Sunday, June 5, 2011

Silent Hill 2 - Chapter 5


Silent Hill 2 : The Official Novel

By Sadamu Yamashita
Translated by
Emily "Lady Ducky" Fitch

Chapter Five -To the Deepest depths- 



Just as the letter had promised, a key was buried at the feet of a saint in Rosewater Park.  James clutched the old bronze key in his hand as he traveled west down Nathan Avenue to the Silent Hill Historical Society.  Where Laura was no longer mattered, now that he had this new clue.  If the letter was to be believed, with this key he would be able to solve the mysteries that haunted this bizarre town, as well as uncover the truth regarding Mary.

Just holding the key poured new energy into James’s body and mind; he was even able to walk without being bothered by the numbness in his legs.  On occasion, a monster would stumble out of the fog and block his path, but they were becoming nothing more than an annoying nuisance.  It was only the same armless creatures and mannequins that he had seen and fought so many times before.  James didn’t even consider them to be real threats anymore.  Still, as always, the sight of their twisted and deformed bodies brought the old, familiar feeling of disgust.  Every time he beat them to the ground and bashed them with the steel pipe until they finally stopped moving, it made his mind clearer and more focused.  He even felt a spark of what could only be described as sadistic pleasure.

Finally, James arrived at the small museum.  Stepping past the reception desk in the narrow lobby, he stepped into a display room with walls lined with paintings and photos.  Most of them were landscape paintings or aged pictures of Silent Hill from the past.  Only one picture seemed out of place.


[Misty day, remains of the Judgment]

It depicted a giant man, drawn into a scene littered with shadows of people skewered on spears.

“It’s him...” James whispered.  Though the figure was portrayed as a shadow against an ashen gray sky, its distinctive silhouette was unmistakable.  It was the red pyramid monster.  How could he explain something like this being here...?  Other paintings were accompanied by descriptions printed underneath them, but this one had nothing but its title.  Not wanting to think about it much, James moved on to the next room.

There were dozens of photos in faded black, white, and sepia tones, all of them wordlessly telling the history of Silent Hill.  As he browsed through the images, James was drawn to a photo of a very familiar building.  It looked a bit different from its current form, but it was clearly recognizable as Brookhaven Hospital.  He read the caption.

This hospital was built in response to a great plague that followed a wave of immigration to this area.  
It was originally little more than a shack, but it gradually grew and grew.

Next to it hung a picture of the former hospital director.  Furthermore, there were several enigmatic photos depicting nothing but a deep hole.  He wondered if they were related to the hospital somehow, but it was impossible to tell as the pictures had no written descriptions.  Walking deeper into the museum, James met with another striking image.

[Death by Skewering]

An execution at the prison.
Death by skewering or strangling.
To choose this death is the
prisoner's last taste of freedom.

Hanging next to it was a photo entitled:

[Toluca Prison Camp]

Built during the Civil War.
Later became Toluca Prison.

Going by these descriptions of past events, that prison must have been a site of extreme cruelty.  James had never heard of anything like “death by skewering” being carried out in colonial times.  And if a prisoner had the freedom to choose their fate, why would they ever choose that?  What would push them to choose to die in such a brutal fashion?  The stories these images told was chilling, and was beginning to give the display room an eerie atmosphere.

Eventually, as would be expected in such a small building, James came to a dead end.  However, he was puzzled by what he found in the middle of the furthest room.  At least now there was an explanation for those photographs of holes.

“What the hell is this...?”  Looking into the square opening in the floor, he found nothing but a gaping abyss.  Gazing into the bottomless darkness, a thought drifted through James’s mind: the blackness hiding inside this pit...is like me.  It might even by my destiny...  It certainly is possible that I’m just holding onto a fantasy world, and surely a person that crazy is capable of believing that there’s nothing wrong with himself at all.

Any normal person could guess that, but it wasn’t a guarantee.  Just like how sometimes you realize that you’re dreaming while you’re still asleep, maybe a madman could see through a delusion while still trapped inside it.  The letter from the house on Lindsey Street was proof.

That letter was clearly addressed to me.  Could it be a message from a psychiatrist?  Maybe the whispers of doctors trying to cure a deranged patient appeared in the form of that letter.  The patient records in the office, the diary pages scattered on the roof, if they really are related to me, what if they were the doctors’ attempts to guide me?

It brought to mind the words scribbled on the map from the hospital director’s office.

He who fears being watched from the abyss
will be unable to look into it himself.
The truth can only be obtained by pressing forward.


James stared again into the hole.

I’ll do it.  No matter how deep it is, if this is the darkness of the heart...I should see what’s waiting at the bottom...

With these grim but determined thoughts, James threw himself into the pit.

-2-

James was surrounded by a circular brick wall, a pool of shallow water at his feet.  It was a well.  A rather anticlimactic place to land considering his grand, poetic talk of  “‘the darkness of the heart."  And now, assuming this was in fact a real well and not another illusion, he was trapped with no way to climb back up. 

Why the hell did I ever think of doing something this stupid!?  But, wait...  After jumping down a well this deep, how did I manage to walk away without so much as a bruise?  Even now, my legs still feel weak, so how did I manage to land on my feet...?

James searched around the well, tapping the stone walls with the steel pipe.  If he could find a passage of some sort, surely it must lead to an exit.  At one spot there was a different, much lighter sound.  Bashing the spot with the pipe caused bricks to crumble and open a gaping hole into a dark path.  It was a waterway, or perhaps a sewer drain.  James ventured into the passage, his footsteps splashing through the shallow water as he walked.

A low roar echoed through the path, mingling with the trickling sound of flowing water.  It sounds like…one of those armless things.  James readied his steel pipe and prepared for a confrontation with the monster hiding around a bend in the canal.  As soon as he met his opponent, he struck the first blow directly to its head, sending it tumbling backwards to the ground.  The blood from the creature’s wound spread though the water, dying it red.  Not that this was a problem; the water was filthy to begin with, and a little more couldn’t possibly make it worse.

Before James could finish it off, the injured creature fled, padding its way through the water as skillfully as a frog.  He knew that by letting it live, it would only come back to attack him again later, but James chose not to pursue the monster.  With the passage flooded with water, he’d have little chance of catching it anyway.  It’d be too dangerous to even try.

Before long, James reached the end of the canal.  A dry path extended into a small room, empty except for a door in the ground.  It was a normal door, with a regular knob, only the placement was a bit odd.  James had to tilt his head at the peculiar sight.  It must lead to a basement.  He grabbed the door to pull it open and…

Yet another pitch dark space, so deep that the light of his flashlight couldn’t reach the bottom.  A wry smile spread across James’s face.  I suppose the darkness of the heart is hidden by many layers…

He jumped in without hesitation.

The drop felt longer the second time.  Could it be…that I’m already dead?  James was doubtful.  How could I survive those falls without injury unless I was a ghost?  But…while this place is far from heaven, it’s not enough to be considered hell.

Several tables and chairs were neatly lined up in the room, the old wooden furniture covered in thick layers of dust.  This was certainly no well.  The place looked to be set up for feeding many people like a cafeteria.  The flashlight beam fell onto a human figure sitting in a chair with his upper body slouched over the table, and his face lying in a pool of blood.  He had been shot through the head with a gun.  This doesn’t look like the work of a monster…but who else is down here other than me?

“Killin’ a person’s so easy…  You just stick the gun to their head and, pow!  Only takes one shot…” said a man crouching on the floor near the corpse as he raised his head to look into the shining light.  He had a revolver pressed against his temple in a joking illustration of his own words.  It was Eddie.

“You…  Did you kill him?” James asked nervously.

Eddie’s expression stiffened, and he shook his head, the gun still in his hand.  “It wasn’t my fault!  He made me do it…”

“Please, calm down Eddie.  No one’s blaming you.  Just tell me what happened,” James said calmly, aware of the cold sweat beginning to form on his forehead.  He has a gun.  I have an pipe.  If he decided to point that thing at me…well, there’s no way I could stop him.  So let’s not piss off the guy with the gun…

“That guy…  He had it coming!  I was mindin’ my own business, and he just came at me!  Besides, he was making fun of me with his eyes!  Just like that other one...”

“I see.”  James gave an approving nod.  “But, Eddie, don’t you think killing him was a bit much?”

“It’s a perfectly good reason!”  Eddie launched into a flurry of shouting, trying to block out James’s words.  “And why the hell not!?  Up until now, I let everyone walk all over me, even him and his stupid dog!  They all had it coming!”  He was enraged beyond consolation, spewing angry words, his gaze full of hatred.  James could only stand in silence, afraid of provoking him further.

Suddenly, Eddie’s expression softened again, turning into something more like a childish grin.  “Just kidding James.  Did I scare ya?  No, that guy was dead from the start…”  He turned his back to James, and took a step towards the exit.  “Anyway…I’m going now.  See ya.”

James didn’t stop him.  It wasn’t every day he was all but held at gunpoint like this, and honestly, he was relieved to see Eddie go.

It was then that a particularly absurd thought came to mind: What if Eddie's just another representation of my own madness?  Another me…or another personality?  In other words, he might be a bundle of hatred and rage that could lead to suicide or self-injury in the real world…  As crazy as the idea was, he had come to the point where he could no longer deny the possibility.

Leaning out of the cafeteria exit, James checked to see if the coast was clear.  Shining the flashlight down both ends of the darkened corridor, he found nothing.  At least Eddie hadn’t decided to wait out here to ambush him.  However, ominous voices drifted through the hall—a sure sign that monsters were lurking about.

Where am I?  Stepping through the door, James found himself in a dirty, decaying corridor.  A row or tightly-packed, rusted metal bars lined one of the walls.  The space behind the bars was divided into small rooms...or rather, jail cells.  It was a prison.  James frowned.  If he was really meant to be here, why would he end up in a place like this?  Could it be because he followed through the same door as the murderous personality Eddie?

The photos of “Toluca Prison” that hung on the walls of the Historical Society resurfaced in his mind.  Could those images have inspired reality to take this shape?  Either way, how did he even end up here?  Considering the path he’d followed from the museum, he should be far below the lake by now.

Several of the cells contained monsters who moaned as they restlessly beat against the metal bars.  James averted his eyes.  Though he was happy to see the repulsive creatures locked up and out of his way, seeing them like this invoked a tiniest shred of pity.  That unpleasant little shred grew until he was no longer able to look at them.  However, he wasn’t exactly eager to let them out of their cells.

He continued past the cells and down the hallway until he reached another, longer corridor.  In the middle of the passage were two doors directly facing each other.  One led to a place that looked to be a shower room, while the other opened into a large, hall-like space.  The space was empty, save for one towering structure that sat in the middle.  James took a closer look.  It was a gallows.  A segment of rope tied into a loop hung from the very top, dangling almost like an invitation.

Suddenly, James was clutched by dizziness as an apparition appeared before him.  Hands tied tightly behind his back, he was standing atop the wooden platform... The jailors, acting in place of a judge, were reading aloud a list of charges.  All of the accusations were directed at James.

“You are lying to yourself by fleeing from the truth.  Because of this, your sentence is to be put to death!”  At those words, the executioner appeared, a giant man wearing a rust-caked, triangular metal helmet.  Grabbing the noose, he quickly pulled it around James’s neck...

James staggered backwards, waving his arms in front of his face as if to drive away the morbid illusion.  Terrifying as the idea was of being executed in a place like this, he was far more disturbed by the realization that as he had stood there with the rope around his neck, something that felt like relief began to settle over him.  As if somehow, he were wishing for his own destruction.

“Help me...” escaped from his lips in a choked whisper.  “Somebody please...help me....”  He called out to the supposed psychiatrist hiding in the safety of the real world.  He called out to anyone who would listen.

If you’re really there, looking into the face of your deranged patient, and if I’m really there, too, then please help me.  Use medication or whatever you want, I don’t care how rough it is.  Just...please cure me of this insanity.  I don’t want to see these things anymore.  I want out of this nightmare!

Holding back this torrent of words was like trying desperately not to be sick.  James ran blindly through the heavy darkness, out of the large room, through the hallway, past countless doors, wandering aimlessly and seeking any source of salvation.  Before long he found himself in a small standby room for the prison guards.  At the heart of the space was a well-stocked armory.  While this wasn’t exactly the kind of salvation he was looking for, this place was the ideal shelter for a weak heart.

James picked up a hunting rifle and extra ammunition, holding the cold barrel against his cheek.  It was more than a weapon, but a symbol of order and control that offered comfort.  It helped to ease the terror.  James sat in the armory, clutching the rifle like a child holding a blanket, with no intention of going back outside.  The idea of staying holed up here, in a safe place surrounded by munitions, was far too reassuring to let go of, yet he knew it wouldn’t solve any of his problems.

Maria was dead.  He couldn’t do anything to save her.  Now he was hiding like a coward when he should be out looking for Mary.  Nevertheless, he still wanted to stay shut up in this room.  If only for a little while longer...

As if looking for a means of escape, James began to read a magazine that lay open on top of a desk, justifying it with the excuse that it might contain some momentously important message for him.  It was a small magazine—most likely a small, local publication.

[Located in the center of Silent Hill is the town’s major tourist attraction, Toluca Lake.  However, this beautiful, clear lake has another side as well.  Though it may sound like the silly folktales or ghost stories that are all too commonly found circulating through old towns like these, this legend is actually true.

On a foggy November day in 1918, the Little Baroness, a ship filled with tourists, failed to return to port.  A couple hours later, after the fog had cleared, no sign of the ship was anywhere to be found.  In fact, the fog that day was so thick that the ship couldn’t even be seen as it set off from shore.  Because of this, it’s impossible to know what became of the vessel, or how it went missing.

An article written by a newspaper reporter at the time simply says, “It probably sunk for some reason.”  Despite frantic search efforts by the police, not a single piece of the ship was ever recovered.  Likewise, the bodies of the crew and the 14 passengers, let alone any survivors, have never been found.  While it’s certainly not an impossible story, without evidence it’s difficult to determine whether or not it’s really true.

In 1938, an even stranger incident occurred.  Unlike the Little Baroness, this ship was found.  Or rather, only the ship was found.  Not a single soul was found on board.  With the vessel completely undamaged, there was no reason for anyone to have jumped overboard.  Much like the Mary Celeste in 1872 and the Carroll Deering in 1921, the passengers vanished as if they were never there.  At the time, the prevailing theory was that a mass suicide had been carried out, but this seems highly unlikely considering it was nothing more than a tourist boat.

More recently, another unexplainable event happened only six years ago.  In order to verify the truth of the legend surrounding the lake, in an act that was in actuality nothing more than a dare, two students went missing after venturing out onto the lake in a small boat.  We’ve had the good fortune to have met with a young man who is familiar with this incident, being a classmate of the missing high school students.  He claims to have been present on the morning the two set off.  However, he believes that the boat was capsized.

“Either way, that lake really creeps me out."  He shared with us one of the ghost stories he’d heard about the lake.  “People say that if you try to go out on Toluca Lake at midnight, your engine will die and you’ll be stranded until morning.”

Truly, many corpses rest at the bottom of this lake.  Their bony hands reach up towards the boats that pass overhead, perhaps reaching for their comrades.  It gives a whole new meaning to the townspeople’s invitation to tourists to “Come and visit our beautiful lake.”

“I personally don’t believe in any of it, but...I know that there has to be evidence of some kind that’s yet to be discovered...”]

James closed the magazine.  It was just an article from one of those third-rate paranormal gossip publications—the kind that are always going on about UFOs, Bigfoot, the Bermuda triangle, and all kinds of conspiracy theories.  What a bunch of nonsense.  But still...it made James wonder.

I really don’t think this is a message from a doctor.  So does that mean the contents of this article are just another hallucination?  Or did events like these really happen in Silent Hill?  Anyone with an ounce of common sense would think these stories to be impossible.  Boats disappearing from the lake, getting a letter from someone who’s supposed to be dead...  But if these impossible things turn out to be true...

James exited the room, filled with new determination.  Doubting his own sanity like that was depressing, but necessary.  He had no choice but to gamble on that possibility.

In the hallway, almost directly in front of the waiting room, was a hole covered by a heavy iron lid.  Another hole that, of course, he’d have to jump into in order to proceed.  First one hole, then another, then another, and then yet another...  How amusing.  James smiled.  Whether this is a product of my delusions or the hidden secrets of Silent Hill, I guess I’ve got no choice but to see it though till the end...

-3-

It seemed the deeper James descended into the prison, the more decayed and ruined the surroundings became.  Here, the grimy walls were stained in various dark, reddish shades, and the floor was littered with broken glass and other debris.  The small space looked like it had been thoroughly destroyed.  On the far wall was an elevator, its door sitting wide open.  So this place goes deeper still...  He didn’t expect something this far underground in the ruins of an old prison to still be working, but it was worth trying.

Once aboard, James pressed a button, and the doors, which turned out to be metal bars rather than standard elevator doors, slid closed.  The elevator began to descend.  Looking through the bars as the elevator seemed to endlessly fall, he saw a bare stone wall pass by, like the shaft was carved out of bedrock.

He finally arrived at a passageway that looked more like the inside of a building.  Compared to previous floors, this place was in good shape.  Even the plaster that clung to the walls was intact rather than scattered across the floor in ripped-up pieces.  Along the way, the passage branched off into many other directions, each leading to a dead end with stairs leading further down.  It was starting to look like a maze.  A maze of the mind?  Or a maze to bewilder the one who would try to uncover the mysteries of Silent Hill?

James took a careful look down one of the staircases, climbing all the way to the floor below.  As he stepped into the hallway, he heard the distinctive sound of metal rattling underfoot, and the solid floor turned into a wire mesh.  More troubling were the sounds of the creatures moving underneath the wire.  They were the same monsters who attacked him from under the floor in the tunnel on Saul Street.  Instinctively, James turned to retreat back up the stairs.  He recalled how those things had given him hell when he tried running through the tunnel.  Even now, his feet were still sore after that dangerous encounter.

Something was approaching from the depths of the murky passage.  Something with footsteps heavy enough to make a violent clash as it walked over the chain-link floor.  Against his better judgment, James turned to see the grim, giant figure emerge into the light.  It was the red pyramid monster.  There was no sound of a knife being dragged across the floor.  Instead, the creature wielded a long, thick spear.  It was exactly like the painting back in the historical society...

James was trembling with fear.  The mere thought of being impaled by that spear filled him with a sweet terror, stronger even than the feelings that still haunted him of hatred and vengeance for Maria’s death.  Turning around, he dashed back up the stairs and into the hallway, sprinting as fast as his feet could carry him until he reached another set of stairs.  The intense dread of the perusing monster was like a torch held to his back, only encouraging him to run faster.  James had no idea how far he continued through the labyrinth.  He just had to escape, no matter where this path took him.  Whether that destination was heaven or hell was something only God knew.

James advanced blindly though the maze.  Any monsters foolish enough to stand in his way were blown away with a rifle shot.  Before long, the red pyramid monster seemed to have fallen behind, but he didn’t stop running.  Running down stairs, more stairs, and even longer stairs until he found himself in an unexpected place.  It was a room, separated in half by iron bars.  On the other side of the bars was a cell.  And in that cell, sat a woman.

“Maria!” James could hardly believe his eyes.  She was killed by the pyramid monster in the hospital.  He saw it.  So how could she be sitting in front of him now?  “Maria, you really are alive!  Aren’t you injured?  Are you alright?”

“I’m quite alright, thank you,” Maria shrugged.  “Of course, now I’m stuck in here.  But fortunately, I wasn’t hurt.”

“I’m so glad you’re okay.  When you couldn’t make it to the elevator I...I thought for sure you were dead.”

“Elevator?  What are you talking about?”  Maria tilted her head, a puzzled expression on her face.

James was just as confused as she was.  “It wasn’t even that long ago.  Don’t you remember?”

Maria sighed.  “James, honey, did something happen to you after we got separated in that long tunnel...?  Perhaps you’re mistaking me for someone else?  You always were so forgetful.  I wonder if you remember that time at the hotel...”

Separated?  Always were?  “Maria, what are you saying?”

“You were sure you packed everything, but you forgot that videotape.  I wonder if it’s still there...?”

“How do you know about that?  That’s...”  James was bewildered.  Those were memories that belonged only to him and Mary...  Surely this was more than just a woman’s intuition at work here.

“I’m not your Mary.”

“Right.  You’re Maria...aren’t you?”

“I can be whatever you want me to be.  Either way, I’m me.  I’m alive.  I’m real.  See?” Maria’s pale arms reached from between the bars and caressed James’s cheek.  Her fingertips were soft, warm, smooth, and like smoke.  James was transfixed.  “Hey, come and get me.  I can’t do anything through these bars, much less talk any sense into you.”

“I’ll be right there.  Just stay where you are.”  As much as he didn’t want to leave her for even a second, James tore himself away, assuring her again and again that he would come back for her.  He left Maria behind and returned to the stairs.  There was another entrance to Maria’s cell, but he had no clue how to get to it in this maze.  Either way, he’d have to find his way around this place sooner or later.  As for breaking down the door and freeing Maria...  He’d figure that out when he got there.

---


150 dollars.



For 150 dollars a week, I work at my tiresome job, in a place that reeks of sizzling, burning meat.  It is a stench as disgusting and bestial as the lust of men.  With their broad grins and vulgar laughter, they stare at the waitress’ uniform skirts, their gazes coiling around their legs as if to taste them.  The shameless hands of the male customers—no matter how many times I smack them away, they still persist—grabbing at me, stroking the curve of my hips.  Before I know it, they’ve changed into the hands of my father and brother...



It’s depressing.



It makes me so miserable.



How many times have I held a knife to my wrists, but hesitated?  Stood at the edge of a rooftop, but couldn’t jump?  Swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills, only to force them back up again?  It’s like buying a mountain of candy and forcing myself to devour it all, eating to spit it back out, and spitting it out to eat more.  This endless cycle of binging and purging could go on for days.



Going outside is so troublesome.  Some days I just crawl into bed and never come out.  It’s so hard to sleep at night that I’m constantly haunted by drowsiness.  Nevertheless, I lie completely still in the uneasy silence, wary of the sound of footsteps approaching the door.  Tonight, as I await the abuse I receive every night, my anxiety grows until it turns into crushing despair.  I can’t endure this kind of panic.



I’m too afraid to look in the mirror, too afraid to face that ugly thing that doesn’t look like me anymore.  I can’t do anything.  I don’t care about anything.  I only spend my days trembling and dreading the arrival of the night.  Every day is that empty.



Eventually, memories started going missing, swept away by the vacant flow of time...but, there is one thing I’ve learned.  While wandering through an unknown town, I discovered that there’s someone else living inside me.  A person neither man nor woman, who is healthy and energetic, and yet longs for death.  I don’t know the boundaries anymore.  Is that person me?  Am I that person?  Who was I to begin with?



I want to die.



I want to die.



That is my one and only wish.  But it’s a wish that's proven difficult to obtain.  I want to die, and yet I’m forced to keep living.  I don’t want to see anyone.  Men, women, anyone.  Those people who are always meddling with their unwanted kind words.



“Keep at it!”



“You can do it!”



“We’d all miss you so much if you weren’t here anymore.”



It’s like touching an open wound.  I just can’t stomach that friendly, but completely insincere, attitude everyone seems to have.  I want to die!  Nothing you can say will ever change my mind!  For all your consolation, it’s not like any of you would willingly take my place.  Such irresponsible people, none of you understand me....  Not even Mama...



Even the doctor from that far away hospital doesn’t understand me.  After everything I tried to tell him during the examination, all he did was prescribe more drugs.  The side effects were torturous and soon it became too much.  I knew that if I got any worse, it’d have to be admitted.  What did you want me to do?



It’s impossible.  Everything’s impossible.  Even back then, I knew none of them could save me.  I knew that eventually, I’d be left with no choice.  And now I know that there’s only one thing I can do.  At least that much is still possible.



Trying to kill myself, but always meeting with failure...it’s all...because of them.  I can never forget what my father and brother have done.

“Stop it!  Stop looking at me with your filthy eyes...  Don’t touch me!  No!”

Angela sat up, pulled from her restless sleep by her own screams.  She anxiously looked around the room.  This place strangely resembled a room from her childhood home, but she was disgusted to find that the walls and floor seemed to be made out of raw meat, dripping with fresh blood.  In several places there were holes in the flesh-like walls where something cylindrical was continuously coming in and out.  The entire area was filled with a raw, unpleasant smell.  Suddenly, she could sense someone creeping closer.  Crawling across the floor, panting with wild excitement, an unclothed figure approached her bed...

-4-

A sharp sound tore through the darkness as something flew past James’s face, grazing his cheek in the process.  Startled, James fell backwards into the shallow water only to see a spear protruding mere inches from where he had been standing.  Even in this filthy place that reeked like a sewage ditch, that monster still relentlessly followed him.  The red pyramid.  From his place on the ground, James fired at the creature with his rifle.  With a power incomparable to that of the handgun, he buried bullet after bullet into the monster’s thick chest until it too fell into the water.   However, it was hardly a fatal injury.  Acting as if the bullet wounds were mere scratches, the pyramid monster began slowly dragging itself back to its feet.

“Damn it!”  He didn’t have time to deal with this monster right now.  Maria was waiting for him.  He retreated further into the maze, kicking up water as he frantically ran.  Jumping onto a ladder that caught his eye, he climbed until he reached the passage at the top.  Looking around, he realized he was at the spot where he started from.  At least this was a little bit of good luck.

 “No!  Stop it Daddy, please!”  James heard a shriek echoing through the hall.  The woman’s voice seemed to have come from within a room on the far end of the hallway.  Could it be Maria?

Opening the door, James found himself to be in what appeared to be someone’s home.  The place was staged like a living room.  There was even a television in the corner.  But aside from the television, everything in the bizarre room was wrapped with squirming flesh.  What was a room like this doing far underground?  Before he even had time to think, James became aware of the presence of a monster he’d never encountered before.  Its figure was made up of what appeared to be two entangled human bodies covering the frame of a bed, its arms and legs extending over the sides and acting as bedposts.

With its makeshift legs it slowly crawled across the floor.  Without warning, it rose from its four-legged stance like a bear trying to intimidate an enemy.  The creature howled from its two distorted mouths, giving off a warning cry.  It drew nearer, its festering flesh quivering, attempting to crush James under the weight of its body.  James quickly turned his gun on the monster, firing rapidly with the slide action rifle.  The monster fell to the floor, screeching in agony before it grew still.

Angela was crouching in the corner of the room, staring with a blank, expressionless face.  James was hardly surprised to see her in such a strange place—after all, he’d run into Eddie down here too.  If they really were nothing but products of his delusion, then meeting them anywhere wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.  Or perhaps they were real people just like James.  Pathetic, pitiable people that were trapped, and at the mercy of Silent Hill.

“Are you all right?  You’re not hurt, are you?” James called over to her.


All at once her expression changed from apathy to rage.  She jumped to her feet and began relentlessly kicking the unmoving monster, spurred on by a combination of hatred and sorrow.  Just as she seemed to be growing tired, she grabbed the television, raised it over her head, and hurled it onto the monster’s corpse.

“Angela, calm down!”

“Don’t order me around!” Angela snapped back.

“I’m not trying to order you around.”

“Well then, what do you want?  Oh, I see.  You’re trying to be nice to me, right?  I know what you’re up to.  It’s always the same.  You’re only after one thing!”

“No, it’s not like that...”

You don’t have to lie.  Go ahead and say it.  You could just force me.  Beat me up like he always did.  You don’t care about anyone else anyway, you disgusting pig!”

“Angela...” James took a step closer, placing his hand on her shoulder in an effort to comfort her.  However, he was met with a harsh rejection.

“Don’t touch me!  You make me sick!”  She glared at him, her eyes filled with contempt, and her mouth becoming a frosty smile.  “Hey James, you said your wife died, didn’t you?"

“Yes.  She was ill...”

“Oh really?  Are you sure you just didn’t want her around anymore?  I bet you found someone else,” Angela said as she left the room, scornful laughter accompanying her sharp words.

James silently watched as she slipped into the darkness.  He was as offended as one would expect after hearing someone insult Mary like that.  Still, it seemed like Angela had bad experiences in the past with men.  Even if he offered to protect her, she would only refuse.

-5-

After Angela departed, James did the same, eager to hurry to Maria.  Fortunately, the hallway he entered into was hardly confusing enough to be considered a maze.  He checked every door along the way, looking in the rooms for anything that might lead him to Maria’s cell.  One room appeared to be a morgue, as it held a sizable collection of executed bodies.  This prison used to be a POW camp, but though it continued to be in use, the conditions hadn’t improved at all.

Continuing onward through a long, narrow hallway, James came upon a metal door.  Considering the apparent need for security, this door must lead to a cell.  He peeked into the little room from a small window.

“Maria!” James tapped the door gleefully.  Maybe I can break the lock with my rifle...  Such worries became useless as the door turned out to be unlocked.  He swung the door open, half expecting a rain of grateful kisses from Maria who’d been trapped in here for so long.  But he received no such warm welcome.

“Maria?”  Stepping into the cell, James looked around and a troubled frown came to his face.  Something wasn’t right.  A faint odor hung over the room.  Was it...blood?  Maria was lying on a small bed, her blouse and the mattress both soaked in red.  The stain spread across her chest, proof that she had vomited a large amount of blood.

“What the...”  James hurried to Maria, kneeling beside her bed.

“Maria!  Maria!”  Even as he lightly shook her, desperate for any kind of response, it was clear that she was already dead.

“I...I don’t understand...  How could this have happened...?”  Once again, Maria was lost, only this time she was truly dead.  Grief hit James like a knife to the heart.

“...Mary.”  The sight of Maria’s familiar, but lifeless face brought the name of his dead wife to his lips.  It was just like before.  When Mary died I...I...

Oppressive memories swirled in his mind.  Chaotic, vague, dark memories...

Slowly, James rose to his feet, feeling like little more than the empty husk of a soul.  He gazed vacantly over Maria’s lifeless body.  On closer inspection, he noticed a hole in her chest that looked to be a gunshot wound.  This was no accidental death, and she certainly didn’t die of illness...  But then, who killed Maria?  Who would have a reason to shoot her to death?

It didn’t take long to reach a conclusion.  In fact, it hardly took any thought at all.  Besides James, there were only two people wandering through the labyrinth of the old prison: Angela and Eddie.  Eddie was the only one with a gun.  But was it him?  Could he really have done this?  “Killin’ a person’s so easy…”  Eddie had said it himself, and with that creepy smile on his face too.  “You just stick the gun to their head and, pow!”  Who other than a sick-minded murder would say such a thing?  Didn’t he also say something before about being chased by the police?

James left the cell to search for Eddie.  He wasn’t consciously aware of any desire to avenge Maria’s death, nor did he harbor any hatred towards Eddie.  He just wanted to know why.  Why did he kill Maria?  Why did the image of Eddie overlap with himself in his mind?

“Where am I?”  The hallway let out into a large, open space.  The ground underfoot felt like firm soil, but it was unlikely that he had exited the maze to end up outdoors.  By shining around the halo of light from his flashlight, he confirmed the presence of four walls enclosing the space.  The only other thing the light could find was a large cluster of stones that rose from the earth.  They were all gravestones.  The place that awaited him at the end of the twisting labyrinth was a cemetery.  Civil War captives, executed prisoners, and countless other people must have been buried in this place.  One grave bore a familiar name: “Walter Sullivan," the name that came up in the old newspaper article from the Woodside Apartments’ dumpster.  James was strangely attracted to it, but for some reason, it made him feel as if someone was groping around inside his head...

As he thought these strange things, James looked around at more of the names carved in stone.  He nearly froze in shock when he came across two more familiar names: “Eddie Dombrowski” and “Angela Orosco."  At this point, someone still could claim that this was a coincidence.  However, there was one more name: “James Sunderland."  The three gravestones were accompanied by the gaping holes of three open graves.  They sat silently like the mouths of hungry beasts waiting to swallow up the dead...  Eddie, Angela, and James.

Maybe this was Eddie’s idea of a joke?  Surely someone as disturbed as he was would find something morbid like this to be funny.  Maybe this was proof of his intentions to kill everyone including himself.  Or maybe, he was just having fun harassing everyone.  But if either of those ideas were true, why didn’t he make up a grave for Maria?  Didn’t he kill her?

James’s grave appeared to be different from the other two.  When he shined a light into it, he could see that his hole was quite a bit deeper than the others.  Did it lead to another location?  Perhaps it led only to the land of the dead...  James stepped into his own grave.
 
The path from the grave led not to another maze, but rather to a straight corridor.  Soon James came to a heavy iron door.  The second he stepped through the door, his body was enveloped by a sudden chill that turned his breath white.  The room was a freezer, illuminated with pale fluorescent lights.  James had found the person he was looking for.

“Eddie...what are you doing here?” James called out, holding his rifle casually, but ready to use it at a moment’s notice.

“What does it look like?”  Eddie grinned.  “He was always giving me shit.  ‘You fat, disgusting piece of shit!  You make me sick.’  ‘Don’t you dare show your ugly face around here!’”  The look on Eddie's face turned into a dark, twisted smile.

“Maybe he was right.  Maybe I am nothing but a fat, disgusting piece of shit.  But you know what?  It doesn’t matter if you're smart, good at sports, pretty or ugly.  It’s all the same once you’re dead.  From now on, if anyone makes fun of me…I’ll kill them.  At least a corpse is more useless than I am...”  He was acting even nuttier than he'd been before in the cafeteria.

“Yeah, Eddie.  Whatever you say.”  James nodded compliantly, trying not to anger him.  However, this only served to provoke Eddie further.

“I knew it.  You, too…  You're just like ‘em, James.”

“Eddie, I didn’t mean anything…”

“Don’t bother.  I understand.  You’ve been laughing at me all along, haven’t you?  Ever since we first met.  I’ll kill you James!”

Before Eddie could pull the trigger, James fired his rifle, purposely missing.  His threat proved successful, and Eddie turned to flee into an adjacent room.  However, James didn’t immediately follow him.  He was curious about what set Eddie off, but the thing James really wanted to know was whether or not he really killed Maria.  Given the situation, he wasn’t likely to get a straight answer to either of those questions, especially since Eddie's rage was now centered on him.

If James walked through those doors, there was no doubt that only one of them would walk out alive.  Crazy or not, Eddie was still a human being.  It wasn't the same as dealing with another monster.  But still, where else did he have to go?  He couldn’t climb up through the hole back into the graveyard.  He could only move forward, and meet his destiny to be reunited with Mary.  Still a bit unsure, but prepared for the worst, he opened the door.

The room Eddie had escaped into was a spacious, refrigerated warehouse.  Many butchered slabs of meat hung throughout the chamber, suspended from the ceiling by frosted hooks. 

Do you know what it does to you, James?”  Eddie's voice came from inside the room.  He was hiding somewhere.

“When you’re hated, picked on, spit on?  Do you have any idea how I feel?  That’s why I ran away after killing the dog.  Ran away like a scared little girl.  Yeah, I killed that dog.  It was fun.  Then he came after me.  I shot him, too.  Right in the leg.  He cried more than the dog!”  A gunshot rang though the warehouse, accompanied by the nearby sound of splattering meat.

Eddie spoke again.  “He’s gonna have a hard time playing football on what’s left of that knee…”

“Cut it out Eddie!” James shouted from his hiding place behind a slab of meat.  “What makes you think you can start killing people just because you feel like it!?”

Don’t get all holy on me, James.  This town called you too.  You and me are the same.  We’re the kind of scum who can’t even face good people!”  Two more shots were fired.

“Now let’s party!” Eddie shouted in a voice filled with vicious glee.  His insane laughter echoed through the warehouse as he began to fire rapidly.  The shots seemed to be random, but they were definitely aimed at James.  Eddie knew where he was hiding.  He truly was trying to kill him.

Damn it, where is he shooting from?  James was trapped by the flying bullets, with only a shield of meat standing between him and certain death.  The slab of meat shook under the shower of bullets until it was ripped from its hook and fell to the floor, leaving James defenseless.

Suddenly, the gunfire ceased.  The room fell eerily silent, save for the creaking sounds of swinging meat.  This was his chance.  His opponent was probably in the middle of reloading.  Not wasting another second, James rushed back towards the entrance of the refrigerated warehouse, planning to retreat into the previous room and block the door somehow.  He didn’t want to stick around long enough to get himself killed, and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to shoot a human as unflinchingly as he would a monster.

“Freeze.”

James stopped in his tracks at the sound of the commanding voice.  While he wasn’t paying attention, Eddie had snuck up on him, and was now standing only a few steps away.

“Ha ha, freeze.  You get it?  Cuz we're in a freezer! Man, that’s funny,” Eddie said between bouts of childish laughter.  “So do you regret making fun of me now?  Are you even sorry?  How about you get on your knees and beg for your life, just like I always did?  Why aren’t you apologizing?  You should be licking the damn floor and begging for mercy!  Aren’t you ashamed?”  Eddie was sobbing now, tears spilling down his smiling face.

“Die.”  He pressed his finger to the trigger.

James counterattacked, reflexively firing his rifle.  If he was going to die anyway, at least he could have this one last act of revenge...

A single shot rang through the frozen warehouse.  Eddie was the one who should have shot first.  However, he collapsed, falling among the droplets of blood that sprayed across the floor.

“Eddie?”  James looked down, too stunned to move.  Did I really...shoot him?

“Damn...that hurts...”  Eddie moaned.  He was alive, but just barely.  “I went and screwed up.  You...win I guess...”

James hurried to his side.  “Just hold on, okay?  I’ll get help, I promise!”

“It’s no good, James.  There’s no saving me.  Would you just...finish me off?  I can’t do it myself.  All out of bullets...”

“You want me to...you mean you really want to die?”

“What’s it matter?  We’re all good as dead anyway.  You saw it, too.  Those graves...  That’s our fate...”

“Is that why you killed Maria?”

“Maria?  Who’s that?  I dunno, but just...kill me already.  Hurry...i-it hurts...”  Eddie’s consciousness was quickly fading, and with it went the pain.

He smiled.  He was finally free.  He didn’t have to run away anymore.  What a shitty life his was.  All he ever wanted was to eat something delicious, or watch something funny on TV.  That’s all.  But no one would ever just leave him alone.

Dirty.  Disgusting.  He didn’t mind that girls wouldn’t give him the time of day.  Fat.  Stupid.  Scum.  It was the constant bullying that he couldn’t stand.  Especially him...that bastard from school.  All through high school he got his kicks by torturing me any chance he got.  Even after graduation, he still wouldn’t leave me alone.  So I...

From out of nowhere, a pack of dogs gathered.  The large dogs, with saliva-covered fangs bared, surrounded Eddie in his dying moments.  The hideous figures ripped at his torn stomach, pulling out his intestines as they snarled ferociously.  They were all the same as the dog he killed back in his hometown.  He had taken up his father’s rifle, shot the man who had caused him so much suffering in the leg, and then killed his pet dog for good measure.  And now, here they were.  As if they had been here in Silent Hill all along, just waiting to ambush him.  One dog became four, still holding a grudge for their unfair death, chasing Eddie wherever he went.  From him they appeared, to tear at his flesh and to rip him to pieces.  Even now, this late in the game...

“You stupid dog...  You come back to bite me now, after all this time...?”  Eddie laughed.  With a carefree grin lingering on his face, he died.

After witnessing Eddie’s last moments, James stood.  He looked down at his hands.  They were covered in blood.  These hands were drenched in the invisible blood of sin...

“I...killed...a human being...”  His body trembled.  His mind froze.

“I killed...”

----------------Notes----------------

This is the first chapter that really sort of deviates from the game a bit by adding extra scenes. Translating the bit from Angela's perspective was depressing. Annnd it only gets worse from here. Here's to hoping I can make it to the end without crying like a little girl TT_TT

Original - Sadamu Yamashita
Characters/story - Konami
Translation - Lady Ducky

You MAY NOT re-post this translation anywhere without my permission and I must be given credit as well as the original author.

4 comments:

  1. You updated! *huge amounts of happy* 8D!

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  2. Yeah! XD

    I promise you won't have to wait as long for chapter 6, I'm working had to get it done!

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  3. Sweet! I am so excited! X3

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  4. Awesome stuff your translations are! Really looking forward to last chapter.

    PD: I'm lucky I found this when Chapter 5 was already released. Otherwise I don't know how I would have managed to wait for each release separately :P

    ReplyDelete