SUMMER BLOCK PARTY
By: Karen B.
Summary: Season seven spoilers...Part three of Purgatory verse.
Disclaimer: Not the owner
Rated: No real rhyme or reason to my madness.
Reader Beware: Read at your own risk…this WIP…may never come to any real completion.
Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
No I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
gonna stand my ground
... and I won't back down
– Tom Petty
Dedication: Thank you, Muckel, for the encourage to carry this on.
The gridlock we were trapped in was getting old. The whole no fuss, no muss, no running, no threats, it was wrong, very wrong, and the underlining reason why cold sweat dripped down my back and my gut whirred as if it were in a blender trying to puree itself.
There was no breeze, the air stagnant. No snapping of twigs or of jaws. No drooling or yelping or growling. Fighting or rustling through the brush. No bodiless red eyes watching.
Oh, they were still out there all right. I could smell them. Hear their soft whines of frustration.
I glanced over at Sam. He was all hunched over and leaning heavy on the crooked branch I'd found for him to use as a crutch. He moved slowly along. The stick sinking into the soft ground, slowing him even further. His head was bowed, staring down, watching each step intently through dripping wet bangs. He was barely functional, could hardly maneuver around small rocks and twigs. His breathing was coming harder and his injured foot dragged uselessly along like a ball and chain. Sam was exhausted, what was I talking about? He'd fallen into this place exhausted.
I let myself wonder what he'd gone through before the idiot skydived into Purgatory – without a parachute.
I know how I would have felt in his shoes. Hell I was in his shoes. Neither one of us knew where the other was. How he was. Or even if he was. It twits you up inside, engulfs you with fear and loneliness and panic for the others safety, his life. I'd crawled through ever dark forest, examined every blade of grass and tore my way through every hollowed out, bug infested log looking for a way out. Sam had obviously done the same looking for the way in. Tearing through every book, and typing his fingers down to nubs searching every web site. Both of us, I'm sure, bloodied our knuckles on the face of every single solitary soul or no-soul out there to try and find answers, find our way. Neither willing to lose the other again, but we had...until now.
A gasp of air slipped past Sam's mouth as he faltered a step, skin going milk-pale.
I bit into my lower lip forcing myself not to ask how he was. I knew how he was. He was in a bad way and I was really starting to worry. Sammy wouldn't be able to handle this much more.
"Stop it, dude." Sam lifted his head a few inches and looked right at me.
Even through the visor of wet, ruler-straight bangs that hung down over his face, I noted his eyes were small and edged with pain.
"Stop what, dude?" I mocked, feigning innocents.
"I can handle it, Dean," Sam said softly around dehydrated, cracked lips.
"You look like crap," I hissed.
"Dean –"Sam's protest was interrupted as he stumbled again, this time over a rough patch of rock.
I quickly caught him by the arm, drawing him back up before he could drop like a brick. "You don't only look like crap, you're full of crap. I have eyes, man."
Sam shot me the bitch-face and pulled a few inches away keeping me at arm's length, trying to straighten up his hunched back and walk tall…or should I say limp tall. Stubborn brother was determined to keep moving on his own.
I sighed, keeping a close eye on him as we continued onward in silence. Every time I thought the kid couldn't make it another step…he did. Baby brother's stubbornness went beyond explanation. I was glad for that.
The air was cold and a chill went straight through me. I didn't understand this in-between place and that scared me most of all. Sam hobbled away from me. A soft cloud of fog lingered just above the spongy ground, curling upward and hiding our feet. It all gave the feeling of impending doom. Like that little tingle you get just before a loud crack of lightning strikes the same exact place twice.
"Sam, stay close." I reached out and grabbed the cuff of his arm pulling him to me our hips bumping.
Sam leaned heavily against the stick."Any closer, Dean, and – "
"Just keep walking. Act normal."
"What is it?"
"I don't know. Think this summer block party might be gearing up into full swing."
"Nothing's changed," Sam said softly, trying to settle my obvious nerves.
"Neighborhood bad guys are still out there, you know,"I needlessly reminded.
"They haven't made a move for miles. On us or anything else."
"Our guard is down, that's what's changed," I said, remembering one of dad's favorite mottos. "And when your guard is down –"
"That's when you get popped," Sam chimed in saying the words with me.
"They watch you and watch you and watch you. Make you think you're safe. Then out of the blue they kick it up a notch, then two, then three," I continued on. "Then…bam!" The word came out a little too loud startling Sam and making him jump.
"Yeah, okay Emeril, chill. I get it," Sam muttered tiredly.
"Do you?" I yelled, directing my attention to the dark forest around us. "Because these freaks are enjoying this, Sammy." I stared at a pair of red eyes off to my left. "Aren't you? You sons of bitches! Killing us just isn't enough. Is it?" I spat, and the red eyes disappeared. "They're bored, little brother, tired of eating dinner handed to them on a paper plate, then lazily picking bloody globs of flesh and bone from between their teeth with ten inch claws because there's nothing else left to do in this hell. They're keeping us in check, having some fun before they eat us alive, starting with our hearts."
The glowing red eyes were back. Bodies swallowed up by blackness as they silently followed us along. I heard something deep inside me suddenly snap. "Screw this!" I bent down and picked up a large rock and threw it full force at the bodiless eyes.
"Dean," Sam uttered quietly, freezing right beside me.
"Sam it's been a crapshoot right out of the box. Time to make a new box."
"Man, are you crazy?"
"Cas is the crazy one, bro." I threw another rock knowing by the sound of the thud I'd hit something solid and fleshy.
"We don't need the extra attention, Dean. You got rocks in your head?" Sam's entire body was shivering, and his breathing shallower.
I fired off a few more rocks.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm taking a stand," I said, picking up a stick. "Fetch, freaks." I pitched it into the darkness. "Not going to stand around and do nothing while I wait to be eaten by a bunch of monsters…" I picked up rock after rock, stick after stick, casting them out in a shooting frenzy. "…With brains the size of gerbils..." Hot brazen anger coursed through my body, every muscle bulging and straining beneath my jacket. "That's it, bitches." I smiled when a group of red glowing eyes reappeared, boring into mine. "Come on! Bring it on," I threatened.
My rock throwing was stopped abruptly when Sam's hand clamped down on my arm, his fingers digging into my skin. "Dean. Think you're about to get your way."
Out of the shadows they crept. A pack of…of…of I didn't know of what. They stood side- by-side, shoulder to huge shoulder. All of them looking like medical experiments gone way wrong. Blobs of big bulky, wrinkled flesh, some had only one eye, some had two, others appeared to be completely blind. Some had noses like elephants, others like the snouts of pigs, necks as long as giraffes. Some had wings, some had feathers, one had the shaggy hair of a buffalo, but all of them had teeth, gleaming white, salivating for blood teeth.
"You got their attention," Sam drawled out, hobbling unsteadily he put more of his weight on the stick and off his bad ankle. "All of them," he uttered as even more carnival sideshow acts joined the pack. "You happy now?"
"Pleased as pie."
"That'd be punch."
"Pleased as punch."
The freaks were in an uproar. Hackles rose – if they had hackles. Mouths opened. Tongues licking, teeth barred. Guttural grunts came from deep inside their swelled throats, and for some reason, that I could never explain, I smelled the sweet smell of our own blood.
"What the hell are they?" Sam whispered, not moving a muscle, only his fingers digging in taking a tighter hold on my arm.
"They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky," I chuckled under my breath.
Sam grunted his complaint at my humor. We both stood frozen watching as the creatures pranced nervously in their spots, like horses at the starting gate. Madness and mayhem and bloodthirstiness sparkling in their glowing eyes.
"We are so screwed," I said, not taking my eyes off the monster pack.
"Agreed," Sam garbled.
"This is the one time I wish you wouldn't," I muttered softly.
"I can't argue with that," Sam deadpanned taking in a few calming breaths.
"Argue, Sammy, argue."
The gruesome bunch raised their heads, and howled and shrieked and screamed in unison. The sound of their tormented souls was loud and echoing around every corner of the underworld. All the hairs on my body – and I mean every hair – stood on end.
"Dude," I bit into my lower lip, my bravado sinking to my feet, "Now what?"
"Random thought," Sam said in a shaky voice, dropping the walking stick-in-the-mud, literally.
"Good thought." I gripped Sam around the waist and pinned him to my side, turning heels and running.
The sky above us grew darker, if that was possible and a cold blowing wind cut right through me. I didn't look back. Didn't have to see to know we were being chased. I could hear the deep grunting growls, claws dragging in the dirt; smell the stench of infection and disease and death.
The massive bodies were closing in on us. I could feel the heat of their breath. Sam kept tripping over his own feet.
"Faster, Sammy. Gotta move faster," I panted, dragging him along over the spongy ground.
Sam responded to my urgency best he could, his good leg moving faster, his bad leg not doing much of anyting as he desperatly tried to match my pace, gasping for breath.
I glanced back once. It seemed like all of Purgatory had joined the hunt. Every 'Who' down in Terrorville nipping at our heels, at our heads, trying to jam themselves up our asses, get a hold of our hearts. Yet, they were controlled. They could have swallowed us both by now ten times over. Could have hacked and whacked and slashed us into potatoes and gravy, and hadn't. They were herding us, forcing us where they wanted us to go. To the right, to the left, to the right again we ran.
"Dean," Sam breathed out heavily. "I don't like this. We're being herded like sheep."
"To the slaughter," I put in. "I know, man."
We ran and ran through the oddly shaped trees, many looking as if they were alive with bulging eyes and grinning mouths and creepy twisted arms that reached out toward us but never touched.
A pig's snout chomped at my left side and I veered us right. Big mistake. Straight ahead was the gapping, jagged toothed mouth of one of those hairless rats. Behind us the rest of the pack was gaining. Only other option was to veer left along an outcropping of boulders.
"Son of a bitch." This was it. Simple geology. We'd deadened ourselves into a corner. Boxed-in. Finished. I whirled Sammy around and slammed him hard – back first – up against the rocks.
Sam didn't cry out in pain nor did the deadly slashing of claws come to rip my spinal column out my ass. Fear was replaced by confusion as we both seemed to fall through the rocks as if we were ghosts.
Not wasting the time to figure out what just happened, we stumbled back into a full on run.
"Come on, Sam." I kept the kid upright, kept him moving, our hearts pumping, blood rushing, and sweat pouring down our faces.
"Wait." Sam slipped over rocks and got caught up on protruding logs. "D'n, wait," he called out barely able to find his breath, and struggling to keep his one good foot from buckling under his weight.
"No waiting, dude. We got to keep going. They're right behind us."
"That's just it," Sam's steps faltered. "Guh." He doubled over in pain and exhaustion. Missing a step he tripped and fell, unceremoniously landing on his knees and bringing me down to mine with him.
I hit the ground hard, just as exhausted. We were outnumbered and out gunned, more than out gunned; I didn't even have a gun. All I could do now was the same as before. Protect Sammy. I pulled my brother close, ducked over him and shielded him the best I could. Inhuman freaks would have to chew through me before they got to Sam. I was actually trembling with fear. Now I knew how the guys in those horror flicks felt waiting and knowing the ending was coming. Knowing when Freddie, or Jason, or axe crazy Jack was about to do them in, the end bloody and horrible.
It took me a minute to realize everything had gone perfectly still and quiet. No more deep grunting growls. No more rustling of leaves or snapping of jaws.
I didn't move, staring down at the rocky ground realizing we were out of the foggy forest. I lifted my head and glanced all around. The pack of freaks had disappeared. I should have felt relieved, but a wave of panic came over me instead. I looked at Sam, his panic matching mine.
Everything had changed drastically. The forest was gone. The area lit like someone turned on a black light in a dark room. The ultraviolet kind of light used to make those velvety posters glow in the dark. I glanced over at Sam to see his white teeth glowing even whiter, his face shaded purple and also glowing.
"Do I look like a blueberry?" I glanced down to examine my own hands, and then back up at Sam.
"Bluer than blue," Sam assured, his breaths coming fast and hard.
"Yeah, well don't get too cocky, Toto, because so do you. I don't think we're in crazy town anymore," I smirked, looking behind us seeing nothing but blackness. "Freaks hauled ass a little too willingly," I commented. "No fuss. No muss. No bloody Dean or shredded Sam. Can't be good," I muttered.
Still trying to find his breath, Sammy nodded. "Labyrinth," he gasped. "We accidentally found some sort of doorway in that rock."
"A maze," Sam uttered.
"Experimental rats," Sam guessed, his forehead wrinkling.
"No accident," I conquered.
"Maybe not," Sam said. "Whole place is probably one, big giant complex puzzle."
"Like in 'The Shining'?" I looked to the river. It was more of a creek; the water didn't look deep, steady and slow moving over rocks and branches flowing around a bend and out of sight.
"Or Alice In Wonderland." Sam gripped tighter at my forearm and with the strength of a soggy toilet paper roll and started to pull himself up.
"Where do you think you're going?" I stood with him.
"The river," Sam gestured with a chin tip toward the creek.
"Another random thought?"
"No yellow brick road. River's the next best thing." Sam leaned against me wincing at the pain that had to be tearing through his ankle.
"That's it. Come on, Sasquatch." I turned to face him, grabbing his right hand with my left and pulling it over my shoulder about to haul him into a fireman's carry.
"Dean. What the hell are you doing?"
"Carrying you, stupid."
"I can walk." He pulled free, resisting my help.
"We can fight over this later. You're really hurting, Sam."
"I'll let you know when I can't go another step," Sam stared at me with wide honest eyes.
"Fine," I sighed, "Didn't want to carry your Clydesdale ass anyway." I looped my arm around his waist holding him to my side and heading us to the creek.
Sam's breathing was heavy and his steps heavier, but the kid had dredged up some super human strength and kept going.
We entered the river. The water was cold and ankle deep. That was the good news as it would help with the pain and swelling in Sam's broken ankle. The bad news was the water had a strange sort of metallic pearl like glow to it. Sam's word 'experimental' kept filtering through my mind– crap could be Chernobyl for all we knew. I watched for any sort of movement under the current, weaving in and out of the slick, slimy glow-in-the-dark rocks.
"What kind of game are we playing now?" I wondered out loud.
"I think –" Before Sam could finish his sentence it was like he'd slammed into a glass wall going down face first with a splash before I could grab him.
"What the f…" I dropped down and grabbed hold of him under the armpits and pulled him up, and quickly turned him over.
He came to me floppy, limbs useless and eyes closed.
"Sam!" I shouted, worriedly checking his breathing and pulse.
Both were there. Steady and strong. Kid had just passed out. It shouldn't really have come as any surprise. Sam had far exceeded his energy and pain levels long ago.
"If this is you letting me know, bro." I swiped gooey, glowing mud from his eyes and nose and mouth, noting the bump on the center of his forehead, where seconds ago had only been beads of sweat. "I have to say you suck." I bent in closer to his face. "You suck, Sammy!" I said louder.
Sam moaned, but didn't open his eyes.
"Hey, hey. Sam!" I gave him a tiny shake, the panic evident in the way my own body was shaking.
Right away Sam struggled to open his eyes and squinted up at me casually as if he'd just been woken from a short catnap. "Wha…what'd I miss?"
"You past out," I said. "Cold," I added, totally pissed off he didn't give me a heads-up. "Explanation enough," I snapped.
"S-sorry," Sam muttered, "Must have gotten lightheaded."
Our eyes keep locked. "No kidding," I said angrily, still freaked out.
"Sorry," Sam muttered again, his head dipping down in his off balanced state.
I lifted him up and all but drug him to the river' bank. "You okay?" I reached a hand up, tenderly inspecting the small knot on the center of his forehead wiping away the beads of sweat forming under his bangs. "Shit, Sam."
"What?" He looked at me blankly.
"You've got a bit of a fever, buddy."
"So I need to find us someplace safe and dry where you can rest. I won't be gone long. Just wait for me here." I stood up and took two steps away.
"Dean, no!" Sam scrambled upward somehow getting his one foot properly under him. "I'm coming with." Never taking his eyes off me, Sam hobbled my way, his right hand outreached.
"Sammy, damn it, your stubborn ass can't go another step." I went to meet him halfway.
I reached out for him, our fingertips just meeting when octopus-like tentacles suddenly whipped out of nowhere and looped around Sam's waist like living vines snatching him away from my reach and from my sight.
I stood stunned, paralyzed. My hand still held in the air where just a second ago our fingers touched. I stared in confusion at the empty spot Sam had just been in. I wanted to scream his name out, but it was all too late. Sam was gone.
As if he was never here…gone, and I was all alone in this nightmare once again.