Dean shivered slightly. A draft had blown across him.
“Sam, roll up the window, it’s cold.” Dean said without opening his eyes. The draft continued and Dean realized the Impala wasn’t moving. He’d needed to sleep, they hadn’t seen a motel in a long time. Sam offered to drive while he took a nap. Dean jerked upright. It was daylight, and foggy as Hell. He gave only enough attention to the white falling clumps to label them.
“Great, its snowing.” It had been snowing long enough that the entire hood of the Impala was covered with it, looking like someone had covered it with a gray shag carpet. He looked over at the empty driver seat. Now that was odd. The door was open… and Sam was… gone.
“Hey! Next time you gotta take a leak, close the damn door!” Dean shouted out the open door. He looked all around, he couldn’t see anything in any direction except swirling white and the trunk was open on the Impala. Dean got out of the car and stopped. The flakes falling from the sky weren’t snow. He smeared a captured one across his fingers. It left a black sooty streak. Ash. “Sam?” Dean moved around the car to the driver’s side. A set of footprints led from the car into the fog. “SAM!” Dean wasn’t completely worried yet, Sam had probably stopped to take a leak, then was probably bumbling around the fog, lost. Dean reached through and honked the horn of the Impala, twice. At least to give Sam a direction to follow. The Impala’s horn seemed flat, empty, like the fog was muting it. “SAM!” He listened, hard, but only heard the pounding of his pulse in his ears. “Dammit, Sam!” Dean pulled out his cell phone, at least he could call his idiot brother. Dean stared at the screen like he was holding an alien baby in his hand.
“No service? This is West Virginia, you can mop up the service with a rag and wring it out,” Dean said to the phone. He placed it back into his pocket. He sighed and walked to the trunk. He would have to find Sam the old fashioned way, by looking. Dean didn’t like the sensation forming in the pit of his stomach. What if something bad had happened to Sam?
“You have got to be shitting me,” The trunk was empty. Normally it was a hodgepodge mess of shotguns, pistols, stakes, daggers, machetes, crucifixes, various ammunitions, regular rounds, salt rounds, and silver rounds. All that remained was the pump action shotgun they used to prop the weapons box lid up. Dean picked up the shotgun, closing the weapons box. He had been meaning to fix the gun for… seven years now? It didn’t always properly eject the shell. He knew what the problem was, he’d just never gotten around to polishing the interceptor to keep friction from preventing the spent shell from getting caught. The fact the trunk was so empty, practically clean, definitely meant something was wrong.
Dean opened the rear door and dug into his duffle bag. Rolling loose in the bottom were half a dozen salt rounds and a handful of silver and regular lead bullets for his Colt 1911. Over the years Dean had learned to always carry the Colt on him. It was tucked comfortably in the small of his back in an inner pants holster. He loaded the shotgun, pocketed the extra ammo for the Colt, then he pulled the Colt from his pants, checked it was loaded, the clip was full, then replaced it in his pants. Dean would have to be careful with the shotgun to make sure the shell was ejected before firing a second time. He grabbed his flashlight, closed the Impala up and began to follow the tracks in the ash. It was several inches deep but crushed flat when stepped on.
He slid into the driver’s seat like he belonged there. His hand reached instinctively for the key in the ignition to turn it. Dean’s hand grasped empty space. What? He took the keys? Dean did a quick search of the seat and floorboards of the Impala. Baby’s keys were no in the car. He patted his pockets, but Sam had been driving. Looked like Dean was going to have to walk.
“SAM!” Dean shouted into the fog. He’d only taken a couple of steps and already the Impala was looking like a ghost car. A couple more steps and he couldn’t see it at all. All around him was white, and the ground was gray ash, only broken by the footprints he followed and his own. Dean was beginning to seriously worry. Why had Sam walked so far from the Impala? He was given hope that no one had taken Sam because there was only one set of footprints, made by Sam’s gigantic foot. So Sam had to have walked away from the car on his own. From the footprints Sam didn’t seem to be running or under duress, he wasn’t stumbling, they were just the measured gait of a tall man just walking. It would appear that Sam was keeping to the road. Maybe someone had cleaned out the Impala trunk after Sam had walked away and before Dean woke up, the theft may have had nothing to do with Sam’s disappearance.
Dean began to see shapes in the fog. He wasn’t sure if he was actually coming up on something or if his eyes were playing tricks on him. He’d passed a sign that had said, ‘Welcome to Silent Hill.’ It hadn’t said what the population was. The sign looked old and faded, covered in soot, which Dean supposed he was getting. The ash was settling on his shoulders and head, but surprisingly the footprints were not filling up and disappearing. They remained as if Sam had just made them only a few steps ahead of Dean in the fog.
“SAM!” Dean shouted, maybe Sam was only a few steps ahead and Dean couldn’t see him. However Dean didn’t feel like he was getting closer and he’d heard nothing since waking up. No birds, no wind, no cars, not even leaves rustling.
A dark shape appeared and as Dean neared he saw it was some sort of building. It was concrete block, once painted white with a red stripe. It was a gas station. A car was actually parked at one of the twin pumps, the nozzle still in place in the car’s gas tank. It was an old station wagon with the fake wood sticker paneling on the side. The tires were flat, it was covered in rust, the interior was practically just springs, mice probably having ate it all away. The car was at least 40 years old.
“Sam?” Dean asked into the silence of the fog. Except he had heard something. A footstep, a dragging step. Dean hoisted the shotgun and slowly circled the station wagon to the other side. Something was coming through the fog towards him, drag-step, drag-step. Dean broke out into a cold sweat. He hadn’t felt fear in years, but that was a seriously freaky sound. A small figure began to appear in the fog, Dean gave a heavy exhale. It was a kid. From the way it was walking, dragging a leg, it was injured or just lame.
“Hey? You okay? Have you seen my brother? About yay tall,” he indicated with his hand above his head. “Yay wide at the shoulders,” Dean indicated again with his hands wider than his own shoulders. “Kid?” He asked when the child hadn’t answered him. It was coming closer and from what Dean could see in the fog it didn’t have hair or clothes… or arms? “Kid? What the fuck are you?” He was now close enough to see the creature clearly and it was nothing he’d ever encountered before. It was child sized, dragging a leg that seemed to be attached backwards. It had arms and hands but it looked like someone had mummified it in brown plastic, until Dean realized that was the creature’s skin. The arms were trapped under the skin. It had no face, only a gaping maw for a mouth. No eyes, no nose, like the arms they were covered by the brown skin. As it neared it made gurgling noises. Dean hesitated only a moment, it did look like a kid after all. He fired the shotgun, pumped, but it jammed. The creature had jerked back and was now bleeding a green/black slime from its wounds. It would seem the salt rounds were doing nothing. The creature was nearly upon him now, and it seemed that as it got closer, it got faster.
It jumped and Dean would’ve screamed if he wasn’t so busy bashing it with the butt of the sawed off pump action Winchester as it was trying to bite him. He caught it in the mouth with the butt and it bit down. The damn thing was now stuck to the gun. He bashed it on the rusted hood of the station wagon, there was a sickening crunch, a choking gurgle and Dean ripped his gun from its mouth. It had left teeth marks in the wood of the gun butt.
“Cas? Cas, I need you. Get your ass down here!” Dean waited and looked around. Nothing, he was alone. “Castiel?” Dean asked the fog. “Cas! You always come when I call!” He waited again. Nothing. Only silence. Dean rubbed his face, removed the un-ejected shell where it had jammed in the shotgun and looked at the gas station. He then looked at the footprints leading off into the fog. Sam had walked right past. Dean turned to follow the prints, except after a few steps they ended.
“What? SAM!” Dean shouted. It wasn’t like they had filled in by the falling ash, they literally ended in mid stride. “Oh God.” Dean whispered, his heart was rising in his throat. Sam had disappeared.