Supernatural|Season 8|Episode 1 – Temporary Punishment

Dean ran. His feet crashed through the misty underbrush as he tore through the forest, heedless of the branches that reached out and snagged his coat and his skin. It seemed as though the trees repositioned themselves constantly in order to get in his way, or maybe that was just his own disorientation. Being blasted to Purgatory was probably liable to mess with one's head.

Behind him, the woods seemed to surge to life. Every yard of ground he put behind him, it seemed that same ground came to life, writhing with new creatures hungry for fresh meat. Human – how often did one get a tasty treat like that down here, where the only thing to prey upon were other monsters? Dean was a delicacy, and everyone wanted in.

Great. I'm a walking hors d'oeuvre. His shoulder slammed into a tree and he spun around to keep his balance, quickly regaining his feet and darting off in a new direction. Well, a running hors d'oeuvre, but who's being specific?

It was just like the Hellhounds all over again – except a hundred times worse.

"Cas, you son of a bitch, where'd you go?" he gritted through clenched teeth.

The growls from behind him crescendoed into a chorus of eager yowls. The sound of them sent Dean's heart ricocheting off his ribcage. It was one thing to hear a windego's cry or a werewolf's howl when he was in his element, armed with iron or salt or some rune mojo to dispel the damn things, but here – he was on their turf, and he was utterly weaponless. Not to mention there were about fifty of them. Even on Earth that would have made him nervous.

Did they even have iron or salt here? Dean doubted it. This was Monsterland. Wouldn't that be kind of like keeping condoms in a nunnery – or something? Utterly redundant?

His admittedly frantic train of thought was cut short as he found himself flailing for footing at the edge of a steep ledge. The forest had dropped away several yards ago, unnoticed by the fleeing man, and now he stood on the edge of a cliff, beyond which was obscured in inky darkness. No way to know how far down it went, or what was at the bottom.

The moon came out. Timing was a bitch, Dean thought, as its sickly greenish glow illuminated him like a spotlight as he froze, poised in uncertainty. The monsters had yet to come out of the woods – it was as though they were afraid of the light.

Dean could see them moving, however, in the darkness under the trees. Their eyes glowed, their twisted nightmare shapes moved animalistically through the undergrowth. Whatever these things were, they were not the typical humanoid creatures that he had hunted all his life. These were honest-to-goodness monsters, complete with quadrupedal insentience.

Dean wondered if he should chance jumping over the edge of the cliff. It was basically a fifty-fifty chance he would survive, which was better odds than waiting where he was. Except that this was Purgatory, and most likely all that was waiting for him at the bottom of the cliff was razor sharp rocks after a ten story drop.

"Just my luck," Dean muttered.

The first of the creatures darted out of the trees. It was nightmarishly fast. Dean felt as though he were at one of those strip clubs that utilized strobe lights – one second whatever was coming for you was five feet away, then a moment of darkness and they were right in front of you. Except in the strip clubs it had always been some curvy chick in lacy underwear. This thing was substantially less pleasant: catlike, it loped forward, eyes smoldering white, huge red mouth open to reveal a snake tongue. It was hairy. It stank like raw meat, and it exuded a scalding heat. And it was right on top of Dean.


**** "Temporary Punishment" ****