SILENT HILL 2: Letter from Silent Heaven
A novelization by Ryan Usher
For Issy, flower of my heart.
"I Got a Letter"
From the moment it happened, everything was dark for me.
I'm such a mess now. Everything has really gone to shit in my life. I don't know how I've managed to hold down my job, because there are times when I don't bother getting out of bed in the morning. The alarm will go off, and I'll just ignore it. It's not that I'm tired, not at all. Usually I just wake up and just stare at the ceiling, thinking about nothing because my mind's not in the groove. I suppose I do still have a job because my boss is quite a sympathetic person, but it has been three years now and I'm pretty sure even her patience is wearing thin. God knows I know what my co-workers think. It's getting to the point now where they don't even bother waiting for me to leave when they ask each other why I can't just get over it already.
Well, fuck them. None of them know what this is like.
It's not just work, either. I don't speak to my friends anymore. My father actually tried to be a father to me when Mary's illness really started to take a toll on me. Why he did this, I don't know, but after she died, his visits and his phone calls became less frequent in a hurry. I don't know what made him bother. We were never close in my childhood, or even through most of my adult life. He almost didn't even make our wedding. But, when she got really bad, even Dad's presence was welcome. It was human contact, when I was becoming more and more convinced that I was losing that capability. For a good long while, I felt my only friend was the bottle. After she died, the bottle got a lot closer to me. Thankfully, I was able to stop, because even I saw where it was leading.
Nevertheless, life was still a big drag for me. I existed. My body functioned. My lungs breathed, my heart beat, I still ate, still pissed and shit. My brain's more basic functions were just fine. But my soul was gone. It left with Mary when she died. They say your soul goes to Heaven when you die, but my soul didn't wait for me to die. The longer it went on, the worse I felt. Every new day had that dark feeling setting in just another inch or two deeper in my heart.
I guess everything changed when I got that letter, but I like to think it started the night before.
I remember sitting in my bedroom. I still had the king bed. It had been years since I had really shared it with anyone, but I never bothered getting one smaller. I had sat on the edge of the bed, with a shoe box in my hand. In this shoebox was a Colt revolver, with a single speedloader. Six large .357 bullets. I had a slight fascination with handguns in my youth, and I fed this fascination thanks to my uncle Steven, a career police officer. He must have had a dozen different weapons, rifles, a pair of shotguns, an old Revolutionary War musket in working condition, and several handguns. The Colt was always my favorite, and he gave this to me as a wedding gift. I kept in the shoebox ever since. I don't think I ever took it out until the night before I got the letter.
I held the Colt in my hands. It was still as shiny as the day my uncle gave it to me. The mechanisms were still pretty well clean and lubricated, surprising considering how long it had been neglected. I toyed with the gun, dry firing it a few times. Then I slowly removed a bullet from the speedloader and chambered it. I closed the chamber and spun it, like I was playing a game of Russian Roulette. I was laughing. Had anyone else been there, they would have certainly thought I had finally jumped off the deep end.
Maybe I really did, because I then put the barrel in my mouth. I stared at the ceiling, and I looped my finger around the trigger. I closed my eyes and I saw her face again, just like in the photo I still carry in my wallet. That picture of her in the pink sweater. It's her, it's Mary, still smiling at me. God, I love her. I miss her so much. It was the first time in a good long while that I had actually thought so clearly about her, and the grief hammered me like waves, strong and potent even after three years.
I took the gun out of my mouth, dropping it on the floor at my feet. Then I buried my face in my hands and I cried. I cried like a god damn baby. Three years it's been, and yet she still haunts me. My body was racked with sobs, and I felt the strength drain out of me. I fell back onto the bed, weeping tears from my eyes and dripping snot from my nose. I made no attempt to wipe either away. I just lay there crying, until I finally passed out.
It was light when I woke up, still in my clothes. Thank God I didn't have to work this morning, because I didn't really think I was going to stay awake long. I sat up in bed, and I wiped the dry snot from my face. I went into the bathroom, took a long piss, and tried not to look at my reflection in the mirror as I went back to the bedroom.
I picked the Colt up off of the ground, and stared at it, remembering how close I had come to using it last night. It was a game of Russian Roulette after all, with just one player. I didn't know if pulling the trigger would have ended my life. The odds were against it, but I was still quite curious.
I pointed the gun at the ceiling and pulled the trigger. The hammer struck, but instead of a thundering roar, all I heard was the sound of it hitting an empty chamber. No worries then. Without even looking at it again, I placed the gun back into the shoe box and put it back on the shelf in my closet that it had been sitting on ever since we moved in here.
I started walking to the kitchen to get a bite to eat, when I heard a very loud bang on the front door, very loud. And it wasn't like someone hitting the door with their hand, or even with a stick, it was more like someone drove their car into it. The house reverberated and shuddered with the impact. It would have scared the living shit out of anyone, and with me and my hair-thin nerves, well, I know for sure I would have pissed my pants if I hadn't already relieved myself.
I ran to the door, expecting to see it caved in or even knocked off of its hinges, but when I got to it, I didn't see any signs of damage. I looked out of the small window, but I saw nothing, except the stairs leading up to the small porch, enough that a car could not have hit it, certainly not with the force I just heard. Gingerly, I unlocked the door, and pulled it open. It moved with its normal fluidity, and the front of the door showed no damage, not even a slight sign of impact. It was very confusing.
Then I saw the envelope on the ground, lying face down on the welcome mat.
I reached down and grabbed it, then shut the door. I got all the way to the kitchen and had a glass of orange juice in my hand before I even looked at the thing. It was a rather fancy envelope, and small, much like the kind Mary and I used to mail our wedding invatations. It was creamy-white and embossed with floral designs. I turned the envelope over in my hand and looked at the front. What I saw absolutely blew my mind like nothing I had seen before.
My wife's name.
My heart slammed against my chest, and my breathing was quick. Mary! The envelope had no return address. I slid my finger under the seal and nearly ripped the flap off from the force. There was a piece of paper inside, folded into quarters. I pulled it out and unfolded it.
It was a letter. And it wasn't written to Mary at all. Maybe if it was, things would be very different right now. But it was not. It was Mary who wrote this letter. And, it was written to me.
"In my restless dreams, I see that town, Silent Hill. You promised you would take me there again someday, but you never did. Well, I'm alone there now, in our special place. Waiting for you."
Waiting for you. Waiting for me.
No fucking way, Jose. I could not believe this. I CANNOT believe this. Mary is dead! How can she write me a letter? What the hell was all this about?
Never once then did it occur to me that someone could be playing a cruel joke on me. Not once. I knew right away that it was her handwriting, and her words. They seemed terribly familiar for whatever reason, but there was no mistaking this, in my head. My dead wife wrote me a letter.
Reason totally abandoned me. I guess that finally pulled that final guitar string that was my sanity a little too hard and I could almost hear its terrible plucking sound as it snapped. The feeling was sudden and strong, it was like having a good drunk, really.
I had made up my shattering mind to go there. God only knows why, but she said she was there. It was the first dim ray of hope I've had in far too long, there's no way I could ignore it. It was an incredible feeling. I didn't make any special preparations for the trip, just a few sodas in a cooler and a map of the town I kept from our last visit, right before she started getting really bad.
Not even twenty minutes later I was in my old Dodge, at the Interstate 95 junction, heading north towards Augusta, Maine. Once I was a bit north of Augusta, I would take SR 201, which would lead to the western part of Maine. Western Maine has many lakes, the most beautiful of which is Toluca Lake. Around Toluca Lake is the small resort town of Silent Hill. Our special place.
Mary was there. I know it. The letter said so.