Again, to avoid lawsuits, the only things I own are the cabin and the chars. Silent Hill and any other mentioned locations are Konami's. They probably knew that, though.

The stairs themselves were made of a sturdy wood. The walls weren't lit especially well, but they seemed to be chipped and peeling, which was a change from upstairs where they had seemed stained, but completely intact. When I got to the bottom, two surprises awaited me. The first was a functional flashlight and a spare set of batteries. That made it seem to me like I was expected. This beam hadn't been running long; it was still a bright white light, not that dim yellow you'd expect of a run-down battery. The other item there was a radio. I'd turned my own radio off in the car when it had made some strange noises. At the time, I'd attributed it to loss of signal while being in the middle of nowhere. When I turned this guy on, however, it made the same noise. I didn't really think every radio sounded alike when it was static, especially not that bizarre, creepy sound mine had given off, but this sound was a carbon copy.

The third thing that waited for me wasn't a surprise, so I didn't list it among the surprises. Two more Carnivores were waiting for me in this next room. Without taking stock of my surroundings first, I shot three times, putting them both down. The radio stopped making noise.

I shook it, rattled it, flicked it, turned it on and off again and again, and I couldn't get it to make more noise. I tried to replace the batteries, but there weren't any in there to begin with! How did this thing make sound? The flashlight still worked fine…

Just take it. What harm can come from it? You've got pockets, you know...

I did at that.

Pocketing the radio, and holding the flash and my gun in front of me, I tried to go to the next room. Couldn't… locked. I'd been so distracted with the radio that I'd forgotten to look around. I was in a relatively featureless room. There was blood now from the Carnivores, as well as dried blood in the far corner from the entrance. No furniture, just brick walls all the way around. So what now?

"Maybe they want me to wish myself around this friggin' house…" I said aloud. At least my brain hadn't told me anything I shouldn't know recently. That was so weird… How had I known the creatures were called Carnivores? Did I just make it up on the spot? Could I possibly have seen one before? Should you just get back to the task at hand and worry later? That was my usual inner voice. I refocused, then remembered I was having a serious problem in this room. Dammit.

Frustrated, I let my head droop, scratching my temple with the hammer of the gun. That's how I found the big clue. On the floor, it said in large, scrawled letters, "Brick by brick". The writing looked like it was using small intestine as a font, but the letters were not three dimensional and didn't appear to be anything but set into the floor. Moving along from that weird writing, I figured it could only mean one thing. "Brick by brick"… well, nothing to do but start searching the bricks!

First I looked for loose mortar. Nothing. Then holes or irregularities in the bricks. Nada. Then I tried pushing, pulling, kicking, pounding, and screaming obscenities. Zilch. Then I leaned on the wall. No, I didn't go through it. I did notice my shoulder felt something weird though. I touched that particular brick- and THAT one my hand went through. By through, I mean it passed through the brick like it wasn't really there. I couldn't see my hand! Therefore I couldn't see what I was doing. I got down to the brick's level with my face, took a deep breath, and peeked, expected hellish images, perhaps a demonic presence with vicious claws… but it was just a fake brick. There was a key resting inside. I'd bet it would fill the hole in the door.

Fortunately, I'd become accustomed to wiring myself up before going into a new room. If I hadn't, there would have been no filling the hole in my head.

A pistol shot went high only because I ducked when I saw the barrel. I rolled away, yelling, "Hold your fire! I'm a human!"

"Then come on out and close the damned door behind you!" came a pissed off female voice. I stepped out from behind the wall with my gun down. Hers wasn't lowered, and I got suspicious.

"Are you gonna point that piece someplace else?"

"Now that I see you're a person, I'll consider it. Who the hell are you?"

"David. Who the hell are you?" I allowed a little testiness to show in my voice this time, figuring that this woman was obviously high strung, and with good reason, but had no right to be interrogating me.

She sighed and answered, "Lydia. Sorry, I'm a little paranoid down here."

Nodding my agreement, I asked her, "Can you tell me anything about what the fuck is going on here?"

Again she sighed, looking slightly impatient, which I couldn't figure out. After about two seconds, she put the look away and began explaining. "Do you know where we are?" When I shook my head no, she continued, "We're about a mile north of the Lakeview Hotel in Silent Hill, north of Toluca Lake. Does that ring any bells?" I thought for a moment and came up empty.

Well, almost.

"It rings a single bell, and the bell doesn't have a label. Enlighten me."

She continued, "The town has a history of cult involvement, drug trafficking, and other not so nice bits- not entirely unusual for a tourist town, but a bit more sinister, from the little reading I've done. There have been quite a few missing persons reports filed here recently, but aside from that, you now have as much background as I'm giving." I thanked her and she kept on, "I believe we've stumbled upon one of their main hideouts in the woods. Silent Hill has been abandoned for a few years now due to other problems, but the rumors that trickle out of town make me wish I'd never come up here."

"Why did you come up here?" I inquiried.

"Not the time, Dave." she replied, "But we'll get there later. I don't suppose you've figured out how this dinky little cabin managed to change into a mansion with a dungeon?"

"Believe me, if I had, I would've offered up already. Have you done any further exploring?"

"Can't say that I have. There seems to be a couple ways out of here, though, so you showing up is good timing. You go that way, and I'll go this way," she pointed to my right for me, and her left for her.

"Great idea," I said, "Except that I don't want to split up with the closest thing to dying company I might have in this hell pit." Honestly, why was she insisting on doing the best possible thing to get us both killed? If she wanted to die, she could at least get it on with me, which is the single fastest way to kill yourself in a horror movie, which this setup was looking like more and more.

"Well, that's all well and good, but frankly I don't know you and I don't want a partner going through this maze. I don't work well with others, if you haven't figured it out yet. I'll see you later, Mr. Dave." And with that, she walked right through the other door, gun raised, and left me there.

You know, it would really figure that I enter the weirdest place on earth, see nothing but strange-ass sights, and then get dumped by the first person I find in the aforementioned hell pit.