Chapter 11: An Inspector Falls
"Red sky at night shepherd's delight, Red sky in morning shepherd's warning."
Matthias Gucci leaned against the bonnet of his patrol car. He put a cigarette into his mouth and brought his gold lighter closer to his face in order to try and keep the wind from blowing the small flame out. In one smooth action he flicked the lighter shut and slipped it into his pocket while taking a long drag making a quarter of the cigarette burn to ash in one go. He didn't notice as his concentration was focused on watching for the return of Magee and Cartland. Failing to get anything out of the mad Father Wolf, the rest of the men now had him securely locked up in another car and were now enjoying a relaxing cup of tea, courtesy of a very grateful old woman.
The smoke stung his eyes as he blew it out in a long slow stream. There was a light mist starting to roll in from the forest and carrying with it the shadows of a thousand unidentifiable shadows. Gucci squinted to see a bit better. 'What the…' His train of thought was stopped by a loud exclamation of fear coming from the direction of the forest. The owner of the voice soon appeared, nearly breaking the gate in an effort to escape an unseen evil force. Gucci got up and walked over to him as the man tripped and fell over his own feet.
"Cartland what the hell happened?"
Walter found himself alone in the living room. He had long since finished his ice cream and wondered what all the noise was about. The blinds were still drawn shut as he was the first person to enter the room and he didn't know how to work them. The room's only source of light was the dim glow of the television. He set the bowl down on the table in the middle of the room and went over to the T.V. to wipe the static off the screen. He loved going up to people after he had wiped the screen and shocking them with a small jolt of electricity. It was harmless fun and really amusing to see them jump when they got shocked.
He tried not to look at the screen too much as the glare hurt his eyes and made him see funny shapes after a while. He finished wiping the screen and started to make for the door into the hallway. The shapes clouded his vision and nearly made him trip over the table. He thought it best to stand still until the shapes went away. As he watched the shapes swirl about in the dimly lit room they started to take form. He blinked in amazement and the shapes disappeared. 'Hold on the shapes are usually still there when I close my eyes.'
He opened his eyes. The shadow was still there. It seemed to be taking the form of a man with a big triangle on his head. He carried a big knife, which he propped up against the wall. The strange man sat down and began to talk to no one in particular. Walter was pretty sure that the man must be blind so he started sneaking over to the door.
The pyramid slowly lowered and pointed directly towards the boy. "Hello Little Walter."
Walter sat on the table in front of the strange creature and started to swing his legs. The boy looked at him. "Who are you?"
The creature laid back. He looked just like Father Wolf at story time.
"I am Red Devil. You can call me Red."
Walter stayed to talk to the strange creature. He looked a bit like a character from a fairy tale. "What do you want with me?"
The creature leant forward and whispered, almost as if he was about to reveal a great secret. "I want to help you wake your mommy."
Walter jumped off the table "Yaaay."
Red leaned back in the chair again. "So I hear that you are to become one of the gatekeepers. Very good. You know that God rewards those that serve Her. Maybe if you do a really good job She will reward you by freeing your mother but that sort of favour would mean that you would have to do a lot of things for her. I'll go talk to her about it and tell you what she says. Meantime you be a good boy and go and burn down whatever Auntie Gillespie tells you to."
Walter watched with a big grin on his face as the creature turned to shadow and slipped into the darkness behind the door. He ran out to find Dahlia and tell her what the creature had said. He found her sleeping in her room and decided to leave her be until she woke up.
Dahlia was in a strange place. She knew she was dreaming because she was small and her father was leading her by the hand. He said there was something that she needed to see. He showed her over to a chair in the middle of a desert. Upon closer investigation she saw it to be the director's chair. She gasped when the occupant swung the chair around to face her. The appearance of the creature did not disturb her so much as the object that it had set on its lap. It was a large, gore-stained fence post.
"Hello Dahlia. It's good to see you again. Please do not be afraid. I am a dedicated servant, here on God's behalf. She is unhappy at the way things are going. However as always God is not without infinite wisdom. So here is what She wants you to do. You are to burn your child at the time of purification in order to open the final gate. The police will not hinder you as She has already set plans in motion to deal with them. At this very moment the mayor is dying and soon the man investigating this holy place will be no more. She has seen to it that there will be nothing to lead back to the Order. It is vital that this ceremony goes according to plan or else all is lost. She is aware that the mother has somehow tapped into her power and therefore has a plan for you to trap her in the chapel. Do not worry about the child. God's soul will keep her alive. It is the child's pain and anger that God needs to grow strong. Here, take this."
The creature threw a small fragmented pyramid towards her. She caught it in one hand and looked at it in a curious way.
"What is it?" The creature started to explain,
"That is Flauros and the only hope for you to cut through and momentarily suppress Alessa's power. Here is what you will do…" Dahlia kneeled at the creature's feet and listened as the sands of the dream desert swirled about her.
Douglas Cartland's day was not improving. He had just spent the last five minutes explaining what had happened to him in the forest. As expected Gucci wore a look of disbelief on his face. All the while the fog became denser and less light shone through the trees. The fog seemed to suck in all form that the forest once carried, making it seem to be teeming with monsters. In the end he knew that if he stayed in Silent Hill much longer then the nameless evil would claim him. He made a decisive move that probably saved his life.
"Mat this place; there's something wrong with it. I'm getting the hell out of here and I suggest you do too before it's too late. I know that it's hard to believe what I have just told you and in the end I'm sad to say that you'll probably have to learn the hard way. My only advice is that you do not wait around here too long. Save yourself while there is still time."
Mat shook his head with a puzzled look. "Man something really spooked you bad out there. It's probably a wild animal. I can't believe that it got Magee and I don't know what happened with his dog but there's probably still a rational explanation for all this."
Douglas saw that there was no talking to Gucci, "Look man I'm getting my boy and then getting the hell out of this place. I'm not saying that you should drop everything and come with me, as you obviously don't believe me. Just be careful OK?"
Gucci promised that he would be as careful as always and told Cartland to go and get some R&R. The wheels of Cartland's patrol car spun as he tore down the drive at speed, the fog at the end engulfing his car. Gucci watched until the red taillights disappeared from view.
Officer Gucci was now faced with a completely different kettle of fish. This call had gone from bad to worse and instead of just bringing in a murder suspect he now was faced with the task of getting the children safely out of the area, as there was obviously something dangerous out there.
"Cup of tea officer?"
Gucci looked down at the haggard complexion of Dahlia Gillespie. He shook his head and muttered thanks anyway. He didn't know how she would take the idea that her home was unsafe and that she and the children would have to be evacuated on top of the whole situation at present. He decided to leave talking to her for a moment and went to call in backup for the evacuation. He sat in the passenger's side, with one leg hanging outside the car. Picking up the radio he sighed, as he knew that this day was far from over.
"Gerry pick up. You there?"
White noise answered him "Krrrrrrrrrszzz Gucci? Th krrrrrz. No sig krrrrrrrz."
Gucci angrily slammed the mike down onto the driver's seat, "Shit!"
He got out of the car and shouted over to a nearby officer "Hey Ed round up the kids. We need them out of here now."
The officer looked puzzled "Sure Matt but why? We didn't find any accomplices."
Matt replied hurriedly as he made his way towards the house to explain the situation to Dahlia. "The area isn't secure. Something got Magee. I'm going to talk to Miss Gillespie and then I'm going to recover the body."
Ed wore a look of shock "Holy shit. What happened to Cartland? Where was he?"
Gucci didn't know what to say, in the end he decided to go with a half-truth "He was there. He got spooked bad. He drove off before he could show me."
Ed frowned "Chicken shit. Glad he's not my partner. You need any help with the body recovery?"
Gucci shook his head and kept walking. "The kids are priority here. I'm taking a shotgun and a short-range radio. If you hear anything get some help. I'll use Morse code since we're getting nothing but static here. Wait for me at the station. If I'm not back after an hour send someone out. I don't want you to contact me while I'm out there in case you give away my position to this psycho. OK?" The officer nodded and started to check the perimeter for any kids out playing.
The floorboards creaked as Gucci went back inside the dark house. He headed towards the kitchen where he knew that he would find the kind Miss Gillespie making cups of tea and coffee for the officers.
She looked in his direction the moment he set foot in the house. "Yes officer? Can I help you?"
Gucci rubbed at the back of his neck. "Uhh maam there's no easy way to say this but I think that we may need to evacuate everyone from this area. There is something in the woods, we have not confirmed what it is yet but it is no longer safe here for you and the children. Just follow Officer Carmichael and keep the kids as calm as possible. I have some other business to attend to. I will see you back at the station shortly where I will arrange a place for you and the children to stay until this investigation is over"
Officer Gucci left Dahlia to help Ed round up the kids and strolled back over to his squad car. He hit the boot before opening it as it was usually quite stiff and didn't have much give. He reached into the small armoury contained inside and picked out a bulletproof vest and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, the SHPD's standard issue. He slid the weapon into the back holster and checked that his Berretta was still in its shoulder holster. Armed to the teeth Gucci felt more like Rambo then an officer of the law. He took a moment to gather his thoughts before striding out towards the garden gate. The squeal of the gate opening was drowned out by the noise of the chaos that was ensuing around the house. It appeared the children wanted to play a game of tag with Ed and Dahlia. Gucci smiled and walked on through.
Matt walked up the path keeping a sharp eye out for anything unusual. When the house was out of sight he came to the body that Cartland had mentioned. Gucci shook his head, 'Damn what makes people do stuff like this. That psycho is surely gonna fry. Good riddance too.' He looked away from the body as the frozen mask of horror on the child was starting to freak him out. Its eyes wide and bulging. Small holes were taken out of the child's cheeks, underground scavengers no doubt. Mouth wide, exposing yellowing and soil covered teeth. The vision would haunt any man who looked upon it. Gucci was no different. He drew his Beretta out of its holster.
Something moved in the distance. Gucci squinted to see it. He moved slowly forward. There was definitely something out there as he could hear it now. Looking ahead, he failed to see the fallen corpse of Dennis Magee. He stumbled, falling on top of the torso of his dead comrade. He quickly rolled off him. Something was definitely wrong here. He could see every blade of grass clearly, every insect on every plant. The smell almost overpowered him and he felt like everything was more… real… for a lack of a better word. He could see a path leading away from the garden that hadn't been there before.
'The killer must have used the drugs from this garden. Some sort of hallucinogen, maybe a steroid as well. In any case he was sure that White Claudia had to factor into this. He had never felt the effects before. It was if every cell in his body was coming to life and pulling him towards something. Whatever that something was it was in that forest. He looked at Magee. 'Sorry buddy I'll come back to you later. Right now I have a psycho junkie to take down. Maybe this path leads to the Claudia fields.' Gucci hopped over the fence and cautiously walked down the dilapidated forest path.
Nothing was hidden from his sight. He could now clearly see the figure in the distance. It looked to be an old Native American Shaman. 'What the hell? This is the big drug lord? Na couldn't be. I'd better call him in for questioning nonetheless.'
Gucci called out to him. "Hey you hold on there. I have a couple of questions for you." The Shaman ignored him and kept moving. Gucci pursued finding that he could move at inhuman speed.
The Shaman turned round with his hands in the air "Back demon. No minion of Samael shall be feeding on my flesh tonight." Gucci had no idea what the man was talking about and kept moving towards him. 'Great he's not a drug lord. Probably a user. He must be tripping.'
Gucci raised his gun and aimed for the man's leg. "Stay where you are. You are under arrest for suspected multiple homicides. You have the right to remain silent anything you do say will be used in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney… What the?"
The Shaman took a hunting dagger and cut himself, spreading the blood drops on the thorny brambles around him. "Danh ym yb dediug eb. Uoy dnammoc I doolb htiw. Uoy ekovni I doolb htiw. Eris."
Gucci cursed into himself, 'Damn it he's tryin to bleed himself to death. Ain't no way he's getting out of this that easy.' Gucci sprinted towards the Shaman with inhuman speed. He was brought to a sudden, wrenching stop when a wall of thorns burst up from the ground in front of him. Confusion engulfed Gucci like a tidal wave engulfs a coastline. 'No this… this can't be happening. This is impossible. How the hell is he doing this?' Sharp pain stabbed at Gucci as the vines tightly wrapped themselves around his body the green stems turning red as Mat's blood was rapidly sucked up by the possessed plants. Finally Gucci was so entangled that he couldn't move an inch.
The Shaman walked slowly up to Gucci. He looked closely at the officer.
"How's your soul minion? I hope that your lord will be severely disappointed with you. I hope you suffer. You and your kind have brought so much death. Now it is your turn. I'm going to teach you a lesson in repentance. Until you appease the Gods then your sins shall hold your soul in a rusty cage of pain. It is time for your redemption." The Shaman waved his hand in front of Gucci's face and a choking fit came upon him. The Shaman chanted a mantra as Gucci choked. Mat could feel his heart slowing. Visions of monsters blurred on and off in front of him. His eyes bulged, his skin turned a pale blue and finally with a terrible sense of dread, darkness took him. The Shaman finished chanting and pushed the stiff officer over. It was time to leave him in the place that no one would touch him. With that the Shaman started the process of dragging the man back to the forbidden garden.
This police investigation was going to be quite the hindrance for Dahlia. She needed to use Wolf's consecrated chapel if this was going to work. She would have to make an emergency call to withdraw the gatekeepers from their posts. Paradise would have to wait a while longer. She was not sure how she was going to call the children back though. Maybe it would be wise to call DeSalvo once they were settled in the new accommodation.
The policeman in the passenger seat turned round to face Dahlia. "We have orders to take you to Balkan Church, downtown where living quarters are being set up for you there." Dahlia smiled back at the officer and thanked him. Walter stirred in his sleep. She was amazed at how enthusiastic he had been to become a gatekeeper after that bowl of ice cream. She resumed looking out of the window. She could see things moving in the forest as they passed.
Walter slept soundly, dreaming of his past and what the future could hold. He walked down the warm, cream plaster corridor of his home. He passed a door that read "301". So nearly there. He could feel the warmth of his mothers love reaching out to him. He stopped and looked up at the tarnished gold numbers, nailed into the cracked white, wooden door.
"Come in Walter."
Walter smiled. He was home.
The door opened slowly and little Walter shielded his eyes as a glaring light met him. He was paralysed. Not with fear though. He would never feel fear in his own home. This was a new type of power. He looked at his feet; they were stuck to the floorboards. A shadow fell across the doorway. Walter looked up to see Red.
"Help me Red. I want my Mommy. I want to see her so bad."
The monster tilted his head as if he looked down at the child. "Don't worry Walter. I'll help you. Here take this." He handed the child a spoon.
Walter looked puzzled. "What does this do? Is it magic?"
An amused voice came from under the massive red helmet. "You could say that. Look into its reflection and you'll be fine."
Walter did so and everything was as Red said it would be.
The child eagerly entered the room backwards. He made his way towards the bedroom. A golden light came from there to fill the hallway. Walter stopped. Something was wrong. He heard crying. Walter cried out, his voice carrying a worried edge to it, "Mom? Is that you?"
A harsh plea came from the bedroom, "Help me Walter. Please."
Walter ran to the bedroom door. He stretched to reach the brassy knob and turned. He was nearly blinded by the harsh golden light again. 'Stupid. Forgot the spoon.' He started to cry when he saw his birthplace in the spoon.
In the middle of the room there was a golden angel, with the most beautiful and loving face that Walter had ever seen. "Mom." He yelled.
When she saw him golden tears dripped onto the wooden floorboards. "Oh Walter, my child. It is you. Wait. You are young…too young. You cannot help me yet."
Walter looked around with the spoon and saw what it was that she needed help with. She was bound with chains and heavy locks to a cross with a strange, scary man on it. Bright candles surrounded her, with a medallion resting at the bottom of each one. It looked like the chains were eating into her skin. They were held in place by a large group of people. Walter used his left hand to help him count. "nineteen, twenty, twenty one."
The angel spoke again. "You be a good boy and listen to Red. Come back and help me when you are older. Red will teach you how to free me later. Bye bye baby." With that the door slammed to his back.
Red met him outside room 302. "Come on Walter. Its time to go." The sound of static echoed through the corridor. Walter opened his eyes to find himself in a church. Dahlia looked over at him.
Walter nodded with a big grin on his face.
Ed Carmichael cursed under his breath about the radio. 'Why does this damn thing never work when you need it the most. There was a massive trail of dust left behind as he exited the lane to Wish House for what he hoped was the last time. He sighed and tried the raidio again as he sped towards the town centre.
"Hello this is car 33. You read me control?"
"Loud and clear Ed what's your status over?"
Ed's voice sounded panicked and slightly hoarse as he had wretched all he could. "Officers down. Repeat officers down. Request that a perimeter be set up around the area of Wish House. I'm bringing the dead back to Seals. You can tell him that the bodies wouldn't remain in tact if I left them for the crime scene folks. They will have to come to their own conclusions. If anyone is going into the garden tell them to bring a breather or something. Theres some sort of hallucinogen in the air. Extreme caution is advised. Over."
"What? Thats insane. Who is it Ed? Its not Magee is it? I heard some crazy talk from Cartland on his way out."
Ed sighed. "It's a lot worse than that. An unknown minor, McCaw, Magee, Gucci and Magee's dog are all dead."
The officer in control put her hand to her face and whispered a soft "Christ."
Ed put the receiver to his mouth again. "We have a sociopath on our hands. The things that scumbag did to them." His voice trailed away as a traumatic memory of going back and discovering them played over in his mind.
"I want all officers armed with shotguns at the very least. The way this psycho is pumped with adrenaline at the minute the Berettas will only make him angry unless someone gets off a lucky shot. I want no chances taken with this one. We are operating on shoot to kill policy now and I want him taken down with the first shot. I do not want to lose another person out of this. Tell Seals that he has a busy night ahead of him. I want to see the reports as soon as he is finished. Over."
"Roger. See you back at the station."
"Roger that control, over and out."
Later at the SHPD the dim light of a study lamp shone over Ed Carmichael as he pored over the first report to hit his desk. Seals was amazed that a police operation to find one man could go so badly. Ed admitted that he didn't know either but he was sure as hell going to find out. Looking at the first report he was surprised at the cause of death to say the least.
"Officer Gucci unlikely to be murdered. Died of natural causes. However medical records show that Officer Gucci had no prior symptoms of heart disease. There was a slight trace of an unknown species of pollen found in his lungs and nasal passages. In conclusion it is my professional opinion that Officer Gucci died of a massive heart attack possibly caused by and certainly quickened by the pollen of said unknown species of flora. More detailed studies will be conducted when a sample of the plant is collected."
Ed leaned back in his chair and sighed with exhaustion and frustration. He rubbed his tired eyes. Tonight was definitely going to be a long one.
In the ministers room of Balkan Church Dahlia Gillespie hunched over the ministers desk, cradling the phone close to her ear, afraid of any listeners. "Hello? DeSalvo? We have a problem. I need you to create a rather large diversion. Paradise is so close, we can't afford to be held back now. I think it's time that we used some of the young disciples."