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Date Posted: 04:21:22 12/12/18 Wed
Author: River Acheron
Subject: 'HOMETOWN' (Prologue to Chapter 2) (S)
A story (Silent Hill fanfic) that I promise everyone here I WILL post to completion this time. I know I attempted it before, but this time it's finished. This time, I will post multiple parts at once so I don't drag it on. I really hope you like it!!
From where I started, I really can't remember. All I know is, I'm falling for what feels like an eternity. Hell, I don't even know who I am. It's as if my whole life...my whole existence...was falling.
Far above me is a brilliant bright light which illuminates my surroundings. In every direction, all I can see is the rapid upward movement of an ancient stone wall, as if I'm in some circular hole.
I wish I could recall when and how I ended up in this predicament, but my entire memory started when I began falling. (Or is falling all I ever experienced? Is this my existence? A free-fall for all eternity?) I wish I knew how long this will last. I think I'm dropping faster now too. Also, why am I naked? These thoughts were well and good, but the one thought that keeps pushing front and center is one of more immediate concern:
Is there a bottom?
No sooner did I get that thought out of my confused and muddled mind, when I suddenly hit the hard ground with a thud.
Huh? Um, yeah, okay. I know that should have killed me, but I'm not bruised, hurt, or even sore! Feels like Novocain was injected into my entire body. Yes...I feel...I dunno...rubbery.
I stand up now and do a "360", seeing nothing but stonework all around me, with the only illumination coming from that bright-ass light source from far above me. Revolution after dizzying revolution I turn, examining every inch of my circular stone prison.
Suddenly, I see an old wooden door, clearly recessed into the masonry work. I must have missed it somehow. Since there's clearly nowhere else to go, I better chance it. The door creeks open on rusty hinges. No light is visible from the other side, and whatever is in there is hidden in pitch black, What's odd is a peculiar smell wafts from the darkness. Not musty or earthy, as one might expect, but...what? The faint hint of vanilla mixed with fear.
The smell of fear.
Olfactory mortal terror.
Huh? What am I thinking? The smell of fear? Yes. That's what it is. (Mixed with vanilla.) There's a sound coming from the open doorway as well; from the sightless abyss, there's a (very) quiet tinkling of bells. Chimes. As I step though the open doorway, goosebumps pop up all over my flesh, in spite of the hot stifling air that's surrounding me. Now in complete darkness...I press on into the void.
I decide to stretch my left hand out in front of me so I don't slam my head into anything, while I palm the paneled wall with my right hand so I don't loose my bearings.
Paneled!? What!?? Yes, the wall feels paneled. Like faux wood one would find in a house or office. The floor is also clearly tiled. How in the world is this possible? A narrow hallway? I must be (at least) 6 miles underground! Yet I walk on. As I walk, it feels as if the hallway declines slightly down, like a ramp. I walk slowly...on and on...being careful with each step. The mix of vanilla and fear is strangely intoxicating, the melancholic tinkling bells are almost beckoning me. I'm walking on for what must be three hours. Or is it three minutes or three days? Damn. I can't tell. The more I walk down this hallway, the more time seems to distort. Like, falling down that hole must have been five hours ago. Either that, or fifteen minutes ago. (You know, I'll make a mental note to figure that out later. Right after I find out who the Hell I am). Am I even making any progress? The chime-bells seem as distant as they were when I first entered this Highway to...I mean...Hallway to Hell.
The faint smell of fear is being replace with something else. What is it? What's the word? Ah yes. Desperation (with just a pinch of vanilla).
My head seems even more confused. My thoughts are harder and harder to hold together. Not to mention that time is distorting even more for me. Now it feels as if I only entered this hallway about sixty seconds ago! I panic, and my goosebumps retreat while a vicious onslaught of salty sweat-beads replace them all over my quivering naked body,
Damn! I gotta get out of here! Where is the end? Was there even a beginning? There wasn't a door at the bottom of that hole...I know there wasn't! So, how..? Is this someone's idea of a sick fucking joke!!??
***TODAY'S FORECAST: ANGER WITH SCATTERED DESPERATION! SOME VANILLA EXPECTED***
Has someone drugged me and thrown me in some fucked-up carnie fun-house or something? I now decide to run...run as fast as my ??-year old legs can carry me. I run as days (or seconds) pass before me and behind me while along side of me. I think I'll run for what ended up being only a few minutes. WHAT!?? The future is the past and the present is the future, as the temporal flow of reality becomes completely unraveled.
Suddenly, out of the darkness comes an ear-piercing air-raid siren in the distance (Yet strangely loud for how far away it is!). In some unknown way, it's oddly familiar. As if I had heard it before. What the Hell is it DOING to me!? It feels like my head is splitting in two, as it wails over and over again. Next, a knife-stabbing sharp pain appears and intensifies behind my eyes before shooting up to my skull. All while a feeling of indescribable mortal terror washes over me. My knees go wear, and my legs wobble as useless as jelly.
No! I gotta get the fuck out of here! With inner energy I did not know I possessed, I force myself up, still holding on to the wall. With every step, the faux wood paneled wall begins to feel...different. At first it feels cooler and cooler, and then the fake wood begins to feel metallic. Now it feels like there's little holes in the metal. I don't even care. I'm running faster and faster. The holes in the metal feel bigger and more numerous. The floor feels harder. I should be out of breath at this point, but strangely I'm not. I now realize that I am palming a cold metal fence! The once-tiled floor, now transformed to concrete beneath my feet. The tinkling chime-bells are now twisted into the distant sounds of people crying. Mourners at a funeral...the unmistakable sound of the living crying for the dead. (Or is it the other way around?) The smell is now a mix between rotting flesh and church incense. I can't do this...it's way too...
My head slams into a wooden door and knocks me off my feet. I quickly get up and feel for the door. It feels like...an office door? It's definitely modern, with some sort of placard in the top center of it. There's a brass doorknob as well.
Okay, no reservations this time. I open the door, and run in quickly, not giving a shit what horror awaits me.
I step in, and the door slams shut behind me.
I'm standing in a cozy office. The first thing I notice is an antique oak desk with a brass lamp sitting on top of it, saturating the inviting room with a soft, comforting glow. On the wall, there are various degrees and diplomas, a dime-store Currier and Ives knock-off paintings, not to mention that horribly pedantic painting of the dogs playing poker. Opposite of the desk is a black leather chair with a matching couch.
A psychiatrist's office? Am I really miles underground? Or....?
"I'm afraid your a bit early for your appointment. Please...step back in the waiting room and I will help you through your problem shortly.", said the kind, soft-spoken voice behind me.
I spin around quick, but before I could see who was speaking, the air-raid siren wailed once again, forcing my eyes shut. The siren was much closer this time and dug deep into my brain. The world begins to fade from me, and I'm trying to fight it as I scream....
...I scream as I wake up in my bed with a start. "Your cracking up, Donnie Culpa", I say to myself, as I wake from my strange nightmare. I sit up in my bed, still in that weird realm between dreams and reality. My alpha brainwaves still lingering around my head. "That dream was FUCKED up!" I recall, as I rub my eyes. "No surprise though, I guess."
Things have been weird lately. Weirder than anything else I experienced in my 18 years on this planet.
I slowly left the comforting warmth of my twin bed and pondered all the craziness that's been going on lately. As I made my way to my closet and began getting dressed, I tried recalling the dream I just had, but it was already fading rapidly into the lost memories of my subconscious, sinking into those forgotten depths that dreams go, just beyond recall. 'Something about an....office? A lawyers office? Doctors? People crying. And...I think there was a hole', I tried remembering. 'but it's gone now.' I totally lost my grip of the dream, and every aspect of it vanished.
Well...almost every aspect.
There was one thing about the dream that I wanted to forget, and ironically it was the one thing that I couldn't stop thinking about: That awful siren. I remember it with frightening clarity. Even thinking about it now, after the fact, made me apprehensive and hurt my head. As I finished getting dressed, I shivered. "And", I recalled...
..."I swear I heard it for a split second after waking."
I walked out to the living room, which stood deathly quiet on this foggy April morning. The ghostly fog diffused the rising sunlight that peered weakly though the white Venetian blinds in such a way that gave my living room an ethereal, otherworldly ambiance. The main hues surrounding me were white and black. My mother's ultra post-modern decor further intensified the dreamlike quality of my surroundings (although this was painfully real).
I ignored the kitchen, knowing full well that my mother wouldn't be in there today to greet me, in her usual spot near the Mr. Coffee. "She always refused to upgrade to a Kurieg", I said, as I stared in the kitchen, longingly. I changed my mind and went into the kitchen after all. I grabbed a filter in the overhead cabinet, and filled it with Maxwell House. As I made my coffee, I pulled a fresh Newport 100 out of it's little cardboard coffin and lit it on the gas stove. 'Hell, it's not like there's anyone here to tell me not to smoke in the house', I reasoned.
While waiting for my coffee to brew, I daydreamed. 'It's hard to believe that only three days ago, my mom was doting around the kitchen, cooking us breakfast....
"Buongiorno, il mio dolce bambino!"
"Hai dormito bene"
"Yeah, I guess. Got an Algebra test today though."
"Awww....cry me a river, why don't you? I wish I had the problems of a ragazzino. Studia"?
"Si, mama! Sempre!"
"Just making sure. You so smart, Donnie. Never waste that, hai capito?"
"I know mama"
"Bene! So, what are your plans after school?"
"Picnic with Andrew at Rosewater Park. I told you lastnight, ricordi?
"...Now I do."
When my coffee was done, I took it, and my cigarette to the living room and stared out of the window. Neely Street looked so lonely on yet another foggy morning. Through the fog, large flakes of snow fell gently down, melting on the warm April ground.
"Snowing...in mid April. On top of everything else", I sighed. "Three days ago. That's when this all started. Three days ago...when everyone in town vanished"
I shivered as a tear rolled down my cheek. "Something very strange happened", I lamented. "Something is wrong in Silent Hill"
My living room at 1408 Neely Street in the South Vale section of Silent Hill stood quiet and still on this foggy April morning. Hell, the room itself was slightly foggy, and the more I stared at it, the more I felt that my living room was more like, I dunno, the recent memory of my living room, rather than the genuine article. There was just an unreality about it. The lack of any ambient sounds was equally as disturbing. There were none of the usual "house noises"...those subliminal sounds and vibrations that are heard, but never processed and totally missed when gone. That 'green noise', as audio engineers call it, the background sound of the world, was totally absent.
'A deafening silence', I thought to myself.
Of course there was also no cacophonous traffic coming up and down Neely Street these past few days. I can't even begin to explain it. Three days ago, my world just basically crashed down around my head and moved on without me...leaving me in some memory of the world, where the only sounds that still existed were my footsteps and heartbeat.
The first thing I did was try to leave town, but in every direction, the roads are cracked open, leading to gaping chasms, too wide and deep to jump or walk across. The phone-lines are dead, and my cell is getting no service.
So, basically I'm stuck here in Silent Hill, an empty dead town where it's been constantly foggy for days, snowing out of season, and haunted by some dream-siren in the distance.
Oh, I considered every possibility too;
Nuclear winter/war? No. Cars, buildings, traffic lights, and power-lines are intact
Chemical or biological warfare? No. I'd be fucking dead.
Am I dead? Not unless I'm a ghost with vital signs, and a fully functioning bladder, colon, and respiratory system.
Is this a dream? No, and I have the welts from the pinch-marks to prove it.
Is this the fucking rapture? Not even. Otherwise there would be other "sinners" with me here, to be sure!
'Donnie, don't you know', said a voice in my mind that was me, yet at the same time, was someone else all together. 'It's the town...it's Silent Hill'
I continued to stare out my window for what felt like hours, but in truth it was probably only a few minutes. "Why me?" I asked no one in particular. "Why me and no one else? Why was I left behind in this...this echo of reality? What makes me so special?" I put the butt of my spent Newport 100 in the glass ashtray on top of the coffee table and let up a deep sigh.
"I gotta get the Hell outta this house", I said, frustrated. I was going stir crazy. With no TV, radio, or Wi-fi signals getting through, being left to my own devices for three days was absolutely maddening. I decided to go for a walk and maybe try and find some answers. I slowly walked out the front door while I tried to search for an answer to the dozens of questions that plagued me.
Fog swirled around me while the snowflakes danced all over Silent Hill. I walked down my three front steps, and up Neely Street towards Toluca Lake.
I had no idea why I was alone in Silent Hill, but I had a dreadful feeling that I would find out sooner, rather than later.
...And that I wouldn't like it
(End Chapter 1)
I walked up Neely Street, crossing Katz Street, passing by the Lucky Jade on my left (A Chinese take-out joint my mother and I often order from), and Big Jay's bar on my right. I continued walking north until I reached the intersection of Neely Street and Nathan Avenue (Nathan Avenue is the main drag in the South Vale section. For a few moments I stared at the massive Toluca Lake, which loomed just north of Nathan Avenue. I watched the snowflakes and fog dance off the lake's placid surface. Being a resort town, this time of year, this area should be bustling with people. I crossed Nathan Ave and turned left onto it, walking zombified. I passed by the Silent Hill Savings Bank on my left and the ever-popular Rosewater Park on my right. When I finally reached a big billboard advertising 'Lakeside Amusements', I sat on the grass and began to cry.
My tears mingled with the snowflakes and landed on the wet grass in crystalline drops. It was Saturday. I made plans for today that were now impossible. I was supposed to spend this afternoon with Jon, Matt, and Jeff down at Pete's Bowl-O-Rama, and then yet another picnic with at Rosewater Park with my boyfriend, Andrew, followed by some gaming with him at Lakeside Arcade.
"Andrew! Where are you!?" I cried to the wind. Andrew was without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me since I moved to Silent Hill a year ago. Andrew moved here nine months ago, and from the day we met, it was love at first sight.
Andrew is 18 (my age), and is slightly shorter than me. He sports a bright red fan-mohawk, which goes with his outfits that always has the color red somewhere. He also has his nose pierced, and wears chains and spiked jewelery. Punk rock, I guess you can say. I still remember the first day we met, nine months ago;
"Jon! Fuck bro...what took ya so long!?? I been waiting here since 7! The arcade's closing soon!"
"Sorry man. Remember I told ya that I was gunna be showing around this new kid today from my English Lit class? This here is Andrew Cherkasov. Andrew, this is my buddy Donnie. He just moved here too, like three months ago. Oh, and guess what, Andy!? He's gay too. So like...I dunno...you two can do whatever two gay dudes do to get their rocks off"
"Dude!! Shut the fuck up, Jon! Pig! It's nice to meet ya, Andrew!"
"Um..you too. Hehe...Um..I'm sorry, I'm kinda shy with new people."
"Oh don't worry about it. I'll bring ya out of your shell. By the way, killer hair! You must really like red, huh?"
"...Yea. It's always been my favorite color. I'm actually obsessed with like...everything red. Um...you have really nice hair too, Uh...Donnie, is it?"
"Yep! And thank you so much"
"Sure. So like, do you wanna play Wack-a-Mole or something?"
"Ew! I hope that's not some double entandre!"
"Shut it, Jon"
'Man...nine months went by so fast', I thought, as I dried my eyes and actually began to smile a little bit.
Don't get me wrong, my first three months in Silent Hill without Andrew wasn't exactly torture. I didn't turn out to be Mr. Popular in Silent Hill High, but I wasn't an outcast either. I found my clique. I wasn't super outgoing, but I wasn't totally introverted either. I was average. Still, before my baby Andrew came alone, I kinda found Silent Hill dull, even for a resort town. Growing up in Chicago kinda spoiled me, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I enjoyed the crime, or pollution, but there's something to be said about going from a bustling city childhood to some quiet New England town.
In any case, my mom dragged me here to Silent Hill while my 21 year old sister flew to New Jersey to enroll in Rutgers University;
"...But it will be an ADVENTURE, mio bambino!"
"Mama...ho mal di testa. State zi ti, eh?"
"Donatello Caravaggio Culpa! Watch your mouth! And try to look happy. Listen to this brochure:
Welcome to Silent Hill!
Silent Hill, a quiet little lakeside
resort town. We're happy to have
you. Take some time out of your
busy schedules and enjoy a nice
restful vacation here.
Row after row of quaint old houses,
a gorgeous mountain landscape,
and a lake which shows different
sides of its beauty with the
passing of the day, from sunrise
to late afternoons to sunset.
Silent Hill will move you and fill
you with a feeling of deep peace.
I hope your time here will be
pleasant and your memories will
"Sounds boring! And besides, who wants to live around a bunch of antipatico tourists anyway? Questo posto sta per succhiare testicoli!"
"Donnie..*sigh*..we need a change. It's only you and I now. New England is a fresh start. Hey, we're almost there I think...what did that sign say?"
Brahms: 10 miles. Silent Hill: 15 miles, Pleasant River: 25 miles.
"Buano! Silent Hill will change our lives! Here we come!"
'God, I was so mad at her for dragging me here', I thought, as I took out my pack of Newport 100's, and put one of the five cigarettes I had left into my mouth. 'Until I met Andrew', I stood up, lit my cigarette, the smoke and fog blending together in a vapor-dance. 'When I met him, everything was perfect. Life was bliss.'
I crossed Nathan Avenue and decided to head back home. Mid-morning passed into early afternoon, as the fog-shrouded sun rose in a birdless sky. 'Life really was bliss', I thought as I walked back up Neely Street alone. 'Until my world vanished.'
I made it back to my house at 1408 Neely Street, and opened the door. I figured I would grab something to eat and try to put this whole topsy-turvy situation out of my head, if only for a few hours.
I made it to the living room, and stopped dead in my tracks. On the big mirror above my white leather couch, written in what could only be blood, was:
HELP ME! D.C.! COME...ARCADE! PLEASSEE
My face went white. Mortal terror washed over me. That message wasn't there before I went for my walk.
"It couldn't be!", I screamed outloud.
The fear and panic was reaching my boiling point, and I started hyperventilating. Only one person calls me "D.C.", and the thought of him in need of help out there was too much to bare. I stared at the bloody message as it dripped down the mirror onto the white leather couch. My eyes welled up with tears and I dropped to my knees.
The message on the mirror was now illegible as it dripped and oozed. Not daring to think who's blood that is, I began to wonder - fleetingly - how Andrew could have possibly been in my house, and then went to the arcade. There was only one road to Lakeside Amusement Park where Lakeside Arcade was located...Nathan Avenue. I would have seen him. Hell, he would have seen me
The thought of him in danger, however, pushed any logical thoughts out of my head. I stood up, and bolted out of the door. On I ran back up Neely Street, the sights a blur to me as I turned left onto Nathan Ave, past Rosewater park, past the Silent Hill Historical Society. The trek to the arcade on foot was a long one, as Lakeside Amusements was all the way on the other side of Toluca Lake in Silent Hill's Resort Area near Old Silent Hill.
Yet on I ran...if my Andrew was in trouble, only I can save him.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next few parts
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