When the weight of the entire world bears down upon the life of one man, to what lengths will he go when presented with a
promise of hope?
Until three years ago, life was quite agreeable for James and his wife, Mary. Until three years ago, there was no need for doctors,
for hospitals, for cures or for hope. For the Sunderlands, it was a time to enjoy life and love, to enjoy and experience, a time
where the possibilities were endless and the potential amazing.
For the Sunderlands, the greatest mercy was not knowing how little time there actually was. Soon, however, even that would be
denied to them.
When Mary contracted the disease that would eventually spell her doom, James did all he could to find a way to defeat it, but even
trained doctors could do nothing to stop her body from devouring itself. In the end, all he could do was watch as the love of his
life died a slow, tortuous death at the hands of an incurable illness.
Three years after her death, he gets a letter:
It was his wife's name on the envelope, but the letter inside was addressed from her, from a woman three years in her grave.
To James Sunderland, those three years have been an eternity of misery and sorrow, and when given this impossible message,
there is no argument of logic that can override the one simple fact of his current existence: life without his beloved Mary
is empty, an existence without meaning. To that end, there was no question about going. If she really was there, he would go to her.
And, if she wasn't, he would go anyway.
Silent Hill has long been, to many people and in many forms, a very 'special place', indeed. Underneath the thin veneer of
resort-town Americana rests a place rich in history and local legend. Those with an interest in such matters can easily satisfy
their curiosities by paying a visit to the Silent Hill Historical Society, where many of the town's historical milestones are
laid out for all to see and admire. Some of this history is definitely sordid. No town in the world goes very far without tasting
of tragedy and darkness. Visiting even a respectable establishment such as the Historical Society exposes the average tourist to
the bad as well as the good.
There is much to this town one cannot learn by viewing old paintings and framed documents, however. Silent Hill hides much blood
under its outward displays of commercial hospitality. Disease and death have called this place home as long as people have.
Great numbers of men died at the hands of Toluca Prison's
feared executioners, symbols of justice unhindered by feelings of mercy. There
was no such thing as an innocent man in the cells of Toluca Prison, and for many, the only release came at the end of a noose
or the point of a spear. A dark religion has also made its home in this place, causing no small amount of mayhem in its own right.
Drugs, vice and murder peddled alongside the promise of God's salvation. Many locals live in fear of this underground faith, and
the truth may even be worse than the rumors.
Yet, for some, Silent Hill is a place of wonder. It is a place that seems to exert a magnetic sort
of attraction to people who are properly attuned. Mary Shepherd-Sunderland was one
such person. When she called Silent Hill a 'special place', the
words were not without meaning. There was no place that
made her feel more at peace and personal balance. When
Mary was in Silent Hill, everything was right with the world.
The town was considered by some to be a sacred place,
and she had no trouble understanding why.
It was, therefore, no real surprise to James that she would
claim to wait for him there. If Mary's eternal spirit had to
occupy any place on earth, this would have to be it.
And if, by some incredible miracle, if against all logic
and painful knowledge, she really did still live, where
else would she possibly choose to await her husband?
Silent Hill's unique qualities of attraction appealed to
more than just those seeking tranquility. As James
is soon to discover, the town seems to call out
to those with unresolved darkness in their hearts,
and he is not the only one paying a visit this
particular day and for that particular reason.
He is also about to discover something else
about Silent Hill as he descends from the
scenic overlook and onto the trail leading
The darkness he holds in his heart is nothing
compared to that which awaits him.