"I'll fix you" she said sleepily and shortly after succumbed to slumber.
Heather, my sacred pet. I am infamous and without end. I do not need to be fixed.
You on the other hand are damaged and wrought with flaws and coming undone. Nothing would please me more than to fix you most of all. Make you like me. To completely mold you in my image, that would be impossible, but I cannot stop myself from imagining it anyway because you are made to be worshiped. You grieve and you fight and you breathe. Your flaws and your imperfections cannot be helped and that's why I won't ever dare fix you. You are truly a splendor to behold. And to hold you until there is not a breath left in you would be the beginning of something wild and shameless. For the both of us.
But really, I can only fool myself for so long.
Keeping you, Heather, is as tangible as Silent Hill itself.
"I'll fix you."
"Valtiel would you wake the fuck up already?" came the lovely sound of Heather's feisty voice. It lulled me from sleep to wake very swiftly. I was still resting on her lap, not really minding that I was bleeding profusely and soiling her crimson shirt with a darker scarlet. She smiled, irritated, as I bled on her some more.
"I can't believe you knocked out, you scared me half to death. Don't ever black out again. Seriously. What if you went vegetative? I have honestly exhausted all possibilities of what's going on here and I still don't understand a damn thing. So please, do me a favor and stay conscious for the time being so I can at least have someone to talk to."
I don't mind fooling myself a little while longer. "Yes my lady, anything for you."
She pouted a little and crossed her arms. "Ha-ha. Look who suddenly acquired a funny bone."
I begin to sit up, but I cannot. I want to ask how long I have been out but my throat tightens and my chest twists inwardly. Heather places her hand on my shoulder and refuses to let me move at all. Then I realize we aren't crammed in the back way of an alley hiding from nurses or mannequins or anything else. We're in another hotel. A smaller, dapper, cleaner one.
"Val," Heather says softly and swings her legs from beneath me and leaves only her hand touching me as she sits beside me on the bed. "You are so smug and arrogant and self righteous. You constantly tell me that you're this mysterious agent of god that means to protect me. But you're so full of yourself sometimes. You aren't immortal. You've been gravely injured."
I look down at my chest. It's been freshly wrapped with off white linen but a rusty red has already begun to seep through. I don't say anything because she is correct. Something is... wrong with me. I am not perfect anymore. And I am no longer indestructible. I am nothing like what I once was before her.
There's a strange expression on Heather's angular freckled face. She has lost the brightness in her eyes, they are clouded and lost and I am to blame for this. I know what she must be thinking. How can I possibly help her bring her father back now when I can hardly help myself? Heather glances up at me and swallows, blinking the majority of the lostness away.
Then she surprises me for another time.
"We've got a new objective Valtiel. We're getting you help."
"Your father," I say with protest.
A bitter snarl curls her lip for a brief moment. "My father... it's been days, weeks. I don't even know what month it is. We still haven't found him. But for now, I'm seeing to it that you stay alive. Otherwise everything else would be pretty damn pointless. Don't you think?"
I'm thinking that I think a lot differently now. Harry may be more important to her than I am, but I can't very well revive him in this current condition.
I agree with her and she stands, pivots on her heels and opens a dresser drawer on the nightstand beside the bed. Heather pulls out a thick sheet of paper and unfolds it. I raise my head and stiffen at the sight of a map of Silent Hill. She must believe that I am dying or untrustworthy because she keeps it to herself and appears to be very familiar with where she wants to go.
"Where are we going?" I think aloud. I wonder what place she thinks will benefit my recovery. Most definitely not Brookhaven Hospital. Our last trip there proved to be dangerous and suicidal.
"I'm going to collect some more things before we head out. Right now you aren't going anywhere."
A feeling of what humans might call... anxiety courses through me. I feel severely betrayed as well. "You can't be serious Heather."
Heather loads her black pistol and stares me down. "I've taken care of myself so far, haven't I? Besides, I dragged your sorry ass here without a problem. Do me a favor Valtiel and quit being so overprotective for just a little while. Here," she tosses me something and starts out the door. "This should distract you while I'm out. Have fun. I'll be back soon."
When the apartment door clicks shut I look down at the thing in my hands. It's her radio. I've seen her use it constantly to warn her, should a creature be in her presence. But on the rare occasion I would watch her twist the dials until some noisy thing called music would chime from its speakers. On quiet days she would curl up in an abandoned room and play it as softly as it allowed. It entertained her from time to time, so I suppose I can understand why she thinks it would entertain me.
I hold it for a little while longer and wonder if it is safe to use. Then I realize this could be keeping her alive as opposed to keeping me busy. I try to move again but to no avail. What were you thinking Heather?
An hour or so has passed and nothing can keep me from worrying about her. She could be in trouble. Cornered. Tortured. Dead. This is far from fun, as far as her definition of fun goes. But her words echo through my skull, she wants me to cease being overprotective for a little while. That must seem so easy for her. It is far from easy for me, particularly when my sole purpose is to prevent her from harm.
Overpowering waves of concern come crashing over me again and again without mercy or sign of retreat. Perhaps distraction will help like she said it would, so I take the old plastic device and hold it up at arms length, suspecting it would combust at any moment. My gloved three digits pinch at the puny dials and twist them until static noise leaks from the speakers.
Well, that's not so bad. I leave the station of static alone and place the radio on my lap. It plays the same hissing scratchy noise for a long while and I begin to wonder why it doesn't sound the same as when Heather would play it. I look at it some more and decide to turn the dials again. Suddenly a loud squeal emits that causes me to jolt. Immediately after the squealing ends, a soft melodic tune resounds.
A man's voice follows the melody. "Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again. Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am whole again.
"However far away, I will always love you. However long I stay, I will always love you. Whatever words I say, I will always love you. I will always love you."
I feel my head slowly tilting to one side.
Love... I will have to add this new word to my vocabulary.
Who was I kidding? Telling Valtiel it was no problem getting him from point A to point B. Ha! It was sure as hell no walk in the park. Sure, I got us safely to the Blue Creek apartments without getting either of us maimed or killed in the process. But it was not easy. I'm more than happy to have a fighter in me. If not, I wouldn't be alive now. And after just going back to Brookhaven Hospital (which was the most stupid idea in the history of mankind) I should be even more pleased to have this inner fire that got me in and out of the hospital alive.
I managed to retrieve a Jurassic albeit functional wheelchair, two first aid kits, more ammo, some food and water from the Texxon gas station, antibiotics, and plenty of sterile gauze. I felt pretty damn lucky with what I could get my hands on. There were more creatures this time around. I wasn't sure if it was because of our last visit there or just because they flocked to that spot out of random choice. Whatever the case, I barely ditched the building by the skin of my teeth.
I'm relieved that I made Val sit this one out. He would have caused more trouble than he would help. Even if he does mean good. Thinking on this, an awful feeling of regret overcame me. I stopped wheeling the old chair and glanced around the streets of Silent Hill to make sure I was not being followed. When I felt safe enough, I let myself have a moment of quiet mourning. I meant what I said about putting Valtiel's needs before my father's. He is gone after all. Maybe there is no good to come out of chasing a fantasy that won't come true if the one creature here that can help me is hemorrhaging.
There's a slight stirring in the corner of my eye and I draw out the katana strapped to my hip. I swing to where this movement occurred and come up slicing nothing but air. My reflexes are sharp and perfected at this point but my paranoia needs some honing. I stare down my own reflection in the glass window of some town shop. I'm breathing heavy and my hair is wild like the bristled neck of an angry dog. I look like hell.
There's nothing beautiful at what I'm seeing before me. It is violent and hateful and vicious. There is little to nothing left in the reflection that resembles my father's daughter. So I tear my gaze away from the disheveled girl in the window, sheathe my sword, and push the wheelchair onward.
It isn't long before I reach the hotel where I left Val. I shake off the remainder of the haunting mirrored version of me and at last enter the room. What awaits me inside, I would have never guessed in a million years. The door swings open and there on the bed is Valtiel waving his arms and swaying his head rather skillfully to the soft rock blaring from the radio in his lap. When I laugh, this grabs his attention and he freezes, he quickly stops his little dance at once.
"Oh don't stop on my account," I laugh a little harder and shut the door behind me. "Well well well. I always pegged you to be a Bach kind of a guy, but I was wrong, Depeche Mode suits you much better."
He looks flustered. Valtiel cuts the cord on the song Precious and clears his throat. "Are you alright?"
"What is that for?" he points to the chair and the things sitting in it.
"For you, duh."
This shuts him up. I take the things I need and sit next to him. As I'm getting a fresh change of bandages and setting out a needle and thread, Valtiel does us both a favor and carefully slips his strong arms out of his smock. He unbinds himself and discards the soiled linen to the floor.
"Careful." I say, trailing off as Val pushes his smock down until it bunches around his hips. Beneath his clothes is a lean and muscular torso defined so impeccably... I don't mind that he's caked with dirt and blood at all.
I gulp, watching him disinfect the raw cavity along his chest. He hisses in pain and I grab at anything to snap me out of the daze. I should be doing this, not him. A needle finds its way into one hand and the thread is wrapped in my other, the next thing I know I'm stitching him back together. It doesn't look very professional when I'm done but I tie off the end and cut away the excess twine. I smear it with ointment and repeat the same process with his back where the pipe first pierced. I prop him up to wrap him more properly this time.
He's bound and clean and I'm extra cautious to prevent blood poisoning so I give him a shot of antibiotics. He should be dead with a wound this fatal but he isn't, so he clearly is something otherworldly. But my mind is racing because there's nothing left to do now but stare at how human he looks like this. It's true. He's half naked, vulnerable, and in need of my help. He may still think he's beyond humanity, but his anatomy says otherwise. I watch him carefully, nothing is perverse about this. I feel good. I feel good with him.
"Thank you, Heather," Valtiel repeats.
I purse my chapped lips while watching the seam of his. I think of the kisses we've previously shared and look away to keep me from doing anything stupid again. Keep it together Heather. There is no such thing as happily ever after with a creature from Silent Hill.
"You're welcome," is all I can say.
I want to say and do so many things crossing my mind but I don't. It's almost midnight and I'm bleary eyed. There's only one bed and I don't care. I turn off the lamp light, push the medical supplies off the bed, and crawl beneath the warm comforter. I don't hesitate to press myself against Valtiel and he doesn't seem to mind either because his arm eventually curls around me with a shyness I deeply admire.
For the first time in a long time, I fall asleep gently and without nightmares.
I am the first to wake. The pale gray light of morning beams onto us and it is too strong for me to sleep through it. Heather hasn't noticed this yet, so I stir slowly enough not to wake her. Then I've just discovered that not only can I move with less pain than before, I have also slept for the very first time. I surely fell unconscious when the pipe tore through me, but that was different. That was not deliberate. This time, it was.
This should be impossible. I should have healed completely by now. There should be no wound at all. But there is and I feel it closing by the hours.
I sit upright and it is excruciating. The thread woven into me tugs and pulls. Blasphemy, this is sheer blasphemy. I can already hear Heather's angered swears at me to lie back down but I do not. I turn to the window and breathe. It is so unbelievably extraordinary that I am breathing now like her. It is wonderful and painful but I am so much like her now. Perhaps that isn't the best thing to be proud of.
Something catches my attention and draws it away from the synthetic humanity building inside of me. It is the map. It rests on the stand so quaintly, and somehow it implores for me to look at it. So I do. I retrieve it, unfold it and swallow it up in my sight. There is nothing unusual about it except for the dark underlining of the Lake Side Amusement Park.
Why would she want to go there?
"What are you doing?" Heather asks languidly from behind me. I close up the map quickly and quietly. "You shouldn't be up like this; you'll tear your stitches."
"My apologies. I felt like moving about."
"Oh" she replies flatly.
I feel the bed dip and move as Heather stretches and gets out of bed entirely. I face her, only briefly, then I rear back to look at the window. Her shirt falls to the floor and her skirt soon follows pursuit. The closet door opens and closes and another door does the same. The water runs for her bath and I dare not move again. Roughly fifteen minutes have passed but before she has the time to come back to find anything peculiar I place the map exactly as I found it.
"I was thinking about going out after this," Heather's voice is muffled through the walls.
"Yeah," the water shuts off. "So we can ditch this place. There's another hospital in Central Silent Hill we can catch up to in case we need more supplies, hopefully its a little less crowded there. I want to head up town anyway. I have a feeling we should head in that direction."
"A feeling? What feeling?"
"Like there's something out there," she's walked out of the bathroom and circles in front of me. She looks so focused on a particular memory as she dries her yellow hair with a towel. "You know like there's something calling out to me."
I would like to inform her that usually when Silent Hill beckons for someone it isn't a good thing, but I know plenty well that she is aware of this.
Heather continues to press the towel against her damp hair and I continue to watch her curiously. A simple orange tank top, fitted black pants, knee high furred boots, and a black rope secured as a necklace rests on her so marvelously. She is thin and tall and still so incredibly fascinating. The towel is tossed aside and she takes some kind of sustenance from the wheelchair, unwraps it and stuffs it into her mouth.
"You ready?" she smiles and gestures to the wheelchair.
I look her over once, then twice. My mind is scrambled and I cannot keep track of everything at once. Protecting her, possessing her, I want it all so selfishly and I am starting to not care about the consequences. Her skin is a faint pink from the hot shower and I shudder at the memory of her actually in one. No. I shake my head and gradually raise my body to get into the chair because that's all I manage to focus on. My body in the chair. Nothing else.
She takes me by the arm. "Careful."
I ease into it with her help and I feel so disgusting and pathetic and weak in this thing. Heather seems to revel at the sight of me like this because she makes squeaking giggly noises and puts everything she salvaged the night before into my lap and wheels me off into town.
We don't say anything, at least I don't wish to. I fume in my imprisoned chair of doom and the speed picks up as we skid down Munson Street. Heather is sprinting by the time we take a sharp left at Nathan Avenue. I look up and the wind is tousling her hair, whipping it behind her. She's smiling. The look on her face is free and jubilant. Her expression tugs at the seams on my mouth, turning them upward too.
I am afraid that these sensations will be lost, so I hold onto them as tightly as I can.
A thudding within my chest is drumming so loudly.
I cannot ignore it.
I feel so human.
"Heart of Silent Hill," Heather proclaims fiercely. "Here we come."
Let's get this out of the way. Shall we? I'm a terrible person and Red Pyramid did give me a damn good beating... and not in the good way.
Putting two bloody years aside... ha ha... I would like to address a few things. Two songs are mentioned. Love Song by The Cure, not mine. Precious by Depeche Mode, also not mine. The street names, apartment names, even the gas station names are NOT made up. They are in fact actual places in Silent Hill. I feel so fucking awesome and shiny for brushing up on these things. I have a map too Heather and it's lovely!
Happy Friday the 13th everyone! And by the way... Silent Hill: Revelation... FUCK YES MY BITCHES :D Who else is super stoked to see this movie? I know I am. All I have to say is that Valtiel better be in it. Now excuse me boils and ghouls, I have another chapter to work on.
I promise I'm not going anywhere my duckies. You haven't heard the last of me yet.