I have successfully completed my fist NaNo ever. In celebration I wrote this which has been bugging me for a month. I love to describe things visually, but I noticed that I don't describe sound very well. This is a little bit in the nature of an experiment in that sense.
Disclaimer: One of these days I will own them and they will be mine. Today is not that day, however, so for the minute I'm borrowing them and I'll give them back as soon as I've finished playing.
When I regain consciousness the first thing that I am aware of is the steady drip of water from a burst pipe and the gentle click of stones as I shift uncomfortably, the sound of my own groan harsh in my ears and the gentle thud and burn of my ribs as I suck in gasp after gasp of air so cold it stings. Even under the heavy coat that I have put on against the chill air of December, I can feel the seeping freeze of the air surrounding me, my jeans damp from the dirt that I lie on and that digs into my cheek.
My hand reaches out, seeking and searching, I have no way of knowing whether it is night or day, my watch has been smashed and my wrist is bruised and swollen under the strap. I suck in more painful air at the sharp burst of agony it sends through me and feel a tear, a solitary piece of warmth in a world of cold, trickle down my cheek. The first change in the gravel under my hands is when it goes from cool and water wet, to cool and viscous, sticky against my fingers and I follow that until I find the source, the almost cold body of another person and I reel away from it with a yell that is almost muffled in the chamber I cannot see.
After a long moment I resume my search, gravel digging into my palms and hands grasping at nothing until I find another body, this one stiff and frozen. I retreat, there is nothing here to help me and I am utterly helpless alone. When I try to stand I stumble as I walk, follow the gradual dripping of water, palm of the hand attached to the bruised wrist flat against the wall. I trip on something, stagger forward and trip again, this time going down on my hands and knees and jarring my already damaged wrist.
Disheartened and frightened I pick my way closer to the wall and rest my back against it, listening to the steady water and the echoing stillness. Another sound catches my attention, the sound of footfalls on uneven ground, an attempt to be quiet in a world where there is no such thing as silence. There is a breath of air around me, movement in the calmness that caresses my almost numb cheeks as I hear a foot rise pause a moment, and the fall on the other side of me.
"Help me," I whisper, my voice a distant and lost sound, little more than a harsh gasp from between parched lips. All motion around me ceases for a second and then there is someone beside me, the scent of soap, sandalwood and the faintest touch of oil, gun oil, reaching my nose even over the smell of damp earth and coppery blood.
"Hey, are you hurt?" He asks and his voice is young, soft, gentle with the hint of hurt and guilt that I do not even think he is aware he expresses. I give an affirmative answer, though it is more of a pained squeak. "Can you tell me your name?"
"Kathryn," I murmur and he is joined by another, this one smelling more strongly of gun oil, but also of leather and that same cheap soap.
"Kathryn?" A new voice, darker.
"Ok, can you stand up?" There is a moment of silence as I try and struggle to my feet, wondering if one of them will take pity and help me upright.
"She is blind, Dean," this third voice scares me, it radiates a power that I have never felt the likes of before. It seems to cause a flurry of movement at my side, however, because where before they seemed content to let me struggle on my own, now there are hands at my elbows and between them they pull me to my feet.
"Alright, Kathryn," this is the dark voice again, his tones gravelly and worn, "we're going to get you out of here, but we need you to trust us, can you do that?" Normally when told that I am blind, people freak out, offer me a fluster of apologies. These men do not do that and there is a long moment of silence, were it not for the feeling of large hands on my elbows I would think that they had abandoned me. "Sam's going to lead you, so you just hold on tight to him."
"Dean, wouldn't it be better if Cas just..."
"We don't know what's waiting for us out there," 'Dean' cuts off Sam, which means that the powerful sounding one must be Cas. "It's a last resort. Besides, we need him here." They talk about him like Cas is not here and I do not hear an objection from him, nor even a sigh of long suffering annoyance. We start walking and as the billowing flap of a coat passes beside me I smell something like sunlight and feathers, so different from the other two, there is a crackle there, like the charge of electricity in the air before lightning strikes and thunder rolls.
We walk in silence and aside from the occasional instruction from Sam I navigate the place, caves I assume, by only the feeling of my hand on his arm. It is awkward, it is slow and even with the care he takes I stumble more than once. Fortunately, I do not fall again and I think that has as much to do with Sam's care as it does with my own balance. When the sounds of gun shot hits my ears I feel the man leading me push me against a wall, hear the sounds of more guns firing and people shouting, vicious, violent and tainted with the gurgle of death.
"Cas, get her out of here!" Dean shouts and I know that he is referring to me.
"Dean..." Cas sounds reluctant and there is not even a hint of exertion to his tone, just the simple sound of one who fears losing something important.
"Just do it! You can come and get us when she's safe." Hands take mine, hands that are not calloused in the way that the ones belonging to Sam are but are so much softer, so much less worn and I can feel him, feel the power from that voice tingling through my hands and it is like a live wire. I gasp and try to snatch them away, try to break out of his grip and it would seem that he is as strong, as powerful, as his voice implies.
"Trust me," he whispers, voice low, filled with something holy, something that I can only call bright but at the same time there is pain and fear, loss and sorrow and I wonder what it is that has brought such a powerful creature so close to falling.
"Cas, now!" Dean shouts again and I feel a tug, a shift, even as Cas speaks again.
"I will return," there is a promise there, when he talks to his friend, a hope and I wonder if there is something else between them. Then the smell of blood and earth, damp and rot is gone. I can feel a cool breeze on my arms and the sun on my face. It is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced and I release Cas's hands to throw my arms around his neck. He is shorter than I thought he would be.
"I must leave," he tells me, presses a cell phone into my hand and positions my fingers. "Call for assistance and have someone take you from this place as quickly as possible. I don't recommend that you linger."
There is a brush of feathers and a rush of air and I know that I am alone, even as I call for help. I wonder about my saviours, about the two men and the powerful creature that they seemed to call friend. I wonder how they managed to get an angel on side, because that is what I believe that Cas might be, and I think that maybe, just maybe, there is a reason in the world to hope after all.