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Note on Chapter XVI: Chapter 16 follows Adam, that's all I'll say. Please review, favourite, and follow. This chapter may contain some 'adult themes'. In the event that this story is pulled by FF, I intend to re-post on DEVIANT ART and not Adult Fanfiction as previously stated. Support and feedback is greatly appreciated. *Thank You*
Through the heavy downpour Adam sees the glowing violet aura of the motel. Fractured quotes, slivers of images, run through his mind as he reflects on his encounter with Eve. He breaks into a jog, keeping his hands warm in their pockets. Clouds of condensation rise from his mouth as he exhales, floating upwards, then dissipating, in the cold atmosphere of Silent Hill. Cutting through the parking lot, he looks up at his motel room, seeing the door closed. Adam stops momentarily, catching his breath, then walks to the stairway. His boots make a heavy metal clang as he skips up the stairs, then making it to the door, he opens it, to an empty room. Everything looks as he had left it. His eyes scan the room, looking for the girl he had come here to find, but there is no sign of her. Taking a few steps into the room, Adam runs his hand over his face, wiping away some of the rain.
"Elizabeth?" Adam calls out, hoping she may be in the bathroom, but there is no reply.
Suddenly, Adam's eyes catch a note left on the nightstand, where he had left one for Elizabeth. He walks up to the nightstand picking up the note, it is written in neat, feminine handwriting.
I'm sorry I couldn't be here when you got back, but if you find this note, I want you to know that Silent Hill has guided me to where I need to go. I wish you could come with me, but I suppose this is something I must do on my own. Don't worry about me, Adam, just try to find your own escape from this nightmare. You'll be in my thoughts.
Adam drops the note back on the nightstand, as a panic rushes through him. I can't let her do this on her own… It's too dangerous. There's no way she can make it through this without my help. If only I knew where she had gone. Adam turns from the night stand, and, leaving the motel room heads back into the rain. As he cuts back across the parking lot, Adam tries to wrack his brain, to figure out if she had left any clue as to where she needed to go. Could she have gone back to the school? Why would she do that? Maybe I could return to the hospital, and find her file? No, I have no idea what her last name is… The church? Not likely. Adam hurries onward, in no particular direction, with no clue, but listless. He looks around, in the vain hope that he may see her, though rationally he knows that wherever she has gone, she be quite a ways from here by now. Frustration getting the better of him, Adam runs a hand over his face. Damn it! Adam kicks at the ground.
Crossing a street, he ducks into a doorway, to get some shelter from the rain. Pulling out his map, Adam turns so that the faint light from the street illuminates its contents. He scans it methodically, meticulously. The cemetery… The park… The motel… The department store… The school… The hospital… No, no, no… Damn it, Elizabeth, why did you have to do this on your own? Why couldn't you just wait for me? Tell me where you were going? Suddenly, Adam's eyes stop on a building on the Southern outskirts of the town. Silent Hill Music Hall & Conservatory. He stares at it for a moment, and his mind starts turning. At the school… Elizabeth said she used to take choral and piano lessons in school… It's the only clue I've got. Adam folds up the map and replaces it, stepping out from the doorway, back into the downpour. He breaks into a run, heading South. It is some nine blocks to his destination, and every passing moment spells greater danger for the girl Adam felt he was responsible to protect. His boots splash as they hit the watery street. Blocks pass by, and Adam dashes as fast as his legs will take him.
As he races, memories of Elizabeth flash through his mind. When he had first met her in the foggy courtyard of the school. How scared and defenceless she looked. The memory of her standing over him, cleaning his cuts. The orange glow from the fire he had lit to burn the books, flickering across her face. How could this sweet, innocent girl possibly protect herself from the horrors of Silent Hill? As Adam comes down the final block he stops across the street from the Conservatory. Leaning up against a wall, Adam catches his breath, analysing his destination. It is a large, gothic building, with a pyramidal, black hatched roof and an iron treble staff at the the top. It's a large, brick building, its windows blocked with iron bars. At its front, three concrete stairs lead up to a pair of heavy doors, above the doors, a sign: Silent Hill Music Hall & Conservatory. And, standing in front of the doors, one of the nuns, her arms folded into a praying position, a silver cross clasped in her hands.
Adam takes another moment to completely catch his breath, heavy rain pouring down on him, and slowly he gains his composure. Then, stepping from the curb, he crosses the street, pulling the crowbar from his belt loop. Adam shakes his arms out, as if preparing for a race, and waves the crow bar in his hand, getting a feel for its weight and adjusting his grip. He steps up on the curb. As he gets to the base of the stairs, the nun jerks into motion, her joints clicking and popping, her body twitching as she descends the stairs, advancing towards him. Grabbing his crowbar with two hands, Adam steps back, preparing himself for a fight. Widening his stance into a batting position, he draws his weapon back. The nun, raises her pointed cross into the air. Adam swings at her head with brute force, snapping it sideways and tearing a chunk of flesh from her face. The nun swings back at him, Adam skipping backwards as the cross sails passed him. He swings downwards, the hooked edge of his crowbar making a deep slash down the centre of the nun's face. The nun retaliates, the cross missing once more, sailing weakly through the air. Drawing his arms over his head, he swings down at the creature with all his strength. The crowbar slams down on the top of the nun's head, its hook sinking deep into its skull. The nun drops its cross, its body convulsing. Adam pulls out the crowbar. The nun falls limply to the ground, shaking on the rainy sidewalk. Blood runs out from its skull, mixing with the rainfall. In a steady stream, it pours out onto the sidewalk, over the edge, into the curb, and down the street.
Stepping over the monster, Adam walks up the stairs of the Conservatory. Grabbing the brass knob of the Conservatory door he turns it, finding it open. Creaking slightly, he opens the door and steps inside. Standing inside the door, he looks over the room. It's a large concert hall. Designed like the inside of a shell, a stage at the back has a large arched roof, that rises over the rows of seats to the entrance. At the back, there is a large pipe organ, with huge silver pipes running from the floor to the ceiling. Adam scans the room for any signs of life.
"Elizabeth!" Adam calls out, his voice reverberating through the hall.
Hearing no reply, Adam walks forward, down the cascading, red-carpeted stairs running between the seats. As he descends, he looks to his right and left, looking for anything of interest which may be sitting on the seats or floor. Eventually, the floor levels out as Adam comes to the front of the stage. He turns right, finding stairs to the stage off to one side. Climbing the stairs he walks out onto the stage, looking around himself searchingly. His eyes lock in place, facing the pipe organ, as he sees a shiny blue object sitting on its keys. He walks over to the pipe organ, grabbing the object off of its keys. It's a shining, blue brooch, with a pink bell in its centre. This is Elizabeth's brooch… She is here! Adam slides the brooch into his shoulder bag, and turns from the organ. Walking off the stage, Adam turns left, walking to the corner of the room, but there is no door. He cuts across the stage, going the opposite way, and upon reaching the opposite corner, finds a door with a push bar on it. He reads the sign: Conservatory Downstairs.
There is a heavy metallic click as Adam pushes open the door into a dark stairwell. The stairs only descend from here. He heads into the stairwell, down the stairs. As he makes his way down the first few steps, the door slams shut behind him and the room is totally black. Placing a hand on the cold metal railing, Adam slowly walks down the stairs. Hitting the first landing, he turns around and goes down the next flight. Hitting flat ground once more, Adam staggers forwards, holding his arms out. His hand meet a cold metal surface. Feeling around it, he finds another push bar. He pushes the door open, he steps into a hall. This is a basement, below the music hall. It is only slightly brighter than the stairwell. There are a row of rooms running on the left side. Adam calls our to Elizabeth once more, but there is no reply. He walks to the first room, turning its knob. Locked. Continuing on, he makes his way to the next door. Turning the knob, it opens, and Adam walks inside.
The room is empty for the most part. Posters with musical symbols line the walls: scales, modes, images of Mozart and Beethoven. The only thing other than that, is an upright piano, with a metronome sitting atop it. Walking over to it, Adam looks over the piano. It's a standard upright piano, with some rosewood shell. But Adam is somehow struck by the small metronome which sits above it. It is a plastic, pyramidal metronome, with faux-wood siding and a long, silver pendulum. Reaching over to it, he taps the pendulum, resulting in a rhythmic ticking.
Adam is seated at an upright piano. The metronome seated atop the piano ticks at a rhythmic 120 beats per minute. At that moment, a teenage girl wearing a Catholic schoolgirl's uniform steps round the corner. He encourages her to sit on the bench, which she does, and he then proceeds to play the piano.
"Okay, just like this," Adam instructs, "C… G minor, G… D… E suss, E, C."
Adam plays as he reads out the chords. The girl watches attentively. Then as he finishes, he turns to her holding out a hand to indicate that it is her turn to play. She taps her foot along with the metronome, then imitates what he did, playing on the higher keys of the piano. But, as she does so, she stumbles a few times, causing a dissonance near the end of the progression. She laughs nervously, looking over at Adam, with an embarrassed expression.
"That's good," Adam assures her, "Just remember to roll up the keys as you come back to the C major."
Adam taps his foot, syncing himself with the metronome, and then plays the progression once more:
"C… G minor, G… E suss, E, C… Now you try."
The girl imitates him once more, reading out the chords as he did.
"C… G minor, G… E suss -"
There is a crashing sound, and the girl looks up from the piano at the source of the noise. There is another crashing sound, as Adam rises from the piano with a concerned expression. The sound is coming from the studio. Adam turns to his student.
"Just one moment, I'll be right back."
Adam walks around the corner and down the hall. Coming to a door, he opens it, stepping into the small brightly lit art studio. An easel lies on its side, turned over, and a fresh wet painting lies on the floor, a hole punched through the centre. Paint is spattered across the floor and paintbrushes lie strewn about. Up against the wall, Adam's wife stands with her hands clasped over her ears. She has a frustrated expression on her face. She curses under her breath.
"May?" Adam says, concerned, "What's wrong?"
"It's not right," May replies, "I can't get it right."
"It's not coming together the way I planned it, it looks all screwed up."
Adam walks over to the painting, looking over it. It is an oil painting of a gentle stream emerging from the doorway of their home. The painting displays a high degree of technical proficiency and and expressionistic flair.
"May… this looks amazing."
"No, I screwed it up."
May begins to pace back and forth, muttering under her breath. Picking up the easel, Adam places the damaged painting back on it, then turns to his wife. She has a wild expression in her eyes, she stares at the ground with a detached expression, whispering something unintelligible. Walking over to her he grabs her by the shoulders. Leaning forward, he looks deep into her eyes.
"May," he says, "You're losing it again… Can you come back for me?"
She looks back into his eyes, but doesn't seem to be there. Adam's wife seems lost in some distant world.
"May," he repeats, "Come back, honey… It's okay…"
Slowly she seems to get her grip on the situation. And her expression changes from one of wild detachment, to a warm, loving, familiar gaze. As she becomes aware of the situation, she tilts her head, looking back at him with an apologetic gaze. Adam pulls her close and, kissing her on the lips, wraps his arms around her.
"You scared me there," Adam says.
Adam reaches forward and grabs the pendulum, stopping the metronome. She was sick. He turns from the piano and walks to the door. Leaning up against the frame, he sighs, reflecting on this distant memory. Stepping out from the room, Adam continues down the hall, checking the next room - which is locked. From here, the hall branches off to the left. He continues straight, to check all remaining rooms, but all he finds are more locked doors, and one room which looks just like the one Adam was in. Time is precious, so he leaves the room, turning back the way he came. As he makes his way to the hallway branching off, a piercing scream shatters the silence. Elizabeth.
Adam breaks into a sprint, turning round the corner, racing towards the source of the scream. As he runs down the darkened hallway, he strains to see in the darkness. Door after door passes, some opened, some closed, but no sound seems to come from any of them. Another scream. It is coming from a room off to the right, its door half opened. Adam bursts through the door to see Elizabeth, backed into its corner holding her gun out in front of her. A nun staggers towards her, closing in slowly, its body jerking and twitching. Its bones crackling and popping as it raises its pointed cross high over its head in a stabbing motion. Elizabeth is pulling the trigger again and again, but it just makes impotent clicks. She's out of bullets. Adam lunges forward, swinging his crowbar down on the nun's head. The hooked end of his weapon punctures its skull, making a wet cracking sound. He jerks the crowbar back, tearing a large chunk of skull loose from the monster's head, sending blackened blood splashing across the floor. The nun falls backwards at Adam's feet. He raises his boot high in the air and stomps on the nun's skull with all his strength. Its head is pulverised. The creature's body twitches momentarily and then goes limp, as a pool of blood forms around its crushed skull.
Her eyes wide with terror, Elizabeth keeps pulling the trigger of her gun. her body trembles violently. Sliding his crowbar through a belt loop, Adam steps towards her, placing a hand over her gun. Gently, he pulls it from her hands, setting it on a desk beside them. Elizabeth holds out her hands, shaking, as though she were still holding the gun. There is a bloody scratch across her right cheek. Adam reaches around her, pulling her close in a tight hug. She gasps and whimpers as Adam strokes her back, trying to calm the girl.
"Sh, sh, it's okay," he whispers softly.
"You came for me," Elizabeth says, in shock and disbelief.
"Of course I did."
"I thought I was dead," Elizabeth relaxes slightly, pushing her head against Adam's chest.
"Why would you go without me?"
"I don't know," Elizabeth replies, "I didn't want to burden you."
"I want to help, Elizabeth, I'll take you wherever you need to go."
Stepping back from her, Adam places his hands over her shoulders, smiling reassuringly and looking into her eyes. Then, turning, he guides her over to the desk, and placing his hands around her waist, lifts her and sets her down on the desk. Cocking his head, and turning her chin to the left with one hand, he looks over the bloodied scratch on her cheek. It's a superficial wound, a grazing cut which was probably caused by one of the nuns, though Adam refrains from asking. Using his shirtsleeve, Adam wipes away a little blood.
"Ow," Elizabeth says, wincing.
"It's just a scratch," Adam diagnoses, matter-of-factly.
Suddenly remembering something, Adam reaches into his shoulder bag.
"Look what I've got."
Adam pulls out the shiny blue brooch he had found in the music hall.
"My brooch!" Elizabeth exclaims, her eyes lighting up and a big smile crossing her face.
Adam grabs her cashmere sweater with one hand and pins it on with the other.
"That's so sweet," Elizabeth says, smiling enthusiastically, "I thought I had lost it!"
"Now you're back to your full glory," Adam replies playfully, smiling back at her.
Adam places his hands over Elizabeth's shoulders, looking over her. Her eyes seem to flicker and she swallows nervously. Adam slides his hands down Elizabeth's arms. As his hands pass over hers, she grabs them. She looks up at him with her wide, blue eyes. Elizabeth sighs.
"Why did you come back for me?" she asks.
"I wouldn't let you do this alone," Adam replies.
"That thing almost killed me… It would have killed, if you hadn't come."
"Well, your safe now, that's what's important."
Holding his hands, there is a long pause, Elizabeth looking into Adam's eyes lovingly. Drawing her leg up, Elizabeth runs her foot up between Adam's legs. Pulling back, he let's go of Elizabeth's hands. He tries to speak but chokes on his words. Her returning expression is one of confusion and rejection.
"Why?" she replies, looking over at him with a spurned expression.
"It's not appropriate," Adam replies.
"You've been so kind to me… I just want to do something to repay you."
"You don't have to do anything. It wouldn't be kindness if I expected something in return."
Elizabeth drops her head, staring down at her feet. Drawing one hand up, she guides her hair back behind one ear and looks as though she is trying to make sense of the situation. She turns her face up to him, arching her eyebrows in a heartbroken expression, creasing her forehead slightly. She blushes.
"It was stupid… I don't know what I was thinking."
"No, it's no big deal, you've been through a lot."
"So have you," Elizabeth replies, reaching for Adam's hand, but he pulls away.
"Come on," Adam says, "let's get out of here."
Elizabeth hops off from the desk and walks to the door, holding her elbow with one hand and looking down with a shamed expression.
"I feel so embarrassed," Elizabeth says.
"There is nothing to be embarrassed about."
They head through the doorway, and into the hall, Elizabeth walking ahead of Adam. They continue on, in silence, but suddenly, Elizabeth stops. She stands in place, looking at the floor, as though she had something she needed to get off her chest. Adam stands there, watching her quizzically.
"What is it?" Adam asks.
Elizabeth turns, and looks up at him for a second, but then glances down at the ground.
"Did…" she stops herself, "Did you lose interest in me?"
Adam puts a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.
"Elizabeth, you're a very sweet, pretty girl, but I'm not interested in you that way… I'm too old for you."
Elizabeth looks up at him with a confused, wounded expression.
"But… what about… before?"
Adam suddenly feels nauseous and dizzy as he realises what she is referring to. He loses his balance and almost falls over sideways, planting his shoulder against the wall for support. His face contorts into a painful expression, and he puts his hand over his face. His teeth clenched tightly, Adam curses under his breath.
"Did that really happen?" he says.
"What… of course it did," Elizabeth replies looking at him in disbelief.
"I though it was a dream."
"No… we -"
"Jesus Christ," Adam hisses hitting himself on the side of his head, "I'm so sorry, Elizabeth."
"Don't be sorry," she replies, her eyes welling up with tears.
"It was a mistake."
"Adam… I wanted to."
"Elizabeth…" Adam curses under his breath, "It's not okay… I - I shouldn't have done that… God damn it…"
Elizabeth places her hands over her heart, her bottom lip trembling as tears roll down her cheeks.
"I'm sorry," she whispers softly.
"It's my fault, Elizabeth, not yours."
"Why does it have to be anyone's fault?"
"Come on," Adam says, guiding he back on their course, trying to ignore her tears.
Making their way back to the stairwell, they climb back up to the music hall and then exit the conservatory. Back in the rain, Adam retraces his steps, making their way back to the motel. As they walk together, they exchange no words, but Adam's thoughts turn in his mind. He curses himself for his irreversible lapse in judgment, for failing his wife's memory. For taking advantage of this sensitive girl. Periodically, Elizabeth starts to cry, but, not knowing what he can do or say, he chooses to ignore her. Adam feels that the only solution at this point, is to protect her, but keep some emotional distance. Continuing Northward through the rain, they pass a gas station. Elizabeth stops suddenly, grabbing Adam's arm. He looks over at her with an inquisitive expression.
"What is it?" Adam asks.
"I need to go to the bathroom," Elizabeth replies.
"You want to go to the gas station?"
Elizabeth nods, so they walk to the front door of the gas station. Adam pushes on the door, finding it open. Walking inside he looks around, making sure it's safe. It is a convenience store, in an apparently orderly state. Looking over to the right, he sees the bathroom door. He turns to Elizabeth.
"Okay, there it is… Call for me if you need anything."
Elizabeth walks into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. Adam wanders around the store, glancing around him listlessly. The store is in a surprisingly orderly state. But at the moment, his mind is solely absorbed by his indiscretions with Elizabeth. Jesus, I made a mistake… How could I make such a stupid decision? What would May think? She may be gone, but I have a responsibility to respect and honour her memory… And I have a responsibility to treat this impressionable girl right… Not exploit her. I'm so sorry, May, I've betrayed you. In death, I've failed you… You deserve better. Adam circles round a rack of candy, pacing restlessly, his hand on his chin. Several minutes pass and Adam realises that Elizabeth has not returned. Walking to the bathroom door, he knocks.
There is no response. Adam knocks louder.
"Elizabeth? Are you okay?"
Adam tries the door, but it's locked. A shock of panic runs through his body. I should have checked the bathroom first… What if some monster was in there? Damnit, Adam! Taking two steps back, he runs at the door, slamming his shoulder against it. A sharp pain shoots through his shoulder. He staggers backwards, clutching his shoulder and groaning in pain. Stepping back Adam kicks the door, once, then twice, shocks of pain running through his leg as he does so. The door seems unbreakable, but he is determined to get inside. Mustering all his strength, he lunges forward, driving his foot against the door. The wood around the padlock shatters and the door flies open.
"Elizabeth!" he calls out, walking inside the bathroom.
The bathroom is empty. Walking passed the stall he pushes open the door, but Elizabeth is nowhere to be seen. By the wall, the bathroom window is open, and a milk crate is set up under it. Adam runs to the window, stepping up on the milk crate, he sticks his head through the window. There is no sign of the girl.