Just have holidays and time to write a bit. :) Unbeta'd, so I'm to blame for all the mistakes. Enjoy!
„What?" Sam turned around and stared unbelievingly at his brother who had stopped abruptly.
„I quit! Oh come on Sam, we've been running around for hours in this stinking hole and we still didn't find any traces to follow."
„Well, isn't that the whole point? Cavers gone missing on their trips, no traces left at all?" Sam smirked.
„You know what I mean... smart-ass!" Dean grumbled moodily. „I'm starving and I need to pee. And this smell gives me a hard time not to puke."
„Your fault, shouldn't have had ten beers last night."
„Hey, those guys just couldn't stop talking and drinking soda in a bar – no way." Deans beam of light danced around the cave, stopping on a rock a few feet away which he instantly used as a seat.
„Are you protesting with a sit-in now?" Sam studied his brother incredulously.
„Nope!" Dean started to rummage through their duffle bag, his hand raising triumphantly after a few moments – holding a bag of M&Ms.
„You're kidding, right? We're in the middle of a hunt."
„The way I see it, there's no hunt." Dean ripped the bag open and put a handful of M&Ms into his mouth.
They'd unwillingly stopped in a small mountain town nearby two days ago, no fuel left and being low on funds. They'd gotten into a conversation with some locals during one of Deans poker games, who were just too eager to share their towns gossip with them, not having visitors very often. And their tales caught the hunters attention. Three people have gone missing last month during a trip to the caving site five kilometres out of town. The rescue team just found their backpacks in the entrance of the caves, following their footprints inward just to be left utterly perplexed when those vanished after a few hundred meter. Especially coz the prints proved the cavers to have entered, but showing just in one direction, not to have come out again. They just seemed to have vanished into thin air. That definitely sounded like a case for them.
Research revealed a series of disappearances throughout time and always with the same outcome: no traces left, no signs of any violence, no nothing. Locals had all kinds of explanations: some believable – well, for them at least - like the vengeful ghost of a falsely accused and executed man in 1923. Or a furious witch, returned to get revenge for the witch hunts in the 18th century near the caves. Others rather ridiculous like aliens, a portal to another universe and whatnot. Unfortunately there wasn't a library in town to dig deeper. The internet couldn't give them any answers either. They'd still decided to check it out and packed all kinds of gear to be properly prepared for any surprises.
But there hasn't been any surprises so far. Nothing supernatural or unusual at all. The EMF didn't hum, no living soul they'd run across – neither human nor any kind of creature, no sulfur, no traces, no blood, no bones... nothing. And after hours underground, walking through a labyrinth of hundreds of caves and tunnels, Dean was convinced that the locals in the bar just wanted to give themselfes airs.
„Lets turn around and call it a day."
Sam just gave him a look and pulled a map out of his jacket, that showed him countless of tunnels connected to each other. He had marked the sections they've already come across. Just the left corner of the map was unmarked yet.
„There're only a couple of caves left in the far west. We're quite close, it won't take us longer than an hour to check them out."
But Dean just ignored him while he put more M&Ms into his mouth, munching happily.
„Dean?" Sam shone his flashlight beam directly into his brothers eyes.
„Hey, knock it off! I heard you, just... give me another minute." And Dean closed his eyes and chewed on.
Sam sighed and turned around, but couldn't suppress a smile. He took another look at the map, trying to make out the tunnel they'd have to take to get to the west section of the caves. 'Must be on the right-hand side.' He looked up and his flashlight illuminated another long tunnel, supported by old wooden beams just like the others. The caves had been part of a silver mine once but were closed due to exploitation about 40 years ago. It was reopened for adventurous cavers and tourists but after the first unexplainable disappearances it became deterrent and the once popular town was almost deserted now, leaving only a few locals behind who were too old, had too many good memories to move away like most young people had done.
Sam heard the rustling of wrapping paper behind him and saw Dean tucking the empty bag of M&Ms into their duffle.
„Alright, here we go!" And his brother strode past him, full of energy, leaving a perplexed Sam behind who shook his head in disbelief and followed him.
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The absolute silence was only broken by their footsteps, reverberating eerily around them. They passed smaller caves from time to time which they've already checked out a few hours ago. Sam had marked each with chalk to ensure that they wouldn't loose their bearings and to be sure not to miss any part of the underground labyrinth. Dean led the way, illuminating their path while Sams beam of light danced over the rugged wall. Just smooth rock and dirt, nothing unusual. Or was it? Sam stopped and frowned.
„Dean... don't you think it's a bit strange that we haven't encountered anything yet?"
His brother turned around and gave him an incredulous look.
„Thanks Mr. Obvious! That's exactly what I've been going on about over the last freaking hours!"
But Sam just shook his head. „No, I'm not talking about anything supernatural. I mean ordinary animals, like spiders, bugs, mice, bats... whatever lives in caves. We haven't seen any of it since we started out to the west section."
Deans face was sceptical. „I didn't check each dark corner for any lurking spiders." Sam glowered at him. „Okay, let's say you're right, what does it mean?"
„I'm not sure... if the caves are hunting ground for some kind of creature, it could frighten off other animals, don't you think?"
Dean didn't seem to be convinced. „Yeah... or it could just be a coincidence."
„Yeah, maybe." Sam looked around, knitting his brow. „But I just have this strange feeling..."
Dean considered this and searched the tunnel with his flashlight for any movement himself. He knew from experience that when his brother had his 'feeling', he shouldn't take it lightly. He silently cursed. „Alright, let's keep our eyes open then, shall we?"
They both drew out their guns and advanced carefully, trying to make as little sounds as possible. They passed another small cave, littered with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and after another look on the map, took the tunnel to their right. They hadn't gone far when a deep grumble stopped them abruptly. Sam wheeled around, cocking his gun while Dean covered his back. But non of them could make out anything in the dimly illuminated distance.
„What the hell was that?", Dean asked with a hushed voice. „Didn't sound like a monster I've ever heard of."
The next grumble was followed by a slight tremble of the ground beneath their feet, giving them the answer they sought.
„You've gotta be kidding me!" He shot a glance at Sam who had his eyes wide open in realization. Dean was next to him in a second, grapping his arm and hauling him in the direction they'd come from. „Move Sam, move!", he shouted even if he knew they'd never have a chance to escape this underground labyrinth in time.
The rumbling was growing louder as they run, the shaking increased, cracks appeared in the walls and little rocks and dirt rained down on them. They crossed the small cave from a few minutes ago, Sam stumbling ahead closely followed by his swearing big brother, jabbering something about their 'fucking Winchester luck'. But when they reached the tunnel at the opposite side, Dean was knocked down by a blow on the back of his head, scraping his knees and hands in an attempt to break his fall. More rocks were dropping down on him as he tried to cover his head. He heard a cry of pain and raised his eyes just in time to see Sam going down hard a few feet in front of him.
„No! Sammy!" Dean tried to crawl forward, a voice in his head screaming 'Help Sam! Protect Sam!'. But the rocks kept tumbling, blown up dust making it almost impossible to see anything and sending him into a painful coughing fit. Everything shook, the earsplitting roaring and grumbling sounds drowning out his frantic calls for his little brother. And suddenly, just as quickly as it had started, the earthquake came to an end and an eerie and unsettling silence spread around the now pitch-black caves.
Whould love to hear what you think so please leave comments. ;)