Part IV: Central Silent Hill-Chapter 6
“Cybil!” I cried, taking in the blue cop uniform and blonde hair. I put away my gun.
She was alive! All the worrying and fear that she had been hurt was gone. Here she was, standing right before me in good health.
“Thank God you’re alright, Harry!” She said, putting her gun away as well. “After seeing some things here, I started to think that you didn’t make it. Things are much worse than I thought. Not just some, almost all the roads are blocked off. No cars will start, no one’s at home, my cel phone’s not working, and neither is my radio. Something’s seriously wrong here.”
“What do you mean, saw things?”
“Well, I saw a dead, gray-winged flying….thing. This weird ape-man attacked me. Are these things all over town?”
“Yes, they are. Weird, ungodly things. Those demon children. Strange shadow creatures… anyway, it’s good to see you. What brought you here, anyway?”
“Well, I heard someone walking down this way, and followed it to you.”
“Oh, I see?”
“Yeah, and the circumstance I was over this way is….pretty strange.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I’m not completely sure but, I think I saw your daughter.”
“What?! Where is she?
“Well, it’s hard to explain….I’m not
sure it was really her. I was at the gas station, and heard footsteps. I
followed them to the bridge, and then caught up with this girl who looked
nearly identical to Cheryl. But she wore a different dress. It was a dark blue,
kind of old-fashioned. When I talked to her, she told me that she wasn’t
Cheryl. She said her name was Alessa…and that they would come find me.”
“Well, she stepped off of the bridge…but she didn’t fall. She just…floated, like she was walking on air. I’m not sure but, I think she was some kind of ghost. She was walking toward the Lakeside Amusement Park. I could even see the lights from the bridge. I wanted to follow her but the south part of Bachman road is blocked off.”
“Yes. What about you, Harry? You found anything?”
“Well, I met this woman named Dahlia
Gillespie. She was very strange, and I’ve heard other things about her, too.
She’s been leaving me key, clues, and all sorts of weird things. Spouting off
about Path of the Hermit and other nonsense.”
“Dahlia…..the town nut, from what I remember. She’s been under suspicion of cult activity for a long time. After her daughter died in the fire….” Suddenly Cybil’s face lit up. “Oh my God, I never even made that connection. That little girl I saw was Dahlia’s daughter…how can that be, though?”
“Wait…..she died in the fire?”
“Yeah, it was all over the papers. Dahlia got even nuttier than before. That fire from her house is what caused so many other buildings to catch. She became even more involved with cult activities after that. Some think she was trying to bring Alessa back.”
“Bring her back from the dead? You weren’t kidding about her being crazy. Although losing a child…that’s hard to take. Odd that she looks so much like Cheryl…I can’t believe that it’s just a coincidence, though. ”
“I wish I could say….I just don’t know, Harry.”
“Dahlia…she said something about the town being devoured by darkness. Do you know what that could mean?”
“Darkness? She’s probably on drugs. There’s been an on-going investigation for a couple of years here. We think it’s related to the cult activity. People have been selling them to tourists and residents in town. We can’t seem to pinpoint where’s it coming from. Every interrogation has come up short with anyone, so we can’t even locate the sellers. From what I understand, Dahlia’s involved and we just haven’t found any solid evidence.”
“How do you know so much about what’s going on here? You’re from Brahms.”
“I am, but I’m also friends with one of the officers here. We chat every now and then. He’ll tell me some of the cases going on here, I’ll discuss some of the cases in Brahms.”
“I see…well, I believe I may have some answers for you.” I pulled the two notes out of my pocket, one to Kim Gordon, and the other from Kaufmann written to the Director. She read over it, her eyes widening in surprise. After scanning them twice, she stuffed them in her pocket.
“I should have seen that. Kaufmann had some loose connections to Dahlia before. We need to arrest them when we see them next. This is more than enough to implicate them.” Then, Cybil looked at the jagged hole in the wall. “So, what’s this all about?”
“Well, I just found this after messing around with the clock. Dahlia told me to find the Other Church, and it led me here. This clock unlocked something, and I was able to move it aside. There’s probably a storage of drugs inside.”
“We should go in and check it out, then.”
She started to move towards the hole, and suddenly I shouted.
“No!” I wasn’t sure why I yelled so forcefully. “I’m sorry, it’s just …Dahlia said that a path was laid out before me. Somehow, I feel that I’m supposed to do this. I just know it. She wanted me to find this.
And besides, if something happens to me, then there’s still a police officer left alive to do something about this drug trafficking. I’m just a journalist.”
“Harry…I understand but I really would hate to explain how I let a citizen go into a potentially dangerous situation without me checking it out first.”
“You could always say I just jumped in front of you.”
Cybil furrowed her brow, and I turned sideways, placing myself between her and the hole.
“See….now I just did.”
From her expression I could see she still
wanted to protest, but then her eyes changed.
“Alright…but if anything looks fishy, get right back here, understand?”
“Okay….and if anything…you know…..” My eyes got watery for a moment, and her gaze told me she knew what I inferred.
“I’ll do everything I can to find her for you.”
Before I turned into a blubbering mess, I squeezed through the hole. I was in a short, stony corridor. I followed it down further and into another hallway. This one was short, and I could make out something strange not far ahead. It was an altar, adorned with a red and gold cloth, and two candles. The strange mark that I knew now to be Samael was etched in gold on the red cloth. A bloodstain was splattered on the side of the altar. What happened here?
“What in the…” I moved closer, inspecting the strange altar. A small ceremonial knife sat atop the altar, ominously dripping with… fresh blood?
The Other Church. This must be the Other Church.
Shivering, I inspected the place some more. With frustration, I found no more clues as to where I should go. As I turned my back to leave, I then heard a crackling noise, and a small feeling of heat in the room. Turning back around, I was shocked to see a column of fire sitting atop the altar. It blazed fiercely, illuminating the room with its incandescence. Moving closer, I could faintly make out a shape in the fire. It looked like the Samael symbol…
Then the sirens began to wail again….
“Oh God, not again!!” I cried, the sound of the wailing in my head once again. The pain intensified, and I slumped to the floor. Suddenly, I was gone. I seemed to float in the air, above the altar, completely out of my body.
“Harry?!” I heard a cry from the other room.
Cybil! Stay out!
But she had already starting coming into the room. She stepped through the other hole in the wall, and looked ahead in astonishment.
“What in the…” She took in the sight of the altar and the blazing fire. “Harry, where are you?” My consciousness watched her, and I screamed internally for her to get out. Then, my consciousness slipped far away again.
“Harry, wake up! Are you alright?”
I instantly recognized the voice to be that of Lisa’s. I sat up, feeling a wave of dizziness wash over me.
“Easy there. You don’t want to fall,” she steadied me with her hand. “I thought I’d almost lost you. You didn’t have a pulse. But you were thrashing as if you were having a bad dream.”
If I wasn’t confused before….I definitely was now. I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or if what was just happening was a dream. Reality itself was starting to blur.
Lisa’s eyes were lined with worry, and I could see true care in them. She had found a normal person in this lonely, abandoned town. I’m sure losing me would be devastating to her.
“Yeah, I..I guess I was dreaming….I
think. Problem is, I’m still here. My bad dream…reality, whatever it is still
“You can say that again,” she muttered, still fixed intently on me. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, I think so.” I put my feet down onto the floor, standing up. I was relieved to see that the hospital was still in its normal state. I wonder why Lisa wasn’t here when I woke up last time?
“Lisa, when did the hospital change back to normal?”
“I…I’m not sure. I fell asleep watching you after you passed out. The sound of a siren woke me up five minutes ago, and it was normal again.”
Looking over at Lisa, I could that she looked ill. Her gaze was at me, but it seemed far off and glossy. There were some lines in her face that were not present earlier. Her eyes looked bloodshot. Both of her hands shook in her lap, and she clutched them together when shesaw I was looking at them.
“You don’t look too well yourself there, Lisa.”
“I'm fine. Nothing you need to worry about. It’s just this place…and being alone. I get depressed if I’m left alone too long. I’ve always been that way, that’s all. It used to be worse, but it’s kind of hard not to feel bad in this town. It’s like there’s this weight to it. I think it’s the fog.” She glanced towards the window, where the fog continued its relentless post in the town.
“I’m sorry…” There was an awkward pause. “Do you know a woman named Dahlia Gillespie?”
“Dahlia? Oh yeah, she's kind of famous around here, or infamous. She never goes about town much anymore, so I don't know that much about her personally. I did hear that her daughter died in a fire and supposedly she's been even crazier since.
“Yeah, that’s what Cybil told me, too.”
“She’s a cop. I ran into her earlier, when I…” I thought about telling Lisa everything, about waking up in the misty normal hospital, talking to Dahlia, the note from Kaufmann, and finding Cybil. Yet, I wasn’t sure if she would believe me. Cybil didn’t believe me at first, either. “When I first came into town, a cop named Cybil was here. We got separated.”
“Anyway…I ran into that Dahlia woman. She says the town is being devoured by "the darkness". Do you have any idea what she's talking about?”
“Devoured by the darkness? Not really, sounds ominous. I mean, I think I might know what she’s referring to. Before this place was turned into a resort, the townspeople here were on the quiet side and very secretive. Everybody followed some kind of queer religion. Weird occult stuff, ike black Magic and sacrifices. The later townspeople that moved in weren’t into it.
There was much controversy over kicking out the earlier settlers because of their pagan beliefs. People would disappear for no reason. Evidently, things like that happened alot around that time. Everyone flipped out, so they blamed it on the earlier settlers. They all came to an agreement, and everything was alright after that.
“Last time I heard anything about it was...gosh, years ago. It was things people talked about as if they were fairy tales or an urban legend. But I knew there was truth to them. Over time, more and more people started to talk about weird activities, even if it wasn’t done in town. You know, whispers of it here and there.
No one ever said anything around tourists or visitors, though. After a while, all the strange things were viewed as normal, and no one dared criticize it. If anyone did….they were liable to disappear. Eventually, it got where no one talked about it at all because they were too afraid.”
Sounds right with what Cybil told me.
“Lisa, can you tell me how to get to the Lakeside area?
“Lakeside? That’s real easy. You just take Bachman Road.
“But the road's blocked.”
“Oh.Hmm…that's the only way out there.”
“Are you sure? There's gotta be another way. I think Cheryl somehow made it over there. Can you think of any other possible way to get there?”
“She got there? Strange. Well, the only way is across the lake itself, or…under. That’s it!”
“There's a water works over by my old elementary school. There's an underground tunnel out there used for inspections. I remember hearing it runs all the way to lakeside.”
“Really? You think I can get to the lake from there?”
“I've never been down there myself, so I'm not positive. Besides, it's all fenced off.”
“If there's a chance, I've got to try. Cheryl’s life depends on it.”
“I understand, but please don't go! I don't want to be alone. It's so scary. I can't stand it!”
“Come with me, then. This hospital may not be the safest place in the world, either. I can't promise you anything, but if you’re with me I'll do my best to protect you.”
“I want to, Harry. I really do. It’s just…”
“I don’t know. I... somehow I feel I'm not supposed to leave this place. I can’t explain it, really. I feel like something really bad will happen if I leave. I…I just can’t. Maybe it’s just my nerves, but it still feels safer here. I know that sounds strange…I’m sorry. I think I’ll just stay here.”
“Well, if you’re completely sure. I can’t drag you out of here with me. Just wait here a little longer. I'll be back as soon as I find my daughter. Promise, okay?”
“Okay, Harry. I believe you. Please get back soon.”
Reluctantly, I left the Examination Room with Lisa sitting alone. Guilt riddled me, but I knew that there wasn’t much else I could do. Sitting with Lisa just to keep her comfortable wasn’t justifiable when Cheryl needed me, and forcing her to go would be too much trouble. I had to find Cheryl at any cost.
I checked my supplies and came to find that my coat and flak vest were gone…so it wasn’t a dream after all. It was like I teleported back here? I didn’t think about it too much….it hurt my head.
Stepping out into the parking lot, I was greeted by a familiar sight. Covering the parking lot was that same glowing red mark of Samael that was in the schoolyard. The glowing red marking illuminated, seeming even brighter in the dark night sky. The hospital was now branded. Other than this Order, what did this strange symbol mean? I was sure that Dahlia knew more than what she was telling me.
If I could find her, I could force an answer out of her. The Mark had much to do with the monsters, because the Nightmare World appeared wherever these symbols did. I just needed more time to figure this out. For now, I had to get back to the Midwich Elementary School.
Heading at full speed, I quickly made my way to the intersection at Crichton and Sagan. Being closer to Old Silent Hill somehow made me feel better, like going back to see an old friend. You can imagine how even better it felt to see Cybil Bennett.
“Harry?!” She called, squinting through the fog.
“Cybil! It’s me,” I called, and moved towards her.
“Where did you go?” She questioned me. “I saw you go in, and ten minutes later I didn’t hear a word from you. So I went in, and you were gone! But there was this weird fire on the altar. Did you do that?”
“No, I turned around to come back, and it was just there. I passed out and…turned back up at the hospital.”
“Even weirder…the fire wasn’t burning anything…like it was a hologram. Yet there was heat coming off of it…none of this makes any sense. Was there anything at the hospital?”
“Well, I talked to Lisa, and she said there was a waterworks tunnel at the elementary school that led to the Lakeside area. It’s our only choice.”
“Great! Wait…who’s Lisa?”
“Lisa Garland. She’s a nurse at the hospital. The only normal one, at least…”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, there were other nurses, but…more on the hideous, mutated side…like the bartender. I think it was this Mark of Samael. It was in the parking lot of the hospital, and there was another one just like it at Midwich Elementary. It’s a symbol of that cult. Wherever it shows up, everything turns into this nightmare world. Everything changes, covered in blood and rust.”
“…I see. Look, I don’t think you’re crazy anymore. I just… It’s a lot to take in, you know?”
“Oh, trust me I know. I’m waiting to wake up for the first time, too. This all seems like a bad dream.”
“So wait, you just left her there at the hospital by herself? How come you didn’t bring her with you?”
“She wouldn’t come. I tried, but she just kept saying she felt safer there. I can’t make her come with me. Once we find a way out we can go back for her. You know, I think this Alessa girl is very much related to these weird events. Why else have we been seeing her? Her ghost is haunting this place or something. Maybe she’s trying to tell us something.”
“You may be on to something. We just have to keep finding more evidence. But you’re friend Lisa, I should probably look after her. You seem to be able to take care of yourself pretty well, and she seems scared. I should go check on her. Maybe I can even persuade her to come with us. It might come off better coming from another female.”
“Makes sense. Want me to wait for you?”
“I want to say yes but, if she doesn’t want to come I need to stay with her. Go on ahead.
“Gotcha. Should you persuade her, you can get to the elementary school through Kim Gordon’s house. I’m sure you already know the other ways to it are blocked.”
“The teacher, Kim Gordon?”
“Interesting. I might check out her house for more evidence. She’s been looked into before. If we make it outta here alive, I wanna have something to show for it. How do I get there?”
I opened my map, going over the streets to take and she wrote them down on a memo pad she kept with her. Within a few minutes, everything was set.
“If nothing works out with Lisa, I’ll follow you into the sewer system to Lakeside. Sound like a plan?
“Sure. We’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“Or die trying, right?”
My joke fell flat, and we just stared at each for an awkward moment. So much for trying to relieve tension. Suddenly, she reached out and embraced me in a hug, and there was another awkward silence before Cybil spoke.
“I’m…I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from. It’s just after seeing what I’ve seen so far…I don’t know if I’ll see you alive again. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll be alive. I know it’s not like a cop to get emotionally involved but…good luck, Harry.”
At that, we both went our separate ways. I braved the oncoming fog once again, hoping to find my lost daughter.