What's 12 plus 12? 24. What part of the Quest for Mary is this? 24. What's a number that's bigger than 23? 24. What is awesome? Not the number 24, but it perfectly describes the part of my series you're reading. This is not the end, this is not the beginning. And I know it's been a while...ah well, start reading this part!

Heather continued on, telling of her experiences the first time she came to Silent Hill, memories of her father, and other strange stories to James. "And then Vincent calls my dad a sneaky guy, and then I dropkick him and spit in his face and punch him and-"

"Heather, that did not happen." James gave her a suspicious dirty look and crossed his arms, towering over her. "You're lying."

"Okay, so I didn't beat him up. But he deserved it cause he DID insult my dad." Heather grumbled while she put her hands on her hips.

"I'm scared...I'm's dark, I'm cold...I'm so scared..." Eileen shuddered while she slowly stalked beside Heather and James. They both looked back at her and hunched up an eyebrow. This was weird, even more weird than all of the creepy random sounds that echoed through the hallways, the blood splatters that came from nowhere on the carpet, the belches coming from the nurses that Henry laughed at so much.

Heather waved her hand in front of Eileen's eyes. "You alright, Eileen? You've got a whip, you shouldn't be scared of the monsters."

"Mommy...I'm so scared..." Both Eileen and little Walter echoed each other, Heather continually wondering what was going on. Eileen picked little Walter up and started walking away.

"Where are you going?!" James yelled out, grabbing Eileen's arm and yanking her back. "You're not going anywhere without me."

Eileen seemed stunned at first, and then she tilted her head slightly and put little Walter back down. "I'm going to find my mommy- I mean, Henry. I'm going to find Henry."

James and Heather traded each other puzzled expressions. He whispered something to her, and she whispered something to him. They both continued their whispering for a little while. Eileen and little Walter started talking about "Mommy" to each other.

Finally, Heather broke from the huddle and looked over at Eileen. "Okay, Eileen. I'd barely noticed Henry and Melinda were gone. You and the little guy go find them, me and James will keep trying to find Mary."

Eileen's eyes flashed into a strange, emotionless void. They stared at James, then quickly flickered over to Heather. She picked up little Walter again and sighed. "Okay." Her voice was barely audible as she sauntered away. James couldn't help but feel like something was wrong, but Heather couldn't care less about Eileen and dragged James away.

"Melinda..." Henry whispered, touching Melinda's shoulder before she jerked it away. "I just wanted to tell you something, gosh..."

Melinda flipped around impatiently, her eyes glaring. "What is it, Henry?" Her stare came from harsh to soft and her frown grew into a light smile. "What do you want to say?"

"I loooo...I loooooooo...." Henry wheezed, his face flushing a scarlet hue as he looked around frantically. Melinda gave a worried mumble while he gave up what he was trying to spit out. "...Have you ever seen a shooting star?"

Melinda flipped back around and started walking away. She didn't have time for this, she had a job to do. Henry gave a small whimper and ran up to her. She paid no attention to him at first. "It's just that...I'm a photographer and I've always tried to get a shooting star on camera. They're beautiful." He paused and looked for something else to add. "...You remind me of them."

At this, Melinda sighed and shut her eye. "How could I possibly remind you of a shooting star, Henry? I'm nothing close to beautiful." Her loose palms flexed into fists and she looked further away from him.

"Don't say that," Henry's tone was more strangled and loud than he had figured. He calmed down slowly. "I think you are, anyway."

"How am I?" Melinda sounded bewildered at Henry's comment. This made him confused. She glanced over at him and sighed. "Sorry...sorry. Um...thanks." She kept strutting along. "I just don't get told I'm beautiful very often anymore."

They both walked into another condemned apartment room, the walls smelling of rot and the bedding completely wracked with filth and mold. The windows were bloody and cracked. Henry examined one of the shattered mirrors in the bathroom while Melinda lazily plopped down on the gory mattress. She yanked off her blonde wig and examined her deep red hair. "I probably shouldn't be hiding myself from Walter anymore, should I?"

"Why were you hiding who you truly were in the first place?" Henry called from the bathroom while he yanked a health nutrition drink from the bathtub.

She stroked one of the strands of hair, rubbing her finger against her scar. "Come on, Henry. Wouldn't it hurt if you realized your best friend was out to kill you?!" Her voice rose as she spoke.

Henry thought about it for a moment, but he knew the answer almost automatically. "Yeah."

"...I promise you that I'll show him who his little assassin is once I finally get the nerve to kill him." Melinda sighed and put her wig back on. "Besides, he needs to find out sometime...and if I don't, I might not ever get rid of this guilt that keeps coming up..." She rubbed her head, suffering a major migraine.

Henry came out of the bathroom. "You know what I said about the shooting star?" He asked softly as she slowly stood.

"Yeah..." Melinda sighed, looking up at him as she fiddled with her bangs and covered her scar.

"Sounds like you could use a wish." They both looked at each other for a moment with smiles on their faces as they left the room.

"Stupid holes..." Walter grumbled as he crawled through a tunnel for the upteenth time. "I know I could have used those subways for travel between my Otherworlds, BUT I HAD TO USE HOLES." Suddenly, he inched forward and stopped-he was stuck. "Darn it...if only I was LITTLE Walter..."

He shifted nervously as he managed to squeeze out of the spot. Finally, he wedged himself out of the hole. He checked his watch. "Hmm...according to the time, Eileen should be here in 5 minutes with my little version. That moron Henry will follow her, and I shall finally complete the 21 sacraments! BWAHAHA-" A fly fluttered into his throat and he started choking. After a while, he coughed it out. "...Guess I should save my evil laugh for when I'm killing Henry."

"Mandy, shut up!" Jean screamed at the top of her lungs while Mandy sang.

"Jean and Robbie sitting in the tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Mandy giggled in a squeaky falsetto while Jean grumbled a few insults.

Mandy's phone suddenly started ringing, interrupting her epic taunt time. She groaned and flipped it open. "Hello?"

"Happy birthday toooo yooooou...."

"Oh, Nero!" Mandy giggled, clapping her hands. "You called to wish me a happy birthday."

"Happy birthday to...I'm not Nero."

Part 24 may be over, but...ah well, I've run out of interesting sentence endings. Who wants a part 25?

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