A Safe Place
Josh woke with a start, a terrified gasp and a cold sweat about him. His heart pounded against his chest. His eyes wide in the dim grayish blue of his room, he looked around, head darting this way and that as he breathed deeply, sitting up with his arms locked at the elbows and hands planted firmly against the sheeted mattress of his bed beneath him.
Posted by 落雷 at 9:49 AM
Josh’s deep almond eyes were on the sidewalk speeding his opposite motion beneath his swiftly stepping sneakers; head forward with hands in the pockets of his jeans and scarf obscuring his chin. His lips were pressed thinly against each other, a fuzzy brow quirked in a way that was barely noticeable. It was cold out, and as he walked his breath gave a smooth, foggy white trail lingering past his hair, giving a notion of where, when and how quickly he was moving.
The sidewalk wasn’t exactly crowded, but Josh kept his head low regardless. If there was one thing he was certain of, it was getting back to his suite as discreetly as humanly possible. As much as he loved wild, screaming fans tearing at his hair for an autograph and a picture taken, he wasn’t in the right mood for it. It was a different kind of mood, one that he had never before felt. It left him troubled, and he found himself in another world pondering this feeling.
He was hesitant, yet forward. There was questioning in the back of his mind, an invisible voice that called out to him. It had a sound that he knew and yet he couldn’t quite place, like a small white butterfly amidst a nowhere right in front of his face. He could reach out and grab at the tiny thing and yet never touch it, or feel its warmth.
There was something else that continuously bothered him to no end. It was like a dark, ominous sign from somewhere that he feels that he has been to but has no biological recollection of it. He knew of a place where everyone was happy, and yet there was a shroud, a funeral veil that covered his eyes from it. He figured it was nothing. A typo of sorts, perhaps…
Heading down the sidewalk past the plaza and the old theatre, Josh heard a shriek—a female sound of terrifyingly exasperating proportions—from where?—was it to his left? No, it was from the South. He perked his head up, lips slightly agape now in wonderment and human curiosity. Of course, the girl who made such an animalistic sound was, indeed, a girl, blond and shortly stocked, expression wild—though certainly delighted—skin slightly red from the cold and finger pointed straight at him.
Seconds crawled by as he quirked a brow, lips mouthing slightly, ‘Please, don’t scream my name… don’t scream my name…’
“It’s Josh Groban—!”
A group, seemingly invisible to him up until this very moment, turned almost in slow unison to face him along with the blond. It wasn’t a huge crowd, but it was big enough to topple him over. Jumping back a little, as if faced up against a beast, Josh’s head quickly swiveled around, and searching for some sort of alley through which he could make an easy escape. He could run definitely, but an actual attempt at escaping under public eye didn’t seem to be a good idea.
Just behind him between the plaza and a brick building was an alleyway, a quick and easy route eastward. It would take him a little farther from the hotel at which he was currently staying, but it wouldn’t lead anyone to said location, and perhaps a longer walk home would allow him to think a little more before he arrived.
Through the alley he went, darting towards a fence that would block any other normal person from going any further.
Josh was no ordinary person. With his speed picking up as he approached the fence, he rose his arms up and back, bent harshly at the elbows and shoulders tensed up, causing his scarf to bunch up around his neck. With a sudden leap, Josh thrust out his arms, hands grabbing onto the top edge of the fence. Transferring strength and energy from his legs to his arms, Josh hoisted himself up, swinging his legs and torso over the fence.
He landed painfully on his feet, body curling up upon impact in recoil before he recovered with a shuddering hiss. He could hear them follow him into the alleyway. He held his breath as he heard their cries and sighs and groans and moans of disappointment, but the excitement rose once more as one suggested quickly that they try to climb over it.
Looking ahead of him, Josh sprinted forward, the back of the alleyway from this far blocked by a van, tall and unsettling, and Josh didn’t think he had it in him to climb all over it. He spotted a door in the wall of the brick building. He had to stop and think—at least momentarily—about entering the building through the door. Should any employees of this particular building have any qualms about his entering, he could just make up a lie and tell them he’s lost and needed to be escorted back to the entrance.
He was, however, above everything else, expecting the knob to this convenient door to be locked. What choice did he have, it was either climb over the giant vehicle or get mobbed by fans. He reached over a bony hand and clasped the door knob. Turning it, it proved to be in his favor. Upon swinging the black door open, Josh proceeded inside and shut the door behind him.
The halls before him were dark, dimly lit by fluorescent lights above not fully activated. He could see, but barely. The halls were quiet, saved for his footsteps, soft and smooth as they were as he walked. Searching for an Exit sign other than the one he had just entered under, Josh stalked through the empty, silent hallways, eyes peeled and darting about.
With a sigh, he stopped as he came to a dead end. It was another door, but it was to a stairwell. He opened the door, hoping to find an exit to the main interior on another floor. He hauled himself up the stairs to the second floor, a door that lead him to a floor that was fairly vacant, though the lights were on, dimly again.
Proceeding, Josh set out to find an elevator. Or at least another stairwell. He had to get out of here. He had to get back to his hotel room so he could sit and ponder. Perhaps call somebody and ask them about it, someone who might know… Who would know? Perhaps David… Yeah, he’ll call David and ask him if he had any clue.
Of course, to do that, he had to get out of this building.
“This place is so dark… I can’t see much,” he said quietly, barely above a whisper, to himself as he moved, “Wish I had a flashlight…”
Josh continued throughout the dark, murky hallways, occasionally bumping into a door or hitting his arm on a knob. He decided to see if there were anything behind the many doors, starting with the one he just bumped into with a small, “Shit.”
He grabbed the cold metal—there was probably no one in there, now that he thought about it—and gave it a jerk, stopping short to the jumbled kinking sounds of broken gears and screwed up mechanisms.
“What the…” he breathed as he shook the knob again, “The lock… it’s…” He tried again, with both hands this time. “…Is it broken?” Josh let the knob be and took a step back, scowling at the door, “Who would be dumb enough to let a doorknob in a building like this stay broken? Hell, who would be stupid enough to break it?”
He checked all the other door knobs, irritated in his state as they were all broken. Such was his luck it seemed.
Wandering back through the hallway, Josh felt his hands over the walls, hoping for some sort of turn off into another hallway that would maybe, just maybe, lead him to another stairwell or an elevator. Or somewhere that would help him get out of there.
He did indeed find one, but it yielded only a few doors. The door at the end was unlocked and Josh willingly set foot through. The room was brightly light, obnoxiously so, above him hanging three large fluorescent lights emitting a sickeningly orange glow. Looking up at the beams, Josh’s dark eyes squinted and he frowned a little, “What horrible lights…”
The room itself was fairly dirty, pristine white floors and walls infected with murky brown and red splotches, seeming to have withheld liquid qualities before drying and staining the tiles. Before him were two large shelves, presenting nothing incredibly useful to him; a few boxes of papers and not much else. Going over to the light switch on the southern wall, he flipped it, the orange lights above flickering out, only to be replaced by darkness, accompanied by a small glowing light coming from the shelves.
Turning towards the shelves, Josh squint his eyes once more, though his focus was on the brightly shining star ahead of him. Approaching the shelves, Josh reached out a hand to the light emitting diode. “…It’s a flashlight,” he whispered to himself. There was relief in him then as he grabbed it and turned to exit the room.
“Things should be a lot easier now,” he said quietly as he flashed the light about him in the hallway. “…God, this place is… it’s… so dirty…” he said as he ran the beam of light over the hard carpet of the narrow hallways. It was a dingy blue, holding an impressive collection along it of dark brownish splotches.
Heading back down the hallway, Josh tried the remaining two doors in the hallway. One was locked, not exactly surprising at this point. He tried the other, expecting it to be locked or broken as well. The door, however, opened with a soothing click.
It was a stairwell, something that drew a huge smile over Josh’s face. A smile of relief and a loud, happy sigh, “Yes…” Thank god, a way out.
He descended the stairs calmly, only to be stopped by an unexpected block. The sheer sight turned Josh’s relieved, happy smile to a creased, twisted expression of shock and angry disbelief.
“What… the fuck…?”
Below him was a blockage of debris; boxes, ladders, crates, shards of wood, glass, and other miscellaneous junk.
“There’s… no damn way I can …climb over this…!”
He stopped and stared at the pile before him. “…I guess I can’t go this way…” He stood up and sighed deeply, heading back up the stairs. It was off to the third floor.
Upon reaching the third floor, Josh reached for the knob, his hand pausing as he hesitated. “…There’s something… on the other side of this door,” he said softly to himself, his voice barely above a whisper. He lowered his hand, “…How did I know that…?”
Looking up at the door, he squint his eyes at the dull gray metal, “…There’s something written here…”
THERE IS BUT ONE ROAD TO SALVATION. IT IS A ROAD PAINTED WITH BLOOD.
“What the hell…? What does that mean?” he whispered, scrunching his nose. With a shrug and a sigh, he opened the door, stepping through quietly and shutting it behind her.
The other side of the door yielded a sharp gasp from Josh’s well-trained throat. The walls of the office space were darkly coated, white smeared over with thickly smudged dark brown with red speckles towards the wayward edges of the grunge.
There just beyond the door, the building seemed to have undergone a startling transformation. It couldn’t have been this way already. Through the halls blew a thick, howling silence, nothingness infected and clogging Josh’s ears. There was no wind, the finest curls atop the singer’s head as still as death itself.
He pressed himself against the door. He grabbed the knob. The knob moaned with a series of failing clicks. The lock broke the minute he touched the rusted knob.
“…Good lord…” he uttered as he looked around, shining his flashlight into deep, dark corners of the winding hallways, branching off into more hallways like a maze, “…What… the hell is this… Is it… even real…?”
Josh had no choice but to step forward—away from the door. He was locked in. What other alternative was there but to push forward? Reluctantly so, Josh headed down a hallway, flinching to the violence that lay smeared and stained all over the surrounding walls and tiled floor.
A low, gargling moan flooded the air and Josh’s ears, causing him to come to a jerky stop, “What the hell…?” He was towards the end of the hallway by this point and he shined his flashlight ahead of him. Under the bright rays of the flashlight were two bodies, one wrestling and writhing on top of the other, still and silent as death.
The upper body had its limbs splayed out, bent at joints and supporting its torso unsteadily, almost as if it were struggling. Both were humanoid, one completely scarlet with streaks of blackened blood, the other a pale white color, streaked in fleshy scarlet and dark patches of burnt skin. Light purple veins pulsated gently under the skin, its ribs showing through as if completely emaciated.
Josh held the flashlight over the figure, its head tearing at the flesh beneath it and growling deep in its throat, a sickening gurgling sound that had Josh turning ghostly pale. In reaction to the bright light flooding over its slick, writhing body, it raised its head, twitching and folded over with matted curls. It turned its face towards him, eyeless and lips pressing together as blood seeped down its chin.
As if he were staring into a mirror, Josh shot himself back with a loud, drawn out gasp, one hand breaking from the flashlight to waver over his mouth, his eyes on the beast before him as it rose itself to its feet, spine curved slightly with its neck hunched forward, hanging directly from its shoulders.
Its long limbs were outstretched from its torso, swollen hands grasping onto the blood-red rails that ran down the middles of the walls on either side of it. It pulled itself forward, legs struggling to lift and step forward. Its mouth opened, letting out a low, grisly moan as it approached the singer with less than a dancer’s grace.
Josh backed away, holding his flashlight as if it were a weapon to save his life, “Stay back!”
Still it wobbled forward, growling deep within its chest. With heart racing in his chest, Josh turned to his left and right, but he was closed off by sizzling walls of fire. “No!” he cried, beads of sweat forming on his face, “I just want to go home!”
The monster was on top of him then, swollen hands planting on the wall on either side of Josh’s hair. Josh’s eyes went to the malformed face in front of his, his heart stopping. It lunged forward and sank razor teeth into his neck. Blood spilled and stained his clothes, flooding down his torso to his legs and coating the floor beneath them. His head tilted back as he tried to scream, his shriek drowned out and broken from the mouth tearing his flesh.
The roar of the fire began to grow in volume as the flames spread, both the writhing thing and Josh’s skin catching ablaze. The entire hallway as lit from the inferno as it spread and grew, swallowing up the floors, walls and ceiling in a lake of fire.
Posted by 落雷 at 2:50 PM
In the beginning… people had nothing. Their bodies ached… and their hearts held nothing but hatred… They fought endlessly, but death never came. They despaired, stuck in the eternal quagmire. A man offered a Serpent to the Sun and prayed for Salvation. A woman offered a Reed to the Sun and asked for Joy.
Feeling pity on the sadness that had overrun the Earth, God was born from those two people… God made time and divided it into Day and Night. God outlined the road to Salvation and gave people Joy. And God took endless time away from the people.
God created beings to lead people in obedience to Her… The Red God, Xuchibara… the Yellow God, Lobselvief. Many Gods and Angels… Finally, God set out to create a Paradise, where people could be happy just by being there. But then, God’s strength ran out and She collapsed… All the World’s people grieved this unfortunate event… yet God breathed Her last. She returned to the dust, promising to come again.
So God hasn’t been lost… We must offer our prayers and not forget out Faith. We wait in hope for the Day when the path to Paradise will be opened.
There was never a time where the town of Silent Hill was ever genuinely normal. It was a smallish resort vacation town with a relaxed attitude that would definitely appear normal at first glance, which housed happy residents aplenty. It rested around and beyond the lake of Toluca and was always glistening and glittering when the surface of the smooth and choppy waters came in contact with the rays of the rising morning sun.
Cars parked themselves on the sides of the street. Cafés and restaurants and hotels were open to all. The local school and church occupied regularly and the hospitals took grand care of the weak and weary. Everybody knew everybody… and they lived life as if oblivious to the town’s history, or even the happenings around and throughout the premises.
People started disappearing. The mayor was the first to go, followed by his staff. They all seemed to be accidental… but no one can say for sure. The lake also began to take on an intimidating appearance. It became shrouded in an ominous mist, which soon came to town and enveloped it like flooding waters.
Somewhere under the strange and powerful dirt of this town emerged a group… a group of people who believed differently from others. They killed and burned Christians as witches… and even saw one of their own as nothing more than trash.
That girl was used, horribly used. A vessel she was to them, appropriate for a proper deliverance. Cruel it was, they saw it, and continued. Hard they pushed, working to keep the eyes of the public blind as bats. Just before she was a decade old, she became pregnant with a being that they called ‘God’.
A ritual was carried out for this to happen… and resulting from it was a fire. The fire burned the girl—naturally, that was the plan. It burned down the house, the girl, her room… She was pronounced dead. But… something happened. She wasn’t herself anymore. She was alive, but no longer… herself.
They kept her in the hospital… it was almost time to force her to give birth to their deity. But something was wrong.
“She’s only half there,” they said.
They left her… and called a man to produce healing melodies. A façade, it was, to keep her alive until they could figure out how to correct the problem and carry on their goal. He came… He felt for the girl, sitting in his chair next to her burnt body curled up on her bed with his violin.
Little did he know of his place in their plot… if he only knew… maybe he could have done something to stop it all… She saw this too, but could not let him go. She loved his music. It was the first time in so long… that a human being showed her any compassion and love. She was half there… but was still human.
The girl, after a time, used her powers, her anger and hate and pain… and warped the place. He was there… and only came to realize what he was being used for. He saw the pain and the hate of the girl with his own eyes… and allowed himself to be consumed. However… the girl loved this man so much… that she saved him.
She cut him in half.
And thus was he reborn.
Series: Silent Hill/Real-Life
Main Character(s): Josh Groban
Life for Josh Groban was going quite well with his singing career. Even after a precarious and particularly hair-raising nightmare engulfed in flames, nothing seemed too out of the ordinary. However, when one day he receives a request to sing for a sickly girl living in a resort town rumored to residing somewhere in the state of West Virginia, things start to become a bit... unpleasant. There's a problem on the invitation.
It dates back 35 years.