Silent Hill : The Official Novel
By Sadamu Yamashita
Translated by Emily Fitch
By Sadamu Yamashita
Translated by Emily Fitch
Chapter One -Darkness- (Part 1)
Harry took Finney Street to the east and crossed a bridge into central Silent Hill, searching for a hospital at the mysterious woman’s behest. According to his map, there was a building labeled Alchemilla Hospital on the southern end of town; his best bet at this point. Harry would need to travel down Crichton Street to reach it, but something else on the map caught his eye. He made a detour to the opposite corner of the intersection to the police station, hoping to scour the place for ammunition. With all the monsters still lurking in the streets, he wasn’t going to make it very far with an empty gun.
Just as Cybil had said, the station was as deserted as the rest of the town. No wonder no one was answering his calls. There were documents and investigation materials spread over the desks, as if everyone had simply vanished in the middle of a regular work day. Harry began to search each room. The firearm storage was locked tight, so he kept an eye out for any guns that might have been left sitting on someone’s desk. Sure enough, he soon spotted a shoulder holster left on a counter next to abandoned paper cups full of coffee. Whoever this once belonged to must have taken it off on their break and vanished with the rest of the townspeople before they could return for it. Even as he felt a twinge of guilt at stealing something from someone who’d met such a fate, Harry was determined to put it to good use.
Harry slid the gun from the holster to check it out. It looked to be a 10mm automatic, fully loaded with nine rounds. Pleased with his discovery, he returned the gun and took the holster, putting in on. Something caught his eye, a white slip of paper on the counter where the holster had just been.
"Coroner Seals called.
Officer Gucci is unlikely to
be murdered. He apparently
But, medical records show
Officer Gucci had no prior
symptoms of heart disease."
Harry grabbed a nearby jacket to protect himself from the cold. As he slid it over his shoulders, his eyes were drawn to a memo scrawled on a chalkboard hanging on the wall.
“Product only available in select areas of Silent Hill.
Raw material is White Claudia, a plant peculiar to the region.
Manufactured here? Dealer = Manufacturer?”
White Claudia? The name rang a bell in Harry’s mind. He’d written a couple books in the past on domestic drug trafficking and he could remember some bits and pieces of information. It was a plant that grew on river banks and lake shores, notable for its long oval-shaped leaves and pure white flowers. The seeds were known to have hallucinogenic properties and were often sought after for use in ancient religious ceremonies, but now it was more common refine the seeds into a recreational drug known as PTV. It was popular with the tourists in Silent Hill for a time, but police efforts soon shut down the local traffickers to help clean up the resort town’s image. He never would have entertained the idea of visiting with Cheryl otherwise.
But by the looks of it, it seemed PTV was on the rise again. A lump formed in the back of Harry’s throat as his eyes scanned the words on the chalkboard over and over again. He couldn’t shake the feeling that it had something to do with Cheryl’s kidnapping. Every meager scrap of information he could find was a whisper leading him a step closer to the truth.
“Damn that woman!” Michael Kaufman’s voice was shaking with rage. Curse after curse poured from his lips as he crammed items into his luggage.
“Who does that crazy old hag think she’s fooling with her “precious child of God” bullshit? What a joke. You’re just some gutter trash who got good at cheating and stealing. Just looking at the brazen face of yours makes me sick. You’re nothing but a crook and a liar and everyone in this godforsaken town knows it!”
As he ranted, his office, once a meticulously decorated symbol of his pride, lay around him in ruin. His mahogany desk and shelves were marred by deep gashes. His precious antique book collection was scattered across the floor, the pages ripped and trampled upon. Even his expensive paintings had been deliberately torn. But this was only meant as a final insult, the real damage was clear when he found his hidden safe cleared out. Important documents and expensive securities were gone and that liquid, his last resort, was nothing but a stain on the carpet.
“And this is the thanks I get for my years of cooperation? I swear I’m going to make that sneaky old bitch pay.”
He had no doubt in his mind that this was the cult’s doing. The safe’s lock showed no sign of forced entry; someone must have found the passcode somehow. He’d been keeping such a close eye on the cult’s activities and they’d still managed to slip by him.
“She thinks she can pull a fast one on me? Well joke’s on her; I never trusted that old bag for a second.”
Kaufman had transferred funds to a foreign account in anticipation of just such a betrayal. It was nothing compared to what he’d lost in the current turmoil, but it would be more than enough to get by. It was only a matter of time before the incident in Silent Hill came to light, and he’d much rather live a modest existence somewhere far away that rot in jail. Jail time might even be an optimistic sentence if his involvement in all this got out…Fleeing the country was his best bet at this point.
“Ugh, how did it even come to this?” He ground his teeth. What had come over him wasn’t a change of heart and he certainly wasn’t being tormented by guilt after all he’d done. What he felt now was utter hatred. To have to deal with this after everything he’d done for The Order, after all the funds he contributed and the space he let them occupy and the medical treatment he offered…He could have never imagined the insanity that his actions would bring about. He had to stifle a laugh at the very idea that he would end up associating with those deranged cultists in the first place.
“Guess she’s more than just a crook, she’s a maniac who’d sell her own soul to the devil.”
He wouldn’t be needing clothes and there was no time for gathering unnecessary possessions so he forwent a bulky travel bag in favor of sorting essentials in an unassuming attaché case. He packed two passports, one with his actual name and a counterfeit bearing a pseudonym, a stash of gold and wadded bills taken from his safety deposit box, a 9mm handgun and two boxes of ammunition, and an emergency set of medical supplies.
Just as he was closing the case’s lid and making sure he’d leave nothing behind, Kaufman heard a growl from behind him. He turned around to see a hideous monster of a dog shambling into the room. The creature groaned, saliva dripping from its eager teeth. For a moment, Kaufman could only stare in horror at the demon as it crept closer. In an instant he reached for the attaché case behind him…
Even from outside Alchemilla Hospital, Harry could hear the muffled gunshots. Someone, a normal human, was in there. Feeling equal parts hopeful and uneasy, Harry ran through the hospital’s entrance and down the hall.
Another shot rang out from somewhere behind the waiting room. He turned a corner to see the door to an examination room sitting wide open and ran in, only to be greeted by a bullet whizzing past his head and embedding itself in the door frame behind him.
“Wait, don’t shoot!” Harry held his own gun above his head and his free hand open, hopefully signifying that he didn’t mean the stranger any harm.
“Thank God, another human being…” The man across from Harry let his shoulders relax, bringing the gun to his side. He looked to be about 50 or so years old with neatly slicked back hair and dressed in a fine suit, giving him an overall air of importance. It was then that Harry noticed the corpse of a dog oozing blood onto the floor.
“You got attacked too huh. Are you hurt?”
“No. I’m fine.”
“My name’s Harry Mason.” Harry said, lowering his hand and offering it as a handshake instead. The man accepted, grasping Harry’s hand with his rather cold, damp, palm.
“Do you work at this hospital?”
“You could say that. Are you with the police?”
“Oh, no. I’m just a tourist. I just carry a gun to protect myself from those creatures, same as you.”
“I see.” Harry could tell by the look in his eyes that Kaufman wasn’t entirely convinced.
“Actually, not long after I came to Silent Hill, my daughter went missing. She’s only seven. Short. Black hair. Have you seen her?”
“I’m afraid not.” Kaufman said, shaking his head. “Listen, I don’t know what’s going on here. I was just taking a nap in the break room and when I woke up, everything was like this.”
“It’s just…I was told I’d find some clue about my daughter here…”
“And just who told you that?”
“Well, I don’t know her name, but it was a woman who was at the Balkan Church.”
“…A woman wearing a veil?”
“Yeah. Do you know her?”
“No, I don’t. I don’t know any such woman.” Suddenly, Kaufman became expressionless, an unreadable brick wall.
“At any rate, I’m terribly sorry about your daughter Mr. Mason but I’m afraid I can’t be any help. I don’t plan on staying in town any longer now that the place is overrun with those abominations.” Not wasting another second, Kaufman snatched up a case from the desk behind him and slid past Harry and through the door.
“You be careful now.” With those few words, Kaufman silently slipped away.
What a strange man…Harry thought. Then again, the way Harry’s line of questioning went, it probably started to feel less like a friendly conversation and more like a cross-examination. He had no evidence that the man had anything to do with Cheryl’s kidnapping, but the encounter had left Harry with unshakable sense of unease.
There were no doctors at Alchemilla Hospital, no nurses bustling about, no patients sitting in the waiting room waiting for their name to be called, not a single soul. Each room Harry checked on the first floor was vacant; abandoned with medical charts and instruments scattered throughout.
Every room was perfectly unremarkable, save for one. The hospital director’s office was in a state of chaos, as if it had been burglarized. But this was hardly the work of professional thieves; someone had torn blindly through the office, clearly in search of something. The room was so thoroughly trashed; there was hardly even a place for Harry to set his foot down. If someone was willing to go to such lengths to find something in here, then there might still be a clue that could be of use to him.
The floor was littered with books and scattered documents. In one corner, a picture frame lay in a pile of shattered glass. Harry turned it over to examine it. It was a photo of what looked to be an awards ceremony and the man on the stage smiling and accepting the award was none other than the man he met earlier. It was Kaufman. If this photo was hanging in the director’s office, then it was very possible that Kaufman himself was the hospital director. Harry’s suspicions deepened. He should have questioned the man further when he had the chance. Then again, he wasn’t too keen on trying the patience of a man with a gun and he had no guarantee that he’d get the information he wanted.
What? Stepping behind the luxurious desk, Harry saw something that gave him pause. At first he thought it was blood. A bottle lay shattered on the floor, its dark red contents spilled into a puddle on the floor. Collecting a small amount of the liquid on his fingertips, harry found that it was completely odorless and a bit too thin to be blood. Perhaps it was medicine? It was a hospital after all…
But Harry wasn’t entirely convinced. Hospital or not, it was strange to find a bottle of medicine just sitting around in someone’s office like this. Maybe it was a sample of something left here by a pharmaceutical represented? The words he read on the police station blackboard came to mind. White Claudia…Could this liquid be the drug PTV? Ridiculous as it may have been, he couldn’t shake the suspicion from his mind.
Harry left the director’s office and headed for the examination room. Scanning over the shelves, he picked up an unused syringe and a pill bottle before returning. He sucked up as much as the liquid as he could into the syringe, dumping the pills on the floor so he could fill the empty bottle. With a bit of effort, he was able to fill half the bottle.
The woman at the church told him he’d find the answers he needed here, and if Cheryl had been caught up in the schemes of illegal drug traffickers, this red liquid should be enough evidence to prove it. And even if Cheryl’s disappearance had nothing the do with drugs, this might motivate law enforcement to take his case more seriously. With the Silent Hill police out of commission, he might even have to bring this all the way to the FBI.
I knew it. That man is defiantly up to something suspicious. Harry thought to himself as he continued his search, his footsteps echoing through the abandoned hospital. The so-called “Doctor” Kaufmann…If he would hide his identity as the hospital director, then what else could he be hiding? Such a prestigious position would certainly allow him to distribute PTV without arousing suspicion. He had all the equipment and materials at his disposal, he could even easily disguise it as regular medical activity.
Then there was that strange woman he met in the church. After hearing her speak delusional nonsense and seeing the fanatical spark in her eyes, he could easily believe she was on drugs. But as crazy as her words had been, they did end up leading him to the truth…
Harry planned on inspecting the basement next, but the staircase landing was blocked off by fire doors. He went to his last option, the elevator, pressing the call button while praying it still worked. The doors opened in an instant; however, the real problem was inside. No matter how many times he pushed the buttons for the second and third floors, nothing happened. The only button that responded was the one marked for the fourth floor.
Fourth floor? Harry questioned as the elevator began its ascent. He’d seen Alchemilla hospital from the outside and it seemed to only have three floors…So how was this elevator supposed to take him to a non-existent fourth floor? None of the other buttons were lit up. Could something be trying to guide me? Though the thought sent a chill down his spine, Harry knew there was no going back now.
The elevator doors slid open. Harry knew that in some Asian countries, the number four meant “death”. That description fit the atmosphere of the fourth floor perfectly. Unlike the relatively normal-looking first floor, this floor looked like it was falling apart. Grimy linoleum, peeling plaster, rusted doors, black soot falling from the ceiling…this place seemed like it had been abandoned for years and left to rot. Light trickled through the dusty, yellowed windows, bathing the hallway in an eerie glow.
Taking the stairs down to the third floor presented Harry with the same suffocating environment. No light could reach down here; there was only dense darkness. The state of decay seemed even worse; parts of the building’s foundation were exposed and the path before him was nothing but a chain-link mesh spread across where the floor should have been. In some places, the mesh was missing altogether, leaving nothing but gaping dark holes in the floor. Even with the aid of his flashlight, Harry couldn’t see the bottom. It felt like he’d wandered into some deep, underground cave. It certainly wouldn’t be unusual for deformed monstrosities to be lurking in a place like this.
His ominous prediction would come true sooner than he expected. Harry knew the “nurse” approaching from the darkness wasn’t human; his radio told him so. The crackling noise swelled with each step she took. Soon her monstrous form was illuminated. The nurse’s gait was unsteady and she was hunched over like an old woman even though her face still looked young. She seemed to be carrying something on her back, and something told Harry that she wasn’t just giving a young patient a piggyback ride. Something akin to a camel’s hump protruded from her back, like something large had attached itself to her. As she stumbled closer, Harry caught the glint of a scalpel she held in a clenched fist.
The smile she aimed at him was dripping with dark intent; she was eager to dissect her new prey. She wanted to tear off his skin, chop him to pieces, rip out his organs, nourish her young, soft skin with his fresh blood.
“Please.” Harry called to the nurse in a somber voice, his gun clenched in his hands. “I don’t want to shoot you. You’re just being controlled by a monster. If there’s any part of you in there that can still hear me then please listen. Just…step out of my way. Please, if you just step aside, I won’t have to hurt you.”
The nurse’s feet moved faster. She’d broken out into a clumsy sprint and was lunging at him. Harry’s fingertip hesitated at the trigger. Maybe if he could manage to shoot the parasite-like hump on her back, he could subdue the monster without killing the nurse. But he was worried he wouldn’t have the skill to pull it off. He had no military experience and had only recently shot a gun for the first time. Even his results at the shooting range were terrible. Plus, the nurse was moving so erratically that by aiming for the hump, he’d be just as likely to hit her head as well.
Even with a crazed, knife-wielding nurse rushing straight at him, Harry couldn’t bring himself to shoot. He leapt to the side at the last possible second, narrowly avoiding the scalpel but slamming shoulder-first into the opposite wall. The nurse stumbled past, carried by the momentum of the extra weight on her back. But she quickly recovered, turning to come at Harry again.
Harry crouched to the floor and finally aimed the gun, wincing at the pain in his right shoulder. A thought occurred to him. What if this nurse wasn’t actually human at all? What if it was a monster pretending to be a possessed human just to prey on his sympathy? If there were creatures loose in this town that could control people, wouldn’t he have seen possessed patients too? What about the rest of the townspeople? Or tourists? Or even the police? But he hadn’t seen one. That had to be it. He was being deceived.
The nurse’s face was a foot away. He opened fire; the barrage of bullets flew between her eyes and pierced her skull. The nurse’s body twitched as blood and brain fluid poured from her collapsed face before going limp and collapsing onto the floor. All that remained was the crooked smile on her lips.
Everyone's on drugs maybe probably.
The number 4 is pronounced "shi" in Japanese, making it a homophone for the word for "death." Just as some western buildings don't have a 13th floor because of superstition, some Japanese hotels and hospitals don't have a 4th floor.
Original - Sadamu Yamashita
Characters/story - Konami
Translation - Emily Fitch
Artwork by Masahiro Ito
Screenshots from the Silent Hill wiki