Silent Hill
Prelude
By X-treme X-taggano (backfire@subdimension.com)

Have you ever had a nightmare?

This may sound like a stupid question. Sure, we've all had nightmares. All of our dreams have at one time been filled with horrific images of the past. We all have had these dreams of unpleasentness. But that's not the nightmare I'm talking about.

I guess there is a more clear way of asking this. Have you ever had a time in your life when you couldn't believe what you were experiencing was reality? A time when all that surrounds you was too horrifying to be real? A time when you tell yourself, "This has got to be a dream?"

I'm sure many of you will answer yes. No doubt in my mind. I myself have had many times in my life when I couldn't believe what was happening. There were many times when I thought I was dreaming.

Of course, there can also be times in your life when you think you are dreaming because of the good things that happen to you . . . things that seem to good to be true. Both types of these "dreams" can be equally unfortunate in sleep, however. When you have a truly horrifying nightmare and you wake up, you were greatful it was a dream. When you have a dream about something that brings you pleasure and you wake up, you wish your dream was reality.

I know. It may seem that I am rambling on about dreams. But I must get this point across to you so you can fully understand what I am talking about. No sense will be made of my story otherwise. Before I start, there are some things you should know about me.

Goodness, have I even introduced myself yet? I'm terribly sorry. My name is Harry Mason. I guess you could say that I'm a writer. You might have read some of my past fiction. I know, my latest writing has all been dark . . . almost moody. I suppose that is because I'm also a widower. My wife died, leaving me and my daughter alone. I don't want to talk about here death. It's . . . not a happy topic for me. I just . . . no, forget it. No more about my wife.

But my daughter . . . I guess you should know a little bit about her. You see, Cheryl isn't really my biological daughter. My wife didn't give birth to her. She was found on the side of the road.

Most of the time, I wouldn't just take a strange child from the side of the road. But something just made me think otherwise. It was either the sweet face the child had, or the look on my wife's face when she saw the child. I had never seen her look at another child the way she looked at Cheryl. Before we knew it, we picked her up and took her home as our own.

Don't think that we just wanted to adopt a child. My wife really wanted to give birth to a baby. But she had infertility. She was unable to give birth and was very sick. So taking Cheryl home was just about the only alternative. Besides, there was something about Cheryl. Something that just . . . I don't know. There was just something about Cheryl. I don't what it was. Just something.

But a few years later, my wife died from her sickness. I'll never forget that day. Once again, I don't want to talk about that. Leave it at the fact that she's dead now, leaving Cheryl and I alone.

I'm sorry if that felt unneeded. But you really need to know about Cheryl and my wife if you are to fully understand this story.

This story of my nightmare.