|Silent Hill: Impetus of Woe
Author: JonWilhoit PM
With five simple words, John Burke's mother sent his world into a chaotic whirlwind where secrets of the past finally come to light. Goodbye John. I love you . . . NO PLANS TO COMPLETERated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Drama - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,457 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 12-25-04 - Published: 07-30-04 - id: 1989301
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(A/N: Sorry this took so long in coming out, but I felt my original edition needed a revision, and I think that this one definately worked out well. Please give me any feedback you can, and thanks for reading!)
Silent Hill: Impetus of Woe
When I moved to New York, I thought I had it made. I thought that finally my life would be complete. At the age of twenty-three I had a good job, a steady girlfriend, and a fulfilling social life. What's more, it was all of my own making. I thought I had finally outrun the unknowns of my past.
But for some reason, I couldn't leave it all behind me. I should have been living in the present. I should have been content with what I had. God knows I had it a whole helluva lot better than a lot of people around the world, but still I couldn't be happy. The past haunted me—not for anything I did, but everything I didn't know. I knew nothing about my relatives, nothing about their lives, nothing except a name, a name that became the crux of my shattered past: Silent Hill.
Mom never would talk about it much other than to say that was where she grew up. I never liked pressing her on the subject because it always seemed like the very name made her cringe. Sometimes I would come home to find her crying for no reason. When I asked about it, she always told me it was nothing, that sometimes she just liked to have a good cry. I let it go, but I never quite believed her. For some reason, I always thought it had something to do with that town. I don't know why. I guess kids can be more perceptive than we give them credit for.
As for my dad . . . well, I never knew him, so that one was a dead end from the very beginning. Mom never told me much about him either, just said he was "gone to a better place," whatever the hell that meant. I always figured she meant he was dead or something, but she did never say for sure.
But like I said, I tried to put all of that stuff behind me. I guess I thought that by focusing on goals and other inconsequential crap in the present, I could minimize the importance of the past. It never worked though, but I'm sure you know how that is. The past has always has way of catching up to the present.
I know how cliché it sounds, but it all started with a phone call.
Around four thirty on a Friday afternoon, I was sitting at my desk impatiently waiting for five o'clock to roll around. I just wanted to cut out of work, go home, and relax for the weekend. But as you can probably tell by now, that wasn't meant to be. I was in the process of filling out my time card when the phone rang. At first I thought about just letting the answering service pick it up. I was in no mood to talk with another irate investor when I could call him back in the morning. I wanted to just leave it alone. But I didn't. To this day, I still don't know why, but I just couldn't leave that damn phone alone.
Despite my misgivings, I picked up the receiver, holding it to my ear. "Afternoon, Pierce Brokering. John Burke speaking, how may I help you?"
"John?" a familiar voice quaked on the other end.
Alarm bells went off inside my head. "Mom? Mom, is that you? What's the matter?"
"It has me, John. I have to go back."
"What has you?" I asked, a sudden fear lurching in the pit of my stomach. "Mom, are you ok?"
"I have to," she said, her voice a soft murmur.
"Have to do what? Mom, what are you talking about? Where are you?"
The answer came in a hoarse whisper, "Silent Hill."
"I have to go, John."
"Mom, answer me!" I shouted desperately.
"I love you. Goodbye."
"No, wait!" I protested, but she was already gone.
You can't imagine how that vague phone call shook me up. At that moment, I wanted to run to my mother, to wrap her in a comforting embrace like a child that had just woken from a bad dream—like she had done for me so many times in the past. A thousand questions were running through my mind, and even after hours mulling over the subject, I ended up with the very same two words I had started with: Silent Hill.
In my haste to get out of New York, I didn't take the time to tell anyone where I was going. Hell, I didn't even go home to pack. I just jumped in my car and headed for the airport. In retrospect, it was one of the stupider things I've ever done, but there's nothing I can really do about it now. As it was, I left with nothing but the clothes on my back, an mp3 player, and my cell phone.
I hopped the earliest flight I could out of Dulles into Chicago's O'Hare International and was back on the ground again by 7:30. Even then, my case of "the dumbass" hadn't abated, and I foolishly neglected to take the time to get a rental car. Instead I hopped an airport taxi and paid the driver an exorbitant fee for him to take me on the hour-long trip into Silent Hill. He didn't seem too thrilled about going to that place, but with the amount of money I paid him, he decided to make an exception.
About forty-five minutes into the trip, I realized I probably should have told somebody where I was going, so I tried to call my girlfriend Stacey on my cell phone, but as far as we were down the road, I couldn't get any reception on the damn thing. So instead I simply sighed and slouched down in my seat. I watched as the rural countryside bled by us, merging into a generic scene of pastoral monotony as the two-lane highway we were on stretched out interminably into the darkness.
I slipped my headphones over my ears and tried to absorb myself in the music—to forget my fear and worry, if only for a few minutes.
The rumble of the taxi's engine died away as the music took hold. Bob Seger's voice came the headset, his smokey voice singing about that "lonely lonesome highway." A light fog seemed to drift across the landscape, accompanied by the eerie wail of the guitars. I closed my eyes and shut myself off from the outside world, paying attention to nothing but they rhythmic thrumming in my ears.
As the guitars faded, and the baseline quieted a murmur, Seger's voice came in again, this time barely above a whisper.
"Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed,
The echoes of the amplifiesr ringing in your head,
Smoke the day's last cigarette,
And remember what she said . . ."
But the song didn't pick up in tempo as it usually did. Instead, it slowly faded into nothingness as my headphones went dead. I opened my eyes and glanced down at my mp3 player to see its display winking at me to announce a low battery charge.
I gave a sigh as the moment of synergy faded and pushed the headphones down to dangle around my neck.
My driver glanced up at me in the rear-view mirror. "Something wrong there chief?"
I shook my head, "Nah, my mp3 player just died."
He shrugged, "Well, we're almost there anyway."
I glanced out the window, noticing that the light fog from before had thickened considerably. Ahead of us, a beaten road sign loomed out of the mist. "Silent Hill – 3 miles."