Lonnie’s workday was not necessarily boring, well it was boring, it was tedious and his mind liked the fact while his hands knew how to apply the mortar, place the brick, and then smooth the mortar without much conscious thought, he would wander. Lonnie wasn’t one who had much of an imagination but today he was still trying to work through what was wrong with his shoulder. His arm worked fine, and there wasn’t a bruise, but seriously it throbbed like it was dislocated.
The crew had finished the job early and Lonnie being one of the senior men working for Anderson Brick wasn’t required to disassemble the scaffolding, and he simply loaded his tools into the back of his truck and left the job site. It was on his drive home that things suddenly turned to shit.
It could’ve been a deer that dashed in front of his truck, it could’ve been a large dog. It was four legged animal shaped, that was as far as Lonnie could describe it. It was black or maybe brown, it had four legs and a torso. What it didn’t have was anything resembling a head. Where the head should’ve been, was just a stump. It was as if someone beheaded a deer or large dog, he still wasn’t sure if it had hooves or paws, and had sewn up the neck stump and it had somehow stayed alive. Like a cockroach’s body will take over a week to die after you remove the head. The shock factor seeing something like that had made him wrench the wheel of the truck, but as the truck moved to swerve the creature the truck slowly morphed in a battered police car and he was dragged through the suddenly busted and missing windshield. Against his will his shoulder popped out of the socket and he screamed at the searing pain as his arm hooked into the steering wheel.
Lonnie tried to sit up and couldn’t. His arm was practically looped in the steering wheel of the police car. When he looked past his feet and saw the deep drop into a gorge that was so deep he couldn’t see the ground, he screamed. It was a high pitched squeal of pain or of a broken mind. For Lonnie it may as well have been both. The hood of the cop car was slippery with… He touched the gray, sooty flakes on his clothes. They had covered him like a shaggy blanket. Lonnie crushed a flake between his already dirty fingers. It blackened them even more.
Lonnie tried to reach up with his free arm to grab the steering wheel and take the pressure off his burdened dislocated shoulder.
“What the fuck?” He asked seeing an empty syringe still embedded in his elbow. That would explain why he wasn’t feeling the symptoms of withdrawal so acutely anymore. Someone had given him heroin while he’d been dangling unconscious on the hood of this mangled cop car. What kind of messed up mother fucker would give him heroin but not rescue him from was death if he didn’t get loose from the steering wheel. He could hear the creaking of the trees as the weight of the car pushed against them. It could’ve been his imagination but he could swear he could hear the sound of the roots giving away or maybe it was the trunks or even the car as it tried to wedge itself between the trees and into the gorge with him along with it.
“HELP!” He shouted. It was worth a try. Maybe the lady cop he’d dragged out of the cruiser by her hair was in earshot. He doubted that she would shoot him, even for stealing her cruiser, and he hoped if she was around, she’d help him.
“We cannot help you unless you help yourself,” spoke a child’s voice next to his ear. He jerked, nearly lost his grip on the steering wheel in an effort to find out who had spoken to him. It was a little girl, maybe eight, maybe ten. Her hair was either black or really dirty. It was in a tangled mat on her head. She wore a gray dress with a white collar. Other than her hair, and looked like ruined mascara around her eyes, the dress was actually rather clean. Her big blue eyes bore a hole into his own soul as if she could simply suck it from his body with her gaze. The eyes were the windows to the soul, and though hers stared at him a little too long without blinking, he couldn’t help but think that there wasn’t a soul behind those eyes.
“Hey kid, you live around here?” Lonnie asked and she shrugged her shoulders. What the hell kind of a response was that? “Think you could go get some help?”
“We have helped you, you must help yourself,” she stated pointing to the syringe in his arm. He brought his arm across his mouth and gripped the syringe between his teeth and pulled it from his arm he spat it out. It fell on the hood and rolled off the end.
“You gave me heroin? What are you? Ten?” She nodded to his first question and shrugged her shoulders at his second.
Stranger things had happened he supposed. With the syringe gone he brought his free arm up and gripped the steering wheel. Lonnie didn’t weigh much, and because of that, he didn’t have much upper body strength. Still he somehow managed to support himself enough that he could unhook his unworking dislocated arm from the steering wheel. Once freed of the cop car he rolled off the hood to the ground, whimpering in pain as he clutched his arm to him. It would seem that without his weight the car squeezed through the trees and finished falling off into the gorge. Lonnie stood up and opened his mouth to ask the kid for a way out of the woods. He was alone. Had he imagined her?
“Kid?” He asked into the fog anyway. There was no sound, not even the falling ash made noise. He slowly tried to walk up the path the car had broken through the woods to the road, but after a few feet, he couldn’t find it. It was as if the forest had magically or horrifically healed itself.
Surprisingly and nearly crying, he had tried to stop whimpering but the dislocated shoulder was just a body shaking throb of pain. It was that feeling like when you smash your thumb with a hammer intensified all over his body. He needed more heroin. He needed out of this cursed existence, and heroin would free him of this nightmare and back into the real world. Lonnie stumbled onto the weed choked road, well it should have been weed choked. Instead it looked perfectly paved and upkept. A green sign, a little old looking with white letters claimed that Silent Hill was in front of him and it had a modest population.
He knew about Silent Hill, hell they talked about it in grade school still. Children daring each other to spend a night in the haunted town. Something about fires polluting the town, Lonnie’s mind couldn’t think properly with the pain in his shoulder. He had no dignity or pride and didn’t care if he was crying like a little girl. His shoulder hurt dammit. Other than the fact the town was closed down some thirty years ago, he didn’t know much more.
Through the fog a gas station began to become visible. First it was no more than a shadow and then a dark outline. As he neared he could see the station was in extreme disrepair and looked ancient. A car was slowly rusting into a pile at one of the pumps. The ancient gas nozzle still in the trunk as if something had called away the owner that was so important he didn’t even hang up the nozzle. The car didn’t look like it would run, it was about forty years old and a station wagon. It had sat there long enough that all four tires had gone flat and were only held onto the wheels by the steel belts in them.
Lonnie didn’t know if he should look for a working phone. Who would he call? He had no family and certainly no friends. Heroin addicts didn’t have friends; everyone else was divided in how useful they were in fulfilling his addiction. He pushed on the door to enter the station. It fell off its hinges into the building. His weak effort to open it was all that was needed to finally free it of its rusted hinges. The food in the station was all rotted. The newspaper in the stand was dated some day in 1973, so it had been forty years since the coal fires, rather oddly, forty years exactly.
“Oh my God!” Lonnie jumped, there was a person in white standing in the gas station. However after a moment he felt foolish. Other than the fact the gas station was dirty, with various debris that had blown in from the broken windows and ash covered everything, there was oddly out of place and though not clean, was a mannequin standing in the corner. It had red paint around the mouth and though it had no hands, the wrists of the mannequin were also painted red. As if it were a real person and that was the blood of someone who had their lips and hands cut off. Lonnie wasn’t sure where such a morbid thought had come from.
There was suddenly a girlish giggle and though the mannequin didn’t move, he could’ve sworn he saw an outline of it move. He tried to back away from it, but something stopped him from behind. He scrabbled with what was holding him. Lonnie couldn’t see it, he saw right through it. It was another outline of the mannequin, that had now moved to a different pose than the one it had been in before. He wasn’t sure how without hands and fingers, but he was manhandled or mannequin handled by one of the outlines that had him by his pea coat, as the other grabbed his wounded arm and…
The pain of his shoulder being jammed back into its socket was agony. He screamed until he had to take in a breath. In the time that he had screamed himself blue, the outlines had let him go and as far as he could tell, had disappeared completely. The mannequin was still there, and back in the pose he’d first seen it in. Lonnie ran a hand through his hair, trying to brush the shaggy locks from his face. His shoulder, once the initial blast of pain had jolted through him, was only a dull ache, but his legs and back were starting to ache. He started sweating again. His heroin withdrawal was coming stronger and harder. He was already wanting another fix.