And the winning story, with 47 out of the 73 votes received, is…
Clash of the Hunters!
Returning to the idyllic Wellwood Forest after his trials feels like a blessing for Jacob Andris while he’s struggling with the trauma from a past case.
Yet this peace won’t last as the quiet in the forest is shattered with the entrance of a new hunter on the scene, one who’s nothing like the Dean Winchester that saved Jacob’s life before…
We return to Brothers Found in the aftermath from the horror story just in time for a visit from the infamous Logan Guthrie, a hunter that appears in Bowman of Wellwood!
The second Jacob’s hands were on the cage, Dean was on the move.
As dangerous as it was to attack with Sam still in the line of fire, there would be no better chance. The hunter had lost his gun. Jacob was free and had his hands on the cage containing the sprite, reducing the chances of collateral damage of a fight between the older hunters.
Sam knew the risks as well as Dean.
So while Jacob was backing off from the hunter with Bowman safe, Dean was already sprinting through the field. Long legs covered the ground that had taken Sam a half hour to cross in seconds. His boots dug fissures in the ground with the force of striking the ground, all to propel him towards his enemy. It was enough that if any of the sprites were in his way, there would be nothing left of them.
But they knew when to keep clear and when to attack. Scar was a good leader, and would see his opening just as Dean had found his.
The hunter hadn’t fully turned in Dean’s direction when there was suddenly a fist slamming into his jaw. Dean didn’t waste a second in his attack. The man was thrown backwards from the force, and his pocket slammed away with him. Only a passing guilt hit at the fact that Sam was about to be in the center of two dueling humans. He would do what he could to keep Sam safe, even during the deadly fight.
It was for this reason that he didn’t use his knife right off the bat. Instead of a vicious follow-up, Dean’s hands sealed around the other hunter’s wrist, preventing him from falling at the same time as he prevented a counterattack. Either could be disastrous for Sam.
“You think you can come in here and terrify a bunch of peaceful sprites?” Dean snarled. “Threaten to cut their wings off and trap them in cages? This forest is under my protection.”
A flurry of leaves blew up around them as the wind kicked up.
And the winning story, with 40 out of the possible 100 votes, is…
A Time To Heal!
Sam’s arm might be broken, but this Winchester won’t let it hold him back! That is, if Dean ever stops fussing over him long enough to sneak out of the walls for some fresh air.
We return to Brothers Lost, to check in on Sam and to see how the brothers are doing with their new place in the walls at Jacob’s!
Due to a brief hiatus, this story will begin posting on October 6th!
Before he even made it up the steps, the door was opened by Mrs. Andris (she’d married and was technically Mrs. Ellison now, but had been Andris for so long that Chase hadn’t yet gotten used to the change; she didn’t mind).
“Chase! So glad to see you. Jacob just got back a little bit ago, he headed up to his room,” she said, drawing him into a hug as he walked in.
“Really? I didn’t see his car, I figured I might have to wait…” Chase replied, glancing out to the street again.
“Oh, he’s driving that big black car now,” Mariana said, her eyebrows shooting up conspiratorially.
Chase’s followed suit when he spotted the shining black car, a metal behemoth with a classic shape and what looked like a lot of power in it. It certainly suited Jacob well enough, but Chase had to wonder. Jacob wasn’t rolling in money; it wasn’t in his nature. “Where did he get that?! ”
Mariana rolled her eyes. “Oh, he got work restoring cars last month. I even called the guy to confirm, he’s letting him drive it around. Didn’t want it to just sit, I guess.”
“Holy shi– crap. Holy crap,” Chase said, a sheepish look coming onto his face while Mariana raised an eyebrow pointedly at him. “Well, I guess I better go give him a hard time about that,” he said, nodding towards the stairs.
She forgave his near-slip and nodded. “I bet he’ll be glad to see you,” she told him with a smile before softly padding back into the front living room where she’d been at work at a desk in the corner.
Chase had his hand on the banister and one foot on the bottom step when he happened to glance at the archway leading into the kitchen. Nothing seemed out of place, so the barest movement caught his eye, so slight he almost thought he imagined it. Chase’s eyes zeroed in on the appliances all the same, or rather, what he thought he saw moving behind them.
And the winning story, with 25 out of the possible 100 votes (it was a very close poll!), is…
A World of Secrets!
After being attacked, Sam wakes up in a dark place, surrounded by strangers. He escapes them only to find that his life won’t be going back to normal any time soon…
This marks the beginning of a new AU, Brothers Unexpected! Where Sam is separated from Dean, but not from humanity, despite his new curse.
The blue-eyed man brushed Sam’s messy hair back. “My name’s Walt, and this is Mallory,” he introduced, his voice remaining level. “A few days ago, you and your brother got attacked. Do you remember that?”
Sam nodded mutely.
“That lady… the w-itch…” Walt was uncertain as he enunciated the word as though he’d never said it before. “She hit you with something. Some… spell. After it was cast, your brother couldn’t see you.”
Walt swallowed thickly. “We got you out before you got hurt more… but Sam… your family. They’re gone. The witch ran and they chased her.”
Sam’s eyes started to spill over. “N…no,” he mumbled. “Dean wouldn’t leave me. They wouldn’t abandon me!” By the end, he was shouting, his thin voice going up an octave in his panic. The memories in his mind clamored for attention. They overlapped and caused his breath to hitch.
Both Walt and Mallory flinched at the sound of his shout, eyes nervously flashing to their ceiling. Mallory put a delicate hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Sam, they never wanted to,” she said in her lyrical voice. “They thought the witch killed you and just wanted to…” She trailed off, her eyebrows furrowing uncertainly.
“She cursed you, Sam,” Walt cut in gruffly. “Everyone you knew is a giant. That’s why they didn’t see you and that’s why we had to get you out of there. They’re dangerous.”
A silence stretched out between them. Sam’s hand started to shake, more of the cup crumpling inwards as a tear slid down his cheek. “G-giants?” he asked timidly.
Something in his mind clicked before Walt could get out another word. “No! ” Sam stated firmly. “Dean’s not… Dean would never…” His words jumbled and he started to hyperventilate.
Sam shoved the covers off. His water splashed out of the deformed cup. Droplets of water spilled onto the wooden flooring.
Hot. He was too hot.
The world was too cold but he was too hot.
Walt just barely managed to catch the metal cup as it fell, but it was too late.
Sam stumbled out of the bed… nest… fabric. He almost fell over to dodge a well-meaning grab from Mallory, her face covered with sympathy. Sam squirmed between the two people that had saved his life, his desperation giving him energy to escape.
He needed to go. Dean was out there, he had to be.
Sam just had to find him.
Shoving the fabric draped over the doorframe, Sam ignored the cries of alarm that came from his former room. His eyes darted around the new room, and he quailed at the sight of a penny casually kicked against the side of the wall.
It was large enough to serve as a dinner plate.
No, they’re making it up. They’re lying, they have to be!
As soon as he saw another doorframe, Sam ran for it. He had to get out before they grabbed him and put him back in bed. There might not be another chance for escape. Dean always told him to watch out for himself. A hand brushed reflexively against the knife tucked away in his soft tan jacket and Sam prayed he never had to use it.
There was a block in front of the door. It was heavy, but Sam shoved it to the side. The adrenaline filling him made his hands shaky, but it gave him energy he could draw on. He needed to get away, he needed to escape.
A dark passageway arched overhead. The panic that Sam was drowning in refused to let him really see it. He couldn’t make out the cobwebs that lurked in the unreachable corners. The nails in the wooden walls were bigger than his hand but his eyes just brushed over them. He needed to run.
And so he ran.
Wind whipped Sam’s hair into a frenzy. In the distance, the sound of boots came. He was being followed. Panic lent speed to his strides, and Sam pushed himself like he’d never pushed himself before. It was a race. He needed to find a way out of this dark world before that Walt could catch him. It was as simple as that.
Sam’s eyes flashed from side to side as he searched for a way out. The dark walls were dusty, but footprints could be made out in the thick dust. Sam set himself to following them, driven by desperation. He was only ten, and his legs weren’t as long as Walt’s. If it took him too long to find help, he’d lose the race.
“Sam! Wait up, please! You don’t understand!”
Sam pushed the voice out of his mind and ran even faster, if that was possible. A wood splinter jutted out, nearly tripping the young kid up, but he only stumbled, scraping one hand against the ground. The skin was raw and red as he forced himself to run again.
He spotted a light in the distance, and a tiny bubble of hope filled his chest.
A way out.
There was another shout, but Sam didn’t even hear it this time. The wall gave way to an opening where the light was, and Sam felt triumph fill his chest as it turned out to be warm motel room light. He was safe. He could just walk out the door and go search for…
Any thought he had in mind trailed off as Sam skid to a halt.
Something was more than wrong. The room was distorted, the beds and walls arching up over his head by what seemed like miles. He’d run right past the gigantic nightstand, thinking it was just another hallway, leaving him exposed in the center of the floor.
Sam froze, his entire body filling with fear as he realized that Walt may have been telling him the truth.