BUMBLES DON'T BOUNCE
-- THEY BITE --
Thank you kindly for reading!
Sam woke feeling bogged down, disoriented still, like pickled brains in a jar. He shook his head, Why the hell was he shirtless? He blurrily glanced from side to side, trying to take in more of his surroundings -- ground himself. Everything smelled of darkness and decay. Blinking, his gaze landed on the mud splattered walls. A rusty saw blade hung on a nail, next to that a stained John Deere ball cap. A well-used cutting-table was shoved to one side. Broken chairs. Empty shelves. A cluster of unlabeled tin cans and whiskey bottles, fish bones -- garbage -- shoved in a corner upon the buckled floor. The meager housing was more than likely used as a hunter's cabin, now long forgotten and barely worthy of shelter. The fire glowed bight yellow and red in the stone fireplace, sending scary shadow puppets skipping along the walls. The shadows changed and morphed into different sizes and shapes as if an invisible hand held a black ink pen and was practicing calligraphy on the walls.
With a shaky hand Sam swiped strands of damp, poker-straight hair out of his eyes hoping to clear his vision. He shivered hard. The hot oven he was in gone, replaced by freezing icy bullets of cold traveling over every part of his body. The meowing cry of the wind flowed through the cabin's skeletal-like walls, whispering to him in a ghostly way. Near by, Dean slept solid in a wobbly looking wooden chair, arms crossed over his chest and feet propped up on top the weapon's bag -- a dog guarding his bone.
Sam fidgeted under the ratty blanket that covered him. Fighting the mule-kicking pain in his chest and head. A dull thump hit the right side of the cabin causing Sam to jerk, the clay caulking between the logs disintegrating and adding more residue to the dusty floor.
"Just the wind," Sam barely whispered.
He gripped tighter to the all too thin blanket, while his fever rattled brain ignited his imagination, drudging up old childhood fears. Places his young mind used to go and never wanted to go again -- not an option being the son of a hunter. Monsters in the closet. Monsters under his bed. Monsters erupting out of the deep, dark woods. Out of grave beds. Eating him, his father, his brother -- alive.
Something didn't feel quite right. Sam's heart skipped a beat -- then another, but he refused to disturb his sleeping brother. Dean had already spent countless hours tending to him, not to mention dragging his ass through a guzillion feet of snow.
Through a small, half-boarded up, frosted over window in a far corner, he could just see outside -- a dark forest full of snow. Sam watched, dreamily captivated by the thick, mysterious flakes blasting out of the darkness and hitting the window like a swarm of rare albino locust -- the winter storm far from over.
The fire crackled and sputtered, its flames fading. Sam shuddered, breaking out in a cold sweat, pouring off him like raging rapids. The large goose bumps prickling all over his body almost hurt. He tried to occupy his mind with any happy memories he could find in his roller coaster life. But, there were so many twists, turns, and loops he couldn't seem to chose a thought. Only words floated around, like sinking balloons -- some his dad, other's Dean.
Keep it down, you two. Stop fighting. Don't leave this room for any reason. No, it's not fair. To bad. Sam, this room isn't big enough for the both of us. Bitch. Jerk. Shut up. Whatever. Dork. Geek. Princess. Daddy's little girl.
When he ran out of words, Sam ground himself to the only thing in the room that felt safe --Dean. For a long time he listened to his brother's steady breathing. Watched Dean's chest move, linking his breaths to Dean's. Matching their hearts -- beat for beat -- escaping the hurt.
A tickle at the back of his throat drew him from his hypnotic state. Sam swallowed down repeatedly, but the tickle grew to an itch and then a wheeze. He fidgeted, unable to hold back the dying sea lion cough that only served to make his chest ache and his body quiver relentlessly.
Sam covered his mouth, trying to hide the sound. The cough ended with Sam hanging half-off the side of the flimsy bed. Face red and knuckles whiter than the snow, gripping the bedding, spitting up phlegm -- possibly a ten-inch nail.
"Gaaa," Sam gagged, breath snagging in his esophagus.
"What the…!" Dean bolted out of the chair, instinctively going for the weapon's bag, looking wildly around the cabin
"D'n." Sam struggled to find his voice, sit up, breathe -- something.
"Crap." Dean tore his attention from the room, instead studying Sam questioningly. "Dude!" He stumbled across the uneven floor. "Hey, hey." He carted Sam back up onto the bed, struggling to hold him still. "You're shaking like one of those lame Japanese noisemakers with the seeds inside," Dean whispered low in Sam's ear.
"Mexican…" Sam sputtered. "…Maraca's, Dean," he mumbled, getting his coughing under control, now wrestling for a comfortable position on the flimsy cot.
"Where'd you think you were going?" Dean leaned forward meeting Sam's gaze.
"F-freezing in here." Sam's voice shook along with his body.
"You're running a fever, remember?"
"I remember the Yeti." Sam's teeth chattered.
"You're safe. I killed the misfit." Dean took off his jacket, laying the leather on top of Sam.
"Wha' 'bout you?" Sam asked, breathlessly.
"You know me, Sam, hot-blooded."
"Hotheaded," Sam amended.
"That, too." Dean leaned back, gaze going to the flickering fire.
"Heard a noise outside, earlier," Sam said. "Get the feeling there's something out there."
"Yeah, snow, man…a shit load." Dean got up and strode over to the fire, adding a couple more logs to the vanishing flames. "Not a snowman, button eyes, carrot nose, frozen balls… but snow, man," Dean laughed. "Get it, Sam? Snowman. Snow, man?" he laughed harder.
"Obviously not as well as you." Sam snuggled further down into the cot, pulling Dean's jacket close as he watched his hysterical brother poke at the fire with a long stick.
"Wish there was a Pizza Hut nearby," Dean babbled on.
"East Of Chicago's, better." Sam closed his eyes.
"East Of Chicago… East of…"
"My…" Dean stopped poking around.. "…Ass." He dropped the stick, and stood straight -- attentive -- gaze sweeping the room.
Sam scooted up onto his elbows -- eyes as wide as he could get them -- an 'I told you so' look on his face.
"Dean!" Sam pointed a shaky finger toward the window, catching the fleeting glimpse of a furry, man-like figure running past.
One more thud, a snarl, a roar.
"Son of a … friggin' things having some sort of Winter sale?!" Dean reached behind him for his…"Bitch!" He came up empty handed.
"Where the hell's your gun, man?" Sam blurted.
"Didn't need th extra pounds." He headed toward the weapon's bag. "Stowed it when I slung you over my shoulder like a wet…ahhh!" Dean's boot went through the rotting floorboards-- trapped. "Sonofabitch!" He bent over playing tug-a-war -- the floor clinging stubbornly to his ankle.
"Dean, stop screwing around," Sam coughed. "Gun, now!"
"Stuck here! What do you want me to do, Sam? Through a stick? Maybe Yeti will fetch."
"Shaggy monster, Dean, not shaggy dog."
Slam - Bam! Rattle!
The door shimmied and shook. "That door's not going to hold it, Dean." Sam tried to pull himself to standing, but a wave of dizziness kept him from doing so.
"Sam, I got it!"
Another roar and the whole cabin seemed to shake.
"Dean, one more puff and this whole place is going down like a house of cards. You need help." Sam finally got his feet on the floor, yelped, double-vision stealing his balance, flopping him back to the flimsy cot.
"Come on!" Dean roared, yanking so hard he nearly ripped the flesh from his skin. "Finally!" He pulled his foot from the hole, clambering on all fours the last few inches to the weapon's bag, fingers fumbling inside. "Snow boy's going to chill out once and for all."
With a fiery, mad cry the shaggy, white creature busted in, leaving the door hanging, like a loose tooth on its hinges. The beast stood in the doorway, panting. Eight feet tall, all hackles and teeth. Wavy fur swirled in the snowy wind looking almost like frosting on a cake. It growled, then snarled, its flat, black-eyed stare going straight to Sam -- the weaker, injured animal.
Dean grabbed the first weapon his hand brushed against. Fisting the heavy handle of his Blackhawk hunting knife, he stood. One gliding step, positioned Dean face-to-face with the beast -- a steel wall between the Yeti and Sam..
"Sam!" Dean gave Sam a hurried glance over his shoulder. "Stay there!" He turned into the wind and charged.
Brutal claws as long as a sword's blade lashed out. Dean ducked, snowflakes clinging to his lashes, obviously struggling to see through the white blur of wind and that friggin' white shit that blew wildly into the cabin, like a mini twister. Another clawed paw struck out at him. Dean dodged left, and spun around, slicing into the creature's right arm. Blood drained out of the wound, staining the white fur dark red -- infuriating the creature further.
"Look out!" Sam shouted a warning, only seeing a cloud of white rushing Dean's way.
"I know! I know!" Dean yelled, trying to sidestep the attack -- too late. The creature was super strong and super fast. Crashing into Dean. Sending the hunter tumbling like a Dixie Cup in a windstorm -- backward and out the open doorway into a snowdrift.
Turning to Sam, the Yeti let out a ferocious war cry, bowing its large, shaggy head and heading straight for the cot.
"Nonono!" Weaponless, Sam scuttled off the bed, landing ass-end on the floor. The creature's upper lip curled back to reveal slimy, pink gums and dripping-wet, rotting teeth. No wonder his wound had gotten infected so fast. Desperate to escape, Sam crab walked backward until his back hit the wall nearest the fireplace The creature leapt upon him. "Ahhh!" he cried out, the sting of hot, pointy teeth latching onto the crook of his right arm -- digging in deep. Near blinded by pain, Sam searched the floor, remembering the stick Dean had been using to poke at the fire. Snatching hold, he raised the stick one handedly smacking the creature upside the head as hard as he could. "Ugh," Sam gasped able to detach the powerful jaws. The creature lay half on its side -- dazed. Sam fought to move, eyes glued on the weapon's bag. He tucked and rolled across the wooden floor bumping up agaisnt the bag. "Crap, crap, crap." Weak, shaky hands fumbling to dig inside.
Sam glanced over his shoulder -- not fast enough. A haze of white charged his way. Sam managed to snag hold of the satchel, dragging the bag awkwardly along as he scrambled to escape, but there was nowhere to go in the small confines of the cabin. The Yeti was so near, Sam could smell its sour breath, feel the glop of thick, hot salvia plopping to his face like large drops of rain. Sam cringed, preparing for the chunk of flesh that was about to be taken out of his chest -- again -- when he caught a glimpse of Dean out of the corner of his eye.
"No!" Dean barreled in through the door, two running steps, he dropped down to his knees, sliding across the floor like a wet seal -- coming between Sam and the creature. Dean thrust upward, slipping his knife into the creature's ribcage burying the blade to its hilt. Stunned only for a moment, the creature reared, glaring at Dean. Regaining his footing, Dean was now defenseless, glaring back at the Yeti with equal hatred. "Never screw with a man's brother!" Dean yelled, not budging, fearlessly standing his ground.
The Yeti barred its teeth.
"Bring it, fugly," Dean snarled, prepared to do hand-to-hand combat.
"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" The Yeti howled, descending on him like a plow truck sliding on a sheet of solid ice.
"Dean, get down!" Sam's voice came from behind.
Without hesitation, Dean stopped, dropped, and rolled away. Sam fired off a round, sending a bullet into the animal's heart. Blood burst from the creature's chest, like a water balloon full of vivid red paint.. The Yeti's ugly face smashed to the floor -- certainly dead.
Dean shot up to his feet, kicking the hairy beast a few times in the head for good measure. "Sam, next time give a guy a little more notice when you're about to send a bullet flying," he grunted, giving another swift booted kick to the animal's ribs. "Sam! You okay?" Dean kicked the creature yet again.
"Freezing." Sam's voice trembled, gun dangling limply in his hand.
"Him, too. I hate bumbles." Dean kicked the beast harder.
"Thought you liked, bumbles."
"Not anymore. Bumbles don't bounce, Sam, they bite." Dean kicked the hulking body again.
"It's dead, Dean, why…" Sam coughed raggedly.
"I hate its face," Dean answered.
Dean gave one last kick, glancing up. "Got yourself a nice bumble skin rug for a souvenir, little brother, better than a snow globe." Gusts of wind, propelled snow in circles around the cabin causing Sam to gasp. "Sam?"
Sam gave a jerky thumbs up sign. "I'm…" his eyes rolled white. "…Fi..." Adrenalin taking a dive, crashing, his body hurling toward the floor.
"Sam!" Hands gripped Sam by the forearms, barely holding him up. "C'mon, Frosty."
"Where to?" Sam's roused slightly, feet dragging the floor in herky-jerky, stop-go movements.
"The Island Of Misfit toys, dude." Dean plopped him onto the cot.
"Where?" Sam's forehead drooped, thudding against his brother's chest.
"Hey, hey, right here." Dean cupped Sam's face in both palms, holding his head up. "Hey, brain-freeze, you with me?" Dean gave a little shake. "Sammy! Look at me."
"Okay." Sam's eyes rolled back into place, trying hard to focus. "Now what?" Sam asked, his neck muscles giving way, head dropping backward then forward.
"Exchange recipes, Martha," Dean mumbled, hand catching the back of Sam's head, easing him down flat and wrapping him in the ratty blanket. "Just keep your eyes on me." Dean disappeared, then reappeared like magic.
"How'd you do that?" Sam asked, grimacing slightly when Dean picked up his injured arm.
"Do what?" Dean frowned.
"Like you don't know," Sam garbled.
Dean seemed really out of it, Sam thought.
"You okay." Sam blinked lazily. "You look like, shit, Dean."
"It's the new style." Dean kept a straight face, not making eye contact in return, completely engrossed with Sam's arm.
"Whathehell'y'doin'now?" Sam's words all blended together.
"E-nun-ci-ate, man." Dean took in a deep breath, putting pressure on the wound.
Sam turned his head, getting a glimpse of Dean's blotchy, dirty-red fingers. "Where that come from?" he asked, seeing the meaty, ripped flesh and discharge of blood that ran cold down his arm. Wasn't blood supposed to be warm? Why was everything so cold, so gray, so muddled?
"Christ, Sammy." Dean swore, fingers slip-sliding over pale skin, groping with stripes of cloth, the dark flow of red soaking through white.
"Dean?" Sam shook his head, damp, tousled hair falling over his eyes. "You're bleeding?"
"Not me," Dean replied frankly. "You, college boy -- thus the problem." Dean growled. "Bumble gave you a new gift." He nodded, trembling finger pointing out the gush of blood. "Damn it!"
"Lucky me," Sam deadpanned.
"We'll see in a second…just how lucky you are." Dean fumbled shakily with the cloth.
"Hey, Dean?" Sam continued to watch in a sort of sick, disconnected fascination.
"What?" Dean's tone -- distracted.
"Shit, looks good on you," Sam snickered, struggling to open his eyes wider to see through his bangs.
"If you're asking me to be your prom date, Winchester…" Dean glanced up briefly. "…I accept."
"Thought you weren't gay, Winchester," Sam retorted.
"So…what's with?" Sam left the question hang.
"What's with…" Dean took in a deep breath, gaze locked on Sam. "Is me… not wanting to… hurt you."
"Whatever," Sam gave a light chuckle.
"For this. "Dean suddenly tightened down brutally on the tourniquet he fashioned when Sam wasn't looking.
The pain was hot and sudden. "Gaahhh!" Sam cried out, wiggling to escape.
"Easy." Dean clasped Sam's shoulders, leaning his weight into him. "Just take it easy. Hold still."
"Y…y…you a…all d…done... n…not h…hurting me?" Sam stuttered, sinking back, allowing Dean's weight to hold the pain in check. "Think we got them all this time?"
Dean glanced at the white rug now lying on the cabin floor. "I'll take 'I sure the freak hope so' for five hundred, Alex. You okay?" He looked at Sam.
"I should go with…with yes, but I'll take no for…for…a handful of M&M's -- room's spinning."
"Sounds like good times."
"I'll…I'll let you know," Sam gagged.
"All done, Sammy." Gazes still locked, Dean eased off the pressure, one hand still pinning Sam down -- the other -- patting his cheek gently. "Think the bleeding's stopped for now."
"Good," Sam uttered. "Dean, promise me."
"Promise you what, Sam?"
"You won't go wandering around in the snow."
"Why the hell would I…"
"Tracking that thing straight back to its lair…making sure."
"Promise!" Sam grabbed a handful of Dean's shirt. "Don't you leave me alone, here."
"Yeah, okay, okay," Dean said in a soft tone, still leaning down close.
"Can't keep my eyes open." Sam blinked.
"Guess your hair is tired of doing all the work," Dean cracked, running a hand through Sam's bangs. "There," Dean said, pulling the strands away from his face. "Close your eyes, Sam."
"Thanks." Sam looked Dean in the eye, blinking slowly -- once -- twice -- thrice.
"C'mon, buddy. It's okay, Sammy. I'm not going anywhere."
Four. Five. On the sixth blink, Sam's eyes refused to open.
"I'll see you later, bro. Rest." Dean kept brushing fingers through Sam's hair -- a soothing movement -- plunking Sam softly back into the black dungeon.
Sam had lost track of all time, and was having a really bad go of finding it again. Trapped in a nightmarish puzzle, somewhere between sleep and wakefulness. He watched as the ceiling of the gloomy cave he was confined in seemed to fall, pressing him down hard. He squeezed his eyes shut, kept trying to sleep away the pain, but something inside, a memory maybe -- wouldn't let him. Sam tried to capture the memory. Bits and pieces floated back to him, spiraling colors, like a cracked kaleidoscope.
The smell of something awful burning in his nostrils. A fire, yet he was freezing. Snow. The sudden severe pain across his chest, his right arm burning then going numb. An ear-shattering howl. Monsters in the closet. Bumbles. Dean leaning over him, big green eyes. His brother's voice a rush of panic in his ear. A knife. A gun. Suddenly feeing totally alone.
It was as though Sam was belly crawling through a dark tunnel lined with razor blades. He was determine to find an opening that would lead him out, away from the pain, but someone had cleverly concealed the door. He figured he'd been fumbling, twisting and turning around in darkness for hours, going further and further out of touch. Felt spooky -- and Sam -- Sam was scared. He didn't like this dark place, suddenly sensing something was with him, not knowing who or what that something was. His eyes fluttered. There were shapes. Shadows? Faces? Goblins? He had no clue. All Sam knew was he felt small and hurt all over. As if that were not bad enough, something cold, soft, and moist vigorously began to rub against the crook of his arm. He squinted open one eye. A mystery shape moved in close, bending over him.
Without warning, a long and sharp object jabbed him, piercing the crook of his arm.
"Uh…uh." Sam's whole body jolted in protest as he tried to pull his arm away.
"It's okay." A firm hand held his arm still. "Just a blood test, Sam. Gotta make sure you didn't contract herpes from that mountain lion." A small laugh, fingertips skimming across his forehead.
"You mean the Yet…"
"Shh, Sam, it's over now. All of it," Dean said, firmly backing that fact up with a squeeze to Sam's good arm.
"I'll come back to check on him later, sugar cheeks," a strange disembodied voice -- female of course -- said. "No more hiking in wild country, for you two during a snow storm, I hope."
"No, ma'am," Dean agreed.
Sam stared blankly up into a fuzzy face and green eyes.
"Had to tell them something. How do you feel?"
Sam frowned. He felt hot, like he was in an overheated pool. No, he was cold, like he'd fallen into a snowdrift.
He shook his head back and forth. "Not sure." Was like a stone door had slammed shut on his brain.
"Sammy, do you know where you are?"
Sam concentrated real hard, eyelashes lifting and lowering as he tried to get the face above him into focus.
"Come on, pal, it's not that hard of a question. Can you talk to me? Sam?" Fingers snapped in front of his eyes. "I know you hear me."
"Talk's cheap, sugar cheeks, " Sam gritted.
"Action is more my game, bro." A cool cloth came to his forehead, like a splash of ice water as it moved to tenderly pat his cheeks, throat, and chest.
"Hmmm." It felt remarkable.
"Shh," Dean uttered.
A tremor rippled through Sam's body, a spasm of pain. Clenching his jaw tight, he struggled not to fall back into darkness. "Wha'?" Sam rasped, fought to breathe, to talk, to do something. "What happened?"
"Easy." Feather light caresses brushed over his cheek. "Just try to relax, you're still burning up."
"Dean?" Sam arched toward the touch that seemed to seize the pain, and toss it aside. "When can I have my shirt back?" His asked in a sleepy tone.
The question went unanswered. Dean must have told him, but Sam didn't understand, His brother just kept talking soothingly, in hushed tones, but the words were half-lost to Sam. Something about burning Frosty. How they'd never go hunting in friggin' Saskatchewen again. How Sam was close to freezing. A ski bunny. A working cell phone. A helicopter ride. A shopping trip for new clothes.
Sam's eyes flicked open and shut, still staring up at Dean's cloudy face. Pulsating fever messing with his vision. His brain. Everything twirling like a colorful pinwheel making him feel sick.
"How you feeling, now?" Dean asked.
"Not good," Sam panted.
"Yeah, I know, and you're going to feel worse before better," Dean said, sadly.
"Thanks for that."
Dean shrugged. "I could lie."
"Don't," Sam swallowed. "I'm hot. I'm cold."
"I'll alert the media," Dean carded fingers through Sam's hair.
"Which what, Sam?"
"Which am I?" Sam asked. "Hot or cold?"
"You're both, remember?" Dean laughed, hand curling around to the back of Sam's neck -- massaging.
Sam felt himself going limp from the pleasure.
"Enjoy this while you can, princess," Dean snickered softly.
Sam blinked his eyes twice, trying to clear the confused, disoriented feeling. On the third try he struggled to reopen his eyes, unable to. The neck rub stopped, spooky silence, dark vapors pulling him back down -- that scared him.
"Dean," Sam whimpered.
"I'm right here. Not leaving you, bro."
"You did before. Left me to go track tall, white and ugly."
"You remember that real well!"
"Not really, just felt you were gone. Dean, you promised."
"Sam, I had to make sure. You know that. Basic training, dude. Sweep the area, make sure the threat is contained."
"Basic lying." Sam winced, pain cutting into his chest, into everything. "And?"
"And, I'm sure, got 'em all. Sam I'm...." Dean cleared his throat.
"'It's okay, I get it. Hey, Dean?" Sam mumbled, eyes still closed.
"So, no more you know…" Sam paused to think …."Bumbles for you?"
"Nope…" Dean cleared his throat again. "Well, maybe. Why, Sammy? You want in on my action?" Dean chuckled, continuing to massage the back of Sam's neck.
"Nope," Sam muttered, lazily. "Well, maybe," he breathed, falling back to sleep.
"That's my boy."
The 'blah blah' end.