Suggested Audio Candy
It has been a relatively brief flight from Raccoon City to our next location. Silent Hill, something of a ghost town by all accounts, barely even registers on the map and doesn’t see much of a footfall. As we hover above the town square I survey my surroundings and it fast becomes clear that this is exactly the place for me to grab five after my edge-of-the-pants escape so I put the poser to Alan that maybe I could kick back here a little. Nothing extravagant, an hour should do it; just enough time to grab a latte and witness some small town hospitality. “Tell you what. I’ve got some things to take care of anyways. How about I meet you back here in ninety minutes? Give you a chance to take in the sights” Alan suggests. I nod in agreement and he sets her down by the monument. After waving him off, I set off in search of the nearest coffee shop.
Bonus Brain has been uncharacteristically silent since we left Haddonfield and that doesn’t irk me in the slightest. He can suck my duck if he thinks he’s getting an apology from me after shopping me in to The Shape. Anyhoots, I navigated the Raccoon City maze without any assistance from him and he is beginning to appear surplus to requirements. If you ask me, he is dumping in his own drinking water, next up is Mars and he’s told me before of his passion to holiday there so he shall be the one missing out. Fuck, he’s even broken out his Lost in Space box set and has been reading The Idiots Guide to Terra-forming all week. Too bad Bonus Brain, there’s the high road, now take it schmuck!
Sheesh, this place is deserted. I haven’t seen a single soul since I jumped out of the chopper. To add insult to injury, it’s a fairly miserable day in Silent Hill. There’s a chill in the air which is accompanied by a thin veil of low-hanging mist which makes it all the less welcoming. At least I can see the cafeteria, time to get my lips around a Frappe and test out the local jukebox. I’m not convinced it’s even open you know; from here it appears unmanned. Maybe the occupants take daily siesta? This isn’t ideal by any means; ninety minutes may be a short stay but, if I can’t find a solitary person in that time, it could well drag. Fuck it, I’m always bitching on about needing some Wrangler time and this presents opportunity for just that. I can chew the fat when I get to Mars, I’m assured the place is thriving and there are plenty of effervescent characters to converse with. It’s decided, I’m taking my chill pill.
I suspect I may be seeing things you know. My eyes are rubbed three times after receiving somewhat disconcerting visual. I swear that is Bonus Brain standing thirty, maybe forty feet from my coordinates looking straight at me. It can’t be, he hasn’t vacated, I would have heard such as his quarters are a fraction away from my ear drum and he’s hardly light on his feet. He’s right there on the couch, where he always is, under an American quilt. There’s no harm in making sure so I pull back the blanket just for confirmation. He’s gone and done a Ferris on me, rigged his shit up like MacGyver and scarpered. I suspected as much. So I don’t need to be Columbo to ascertain that the shadowy figure I see is indeed Bonus Brain. I should be counting my blessings but instead annoyance is my primary emotion. We need to have this out, it’s not too late for us both to experience the Red Planet together. This shit has gone far enough.
“Come here you” No response other than having the audacity to run down a nearby alleyway. Nothing else is doing here so I take hot pursuit but that bastard has some wheels on him let me tell you. I’m trying to memorize my route through these winding passageways as I haven’t even located a map yet and I pride myself on tardiness. Alan has been a valued ally thus far and I’m not jeopardizing that for 25% of noggin fat. But I must try, I’ve come too far now to simply turn back. Besides, I must admit that I’m being drawn to this darkened recess over by the fenced dead-end. Is that an air raid siren I discern? It is you know, maybe it denotes the end of the townsfolk’s curfew and they’ll be back to man the pumps at the coffee shop. I’m parched after all this legwork.
Who killed the lights? Now all I have is my lighter to feel my way through the darkness. Maybe this discarded transmitter radio will assist although it seems to be full of static. I’ll grab it, after all, there is bound to be a Lost and Found somewhere in this town and somebody probably shed good green for that. It’s Japanese, that seals the deal; it’s coming with me. I think somebody just lit a bonfire or something as there’s a sudden excess of cinder in the air. As a smoker this wouldn’t normally faze me but, unless my peepers deceive, there are a handful of babies crawling towards me at this very moment and they all seem to have misplaced their epidermis. Well slap my thigh and call me Ishmael, I’m in another quandary. Will somebody enlighten me as to why strife follows me around like airport luggage? Have I dissected any worms lately? Not since I was five, let it go, it was only once and I was a child for crying out loud. I think I may just pass out.
Now where am I? This is going from worse to bullshit, I need to get my ass to Mars, not lay here on a gurney in a dilapidated hospice. There are years before I intend on soiling myself daily, so many places I haven’t yet been. I most certainly am not going out like that. You could go as far as suggesting I’m a little peeved and I’m done with this cryptic conundrum. Wherever Bonus Brain has gotten to, I’ve given it the old college try. I have my sights on a bit of a fry up and there are larger fish than he. I’ve got half an hour to find my way out of this place and get to the chopper, sounds like a cinch for the Brutal Word Wrangler. I’m starting to believe in myself once more, there have been instances when a lesser man would’ve succumbed but I have made it thus far on my wits and dexterity. It’s all about Mars; I hope they have a Hooters as I hear breasts are something of a talking point there.
I can hear ominous audio outside my chamber and, whatever it is, seems to be shuffling my way. If I have incurred any medical bills then they are shit out of acorns as I left my wallet back in the mall. I think I should pick up this length of metal pipe just in case they call security. Time is essence right now, I have to give my child-bearing hips a wiggle and face the music. I have finally found a map although some dick-bag has thought it smart to adorn it in red crosses, circles and scruffy arrows. From what I can gather I am currently on the second floor and the elevator is round the way to the left. However, there is also a staircase and it brings you out across the hall to main reception so right it is. I step outside and the movements have dissipated. What pleases me less is that that God awful siren is back. What an infernal drone.
This place is beginning to look far less sanitized. There is a putrid stench of decay wafting through the hallway and they must have some gargantuan termites as the walls are literally breaking down around me. Finally a nurse; hold on, I’m not too sure she’s well you know. By the way she moves it suggests one of her kidneys just failed, either that or she has crippling gas. What numskull gave an evidently under the weather sister a scalpel? The way she is waving it around makes me question delirium. Methinks a wide berth is called for, it’s a shame as a flannel wash may have come with its own happy ending and these oats of mine aren’t getting sown for love nor money. Maybe she’ll take sperm as currency, there is that I suppose. Infertility would likely be a side-effect of the grimy conditions such as these so maybe she just wants to take a quick down payment from a clear donor.
I’m sorry but no, the bitch just looked up at me and she certainly isn’t getting my Bonus Beans. Down the stairwell I jolly well go and, after trying several locked doors to no avail, I’m at the lobby. There’s a firearm been left in reception and something tells me I may well be needing it. The reason for my gung-ho approach may have something to do with the dude making his way towards me at this very moment. Resembling an alloy-domed Toblerone and dragging behind him a blade which is just downright ridiculous; this is not the chap to be trifling with. My chills have chills right now, never before have I witnessed a sight quite this macabre. Yet, much as skedaddling would be an astute action on my part right now, I can’t help but find him transfixing. His movements are almost clockwork, what a fascinating creature he is. Forget that, he just hoisted his over-sized chopper off the ground. Toodaloo.
Down three blocks, turn left, about three hundred yards and I’ll be at evac. This will be like poaching eggs from a chicken if I don’t become side-tracked. Now would be the ideal time for Bonus Brain, he is usually the font of knowledge when push comes to shove like it does at this very moment. Believe Wrangler, believe. How may times has it seemed as though the exit is unattainable? I have my route, my focus has returned and Silent Hill can kiss my beanbag. Maybe I ponder a little too long on occasion. I say that as, since procrastinating the past minute away, there appear to be new challenges on the table. Dogs, rotten mangy mutts, mangier even than the heinous hounds who almost had my hide back at the mansion. That pox-ridden transmitter radio has aroused their interest and my scent apparently says dish of the day.
I’m all for being airborne but that doesn’t include being plucked from the ground and carried off to the nest by winged beasts. I’m going to need to Gump this, a kilometre and a half, no sideways glances, I shall embrace my beard. I set off in my chariot of fire, not so much as a strafe, as my ass is going to Mars goddammit. Within seconds I am in plain sight of the monument and, if there is something else around here operating like clockwork then it’s Alan’s impeccable timing. Those mutts are snapping at my heels and I can hear my Pyramid-headed antagonist making in-roads but glancing back is not an attractive proposition. A few more strides and it’s Miller time bitches. Silent Hill, it has been kinky, but I am needed elsewhere. I climb up, strap myself in and flick the bird to my foes as this tragic town fades away back into the mist.
“You coped admirably Wrangler” How thoughtful and perceptive of Al to acknowledge my plight and, moreover, my miracle mile.”Thanks my friend. That means a lot” He looks around at me “I didn’t say squat. Can’t hear the woods for the trees until I get her steady.” Then who just complimented me? “That’s all you’re getting from me. Just saying, maybe you’ve graduated from plankton after all.” Bonus Brain! He was here all along. “Mars is going to be a tough test for you but you’ve proved you may just have the Bonus Balls to pull it off.” As perplexed as I feel towards him at present, credit where it’s due, that was pretty cordial of him. He’s wearing his “Martians do it for the oxidized iron dust” vest, how can I stay angry at that? One thing is for damn sure however, this transistor radio is beyond repair. The less baggage the better for where I’m heading next. It truly is time to get my ass to Mars.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014