Edward had no need for sleep. He had no need for food or water. He did not need to use the bathroom. He accumulated no sweat or body odor and so never needed to really shower. Food had been a luxury when he had lived with the Boggs. Now it was just a pleasant memory.
He found himself with quite a bit of free time without these human necessities. The scissor-handed man originally would have used this time to sculpt or trim his topiaries, but this was not his lonely castle on the hill. Instead, he used this time to explore the dank, dark, and quiet little town known as Silent Hill.
Edward had his hands drawn in close, shoulders hunched as he walked. This place continued to freak him out. It didn’t matter how long he’d been here, he couldn’t remember anyway, but this place was terrifying. There were monsters around every corner, the buildings were dilapidated and caving in on themselves, the residents all thought that he belonged out with the monsters, and the biggest, meanest one of them all liked to follow poor Edward around, not to mention the two Groaners that had taken to trailing behind him like the little lost puppies that they weren’t.
Speaking of which, when Edward turned around there they were, two Groaners skulking about five feet behind. Their bodies were gangly and malnourished, with patches of skin and fur missing from their forms. Neither were beautiful creatures by any means, like the dogs he used to groom in that now very far away neighborhood, nor were they friendly. They snapped and snarled, growled and bit. Edward had watched them attack one of the humans who had been throwing rocks at him. The two animals had lunged at the man, tearing into his flesh as he screamed, Edward watching on in horror. Eventually, a raw scream had ripped out of him and he ran, leaving the two animals and the poor man who really didn’t seem to have deserved such cruelty.
Later on, the two Groaners had come whimpering back to his hiding place at the hotel, their half-eaten tails between their legs, heads down. The town’s executioner had stood behind them, free hand clenched tightly in a fist while the other held his Great Knife threateningly. The Groaners had crawled to Edward’s feet and licked his boots, Pyramid Head watching silently. When the raven-haired man finally bent down and pat the two creatures’ heads with his palms, they jumped up, barking happily. Pyramid Head left them then.
Now, those same two Groaners followed him everywhere. They growled at any malicious creature that got too close or if they sensed a human nearby. They whimpered if they heard Red Pyramid’s Great Knife dragging sharply on the ground. Currently, they were happy just to follow.
The closer they got to the hospital, the antsier they became. They growled lightly as Edward shouldered the front doors open. Edward glanced back at them but continued his path. Sure, he was still scared, but his curiosity was a horrible thing that liked to keep him going. And so, against his better judgment, and his companions apparently, Edward continued on into the building.
On the outside, the hospital looked just like every other building. On the inside, it was just as decayed as everything else. There were large cracks in the walls and floors, doors hanging off their hinges and windows broken. Papers riddled the floor, along with dead flowers and broken vases, random medical utensils and some gurneys. This place was creepier than the school, which he had explored a few days ago. Edward shuddered. He started down the first hall, Groaners creeping along behind him. Cautiously nudging half-broken doors open, Edward silently explored. At the end of the hall, one dog started to growl softly. The closer they got to the last door, it growled louder, the other joining in. The man glanced at them and slowly, carefully, nudged the door open.
The smell assaulted him first. Death and decay lingered heavily in the air. Edward gagged, covering his mouth with his wrist as his eyes bugged out of his skull, swallowing back a scream.
Dead bodies. There were dead and decayed bodies everywhere. They littered the room, one piled on top of the next, some hacked up beyond any recognizable gender, some with limbs and bones at awkward angles, arms, legs, and heads, spotted throughout the room. The walls and floor were painted red with blood. Edward backed up slowly, shaking all over, nearly tripping over one Groaner.
It was then that the sirens sounded.
Edward hated those sirens. They came out of nowhere and broke the silence that hung over the town. Darkness followed them. The raven-haired man was always safe in the hotel room Dahlia lived in with the old woman there to take his mind off of the Darkness. For the first time since he’d first heard the sirens go off, Dahlia was not there. He ran.
As they sounded, the scissor-handed man’s leather boots pounded on the linoleum floor, the padding of paws echoing behind him. Normally, the two Groaners were nowhere to be seen when the sirens went off. Edward didn’t want to think about it. He wanted to find Dahlia. He did not want to be alone with a couple of dogs in the Darkness.
The light started to fade. By the time he made it to the end of the hall, it was completely black.
Gentle with his scissors, the quiet man reached up to his shoulder where Dahlia had been kind enough to strap a tiny flashlight to his shoulder, just in case. He lightly pressed the little button with the tip of a blade, turning around as he did so.
He wished he hadn’t.
A little gasp of horror escaped him at the sight of his two companions. Maggots riddled their heads, flesh giving way to the raw meat underneath, saliva dripping from their snarling jaws. This must have been why they ran when the Darkness came. They did not want Edward to see what they changed into. Edward felt sick. He turned and ran for the entrance, ignoring the bloody walls and floors as best he could. He just wanted to find Dahlia.
The small beam from the flashlight helped to light his way, but it only made him more aware of his surroundings. Like the large group standing immovable in front of the entrance doors. The man skidded to a halt, ignoring the footfalls behind him.
The dogs were snarling hatefully now. Edward did not want to look at them, nor did he want to approach the group in front of him. They were women, all facing the double doors. They must have been nurses at some point, their dresses rather short and stained red with blood. Veins stuck out of their gray skin.
“Excuse me…” mumbled Edward quietly.
One of the ‘ladies’ twitched. Then another. And suddenly, quick as a flash, all had turned towards the light and stared at poor Edward with faces so twisted that Edward could not make out eyes, or noses, or even a single mouth. They made little gasping moans as they seemed to move as one towards the wild haired man, shivs and knives clutched in their fists.
Edward gasped, turning and running down another hall. His boots pounded frantically on the tile, no longer caring if the dogs were behind him.
“Help me… someone!” he panted. An open door hung a little ways ahead, Edward diving into the room and shouldering it shut. He quickly backed away and hid in a corner, hands drawn tightly to his chest. “Please don’t let them hurt me…” he muttered, tears of fear trailing down his scarred face.
Nails scratched at the door and Edward could only assume it was the dogs. The noise was followed by whimpers, then growling and barking. Edward wanted so bad to cover his ears. Instead, he squeezed his eye shut and tried to lose himself.
There was a snarl and then a scream, the sound of flesh and fabric ripping close behind. Then there was a loud scraping sound. The dogs whimpered, the nurses gasping and moaning. Edward opened his eyes and stared at the dirty and cracked window on the door. A scream, and then a spray of blood covered the window.
The scarred and frightened man curled in on himself, knees to his chest and scissor hands tucked close. The sound of a million tiny feet filled the air, closely followed by screaming and moaning. Edward squeezed his eyes shut, tears falling silently from them. He thought about Kim, and Dahlia, and Mrs. Boggs.
He didn’t know how long he sat there. He didn’t know when the screaming finally stopped. He didn’t know when the scratching started back up on the door, followed by whining. He didn’t know when everything returned to normal, the walls once again cracked and dirty. Edward slowly got up on shaking legs.
Metal groaned and scraped against the floor outside the tiny room. Suddenly, the Great Knife was shoved up under the hinges of the door, the blade sliding up and down, easily cutting the rusted hinges off the frame. A heavy shove and the door fell with a loud bang onto the tile.
The two Groaners – for there were no maggots eating their heads and they now looked the same as they always had – ran into the room, barking and sniffing the air around the scissor-handed man’s feet. Pyramid Head followed them into the room, weapon dragging on the ground. The raven observed the Boogie Man silently, scissors crossed in front of him. The large helmet turned this way and that, scanning the room before finally resting on the strange man standing in the corner. His apron was covered in fresh blood.
One Groaner yipped and crawled behind Edward as Red Pyramid came closer, the other jumping as the Great Knife fell to the floor with a sharp clang. The large monster was in front of Edward in a blink, pressing the button on his shoulder light and large hand curling around the man’s chin almost painfully, turning the raven’s face left and right. Edward winced and the grip relaxed.
Satisfied that there were only old scars on that pale face, Pyramid Head let go, bringing his large arms up and around Edward’s much smaller body. Edward’s eyes went wide, hands hanging limply at his sides.
This had never really happened before. Sure, the giant monster had saved poor Edward a few times, but he’d never shown any sort of affection for him. Usually, Pyramid Head showed up, saved him from whatever decided to attack him that day, checked him over and walked away. Dahlia was usually the one to hug and fuss over him. This certainly was a surprise.
So was the tongue that decided to lick up the side of his face.
Edward shivered, the cool air hitting the spot. Pyramid Head pulled him closer, arms tightening just so. It wasn’t that this was all unpleasant. After what had just happened, it was quite the opposite really. Edward nuzzled his face into Red Pyramid’s broad chest, ignoring the wet clothe that was probably staining his face red. He didn’t want to think about it. Right now, Edward was content to stand there in the Boogie Man’s arms with two Groaners sitting at his feet.
He didn’t know how long they stood there, and he didn’t really care. Eventually, Pyramid Head let go of him and picked up his blade. The Groaners stood; leading the way out of the room, Pyramid Head pushing Edward’s back lightly to get him to move. Edward stumbled, having not really moved for who knows how long. The monster caught him by his arm, steadying the human, before lightly pushing him out the door.
Blood covered the walls. It covered the floor. There were no bodies, however. They must have disappeared with the Darkness. Edward wanted to throw up. His stomach flipped once, and Edward ran the rest of the way to the entrance.
Once outside, he heaved over the side of the stone staircase, scissors scraping against the concrete. One Groaner rubbed its head against his leg, the other whimpering. Pyramid Head came up behind him, rubbing his leather-clad back. Since Edward had not eaten anything in so long, he simply heaved painfully, insides twisting in on themselves until his brain could tell them to stop. He had to gasp for breath, his whole body shaking.
“Dahlia…” he muttered pass his sore throat.
Red Pyramid seemed to go rigid.
Edward turned towards him, throat still throbbing painfully. “Is something wrong?”
The monster shook his helmeted head. The sound of millions of tiny feet came back. Those creepy little cockroach things that Edward did not like at all swarmed around the four of them, seemingly out of nowhere. The giant monster dropped his Great Knife into the swarm, the giant roaches carrying it off into the ashen fog.
Edward raised an eyebrow. “What are – ah!”
Pyramid Head lifted the much smaller man up into his arms, easily carrying Edward bridal style down the steps.
The raven-haired man blushed, a stark contrast to his pale skin. “You don’t have to…” He was silenced when the monster looked down at him. That long, weird tongue emerged once more and licked the side of Edward’s face. He blushed once more. The two Groaners padded along silently next to them.
Edward couldn’t help but smile. So he settled himself in Pyramid Head’s arms, head resting against the creature’s chest.
It was quite comfortable actually.