Part VI: Nowhere-Chapter 2
I listened for a moment, and there was nothing. Quietly, I opened the door and found that Lisa was not on the other side. The room was completely empty. Well, almost. There was a journal in the middle of the floor. It was frayed and worn with age. It stood open, and I picked it up without hesitation, knowing the contents were for me. The journal entry date was listed for seven years ago.
“I don’t understand! How can this child still be alive? I keep changing the bandages, but she just keeps bleeding! It doesn’t ever stop, and neither does her pain. Her cries haunt me even when I’m away from her. I told Kaufmann I didn’t want to do this anymore, but he said I wouldn’t get anymore White Claudia. He has me in his grip. I’m shaking now, only going four hours without it. I’m hooked…I don’t think I can stop. Damn him for ever letting me have it! I need help, but I couldn’t risk them getting Dr. Kaufmann. I couldn’t go without him, I love him…
I’m not sure how much longer I can do this without going insane! This poor child is in so much pain. She cries out for her mom sometimes, and I can’t help but cry, knowing she’s the one who put her here, in this awful place of misery….”
The next journal entry is dated six days later.
“I’m very afraid. Alessa’s not improving. In fact, she’s been sleeping for the past three days. Kaufmann said that it was important she doesn’t go comatose. She was muttering something to herself right before she fell asleep. I’m afraid to tell Kaufmann. He’ll think I let her slip. She tosses and turns sometimes, and I told Kaufmann that she was napping when he comes in to check on her. I’ll have to tell him sooner or later. How can she not be dead? In a way, I wish she was. Better to pass on than to suffer like this. She screams in her sleep, and reaches out her hand. I’m not sure but it seems like she’s in a coma.
I checked her eyes once, and they looked….strange. They were so empty. As if the very life was gone from them. Whatever Dahlia did to her…it’s not ordinary. I think she put some sort of curse on her. Kaufmann is coming to check on Alessa in a couple of hours. I think I’m going to tell him about Alessa’s condition. If he finds out on his own, he’ll be even more mad…”
And the journal ended there. I shuddered, bearing the thought of the agony that poor child was in. It was so unjust. Dahlia was the evil one, no matter how you looked at it. Alessa was causing this nightmare, but Dahlia made Alessa that way. A child with half a soul, suffering on a hospital bed. Her nightmares in her sleep must be manifesting on the town. I slammed the book shut, letting it fall to the floor.
I knew one thing for sure…Dahlia would pay for this.
Back in the hallway, I entered the door adjacent to the storeroom. The smell of spoiled meat and fruit hit me, and I covered my nose at once. I was in a kitchen, and the smell was overpowering. There was no food out in the open, but the source was very clear. A refrigerator unit stood in front of me, seeming to loom over the room. I inspected the room and found nothing else. When I passed by the fridge for the second time, I noticed a strange metal symbol on it. It didn’t dawn on me at first, but the object was in the shape of the Samael mark found all over Silent Hill.
My hand went out to take it, but an alarm went off loudly in my head. The mark began to glow when I reached out for it, and I withdrew my hand. The glow died back down. It was some kind of trap. Feeling on edge, I pondered what would happen if I took it. I didn’t wonder for long due to noises inside the refrigerator. I pressed my ear to it and heard gurgling, slurping noises. An image of a hospital room, and brown tentacles attacking a bloodpack resurfaced. Perhaps this was another one of those creatures.
So if I took this Samael piece, perhaps this thing would come out and grab me…meaning this relic was important. I examined the fridge, and noticed there were two pieces of chain on each side. Putting it together mentally, I took the two links and pushed them to each other. Yet it stopped short only an inch or two.
My hands went into my pockets as I tried to think of what I could use. A piece of cool metal touched my fingertips, and I put my fingers around the ring I had picked up in the shop. Taking the ring out, I held it up to the two pieces of chain. It was just big enough to link the two chain pieces. Yet, there was no opening to put the ring through. Then, as the ring touched one of the links, the ring began to glow, and it suddenly latched itself to one of the links.
I jumped back in astonishment, seeing that the ring must have some kind of enchantment. I pulled at it and could feel how strongly it held. It was almost like some supernatural magnetic field. I placed the other chain link to the ring, and saw it fit just right.
Crossing my fingers, I took the metal Samael symbol off the fridge and watched in fascination as the symbol grew a dark, blood red color. A loud bang issued from the refrigerator, making me recoil. My breath caught in my throat, and I slowly let it out.
The refrigerator door bulged and bowed outward, the thing inside struggling to get out. Yet, the chain held sure. I was safe…for now.
Further down in the hallway, everything was locked except for another door at the very end. Opening it, I found myself back in the schoolyard of Midwich Elementary. Everything was the same…except the clocktower. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, because there was nothing unusual about it. Now, I noticed red handwriting on the front of it, written in blood.
“Do Not Enter! For those who do, there will be no return.”
It seemed like some cryptic message to keep children out, but in this place, there was always something more. The door that was across the schoolyard was not there. This clocktower had to be the way.
I approached the door and saw there was no handle. Only a small split opening down the middle, like an elevator door. I grabbed it from the middle, and pulled outward. With a groaning from the heavy wood, I pulled it open halfway. Two more shoves, and I had it open wide enough to squeeze through. It was a short doorway, around the height of a child.
Squatting down to step through, I reminisced of Alice in Wonderland.
Down I go, deeper into the rabbit hole.
I was able to stand back up only a second later, the ceiling higher on the inside. It was a tightly-fit corridor, made of wood on all sides. Straight ahead, there was a metal ladder leading down. Without a second thought, I walked over and descended. It went down, further and further, seeming to stretch on forever. Finally, my feet were on the ground again.
Straight across from me was another ladder, leading back up. I crossed the hall again, and ascended. As I climbed up the rungs, the tower led out a loud clanging chime for the hour. It was three o clock. Atop the ladder I came to another corridor just like the first, and a door leading out. As I stepped back out, I knew I was on the Otherside.
I was back in the schoolyard, but this time it was the Nightmare version. The door I would exit from was now back, and the one I’d entered from was gone. Standing in front of the door, I had this gut feeling that something big…something extremely important was on the other side. Holding my breath, I entered through the door, never minding the light rain and darkness that had settled. The place I found myself in appeared to be a house. It was a long, wooden hallway with a door leading to the left and one straight ahead.
I tried the door on the left, and was immediately disturbed by what I saw. It was a small room, with a slanting wall on the other end, like the side of a roofed house. Yet, the slant was not what bothered me.
Words were scribbled hurriedly across the entire room. There wasn’t an inch of the room that didn’t have writing on it. I gazed around the room, trying to read as much as I could.
”Witch!” “Death.” “Burn.” “Sacrifice.” “Suffer.”
I turned my eyes to the floor.
”Demon.” “Wretch.” “Paradise.” “Rebirth.” “Unclean.” “Eternal Darkness.” “Purify.”
What kind of madness caused this? I thought. The room might as well have been made of rubber walls. Someone had literally lost their mind here. Feeling an evil presence, I stepped back out.
I went to the door at the other end. Looking around the room for only a few moments told me this was Alessa’s room. I was somehow in her house.
Various sketches were on the walls, some innocent and some not-so-innocent. There was one of buildings, burning down. One of a child holding her mother’s hand, but the mother had a demon’s head, her hair made of snakes like Medusa. One was of red glowing eyes. Another was of a flower, with a sun overhead. One drawing had a teacher, teaching at school.
There was a bed there, worn and used at one time, but not recently. Various dolls sat in the corners. One of them was the creepy Robbie Rabbit doll. I tossed it under the bed, not able to take its menacing stare.
There was a door at the other end with a picture of the Samael mark on it. I held my breath, knowing that something very bad was on the other end. Probably Dahlia, but she could try whatever she wanted. She needed to pay for her horrible crimes. Yet, the doorknob did not turn.
I then thought about the Samael symbol I had, and held it up to the drawing. Nothing happened. I tried again, with no result. I scanned the room, and noticed writing above the door.
It was the same phrase from the Other Church.
“To reveal Truth, One Must First Sacrifice.”
It hit me. I understood why this task for me, and me alone. Everything I had done, I had done for Cheryl. It was a sacrifice of my well-being. And to enter, I must draw a blood sacrifice. I took out the knife, and made a small cut across my hand.
I pressed my bleeding hand onto the Samael symbol, and touched it to the drawing on the door. At once, a light enveloped the door, and I had to cover my eyes from the brightness. A whooshing sound came, and then the light died instantly. The door creaked open, inviting me in. I couldn’t resist the invitation, it was too great.
I was now in a hallway, the same style as before. It was apparently on a second story, shown by the staircase in front of me that led downstairs. Just as I was about to move forward, two transparent shapes of Dahlia and Alesssa appeared.
Alessa sat on the ground and Dahlia was attmempting to pull her up by her arm.
“Come on! Come on, now!” Dahlia coaxed.
“No! No! I don't want to!” Alessa pleaded, her eyes wide in fear.
“Do as mommy tells you, now. I just want you to lend me a teeny bit of your power, that's all.”
“No! I don't want to do it! I’m tired of you making me use them! The other kids at school call me a witch.”
“They’re only jealous. Doing this will make everyone happy... and it's for your own good too. Mommy’s so proud of your gifts!”
“But mommy, I just want to be with you, I don’t want to use my powers.”
“You really mean it...yes? I see. Maybe mommy has been wrong.”
“Why didn't I see this before? There's no reason for me to have to do it. Herein lies the mother's womb….to obtain the power to create life. I could have done it all myself.”
The ghostly figures disappeared. Suddenly, a white light shone from the stairs. I could feel the power emanating from it. Dahlia was the down there, of that I was sure.Even more, I knew in my heart, in my gut, that I would find Cheryl there.