Silent Hill : The Official Novel
By Sadamu Yamashita
Translated by Emily "Lady Ducky" Fitch
By Sadamu Yamashita
Translated by Emily "Lady Ducky" Fitch
Chapter One -Fog- (Part 1)
Harry Mason walked into the fog.
His footsteps were unsteady as he was still feeling the shock of the accident. His Jeep had broken through a guardrail and was now lying at the bottom of a ravine. Harry recalled the shadow that had dashed out into the road. Just as he was about to plow through the small, child-like figure, he completely lost control of the wheel, like the vehicle was an iron horse that refused to follow the driver’ reigns. Tires screeching, the jeep had collided with the guardrail as if it was moving on its own accord.
It was hard to remember anything else after that. By the time he had come to his senses, the engine was stalling and the Jeep wouldn’t budge.
“Cheryl!” Harry called out through the vision-obscuring mist. His daughter had disappeared from the car. It was unlikely that she had thrown out by the impact of the crash as the passenger door was left wide open. Not only that, but he was positive she’d been wearing her seatbelt properly. He yelled again, but there was no reply. He searched around the area of the wreck, but found nothing. Harry was beginning to panic, his body burning with parental concern for his daughter.
Harry knew that Cheryl was a clever child, and he wasn’t just thinking that because he was her father. She was clever, resourceful, and seemed to possess wisdom beyond her seven years. But she was also incredibly reckless, a fact that only increased Harry’s worry.
Charles Hatcher... Albert Fish... Jesse Pomeroy...
The names of these loathsome people from the past surfaced in his mind and overlapped with the image of his daughter. Those were the monsters that lurked in society, hunting down their young victims with their poison fangs. If Cheryl, a little girl lost in an unfamiliar city, were to encounter a person like that...
Harry continued through the thick fog, his every thought consumed by the need to find his daughter as soon as possible.
“Cheryl!” He called her name again and again as he pushed through the countless water vapors that swirled through the air. The dense mist hung over the world like a sea of clouds that fell from the sky. It blanketed the town of Silent Hill, a small town with less than twenty thousand inhabitants. Was this kind of weather unusual for the area? Harry had never heard anything about fog this severe occurring around the lakeside resort town. The entire lake would have had to evaporate to create something like this...
What a failure of a vacation this was turning out to be. He should have been leisurely floating across the lake with a fishing rod in his hands by now...Or enjoying the Maine wilderness with his daughter...
“Hey Daddy, do you think there’ll be ponies there? I wanna ride a pony around, just like a cowboy!” Since they began their long car ride, Cheryl had hardly been able to contain her excitement. Harry couldn’t really blame her; it was her first vacation after all.
“Okay cowgirl, if we can find a petting zoo, you can pick out a nice pony and ride it all day if you want. But just make sure not to get into any bar fights. I don’t want to have to skip town before high noon.” Harry played along with a smile.
“I’ll lasso up a cow. Then you and me can have a barbeque!”
“Sounds tasty. But I think dad would rather have a trout from the lake. Do you think you’d like to try and catch a fish?”
“Yeah! But...I feel kinda bad for the little fishies. Maybe if we catch them, we should let them go.”
“Oh, so you’ll feel sorry for the fish, but not the cow?”
“It’s different. Cows always look like they’re frowning and they smell really bad. They’re not really cute at all.” Harry couldn’t help but laugh at her child-like pickiness. She hated cows, even though her favorite food was beef stew.
For the first time, Cheryl’s expression darkened and her excited chattering stopped. Silence quickly descended over the vehicle. Did I hurt her feelings? Harry wondered as he glanced over at her. Should I say I’m sorry?
“What’s the matter?”
“Daddy...are you gonna get in trouble because you’re taking me on a trip instead of going to work? I know you’re really busy...”
“Don’t worry, daddy’s not going to get fired just for taking a little time off. I have a freelance career, remember?”
“But Daddy...I heard you fighting on the phone with someone from work.”
“You mean that stupid publishing agent Edward? He keeps trying to make me write about worthless entertainment gossip. He keeps going on about how ‘hot rock star scandals are ‘in’ right now” and he even told me to cancel the trip I already had planned! So I told him that spending time with Cheryl is way more important to me than work. I just had to...raise my voice a bit to get that through his thick skull, that’s all.”
“Okay.” Cheryl nodded, but her warm smile didn’t return.
Harry apologized to her in his heart. He knew he didn’t always have the chance to be a good father to his daughter. Ever since his wife Jodie died, he’d been left to raise Cheryl by himself. Fortunately, Harry was a writer so aside from the occasional information collecting; he could work from his home.
It was far from easy. Sometimes he was so busy that all he could do for Cheryl was cook her meals, give her baths, and take her to and from school. Even when he could only manage these minimum necessities, he did everything he could to care for his daughter. All his other time was spent working to make a living, so Harry could hardly ever enjoy any time to himself.
Cheryl understood this; she knew her dad had to work hard every day and she knew he was doing it for her because he loved her. She never got to go to an amusement park or to the playground, and even going out for fast food only happened very rarely. But she was always patient and understanding. She never complained, not even once. That’s what made Harry decide to take a trip to Silent Hill, the place where Cheryl’s always wanted to go, even though she had no idea where it was.
Even though he had taken this trip with all the best intentions, Cheryl was now in danger all because of one stupid driving mistake. If she was kidnapped or ended up meeting a gruesome fate, the regret would be too much to bear.
Every year, hundreds of boys and girls were sexually assaulted, beaten, chopped to pieces, or murdered...and some are never found at all. Harry’s mind was infested with these grim statistics, all from a book detailing bizarre murder cases he had written some time ago. Those crimes had seemed so unimaginable, yet now they could so easily become a part of his reality.
Cheryl...were could you be?
It took almost no time at all to reach Silent Hill from the site of the accident. Running swiftly along a sidewalk, Harry soon arrived at what appeared to be a residential neighborhood. He was far from the shops and parks that attracted the flocks of tourists, but there still wasn’t a single passer-by to be seen. Maybe it was just because of the fog that limited his vision. The roads were empty as well.
It was quiet. Too quiet.
It was in the middle of the day, but the silence made it feel like the dead of night. It was the silence of a ghost town, a place devoid of life. Though the place gave Harry a strange sense of foreboding, his concern for his daughter crushed any doubts or hesitation he might have had.
Finally, he found what he was looking for. He rushed over to a public phone and immediately dialed the number for the police. The receiver beeped as if it was working, but the call never connected. He tried again and again, but the results were the same. Harry resentfully slammed down the receiver.
“Damn cops...how the hell are they supposed to get anything done around here if they can’t get off their lazy asses long enough to take one stupid phone call!?” Harry yelled, as if shouting to the air would magically spur the police into action. Trying to search for Cheryl in an unfamiliar town would be next to impossible on his own. On the other hand, it would be just as difficult to try to track down the police station.
“Hey, is anyone there?” Harry called out, hoping for the faint chance that someone else was out here wandering through the fog as well. He was answered only by the same oppressive silence. However, his eye happened to catch a flicker of blue through the thick white veil. Was there someone there?
“Hey, wait!” Harry yelled again as he dashed into the fog. Just before he was close enough to make out any features, the small figure turned and fled. Even from behind it looked familiar. Wasn’t Cheryl wearing a blue dress...?
“Cheryl...Cheryl, is that you!?” The girl said nothing, she only continued to run.
“Wait, where are you going?” Harry gave chase. Strangely enough, even with the advantage of the legs of an adult over the legs of a child, he wasn’t able to keep up.
“Wait! Please come back!” Could this be a case of mistaken identity? If this girl did happen to be a stranger, it would certainly make him seem more like a predator than a concerned father. Still, Harry ran. Whether it was Cheryl or not, he had to make absolutely sure. And if he did have the wrong girl, maybe she’d at least be willing to give him directions.
The girl dissolved into the fog, leaving only a thin, hazy shadow for Harry to follow. The shadow darted left and was sucked into an alley. The alley ended in a solid brick wall, but off to the side was a metal gate that hung open. Beyond the gate was a narrow passage squeezed between two buildings. He has lost sight of the shadow, but there was no path it could take other than this one. The rusty side gate screeched as he pushed it aside.
Harry froze. The area just inside the passage was splattered with blood.
“What the...?” In the center of the bloody pool lay a dead animal. Its pathetic body was crushed and broken, as if someone had savagely beaten it with a metal baseball bat. From what he could tell by looking at its remains, Harry guessed it used to be a dog. Who could do something so cruel...? He recalled that many pathological criminals had a history of animal abuse. Harry did his best to avert his eyes as he proceeded down the bent passageway.
Between the fog overhead and the narrowness of the path, it felt like he was completely cut off from the world. He felt like he would suffocate. The confined space revived memories of his childhood; when Harry had crawled into a storm drain to play, but panicked and became trapped. He only escaped once one of his friends had dragged him out by his feet. That short but terrifying experience had given Harry a fear of enclosed spaces that persisted to this day. He would have turned back immediately if it weren’t for Cheryl. Family ties were certainly strong enough to drive a person to overcome their fears...but they were also strong enough to drive a person to folly and self-destruction...
Again he found the floor painted with pools of blood. The building walls gradually turned to chain-link fences, which were also red and dripping wet. This was starting to look less like a back alley and more like a crime scene. Where were the police? Shouldn’t one of the residents have reported this? Has anyone even noticed?
Harry stood frozen. His horrified gaze was fixated on the corridor’s dead end. There was a corpse there; beaten, bloody, and tied to the fence with barbed wire is if it had been crucified. However, this was no dog...it was clearly a human being. Holding his breath to endure the repulsive stench, Harry examined the body more closely. As he had suspected, the corpse had the height and physique of an adult. A wave of relief washed over him as he realized that this couldn’t be Cheryl. But then...where had that little girl gone? This passage was a dead end so she couldn’t have escaped. Harry was positive he hadn’t seen any side streets...
As Harry turned to retrace his steps, a fierce roar shook his eardrums. It was an unpleasant sound that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, like the shrieks of two tomcats engaged in a vicious turf war. Whatever made the sound was uncomfortably close. In fact, he could smell pungent, fishy breath coming from just behind him...
In that moment, Harry was slammed against the fence and crumpled to the blood-stained ground. The impact hit him harder than the car crash had. Before he even had time to feel the pain, his consciousness began to fade. In the corner of his darkening vision, he could just barely see a strange, hideous figure lumbering towards him. The last thing to reach Harry was the sounds of gunshots in the distance.
Jodie...he had met her during the fall of their sophomore year of college. After hearing that she broke up with her high school boyfriend, he gathered all his courage and approached her. Having spent so long living in the shadow of unrequited love, he wanted to offer as much comfort as possible to this girl that he had only ever spoken to in his dreams. Truthfully, he had been infatuated with her since high school; watching her daily with longing eyes but never able to tell her how he felt. He remembered how ashamed he’d been when he asked her to a dance, only to learn that she was already going with someone else.
But none of that mattered once they finally met. The two of them were so blissfully in love, that they were wed before either of them graduated. Every day of the nine years since then felt like their honeymoon. Even when Harry decided to quit his job and become a freelance non-fiction writer, she supported him whole-heartedly. From their perfect love, they created a perfect life, even though they were never blessed with children.
Nine years after their fated meeting, Jodie went to heaven. Although it felt more like God had stolen her away and forcibly dragged her to heaven. One day, as she was walking home from work, a burglar caught in a police chase sped at a breakneck pace over the curb and crushed her. Her face was just as beautiful as it had been when she was alive as she slept in her coffin…Cheryl, too young to understand the concept of death, could only stare with her innocent little eyes…
“Cheryl!” Harry called out, sitting bolt upright on the bench he had been resting on.
“You’re finally up, huh? How’re you feeling?” A woman said with a faint smile. It wasn’t Jodie and it most certainly wasn’t Cheryl. She had short, blonde hair and a face that wore no make-up, but instead wore a tough, almost masculine expression. She was looking down at Harry, her arms crossed. Her gaze wasn’t that of a woman eying a man, but of someone observing a suspect to determine his guilt. It came as no surprise when Harry spotted the badge she wore over her dark blue police uniform.
“Surprisingly enough, I think I’m okay.” Harry answered. No sooner did he speak then a jolt of pain ran through his left shoulder. He grimaced, and looked around. The bench he was seated on was next to a table, which was next to several other sets of tables and seating. Across the room sat a long counter with many posters and menus posted above it. He was inside a restaurant.
“You’re lucky you only got off with a couple bruises. A little longer and you probably would have gotten yourself eaten.”
“So, you’re the one who saved me?”
“Yeah.” The female officer shrugged like it was no big deal. There was one thing that was still getting on Harry’s nerves.
“Still, you’re a cop, aren’t you? What’s going on with this town’s security? I tried to call the station earlier to get some help, but I couldn’t get it to connect. Please, my daughter’s gone missing, we need to hurry and go look for her!” The policewoman answered Harry’s criticism and frantic plea with a cool, calm attitude.
“You’re a tourist, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, what’s it matter?”
“I’m not actually from this town. I’m an officer from Brahms, the next town over. The name’s Cybil Bennett. And you are?”
“Harry. Harry Mason.”
“Hold on…you’re that Harry Mason? The one who wrote ‘The Criminal’s Mask’?”
“I just finished reading that. Your sociological analysis of offenders who go unnoticed in communities under the guise of normal citizens was interesting and quite useful. It’s an honor the meet you, even if it isn’t the the…best of circumstances. I guess it really is a small world.”
Harry could hardly believe the coincidence; what were the chances of meeting one of his readers in a place like this? His immediate reaction was to thank her for contributing to the book’s meager sales, but he stopped himself. He wasn’t here to sign any autographs. When the officer reached out for a handshake, Harry ignored the gesture and shouted, “What about my daughter!?”
“Cheryl was it? You were muttering something about here while you were out.”
“Yes. It’s bad enough that she’s all alone out there, but if there are any more of those creatures…please, we have to go to the police and gather a search party as soon as possible!”
Cybil paused for a moment, as if reluctant to tell such grim news to a man already near hysterical. “Sorry to say this, but I haven’t been able to track down another officer anywhere in this town.”
“We hadn’t been receiving any contact from Silent Hill in some time so I came to check it out. The whole town is empty, like everyone just up and left overnight.”
“But that’s impossible…”
“Must not be since you’re the only person I’ve been able to find. I saw you go into that alleyway so I followed you just in time to see that monster appear from the fog…I was just barely able to drive it off with my gun and save you. It was a bit of a struggle just to drag you this far.” Cybil shrugged and let out a soft chuckle.
“I should head back to Brahms and get some help. Must be the fog or something, but I can’t get my radio to work either. You should leave town too. I know you’re worried about your daughter Mr. Mason but that’s a matter best left to the police. Since I crashed my bike, we’ll have to take your car back to Brahms anyway.”
“That won’t work.” Harry shook his head. “My jeep’s in a ditch right now. That’s how Cheryl ended up missing in the first place.”
“Geeze, this just keeps getting worse…It’s way too dangerous for you to stay in town alone.”
“Maybe, but Cheryl is in just as much danger. If she just got lost while trying to look for me, then I’m more likely to find her if I stay here.”
“So what are your plans if you run into another monster?”
“Don’t worry, I have a weapon. I just couldn’t use it before because that creature caught me off-guard” Harry reached into his jacket pocket and reached for his nine milometer handgun. Ever since he began writing about criminals, he found that he’d quickly become a supporter of gun possession. He firmly believed that even if guns disappeared from this country, crime wouldn’t and he’d much rather have such a necessary tool if he ever need to protect his daughter. He had this weapon stashed in the jeep’s glove box and had grabbed it at the first sign of trouble.
However, rather than the cold touch of steel, his hand felt nothing inside his pocket. Harry checked his pants pockets and found that they too were empty. He mentally retraced his steps, desperately trying to think of anywhere it could be, even checking to see if it had fallen underneath the bench he had been lying on.
“Lose something?” Cybil’s tone reminded Harry of a mother scolding a child over losing their favorite toy.
“I must have dropped it when that monster hit me…” Harry felt some of his courage slip away. Still, that alley couldn’t be too far from here. If he could just make his way back there…
“I’ll…manage. I’ll find her no matter what I have to do.”
Cybil shrugged again and sighed.
“You’re being very reckless you know.”
“I know but…risking my life is better than sitting back and waiting for someone else to bring my daughter home safely.”
“So you really want to stay huh…” Cybil said, finally realizing how useless it would be to argue any further. She stepped behind the counter and pulled a small automatic handgun from the shelf below the register. The owner of this restraint must have kept it close as an anti-burglar measure.
“Take this and be sure to watch yourself.” She placed the gun in Harry’s hand.
“And don’t die. I’d like to read your next book.” Her face softened into a coy smile, but her eyes were as sharp as ever.
“Thanks, and sorry for losing my temper earlier.” Harry eyed the weapon in his hands. For the first time since he found himself in the disastrous situation, he was beginning to feel like he had someone on his side.
“Now I want you to stay put, okay? Don’t leave this building.”
Even as Cybil turned to leave the café, she didn’t doubt for a second that he’d break that promise as soon as she was gone.
----------------Notes----------------And so we venture into the fog-covered streets of Silent Hill once again. This entire book is only broken into three chapters, so I'll be posting them in smaller chunks so there isn't as much as a wait between updates. Also, feel free to email me to make me aware of any spelling or grammatical errors since I know there's bound to be a few in anything I type XD
"It's quiet. Too quiet." - I swear to God that is a direct translation. I was laughing even as I was typing it. XD
"It's quiet. Too quiet." - I swear to God that is a direct translation. I was laughing even as I was typing it. XD
If you'd like to draw any scenes from the novel, send them to me and if I like them, I just might put them up here.
Original - Sadamu Yamashita
Characters/story - Konami
Translation - Lady Ducky
Artwork by Masahiro Ito
You MAY NOT re-post this translation anywhere without my permission and I must be given credit as well as the original author.