Part IV: Central Silent Hill-Chapter 4
My eyes opened, taking in my surroundings. I was back in the Examination Room, but it was normal again. Thin layers of fog drifted through the room. I sat up, noting that I was still on the table. The door opened in front of me, and Dahlia Gillespie stepped into the room.
“You! Tell me everything you know. What's going on here? I know you’re behind this!” I tried to stand up, but found I was still a little woozy, and fell back down to the table.
“Darkness,” she began in her creeping voice, preparing her apocalyptic speech. “The town is being devoured by darkness. Strength must overcome petty desire. Childish sleep talk. I did not cause this, Mr. Mason…but I knew this day would come.”
“What are you talking about? I don't understand a word of this crazy talk!”
“Crazy, am I? You don’t believe the evidence of your own eyes, but you should. Have you not seen the crest mark on the ground all over town?”
“That pentagram-type symbol, I saw it in the schoolyard. What does it mean?”
“It is the mark of Samael. Whatever happens…don't let it be completed. Only you can stop it now. The Other church is your next destination.” At that, she placed a key on a nearby table, and swiftly went through the door.
“Wait!” I called, and dashed after her in a stumble. Out in the hallway, there was no sign of her. She had disappeared once again. The Other Church? What was she talking about? That key she left may have some answers. I rushed into the room, and snatched up the key. It was labeled “Director.”
To me, this entire experience was starting to feel like some kind of role-playing video game. Find one key to unlock one door which leads to another, which leads to another…such an odd feeling.
Walking over to the Director’s Office, I unlocked it and stepped inside. There was a large conference table and a small office area in the back. Nothing else seemed interesting there, so I searched the office. A safe sat under the desk, open.
Well, that defeats the purpose of a safe, doesn’t it?
Inside was a small vial of strange red liquid and a note. A small, hand-made label on the vial read “Aglaophotis.” An acrid smell emanated from the bottle. What in the world was this?
I wasn’t a medical expert, but certainly never heard of Aglaophotis. Were these related to White Claudia or maybe another one of any drugs that were being dealt here in town? If so, I may need to keep it for evidence. Perhaps Cybil could use it for something. I stored it in my coat pocket with a sense of accomplishment for once. I took the note out, and it read.
“Norman, Thank you so much for letting me use your safe. Should the need arise, you may need to use this yourself. You know how complicated this situation is. If things get…out of control, this will purge any major problems should they arise. You’ll know what I mean if the time comes. I already have one so I kept this as a backup, but you may have it. If only you knew what it took to create this.
Anyway, I have made my deliveries out this week to Gordon, the Post Office, the Town Center, and the ‘Other’ Church at the Green Lion. I’m assured that the police are still chasing their tails. Good day, and thank you once again.
I took it all in. So, Kaufmann was in on everything, after all. It was just as I had expected. I stuffed the note into my pocket, eager to show Cybil should I find her. Now, if I could find Cheryl, I could make it out of here and expose this drug situation going on here. This note came just in time to clue me in. The Other Church Dahlia had mentioned was tied in with the Green Lion.
I took out my map, and went through all the stores. Eventually, I found it. At the very upper right of the map, there was a Green Lion Antique Shop. That was my destination to this…Other Church. With a newfound direction, I went out into the misty streets of Silent Hill once again.
About halfway up the street, I felt like something was following me. I stopped, surveying the streets around me. If something was nearby, I doubt if I could find it with the dense fog in the air. I looked to my right, and noted the broken glass of the Post Office. That thing that had come in…maybe it was a different monster than the one killed by Kaufmann…
I now began to pick up speed, feeling my heart rate follow. If that thing came here once, it may come again.
Dismissing the thought, I continued down the road in trepidation. This fog…it makes it nearly impossible to relax. There could be anything hiding near me, and I wouldn’t even know. Then, the feeling of something bumping my shoe made me stop. I bent down, and found a framed picture of….Cheryl, my wife, and I taken at Christmas? How could this have gotten here? I had this sitting on an end table at home.
I picked it up, examining the smiles on all of our faces. So serene, so happy. Before the cancer…the good years. Cheryl was so precious then. There was something about that age of three that just felt magical. It was like she was an angel, sent to us from God himself. She was our life then. I brushed my hand across the photo delicately, touching the face of Jodie. Then, the photo and frame evaporated into thin air.
A loud scream filled the air, pulling me back and chilling my blood. The sudden flutter of wings reminded me I needed to start moving. I ran forward, trying to unstrap my shotgun as I made my way north. The fluttering stayed with me all the way to the intersection where I turned towards the Green Lion. As long as I kept running, perhaps it wouldn’t be able to attack me. I was wrong.
My gun held tightly in my hands, I decided to chance a look behind me into the sky. My timing was stupendous. At the exact moment that I looked back, a large mass of gray-green flesh swooped down on me. Large talons stood out even in the dense mist. I cringed, trying to hunker down out of its reach, but I wasn’t fast enough.
I felt the claws dig in, and fortunately for the jackets protection it wasn’t my skin. Terrified, I felt the sensation of being lifted up and found myself airborne. In seconds, I was roughly thirty feet into the air, soaring over the misty streets. My shotgun fell from my grasp ten feet up, and I had trouble getting to my handgun. I decided that I had no choice but to lose my vest but would mame myself in the process without lowering myself first.
I began thrashing and elbowing the thing, making it droop a little bit, but not enough. Its grip loosened, and I managed one arm out of my coat, freeing that arm. I reached into my holster, and pulled out the Magnum. I aimed it behind me straight at the monstrosity’s wing and squeezed the trigger.
The report went out loudly, a deafening roar in the silent air despite the fog’s dampening effect. A scream of pain followed from the pterodactyl creature, and it started to drop. Finally, it got to about ten feet, and I pointed it straight at its other wing. It dropped further, struggling even more. It was now barely high enough where I couldn’t stand.
With a grunt, I struggled my way out of the jacket and dropped to the ground. The beast lifted up with the lack of weight, and moved forward still. I hit the pavement hard, rolling fast. The impact put a stinging pain in my shoulder, and I clutched it automatically. My fall from earlier was jarred, and my shoulder didn’t like it too much.
Looking around me, I was a bit disoriented. I wasn’t sure where this flying freak had dropped me at. I readied my Magnum as I stood up, and it was a good thing. The creature had come back for me. Its wings blown to bloody shreds, it walked unsteadily on its legs in my pursuit.
It got within five or so feet of me to get in a decent shot. I pulled the trigger, and nothing happened. I pulled it again in disbelief, listening to the hollow click of an empty chamber. The rest of my ammunition was in the flak jacket. It lunged at me, and I dove to the side. The creature left huge scratch marks in the pavement where I was only moments before. Seeing what it did to the pavement, I shuddered to think if that had been me…
I turned, running in the other direction. It was a wise move, because the creature was slowing down now. In a matter of minutes, I realized that I was somewhere near the post office. I ambled around, and figured my way cautiously to the Antique Shop. I was on edge the entire way, looking around nervously.
Then, out of a dark alleyway, a flash of gray came at me. I stepped back reflexively and barely dodged the beast again. The pteradatcyl was dragging itself now that the wounds had taken their toll, but was doing so at a surprising speed. I looked around me and thankfully found a loose brick on the ground and heaved it, striking the green menace in the head. It staggered for a moment and fell over.
In fear of this thing pouncing at me again, I walked over and stomped it’s head into the pavement. It twitched for a moment, and finally went limp. I stopped, and out of nowhere started laughing uncontrollably.
Falling to my knees, peals of laughter bellowed out from my stomach. I tried to stop, but couldn’t seem to will myself into doing so. It was out of control, like something else was making me laugh.
After a minute, my stomach ached so hard I had to pinch myself to make myself stop. Reality suddenly hit. Was the fog taking its toll on me, making me go stark-raving-mad? First I completely imagined a photo of my daughter and my wife that disappeared, and now I was laughing for no reason.
I stood up, my breaths finally coming at an even pace. I made myself focus, thinking over my destination.
After collecting myself, I drifted through the misty streets. The snow had started to fall again, the white flecks cooling my red face I began to wonder how Cybil was faring. As dangerous as this place was, even a cop might not make it. Then again if I was able to survive this long and I’m just a journalist, then surely a cop could.
Coming closer to my destination, I noticed a large print on a tall structure that read “Silent Hill Town Center.” This was one of the other places in the note where the White Claudia was delivered. A video store with a large cracked window donned a pyramid stack of TV’s, all old and dusty. Bugs crawled over them, probably laying eggs among all the old equipment. Then, the TV’s suddenly crackled to life, light bursting from them.
At first, there was nothing on the TV, just a simple snowy static screen with that irritating white noise. It complemented the snowy day here. The volume was cranked up loud and I almost had to cover my ears to keep the loud hissing from hurting my eardrums. Then, the image on the screen changed.
It was Cheryl on the screen. Not a very clear image, but enough for me to tell it was her. She was looking out to the camera yet I could feel that she was looking straight at me.
“Daddy!” She called. “Daddy! Help me!!”
“Cheryl!” I yelled back, pressing my hands to the window that was spidered in cracks. “Can you hear me? Cheryl!”
“Daddy! Come find me! I’m at…..”
The static started again, and her image began to distort, twisting to a long thin shape, and then to a short thick blob. She tried to talk again, but her voice would fade out simultaneously as the image warped.
“Cheryl!” I called through the glass once again, banging my fist on it. Then, there was nothing left but static. My heart thumped heavily in my chest. I needed to hurry. Cheryl may not have much time before something would happen to her.
After walking a mere thirty feet more, I had approached my destination. The Green Lion Antique Shop. I saw that another one of the huge chasms had opened up at the road just after the shop.
The Green Lion Antique Shop was just like everything else in town, deserted and old. The pavement was cracked and littered with potholes, making it uneasy to walk on. I went through the opened door--barely on its hinges and donning a broken glass pane—and jumped at a bell that rang, signaling my entrance.
Easy there, Harry. It’s just a bell…
Inside, a small set of steps went down, leading into a large room. Small rays of light came in through the glass front door, making lines of dust in the air. Walking down and into the shop, I flickered on my flashlight, and for some odd reason, I immediately felt relaxed. Straight ahead was the check-out counter, unused for years. The rest of the shop was simply merchandise, with no decoration of any kind. The items were random and disorganized, all clumped together in heaps. There were a slew of lamps, an oriental rug, some red couches lined with gold, and other antique commodities.
“The way they got it put together, it looks more like a storage unit,” I said aloud. I walked through, running my hand over some of the items, and clapping the dust off. The smell of mothballs was very prevalent. My beam traveled slowly over the width and breadth of the store, but that didn’t last very long. It was a very small store, indeed.
Against the back wall, a clock stood alone, looking like the kid in softball who was picked last. My instinct seemed to pull me toward it.
It was an old-time grandfather clock, and didn’t budge when I tried to move it. The weight wasn’t what kept it from being moved. It felt like there was something holding it into place. I then began fiddling with it, moving the gold pendulums that swayed back and forth. The hands began to move, and I tried to use various patterns to see if it would do anything. Finally, after setting the short hand and long hand to 12, I heard a loud click, and the clock chimed loudly then abruptly stopped covering the store once again in a dead silence.
Putting my hands on the sides of the clock, I shoved as hard as I could muster, and the clock slid a foot to the side, revealing a jagged hole just big enough to squeeze through. This must be the Other Church. As I began to check it, I suddenly heard the creaking steps from the front door. They picked up speed, and moved in my direction.
Something else had come for me…