Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome back to Story Time With Tim! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and this is part two to my novella Shiver! A story based on the conceit of Silent Hill the video game and runs away with the concept of poor science being poorly executed! Thank you for coming back and if you didn’t read the first part, why not read it now?
Alright, I’ve already talked about what this story is and why it is in the prior posting. So, let’s just get into it already and spare the foreplay! …Probably the only time you’ll ever hear that ever said…
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!
Cerise sat up in a groggy haze. Her goggles had been blown off and the glasses she normally wore hung loosely on her face. Readjusting those, she glanced around but wasn’t able to see anything for the lights were still out. In her pocket, she grabbed a small key chain light she kept to help her open the lock to her car. She flashed it around the interior of the lab. Bodies were strewn everywhere.
Checking pulses, Cerise was horrified to discover that the aides were dead. She looked around and saw Elliot. A shard of plexiglass had been driven through his skull. Dropping her light, she quickly looked away and felt the urge to regurgitate. But all she succeeded in was a dry vomit.
Dizzily, Cerise found the light she dropped and shone it away from Elliot’s corpse. Tears found their way down her cheeks as she sought a phone line to call for help. However, the few phones she discovered didn’t seem to be working. In an unsteady fashion, she fought her way, against her own disgust, to get into the next room with the sphere to find out what went wrong. What had she done?
Jesus. Please! Oh, god! She stumbled into the next room and flashed the light around. The little ball had dropped to the floor but a strange light, barely visible, persisted at the base of the cylindrical containment unit. She could see inside it, for the plexiglass had exploded outward. She flashed the light at the viewport, noting that it had been shattered by the force.
Elliot… Then another thought hit her. Oh, Christ… Paul! Maddie!! A new urge ate at her existence. She had to get out and get to her husband and daughter. The phone lines were out, but that also meant the doors had been demagnetized. It shouldn’t be a problem to get out. At least, she hoped not.
With the greatest of haste, Cerise backtracked to the entrance of the lab and didn’t look back at her colleagues laying heaped on the floor. She couldn’t bear to look at them now. How could she fail them so? A failed experiment was acceptable. Millions of dollars would have been wasted, true, but the human death toll was beyond measure to her. She prayed and hoped beyond hope that the incident was contained merely to the labs and not the whole building… Oh, God, not the town! Please tell me it was contained! Please! She wept to herself, barely in control of her own senses.
One dark hall after another passed as she made her way through the building. It was as she feared. The building had fallen victim to the pulse wave. She didn’t know what had happened. She didn’t know what the pulse wave was. But she knew she had to find out. However, there was a greater drive to check on her family first.
Staggering out into the main lobby, Cerise looked around. There were dead everywhere; through the halls she had traversed and now here, in the lobby. Her heart ached. She looked at the massive, glass constructed veranda that enclosed the lobby. Beyond it was the darkest night she’d ever seen. That was because the electricity was out. It was out in the entire town. No…
It was possible, she supposed, that the wave had merely knocked out the town’s electricity. She hoped. Her hopes were diminishing, however. Towards the entrance, she began but stopped short when something came from the shadows. Several somethings. She flashed her light around the dark lobby and saw, to her horror, half a dozen snarling beings of unknown origin. All of them deep red in hue with gnashing teeth and lethal claws. And all of them saw her. They came forward with biting jaws of misery looking to make her their meal. She screamed in terror and turned back the way she’d come. She slammed doors behind her and locked them with the seemingly minuscule locks on their knobs.
What the fuck! What the Fuck!! I’m going to hell!! What the—
“Fuck!” Sheridan shouted as he looked upon the dark store.
No one would be there to serve him this night. That meant no
aspirin. He wasn’t a happy camper. He tried the door anyway and found it unlocked. So, he went into the mini-mart. He didn’t see a soul. Therefore, he helped himself to some aspirin anyway. So, I’m an asshole. I’ll leave a ten on the counter. Not like I don’t got the money. He checked around for anything else he might need, picked up a pack of cigarettes from the counter, didn’t see the clerk, left the money and left the store.
Lighting up another cigarette, Sheridan walked down the bleakly fog drenched city streets, determined to leave this dreary place behind. He turned a corner and walked approximately half a block before he started hearing odd moaning coming from everywhere at once. He looked upward towards the buildings, crowding him on all sides, and could barely ascertain darkened windows through the thick fog clinging to the city scape, apparently attempting a new type of symbiosis.
He continued on, feeling that he probably just heard the creaking of settling stone. However, the moaning emitted again and this time it was accompanied by distinct, humanoid shapes slowly massing in the shadowy recesses beyond at the building bases. It must have been an alleyway that he was in because there were only two directions to go. Forward, where the shadows were massing or backwards the way he had come.
Sheridan decided to hell with whatever it was and turned around. Unfortunately for his dumb luck, lurking figures were congregating there as well. His nerve was slipping but he felt he had had confrontations with the unknown before.
“Well, people, if this is one of those gang things, I ain’t in the mood. Maybe one of you fine fellows can tell me where the hell I am and into which direction the exit from it is?” He stood his ground, instinctively placing his hands in front of him in some martial stance he’d picked up somewhere.
Whatever false bravado he’d mustered, must have worked as the figures stopped moving and just stood there ever so slightly discernable in the foggy darkness. It was eerie that he could see them at all. And unnerving that all they did was stand there. Then there was a strange round of whisperings that culminated into a raspy din. A conversation of some sort was ensuing.
“You are not one of them. You yet live,” came a small voice from out of the fog. Sheridan stood a little bit straighter, still not at ease but at least someone was saying something intelligible.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I think it’s safe to say I ain’t dead yet. At least, I don’t think,” Sheridan patted his hands against his body, checking for substance and glad he was still there.
Another series of muted mumblings rattled through the alleyway. Then some of the figures stepped forward from behind and in front. He found himself surrounded by minuscule figures. Then realization hit; these were children.
“We are the Missing. You should not be here,” the lead said.
The child looked to be male. He’d come far enough for slight features to be seen. Yet not enough to identify anyone in a potential lineup.
“The Missing, huh? Think maybe your folks might not like you playing so late at night like this? Unnerving the piss out of some poor shmuck dumb enough to walk down an alley so late at night?”
“Travel with caution. The terrors still lurk,” the male child spoke solemnly.
This was freaking the hell out of Sheridan as he placed his back against a wall in a slight lean to keep all the little childlike figures where he could see them. Regardless, he decided to play it cool and blinked his eyes slowly as he began to speak once more.
“Look, this is all very funny and all, but I’d appreciate it if someone laid out what’s going on around here. Playing pranks in the middle of the night isn’t something…” Sheridan spoke as he reopened his slow blink and looked around.
The shadowy figures were gone. The mad whisperings had ceased. Oh, this is good.
“Fucking kids…” Sheridan said into the night air, not expecting a response.
Anger rose slightly in his person as Sheridan’s pulse caught up with his held breathe. He flicked the long ash that had formed on his still smoldering cigarette and took another drag. This town was seriously fucked in the head and he’d had enough of its mysteries.
They were coming. All of them. The moans and groans of hungry legions hammered at her skull as the woman ran. How many were there? She didn’t know. Too many. But she had to keep going. One had tried to take her when she, out of exhaustion, had collapsed on the stairs to her boyfriend’s apartment. He hadn’t been home. It was like he just disappeared.
Or became one of them. She thought to herself, fear escalating. She hoped it wasn’t true. But one never knew. She wasn’t willing to stay around to find out. Several days had passed, since the blackout. Then the dead had risen and started walking the streets. Hiding hadn’t helped much. But she had thought them gone when she’d gotten to Billy’s place. His door had been locked so she slept on the stairs hoping he would come home. Then the one had found her. She had to get out of town. Had to escape the nightmare. The dense fog descended upon her as the moans got louder. The woman ran harder and deeper into the thickening fog.
A long and narrow path led from the center of the town towards the wooded park surrounding the city on all sides. The intent of such a park was to instill a sense of nostalgia and serenity for days long past. However, all it achieved in doing now was instilling a sense of fear into Cerise as she traversed the dirt path covered in the unnaturally dense fog.
She had made her escape from the demons via a backdoor in the laboratory complex. Arms were huddled against her to still the cold bite in the vapors hanging stalely in the night air. Had the pulse wave caused this? The lights were out and mother nature seemed to have taken the cue to move in. Where was her family? She had to make it back to the house. Maybe they were there, afraid of the sudden blackout. Yeah. That had to be it.
Jesus. It’s so cold. Cerise thought, her breath materializing in a condensed vapor in front of her face. There was nothing to see save for the pitch black of nothingness. A shrieking sound emanated from behind her. She spun around looking for anything chasing along the path. There was nothing but that damned fog.
Turning back toward the direction she was heading, Cerise increased her pace into almost a run. It felt like something was watching from the beyond. Her arms came out to her sides, releasing the hold she had on herself. She broke out into a run, a cold sweat encompassing her body. Her house had to be up this hill. It had to be. Where was she? She was suddenly unsure.
Cerise stopped and panted, putting her hands on her knees. Someone gripped her from behind and Cerise nearly jumped out of her skin. She turned around and was met by her husband, Paul.
“Paul! Oh god! Thank god!” she shouted, embracing him.
Paul didn’t say a word as he looked down upon Cerise. She let her gaze drift up to his face and he smiled that smile of his. She smiled back warmly.
“Where’s Maddie?” she inquired, worry at the back of her mind and quickly making its way through her body.
Paul’s smile faded as he pointed to the side of the path. There, her daughter lay not moving. Cerise screamed and rushed towards her daughter. She checked the girl’s pulse and found none. Noooo!!
“Noooo!! Paul! What happened!? How…!?” she looked up at her husband who was just standing there looking at the two.
Cerise stared in horror as a demon with wings rose up from behind Paul and mutilated the man without passion. It gave off a strange shriek and Cerise stood up to scream her rage. Her hands clenched into fists of temper and defiance.
“Paul!! Goddamnit!! You fucker!! What ARE you!?” she glared at it from behind her steamed-up glasses, rage boiling over while fear hacked into her conscience.
The demon landed and howled. Other demons came from the fog and one swatted Cerise, knocking her down and slinging her glasses into the unknown. Her hair had fallen loose of its braid by the attack and her coat had ripped open exposing her to a further chill that gripped her in a frozen embrace. Looking back up, she saw them approaching. Tears streamed down her visage as her continence wavered and a little voice in her head shouted, Run, you fool! Run! They can’t be saved! Yet, she stared at her daughter’s body and what was left of her husband. Strange that the voice in her head sounded so much like Paul. She didn’t feel like she could stand. She wanted to let the demons drag her to hell for her sins against her family. If that would save them from this misery. However, a force overcame her, and Cerise was immediately on her feet, rushing back towards the town.
No. I have to stay! They’re dead because of me! she plead with herself. No, another voice interjected, you have to understand. And she continued to run back down the hill, not stopping for the erratic pulse hammering inside her skull. The fog rushed by in its haze and reality blurred. None of this was real. It couldn’t be. The buildings rushing by her were real. The pounding of her heart, she thought was real. The strong and firm body she smacked into was definitely real.
“Goddamnit!” came a guttural response as Cerise landed on her posterior and inertia rolled her onto her stomach.
Cerise looked up as she came to her knees, the fear palpable, not wanting to know but needing to know who had just halted her forward momentum. A man came to his feet swearing. He brushed off his trench-coat and picked up a cigarette that had been knocked from his mouth. He had to have been nearly six feet tall; dark brown hair and a grizzled appearance. He looked right at her. And then offered her his hand.
“You ain’t one of those ‘terrors’, are you?” the man seemed to quip.
Cerise was fairly certain the man was real. But that fact didn’t still her heart or stave the flow of the tears washing down her cheeks. She took the proffered hand and was helped to her feet. Her eyes never left the face of the strange man before her. But what he asked was a real puzzler.
“Huh?” Cerise managed to get out, trembling slightly.
“Never mind. Are you all right?” the man inquired of her, letting loose her hand as she stood up shaking off the gathered dirt from her fall.
Cerise nodded her head that, yes, she was fine. However, she didn’t feel fine. It felt like a leaden spike still on fire had been driven through her heart.
“What about you? Sorry for running into you like that. There was just…” she looked around, her body still shuddering under tearful sobs.
The man seemed to understand without knowing.
“What’s going on around here? This town… where is this? I don’t even know where I am,” he queried patiently waiting for her to get out what it was that had happened.
Cerise didn’t know if she wanted to say. But was a little surprised that the man didn’t know where he was. She cast her eyes at him.
“You don’t know? The events… that’s a little hard to explain. Where you are is in Roanoke. In the Appalachian mountain range,” she responded, carefully examining his facial features as he looked a little shocked. “You don’t remember how you got here?”
The man shook his head in response, struggling to remember in the dark fog of his mind. Cerise stared at him in contemplation, her tears drying somewhat. A new thought was dominating her concentration. What an interesting event. I wonder if it has something to do with the pulse wave?
A shriek sounded somewhere in the distance and Cerise turned around looking for it, panic evident in her every movement. The man just looked at her strangely.
“Something wrong?” he inquired holding out his hands to steady her should she have a breakdown.
Cute… Strange. She slowly turned back to look at him.
“You didn’t hear it?”
“There was a shrieking in the air. Something… that was there. It… it…” she trailed off not sure what was real anymore. She looked away from the man. Then quickly turned back, thrusting her hand out.
“I’m sorry. I’m Cerise Oldega. I didn’t get the pleasure of your name.”
“Right… Sheridan Rysden. At least, that’s what my license says. Probably good that I know that much,” he took her hand and spoke softly, realizing she wasn’t all that keen on sharing the details of whatever had happened. “Roanoke, huh? Never heard of it… that I remember,” he smiled.
Cerise smiled back, trying to remain calm and rational. Despite his situation, this Sheridan seemed pretty rational himself. Hadn’t he seen the demons? Or were they just after her for her sins? She was about to query him on that when Sheridan decided to speak.
“Regardless. I think we should get out of her. This town is giving me the chills. And, to tell you the truth, I really don’t want to know what happened. You coming? There was this other woman, but she wasn’t in a talkative mood. And then there was the Missing…”
“The Missing?” Cerise recited, arching her brows above the rim of her glasses.
“Long story. Well, what do you say?”
Cerise didn’t know what to do. Another shriek emanated in the distance and she came to a decision.
“Yeah, let’s go.”
And that brings this week’s offering to an end! Thanks for reading yet again and come back next week for part three! How many parts will there be? Probably not that many, but I’m unwilling to commit to one single digit at this moment in time.
Read to you soon!
~Timothy S Purvis
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