Silent Hill 2: Strangers in the Night
I’ve been on a short vacation away from St. Jude’s parish, to visit an old platoon buddy of mine, Sebastião (Sebastian) Domingo and his wife Sarah. One of my happier moments since becoming a Priest was having the distinct honor of performing their marriage to one another six years ago. Sebastião aways like to tease me a bit saying I would have been his best man at his wedding, if I hadn’t been his Priest. The privilege of his best man went to Ephram Beckermann, who was another old army friend of ours and our platoon commander. The two of them were there that horrible night in Afghanistan, that night I nearly died on. But our platoon was able to rally due to Ephram’s leadership and we turned the tide of that ambush around, to make it out alive. Neither one of them realized that I froze at first and wasn’t able to even touch my M-240D machine gun until I heard Ephram’s reassuring, steady commanding voice ordering us into a brilliant counterattack formation. All the soldiers in our unit became like brothers that night and these two guys, Ephram and Sebastião had already been like brothers to me since we started off in boot camp together. It made no difference to our small family that one of our brothers was Portuguese, another was Jewish and youngest brother was Scotch-Irish.
After getting to see Sebastião and Sarah, I cheerfully began my return home. About half-way back to St. Jude’s parsonage my car broke down on an old country road. I got out my emergency road reflectors and placed them at each end of the car. My cell phone seemed to be acting very strangely just trying to call both AAA and the vicarage of St. Jude. My phone seemed to either get no reception at all or incredibly odd busy tones. It seemed like hours passing to me as the fog rolled in around me and twilight began to set in. I thought I might have to spend the night in the car that was until a car finally drove up. Those feelings of sleeping in my car returned to me however as the car drove past me at first and then seemed to reluctantly back-up to where I was standing.
There were two men in the car that rolled to a stop, one was about my age and introduced himself as Maurice Chavez. The driver was younger, I was guessing in his late teens or maybe his early twenties and his name was Jared Andrews. Maurice seemed genuinely concerned about my predicament, while Jared, like most of his generation seemed to wish he was anywhere else, perhaps texting or spending his time online or playing some video game. Maurice went to work right away trying to help me solve my car problems and suggested that Jared drive us into town to see if we could get the help of a local auto mechanic to have a look at my vehicle.
Unenthusiastically Jared turned his car towards the nearby sleepy little town to find a garage, which we did. In spite of this, there wasn’t anyone at the station to help us. We try calling the business manager from the phone in his office, but were unable to reach anyone at the number listed on his desk. I thought I might use the phone to finally get in touch with someone at the rectory of St. Jude. The line that I finally got through on was very bad connection to say the least I barely recognized Father Charles’ voice on the recording of our outgoing message on the answering machine. I left a message to inform them that I was having car problems, but two nice men were helping me and I should be home later tonight, I hope that my voice came through clearly enough to be understood.
Maurice came in from outside cover in thick mud carrying the engine part he thought would get me on the road again and I left contact information on the manager desk in order to pay the station for the part we took and the coveralls we obtained for Mr. Chavez to use. Jared and I help Maurice to get cleaned up and changed into these clothes, as well as bag up his dirty suite.
Now we drove back to my car and despite Maurice’s expertise we just couldn’t keep my car running. So I asked them if it would be alright to just take me to the nearby high school that they were driving to, that I could just find my way from there. This seemed to make young Jared extremely relieved so for the first time he seemed kind of content to have me along. Not too long after heading out to the school, Jared car began to act like mine had right before it broke down and then we almost spun out of control, but Jared kept us on the road as his car skidded to a stop.
From here the three of us went for a relatively solid off-road jog until we found the Lake View Hotel, here again for some strange reason no one seemed to be around. Maurice for some unknown explanation charged upstairs, while Jared and I looked around for someone on staff to help us with information or the use of a phone. There wasn’t anyone at the front desk, so I ended up finding Jared talking with a guest in the bar. It seemed that this man, named Frank had helped Jared place a phone call to a local taxi service to come and get us, which was wonderful news to hear and had told him a bit about the family that ran this hotel. Maurice found us shortly thereafter, looking as if he had seen a ghost. Frank slid him a drink, which Mr. Chavez accepted gratefully. Now the three of us are merely waiting on the cab to arrive and get us out of this place.