right, the cliffside road would be too dangerous to drive in the rain, but they couldn't drive through the flood, either. Dean sighed and rubbed a hand over his exhausted face. "Fine, uh, just pull the car over and we'll sleep in here."
Willing himself to have patience, Sam shook his head. "Dean, you need to lie flat for your arm. You can't do that in the car."
Dean growled, his anger at his brother returning. "Dude, it's a dislocated arm, not a broken back. You already set it for me—it'll make it through a night in the car."
Sam disagreed, "Dean…if you sleep in the car, your muscles will cramp up and you'll be in serious pain."
Dean grit his teeth. "I already am in serious pain, and that was before you decided to drive through every single pothole and make the ride as bumpy as it could possibly be."
Sam had had enough. He slammed his hand down on the wheel. "What is it, man?! What the hell is your problem lately?!"
Dean looked offended. "Me?! Dude, I'm not the one who has to argue with every freakin' suggestion. I'm not the one who had to do everything his way."
Sam raised his eyebrows as he laughed in disbelief. "You're not? Huh. Funny. 'Cause that's exactly how I would describe you."
Dean turned to make his way out the door. "All right. You know what?"
Seeing that his brother was about to leave the car, Sam slammed his foot down on the accelerator, speeding them through the flooded road. The car made it through the water, and Sam continued on down the wet path, over the potholes and through the mud at an unnecessarily fast speed. The silence that filled the car in the wake of Sam's defiance was deafening.
It was three minutes and one extraordinarily large bump in the road before the silence was broken by a voice so calm, it had passed the edge of fury. "Slow the hell down before you kill us, Sammy."
Sam didn't respond but began easing his foot off the accelerator. Now that his anger and moment of rebellion had passed, he was beginning to feel a little worried. He honestly had no idea what Dean would do; he had never actively defied an actual order from Dean before. His dad, sure, but Dean? But then, Dean had never been so stubborn and insistent on having everything his way as he had over the past week. Okay, so it was technically Dean's car. But Sam lived in it just as much as Dean did. Sam paid for the gas just as much as Dean did. So the title belonged to Dean, but for right now, Sam was driving and, therefore, as the driver, he should be the one to make the decisions about where they would go.
The silence continued as the brothers maneuvered along the dark, wet road and back into civilization. As he drove, many thoughts ran through Sam's head, not the least of which was wondering what Dean was going to do to him, and what he could possibly say to appease his brother. Unfortunately, the answers to both questions seemed unreachable and, as time went on, Sam's anxiety began to grow. Briefly, he flicked his eyes over to his brother. Dean sat slouched in his seat, his back turned to Sam. It was obvious from the little of Dean's face that Sam could see that his brother was still furious.
Then, to drive the nail in the coffin, a low rumbling sound began vibrating the car. From Sam's position, it appeared the rumbling was originating from somewhere in the front underside of the car. Clearly, the trip through the flood had not left the car undamaged; water had gotten into the engine. At least it wasn't flooded…
Wincing at the sound that had sealed his fate, Sam turned his eyes to his brother. No longer facing away from Sam, Dean now sat looking out the front window. His face was tight, his arms were crossed—as best they could be—his nostrils flaring with each breath. And to top it all off, Dean was grinding his jaw. Sam winced again and brought his eyes back to the road…and the rumbling grew louder.
They were in a town now, and Sam turned off the dirt and onto the paved main street. A row of quaint shops and stores surrounded them, and about a half-mile ahead was an illuminated sign that read: "Wake Ready Motel: Vacancy." Sam sighed as he stopped at the one stoplight that separated him from his destination.
At the stoplight, the rumbling turned into a banging, and Sam watched his brother's knuckles turn white as Dean gripped the doorframe in anger. Unable to take the silence any longer, Sam spoke. "I'm sorry."
Dean's body tensed at the sound of his brother's voice, and Sam watched as Dean's eyes flicked over at him. The rest of Dean's body seemed frozen. The light changed and Sam began driving.
Sam parked the now violently vibrating car in the motel parking lot, before cautiously turning to his brother. "I'll get the room."
Dean continued to look forward, still grinding his jaw, but this time he spoke. "Two."
Sam shook his head, confused. "What?"
Dean clarified, "Two rooms."
Sam took a deep breath. This wasn't fun. It was one thing for them to be throwing insults back and forth, arguing, even wrestling, but this, the silent treatment? Sam couldn't ever remember a time when Dean had been so infuriated with him that he had stopped speaking to him…and to waste the money on two rooms? Not to mention the fact Dean was injured and Sam had a hard time leaving him alone, even if it was just a dislocated arm… "Dean…"
Upon hearing Sam's voice, Dean opened the car door, slamming it behind him as he exited. Then he leaned up against the car, in the rain, his back to his brother. Sam sighed and left to get the rooms.
He returned a short time later, two keys in hand. Walking over to his brother, Sam handed Dean one of the key cards. "You're in 108. I'm 109."
Dean gave a curt nod, refusing to make eye contact. Moving the key card to his other hand, Dean once again held out his hand. Sam looked at it, puzzled, and Dean explained. "The car keys."
Wincing like a child getting his toy taken away for not being responsible, Sam handed his brother the keys. Dean accepted them without a word, picked up his bag, and walked over to his room. After getting his own bag, Sam made his way to the adjoining room. Not ten minutes later, both boys were asleep.
He couldn't catch his breath; he was trapped. Trapped in the Impala and running out of air. He had no idea how long he'd been there—he had no memory of that—but obviously it had been a while. Briefly, Sam wondered if this was the car's revenge. He had destroyed the engine, the heart of the car, really, and, in return, the car was stealing his oxygen.
Sam tried to suck in a breath, only to come up short of air. His body shook as he began coughing, desperate to get air into his lungs. Knowing he had to get out of the car to live, Sam tried to open the door. Unfortunately, it seemed he couldn't grab the door handle. Every time he made an attempt, he ended up grabbing the window crank instead. Coughing more, Sam rallied his strength and tried again. Looking at the handle, Sam reached down and grabbed it. When he looked again, it was the window crank. He growled in frustration.
It was nearly impossible to take in any air now, and his lungs clenched as they tried to breathe in the vacuum. Then, from somewhere in the car, Sam heard a thump. A vague hope filled him as he thought Dean might be trying to break in to help, but as Sam looked around, he realized that was not the case. He shook his head, coughing. Of course it wasn't the case. Dean had been furious with him. If the car were trying to kill him, Dean would probably be cheering it on.
The thumping grew louder and brought with it an awareness that he was asleep. With a jolt, Sam opened his eyes…and found himself face-to-face with a monster.
Immediately recognizing the creature, Sam pulled the covers over his head as he desperately tried to catch his breath. Well, that explained the suffocation in the dream. The monster was a bugaboo, a seven-foot tall, skinny blue creature with red eyes and an oblong head. In a way, bugaboos resembled stretched-out humans. Their jaws were set like piranhas, with two rows of razor-sharp teeth that were fully exposed, having no lips to cover them. Their noses were also non-existent; their nostrils were simply two holes in the middle of their face. Two holes that sucked the breath from young children, killing them as they slept.
Sam closed his eyes as he willed his lungs to loosen up and allow him to breathe. Bugaboos were easy creatures to destroy, no fancy ammo or weapons needed. Anything that would kill a human would kill a bugaboo; in addition, they died instantly when exposed to light. They lived under beds or in closets, and, fortunately, couldn't break through the safety of blankets.
Sam coughed again, still having difficulty breathing and wondered…bugaboos never preyed on adults. They only went after children. For that matter, they only attacked children if the child was alone. If there was another child in the room, they typically wouldn't come out. So why was this one going after Sam?
Perhaps being in a motel room, the creature hadn't had much access to children and at this point would take what it could get. Unfortunately for this particular bugaboo, it had chosen a hunter to prey on. Sam kept coughing and heard a thump…the same one from his dream. It was Dean banging on the wall to tell him to "shut up." Apparently, Sam's coughing was disturbing his brother's sleep. While Dean's banging had ultimately saved his life by waking him up, Sam couldn't help think it would have been more helpful if Dean had gotten up off his ass to find out why Sam was coughing before telling him to shut up.
Thoughts of Dean aside, Sam moved to grab the knife from under his pillow so he could kill the annoying creature that had been stealing his breath. He slid his left hand up between the sheet and the blanket…and stopped, confused, when his hand ran into a smooth, cool object.
Still under the covers, Sam opened his eyes and turned his head toward the object, only to find himself face-to-face with the large white eyes of the bugaboo. It was under the covers with him, its face only inches from his own. Immediately, Sam gasped, then watched as his breath was literally sucked from his lungs, into the creature's face.
Gasping and coughing, Sam quickly rolled away from the creature and fell out of bed, twisted in the blankets. He was tangled and starving for oxygen…and running purely on instinct. Not even sure if his eyes were open, Sam fought the dizziness caused by a lack of oxygen and grabbed the knife from under his pillow. Kicking off the last of the blankets, Sam turned back toward the bed and poised for attack.
Now standing on the bed, the creature looked down at Sam and his knife. With the added height of the bed, the creature literally towered over Sam, having to bend in half to fit under the ceiling. Given that the creature's vital organs were above his head, Sam made a dash toward the door instead, in hopes of drawing the creature off the bed.
The plan worked. With the same speed as Sam, the monster followed its prey to the other side of the room. The bugaboo and the human faced off for a second time, although this time they could see almost eye-to-eye. Sam breathed, and once again his breath was sucked from his lungs. Coughing, and ignoring the banging on the wall, Sam thrust his knife into the creature's chest.
Being stabbed in the chest should have killed the monster, so Sam was shocked when not only did it not die, but instead took the opportunity to use its razor sharp claws to strike at Sam's midsection. An explosion of pain hit where the creature's claws met their mark. Sam clutched his stomach and doubled over as he tried to kick the beast away.
Realizing the knife in the chest hadn't accomplished anything, Sam moved on to Plan B. The creature took a swipe at Sam's shoulder, still sucking the breath from its prey, as Sam reached behind him and flicked on the light.
Instantly, the creature disappeared. At least that bugaboo rule still applied.
The beast wasn't dead; Sam knew that. These monsters moved fast, and this particular one had managed to find its way back under Sam's bed before the light could hit. Breathing heavily, coughing and clutching an arm across his sliced torso, Sam watched as the creature's eyes slowly faded into the darkness that remained under the bed. Once the eyes were gone, Sam slowly slid his way down the wall.
His shoulder was bleeding, his abdomen was bleeding, and he couldn't catch his breath. Sam coughed, wincing in pain as the motion set fire to the pain in his midsection.
Another thump pounded against the wall. A brief flicker of anger flared through Sam in response to being "thumped" at, but that anger was quickly replaced with an overwhelming need for help. Not only was he bleeding and injured…and unable to breathe…but he also had no freakin' clue as to what was going on. Why hadn't the bugaboo died? Why was it able to get under the covers? Why did it attack with its claws?
There were too many questions, and Sam didn't have any of the answers. He needed his brother's help. Dean was going to have to put his anger aside for the moment. Sam winced. Dean had been truly pissed at him, probably more pissed than Sam could ever remember him being. There was a good possibility his brother wouldn't come help him; in response to Sam's coughing, Dean had only banged on the wall. With a sigh, Sam moved to get up, only to fall back again in pain and begin another coughing fit. This time two thumps sounded on the wall, and Sam glared at it in frustration.
Sucking in as much breath as he could muster, Sam yelled, "Dean!"
It came out mostly as a cough and was followed by another fit, but Sam was pretty sure the name had been somewhat coherent. Hearing no response from the other side of the wall, Sam rallied another breath and tried again.
This time there was a noise, followed by loud, banging footsteps from the other room. Still coughing, Sam closed his eyes in relief. Dean was coming.
The story's already done, but I'd still love to know what you think. Please leave a review and let me know!