Part IV: Central Silent Hill-Chapter 5: Cybil's Side of Things
I hope Harry got my note, I thought worriedly. My cell phone had died, and I assumed his had as well. I’d been wandering the streets aimlessly, searching all over the south end of Levin St. (on the south side of the chasm), Bloch, and Bradbury, trying to find a way out. Everywhere I turned, another hole had blocked me from any possible exit. I’d gone to the gas station, hoping that someone would be at least working there. There was always someone at the gas station, except for today apparently. Now, I sat behind the counter, resting my sore feet.
Nothing was going on in this town. Harry was absolutely right; no people, no sign of life whatsoever. I’d knocked on people’s doors. No answers, and no one lights on. The Balkan Church was completely empty, but I could have sworn I heard footsteps in there when I checked it. It must be my imagination running away with me.
That note I’d left Harry at the General Store was not much help. Once I’d closed the door behind me, I somehow got it jammed. When I tried to go back in for some more supplies later, I found it thoroughly stuck.
Me and my damn manners. Should have been born in a barn.
The gas station was silent, save for my thoughts and the chewing of my delicious chocolate I’d found. Chocolate wasn’t good for you, but many items had gone bad, and the great fact about candy was that it stayed good for a very long time. Besides, I was starving, and needed something to keep me going.
I began to relax, starting to doze a little bit. My thoughts went free, images of my hometown coming to my mind. The big ranch that my father owned. My big, sweet German Shepherd Dobey. Smells of pine and cypress in the fields. It was comforting, all so comforting and…
The sound of someone’s shoes clacking on the pavement stirred me, and I unholstered my gun immediately.
“Hello?” I called, and the foothalls got closer, and then began to fade into the direction which they came. The shoes sounded light and high with a clicking sound, as if they were heels. Jumping up, I moved quickly around the counter and outside. I caught a quick glimpse of blue to my right, and picked up my speed.
“Hey!” I called. “Who’s out there?!” There was no answer, but I could hear the shoes again now. Finally, I came to the east end of Old Silent Hill, and saw that the bridge was down.
Odd…when I had come here earlier, the bridge was up. Why they would leave the bridge up to begin with made no sense to me. They wouldn’t cut off that area of town for no reason, especially with this odd weather.
Harry, was it you….?
I kept moving, trying to stay in sync with the sound of footsteps. Whoever it was, they were moving fast. I gulped mouthfuls of air as I ran, feeling the damp fog wrap around me like a heavy blanket. This fog was unsettling…
Finally, I caught up to the figure, on the edge of the bridge. It was a little girl in a navy blue velvet dress, with long, jet-black hair. She looked remarkably similar to Harry Mason’s daughter, but something wasn’t quite right. From what I could see, it might as well be her. Not wanting to scare her away, I tucked my gun back into my holster.
What was her name again?
“Cheryl?” I called. That was it! The girl stepped up to the edge, and turned to face me. Her face was gaunt, her lips turned into a worn look that showed either a great sadness or lack of emotion…it could pass for either.
“It’s okay, sweetie. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m a police officer.” Cheryl showed no response.
“My name’s Cybil. You’re safe now.”
The little girl then smiled, gradually but with a sinister edge. It was an “I’m-about-to-do-something-bad” kind of grin. She very quickly didn’t look so innocent anymore
“I’m safe now,” she repeated back with no emotional tone. Accompanied with the smile, she had to be mocking me.
“Y-yes, yes you are. Everything’s okay, just come over here, okay?”
“You aren’t safe, though.” Her words seemed to carry a heavy weight to them, and I couldn’t help but believe her.
“What…what do you mean, sweetie?”
“They haven’t found you yet, but they will. They always do. It’s inevitable. They found Harry. And now they’re going to find you.” Then, she turned, and got onto the cement railing of the bridge.
“Cheryl! Stop!” I screamed, and ran towards her. Before I could get to her, she stepped off the guardrail, and I winced. But there was no splash. I ran to the edge, and looked over the water. Cheryl was now walking on air, continuing to walk as if there were an invisible bridge there.
What in the…
She continued stepping forward in the air above the lake, and the girl that I wasn’t sure was Cheryl anymore began to take on a very hazy look. Almost as if she was a ghost. I’d never believed in ghosts before, but my status as a believer was rapidly changing.
“Cheryl!” I called, and then there was a response. Except now, it wasn’t aloud. It was in my head.
“I’m not Cheryl,” the voice said. “My name is Alessa. Now leave me alone!”
The words seemed to pierce my brain, and I clutched the sides of my head. As soon as it came, it was gone. I leaned against the side of the bridge, watching as the little girl in the dark blue dress moved further and further south out into the lake.
“It looks like she’s going towards the Amusement Park,” I whispered. Even now, in the thickness of the fog, I could still make out some lights and shapes of large structures from the Lakeside Amusement Park. Strange for that to be running while the rest of the town seems to be so dead….
Then, the little girl vanished, covered by the thick bank of fog. Something really weird and messed up was going on here, and I had to find out, if not for me, for the safety and the security of the citizens here….and for Cheryl.
I mentally went back through the roads that led through town. There was another way to the Lakeside area, one of the streets in Central Silent Hill, perhaps Crichton or Simmons St. I wasn’t completely sure, but I knew that there was nothing else for me here. My best bet was to see what was available in the shopping district.
I thought about all the things that Cheryl--or Alessa--had said as I made my way into the Central district. The name Alessa sounded so familiar. If only I could place it. My mind wandered and searched, but the name didn’t catch up with anything yet.
As I passed the police station, I suddenly remembered the ongoing investigation that had the whole police force stumped. Some kind of drug trafficking was going around but there weren’t many leads. The few things they knew was the drug was called White Claudia, a powerful hallucinogenic. There were some loose connections to it with cult activity, but nothing solid.
The funny thing about Silent Hill was, everybody got real quiet whenever you mentioned anything about a cult. Once it was brought up, you couldn’t get a word ouf of them about it, even though everyone knew that a cult was active in Silent Hill. Chances are some of the officers themselves may be involved and are helping to keep things quiet.
When the town was first settled, many of the original townsfolk practiced some strange religion. It was connected to a lot of pagan rituals, and even sacrifices. As the town grew larger, rifts began to form between the cultists and everyone else. At one point, the later settlers tried to expel the earlier settlers.
There was some bloodshed, and they eventually made a treaty. The agreement was that both settlers could live in town together and the earlier settlers could continue practicing their religion, but they would do it away from the town. After that, things settled down and talk of the cultist activities ceased along with any sightings.
About twenty years ago, reports of weird activities commenced again. Over time, they grew more and more frequent, and suddenly everyone just stopped talking about it. It was strange, but hopefully meant that everything had stopped completely. Yet by the way everyone was acting I couldn’t help but wonder if someone had scared everyone into not talking what went on.
I mulled over all of this as I trekked through town, not really having a particular direction. Then, I heard some noises up ahead. I ran forward, trying to place the source of the commotion. After a minute or two I came to a sight that scared me stiff. A trail of blood led me to a blood corpse of…I wasn’t really sure what it was.
Getting a closer look, I could only guess that it was kind of gigantic bat or a…pterodactyl? That was it. I remember seeing pictures in books of a grayish winged creature, with a long skinny head. It seemed like the closest approximation to it, at least. Someone had blown its wings to bits and had crushed its head.
The wounds were definitely fresh. Perhaps I could find the beast-killer.
Oh, God. Please let it be Harry.
Harry seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, but this town had some abnormalities that would freak out anyone. Heck, I had a hard time wrapping my head around this. I felt guilty for not believing him about the monster children he told me about. Perhaps wandering the town alone was my punishment for not believing him. Not everyone in this world was lying or crazy.
I was getting to be so lonely, feeling so abandoned. A couple of times, I even had random thoughts of suicide popping in my head from out of nowhere. It almost seemed like a second voice was talking in my head. I had never had thoughts like that ever before. I could almost swear this town was making me think it, sometimes.
Near the intersection of Simmons and Sagan St., I suddenly heard footsteps moving north. I started to move until I heard another noise from behind me. The second noise was much closer, and so I investigated. I walked slowly, taking in my surroundings a bit at a time. This fog was such good cover, I had to be careful so that I wasn’t ambushed. Moments later, I found the source of the noise.
Near a closed-down store, a figure was rummaging around. I moved closer to get a better look at the stranger. When I neared, I saw that the figure was very tall—unnaturally tall even--and had a fuzzy outline. He or she was digging into a trashcan, rummaging like a hungry animal. A hungry homeless person, or something more? Following my instincts, I unholstered my gun and sidestepped, to keep a safe distance, just in case.
“Hello?” I called, my voice now sounding weak. The figure spun around, and I saw that the fuzziness was not a result of the fog…it was fur. This thing was shaped much like a man, very tall and muscularly lean. Its face was almost indistinguishable, due to the large amount of fur sticking out all over. The only details I could make out of its face were the eyes and mouth. As it saw me, its mouth opened into an evil grin, its short pointy teeth standing in straight, even rows. The eyes were small red slits, almost glowing at me from the dark.
It’s an ape-man. I thought immediately.
Without a moment’s notice, it charged at me. The creature’s movement was so fast, I barely had time to react. In mid-jump, I instinctively dropped, and felt the furry large mass sail overhead. I pivoted on my right heel, my gun trained on the massive furry beast. Once it hit the pavement it turned around to face me once again, and began another charge. When it ran, it moved on all fours, using its arms to propel itself forward in a wide gait. It was closing the distance fast.
This time I was able to fire off a round.
The shot hit it in the shoulder, and its pace slowed. I fired again, and it staggered back a step. It picked back up to run again, and I got off a third shot as the creature leapt towards me, in mid-air. The gun shot cut its leap short, dropping it straight to the ground. A pool of blood started to form underneath.
I stood there for a moment, my adrenaline pumping wildly. Shock set in, and I felt my body going stiff, but I held on to a nearby brick wall for support.
Just breathe in and out deeply, Cybil I reminded myself.
I felt like I might pass out, and I sat down, putting my head between my knees and continued to breathe deeply. After a moment, the feeling passed. Turning back to look at the crumpled, hairy monster, I immediately felt a huge twinge of guilt again for not believing Harry. This town was cursed, probably by those cultist bastards. It had to have some kind of connection. What else could create such insane monsters?
Pulling myself together, I turned and jogged toward the opposite direction, where I heard the footsteps from before. Not long after, I came upon yet another large chasm. The sound of a loud clang, like that of a clock, turned my attention back behind me. It led me to the Green Lion Antique Shop, so I slowly went in.
I made my way as quietly as humanly possible, smelling the pungent scent of mothballs. Whoever ran this store had not used it in some time. That was the other thing that bothered me about everything. Not only did Silent Hill look abandoned, but everything looked like it was abandoned for years. And I knew that wasn’t true, because I had been to Silent Hill only a month earlier, and nothing looked the way it did now. It dawned on me that nothing short of supernatural was at work in this town.
I walked through the open doorway into the main area of the shop, a check-out counter directly in front. I saw that the store itself looked misty, due to the fog pouring in through the broken window. I then heard someone’s footstep s and I slowed my pace, creeping around the corner. Not six feet away, someone had their back to me, and was staring at a jagged hole in the wall.They suddenly whipped around to face me, and I had a gun pointed right in my face