Part V: Sewers, Resort Area-Chapter 1
I now stood before a twenty-by-twenty chain link fence. A large aluminum sign read “Northern Waterworks.” The door was held closed by a simple large metal padlock. Fog continued its usually drifting through the town. Snow fell in the air, tossing my brown hair askew. Beyond this sewer, I should find my daughter. If not, I would at least find more answers.
Pushing against the fence door, I found the padlock holding sturdy and true. I struck the lock hard with the blade of my fireax and metal sparks flew. The first time, I practically injured myself from the kickback and the lock rattled hard, yet held firm. I struck it over and over again, but only succeeded in tiring myself.
“Gotta be another way,” I huffed.
I shook the fencing to test its sturdiness, and found it to be fairly loose. With a new method in mind, I smacked the fencing with the flat side of the ax and delivered some focused shorter chops where the fencing met the rails. It didn’t take as long as I’d imagined. I managed to create an opening in the fencing and used the ax’s blade as a wedge to pry it open even wider.
After a tiring process, I had enough space and stepped into the small opening. A large water pump stood to my left and a manhole greeted me from straight ahead.
I found an opener and jammed it into the groove on the manhole. Putting all my weight into prying bar, I pushed down hard and managed to lift the manhole an inch or so. I tried again, only getting it a little bit more. Sweat began to pop out on my forehead, despite the cold snowy weather. Finally, I gave it one last long and hard pull, and the manhole cover came up out of the ground. Holding the lid with the opener, I shimmied it over to the pavement let it hit the pavement with a metalilc dull thud. Now I had revealed a rung of stairs leading downward.
The sewer is now open for business. I thought randomly, and began to laugh neurotically.
I clamored over to the ladder rungs, and began my descent down. The faint, hazy light from the fog overhead began to diminish, and before long it was pitch black. Not wanting to waste my battery just climbing down the ladder, I kept my flashlight off, and continued moving downward into total darkness.
It was strange, only feeling the cool metal rungs in my hands, and hearing the sound of my leather work shoes clanging in the absolute dark, accompanied with my deep breaths. Somehow those small sounds were terrifying. Paranoia swept over me, and I felt so irrevocably vulnerable, not having an inch of light to see. We never realize how much we depend on our sight until we feel the utterly helplessness of lacking it. The feeling only intensified as I went further and further down, seeming to never reach the end.
Then, the bad thoughts started to come in.
“You’ll never make it, Harry! Your daughter won’t be there!”
“You’ll waste all this effort to find her, and she’ll be dead.”
“Just give up and die, Harry!”
“You’re going to get killed by one of those things! If you thought the ones in the streets were bad, you should see what’s down here!”
One after another, the thoughts assaulted my mind, trying to drag me down mentally into my own black abyss. I fought them, trying to shut that voice up, and assure myself that my actions were not in vain. I reminded myself that I had a purpose, and that was to protect my daughter at all costs. And nothing was going to get in my way. Eventually, that dark voice backed off, leaving me with my paranoid thoughts once again.
After what felt like an eternity, I felt my right foot touch solid ground. Steadying myself with the ladder, I carefully put my other foot down on the surface. Right as I began to let go of the ladder, something skittered across my hand.
I practically fell down in reaction, rummaging my coat for my flashlight. Once I fished it out, I remembered the hard tumble from the pterodactyl attack, and I prayed that it still worked. I clicked it, but with no response. After a few good knocks with my palm, the light kicked on resiliently to unveil the dark sewers before me.
Investigating the rungs of the ladder,
I found nothing to validate the brushing of my hand. Must be my imagination
playing tricks on me again...
Moving the light around more, it soon illuminated a cluster of something slimy, then I jumped back in disgust at what could only be described as the largest cockroach-like insects I’d ever seen. Their antennas whipped around wildly as they scattered upon their discovery. Brushing my entire body from head to toe, I moved along as I surveyed the area around me.
I was at the end of a long tunnel. The walls and floor were all metal and concrete. There were pipes going in and out of walls at various intervals and bare lightbulbs that hung overhead. Following the path, I went down the corridor and around the bend into another long path.
The silence was deafening, the acoustics vastly reverberating every little sound. My footsteps alternated between a slightly muffled leather-on-concrete to random spatters of small puddles. It was only accompanied by a tense drip, drip sound from some unknown source.
The atmosphere was more than eerie, as I suspected any sewer in a nightmarish town would be. The unnerving sound of water dripping felt like it might drive me mad. Tension squeezed me in a tight grip, and for a few moments, I thought I might suffocate. Feelings of claustrophobia came in steady waves, and the anticipation of something going horribly wrong began to weigh me down. It was like I was on the edge of a panic attack every second of the way.
After a couple more turns, I could begin to hear the more normal sound of steadily flowing water. I begin to unwind a bit, and soon the narrow tunnel opened out into a larger area. The surface of the larger corridor was a grated floor. Water flowed underneath, moving to the right towards a circular opening with large vertical bars, to which seemed to have no end beyond. To my left, the tunnel continued down, and how far it stretched I could not tell. With no other choice, I walked to the left.
There was really nothing in particular to see in this area, and I was thankful for that. Keeping things boring for a little while wouldn’t bother me one bit.
If the tension from expecting something didn’t kill me first….
The smell of garbage and urine was very strong here, stinging my nostrils. I clipped my nose with a thumb and forefinger, attempting to keep the pungent smell out. It didn’t help very much.
My flashlight led my feet along the path, seeing some areas that led off to the right, and then back to the left. Why they couldn’t just make the catwalk a straight shot through the middle, I wasn’t completely sure. That would be too simple then, wouldn’t it? Then again, I wasn’t a plumber or water expert so I assumed they had their reasons.
“To hopefully confuse and kill me,” I muttered
Finally, I came to what seemed to be the end. The catwalk forked to the left and right, each path with a fenced door leading ahead. I tried the door on the left, but it was locked. Cursing, I went back to the fork and tried the door on the right. Thankfully, it was unlocked. I went through, and it took me forward and around a bend to the right.
At the end of this path, I found a small service box with some controls, levers, and a…key? I picked it off of the hook, and felt that it must go to the other fenced door. I turned, feeling relief that I was making my way through with such ease.
Just when my spirits started to lift, it happened. There was a sudden sound of treading water and a heavy click that resounded on my right. I looked over in time to see a black, clawed hand reach onto the catwalk from underneath.
Stepping back, I watched as the arm pulled a monstrous thing onto the catwalk and greeted me with a feral hiss. I didn’t get a good look because I was already turning to run. I wasn’t entirely interested in seeing this thing. I’d seen enough already.
Then, all hell seemed to break loose as I heard water sloshing from every direction. More of these things were lifting themselves onto the grated floor and in mere seconds, I would be surrounded
Without any more unnecessary looking, I booked it and blindly fired off a few shots behind me for deterrence.
I swiftly double-backed, slamming the last fence door behind me. The echoes of skittering and clicking claws motivated me as I approached the locked door of the left path. Then…the shrieking started.
It was the most horrible sound I had ever heard. It was nails on a chalkboard, a cat being strangled, and a desperate squeal from a pig all blended into some abominable cry of hatred. It was so bad I didn’t even notice the strange noises emanating from my phone when they got close. For a moment my skin didn’t just crawl, it seemed to leave my body.
My hands shaking, I fumbled the key out and managed to get it into the padlock with much strain as my focus was now blown to shit. Then, I heard the other fence door being rammed, and the loud clang of metal scraping concrete. Just as I popped the padlock, I could sense those clawed monstrosities clamoring from behind. I lifted the gate latch and began to push through the gate, when I suddenly felt a sting of pain shoot through my arm.
Astounded, I looked up to see one of the sewer creatures retracting its arm, and was hanging from the ceiling. Grunting in pain, I lifted my gun to get off a quick shot, but the creature swiped the gun out of hand.
Forgetting about the gun, I pushed through the gate, slammed it close, and threw the latch back down. Just as I threw the padlock back and locked it, the horde of clawed monsters approached the gate, tearing at the chain links with their claws. Sparks ignited in the dark, giving faint glimpses of their mutant bodily features.
As I watched them, I saw with horror that they had no mouths. Instead there were weird mandible-like protrusions curving around the sides of their face. They walked on two legs, but moved with the grace of a lizard. Their arms were long and skinny and had much shorter legs, but all appendages tipped with razor claws. The rest of their body was black with a shiny wet look to them. Being a horror fan, I couldn’t help but equate the shiny, wet look of them to the movie Alien.
I wasn’t sure if they could tear through this gate, but I didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out. I turned and ran forward, to see the most beautiful sight that I could behold at this moment…a ladder leading up.
In moments, I was at the top rung of the ladder, but faced the problematic sewer lid above me. With no weapon to help me either, I felt a panic set in. No doubt, those creatures would be here soon, and being they could hang from the ceiling they could surely climb a ladder.
Almost on the verge of a total meltdown, I hooked one arm onto the top rung, and frantically shoved at the lid with all of my forearm’s might. My blood pumped in my ears, and I felt the surge of adrenaline fill my body once more.
The lid didn’t move at first, and I might as well have been buried alive in a coffin six feet underground.
Cheryl’s waiting for you, Harry. You have to make it.
A newfound power filled me, and I shoved with every last bit of strength. Gradually, the lid began to wobble, and with the sound of a plug being yanked from a drain, the manhole lid popped off. I clawed my way out of the sewer, and finally onto the snow-riddled ground of the surface. Outside, I indulgently sucked in lungfuls of air that felt more fresh that it ever had before, rejuvenating me.
Beside the ladder, I could hear the indignant screaming and baying of the foul sewer creatures. I had made it, and they had not. My triumph felt even better when I placed the manhole cover back on.
As I stepped away, I could still the sting on my arm from that sewer monster and noticed that area on my sleeve was lightly saturated with blood. Simultaneously, the ache in my right hand, which I punched through the schoolyard window earlier, began to throb as well. Even through the bandages wound around my palms, I could feel the steady pulse of pain in my hand. All the strain from lifting that lid must have aggravated everything.
Unlike the thick mist and daylight from earlier, I was greeted by a dead nightfall. I had to switch my flashlight back on Looking around; it appeared I was in a back area, away from the main road. I hadn’t heard any sirens, so why was it dark?
It looked like I was in an alley of some sort. If only I had a map…
The feeling of disorientation made me uneasy, but at least there weren’t any oddities coming to get me in my vulnerable state. I walked through the snow, coming around the side of a building, and onto a main street. Ambling around, I found a sign that said Craig St., and further to my right the street intersected with Bachman Rd. I didn’t have to walk far on Bachman to find it blocked.
This must be the other side of that same chasm that blocked us from the Old Silent Hill area.
That put me on the north side of the resort area. I started to walk the other direction on Bachman, now seeing the other side of the building I was on. Then, I heard a voice speaking.
”You said that I didn’t have to do this anymore, now leave me alone!” The voice spoke angrily, a man’s voice. Then it paused, as if listening. I turned off my flashlight and crept closer, moving to the side of the road out of sight.
“Yes, I understand. But I’ve done all that I needed to! I’ve made more than enough from this, and I told you that I’m through. You can deal them out yourself! I am no longer a part of this! I took care of her, and that was the last thing you said I had to do. Now leave me be!”
As I moved closer, I could faintly make out a gray business suit. Then, the hazy figure of Michael Kaufmann became visible out in the snow, a briefcase and a gun in his hands.
“I’ll show her,” he growled aloud. He looked over to his left, and walked in that direction. I followed suit, trying to stay just far enough from his visibility. We both soon came into a parking lot, and a restaurant with the name “Annie’s Bar” across the front in bright neon lights. Kaufmann trudged angrily through the snow and walked to the front door. Looking around for any spectators, he must have decided it was safe, and yanked on the door handle. Soon, he was inside.
What was he up to? I thought. I wonder if he was talking about the White Claudia…?
Making my footsteps light, I came up to the door myself. It seemed that he and someone were fighting, and something about taking care of a girl. Another piece of the puzzle, and still I had only scratched the surface. The mysterious events of this town seemed to drag on and on. Though somehow, I felt close.
Before I even grabbed the handle, I heard a yelp of terror. There was a loud crashing noise followed by a cluttered thump. I flung open the door and stepped inside.
I stepped in to find Michael Kaufmann, and there was some thing on top of him…