A/N: This is story is dedicated and offered to TraSan for her birthday. One day we were talking about our fears and a few popped up. Okay, I'll admit that makes a strange birthday present, but she should know me by now! I also asked for her favorite things, and they will all come along, promise! Happy Birthday!
Sometimes the Chickens Win
It was silent in the car. It had been silent in the car for the past three days. Dean had given up on the stereo after losing several tapes out the window. Sam was not in the mood for music, apparently. Dean was in the mood for anything that helped push his brother's plea to kill him out of his head. They'd argued about it every night, every day and now there was silence broken only by the occasional huff from his brother. Like I needed that on top of everything else. Dean knew Sam was hurting, he was at a loss on how to fix it. It was easier, so much easier, when all it took was a band-aid and candy.
"Which exit?" Dean asked, breaking the four hour long silence. He glanced at his brother. Sam was staring out the passenger window, clenching his teeth. Dean reached over and lightly punched Sam's arm. "Which exit?"
"What?" Sam focused on him.
"The exit? To the place where people are dying horribly?"
"Exit 134. I'm not sure anyone has died horribly, Dean. Two people have gone missing, although the managers of the facility aren't really sure if they are actually missing."
"Run that past me again?"
"It's a storage place. Two people were on site, but there's no record they coded out on the gate log. That's what Sheila said."
"Sheila?" Dean grinned at his brother. "The Sheila?" He chuckled when Sam blushed. "She called you?"
"Her friends manage this place and she thought it sounded like something we might be interested in," Sam said, his neck still red.
"Uh huh, right. So, people might have gone missing?"
"Yeah, and Sheila said when she visited them last summer, there was one building that was extremely cold and creepy."
"Cold and creepy?" Dean looked at his brother. "Seriously?" Sam nodded. "Okay, well, we're here, so let's check it out." Dean followed Sam's directions and ten minutes later they pulled up in front of a small storage facility. Dean beeped the intercom. "Hi, we're here to see…" He looked at his brother.
"Myrna," Sam said, leaning across the seat.
"Sure, stop at the office," a female voice chirped.
"Myrna? Dude." Dean shook his head. He parked in a gravel spot marked "no parking" and they headed into the office.
"Hi, I'm Sam," his brother said as they walked through the door.
"Sheila's friend?" asked the small sixtyish woman behind the desk.
"Yeah," Sam said. "This is my brother, Dean."
"I'm Myrna Williams. I'm so glad you're here!" She stood and shook their hands. "My husband is out on site, let me get him to show you." Myrna picked up a walkie talkie. "Bill? Sheila's friend is here to see the two storey building."
"Sheila's Sam?" There was a chuckle, Sam turned bright red, Dean elbowed him in the ribs. "Be right there."
"That's the building," Myrna said, pointing out the window at a tall barn shaped building in the back corner of the property. "It was once a chicken coop then they converted it for storage. They built the rest of the facility around it. Oh, here's Bill."
A moment later a tall, white-haired man walked into the office. He smiled, shook their hands, and led them to the big building. "I hate this place," Bill said, opening a set of double doors. "Always gives me the creeps." There was another door just inside, it led up a flight of stairs. It was cold in the entry, far colder than it should have been on the bright autumn day. Dean looked at his brother, Sam nodded. Bill opened the door and gestured Sam and Dean to head up the stairs. "This floor is worse than the ground floor, too."
"Why?" Dean asked as he reached the top of the steps.
"Sometimes I swear, well, don't laugh at an old man, but sometimes I swear I can feel something brushing the top of my head as I walk down the hallway, and at night…" He stopped.
"What?" Sam said with the smile Dean knew could extract patient information from the sternest hospital administrator.
"Well, that window at the end of the hall reflects at night, you know, like a dark mirror and once or twice I swear I've seen things in it."
"Things?" Sam glanced at Dean. "What kind of things?"
"Once there was something that looked almost like a man. There rest of the time…"
"Uh, chickens. I see chickens."
"You see chickens?" Dean asked, smothering a laugh. "Chickens?"
"Yeah, chickens." Bill led the way down the hall, he opened a large door just before the end of the corridor. "This room is right next door to unit 210, the one rented by the people who disappeared."
"What the hell are those?" Dean looked into the dark room, beady glass eyes stared back at him.
"Chickens," Bill said, laughing. "Old Man Hiller was into taxidermy. He stuffed his favorite hens."
"He had a lot of favorites," Dean said, walking into the large room. Dozens of stuffed chickens stood staring at him. "Creepy."
"It's usually worse at night, though, boys," Bill said. "Why don't you find some place to stay and come back after dinner, the site closes at seven, so you can have free run of the place." Bill closed the door, but left the lock off. "There's a ladder up into the attic inside the room."
"Thanks," Sam said, walking back down the hall.
"There's a little motel just up the road—Rose's. Tell them I sent you, they'll give you a good deal. They have good food in their diner and on Fridays the classic car club meets there." He stopped when they reached the Impala. "We'll see you boys after seven."
"Okay, we'll be back," Dean said, dropping into the Impala. He looked over at his brother as they pulled out. "Okay, apologies to Sheila, that place is cold and creepy."
"Dean? We should be heading back soon," Sam said, shutting the laptop.
"You find anything?" Dean turned off the TV and walked over to the table.
"I'm not even sure what I'm looking for right now. There have been six disappearances in this area, but nothing to tie it, or them, to anything." Sam sighed. "Nothing."
"There has to be something," Dean said as they walked to the car. "Hey, I want to stop at that hardware store on the way back." Dean grinned.
"Oh, come on, Sammy. A hardware store with a liquor store in it? Could we be in heaven? Axes, shovels, power tools and tequila. Now, if they just had a hot Heather lurking around…"
"I seriously doubt heaven is anything like that."
"Look at the sign, they have ammo," Dean's voice was breathy with delight. "Ammo, power tools and tequila. This might be heaven, Sammy." Dean pulled up in front of the store and hopped out. "Be right back, be good."
Sam laughed. The tension that had built between them over the past few days had eased a little at dinner. Sam thought it had to do with the huge steak Dean had eaten and the conversation his brother had with the owner of a '68 GTO. Maybe we can talk again later.
Sam remembered the last time he'd tried to bring it up, a few days before. "We need to talk about this, Dean," he'd said after breakfast.
"If this is that whole 'kill me' thing again, Sammy, then no, we don't."
"Dean… You might have to, for my own good. Like 'Old Yeller'."
"When did you ever watch the end of that damn movie? I always turned it off," Dean shouted at him. "And no, Sammy, not taking you out back and shooting you like some rabid dog."
And Dean had quit talking. Nothing but mutters and growls for the first several hours after, then silence, then the usual Dean attempt to pull him out of his mood. This time it hadn't worked, and they had been silent with each other for days. Sam sighed.
"I got goodies," Dean said, opening the door. "They had those health bars you eat—the good kind, M&Ms, shotgun ammo, batteries and Patron Silver Tequila." Dean sighed happily. "Let's head back so we can check the place out, tell them there's nothing wrong and go back to the motel. We have munchies, tequila and…"
"Oh, god, please tell me 'Spinal Tap' is not on."
"No, better. Original 'Star Trek' marathon, all the good ones! Including 'Devil in the Dark.' I checked. They usually don't show that one." Dean was humming softly as he drove. He pulled up at the storage gate and hit the intercom. "It's Sam and Dean."
"Okay, I'll open the gate. We're in the house if you need us, dear," Myrna answered.
"Thanks." Dean parked in front of the large building. With a grin, he hopped out and opened the trunk. He handed Sam a flashlight, holy water flask, shotgun and extra shells.
"Dean?" Sam asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Doesn't hurt to be prepared. You said we don't know what's in there." Dean shrugged. "Might be nothing."
"Which is why we have all this?"
"Cold and creepy, Sam, might be something."
Sam walked into the building and up the stairs, the temperature had dropped several degrees from earlier in the day. He stopped at the top of the steps and waited for Dean. His brother was flipping on the lights in the lower hallway.
"All clear down here, Sam," Dean shouted.
"Good." Sam listened as his brother came back down the hall, his footfalls echoing in the silent building.
Something brushed the back of Sam's neck. It was the slightest touch, more a whisper of air than anything else. Goosebumps popped up on his body. He turned quickly, the hallway was empty.
"So where do we start?" Dean said. "Sam?"
"What?" Sam turned to his brother. "I don't know, that room down the hall?"
"I wonder what the people who disappeared had in their unit? Bill said 210 right?" Dean eyed the lock as they stopped in front of the door. "Think you can get this lock off?"
"Sure." Sam bent down and went to work on the round padlock, a moment later he twisted the hasp open.
"You're pretty good at that." Dean grinned at him.
"Yep, better than you." Sam grinned back.
"You always were, Sammy," Dean said softly. Sam looked back at his brother, Dean had a wistful smile on his face. When he noticed Sam's look he frowned. "Were you thinking of opening that door this year sometime?"
"Yeah." Sam undid the latch and looked inside, then gagged, stumbling back away from the door.
"What?" Dean looked in, Sam had to smile when his brother's face turned a little green. "Sam? Is that an ear?"
Sam stepped back into the small area, kicking aside a pile of chicken feathers. "Yeah, it's an ear."
"So, whatever it was left the bits they didn't like?" Dean grinned. "Just like the compys?"
"Yeah, Dean," Sam sighed. "Just like the compys, I guess. Oh, there's the nose. They don't like cartilage."
"A picky eater. Nice," Dean said. Sam stepped back into the hall so Dean could close the door. The icy brush of something that felt like feathers drifted across this face and wrapped around his neck. Sam slapped at his shoulder. "Sam?"
"It felt like something touched me," Sam said, looking down the hallway. "What's that?" There was movement in the dark window at the end of the hall. Sam could see himself, Dean and… He turned so he could get a really good look. There was a figure, naked, moving in the glass and behind it…
"What the hell is that?"
"The naked guy?"
"No behind the naked guy," Dean said, squinting at the glass.
"Sammy…" Dean said in a breathless whisper, a smirk on his face.
"What?" Sam asked, knowing what his brother was about to say, but playing along anyway.
"I see dead chickens." Dean started laughing. Sam laughed along. Something pinched the back of his neck.
"Something pinched me," Sam said. Dean grabbed his arm and turned him around. Sam felt his brother's fingers move his hair aside, then heard Dean's sharp intake of breath.
"Huh," Dean said calmly.
"Huh?" Sam waited for an answer, it didn't come. "Huh, Dean? Is that 'interesting' or 'how do I tell him he's dying'?"
"You're not dying." Dean emphasized that with a smack on the back of Sam's head. "But you are bleeding. It looks… Never mind."
"Well it looks almost like you were… No. I must be seeing things. Let's check out the big room." Dean turned away and opened the door to the room Bill had shown them earlier. Dean flipped on the light and the myriad glass eyes of the chickens glittered at them. "That just creeps me out. Like chicken dolls or something." Dean shuddered.
Sam stepped into the room behind his brother. The single bulb cast weird shadows around the space. He thought he saw something moving in a dark corner, and pulled out his flashlight. When the beam touched the area he saw a flash, then it was gone. What the hell was that? Sam walked towards the area. As he moved through the ranks of stuffed chickens he thought he heard a soft scratching noise. He looked down, nothing was moving, and walked on.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Sam turned and looked back at the ranks of chickens. Nothing was moving, but he was sure the first row had shifted. He opened his mouth to tell Dean, then closed it again. He'll think I'm freaking nuts. Sam took a deep breath and started searching along the walls looking for an opening into the unit where they found the ear.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Sam spun around, nothing was moving. "Dean?" Sam walked towards the opening to the attic.
"Yeah?" Dean called down from floor above.
"I think the chickens are moving."
"The dead, stuffed chickens?"
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Sam turned around, the chickens closest to him looked a lot closer. "Yeah."
"I'm coming down." A second later, Dean came down the ladder. "You moved them to freak me out, right?"
"They are in a different place? Aren't they?" Sam asked.
"Yeah." Dean walked to the chickens, and kicked one of the red hens over.
"I thought so." Sam was staring at the last row, the one closest to the hallway, when a shadow drifted past the open door. One of the chickens' heads turned to follow the shadow. "Dean, one of them just moved."
"You're trying to freak me out with the weird doll chickens, right?"
Another head turned.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
"Okay, that's just wrong." Dean said, walking towards the door. He bent down to look at the one that moved. "Maybe it was a trick of the light."
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Something brushed Sam's leg. He looked down, one of the chickens had moved far enough to touch his ankle. "Dean?"
"What?" His brother stood and looked at him.
"It moved." Sam pointed to the hen leaning against his leg like a puppy.
"I think we need to…" A hand reached around the corner and grabbed Dean, dragging him into the hall.
"DEAN!" Sam was moving through the rows of chickens when the door slammed closed. "Dean!" Sam pounded on the door.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
He took a deep breath and turned around. The whole first row of chickens was moving towards him. Sam raised the shotgun and fired.
"SAM!" Dean shouted, it had the rising tone of panic that Sam knew was reserved only for him.
"I'm okay!" he shouted back. For now. Dean was hammering on the door, the sound changed and Sam knew his brother was now trying to kick the door in. The chickens were still coming. Sam fired again, quickly reloading and firing. But there were too many, as the sound of the last shot died, they attacked.
They hit him hard, surprisingly strong for such small animals, but the mass of them drove him down to the floor. He desperately tried to cover his face, they were seeking his eyes, he could feel the sharp beaks edging ever closer to the sockets. "DEAN!" he shouted. A wing was shoved in his mouth.
They were still going for his eyes, but he could feel the sharp beaks cutting into his chest and legs. Another wing was shoved in his mouth, it was getting hard to breathe. A clawed foot pressed against his throat, then another and another. Slowly his windpipe started to close. Sam struggled, trying to get the chickens off him, still trying to keep them from his eyes. Something grabbed his arm and dragged it away from his face.
The chickens clucked in delight.
The pressure on his windpipe increased, the beaks getting closer to his eyes. Sam could feel blood running across his face. His other arm was dragged away and pinned to the floor by the feathered bodies. Sam struggled to draw air past the feathers in his mouth, past the pressure the tiny clawed feet were exerting against his windpipe. Black spots were forming in front of his eyes. He could hear Dean shouting, the panic was a crescendo of fear now. Sam tried to call back, to let his brother know where he was, but the air was gone. A last attempt at a gasp and the chickens won. The world faded to nothing.
To Be Continued