A persistent haze clouded Harry’s thoughts. Despite the justifications he’d made himself believe, killing the nurse had left a bad taste in his mouth. It was just another monster, another obstacle in his way; he had every reason to eliminate it. Still, the image of the nearly-human woman bleeding out on the floor plagued him with unwarranted guilt. Was it really the monster he made it out to be? Had he actually murdered someone he could have saved? Had he made the right decision? Those questions replayed in his mind over and over until even his devotion to finding Cheryl couldn’t justify his actions. He wandered like a sleepwalker through the hospital’s winding corridors.
Before he knew it, Harry ended up down in the basement. He pushed open the first door he saw, stepping into a cluttered storeroom. The boxes stacked on the ground and the medical supplies lining the rusty shelves were caked in what seemed to be several years’ worth of dust. Perhaps because of his lightheaded daze, Harry’s eyes were drawn right to a point of suspicion, a shelf in the very back of the storeroom. The room was packed with so many boxes that there was hardly any room to walk, but the area around that particular shelf was bare.
Making his way closer to investigate, he saw marks trailing along the ground, as if something had been dragged across. Despite the aged state of the room, it looked as if this shelf had been moved frequently, and recently too. Harry pushed it to the side…and revealed a hidden door. It opened into a gaping passage deeper into the basement. Harry should have been elated; what better place for Cheryl to be hidden than a secret passage? But all he could do was stand and stare into the darkness. The encounter with the nurse had shaken him; he felt gripped by the same fear as when he’d faced the giant creature in the school basement.
Harry slumped to the floor, leaning against the wall and closing his eyes. It must be around noon by now. He hadn’t really slept or even stopped to rest in well over twenty-four hours. The wariness in his mind and the fatigue in his body weighed on him until he finally escaped into the respite of sleep.
“Daddy?” Cheryl sat on Harry’s lap as he rested in an armchair. She nestled closer. “Are you sleeping?” He had been sitting here with his head in his hands for a long time, then suddenly closed his eyes. The three year old looked up at her father, he face full of worry. Harry had lost himself in grief after Jodie’s passing. Memories of her occupied his every thought. Even the wonderful memories of her gentle smile, something that should have given him comfort, only tormented him further.
“Hey…dad?” Cheryl shook her father’s knee in alarm. “Daddy, please be okay! I don’t want you to go away too! Please don’t leave me alone…”
Her pleas reached straight to the bottom of his broken heart. Harry slowly opened his eyes. Cheryl…At only three years old she’d been forced to know the sorrows of death, now she feared that it would take her father, the only person she had left in the world. The shock hit him as if Jodie had slapped him in the face. You’re her father! You have to be here for her now! He lifted his daughter up and held her tight in his arms.
“I’m so sorry Cheryl. Daddy’s been really careless lately. I…I was so caught up in the past that I forgot that the most important thing in the world was right in front of me.”
Cheryl was his treasure, the greatest gift he’d ever been given in life. She deserved every ounce of devotion in his heart. With that loving embrace, he swore that the two of them would live happy lives together, no matter what.
Harry awoke to the sight of teardrops on the dust-covered floor before him. For that one moment, he was able to hold Cheryl in his arms again. Though sorrow still sat heavy in his chest, seeing her smiling face in his dream was enough to fill him with renewed determination. Harry felt as if he’d gotten a full-night’s sleep, despite his watch saying that only thirty minutes had passed. He was damn lucky none of the monsters wandered down here.
Harry pulled himself to his feet to confront the dark passage. Jodie must have been watching over him; in that moment he felt all the doubt and fear melt away. He would keep that promise he made to Cheryl all those years ago. No matter the cost, he’d bring her home safe.
Behind the hidden door was a smaller, narrow storage room lined with bare shelves. The only feature in the room was a storage hatch on the floor that lifted with a rusty creak to reveal a stairway leading deeper underground.
The room at the bottom of those stairs was identical to the one upstairs, enough to give Harry and odd sense of déjà vu. But it was far from a feeling of familiar comfort. The darkness has solidified into a thick wall that bore down on him from all sides, banished only by the paltry light of his flashlight. An appalling chill snaked its was up Harry’s spine. It was the same heavy, otherworldly darkness that he’d felt in the “other” school, the twisted version of reality that lay beyond the clock tower.
A dull hiss sounded from the radio in his pocket, steadily growing louder. Pounding footsteps rapidly approached from the darkness until a sprinting nurse came into view. She was different from the one Harry had faced before; she wore visible signs of age on her face and her dark hair was flecked with grey. But she had the same hunched posture, the same throbbing hump on her back, and the same murderous grin stretched across her wrinkled face. The only other difference was a thick syringe she clutched in her hand and raised above her head, ready to strike.
There was no way of knowing what kind of vile liquid was sloshing around inside that syringe, but Harry wasn’t about to find out. He couldn’t afford to hesitate. Do it for Cheryl. He steeled himself and unloaded two bullets into the woman’s stomach. She recoiled with a shriek, clutching her gushing wound as she collapsed into a bloody pile on the floor.
But it was far from over.
A newcomer was alerted by the commotion and let out a savage roar as it stumbled over the nurse’s body and lunged at Harry. He dodged just in time as a pair of scissors sliced past his head, firing another round at the new monster in the process. The bullet just barely grazed the shoulder of what was once a well-dressed young doctor, now a rabid monster just like the nurses. He wasted no time grabbing Harry’s arm, forcing them into a close-combat struggle. Before Harry could turn the muzzle to the doctor again, he felt the cold steel scissors pierce his wrist, loosening his grip and sending the gun to the floor. Harry fought for his life through the biting pain, beating the doctor back with his bare hands as he tried to anticipate where those scissors would strike next. In a moment of pure desperation, he grabbed the doctor by the chest and headbutt the monster in the head with all his might.
The doctor stumbled backwards with a heavy groan. Harry took advantage of his stunned opponent and brought smacked the scissors from his hand with his flashlight. Now, if only for a moment, the two were finally on equal footing. Adrenaline coursing through him, Harry let out a yell and hurled his body at the doctor, tackling him to the ground. As the two fell into a heap of flailing limbs, Harry’s flashlight slipped from his hand and rolled against the far wall. Suddenly bathed in disorienting darkness, Harry felt a pair of hands grab him by the neck. The doctor dug his fingers into his throat, squeezing with almost supernatural strength. Gasping and choking, Harry struggled to push his attacker away with his right hand while groping through the darkness for his gun with the left. Come on…come on…He should have dropped it around here; it had to be there. Or else…
His heart leapt as his hand closed around something cold and metallic. It was too thin to be a gun, but a pair of scissors would save his live all the same. Clenching it tight, he stabbed the Doctor. A wet, gurgling scream pierced the darkness and the doctor’s grip went limp. Finally taking in a lungful of precious air, Harry shoved the monster away and scrambled for his flashlight to view the aftermath. The doctor was writhing in agony on the floor, the pair of scissors buried deep in his neck.
Harry’s gun lay on the ground not too far away. He picked it up, looking down upon the pathetic creature. One shot was all it took to put it out of its misery. A monster is a monster after all. It would have just as easily killed him. The sooner Harry could shake his unnecessary sentimentality, the longer he’d survive in a place like this.
Harry continued on with a heavy gait. He had four rounds left but…the harrowing encounter with the doctor left him shaken and exhausted. If another nurse appeared, he didn’t feel too confident in his chances.
Nonetheless, he set about the task of checking each room in the long corridor. With every empty room he felt both a wave of relief and disappointment. He wouldn’t have to fight for his life again, but he wasn’t any closer to finding his daughter either.
The final room Harry entered was identical to the others, but somehow the atmosphere felt different. It was a simple hospital room with nothing but a neatly made bed and a nightstand, but somehow it had avoided the corrupting force that had left the rest of the ward in ruin. It was as pristine as a new hotel room and looked to have been cleaned quite recently. Was someone being treated here? And where were they now…?
Harry’s chest tightened. Cheryl could have been here. His daughter could have stood in this very room before being whisked off again to God knows where. Harry’s eyes were drawn to a picture frame sitting atop the nightstand. He saw, to his surprise, the face of a young girl. Her eyes seemed distant and her expression was tinged with melancholy. Harry recognized her instantly as the mysterious girl he’d spotted in the boiler room back at the elementary school. As he stared into those sorrowful eyes, Harry became certain of one thing. This girl was the one held prisoner in this room, not Cheryl. But just who was she?
Even after all he’d been though, Harry had been unable to find a single trace of Cheryl in this hospital. The only remaining lead he had was the suspicious doctor Kaufmann, but he was long gone. He could be halfway out of the state by now. Harry still had his one meager connection the Brahms police force; he wondered if he could get them to open an investigation to track the man down.
Weighed down with disappointment, Harry trekked back to the first floor. He found the previously locked fire escape and unlocked it from the inside, pushing it open to reveal a grim sight. The once bright and spotless hospital he saw when he first arrived had decayed to the same state as the basement. The walls, the floor, even the air itself had been corroded by darkness. It was as if the building had aged centuries in the short time he’d been away. Looking around in morbid bewilderment, Harry made his way back to the waiting room.
A theater stage set in a perfect façade of normalcy on one side, but simply walk behind it and one can see it from a different perspective. Did Silent Hill have two faces as well? If his theory was correct, then whatever was happening at the school and the hospital must be connected.
Harry was walking past an examination room door when a sudden noise gave him pause. Someone was in there. Another nurse? The wise option would be to just keep walking, but he couldn’t ignore the slim possibility that it might be Cheryl. Who knows, maybe Kaufmann forgot something important and risked a return trip for it.
Harry took a deep breath and clenched his gun, feeling a dull throb of pain in the hand the monstrous doctor had stabbed. His joints ached, his body was plagued by fatigue, and he could feel his resolve crumbling by the second. But when it came down to it, he had no choice. If things went bad again, he’d just turn around and run for it. “Please let me make it out alive…” Harry murmured a quiet prayer as he swung the door open.
Hands shaking, he pointed the flashlight and muzzle at every corner of the room. Just as he suspected, a nurse was crouched under a desk, lying in wait. She looked up at him, squinting in the flashlight’s glare. Harry was poised to pull the trigger, but the look on her face stopped him. He wasn’t met with a distorted smile, nor did she have a stumbling gait or a grotesque hump.
“Thank God, another normal person!” The nurse exclaimed as she scrambled out from under the desk. Harry finally lowered the gun. Her face was filled with relief; she hardly even noticed she’d nearly been shot.
“I’m Lisa Garland. But you can call me Lisa.”
“Name’s Harry Mason. Harry is fine.” Her bright smile and warm demeanor seemed to ease his tired mind and heal his weary body in an instant. She must have an incredible bedside manner; Harry might have actually enjoyed being a patient here if she were the one taking care of him.
“It feels like I’ve been in here forever. I was hoping someone would come to save me soon.”
“I’m looking for someone too. I came here looking for answers but those nurses…everyone’s lost their minds. You and I are the only normal people left.”
“It’s so awful…I blacked out and when I came to, the staff, the patients, everyone was just gone. Harry, what on earth is happening here?”
“I wish I knew. I’m just a tourist. By the time I arrived, everyone was already gone.”
“It’s like a living nightmare. I just wish I could wake up…” Lisa’s cheerful smile faded. Harry couldn’t help but sympathize with her, holed up here all alone as the world seemed to crumble around her.
“Anyway, we should hurry up and get out of here. I’ll stay with you.”
“Of course. But…There’s something I have to do before I can leave. I’m looking for my daughter.”
“Your daughter’s missing?”
“Yeah. Her name’s Cheryl. Short, black hair. Just turned seven. Do you know anything?”
“I was unconscious for awhile so I haven’t seen anyone…Sorry.”
“That’s alright. No need to apologize.” He was feeling let down by her answer, but one nagging question still remained. It surely had nothing to do with Cheryl, but it had been weighing on his mind for a while now.
“I found this weird room hidden in the basement and there was a picture of a young girl in there. Do you know anything about her?”
“A hidden room? What are you talking about?”
“Yeah. I found this staircase inside one of the storage rooms and-”
His words were cut short by a jarring screech of a siren.
“Damn…my head…” Harry clutched his head as the shrill call seemed to echo inside his skull.
“Harry? What’s wrong?” Lisa looked to him, concerned. The sound was so loud it seemed to be drowning out his own thoughts, how could she not hear it? Was it all in his head?
“Harry!? Stay with me! Harry!”
Lisa’s voice drifted further and further away before it disappeared into the reverberating sirens. The pain throbbing in his head turned his vision dark. In an instant, the sound stopped. When Harry forced his eyes back open, there was no sign of Lisa. The examination room was just as bight and clean as when he first visited.
“It appears you were able to escape the grasp of the darkness.” A voice that didn’t belong to Lisa pulled Harry from his confusion. He looked up to see the aged face of the woman from the church.
“I believe introductions are overdue. You may call me Dahlia Gillespie.”
“I don’t care about your name! I want to know where my daughter is! I only came to this god-forsaken hospital because of you and there’s nothing here!”
“I’m afraid you were too late.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The Darkness.” Dahlia’s voice was calm but her eyes glistened with intense fervor.
“This town is being devoured by darkness. Strength must overcome petty desire. Childish sleep talk. I knew this day would come.”
Harry stared in disbelief as utter nonsense poured from her mouth. Just as he suspected, this lady was completely crazy after all. Just because of all the bizarre things happening in town, he’d let this delusional old woman send him on a wild goose chase that nearly got him killed. He was shaken from his thoughts when Dahlia addressed him again.
“Have you not seen the crest marked on the ground all over town?”
“A crest? Like the one in the schoolyard?”
“It is the mark of Samael. Etched across all corners of this town. You mustn’t let it be completed.”
Samael. A being also called the red serpent; revered by some as an angel, reviled by others as a demon.
“Only you can end this. It is beyond my abilities. If you are able to halt the mark’s completion, the darkness plaguing this town will be dispelled and you may even be reunited with your little girl. There is another church in this town; that is your destination. Don’t let it be completed.”
Dahlia placed something atop the desk as she spoke. A key. Harry’s gaze wandered for but a moment, distracted by the metal gleam. When he looked back, Dahlia had vanished. Harry tilted his head. As he sat in the heavy stillness, only one thought occupied his mind.
That woman is a witch.
Pics coming soon, I just really wanted to get this posed now
Original - Sadamu Yamashita
Characters/story - Konami
Translation - Emily Fitch
Artwork by Masahiro Ito
Screenshots from the Silent Hill wiki