What Next?Mature

   When I opened my eyes, I was back in the small room that was my prison cell. My body spasmed in remembrance of the session with Alastair and I ran my hands over my chest frantically to make sure that I was whole again. The skin was smooth and there was no slick trace of blood to be felt. Whatever Alastair had done to me, he had at least put me back together at the end of it all. I stood shakily and rested my head against the smooth black stone that made up the door and I sighed. I know, I know -- I had no one to blame for my problems but myself. It was my own fault that I was down here and playing chew-toy for a seriously fucked up demon. But even in my darkest moments, I never regretted the course of action that had pulled me down to hell. I could never hold anything like that against Sam; it wasn't his fault that he was the way he was and it wasn't his fault that I used my soul as a bargaining chip to bring him back to life. Besides, I reasoned, life without Sam would have been a kind of living hell anyways, so being downstairs wasn't actually much different.

  Well, you know, except for the endless days of torture.

  And, by that point, it really did feel like endless days. I had been in hell for a long time; a lifetime, almost. When I tried to remember how things had been upstairs I had a hard time doing it. The only thing I truly kept in my memory was Sam's face because if I didn't have that then I probably would become exactly what Alastair wanted me to become., but even that was becoming more difficult

  The thought of Sam's disapproval was, by that point, the only thing I was hanging on to as a way to stay human. I could see the way he would look at me and how his lips would purse just slightly as he'd get that judgemental gleam in his eye. I smiled a lot when I thought about Sam; the things that used to piss me off about him when I was upstairs didn't seem to matter down here. I would have given just about anything to see him. It was enough, though, knowing that he was alive. What I did to save Sam from death, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Even knowing what I knew about hell and what was waiting for me, I wouldn't hesitate even one minute. My soul was nothing compared to Sam's; I wished he understood that.

  I stepped away from the door and sat back down on the bench, letting my head hit the wall with a ‘thunk’ that really should have been painful, but I didn’t feel anything. Compared to Alastair’s knife, hitting my head hard enough to give myself a concussion barely registered on my ‘that hurts’ meter.

  I closed my eyes and tried to bring Sammy’s face to my mind but it wasn’t easy. I could see the individual features; the warm brown eyes, the hair that never seemed to lay flat and the mouth that could either beam in a sunny smile or look pinched and angry, often within the space of a few moments. But it took me too much time to pull all those features together into the face that I spent my whole life looking after. Something clenched in my chest, a twist that was more painful than anything that Alastair had done to me, and my head dropped forward. I could feel the hot tears on my cheeks and I passed my hand over my eyes to wipe them away but they kept coming.

  “Sammy,” I choked and looked up at the ceiling of the cell, “Sammy -- get me out of here. I know you can do it, you just -- you just gotta try. Do something, Sam, please because I don’t know how much longer I’m gonna last down here.”

  The tears got worse and my throat felt tight as I doubled over and closed my arms around myself. I didn’t think I would stop crying that night.


  Alastair looked a little too happy to see me when I was pulled into his den of depravity at the start of a session. His blue eyes were bright, sparkling and he kept looking at me like he was holding some kind of secret in that he just couldn’t wait to surprise me with. The two demon mooks dragged me over to the wall and strung my arms up in the familiar position and then left without a word.

  The atmosphere in the room seemed different today and I kept staring at Alastair as he looked over his tools, letting his fingertips run over the sharpened edges of the blades or picking them up and eyeing them carefully. I stared at the butcher wondering why he seemed so giddy and he looked over, catching my eye.

  “We’re doin’ something a little different today, Dean,” he said, rubbing a hand across his chin and then down the front of his black shirt like he was smoothing away imaginary wrinkles. “You get to watch.”

  I didn’t like this; I didn’t like the way he was looking at me with that anticipatory gleam in his eye. It made something jump in my stomach; a twist of fear that was unlike the usual dread I felt when I was dragged in for the butcher to carve. That fear was easy to ignore and push down but this was different and I glared at Alastair, wondering what he was cooking up in that sick, twisted mind of his.

  He was standing next to me now; his hands gathered in my hair pulling my head down so that it was close to his. “Aren’t you excited, kid?” his breath puffed against my cheek. I could smell the thickness of it, like sulphur. “Aren’t you just -- breathless -- from anticipation?”

  “Yeah, I’m freakin’ ecstatic. Now either use some mouthwash or get the fuck away from me.” Weak, I know. I didn’t have a head for insults today. My mind was too busy trying to wrap itself around whatever Alastair was up to. Needless to say I didn’t trust the guy further than I could throw him and whatever his little plan was, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it. 

The End

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