By: Karen B.
Thank you so much for your time in joining the boys in this little adventure.
Sunshine to you always, even in rain,
"Hey." A reverberating voice drew my attention from the dark place I was in. "Come on, bro." A hand tapped the side of my cheek.
"Ahhh, God." I blinked, a beam of light burning my eyes.
"I'm blind," I moaned feebly.
"Sammy?" Dean was crouched next to me.
"Dean! Get that thing out of my eyes, man." I batted at Dean's hand. "What happened?" I asked, slowly realizing I was sitting against a wet, slimy, black encrusted wall water up to my waist. "Gaaa." The smell of this dark chamber gagged me.
"Dude, you passed out."
" I warned you." I was lightheaded, the pain searing my leg having moved into my stomach. "Get me up." I pressed my back further against the black sludge on the wall trying to stand.
"You're not looking so good." Dean put a hand to my chest stopping my action.
"I don't feel so good, but I can walk," I said, swallowing the lump in my throat.
"Sam, you couldn't cross a street right now without the help of a ninety-year-old boy scout." He brought me up to my feet. "Just stay close." Dean clamped a hand around my midsection and started us moving again. "And no more feinting, Little Miss Muffet."
The lump in my throat muddled around there a moment before it landed in my stomach. I was feeling sicker by the moment. Drunkenly dizzy, and fuzzy brained. Dean was laboring to breathe, taking on more and more of my weight, but made no more comments on my weakness.
"Damn, this place smells like," Dean hesitated. "Like ass."
"Smells more like…" I paused, sifting through the file cabinet inside my brain. "Dean." I came to a standstill, turning to face my brother. "Hydrogen sulfide and methane gas."
"Holy crap!" We both said, looking into each other's fear-stricken eyes.
"Sam, don't you dare get gassy on me." Dean gave a crooked smile, moving us along. "One spark and this whole place will erupt like a shaken up soda pop can."
"Dean, you're the one who ate that beef and bean…Ahhhhhhh!" My voice dropped off. No, I take that back. The ground had dropped off. Dean and I with it.
I was descending feet first down a giant, slippery water slide, struggling to keep hold of our only source of light. I tried not to concentrate on the steep drop or the icy cold water between my ass and the rough stone -- a shock to my system. I could just make out the fact that Dean was yelling. Yet, I couldn't pinpoint his position or what he was yelling about. Although, the word 'Bonzi' came to mind. I estimated the drop to be at least forty-two feet when I finally plunged, straight into a lagoon of glossy, black water.
I sank like the Sasquatch Dean always said I was. Even though I'd kept my eyes open the whole time, I became disoriented. Using my arms more than my legs, twisting and turning trying to swim upward. Only everything looked exactly the same, and in my confusion I didn't know which way upward was. For all I knew I was desperately swimming downward. All I could be sure of was that my leg was on fire and my lungs were bursting with the need to take in a breath.
Amazing what you think about when you're about to die. I was reminded of the time I was sixteen. Dad, Dean and I were white water rafting. chasing down another crap awful creature. The raft had capsized. My life jacket had pulled me upward, only to trap me under the raft. Pinned against the rushing river, canyon wall, and a large boulder. The life jacket pushing me up -- the over turned raft pushing me down. I actually had sucked in several lungfuls of water, nearly drowning before Dean's hands grab hold of mine and pulled me out.
Everything around me now was much like that day. Black and scary. I struggled valiantly. Panic mixing with adrenaline, clawing at the water, desperate to break the surface. I still had a grip on the flashlight, the beam cutting through the murky gloom and causing the water to sparkle like sequence. Not much help there.
'Can't breathe.' The words said silently in my head. 'Don't breathe.' I fought the all to human urge.
There was a roaring in my ears and I went limp, knowing I was sinking but unable to do anything to stop my decent. The flashlight's beam fell away, replaced by a total blackness I couldn't describe. I lost all sense of time, floating ever somewhere. For an instant, I thought I'd sucked in a mouthful of water. Once I did that I was a goner. I'd keep sucking in water until I drowned.
It was then I become aware of a shadow swimming toward me, and I flipped out.. Frogman? Great White? Piranha? Alligator? Steve Erwin -- I was not. Forgetting myself, I opened my mouth to yell out my shock, water going into my mouth and then my nose. Quickly I calmed down, shut my mouth and started to claw the water again, my body tensing when the shadow came upon me. Something touched my waist, wrapped around my chest, hauled me upward. I broke the surface, head back, gasping for air, my hair long and wet hanging straight down over my face. I couldn't see a damn thing.
"Gahhhh!" I struggled weakly, sewage water sputtering and spraying out my mouth.
"Shhh. It's me. Sam, it's me," A voice repeated softly. "Don't fight me! Sammy, stop fighting me, just breathe. I got you!" Trembling fingers pulled the hair out of my eyes.
"Waaaa'…" I choked and gagged, fluid slogging around in my lungs. "Ghaaaaa…" My throat blocked with water -- I felt my face flush red, unable to breathe.
"Get it out, little brother." A hand slid to my back pounding hard. "Sam! Sammy! Get it out!"
Somehow Dean's voice took hold. Took away the cold and the water plugging my throat.
"Dean," I coughed up a gallon of slime.
Dean's hold was super tight across my chest as he swam us over to the edge of the wall.
"Come on, kiddo, keep breathing."
"Wha' happen?" My voice water-logged.
"Bro, you tried to drown yourself -- again."
"Stupid." My head spun.
"Consensus of your lifetime." Dean stared at me for an incredibly long time. I was about to say something, anything to distract him from his concern, but Dean beat me to the punch. "Sam, let go of the flashlight, thing's no good anymore."
I glanced at the mag-lite still gripped tight in my hand, releasing stiff fingers and letting the casing sink under the water. The water? It should have been ace of spades dark. I shouldn't have been able to see a thing, but I could. I glanced up to a large opening in the ceiling of the chamber.
"D-daylight," I stuttered, I was freezing and my injured leg was twitching all by itself. "Now…now what?" I asked for my next set of instructions, glad to let Dean boss me around for once.
"Dig in, Sam." Dean lifted my hands to the rock. I gripped the sides, barely holding my head above water. "These walls are rugged enough. I'm going to climb out of here, and get you a rope."
"Yeah, Okay." That made sense. I nodded my agreement. "Just don't take to long…Dean!" One hand went to Dean's shoulder holding him in place.
"What? You passing out again?"
I nodded toward a dark corner. Only five feet away, suction-cupped to the wall was the web-footed, hollow cheeked, smooth skinned, Kermit. Its forked, sticky tongue darting in and out its gapping mouth, bloodlust beaming out two bulging black eyes.
"Friggin' green leprechaun," Dean growled.
"Steve Erwin, you're not." Dean tensed, now holding my switchblade in his hand.
"Dean, that blade barely whittles wood."
Long muscular legs pushed off the rock, and I watched in horror as aqua man dove into the water, disappearing into the inky sludge.
I wrinkled my nose, suddenly reminded of the horrible rotten egg smell down here. "Out. Out now!" I yelled, gripping the walls and pulling myself from the water, leading the way.
"Dean!" I gritted through the pain. "Hydrogen sulfide and methane gas, remember?"
"You going to fart?"
"Dude," I muttered, scrambling upward. the best I could. Dean scrambled right behind me, using his shoulder under my left foot to help push me along. "You still have those waterproof matches you keep in your wallet?" I asked concentrating on getting my twitchy leg to work, new found adrenaline pumping through me.
"Sammy, your simplemindedness amazes me," Dean said dryly.
"Thanks," I grunted. "I think." Glancing down, I could see Dean struggling. One-handedly working his wallet out of his wet jeans, frogman not far behind. "Dean, it's closing in!" I yelled.
"Keep going!" Dean ordered.
Clinging to the rock he half-turned kicking the creature in the face as hard as he could with a heavy boot. A painful shriek filled the chamber. I paused to look, seeing frogman splashing back down into the water.
"Get a move on, granny!" Dean shouted.
I turned, continuing to pull my body up hand over hand. Latching onto any crevice or crack I could find, feet kicking against rock. Things were graying, my leg burning, and I was drenched in sweat. Or was that sludge? I was cold. I was hot. I was barely holding onto consciousness, but I did as I was told.
Over the sound of my own gasping breath, I could hear Dean behind me yelling, "We're almost there."
I tilted my head up -- true, only a few more feet to go.
"Bitch, move faster!" Dean hissed.
"You're such a childish…" I starred into another set of bulging eyes glaring furiously at me. Frogman's pearly whites lashed out. "Jerk!" Dazed, and running on pure instinct I balled one hand into a fist. I swung hard, connecting with frogman but loosing my footing. "Arghhhh!" I fell.
"Son of a bitch!" Dean's peeved tone echoed all around me. "Sam!" A strong hand snagged my arm, brute strength mixed with brotherly love stopping my decent. For a moment, I hung limp in my brother's hold. "Sam, grab on. Focus!" Dean snapped, steadying me against the rock. "Did Kermit bite you?" Dean asked, caring shining in his eyes.
"Where?" I blinked, glancing frantically about, trying to rid myself of the unnatural darkness. "Dean? Where is it?"
"Back in the drink. Answer my question, did it bite you again?"
"Damn thing is fast," Dean said, straining every muscle to keep hold of me.
"I got it," I said , finding a hand and foothold and taking my weight off Dean.
"Think I saw this on Animal Cops once," Dean grumbled. "Sam, you think you can make it the rest of the way up without…"
"Dean." I titled my head to one side, looking down. "Shit. Shit. Shit," I cursed, watching two frogs climbing up out of the water heading back for us.
"No friggin' way." Dean's stunned gaze met mine.
"Damn thing's come in pairs," I grunted, adjusting my footing and scrambling upward.
"Thank you, Noah," Dean mumbled. "One plus one equals ten-thousand Sea-Monkeys."
"Tadpoles." My fingers gripped the edge of the sewer and I clawed for purchase.
"Enough with the biology lessons already, Sam," Dean grunted, pushing against my shoe and shoving me upward. "We have to torch this place. Now!"
I belly crawled out. Flipping onto my back just in time to see Dean standing cool, calm, and collected over the hole we'd just been in. He struck a match and without hesitation and not an ounce of mercy, flicked the flame into the pit. Before I knew what was happening, Dean had me under the armpits, banking left then right, hauling me away from the hole. Like thunder rumbling, a ball of flame belched skyward. My knees buckled and I collapsed to the ground.
"Arrrrrrrrhg!" Dean landed square on my chest shielding my body with his body as the ground violently shook.
From under my protective armor that was Dean, I watched a blazing shock of bright orange fire shoot skyward. I must have blacked out a moment, because when I opened my eyes the flames were gone and Dean was sitting wet and dirty by my side.
"That was some toad roast." He smiled down at me. "Think you'll get warts?" He nodded toward my leg
"What? No!" I began to roll my eyes but stopped, feeling dizzy. "Dean, how many times do I have to tell you they're…"
"Looked more like a grasshoppers," Dean snipped, getting up he stepped to the edge of the pit and squinted down.
"That's what you get for cutting fourth period bio, Dean. Hope that F and ten swats you took was worth making out in the janitor's closet with Principal Dan's daughter," I laughed, but my humor was stolen by the sick feeling in my gut.
"That's harsh, dude." Dean stepped back to me.
"They wiped out?" I glanced upward, the clouds in the sky spinning out of control.
"Like green snot on wet tissue."
"Ohhhhh," I gagged. "You suck."
"You feeling all right?" Dean bent down next to me.
We stared at each other, both of us wondering the same thing. Could the frog bite be poisonous.
"Think I might pass out again," I finally admitted.
"Think you can help me get you to the car before you do, biology professor?"
"Sure thing, ."
"Ha. Ha. Let's go, overachiever."
I gave a miserable nod, and held my hands out. Dean pulled me up to my feet smoothly. I breathed in and out listening to the buzzing in my ear, drowsily brushing the bee away.
"How you doing there, Steve?" Dean cracked.
I trudged along blindly, the socks inside my boots squishing, denim sopping wet, shirt sticking to my skin, and blood dripping from my leg. I leaned heavier against Dean, trusting big brother to get us where we needed to be. Time was liquid, but eventually I heard the creak of old metal, the comfort of worn leather, and the musical jangle of keys as they turned in the ignition.
I cracked open one eye. I was hot and sticky, curled into a ball like an oversized puppy on a sagging undersized mattress. Sunlight, morning or evening -- I couldn't be sure, tried to make its way in through the thick, coffee-colored curtains. It didn't take me long to figure out where I was. Dean was standing over a small sink in a corner of the motel room, wringing a washcloth out under the faucet.
"Hey." Dean paused, catching my eye in the mirror. "You awake?"
"You tell me." My brow bunched up, visions of Old Yeller being taken out by the hand of his master slipping in and out of my mind. "You going to shoot me anytime soon?" I untangled my legs from the sheets.
"Guess again." Dean sat on the edge of the bed, the cool washcloth he placed on my forehead soothing the pounding pain.
"Burn me, cut off my head, stab me in the heart with a silver handled butter knife dipped in guacamole?"
"Dude." Dean laughed. "I talked to Bobby. The varmints are not poisonous."
"Good news," I coughed.
"And," Dean took the now warm washcloth from my forehead, flipping the cloth around he pressed down.
"Hmmmmm," I sighed, the renewed coolness easing some of my pain.
"Turns out fire is the only way to gank the Looney tune rodents," Dean explained.
"Amphibians." I tried to swallow past the thick prickly feel in my throat.
"Sam," Dean sighed. "You and your bio lessons. I have half a mind to beat you."
"Half a mind is right." I stared at Dean the obvious question shining in my eyes.
"The bite got infected, Sam. You've had a fever and been really out of it for a couple days."
"Cool." I licked my dry lips, turning my head looking for something.
"If you say so." Dean reached for that something "You're not going anywhere for awhile, bro." Dean slid his hand under my head and lifted. "But you'll be okay."
I drank deeply, choking when the sweet tasting water went down the wrong way.
"Easy." Dean pulled the glass away. "Liquid sugar. Tastes great, huh? How you feel?" He lowered my head.
"Fabulous." I started to drift, not believing my own lie.
"Try again." Dean's voice snapped me back.
"Awful," I coughed.
"It will get better, Sam." Dean leaned close.
"Comforting." I had to smile, Dean looked like a hovering guardian angel. "Hey." I glanced toward the bathroom door. "What if our frog friends are still alive, crawl out of the toilet?" I joked.
"Got it covered, little brother." Dean said seriously, pointing a finger across the room to a small table.
"What the?" I blinked at the hardware store. Crowbar, hammer, ten-inch nails and thick ply wood.
"Ripped the friggin' bowl out, dude. Nailed the hole shut."
"Dean." I looked at my brother, eyes going wide. "Where do we…"
"Also, covered." Dean held up a plastic bucket.
I closed my eyes, drifting back to sleep. My brother -- always one fruit loop short of a bowl.
Author's note: No lizards 'erm…grasshoppers, 'em frogs were harmed or flambéed before, during, or after the writing of this story.