It was July. Summer. Yet the atmosphere at Brahms church claimed otherwise. A life had been lost; a young, innocent life, cruelly taken by a ruthless disease. The man's name was Zachary Sanderson, or Zach as everyone knew him. He was only 23 years old when he was struck down with an unknown disease. The doctors couldn't do anything for him; there had only been a few cases of it in the world, and no known cure. Zach struggled on for a whole year before slipping into a coma. He was declared virtually brain dead within a month. It was his wife's decision to pull the plug on his life support machine. She did it herself. And now she stood before their friends andtheir family to talk about her beloved husband. The man whos suffering she ended, although she didn't see it that way. To her, as long as he was breathing there was hope. But the doctors thought otherwise, and recommended that he be taken off life support. She had reluctantly agreed. But what to say to those people? What words of comfort could she utter to make everything bearable? None. She had ended her husband's suffering, but she couldn't end the suffering of those people, or of herself.
"Zachary was-" Alexis Sanderson choked on her own words. "My whole life." Her voice was faint and laced with pain and regret. "He loved others without wondering if he should. He didn't judge, he-" The tears streamed down her pale cheeks.Her brown hair stuck to her face, and her emerald green eyes were bloodshot. She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up into the face of her brother, Raymond. He whispered kind words into her ear, but she was too far gone to hear them. He wrapped his arm around her and guided her back to her seat, but instead of sitting down, she took off out of the church, sobbing.
It wasn't long before the service was over, and Raymond dared to approach his grieving sister again. It was a pitiful sight. She sat in the drivers seat of her 1967 Chevrolet Impala, the window rolled down with her arm hanging out. As he drew closer, Raymond noticed an almost-spent cigarette resting between her index and middle fingers. She had lit it, but not yet taken a drag. She had never touched a cigarette before Zachary's death. Raymond aproached the car and dared to speak to Alexis.
"He wouldn't want you to be like this," he told her, his voice soothing and calm. At 25, he was only two years older than his sister.
"How would you know what he would have wanted?" She spat.
"Please, Alex. We're trying to help here," Raymond pleaded. Alexis turned to look at him, and it almost broke his heart. All of the pain, the anguish, the hopelessness that she felt showed in her eyes. Her eyes had once been beautiful, they used to be filled with hope and light. She let the cigarette butt fall to the ground and started to wind up her window.
"I love you, Raymond," she sobbed before it closed completely, and began to drive away.
"No!" Her brother screamed, realising what she was about to do. He reached out, as though grabbing ahold of the car would stop her. But it was too late, Alexis was clear of the church, and heading for the lake. She took her eyes off the road, not caring anymore where she was going, and her gaze fell upon one of her wedding photos which she had taped to the radio. Zachary looked so healthy, so handsome. And they were both smiling. Oh, it had been a happy day. Looking up once again, she swerved off the road, hearing someone honk behind her. She figured thatsomeone would follow. She drove straight at the fence, smiling as the wood broke, allowing her car to plunge nose-first over the edge of the ledge and into the lake below.
She didn't know how long she was under, only that she opened a window to allow the water in. She could remember sirens, and screams. But she didn't care. She didn't even fight to remain concious. She just let the darkness take her wherever it wished. Soon, all was dark, and she thought no more.
Four Years later...
Terry Goldwyn silently paced the small, white room. As a psychiatrist, he met many unusual people, but StanleyMiller was by far the most peculiar individual he had ever spoke to. In all of the timesince they both entered that room, Stanley hadn't spoke a single word. He just sat in fron of the small, plastic table, his strong hands curled slightly on top of it. He wasn't strapped down like the others needed to be,he wasn't violent. His dark blonde hair fell across his eyes, which were closed, as though he were sleeping.
Goldwyn sighed and leaned on the table, looking straight at Stanley.
"Stanley," he spoke, his voice soft yet deep. "You hold the answers, deep within your own mind. But conciously you've forgotten it. That's the way the human mind works; whenever something is too unpleasent, too shameful for us to entertain, we reject it. We erase it from our memories, but the imprint is always there. Nothing is ever really forgotten." For a moment, he saw Stanley flinch.
"She...just vanished. I don't...remember," Stanley muttered. 'At last!' thought Goldwyn, 'progress!"
"Mr Miller, the general opinion is that you are cured," Goldwyn stated. "You haven't had an episode in months, and your delusions have ceased. You are essentially a free man once this session is over.However, the staff at this institution, including myself, believe that it will be beneficial for your well-being if we can at least try and determine what happened to cause your memory loss."
Stanley didn't meet Dr. Goldwyn's gaze. He simply picked at the rolled up sleeves of his strait jacket.
"If I am indeed cured, then why must I wear this thing?" He enquired. Dr. Goldwyn sighed again. Stanley had been brought up from one of the padded cells where he spent his nights. He used to suffer frequent episodes in his sleep which often ended with him hurting himself. Even though these episodeds had ceased along with his delusions, they continued to let him sleep in the cells and the jacket for his own protection.
"Stanley, I think I need to bring to your attention the transcripts of your hypnotherapy sessions." Dr. Goldwyn opened Stanley's file and removed a few sheets of paper. "There is one part in particular which interests me. Ah, here we are. After one particular question is asked, you go turn hysterical. The question is 'Where did you follow your sister to?'. In answer to this question, you replied 'That place. Don't take me back, please! It killed her, it killed her because of the boy. The darkness. It's everywhere! She was sorry, God damn it! She confessed, she repented! Why did you take her?' Then I believe you were asked where this place was, and you started to scream. 'Hell, that place was hell', you said. 'The darkness took everything. It wasn't on earth, it couldn't havebeen, it was a place of nightmares'. Then, you became afraid of your surroundings, started to scream 'It's coming! It's coming' then you spoke the name of a town. Silent Hill."
"I...don't remember," Stanley spoke. "I don't."
"Well, I thought that maybe we could take a little trip through Silent Hill on our way to take you home. You don't have to leave the car, you don't even have to go. I just think it may help you remember what happened. It may even help you remember the details of your sister's murder."
At the mention of his sister, a lone tear slid silently down Stanley's cheek.
"She was skewered, I believe. And you were found on a roadside just outside of Silent Hill, battered and bruised and holding Diana's dead body. A passer by picked you both up and called the police. It was then that the episodes and delusions began, and you lost your memory of the events that transpired." Goldwyn breathed and looked at Stanley. He remeained silent and nodded. "You are a brave man, Stanley. You are 27 years old, yet you have shown courage and wisdom beyond your years. I believe your sister was murdered in Silent Hill. We must go there, and discover the truth."
Images flashed across her mind, she had no idea where they were from,or even if they were her own memories.The steady beep of a life support machine. Hands all over here, pressing on her chest. Rubber over her mouth, and a finger on her jugular. It was all blurry. Nurses rushing around, crying. Then it was over. Her eyes opened, only to see blue sky. A hand instinctively raised itself infront of her eyes. This was real. The hand was dirty, soiled by mud. Her head felt unusually light, and she sat up. That's when she realised why her legs felt wrong; they were lifted up, into the back of an ambulance. She blinked as she took in her surroundings and got to her feet. Trees. Everywhere, all around her. Then there was the ambulance. It was on its side, and bashed in. Looking up, she saw what must have been a road. The ambulance probably went over the edge, crashing where it now lay. There was a gurney inside, but there was nobody on it. That's when she realised. 'I must have been the patient'. It all came flooding back to her; her husband, the funeral, the lake. She also realised for the first time that she wore a pale green hospital gown and a plastic tag on her wrist. 'Sanderson, A.' it read. It also had a number on it, but she didn't know what it meant. Having regained her composure, Alexis ran to the front of the ambulance, hoping to find that the paramedics were still alive. But they weren't. The windows were such a bloody mess that she dared not open the door. At her feet, next to the front wheels lay the body of another paramedic; they had obviously been in the back with her, and crawled out to the front after the crash, only to die from loss of blood.
"But why...?" She wondered aloud. Two, maybe three paramedics were dead, one who had been right next to her when the crash took place. So why wasn't she? How had she survived with only minor injuries? Not wanting to dwell too much on the thought, she began to walk into the trees, hoping to find some sign of civilisation soon. The silence was unsettling; there weren't even any birdcalls. The only noise to be heard was the sound of her pounding heart. The broken twigs and pine cones hurt her bare feet as she walked. She was pleased when she eventually came to a dirt path. It sloped uphill and down, and she followed it down, shaking with every step that she took.
A/N - Just an idea that I came up with a while ago. It's very loosely based around Silent Hill 2 (no, Alexis didn't murder her husband). There will be at least one character from the games in. And in case you haven't wondered, I took the name Stanley from Stanley Coleman in Silent Hill 3. Rating will probably change.
Disclaimer - I don't own Silent Hill, or Wash It All Away by Evanescence (which I took Goldwyn's 'You hold the answers' speech from).