Disclaimer: Anything you recognize, I don't own. But-I'm playing the lotto this week. It could happen!
Sam attempted to glance at the speedometer again, receiving a glare from Dean. Sam slumped back against the passenger side seat; he closed his eyes again, trying to make his head stop swimming. He hadn't been carsick in years and really didn't want Dean to make fun of him, again.
"Can you just slow down? We'll get there soon and besides, Bobby said we can't start hunting until tomorrow anyway," Sam said, reaching down to turn down the music. His hand got about two inches from the knob before Dean reached out and smacked his hand away.
"We're only about twenty miles away Sammy. What's the deal? You suddenly have something against real beds, hot showers, and hot food?" Dean asked. "Figured you would want your beauty sleep before we start interviewing people tomorrow."
Sam leaned over far enough to place his temple against the cool window, anything to offset the awful sensations throbbing in his head and tearing at his stomach. He could feel the saliva kicking into overdrive. He hated this road; it was beautiful but a real pain in the ass. It ran between a river and the rock face of a mountain. If it hadn't been for the rafters and kayakers that had parked precariously alongside the narrow road, he would have bet that no one ever used this road. He just wanted to get out of the national forest and back onto a straight, flat road. And if Dean could not notice his carsickness it would be even better; but the problem with having Dean Winchester as your brother meant nothing went unnoticed.
Dean glanced at Sam when he didn't respond to Dean's teasing; and instantly saw how pale and green Sam had gotten suddenly. It was the second glance before he noticed the tight jaw line and the overactive swallow reflect kicking into action. Dean didn't even hesitate before he hit the brakes.
"What the hell Dean!" Sam yelled out as Dean hit the brakes and swerved onto a small strip of asphalt that the Tennessee DOT called a scenic overlook.
"Don't move! Don't you even think of throwing up in my car," Dean ground out as he shoved his door open. Sam dropped his head against the dash. The teasing would never end. He heard Dean moving things around in the trunk and he was surprised when Dean climbed back into the car with the first aid kit in his hands.
"Dean, isn't it too late for Dramamine?" Sam asked miserably.
"Forget the Dramamine. Here," Dean said as he tossed a handful of paper onto the seat next to Sam.
"Dude, where did you get these?" Sam asked as he held up an airline barf bag.
"Remember the Seattle job?" Dean asked as he maneuvered the Impala back out into the main road.
Sam's forehead wrinkled as he tried to remember the job. "We didn't fly in Seattle. Or even go the airport," Sam stated curiously.
"Yeah, well, remember that flight attendant I picked up playing pool?" Dean asked, a look of fleeting happiness passing over his face.
"Unbelievable," Sam managed to state before the dry heaving started.
The hotel was, well, nonexistent. The town didn't have a hotel. Or even a motel. When the local man at the gas station told them that the nearest hotel was back the way they came, Dean thought for sure Sam turned another shade of green. "Where do all the rafters stay? There's got to a lodge or something, right?" Sam asked the man, desperation apparent.
"Down about a mile, turn right. They got little cabins for rent," the man said. "Can't miss them."
Sam slumped against the Impala's trunk while Dean managed to rent their cabin. They were amazed that it actually had two queen beds, a kitchenette, and a tidy bathroom that had the smallest shower Sam had ever seen. Sam dropped tiredly onto his bed and woke to a bag of food being dropped onto him. As much as the short doze had helped his throbbing head, he wasn't ready for food and tossed it into the fridge; meanwhile Dean had already managed to demolish half of a huge cheeseburger while setting up the laptop.
"Research? You, really?" Sam asked as he watched Dean try to wipe ketchup from the keyboard.
"Hey! I can research just as well as you, I just prefer not to," Dean retorted. "You wanna take over?"
Sam nodded and waved Dean out of the way; who was actually relieved. He hated research.
"So what all did Bobby say about this job anyways? Is it a black dog?" Dean asked as he began to empty his duffel bag, making sure to put his trusty knife under his pillow for safekeeping.
Sam snorted and rolled his eyes. "Black dog? Whose conversation were you listening to?
"Hey! I was a little busy at the time," Dean said. "Remember?"
Sam nodded and returned to the laptop. He did remember. Dean had been hung over and hugging the toilet for two hours, during which Bobby had called and asked them to take a look into the job in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
"Bobby did some research before he called us. Apparently, it's been going on for some time. People have been getting lost, or taken, off of some hiking trails nearby. They aren't seen again. No bodies. No remains. No clues. No unusual sightings. None of the people have any connections to each other. Mostly out of towners on vacation," Sam explained as he dug a folder out of his duffel bag. Bobby had printed off the victim's photographs and some of the missing person's reports he had gotten from a guy he knew.
"So if we have nothing to go on, and nothing "unusual" to look for, why aren't we just assuming these people are getting lost?" asked Dean as he chucked the food wrappers into the garbage.
Sam looked at him over the laptop, eyes rolling. "BECAUSE-last week one of the victims was found. Well, you can say "found" loosely. Rebecca Hadley, age nine, has been missing for over eight weeks. Apparently, she wandered off during a family picnic. They did the big search and rescue but never found her or any clues of what may have happened to her. Her little brother, age five, told his mom that the "boogie man" had taken her. Well, anyways, two weeks ago a rancher noticed that something had spooked his herd and went to check. He claims that he saw a young girl running in his pasture; he didn't get a chance to stop her. She outran him-while he was on an ATV."
Dean stopped unpacking and turned around. "So we're hunting a nine year old Olympic runner? Easy."
"That's not all. A few nights later, he saw her again. He claims she ran down not one but three Angus cattle. And tore them to shreds," Sam explained. "He called the sheriff's office. They thought he was crazy but they went looking, only because his description matched that of the missing girl. They found her, in the woods. Took them four days to catch her, she distrusted everyone who came near her. They finally lured her out by using her brother."
Dean grinned and shook his head. "Nothing like using the five year old as bait; well, that's what being the little brother's all about, huh, Sammy?"
Sam glared at him before continuing. "Her first night home was her family's last. Apparently during the night she got hungry. Like really hungry. She ate both her parents and apparently was saving her brother for later. He was hung upside down in the cellar, in what the local medical professionals called a "shock induced coma". Sound at all familiar?"
Dean pulled their dad's journal from his duffel and said, "Yeah, wendigos. I hate wendigos. I was really hoping this job wasn't going to involve a lot of running. So much for that thought."