Author's Note: Well done, I'm proud of you making it to the second chapter. Thankyou! "Hi again! You're still reading... thats great cause Squishy and I are awesome! Thanks - and enjoy this chapter!" - from Erin. Anyways, hopefully keep enjoying!
Copyright Notice: This story, although heavily based upon the Silent Hill games and Silent Hill movie, is NOT claiming to be an original piece of either of the former.
Morbus - Chapter One
"Arrival at Sororca"
Alexia clambered out of the strange car, looking around and pulling her bag behind her. She heard Adrian and Tyra follow, and turned to see Eric step out of the front passenger seat, thanking the nameless driver for the ride and gathering the few things they carried with them out of the boot. The Vauxhall sped away, tyres kicking up dirt and gravel as it turned out from the rest stop and onto the highway.
"Wonder why he wouldn't go right into the place?" said Eric.
"Don't know, but we're nearly there anyway" responded Tyra. "I saw a sign that said we were 1 kilometre from Sororca back there."
"Ok, let's get going." Said Adrian as he put his arm over Alexia's shoulders.
The four friends walked along the road, heading toward the city centre. It seemed so silent, except for the crunching of gravel under their shoes. Looming from the slightly misty distance they came upon a sign that proclaimed "Sororca – A Prospering City".
"Ok, how corny!" exclaimed Tyra. The others laughed.
They walked on, talking and speculating as to whether they would stay long at Sororca and where they would go next. It had been a long hitchhike from their own city. As they approached the city centre they looked around them. Huge buildings and skyscrapers loomed above them, their lights and life seemingly extinguished. The four friends quickened the pace towards the square, with only the occasional car passing them on the road.
They reached the square, to find a paved open space with trees, bushes and benches scattered around. "It's like a miniature Central Park," exclaimed Eric. The main street was directly to the north. It seemed like a nice, well-to-do town, although the four companions could not shake the feeling there was something wrong. Something missing.
They found their way to 'Hotel Synthess' (off the square about 100 metres from the park and fountain) and checked in with the receptionist; a small, frail – looking woman with sunken eyes and pale skin hanging off brittle bones. She looked at least 60. She gave them the keys and directed them to their rooms; all without speaking more than was absolutely necessary. Adrian took the keys, and led the group upstairs. Alexia followed, and caught the gaunt receptionist's eye as she passed: she seemed to be watching them hungrily, noting their every move – and then she looked away, and the feeling was gone.
They all ascended the stairs off the hallway and dumped their bags in the rooms (twin share), and began to unpack their various possessions.
"This town... There's something... different ...about it," stated Tyra to Eric. "What do you think?"
"Can't quite put my finger on it... but yeah, there is," replied Eric.
In the room across the hall, Alexia and Adrian were conversing about the same anomaly.
"I didn't know it was going to be so cold here," said Alexia. "Just my luck – I didn't pack my cashmere sweater."
"You could always borrow one of my jackets honey," suggested Adrian.
"Oh, I think I'll pass on that offer," laughed Alexia.
They all met up in the hall after lunch, planning on exploring the town as a group. They were the kind of people that couldn't settle down, always on the move. Friends from college, Adrian, Alexia, Tyra, and Eric had always wanted to travel, and doing it together had just been a bonus.
"Is it just us, or is there something strange about this town?" Tyra asked the other couple.
"There is," Alexia confirmed.
"I wonder what it is... we can't figure it out... it seems pretty normal..."
"Wanna go find out?" Alexia asked the group at large.
With that, Adrian nodded and led her down the stairs, heading outside. The rest hurried to follow. Once they were all outside, Adrian led the way down 1st Avenue. A strange mist had arrived out of nowhere. Eric faltered as he stepped out.
'Wow," he exclaimed. "That was quick. It wasn't that misty before!"
As he walked further away from the hotel entrance, he became a little apprehensive.
"Are you sure we wont get lost or something?" he called through the mist to the others.
"Don't worry, I'll find my way back," replied Adrian.
They walked on, stopping at a crossroads. Adrian took a left, deciding on Martha Street. Eric, bringing up the rear, took halting steps forwards, looking back to see that they had long lost the hotel in the swelling cloud of white.
They walked past all sorts of chain stores – bookstores, music shops, hairdressers and grocery stores – but they all looked as if they hadn't been up and running in years. Some windows were boarded up, some were smashed, the wind whistling softly through and rustling the paper and rubbish on the floor inside. The tar road was rutted and broken.
"How old did you say this town is?" Tyra asked Alexia.
"I didn't," Alexia replied. "But I haven't seen many locals. It's almost like they are hiding from us. Look there's one peeping from behind a door!"
"Hey there!" shouted Adrian.
"Stop it, you'll give us a bad impression Adrian," said Alexia as she playfully punched Adrian.
"What? Am I not allowed to say hello?" replied Adrian.
"I think Alexia is just a bit apprehensive with strangers Adrian, especially strangers in strange towns," said Tyra, half joking.
Eric meanwhile was considering turning back. He had thought he had seen someone walking with them, keeping pace with the group but just out of the reach of his mist impaired vision. He stopped and tried to gather his wits, the mist welling and swirling in front of him and clouding his vision. Yet, he could see… things that weren't really there. Horrific illusions. Images flashed in front of him, random scenes of places and people he had never seen before. Confused and just a tad worried, Eric yelled out to Tyra. He felt her hand on his shoulder.
"Are you alright honey?" asked Tyra, concerned.
"Fine..." said Eric softly, not wanting to mention that he had just hallucinated.
"Good," said Tyra and skipped ahead to walk with Alexia.
When the others took another left, Eric decided to try and find his way back to the hotel by himself, and turned right.
"I'm going back to the hotel guys!" He shouted out to the others, and he wasn't sure whether they heard him or not. He didn't like the feeling of this town. It seemed so peculiar to him that mist could blow in that quickly, and he thought he was a bit crazy after seeing those 'images'. Eric decided he was just tired after the trip.
The others walked on, squinting as if somehow they could brush away the clouding shroud. It engulfed them all, shutting off the rest of the town, the rest of the world. Still they walked on.
Eric, who was finding his way back to the hotel through the mist, began to panic and started to run, tripping occasionally on the deep potholes and chunks of road in his path. He looked around frantically for a landmark or sign, but realised the mist had completely closed in on him and he no longer had any sense of direction. He stopped running and slowed to a walk, trying to gather his thoughts and figure out which way to go.
The mist lifted for a moment, just long enough to see a figure, it too draped in whiteness, standing motionless at a crossroads. Eric noticed it seemed to have sensed him; standing (Was it standing or crouching? Why was there a red stain on its robe?) so still it could have been crafted of stone, its hands outstretched to either side like it was trying to feel signs of life on the moisture – laden air. The mist descended, then lifted once more, constantly swirling thickly to reveal, sporadically, the figure slowly turning.
"Hey," Eric called, "Do you know what's going on? Where is this mist coming from?...hang on why am I speaking to you? You could just be another stupid hallucination! I really must be tired!"
The whiteness lifted once more, and the figure let out a gurgling yell.
"Oh this is defiantly not a vision then…" Gasped Eric.
The creature turned fully, allowing him to glimpse its horribly scarred and dilapidated facial features ('could you call that a face?' Eric wondered), and loped on broken and deformed appendages towards him, bleeding red onto the tarmac of the road as it moved. It roared terrifyingly again in pain, and lunged onto him.
Eric saw, in the corner of his eye as he was falling under the creature's weight, another figure closing in as the mist swelled around him once more, the whiteness blinding him until he could see no more except the creature's blood, as red as his own, seeping into the cracks of the tarmac road.
Meanwhile, the three friends became tired of exploring the streets that seemed devoid of life, and decided to retire back to the hotel. They found their way back without any trouble, but Tyra paused before stepping over the threshold:
"Where's Eric?" she asked the other two.
"Dunno - probably took the scenic route," said Adrian.
"Very funny. I suppose he'll come back a little later...?" said Tyra, an underlying tone of worry and question in her voice.
Eric did not return that night. At first Tyra, his partner, worried and fretted, but did not want to alarm anyone, so let it pass and reasoned that he would be back in the morning. After all, the other two didn't seem to be too worried.