Hey! Welcome to the ninth part of "The Quest for Mary". In our last edition, Maria FINALLY died, James looked for the little punk that locked him up, Melinda made yet another failed attempt to kill Walter, and all that good stuff. So, let's see how things go in part 9.

It was a deathly silence. No words were spoken. James himself was still looking at his feet, with cold, hard eyes. Heather couldn't help but pity him. She knew Maria was nothing but...well, nothing, but she knew, she knew how it felt to have something close to you taken away so quickly, so suddenly. She wanted to say something, but there was nothing she could think of that would help cheer the poor guy up.

James let out a loud moan, breaking the silence. "...I can't..." He trailed off for a moment. "...I just can't believe Maria's...dead..."

Heather decided now would be the perfect time for some good ol' encouragement. "Well, James, I'm sure Casper-I mean that figment of your sick and twisted imagination-I mean nothing-I mean that dream-I mean the air-I mean nothing at all-I mean something that never existed which makes me wonder why you're mourning over it-I mean Maria probably misses you, too." Melinda rolled her eyes. How enlightening of Heather.

But Melinda didn't try at all to cheer up James. She was more quiet than Henry. She just fiddled with her bangs every once and a while, making sure they were directly over her left eye, completely covering it. Heather couldn't help but wonder why, but she didn't ask. She was too busy trying to make James cut out the oh-my-Maria-is-dead nonsense.

"Yeah...but she probably hates me, too. How could I let her die like that?" James sighed.

"Dead people can't feel hatred. Can't feel anything, really," Heather replied. But even she heard how rude that sounded, even though it was supposed to help James out.

James just shook his head. "'re right..." Suddenly, they all stopped. They were standing in front of the Silent Hill Historical Society, big and tall. The outside was decorated with splatters of blood, travel brochures, magazines, and newspapers, most of them stating how "wonderful" the town was. Heather felt like throwing up. The publishers were MAJOR liars.

"Maybe we should check this place out," James smiled. Heather let out a sigh of relief; he was finally off the topic of his imaginary friend. "After all, Mary was very fond of learning about Silent Hill's history. She said it used to be a sacred place." Heather put her hands on her hips all salty. Mary, apparently, was a bit of a liar too. Melinda said nothing, she just messed with her bangs again.

James shoved open the door and started fumbling around with random documents on a desk. "Ooh! We gotta nice brochure' a health drink...ooh, handgun bullets...and..." Heather was rather confused as to why James had no clue about the gaping hole in the wall behind him that led to a huge, filthy staircase. Melinda crossed her cute lil' black gloved hands over each other while she leaned against the wall. "Oh, nice, a huge hole leading to a ton of stairs that will probably be a huge pain to climb down. LET'S DO IT!" And James entered the hole in all his high and mighty glory and skipped down the steps like a fairy.

Heather shot Melinda a WHAT-THE-HELL look and followed after James. Melinda took out a tape recorder. "Note: Stay away from James." She recorded, before finally coming after James and Heather.

The staircase was endless. Heather was wondering why the heck the makers of this building had to create such a long set of stairs, better yet, how they managed to get down this far in the first place. James was still skipping down, as if he were a little girl dancing in the delicate flowers. Melinda was still messing with her bangs.

And they stopped. In front of a hole. A huge, pitch-black, apparently never-ending hole. And you know what James did? "OOH EEE OOH AH AH!" And with that, he did a full-out perfect backflip into the hole. "Ting tang...wallah wallaaaaaa..." His voice slowly faded as he dropped into nothing.

Melinda copied Heather's WHAT-THE-HELL expression. Then, she shrugged, saluted Heather, and mission-dived into the hole.

Heather lifted her left foot over the hole and almost dropped. "AAH!" She let out a cry of fear and jerked her foot back. "Come on, you can do this..." She jerked out her foot again. "NO!" She yanked it back. "Okay, now..." She tried again. She failed again. "DARN IT!"

Suddenly, she heard someone screaming at a higher pitch than Justin Bieber when he sings at one of his concerts. It was Henry, running like a cheetah and fleeing, once again, from something. "PLEASE, SAVE ME! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"

"What, Henry? What's after you?!" Heather screamed. Henry didn't respond. He just yelled, "BYE, EILEEN! YOU'RE AWESOME!" before diving into the hole.

Heather looked back up the staircase to see what was ready to eat at Henry's guts. There little Walter ran, crying and wailing, "Mommy! I want my mommy! Can I have my mommy? All I want is my- oh hi Heather, have you seen my mommy?"

"D'awwww!" Heather gave one of those how-adorable-this-is looks and picked little Walter up. "You wanna go for a ride? You gotta hold on tight, lil buddy." Little Walter wrapped his arms around Heather's neck, squeezing tight. "Okay. HERE...WE..." She leaped into the hole. "GOOO!"

The drop seemed as endless as the staircase. The familiar, unsettling darkness that filled the hole had now engulfed Heather. She could feel cool, putrid-smelling air rush past her, and she felt her stomach drop, but that was the only indication she was falling. The silent darkness was seemingly closing in and then-

Eyes open. Heather was soaked with filthy, disgusting water, sewage, perhaps. "AW, DISGUSTING!" Heather got up, without realizing little Walter was on her back. He plopped right into the water.

James weakly stood up. "Ohhhh mannn...that was AWESOME..." He wobbled around like a deranged drunk.

Melinda quickly jumped to her feet. "Oh man...are we trapped in here? I don't like small spaces..." She fiddled with her bangs again and Heather saw the muscles in her jaw bunch up.

Henry wobbled up as well. "What the hell? AW MAN!" He hissed when he realized that little Walter had managed to fall into the hole with him.

Every one of them was trapped in a well of sorts, brick walls covering everything.

There was no way out.

Melinda grew more tense, and more tense...and James looked around. "So...I guess jumpin' in here wasn't the smartest thing I've done?"

"James, if you did something smart I'd have sooner believed that the sun came up in the west," Heather scoffed, gently picking up little Walter and smirking.

Henry just groaned insults under his breath. "So what are we gonna do?"

Melinda twitched for a moment. Her eyes were wild, like that of an animal in a trap. "I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!" And with that loud battle cry, she jerked out her pretty lil' leather boots and slam-kicked the wall. It crumbled down.

"...What the hell..." Henry whispered.

And on that awkward note, everybody left the strange, disgusting, sewage-filled well. Melinda was quiet for most of the time afterward.

What's this? ANOTHER HOLE! And you can probably guess what happened. James sang out, "WHAT IS LOVE? BABY DON'T HURT ME, DON'T HURT ME, NO MORE!" And then he did a nice moonwalk into it. Everyone else gave each other that special look that Heather and Melinda so greatly exhibited and jumped in with him.

And they dropped into...a prison?!

There were filth-covered "dining" tables everywhere, along with a corpse wearing the same clothes as James. And suddenly, Heather shined her flashlight at Eddie.

"AAAH! IT'S AN INSANE CANCER- Oh, hi, Eddie." Heather waved to him.

Eddie stumbled up. "Killin' a person ain't no big deal! Just put the gun to their head...POW!" He mimicked shooting himself in the head.

James ran over to Eddie nervously. "Uh, you killed someone?"

Then Eddie realized what he had just said and leaped to his defense. "Uh, yeah! That guy-" He pointed to the corpse. "He was hatin' on me with his eyes! So I shot him!"

James looked bewildered. " can't shoot someone...just cause of the way they LOOKED AT YOU!"

"Heh...I was just jokin', James!" Eddie let out an all-too-fake-and-forced chuckle. And he left then in there, leaving James, Heather, Henry, Melinda, and little Walter to wonder what would happen next.

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