Jacob barely caught the sound of Sam's voice. He was still halfway up the stairs, making his way down with care. Each step was a little under half his height, which meant walking down them normally was out of the question. He kept to the side, his grip secure on the railings of the bannister to keep from tumbling all the way down the curved staircase.
If anything, he looked even more like a little kid, trailing after an adult.
The grand entryway spread out beneath him as he rounded the curve in the stairs. Far across from the window Sam was frowning at, Jacob could barely see the front door of the house. It was actually the first doorway he’d seen in the house with an actual door in it, from what he could tell. One across from the stairs led to another room, but it was too dim for him to see much beyond the legs of a chair- dining room perhaps?
"And there's nothing outside?" he asked as he made his way further down the steps. Sam's look already answered the question for him, and Jacob pursed his lips. They didn't even have any idea where to begin their search.
He reached the bottom of the stairs moments later, and set out to the middle of the broad entryway floor. A long, thick rug covered the wooden floor, a simple floral pattern visible along the border. It was a bit of a trek, but Jacob reached the middle of it.
Looking straight up, Jacob saw a chandelier hanging high above him and frowned at it. There were specks of white barely visible in the dark, what he assumed were candles. The structure itself was at least as wide as Sam, and hung with strands of large, clear beads. It was the clumsiest looking chandelier Jacob had ever seen.
While Sam investigated the back of the long entry hall, Jacob continued to wander towards the front. End tables and chairs that looked like they were meant more for decoration than comfort were interspersed along the walls. Jacob frowned at the designs on all of the upholstery. It was so clumsy and shaky compared to how nice the furniture was supposed to be. He’d never known a rich family to be this cheap about the stuff they bought.
He approached the front door, ignoring the doorways on either side of him. The best way to find out where they were, he reasoned, would be to look outside. Jacob thought he'd just take a quick look, at the very least, and then regroup with Sam. He reached up to grab the doorknob.
And couldn't reach.
"Are you fucking kidding me?! " he muttered to himself, standing on his tiptoes as he stretched his arm over his head. His fingertips barely brushed the bottom of the doorknob.
Jacob, the size of a toddler, was too small to reach it.
"Fuck my life."
At the opposite side of the entry hall, Sam edged to the side, away from the unnervingly blank window to peer into the kitchen. Chairs close to the design of his own desk chair surrounded a thick, sturdy-looking table, with silverware and china strewn over the surface. As he came up alongside one of the chairs, the sinking feeling in his heart solidified.
Right past the table was a kitchen.
In the kitchen, staring blankly back at him with a wide, chilling smile that felt like a mockery of the stranger’s smirk, was a fucking doll.
They weren’t in a house, searching for a way outside.
“Fuck...” Sam said as the realization crashed over him.
They were in a fucking dollhouse.
Sam wasn’t normal sized, he was still four inches tall. Jacob was still an inch and a half tall. Their sizes hadn’t changed, they were just in a house full of toys made to be played with by children.
Sam had nothing personal against kids. He’d even met one or two that were kind and agreeable and hadn’t grabbed at him, but putting those few kids against the rest; who could grab him and treat him as nothing more than a toy with him completely, totally, helpless…
They had to get out of there. Now.
Sam tore out of the kitchen. “Time to go!” he snapped.
Spotting Jacob next to the main entrance, he darted forward. In seconds, Jacob was unceremoniously hauled in the air, dropped in the satchel, and then Sam was yanking open the door, easily grasping the handle that had been out of Jacob's reach. He ran flat-out into the unknown, open space around them.
Artwork by mogadeer!
Needless to say, Jacob wasn't prepared for Sam's actions. He squirmed around in Sam's bag, his bid to right himself hindered as the leather container rhythmically bumped Sam's side. Jacob kicked his legs and managed to free an arm so he could pull himself up and get his head out of the confines of the satchel. The sight that greeted him, though jostled heavily, made him wish he had just stayed stuck.
The room, enormous beyond belief, stretched far beyond his sight. It was dimly lit only from light from the front windows of the little shop. Shelves packed the space, cliffsides that could put the Grand Canyon to shame. Jacob squirmed so he was securely tucked in the satchel while Sam darted past the front of the extravagant dollhouse they'd just vacated. He clutched the sides, a frown on his face.
How in the hell were they supposed to get out of this one?
The front counter had a number of display cases around it. Their glass fronts shone with glare from outside, showing it to be past sunrise already. The old-timey toy store would be opening any minute, admitting countless kids to browse the shelves.
And Jacob and Sam? They were doll-sized, as was so painfully pointed out to them by their placement in the stupid dollhouse. It was beyond expectation for anyone to believe they were people anywhere else. Here, they were even less likely to be recognized as living, breathing people that shouldn't be handled roughly. Jacob knew that well enough from his brush with the kids in the library.
From the way Sam was running, he knew it too.
"S-Sam," Jacob began, his voice rattled by the sprinting gait. "Where will we go?" As far as Jacob could tell, their best bet was getting to a phone to call Dean. The only phone he could glimpse was up on the wall behind the counter. They wouldn't be able to reach that, even if there wasn't the risk of someone seeing them out in the open.
“Into the walls, out of sight, anywhere but here! ” Sam managed to reply, his strides fast as they’d ever been. He’d never run this flat-out before, and he needed to be faster. Needed to get out, get away. His instinctive, embedded fear of children rose up inside of his chest, threatening to freeze him in place.
They could bother with finding a way to reach Dean after they were safely away from grabbing, clutching hands… hands that could snap an arm without hesitation, or toss either of them to the ground in a careless tantrum. Hitting the ground like that would leave either of them a broken, shattered husk even if they survived the impact.
Then there was the possibility of being stepped on… the angry screams of a child that didn’t like the toy they received rang in Sam’s ears, a memory from long ago when he had been learning the ropes of finding supplies with Walt. A sneaker stomping angrily on an action figure as the arms and legs had popped off sprang into Sam’s mind, as vivid as the day he’d seen it happen.
He skidded to a halt, brow furrowed as he concentrated on the wall behind the boxed action figures on the floor. C’mon, c’mon… there’s always a way. There has to be a way.
His chances of finding a way into the walls were cut down by the fact that anyone his size would avoid this place the same way they’d avoid a houseful of snakes. It was too easy to be spotted by young, keen eyes that were always darting around in curiosity and excitement. A cool new toy like Sam, Jacob, or anyone else their size would be coveted and fought over. His hand went to his knife by instinct, pulling it out of his jacket to prepare himself for the worst.
Giving up on that shelf, Sam dashed off again, not bothering to warn Jacob. They needed a way out now, and that was all that mattered. His tongue stuck out of his mouth in concentration as he stared at the next wall, eyes scanning it for any way in, any way out of this nightmare.
Just as he began to run for the third time, his neck burst into flame as the sense of danger clawed its way up his spine like a rabid animal.
Sam froze, knife held at the ready and pulse pounding in his ears.
Bowman’s cramped, overwarm prison rose rapidly through the air, and then whipped around. He gritted his teeth as a rhythmic bouncing began. The girl's excited breaths echoed around him. She was running away with him and he couldn't even try to pry himself out of her grasp, no matter how much he squirmed and kicked at her fingers.
He would never give up. Even as the girl came to a stop several minutes later, out of breath and excited, Bowman struggled.
"Guys! Guys, I caught a fairy!" she chirped. Bowman rolled his eyes, but correcting her wouldn't do any good. He remembered Sam showing off images on the computer of what humans called ‘fairies.’
Nothing like the real thing. To his great annoyance, he realized there would be no convincing the child that captured him. He just couldn’t win today.
A chorus of "No way!" and "Lemme see!" coupled with Bowman's prison jostling around him and he quaked with fear. He was captured by a human child. It wasn't a predator, but that didn't make things better. His back already screamed at him for relief from the way she had him folded up in her hands, and it wouldn't take much for her to snap one of his bones.
After successfully calming her friends, the girl opened her hands and light hit Bowman's face once more. She quickly adjusted her grip around her thrashing captive so that both hands were wrapped around him, securing him from the waist down.
At least his arms and wings were free.
A circle of five or six giant faces surrounded him. Bowman looked around fearfully before pushing as mightily as he could on the girl's hands. His wings fluttered until one of the other kids reached out to pinch one in his fingers. Bowman froze while the boy ran a thumb over the sensitive membrane of his wing. When it was released, Bowman resumed his struggles. Panic wasn't allowing him to even speak or try to reason with them. He was surrounded by giants.
All the fears that were hidden deep down inside from the first time he’d been captured rose up inside him again. Two huge giants staring down at him, accusing eyes glued to his every flicker of movement. Only instead of seeing Jacob and Dean, two of his best friends, now he could only see faceless giants that wanted nothing more than to trap him.
"Wow, it really is a fairy! Kaylee, where didja find it? Can I hold it?"
"No! This one is mine, get your own fairy!" The girl possessively drew Bowman close. He fluttered his wings and blinked rapidly, trying not to let the burning in his eyes turn into tears. He couldn't afford to lose it right now; not when he was in danger of being taken away by this child. He didn’t even have a way to alert Dean of his plight. The hunter was the only person out here that had a chance of helping Bowman, but he didn't know.
All because Bowman had slacked on paying attention.
"Well obviously he doesn't like you, he's trying to get away!" another child insisted.
"Come on, we just wanna see it better!"
More young voices clamored for dominance, and hands reached out towards Bowman, touching his wild hair, brushing his wings, pulling his arms to look at his comparatively small hands. Bowman couldn't do anything to stop them. The grip around him shifted again, until just two fingers and a thumb were pinched around his middle. Bowman grimaced at the pressure on his ribs while one of his legs was pinched in the other hand, stretched out so the children could look closer at his boots.
"S-stop it!" he finally demanded, finding his voice among the fear and discomfort. All of them paused, eyes widening in even further awe that only made Bowman shudder more.
"See, I told you he doesn't like you! Let someone else hold him!"
"I don't wanna!"
"I got an idea," one child interjected. They left for a moment, and when they came back, they were carrying a long stick with a hoop at one end. Bowman's eyes widened at the net fixed over the hoop. It was some kind of trap meant to scoop him right out of the air, he knew. The kid was holding it out expectantly. "Just drop him in here and we can hold the net shut. That way he doesn't have to be in someone's hand."
Bowman struggled even more as his captor, Kaylee, considered it. Finally, with some reluctance, she held him out over the net. "It's still my fairy," she pointed out. And then she let go.
One of the things Bowman practiced often during his flights was pulling out of freefall. It was one of his more valuable skills, especially when goofing off with other sprites his age that'd otherwise try to tackle him out of the air. Bowman could right himself after mere inches of falling and swoop away from danger.
And that is exactly what he did. Whirling once and snapping his wings open, the desperate wood sprite darted past the net and swerved haphazardly around the child holding it. He felt his wing tip brush against their cheek before a number of yelps of surprise all but deafened him.
There was no time. All of the kids were chasing him. Bowman, overwhelmed with panic, didn't think he even had time to bank upwards and out of reach. He felt the rush of air of that net swiping through the air just behind him, and was glad for his speed.
Bowman darted back towards the trees. He had to find Dean. Dean was the only human out there that he could count on right now. The only human anywhere that would be able to keep him from recapture by these younger humans that insisted on calling him a 'fairy.'
Bowman, in his fright, didn't know where he'd left the enormous human. He darted among the trees, with those children still chasing after him and hollering for him to stop. He approached an oak tree that might be hiding Dean behind it. He looked back once to see if the kids were closing on him (they weren't, thankfully).
When he looked forward again, Bowman was surprised to see a massive chest in front of him from a human walking along the path, barely more than a foot away.
He opened his wings wide with a gasp, attempting to stop his forward momentum. It didn't do much, and Bowman smacked into the giant at a high enough speed to completely daze himself.
His wings and limbs went numb, and Bowman started to fall.