Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome back to another week of Story Time With Tim! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and this is part three to Shiver! My novella based loosely on Silent Hill! There’s some dark stuff going on within it and it’s pretty well balanced overall, I think anyhow.
Regardless, if you’re not caught up and haven’t read the first two parts of this one, check em out below:
Okay. Let’s get on with it and get into part three of this tale. See you again soon!
Sheridan walked beside the woman, Cerise, that had run into him. She was shorter, maybe five foot six. But she wasn’t really thin. There was substance to her body structure, not fat, but it looked as if she could be a mother. And she was probably in her late thirties. A wedding ring adorned her left hand. Married with a child, at least one. Tearful. Something happened to her family. There’s fear there. Yet, a solid resolve. She doesn’t want to leave. Thoughts rolled around in his head, as Sheridan continued studying the woman. He wasn’t sure why he was doing it. It just seemed natural.
A road lay directly ahead as they were exiting the town. The intent was to get as far away from Roanoke as possible and get the authorities involved. The closer they got to the road, the surer Sheridan got about himself. He was more aware. Something about the town was preventing him from fully understanding. From remembering.
Cerise was finishing up a narrative about what had happened in the lab. She was being very careful about avoiding what she was running from. And she was evasive about the whole back door to the lab. Strange, but how she described the lab and the complex it was housed in, didn’t seem to be the type of place to harbor a back door. He was sure she was holding something back. However, Sheridan was trying to be respectful. Still…
“What made you leave the lab by the back door? And what happened to your husband?” he inquired in as mild a tone as he could muster. She started at this and looked at him.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Let’s not play coy. Something happened in this town. Now it may have had something to do with the pulse wave you described, however, you weren’t running from a wave,” he looked at her trying to understand.
Cerise sighed a heavy sigh and explained the demons and what had happened to her family. About why she deserved to die in the town with everyone else. She was crying again and he felt bad for it. He wasn’t trying to make her cry.
“It’s not your fault. I find it strange, though, that I didn’t see any bodies or any indication of life having been in town. Well, with the exception of the lunatic and the children of the fog…”
“I don’t know what to tell you. They’re dead. All of them. I did it. I will never be able to atone for that,” Cerise composed her statement then stared ahead in silence.
Sheridan walked in silence beside her considering all he’d been told. It had been a tragedy, but something was still off. Something didn’t sit right with the tale. She hadn’t lied to him. Though, she obviously only had her take on events. Maybe he should go back and find that woman? Of course, they were already on the road. They weren’t able to find a vehicle in town they could use. And weren’t willing to steal one. Adding grand theft auto to the already wild tale would have been less than ideal.
Around them, the pale silence had dissipated and the fog was lifting. A dark row of forest surrounded them with this one road running through their midst. Sheridan could see the stars, finally, in the night. A gorgeous moon played its beam across a forest canopy casting eerie shadows onto the paved road. Memories were flooding back to Sheridan. Once, he had been a detective on the police force in Maryland. He had taken up private investigation after a particularly disastrous fiasco with the department involving extortion and a group of prostitutes. He had come to Roanoke looking for a lost relative of one of his clients. Last word had them in this small community in the mountains.
The soft droning of crickets in the woods brought Sheridan back into the present, making him realize how good it was to remember. There had been things he’d wished to forget, but those were part of the person he’d become.
Bright beams shone down from the road a ways, disrupting the depth of the night. Sheridan stuck his thumb out to hail the vehicle, some sort of sedan.
“Well, I’m recalling things a whole lot better now,” Sheridan said out loud as the sedan pulled up beside him. “Thanks for stopping, buddy. The lady and I need a lift to the next town.”
Sheridan spoke to the lone occupant in the driver’s seat after he rolled down the window. The man inside stared at him vacantly.
“Yeah, Mrs…” Sheridan turned to face Cerise and found himself standing alone by the side of the road with a sedan eagerly waiting his next response, “Goddamnit. That woman…”
A choice had to be made. Go back to town to find out where Cerise went and what she thought she was doing, or just make a break for it now. He elected on the former, thanking the gentleman for having the courtesy to stop. As the sedan drove off, Sheridan began the trek back to town.
That eerie silence of a dead town remained within Roanoke as Sheridan traversed the town streets. He hadn’t seen Cerise on the way back. Not even a track. She must have ran back. He was beginning to wonder why he’d come back. Then thought about the complex that the lab was in. It had to be in the downtown area. But finding the way would take a little guess work.
The fog hadn’t dissipated, in fact, it seemed to have gotten worse. Strange noises were echoing throughout the town now. Noises he hadn’t noticed before. He was getting a little unnerved by everything. Keep your focus. Sheridan told himself, looking around cautiously. The footsteps of his clacking loafers echoed off the building walls as he walked towards what he assumed was the center of the town.
A blast rung out. Sheridan looked around not seeing anything, but noted that the sound had been close. Another blast. This time, a zinging sound whipped by his head, barely missing him and striking the wall beside him. Sheridan’s fear had been confirmed, someone was firing a weapon at him. A twenty-two by the sound of it. He ducked behind a dumpster, hoping the fog would help mask him from whomever was firing at him.
Perching down in a little corner that the dumpster and the wall created, Sheridan waited patiently and quietly. The dark was masking him fairly well. He could just slightly make out his own hands in front of him. Though an eerie light was playing through the streets with no discernable source. Before long, a quick glean caught his attention as a hunched interloper strolled silently by him. It didn’t see him, which gave Sheridan an advantage he needed.
With a quick motion blurred in the fog, Sheridan effortlessly twisted the handgun from the grasp of the individual that had fired at him. He slung the person against the wall and turned them around to face him. The slight light in the thick fog illuminated ever so slightly the face of a woman. The one he’d seen on the steps. She was screaming now, clawing at his face trying to drive him back. Wrestling with the woman, he managed to pin her arms against the dumpster.
“Hey! Knock it off!! What’s your problem!?” he shouted, trying to get the woman to calm down.
“Let me go! Monster! Let me go!” she glared at him with streaks of tears mired in terror.
“Look at me! I am not a monster! Calm down and talk to me!” he shouted back at her. The darkness making it tough to see her.
The little light available was difficult to keep upon her visage. However, she seemed to be calming down and then stopped struggling, staring at him with her jaw ajar.
“You can talk?”
“Uhm, yeah,” Sheridan said, feeling that maybe he’d gotten through to her, but still wasn’t letting up on her arms.
In his right pocket, the twenty-two bumped against his thigh. He had jammed it there during the struggle. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be trying to take it back. The woman let out a sob of joy and embraced him. She didn’t speak a word as he led her to a step closer to one of several lighted spots which seemed to be coming more and more regular. It was strange. Sheridan had never seen lights like them before. They materialized more or less as opposed to shone. There was no source.
“What happened? Where’d you get this gun?” he asked, regretting immediately having brought up the gun.
“I… I got the gun from the gun shop. I went to Billy’s but he never came home. Now the zombies run the streets,” she spoke, gazing at the ground with distant eyes.
Zombies? What? Definitely, something wasn’t adding up. Cerise said she’d seen ‘demons’. Now, here was a woman seeing ‘zombies’. He had no idea who the hell Billy was. But somehow he doubted Billy would be showing up any time soon.
“Look, I need your help. You can come with me. I’ll protect you from the zombies. You have to trust me, but I need you to take me to the lab. Do you know where it is?” he asked, grasping her shoulders with his hands.
“Do you really think you can protect me from them?” she asked, doubt heavy in her voice.
“I know nothing is coming near you without getting through me first,” he stated.
She snorted in response to his words.
“Look,” Sheridan continued, “we got off on the wrong foot here. What’s your name? I’m Sheridan,” he placed a hand on his chest to emphasize what he was saying.
The woman stared at him dumbly, fatigue weighed deeply in her eyes. She smiled then.
“Amanda Penway. But I somehow doubt you are going to be able to protect me,” Amanda stated dubiously, but continued unabated. “You’re looking for a lab? What lab?”
“A place called the Zyler complex.”
“Ah. Yeah. I know where it is. I’ll take you there. But, keep this in mind, there are things out there that will come for us.” A spooky smile stretched across her face as she spoke and she got to her feet to lead him towards the complex.
Is everyone fucked in the head around here? Or is it just me? the wry thought came to him. Sheridan followed the woman closely thankful the woman didn’t want the gun back. He kept an eye out for zombies and demons and what not. All these things made him think about how afraid people are of things. He himself had fears, of course. One of those was being involved in another relationship like the one he’d had. In fact, he had a slight fear of women in general these days. Well, women and bees. Especially hornets. Nasty things.
They had traversed several blocks when they came upon the complex. Amanda took the lead and guided him up the massive stair ziggurat leading to the entrance. They found the doors open. Sheridan wanted to grab the gun but kept his cool. Thoughts of demons guarding the entrance entered his head, but he didn’t believe they actually existed. Everyone had to be a little whacko around here. It probably had something to do with the pulse wave. He’d heard of weird things happening when electrical backlashes occurred.
“Stay near me,” Sheridan said, leading the way into the room.
He was extremely pleased to leave the fog behind and be able to see clearly again, despite the fact it was still dark. It was weird, though, the subtle light in the fog seemed to be flowing cleanly into the complex bathing the room in a pale blue hue. It was like the moon was suddenly showing. Yet, there was only the fog beyond the massive windowed veranda. Amanda followed a short pace behind him. Then stopped when she heard the shuffling of feet.
Panic gripped Amanda and she saw shadows moving. Screaming, she looked back towards the entrance and saw the silhouetted figures of zombies lurking just beyond the doors. One of the figures pried it open. Sheridan turned towards her.
“What? What are you screaming for?”
“What? Are you fucking blind!? Look!!” she motioned towards the door where a legion of zombies filed into the building.
Instinctively, Sheridan’s hand went for the gun. He brought it to bear straining to see anything moving. He only saw the lobby they were in, but she was flipping out.
“Calm down. There’s nothing there,” he let his left hand make a calming motion while his right hand gripped the gun pointed at the ground.
Amanda looked at him amazed. And then turned to run deeper into the complex. He obviously wasn’t seeing what she was seeing. Amanda ran as the zombies came ever closer.
What the hell!? Sheridan saw nothing. But he did hear something. The droning of some creature. It sounded like wings. He froze in fear. Sitting on the reception desk not far away, was something that terrified him beyond belief. Something he ran into in Japan a few years back. Sheridan had had the unfortunate luck of running across a Giant Hornet hive. He had run like hell but one of the bastards had still gotten him. He could still feel the welt on his back he had received as a result of the encounter. And now here was a Giant Hornet, staring him down like he was breakfast.
Sheridan aimed the gun slowly and carefully. He wanted to hit it with one shot and not piss it off anymore than necessary.
“You always were a little pussy,” came a voice.
Sheridan didn’t think the night could get any worse as his fear heightened. He turned to look at a woman standing in the center of the lobby. She was cloaked with a smooth flowing silken garment that was transparent. He could clearly see her nude form as she strode towards him. A mix of emotions ripped through Sheridan. Why was she here? He glanced back at the hornet. It was gone.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Sheridan inquired gripping the gun with both hands and bringing it in front of him.
He had to ignore the bee for now. As terrifying as it was, she was worse. The weapon was pointed to the ground for now. But he kept his eyes on her. Though, he couldn’t help to glance at her total self. He had missed holding her. Missed her caress against his skin.
“Why wouldn’t I be here? Have you forgotten?” Silky smooth arms danced out in front of her as a swarm of Giant Hornets surrounded the woman and lit upon her outstretched arms. They crawled all over her body. Under her silken garment. Around her groin, her thighs, her legs, her arms, and her head. Yet, her face was clear. Each of the damn things were as big as his fist. Terror was an understatement in this moment as he struggled wide eyed to figure this out.
He remembered all right. Remembered what she did. Remembered coming home on a storm ridden night, from doing too much work. Investigating a murder, fighting allegations that he was somehow involved in the extortion ring that had been set up from within the department. Remembered the chill wind that blew and a very unsettling feeling overcoming him. He had stopped then. The rain pouring around him. Just stopped and stood and looked up to the second story window. Curtains were blowing in the wind. So was something else. No, this is a mistake! It couldn’t be.
Sheridan had drawn his gun and held it out in front of him much as he held the weapon in front of him now, gradually aiming it towards the woman. He had run up the stairs after flying through the door, nearly knocking it from its hinges. Into the room upstairs and froze in its doorway. Light streamed through the open window as the something swayed in the breeze. It was tied to the overhang on the balcony. He turned the lights on. The scene was straight out of a Jack the Ripper story. To his knees, he had fallen, tears streaming down his face. His little girl lay gutted in the middle of the room, entrails had been used to paint the room red. His son’s torso swung from the terrace. The boy’s head an ornament now on a bookshelf. Rage had surged through his being. And then his wife had stepped into the bedroom wearing only a silken nighty. The same she wore now, except before it was covered in blood. You… YOU FUCKING BITCH!!! He cried out, unloading his weapon on her, a savage smile still plastered on her face.
Rage filled him once more, the fear of the stinging insects gathered around her not enough to sway him away. But he had killed her. Her death was considered ‘justifiable homicide’ by the same judge who ruled that she was the one in charge of the extortion ring through the police department. That her brother, he hadn’t known he was her brother, was head of the department. How could he have not known? How could she…?
“You murdered our children. And I murdered you. This is some sort of deranged nightmare…” he spoke angrily pointing the weapon at her.
The woman laughed at this.
“Mmmmm. Remember Japan?” she asked him, beckoning a fist sized hornet into her palm. “You swelled up soooo much. It should have killed you, all of them. But you were destined to interfere, weren’t you? You had to be punished. You HAVE to be punished!” she laughed out loud and set forth the hornets that swarmed into an angry battering ram slicing through the lobby towards Sheridan.
He depressed the trigger. Several rounds careened outward towards the woman with vicious intent and connected with her skull, sending the wickedly smiling woman flopping unto the ground. Sheridan unloaded the rest of his ammo on the dive-bombing hornets and realized he wasn’t going to stand a chance against them. He ducked under a desk as they flew around trying to stab at him. He quickly darted toward a door beyond the reception area and received two stings. Grabbing a broom set near the door, Sheridan dodged into the next room and shut the door behind him. He wasn’t alone in his conquest, ten hornets had followed him and were doing everything they could to land on him, to sting him. However, Sheridan deftly swatted the hornets out of the air and stomped on every one of them. He kept stomping until the anger dissipated. Which didn’t completely.
Sheridan looked out into the lobby through a window in the door.
In horror, he witnessed his ex-wife standing there, laughing at him in utter contempt. Nooo. Jesus Christ! What the fuck!? He backed away from the door and decided to keep moving through the complex. Maybe he’d find Cerise. He hoped so. He hoped she knew how to kill the undead. Amanda was right; there were zombies out there.
There was no end to the series of halls as they guided Amanda further and further into the recesses of the complex. The things were behind her; pursuing her every step of the way. That Sheridan was a fool. How could he have not seen them?
Then let him die a fool’s death. Amanda thought, breath fleeing her as she worked her legs as hard as she could. Down the steps, farther into solitude, she sped. The zombies wouldn’t be able to keep up. They were too slow. At least, she hoped they were too slow.
A darkened room lay exposed before her as she slammed the door shut behind her. Amanda gasped for air, her chest heaving in exhaustion. Where was she? She searched for a light switch mindful of the blackout’s effects but praying just the same. She found a switch and flipped it. Remarkably, the lights came on. Across the bare room, some sort of back up laboratory that lacked any real equipment, she saw a phone on a table. Hurriedly, she flung herself towards it. There was a dial tone.
Amanda dialed 911. However, no one answered. She tried any number she could think of out of town. Nothing. She pressed one of the memory buttons and got a line out. Someone answered from some place she’d never heard of; a tactical response company.
“Good evening, Omega Station Tactical Emergency Response. Please state the nature of the emergency,” a soothing woman’s voice answered.
“Please, help! There are zombies! Something’s wrong in this town! I don’t know what happened! Save me!” Amanda shouted awestricken that this line got her to someone in such a position.
“Ma’am, please state your authorization code.”
“Authorization code!? Are you fucking kidding me!? I don’t work here! They’re everywhere! Just send help! Get me out of here!” she screamed.
“Ma’am, pl…” the operator began but the line had gone dead.
Oh no. Amanda thought, panicked. A subtle knocking began on the door leading into the room. She slowly set down the receiver. They were coming; the zombies were right outside the door. There was just one other door. The banging got louder and she darted for the last salvation of her hope.
And we reach the end of part three and the story continues. There should be only one last part to this story and it will be up next week! Hope you stick around and read it and hope you’ve been enjoy this story so far! While you’re here, check out where you can purchase Shiver (if you’re enjoying it of course) as well as some other links to other works that I have available on my personal author’s sight!
See you next week and Thanks for reading!
~Timothy S Purvis
Check out Shiver as an independent novella at:
Looking for a bunch of other novellas to go along with this one? Check out my novellas collection in the Tales From A Strange Mind Volume II available at this link here:
Also, don’t forget to check out my author’s page and follow so that you’ll know when new releases drop. Such as my new novel Left of Midnight later this year! Just click on my name and the link will take you straight there –> Timothy S Purvis