Silent Hill 2 fanfiction/Pyramid Head; written for Journey Through the Genres 2020
Contest entry for Journey Through the Genres 06/2020
Word count: 1921/2000
It's heavy, this thing that weighs down my head. Not the guilt. The pyramid. The moniker came along so naturally. It's just so big and scary. Fear molds our minds and changes the way we feel about things. A child might have looked at my head and thought "block" or maybe "triangle." An adolescent might have thought "ramp" or maybe "wedge." But the damned -the people trapped here in Silent Hill- they saw what they feared. They saw a pyramid, the strongest structure, a shape of power. Even in it's bloodied, rusted, dilapidated state, it was a symbol of fear. I carried the heft because it was mine to carry, but I reveled in their fear because it gave me power.
I wasn't born but simply awoke one day, spawned from the darkness that could have been mistaken for a soul some time ago. I stared through the slits of my burden at the hospital bed where it all began. The woman on the bed lay dead before me, her face covered with the pillow used to smother her. Tangles of fine, auburn hair haphazardly peeked out from beneath the pillow. Her hands looked like pale claws still trying to grip the arms that killed her. They were as pale as they had ever been. She was sick for years before he finally grew tired of taking care of her. Her name was Mary. I couldn't save her. I knew she had been dead long before I came into being, but I couldn't ignore the urge to make sure she was gone. I placed one hand on the center of the pillow and pressed until I could feel the curvature of her lips and nose through the cotton. Then I pressed a little more. Nothing happened. It was just as well. Who was I to change his world? James. I had to find James and make him pay for what he had done.
My butcher's apron scraped the wheel of the hospital bed as I turned to grab my great knife, a two-handed blade resembling a steak knife nearly as long as I am tall and my companion in the darkness. I looked at her again, as though the noise might have disturbed her, but she remained still and silent, like everything else in Silent Hill that had once been good. The great knife dragged behind me as I lumbered through the door and out into the hall of the hospital. The marks the blade left were barely noticeable against the badly stained tiles. Broken gurneys and assorted medical waste littered the floor. Needles, broken vials, gauze, everything. It looked like someone had gotten into a fight with something big and almost lost but for the handful of first aid kits littering the floor. I carefully stepped around the mess and continued through the building until I happened upon a herd of faceless nurses who no longer cared for anyone -not even themselves-, all staring dumbly at a flashlight laying on the reception counter. That sealed it for me. James had been here. How could I have missed him?
I stopped to admire one that had a spectacular bulge of cleavage hanging out of the front of her dress. It seemed one too many buttons had come undone on her blouse, but she was enamored, stuck staring into the beam of a flashlight left on a counter next to her faceless sisters- all clamoring around in their white dresses, hats, and pumps around the light. After a few moments of admiring them, my true nature took hold. I approached them from behind, gripped the handle of my blade with both hands, and in one lateral swing, I cleaved three of the nurses in twain and left the other one -the especially busty one- badly injured. She twitched and flailed on her back against the dirty floor. For a moment - just one single moment- it occurred to that we had so much in common. Neither of us had faces to look upon. We were both wandering through the bitter cold and darkness looking for something. And ultimately, finding what we were looking for would only bring us pain. Then I raised my blade and made her special. She would be split in half vertically instead of horizontally. Then I left.
The air outside was so thick with ash it occasionally fluttered down into the slits of my pyramid like snow. The pink neon of Heaven's Night lit up the northern end of the street. The lights flashing in the marquis making it look like the lady on the sign was dancing made my eyes burn and my stomach turn. Innately, I knew where I would find Mary's killer. It was just a matter of putting myself where he would find me. There was no way I was going to chase him down with a metal pyramid on my head in the thick fog while dragging my great knife. What horrible fate he had doomed upon me. I knew I couldn't be faster than him, so I had to be smarter than him. I went south and turned onto Rendell and then went north on Munson toward the Blue Creek Apartments. I wondered how many times James had been there and how many women had joined him while Mary lay dying in bed alone as I passed other abominations within Silent Hill. The grey children skulked around in the shadows, watching my blade closely as it passed. I stopped and turned to shoo them away with a swing of the blade, but the act of me stopping and turning sent a school of grey children scattering to the four winds to seek shelter in the darkness. I spotted a little one -pale, distorted, and gripping a knife in its tiny hand- sprawled on the ground. It had fallen and been trampled by the others in the wake of my terror. It gasped for air and weakly crawled toward a nearby stoop. For a single moment, I considered bringing the blade down on the poor child's head to end its suffering. Then I heard them. I turned again toward the intersection where Munson crossed Katz street and saw the mannequins stumbling toward me. Smooth, plastic-y flesh pulled taught over a steel frame of legs attached at the waist to another pair of legs, no torso or head. That's what made them so clumsy. Legs weren't meant to be attached to more legs and then wobbled around a ghost town, but there they were. Three mannequins walking at me consisting entirely of legs, nice legs at that. There were two more lying dead on the sidewalk nearby staining the concrete with the dark blood seeping out of the enormous holes James had obviously blown into them.
I waited until the perfect moment and brought the blade down on one of the mannequins. It shuttered and bled profusely but didn't die. Instead it fell and twitched against the pavement, the metal rods clicking and creaking inside the plastic. I took my blade in both hands and stabbed through the mannequin's midpoint. The other two mannequins had surrounded me. I wasn't sure what they had expected, but I would make sure to deliver. I turned my body away from the blade and waited for them to be close before I swung, cutting off the top legs of one and slicing into the other like they were thin as air. They both fell before me and quaked as I dragged the blade across the pavement and through their bodies again. I walked over to the mannequins James had killed and took a close look. They were more hole than flesh, which was strangely appealing and gross all at the same time. There was something bothersome yet strangely alluring about gazing at the destruction James had left for me to find.
I continued through the intersection and spotted the Blue Creek Apartments on the corner nearby. The once white stonework used to decorate the outside of the building had greyed from the constant bombardment of ash from the sky. It had somehow aged more poorly than its counterpart, The Wood Side Apartments, whose bricks were still quite red despite being decades older than Blue Creek. In front of the apartment buildings was a chain link fence, gates held closed by a chain and padlock. James hadn't gotten there yet. The lock certainly wouldn't have been a challenge for me, but I didn't want to make things any easier on James than they already were. I went around to the side of the Blue Creek and spotted a fire exit. I made quick work of bashing in the door with the pommel of my blade and let myself in. Splintered wood littered the floor in front of the stairs where the door had been boarded shut from the inside. I closed the door and resealed it by shoving the chunks of wood into the space between the door and frame until it was tight. I even beat an extra piece into the frame with the pommel of the blade to be sure it would hold. Uninvited guests would not be tolerated.
I went up the stairs through a door which led me into a hallway in the apartment complex. Strange creatures that looked like people whose skin had grown over their bodies to create self-inflicted strait jackets wandered the hall. I shoved one out of my way and got sprayed with pungent, yellow acid from the hole in the middle of its face. The acid on my pyramid and butcher's apron simply dripped off, but the spew that had gotten on my hand burned like hell. I wailed in pain and it reverberated through the halls. Then that pain became anger. I grabbed the spitter by its baggy skin, put my foot in its gut, and stabbed it with the great knife, over and over until it stopped screaming. My anger abated around the time it disintegrated into a heap of flesh and bone on the floor. I could hear the acid hissing as it ate away at the red and gold diamond print carpet. The others, seeing our little scuffle, shuffled off out of my way. I continued down the hall where I found the bars separating one wing of the building from the other. I could feel him nearby.
I stood in the darkness and waited for the beam of his flashlight to find me. When it did, it cast dark shadows all around me, and the light bounced back with a blood red hue. James gasped as he looked at me, inspecting me like something valuable and horrifying. He came so close to the bars I could smell his drugstore cologne and see the frayed edges of his green jacket. His tired eyes and pale skin told me he had seen his fill of Silent Hill, but he hadn't dreamed he would see me here. He wrapped his hand around one of the bars and leaned on them, scanning me with the flashlight in his other hand.
"Who...Who are you?"
I came forward until we were so close, he could see into the eye slits of my pyramid.
"You know my name," I said. "You know me well."
He shook his head in confusion then screamed in abject horror as I plunged my blade through his stomach in one swift motion.
I leaned in close and whispered to him through the eye slits.
"My name...is James."