Written for Whumptober Day 25 - Prompt: Blurred Vision & ringing ears

This scene is based on a longfic idea I never used, but it was fun to write as practice anyway!

The explosion made the entire mine rumble, raining loose rocks and dust on them from up above. They heard the noise it made seconds before the impact reached them, an incredible force that threw Chris away like a rag doll. Lurching, his back connected to the stone wall with a sickening crunch, making him fall onto his stomach which only sent another jolt of pain through his body.

Underneath his fingertips he could feel the entire mountain shake, vibrating in quick stutters. His glasses had been knocked off by the blast and he scrambled around on the ground to find them, to be able to assess the damage, but they must have flew off somewhere he couldn't reach. His cane was at his side, the cold white plastic had a crack running along it from the handle to halfway down the length but it helped get Chris on his feet.

Then he spotted Mike not too far away on his side, unmoving.

"Fuck!" Chris sprinted over on unsteady legs, using the cane to ease his limp. Falling onto his knees beside Mike, he grasped him by the shoulders and tried to turn him onto his back. Blood was staining his shoulder blade in one big patch, his face covered in grime. He had been much closer to the detonation than Chris had been.

A screech of the undeterred wendigo only drove how miserable their situation was home, their plan not having accomplished anything. Shaking Mike's shoulders lightly, Chris tried getting his breathing under control before he went into full-on hysterics. "Mike, come on buddy! Naptime is over."

As if in answer to his unspoken prayers, Mike's lids fluttered a few times before they suddenly sprung open. His pupils were wide and unfocused, hand coming up to grasp Chris around the bicep. "Wha-"

"I think you might have overshot that one a little," Chris joked. He didn't know why he always resorted to humor to deal with terrible shit like that. Maybe it was some fucked up coping mechanism. "You could have brought the entire mountain down on us."

Mike stared at him blankly, blinking fast before slightly shaking his head and Chris thought maybe he was still too out of it to respond. Then Mike pointed at his ear. "I can't- Ringing." His speech was off. It reminded Chris of those online videos featuring people with noise-canceling headphones, talking funny because they're unable to hear themselves.

The implication sunk in a moment later. "Fuck," he repeated, and turned Mike's head to the side with a little more force than necessary, earning him a disgruntled sound in response. There wasn't any blood running out of his ears, which probably meant his eardrums had not been punctured. But being this close to the blast would have the potential of fucking up Mike's hearing for a long while.

"It's going to be okay," Chris said – pronouncing the words slowly as if that would somehow make Mike comprehend them better. "We just need to get out of here before it gets back." His eyes darted to the cave in, the vague echoes of claws scratching on the other side of the debris. Mike did not need any words to understand what he was saying.

He tried getting up on his own, but hissed and sank down to the ground a moment later. Looking over, Chris was horrified to see what he had missed before. Mike's foot was not supposed to bend that way.

They couldn't stay here or they'd be supremely fucked before the night was over. If they couldn't reunite with the others, they had to at least find a place to hold out until morning. Chris retrieved the phone from his pocket but as if they were stuck in some cliché 90s horror flick the bar showed no signal. The battery was full though, which allowed him to turn on the flashlight and see a bit better. Without his glasses, the whole world had a soft blur to it.

"House," Mike said, having considerable trouble just pronouncing it clearly. "Washington's."

The last place in the world where Chris wanted to find himself when the expedition started. But it might be the only thing able to keep them safe. He nodded and motioned for Mike to throw his arm around him. Between himself and the cane, he managed to haul them both upright. "Looks like we have one functioning leg between us, huh?"

He didn't know why he said it if Mike couldn't hear him. Maybe just to comfort himself.

God, they were so boned.

The wendigo screeched again from deeper within the mine, moving away. Chris knew it was already looking for another means to reach them, tear them apart limb from limb. So long as they could not make a fire, their lives were basically already over. If they wanted to survive they had to move.

Mike's weight leaned against him, something solid to assure him that it was not over yet. In the distance was a blotch of light standing out against the pitch black of the mine, their only road to outside. That's how far they had to make it.

That far and then through the forest for a mile or two. Then they'd be safe.

He just hoped the others were having better luck than they were.

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