It's been a bit since my last post. Maybe not as long as some might prefer, but I need to get this out there.
After my last post, I did as I said I would. I trekked back down to the first floor to the room where I'd heard the crying last time. I brought Patch with me, because after what happened to my other dog, I wasn't about to leave him all by his lonesome, especially in a place like that. I must have looked a sight with my backpack, puppy, revolver, and crossbow. Not that there was anyone to see or care at that point. Not that I expect anyone would have cared other than to think I was crazy even had they been there. And I'm not going to deny them that fact.
The hotel was still quiet, but as I walked down the stairs, the atmosphere began to change again, becoming more oppressive. There were scratches on the walls that weren't there before, and all the colors were washed out. As someone who thrives on color, that was one of the more unnerving things so far. Until I saw the writing on the wall, at least.
"Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won't do no good to call
The police always come late
If they come at all"
I tried to ignore it and keep walking, but I was having to drag Patch a bit. The poor baby liked Silent Hill Lite even less than I did. He was shivering and whining again as we exited the stairwell. I sure as heck wasn't about to trust the elevators in that place. I like to think I'm not quite that stupid.
There were other scribblings on the walls as I moved toward the Crying Room, including a few instances of the symbol that's popped up a few times before. There weren't many of too much note until I reached the door itself. The soft sobbing was still there, and I was terribly worried about what might be happening to whoever might be in there. Though, I have to say, red stands out wonderfully against a gray background.
"Follow, little Dormouse.
The time has come to sup.
What are Dormice good for?
Being gobbled up."
Those words shook me to the core. I am not anyone's mouse. I never will be. I may be broken and fearful, but I will never be anyone's Mousie.
I tied Patch's leash off to one of the other doorknobs after checking to see if the door was locked. Of course, it was. Heaven forbid anything be simple. While I was doing so, I made the mistake of looking out the window at the end of the hall while my stomach was churning again and the puppy started making this whimpery little growl. He was there again, just... watching. That dark figure, half hidden by the dense fog. I nearly threw up again right then and there, but the next blink, he was gone, like some goddamn, overtall Weeping Angel.
Good. that's all I could think in that moment. Good. It wasn't, of course. Seeing is better in some ways. The unseen is so much worse, isn't it?
Sorry. Back to what I was saying... I shot out the lock as I had to Blake and Tia's room, and of course that freaked out Patch even more, and he started barking. There was a small whimper from inside the room as my ears slowly stopped ringing, but I moved back to calm the puppy.
It took a few minutes, but I managed finally, and untied his leash. He was back to cowering, but it was better than nothing. I went in.
And I almost wish I never had.
It was a mirror image of the rooms we'd been in upstairs, laid out like some grisly series of tableaux. Macy, torn limb from limb. My fault. Marie, shattered and broken, flat blue eyes empty yet accusing. My fault. Tia, burned to a nearly unrecognizable state, her abdomen sliced open. My fault. Blake, his throat slit, a second, gaping mouth at his throat. My fault. Jared, bloated and waterlogged with drowning. My fault. My fault. My fault. There's no hiding from some things. I don't make things better.
... I'm not ashamed to say that at that point, I promptly gave into the urge to puke, and may have fainted for a bit.
When I came to, they were all gone but for the blood. Patch was licking my face and shivering, but we weren't alone. Of course. I couldn't just have one moment to curl up into a fetal position and have the nervous breakdown I so wanted.
There was a teenage girl there who hadn't been there before. She was tied to the bed at wrists, ankles, and waist with what looked like ropes made from shredded bedclothes braided together with some kind of wire, and her eyes were wide and dark with fear and pain. I had found the crier, apparently.
I moved as quickly to her side as I could, which caused her to flinch and squeeze her eyes shut. Matted strawberry blond hair fell into her eyes as she struggled for a moment before giving up again. I said whatever I could to calm her in that moment as I careful began unwinding the makeshift bonds from her torn wrists. She was silent as I did so, her face set. I knew this girl, even if she didn't know me.
She was covered in bruises and small, round burns, and her frame was painfully thin under the oversize t-shirt she was wearing. It was her only covering, and I was loathe to see what lay beneath it. The girl continued to cry as I retrieved the first aid kit from my backpack and began to tend to her wounds as best I could. The only things that came from her mouth were little whimpers, and hushed, rapid, repeated apologies. I had to do something, though. Leaving her in that state would have been wrong. Broken and injured and trying to forget everything that may or may not have happened to her.
I gave her my water bottle and stood back up, watching her as Patch slunk closer and began to lick her hand. At that point, the room... rippled. I don't have any other way to describe it. It wasn't something I saw, but something I felt. There was new writing on the wall next to the door leading to the adjoining room.
"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession."
I looked at the girl again, and knew. I took Patch's leash away from her and moved to the door to the next room. She watched and tried to stand as I did so, but she stumbled and ended up in a heap on the floor. Now, I was taught as a child to never stick my head in an evil-looking mysterious hole in the wall, but this was an ominously normal looking doorway that I couldn't see the other side of. That's a big enough difference, right?
I tied the puppy's leash off to my wrist and forged my way through. it was like falling through a five-foot thick wall of densely packed cobwebs strung with shards of glass. In other words, not fun. I collapsed on the floor after I made my way through, coughing up blood, my throat as raw as if I'd been inhaling smoke for hours and scratches welting up on my exposed skin. I was in the lobby of the hotel. Not the same lobby I'd been in before. This one was... different. Trashed and not washed out, blood smearing the walls and graffiti under the blood, and not just from the fact that it looks like I'd popped a capillary or something in my throat. It was quiet, though, so I set up on one of the couches an decided to write this up, if I could. It seems I can. I'm shaking so hard now, and it feels like things are running differently again. When I entered the Crying Room, it had been approximately an hour since my initial post about the hotel being empty. It's been a few hours since I fell through the "glass and cobwebs". Patch is seemingly okay for the moment, though I bet he's hungry.
I left her behind. I had to. It wouldn't have made any difference if I'd tried to bring her along. It wouldn't have changed anything. She wouldn't have... Never mind. Forget it.
Next time we get a hotel, we're getting a single room. Forget privacy.
...Fuck. I think I have to go. I can hear screaming from somewhere, and the dog is freaking out again. I'm not sure what to do. Following that kind of sound seems like the worst kind of horror movie cliche stupidity. I have to do something, though. If I don't go check, something's going to come looking for me. That's the way these things go, right? I just want to have my nervous breakdown or go into shock or something. Is that so much to ask? A moment to fall apart or to bake something?