I was somehow dreaming, but I was still awake. I was here, but I
was somehow there at the same time. It was like I was back in that nightmarish
town…and yet nowhere near. Consciousness was split, somehow still tethered to
that otherworldly place. My senses became alive, and in a split second I was aware
of being in a classroom. I was somehow my childlike form again. It was strange…the
teacher was lecturing us, yet her voice was far away as if there was a
dampening effect on the soundwaves. I looked down at the paper on my desk, and
there was a drawing there. I don’t remember drawing it. It was a sea of faces,
sunken and distorted. Fire consumed it all…and darkness filled wherever there
afraid someone would see the drawing and stuck it under my desk. To my
surprise, no one seemed to notice. They all sat up straight in their desks,
heads locked into position towards the front where the teacher droned on. Their
faces seemed frozen and emotionless, hypnotized somehow. When the teacher’s
back was turned, I even waved my hand in someone’s face. They didn’t respond
with any movements, not even with their eyes...creepy. Not sure what else to
do, I readied another piece of paper and found that the teacher’s voice was steadily
becoming more clear and was slowly getting closer to the room.
As I started
writing, I felt a weird strain in my arm. It persisted and soon found I
couldn’t move my arm on its own anymore. It was writing automatically, and I
started to panic. I called out to the teacher, and she went on lecturing as if
I didn’t even exist. Things got more unsettling as the teacher’s voice began to
deepen, first sounding like a man’s voice, then to such a low pitch it sounded
like a demon speaking in a warped gravely tone.
I looked down at my paper and saw that over and over I’d written
“COME BACK! PLEASE COME BACK! WE’RE WAITING FOR YOU WE’RE WAITING WE’RE…” and
it continued this pattern incessantly. I tried to use my left hand to stop my
right hand from writing, but it was also frozen.
After I filled an entire page with these ominous scribblings, I
went to the next piece of paper and began drawing. I began to draw a series of
circles, and soon connected lines and other shapes to form some archaic looking
symbol that I’d never seen before. Suddenly my hand dropped the pencil and went
completely still. The symbol suddenly turned red and began to glow,
illuminating the room with a fiery pulse. It began glowing so bright it hurt my
head, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it.
Mason.” The teacher’s growly voice called me, and I was able to move for a
moment. I looked up, and the teacher was pointing at me.
out meekly, sounding a million miles away. The teacher didn’t respond. She only
stood there, locked in a statuesque pose with her arm extending out towards me.
Was she accusing me of something? I looked around me, and saw that suddenly all
the children around me were standing up, all facing me and pointing at me. How
did that happen without making any sound?“What? Wh-why are
you doing that? Stop it!"
Like the teacher,
they beared no reply and continued to point. I wanted to leave, to run out of
there like a bat out of hell, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t.
the teacher and students all began to move towards me, moving at an eerie,
stalking pace. I could only sit and watch in terror as they closed in on me.
Then the room began to spin and I heard shattered glass, and I was falling…
I jerked awake, momentarily disoriented. Scanning around me, I felt a pinge of
embarrassment when I realized that I was in the doctor’s office.
Mason?” A receptionist said, and I looked to see she must have been staring at
me all along.
you alright? You were jerking around in your chair for a moment.”
I’m alright. I-I must have dozed off for a moment. Having a…a bad dream is
sorry. You must be tired. Sorry for such a long wait. Dr. Ingram got behind
today, and some patients can run him over on top of that.”
okay. I haven’t been sleeping too well recently.”
see. Can we get you anything while you wait?”
no that’s okay. Thank you.”
We’ll call you when Dr. Ingram’s ready.”
breathed in deeply, trying to keep my nerves calm as I waited. The chair upon
which I sat was remarkably comfortable, a testament to my recent napping. I
liked the relaxed vibe of the office, it was a nice distraction from the fact
that I would be spilling all of my deepest secrets and thoughts soon.
“It’s the blue,” I told myself soberly.
The pale-blue wallpaper in the room brought a tranquil feeling that I embraced
willingly. The office décor was soothing, and relaxed was good; it was very
controversial to how I felt at that moment. This story was going to be a doozy,
all right. Talking about my experience
wasn’t going to be easy, despite how long ago it happened.
to believe. So many nights I awoke in clammy sweat, sometimes screaming, from
the relentless nightmares. My daughter Heather had been so patient with it all,
especially for a teenager. Then again, it was probably just normal to her
because she was just used to it.
she would sit with me for a moment until I calmed down. Sweet kid. She’d even
listen to my stories or pieces of my experience that my nightmares were related
to. Over time she’d pretty much heard the whole story. The story of my
terrifying experience in Silent Hill. It reminded me that I wasn’t alone in
this. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Mason?” A soft voice called, and I looked over to the receptionist. Her taut,
business-like smile was set in place. I stood up quickly, feeling like a young cadet
standing at attention.
I stumbled out.
Ingram is ready to see you. He’s on his way right now. Are you sure there’s not
anything I can get you? You just look so nervous I thought a cold drink could
thanks,” I started, but changed my mind.
“Actually, you know what? I could go
for a root beer. You guys have that?” She paused for a second in thought, and
we do, actually.”
in a moment!” I sat back down, suddenly desiring that cold liquid more badly
than anything else. Sometimes you never realize how thirsty you are until the
idea of a drink is brought up. Plus, the idea of talking to the doctor in less
than minute’s time made my throat start to feel dry. I twiddled my thumbs, feeling
that strong urge to do something with my hands. The ants were crawling.
moment later, the door opened again, and a man dressed in slacks and a long
sleeve button-up stepped in. He peered at me over his spectacles, which seemed especially
small due to his long nose. It had a comical effect; he looked like a cartoon pelican
wearing a pair of glasses. To keep from chuckling at this thought, I
immediately stood up and met him halfway to shake his hand.
Mason? I’m Dr. Ingram,” He spoke smoothly, his tone so soothing it felt borderline
condescending. It was only at first, and I realized that he probably just spoke
that way with all his patients. Immediately, I didn’t feel as threatened,
despite my nervousness. He reached a hand towards me to shake, and I took it
with ease. I felt like he wasn’t just shaking my hand, he was cradling it.
Mason. Glad to finally meet you, Dr. Ingram. I must admit, I expected a
psychiatrist visit to be a little bit different for some reason.” I glanced
back to emphasize the look of his office.
What did you expect? Chains and a rubber room?” The doctor laughed jovially at
this. Although I didn’t really feel like laughing, the fact that he pointed
that out still made me laugh.
guess I did, a little. I just…I know my story is uh…not your average story, you
know? I’m sure most of your patients just have regular every day stresses to
speak with you about.”
Mason, don’t forget that I’ve heard some other strange things in my day. You
wouldn’t be the first to tell me. But needn’t you worry. Follow me.” He led me
into a back hall, where he guided me to a small, cozy room with an even more
you guys know where to find a good couch,” I said lightly.
to make my patients feel at ease. Now, first off I just want to go over legal
disclosures with you. Anything and everything we say here is private and
confidential. It will not be shared with anyone without your permission, and I
am legally bound to this. So don’t feel that this is something that would ever
be gossiped about around the office and so forth.”
there are exceptions. If anything you tell me indicates that you are at risk to
harming yourself , or others, or that you’ve done anything illegal then I’m
obligated to contact any authority related to it. Do you understand this?”
great. Just sign these forms here,” he handed me a clipboard with said
disclosures which I signed.
we can really get started here. I just want to say upfront here, that I’m not
here to judge you, or decide whether you’re lying or telling the truth. And
most importantly, I’m not going to order someone in white to throw a straight
jacket on you just because you may have a wild story. I’m simply here to listen
and analyze what you tell me. I’ll offer any insight to your story and see what
kind of connections I can make. So more than anything else, just think of
me as an outlet. How does that sound?”
paused, and felt my shoulders feel a little bit of tension knowing I was going
to start. I wasn’t being put on trial here, or being scrutinized for sanitarium
consideration. I was simply here to talk, nothing more and nothing less.
sounds fantastic,” I said with some relief, but not without a little unease. Seventeen
years was a long time but the memory remained imprinted so vividly, it could
easily have been three weeks ago.
Alright, here it goes…
“Now before you start, I want to ask you a few basic questions.”
go right ahead.”
you have any history of mental illness?”
or trouble sleeping at night?”
lot shortly after the incident. They died down over time.”
to hear. Are there usually nightmares associated with the sleeplessness?”
and those have been frequent recently.”
associated with Silent Hill. Sometimes bits and pieces sewn in with everyday
life events, other times like a complete reenactment.”
see. When you’re awake do you…ever see things that aren’t there?”
“Okay. How about your health? Do
you eat well? Get good exercise?”
to both, but kind of. I’m not really fit or anything, but I’m not a complete couch
then. How is everyone? Is your daughter doing well?” The doctor asked, his face
showing real concern.
doing great,” I responded. “Why are you asking this?”
I don’t mean to be intrusive, Mr. Mason…”
these are just some basic questions to get you talking, helping you ease into
it. Not trying to analyze her or anything, just getting off the subject
briefly, is all. Do you feel uncomfortable talking about any of them?”
that’s not it. I was only curious….Heather’s great. Having her was almost like
having Cheryl back…not that she’s a replacement of Cheryl...”
was suddenly a feeling of dead weight dropped in my gullet. I hadn’t talked
about Cheryl in years. Emotions deep within the graveyard of my consciousness
were being dug up, and I could feel a wave hit me. I had to keep in control,
though. No use in blubbering like a fool now, when I finally felt I could
indulge someone other than Heather with my story.
Now, let’s get started. I want you to simply tell me the story, straight from
the beginning. Is it okay if interject at some points, just to ask you
questions for clarification?”
I guess that’s alright.”
good. I’ll try to keep it to an absolute minimum. I know interruptions can make
you lose focus, and the last thing I want to do is break that focus on your
memory, especially with the events being so long ago. So, just take your time,
and start from the beginning.”
I can tell you that this story is not just my own. It’s also Cybil’s story. We’ve
kept up over the years so I know her side of things too. Now part of my story I
want to include certain things that were happening in the background that I
wasn’t aware of at the time. This way, you get the full picture of what was
happening linearly. It’s…easier that way, I think.”
I can understand that. Ready to begin?”
Alright…so……here it goes…”