This was not. A good moment to have a vision.
One of those damn flashback-hallucination-glimpses of future passed & all that malarky hit Walter with the velocity of a frieght train.
Hard enough to trip him up. His head jerked liken to whiplash, and he landed hard, on his bad arm, bloodying up the pavement.
...taste of gunpowder and PTV on his tongue.They used to add it to the food at the Wish House, the toluene keeping the kids drugged and quiet.
an old fashioned machine gun. Mr.Garland had bought it at a gun show, and Walter saw himself, laughing, gleefully shooting the man full of holes everywhere BUT his torso, so as to keep the heart intact...
...younger now. standing outside a cold grey door. Locked, always locked. mommy why doesn't u wake up?
the bitter taste of tears of grief. Nothing left to do but die. Nothing here to take his life with but this spoon. breathe. don't think too hard about it. it's too blunt to do much real damage at first, but you WILL perservere.
now's the moment. don't pull your strength. make the first try worth something.
you've pulled off some amazing things with very little to work with, but now it's all over.
..a stiffened dead body on a makeshift cross. tubes jabbed thru mummified flesh, and crow feathers on the crossbeam.
tumbling from the train and landing in a helpless roll, landing... here.
Walter dared to open his eyes. it was over.
But was it over? is that what the vision meant? To have come here, to have survived all...all that back there, and let's face it, Walter knew he'd done some crummy things but overall who could blame him? he'd had a shitty life!
And now..what. Come here with this sense of destiny and fullness and eager anticipation, only to be mowed down by some monster??
"Fuck this," Walter muttered. "no more running away." He leaned heavily on the wall as he struggled back to his feet. His hand closed on something...
and Walter smiled.
An aluminum baseball bat all but sang into his hand. "Who left you here?" he asked, marvelling at it. "I can make some good use of you."
in almost the same moment Walter noticed the gas grill- another grill?? and wondered if maybe he could make a stand here.
Grinning crazily, he turned on the propane and waited.
It would come for him, of that he was certain.
But he would be ready.
Walter's teeth were gritted, jaw locked in a grimace of what could very well pass for some kind of twisted glee.
He winced a little as he moved his injured hand, gesturing a come hither move. "Bring it." he muttered, and then raised the bat and reached in his pocket for his lighter at the same time...
in Walter's way of how this was meant to end?
He'd have clubbed the pyramid monster soundly; the blow either knocking the helmet off or perhaps, if he was lucky, the whole damn head as well.
Either way, PH would have staggered back; Walter'd flick the lighter, and BOOM! pyramids aloft.
In Walter's way of how this should go.
But we all know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, and in this deadly game of cat and mouse, Walter was one unlucky mousie.
He struck PH alright, but he had no idea how hard the helmet was, how well attached. There was a strike most soundly, yeh, but all it produced was a loud nasty sound, like the ringing of a gong.
The bat almost vibrated out of Walter's hand from the impact, and he was the one to fall back.
As he tried to steady himself, or perhaps as he'd already been moving on to step two by rote, he clicked the lighter.
Walter was airborne before he even made sense of the explosion.
The only thing that stopped him from burning himself to a crisp was that in the impact he had thrown his arm up protectively against the noise; the brunt of the heat hit the lining of his coat instead.
This didn't save him from the impact of landing across the courtyard tho.
Walter landed, dazed, bruised and probably concussed; he hit the wall of the motel office and sort of slowly slid down it to land in a crumpled heap on the ground before it.
Nighty night, Walter.
"wherrre r...www..." Walter was groggy, hurting. his ears were still ringing from the assault- helmet-gong,explosion,impact- and he wasn't thinking or seeing well.
He was pretty sure he shouldn't be upside down and apparently moving? though, either.
He tried to right himself, to struggle away from...oww! what was he stuck to? but neither the grip on his legs nor the poking pain in his side showed any sign of residing.
Finally he focused enough to realize in some alarm that Pyramid Head was carrying him, but by then they'd reached one of the rooms and he was being dumped unceremoniously onto the bed.
oh CRAP, Walter thought crazily, wondering why the hell the giant was getting them a room and coming to only unsettling conclusions.
His ankles were his own again, anyway.
He rubbed the circulation back into them and sort of cowered against the baseboard.
"Mess with me, and I'll fuck you up plenty." he hissed. an empty threat. he didn't even have a weapon anymore.
Walter stared up at the big faceless, impassive helmet that was so clearly tilted as to be 'looking' at him, and waited for something awful to happen.
And meanwhile, elsewhere in the motel...
Vincent still was not sure what to make of the sudden turnabout.
He had spent years hating, resenting, even dreaming of revenge upon her- if only I hadn't turned my back on her, if only I hadn't trusted Leonard to know what would be of use; I sacrifice myself to the blood of criminals sure, whatever.
If only she hadn't died.
If only she'd be there for me to get in the last word this time- for Vincent always had to have the last word....
So. He'd come back.
and she was there.
And he couldn't bring himself to hate her anymore than he could take one of these kitchen knives and plunge it into his own back.
How little they had known then? Could anyone have been more stupid, more stubborn, more naive? The fires kept raging, Vincent thought, but the only thing fueling them had been...bodies. Their bodies. He had thrown himself in harms way, in her way just as much as the other way around.
Of course she'd resented him.She who loved the theology, the mythos, the power of the prayers, the promise of the old gods...
and instead it was he who got ordained.
And threw it back in her face everytime she reminded him of how his new ways were going against all the Order stood for...
Well, he thought as he scrounged the motel kitchen for supplies, those days were behind them either way. Were they friends now? Allies at least? Certainly that, he hoped, against all this darkness.
They had returned now, to the town that ate all who entered it. Why? Because it summoned us back, he thought.
It called, and like lemmings we came- not just us, but who knew how many others were arriving? Heather he had already seen, and after what had happened why? surely she hated the place, hated all of them.
Even him. -There's something wrong with you too.- she'd said once...and yet she'd swerved instead of crushing him, given him a lift instead of driving right on by...
Well. He had no idea how this night would end- would Claudia even want him in the same room? Would the camraderie they'd been having pass? But for now at least he was determined to rustle up some food and at least offer her to partake of it with him.
He startled as something loudly bumped in a room adjacent to the kitchen.
Vincent hoped so, but he listened carefully just the same; reached with a suddenly shaky hand for one of the kitchen knives.
Just in case.
Rustling. Something was in the other room.
At once he heard a muffled voice- "Mess with me, and I'll fuck you up plenty."- and almost dropped the knife in his worry.
He hastily gathered the tray of food, nudged the kitchen door open with his foot and, precariously balancing everything, hightailed it back to where he'd left Claudia.
Walter's head still hurt, and his eyes rolled back again, his chin drooping to his chest.
The Assumption of the New Flesh, apparently, did not keep you from concussion when you smacked into walls due to your own goofups...
Walter browned out...and into a flashback.
In that nasty twisted tower, Andrew DeSalvo had been god. Judge, jury and executor of his little charges, DeSalvo decided who got to eat, who got to leave their cells, who got to spend their time in utter darkness, and who cowered in fear of being watched as the strong lighthouse light flared into their cell at all times.
Walter had spent a LOT of his childhood in the tower, because he just couldn't read as good as the other kids.
Surprisingly, even Vincent would end up spending some time in those gloomy cells..but he had a lit room and all the books he desired; Vincent had been a bit of a pushover when it came to giving DeSalvo the 'favors' he expected.
Walter too had aquiesced to some of these debasing tasks; there really wasn't much food offered to even those who got to eat regularly, and you could taste the gunpowder in the food anyway. There were even rumors the dubious and infrequent chunks of grey meat was the flesh of other kids who died there. Supposedly there were chutes that led right to the kitchen...
Walter did favors, and in turn he was occasionally allowed to go out for awhile.
Just onto the outer stairs of course- there was little chance he was likely to jump and crush himself on the rocks or drown in the cold Lake and even if he did, so what? one less.
Walter learned to grab extra meals on the fly out here- literally- bringing down the greasy birdlike things that nested on the walls by throwing stones at them, or occasionally peeling slugs off the floors.
He'd eat these meals raw, and quickly, lest he was caught out doing it...
Walter was muttering in his half sleep, unaware that PyramidHead still lurked nearby.
Was he only forestalling terrible torture by his continued illness?
And yet DeSalvo apparently wasn't all that made Walter what he was; on the tail of those thoughts came the flashes of crime-justice? well, revenge, certainly. For Walter himself and all those other children who had pined away slowly turning into grey lumps of indistinguishable meat in locked cells, children who had fallen,jumped or been pushed into the cold lake as an alternative to the slow death, children who had never known love or care in their whole sad brief lives. Walter had no clear memory of how he had dispatched DeSalvo, just an image of the fat man's bloated belly with numbers carved into it as he floated in stagnant water.
If PyramidHead was wanting to look deeply, he'd find Walter's psyche a crazyquilt of abused taken and inevitably dealt out again- it would also find that someone, or perhaps something had as much of if not more of a hand in Walter's actions than the man himself.
Flashback to a time amongst the Order; Walter still had ties to them even after he'd finally been let go from the Wish House, attending their rituals. He could never remember all that happened at them; it was as tho perhaps something was done there that clouded the minds of the mere followers so they'd be less attentive to the blood shed...the two attending priests of the time were with him, one on either side. On his left Rev.Stone, dressed, as it were, in a deep red hood, faintly reminiscent of something? and to his right the new minister of the Brotherhood of Valtiel, Rev.Rosten. They were holding Walter's arms out as Walter shuddered in the throes of some drug induced seizure- or was it just drugs. "I am not sure he is strong enough to be the vessel for Valtiel's essence." Rosten was saying, as Stone interrupted, "don't be foolish. Dahlia said he was chosen. She alone knew how to read them..." struggling between them, Walter screamed. something in his head, something foreign, voices not his own. He wanted to break free, but the priests held him fast.
The words of Stone as Walter, later panicked when he came across the priest attacking one of the girls; he is Chosen.
but that's no reason why we shouldn't sacrifice him; the fury of the god will make his blood that much sweeter.
Walter'd never been able to discern that the hooded one wasn't a real creature; when Stone put on the hood he was The Red Devil. and Walter was afraid when he saw it attacking a girl he knew, for he knew this was not meant to be.
Stone saw him, even as Walter grabbed up a gun the priest had set down. Walter had never meant to fire if he didn't have to...but then the new voice in his head was there, stoking his anger to fever pitch, making him want to... perhaps if Stone had left the hood on Walter would still have wavered, given up, fallen victim instead.
But as soon as he saw that it was Rev.Stone, he fired.
and the voice led him on to do what he did next, reminding him of the ritual, how to do it, what to do next.
Back in the room, in the real world, Walter stirred, wanting to wake. But it seemed so long as PyramidHead was there, wanting to reach in and examine him he could not swim back through the layers of haze and return from his concussion induced slumber...
For all Vincent had once tried to convince Heather "I don't have powers like you do," Vincent did have powers. They had weakened when he'd come of age, and that was fine- they had never been of any use to him.
Vincent too had been a bit of a Seer, but his visions had only been of use to the Order;as a child he had had no recourse to protest. The white claudia based drug, PTV wasn't always given to the Wish House children to ingest, contrary to rumor; there were other ways to keep them complacent.
PTV was a hallucinogen anyway and therefore not condusive to use for its brainwashing properties- more likely it would drive the children mad than teach them to behave. But, as all hallucinogens have been used through history, it was supposed to be a psychic energy enhancer, a conduit for dreams and visions, and Vincent, therefore had been fed plenty of it.
Was it any wonder he had grown up to pursue the reasonable, the logical, the most sensible avenues to anything he set hand to? Would anyone brought up in such a manner long for anything but stability?
And yet Silent Hill with its ability to bring the nightmares of people to real and vivid life fasinated him; he was drawn to it like a moth to flame. Vincent liked to think of himself as an observer of this fantastical Oz-gone-to-Hell, the sanest man in the Hill.
Little did he know it could make him dance on madness's strings just as easily as it did anyone else.
He had spoken awhile longer to Claudia, assuring her they'd find others, find out what was going on, get to the bottom of this. Survive.
He was pretty sure, considering how impossible it was they had both lived through the premature apocalypse that had come of her try at hurrying the God back into the world, that to offer her this reassurance would be comfort enough.
Vincent, however, had an insatiable curiousity for whatever else was going on.
Scared though he'd been by the sounds in the other parts of the motel, he had to know what was happening, who was here.
And to do that without getting close enough to disturb whoever bumped and shifted around in there, he'd need to find another way to eavesdrop.
Carefully testing synapses he'd thought long burnt out, and senses he had avoided using for a long long time, Vincent tried tentatively 'feeling' his way into the other room with nothing more than his mind; to See inside.
Just a little. Make himself into the psychic equivalent of a fly on the wall.
In this state tho, he'd be just as privy as PH was to Walter's open psyche full of ugly lost memories and Vincent gawped at what was nestled there.
He didn't know Sullivan, not closely, anyway; they'd passed each other time and again when Walter was still in the Hill, or during the time they both attended Pleasant River. But who didn't know OF him? The area's most famous local legend. Priest killer. Child killer. Mass murderer.
This was like pulp fiction crack, or a secret cache of real crime scene mags. Vincent was drawn irresistably to watch, a voyeur of the happenings in the other room. But...this was far headier stuff than say, overhearing a tryst, or witnessing an argument.
How long would Vincent be able to monitor them before PyramidHead became aware of the presence of a stranger nearby?
Claudia was sitting down stiffly on the stained mattress, a gloriously incongruent figure of evangelical primness among the smoke stained walls and the wine stained carpets of this motel. She wasn't hungry, years of fasting had given her the appetite of a baby bird, but she accepted the offer of food nonetheless.
From Vincent. It was too much to wrap her head around. She was already mad and, although blithely unaware of just how disturbed she was, even she wondered if still she was part of some elaborate hallucination.
He had been gone far too long, and she was half tempted to simply get up and go back to the chapel, write it all up as a strange, walking dream, and resume her prayers for Judgement Day, when she heard the barest hint of voices, confrontational in nature, but too distant to be coherent.
But all at once she felt a presence, both sickening and overwhelming. A holy sword, corrupted with layers of rusting blood over its blade, sang loyal cantons of punishment to a faceless victim, to...
Claudia closed her lashless eyes and the clear image of a lost soul with the eyes of a madman flashed across her mind's landscape.
Claudia simply remembered Walter as one of the righteous, gone astray. Considering him a friend, she remembered recoiling in horror at hearing that such a benign young man had brutally slaughtered two young children, and had prayed for his soul with fervour when he was found dead. She felt sure he was still righteous, perhaps lead astray, misguided, but after all, his motives had been pure, hadn't they? But beyond this, she was ignorant of his post-death adventures.
Still, tonight the dead were walking, it seemed. And she would be damned if she would watch them return to their graves with such abrupt despatch.
Swiftly and silently, she left the room, letting the door fall closed behind her with an authoritative slam, which would resonate as a warning to the abomination in the other room.
She made her way through the corridor with imposing grace, noticing Vincent en route, and jarring his elbow as she strode past with all the fury of Heaven itself, before arriving at the source of the commotion and pushing the door open with enough force to rattle it on its hinges. She levelled a cold sneer at Pyramid Head, a look which could have turned even the bravest of souls to stone. She was more than used to even the monsters of Silent Hill faltering under her righteous command, and knew no fear in the face of even the most hideous of creatures. After all, they were here, in this town, to bear witness to Judgement Day. And since she fully intended on being the one to bring said Day about, they could behave themselves, or they could burn.
"Walter..." there was a hint of warmth in her tone, "It would appear that you require assistance."
And thru it all? Walter slept.
((this has gone on long enough!
Well, long enough in this reply column, yesno? I hate when the columns get thinner and thinner.
See ye's all up in a new paragraph, hey?))