Title: Such Perfect Joy Therein
Author: Candyland
Fandom: Silent Hill 2: James Sunderland gets a letter from his beloved wife Mary, asking him to come and meet her in their special place. The only thing is that Mary has been dead for quite some time. He goes immediately to Silent Hill to find her. Survival instincts? What are those? I own nothing!
Wordcount: 1013 words
Taunt: My fandom has geometry for a face.


My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such perfect joy therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That world affords or grows by kind.
- Edward Dyer

April 10

Mary Sunderland was settled into the hospital today. Her condition is not yet serious, but she has started showing signs of impending deterioration. We must move quickly if we are to have a chance of successful treatment, but it may already be too late. Her husband, James, seems desperate to save her. I have spoken with him at length, and promised him that we will do our best.

April 24

Mary has been with us for two weeks now, and has already become a favorite of the nursing staff. Her condition is stable. Her husband visits her frequently. Mary always seems so happy to see him.

April 28

Mary had a seizure this morning - this is not a good sign. She was in a poor temper for the rest of the day because of it, and the tests we had to do as a result only served to aggravate her further, but they were necessary. Despite our careful monitoring, her condition has deteriorated beyond what we had initially thought. We will keep a close eye on her and her situation, and hopefully we will be able to prevent any further downturns for the time being.

June 13

Mood swings are a known side effect of treatment, and Mary has been showing it in spades. When she is her normal self, she is the same pleasant woman the staff came to adore so much when she first arrived. But when the black moods come, she is volatile, angry, and prone to harsh words. James has borne the brunt of many of these moods, and done so silently. We hope that the treatment is successful so that neither of them will have to go through this for any longer than is absolutely necessary.

June 27

Mary inquired about the little girl she has befriended during her stay here at the hospital. She wishes to know why the little girl, Laura, is here, if she is ill, and if she has any family left. Most interesting.

June 29

Mary asked about the little girl again. Laura. When James came to visit, Mary told him about her. She seems very happy to have made a friend in the hospital.

July 8

Mary had a bad seizure last night. For a moment, I thought we might lose her. She is stable, for the moment.

July 15

James' visits have become fewer, farther between, and shorter. I cannot necessarily say that I blame him, as Mary's bad moods have become more the norm than the exception, and she lashes out at him viciously when he is here. But when she is in a better mood, his presence is helpful and calming to her.

After he leaves (and indeed, sometimes when he does not come at all), Mary seems to content to talk to Laura again. The nurses have noticed these conversations, but I have instructed them to leave it alone.

July 31

Mary's condition has taken a turn for the worst, and this time I fear there is nothing we can do for her. Her illness has taken hold faster than we anticipated. The usual treatments will not help a person at her advanced stage, though we will try everything we can to bring her back. When I told her this, she begged me to bring Laura to her. Mary seems very attached to her.

August 3

It won't be much longer now. Nothing has worked, and Mary is at death's door. Her husband is with her most of the time now. When he is gone, though, she spends time with Laura, talking quietly. Mary is calm when she is with Laura.

After giving the matter some thought and conferring with my colleagues, I have decided not to tell Mary the truth. Spending time with Laura brings her so much joy as she falls further and further into her illness and the emotional storm that comes with knowing that things are so bleak. Nothing would be gained from telling her.

When things are so bad, the human mind may do many different things to cope. Some fall into denial, some just feel sorry for themselves, some go out and attempt to take the world by storm and do any number of insane things (feeling they have nothing left to lose), and some find other means. It is not so difficult to accept that a person nearing the end of their life, because of a long illness, may create a friend, even going so far as to mentally project this friend into their surroundings as a way to keep the loneliness at bay and find some comfort.

So as my notes have previously stated, I have instructed the nurses not to tell Mary that there is no little girl named Laura in this hospital, and that no one else can see her. Let Mary be happy in these final days, regardless of the means. It hurts nothing. She doesn't need to know that she is talking to an empty chair, conversing with a construct of her own mind.

August 7

Mary passed last night.

-o-

James looked up at the child who was sitting on top of the wall, staring right back at him.

Laura.

What in the world was a little girl like her doing in a place like this?

…and why did that name somehow sound like it should be familiar?

When no answer came, James shrugged the thought off.