Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its characters belong to Kripke and the CW.
Dean Winchester walked out of the bathroom and over to his duffle bag that was sitting on top of his bed. As he made his way around Sammy's bed he was surprised to find his little brother still sleeping. Glancing at the clock on the nightstand between the two beds Dean frowned. It was almost nine o'clock. Sammy was usually the first one up. He never slept this late. "Except when he's getting sick." Dean amended. Changing course he quickly stepped up beside Sammy and gently brushed the bangs out of his little brother's face. He placed the back of his hand against Sammy's forehead letting out a relieved breathe at the lack of heat. Knowing that strep throat was going around at school Dean decided to keep a close eye on his brother for a while just in case. He walked over to his own bed and dug through his duffle for clean jeans and a shirt. After several minutes of searching, he managed to come up with a pair of jeans and shirt that didn't look too bad. He threw the towel onto his bed and swiftly pulled on his clothes. He then took the towel back into the bathroom before walking over to the table and plopping down in the closest chair. Patting his growling stomach Dean sighed. There was no way he would leave the room with Sammy still sleeping. Breakfast would just have to wait until the kid woke up. Propping his elbows on the table he laid his head on his hands and gazed at the curtained window. "Wonder what dad's doing right now?" he thought.
In an abandoned theater in the town of Storyville
John glared hatefully at his captor as the blond haired man fiddled with a small puppet stage. "You planning on boring me to death?" he spat out.
The young blond turned to John grinning from ear to ear. "Oh, please. That wouldn't be any fun." He said fastening the curtains back. "We're going to have a puppet show!"
"Aren't you a little old to be playing with toys?" John asked.
"Oh, you're never too old to play! Isn't that right, Steven?" the young man replied pulling a string to make the puppet in his hands nod. "See, Steven agrees with me."
John looked the puppet and narrowed his eyes. There was something very familiar about the wooden toy. He just couldn't put his finger on what it was. Looking at the puppet more closely John's mouth dropped open and his eyes widened. "That's that missing actor!" he shouted. "Steven, uh, Steven Montgomery!"
"Very good, John!" the younger man praised clapping his hands. "You catch on quick."
"You turned him into a puppet? What's a matter? You run out of good jokes?" John questioned with a smirk.
"Not jokes, tricks!" the trickster corrected stomping his foot. "And this was the perfect punishment for this pathetic mortal. You see, this Montgomery fellow thought he was going to be a big movie star when he got older. He didn't listen to his parents when they told him to go to school. Thought they were holding him back. He dropped out of school and started auditioning for shows. So I thought I'd show him what happens to little boys who don't listen to their parents."
"Turn him back!" John ordered as he struggled to break free of the ropes that bound him.
"I could, but no" the trickster replied dropping the puppet onto the stage and laughing at the barely audible "hey, watch it!". "See, he hasn't learned his lesson yet. But don't worry. If he's a good little puppet, one day he'll be a real boy again."
Rolling his eyes at the trickster's speech John thought for a moment and then spoke. "What about Ms. Perkins? That your work, too?" He paused for a moment before adding, "Well?"
"Well what? She was already a witch. Ask anyone in town. I just made her look the part." The younger man explained. "I thought the green face was a nice touch. Don't you?"
"No I don't." John growled. "She's been banned from the town. She can't set foot outside her house anymore."
"Oh, don't worry about the old bat. She'll live." The trickster assured. "They deliver groceries now and I was even nice enough to give her a mirror to keep her company. Course it only says how ugly she is, but hey it's the thought that counts."
Shaking his head John said, "How generous of you? That just leaves the last victim. Let me guess. That monster in the woods is the other missing man. Right?"
"Give that man a prize!" the trickster shouted picking up the puppet and hanging him up before he could escape. "Think he was my favorite. The arrogant jerk thought he was God's gift to the planet. Well, not any more. Now he's doomed to live as a beast in the woods until he can change his ways and make a beauty fall in love with him. Wonder how long…"
"Wait a minute!" John broke in. "Beauty and a beast? A witch with a talking mirror and a talking puppet? You're turning people into fairy tale creatures?"
"What can I say? I've been on a fairy tale kick lately." The trickster admitted with a chuckle. "Disney's fault really."
"So what are you gonna do with me? Turn me into a pig and find some wolf to blow my house down?" John fired back.
"Nah, not enough meat on them bones. Besides, the fairy tale act is getting boring." The blond stated snapping his fingers. "But don't worry. I have something very special in mind for you."
At the motel
No longer able to ignore his rumbling stomach Dean snatched up the room key and shoved it in his pocket. Telling himself that Sammy would be fine for the minute or two it would take him to get them something from the vending machines outside Dean confidently walked to the door. As he opened the door he heard a whimper coming from behind him. Thinking Sammy was having another nightmare, he shut the door and turned to go wake his little brother. Dean froze as he took in the sight before him. A strange green light surrounded Sammy! Another whimper set him in motion. Pulling his knife he ran over to his brother's bed and slashed at the mysterious light. The knife simply bounced off the light jarring Dean's whole arm. Stunned Dean slowly reached out and touched the light. When nothing happened he attempted pushing it away from Sammy but it was like pushing a brick wall. Knowing he couldn't use their gun for fear of hitting his little brother Dean started grabbing anything he could reach and throwing it at the light. Suddenly the light began to quickly pulse! Dean could only watch as the light attacked Sammy!
John shot daggers at the trickster as he turned the crank. Biting back a cry of pain he concentrated on his breathing until the pain became manageable. "I'm gonna kill you!" he threatened.
"Kinda hard to do considering I'm not the one on the rack." The trickster pointed out.
"This the best you can come with?" John gruffly asked.
"Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. This is just the start of my plan. See I've been watching you and your boys for a while now and I must say I'm impressed. Your eldest, Dean I believe, is one heck of a soldier already. He's quite the parent, too. The way he looks after little Sammy warms my heart." The trickster told him placing both hands over his heart.
"Stay the hell away from my boys!" John shouted as he renewed his struggles against the heavy ropes.
"Sorry, no can do, big fella. See they're part of our game." The younger man replied strolling around the rack.
"What do you mean?" John asked pinning the trickster with a deadly glare.
Smiling at the enraged hunter the trickster walked over and leaned on the crank. "Well, I really shouldn't tell you. Don't want to spoil the surprise. But I guess I could give you a hint." Stepping up to the rack he leaned down. "You've been leaving the job of raising little Sammy to Dean. Right now that's working okay. The little guy really looks up to his big brother. Which made me wonder; what would happen if Sammy didn't look up to Dean anymore? Should be interesting to see." The trickster whispered. Standing he stepped a few feet away and grinned at his captive. "Bye now Johnny." He called out before disappearing.
As soon as the trickster left the ropes holding John's arms and legs to the rack vanished. Finally free of his bindings John took a moment to regain the feeling in his limbs before jumping off the table and racing to the warehouse door. He needed to find a phone and warn Dean!
At the motel
Dean jumped at the sound of the phone in the quiet room. Cocking his head to the side he listened as it rang once and stopped. Knowing the signal he dashed over to the table and snatched the phone on the first ring. "Dad! You gotta come back to the motel now! It's Sammy!" he yelled.
"What's wrong with Sammy, Dean!" John asked searching his pockets for his car keys.
"He's, he's..." Dean stammered.
"He's what Dean?! What the hell happened?!" John shouted in frustration.
Dean took a deep breath and tried again. "There was this light. It came into the room and covered Sammy. I tried to get it off him, dad. But everything just bounced off it."
Hearing the fear and panic in his son's voice John gentled his voice and calmly said, "Its okay Dean. Just tell me what happened, alright kiddo?"
"Okay, ummm the light, it started blinking and then Sammy, he, uh, he…" Dean stuttered.
John knew it had to be bad if Dean was freaking out. He listened to Dean's attempt at an explanation. Hearing a loud thump he hollered, "Dean! What's happening?"
"Dad! Dad, listen I gotta go! Just hurry and get here! Please?" Dean begged before hanging up.
John dropped the pay phone and sprinted toward the waiting impala. "Hang on Dean! I'm coming!" he whispered as he climbed into the car and tore out of the empty lot.