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TheShining

by

StephenKing

ThisisforJoeHillKing,whoshineson.

Myeditoronthisbook,asontheprevioustwo,
wasMr.WilliamG.Thompson,
amanofwitandgoodsense.Hiscontribution
tothisbookhasbeenlarge,andforit,mythanks

S.K.

Someofthemostbeautiful
resorthotelsintheworld
arelocatedinColorado,but
thehotelinthesepages
isbasedonnoneofthem.
TheOverlookandthepeople
associatedwithitexist
whollywithin
theauthor's
imagination.

Itwasinthisapartment,also,thattherestood...a
giganticclockof
ebony.Itspendulumswungtoandfrowithadull,heavy,
monotonousclang;and
when...thehourwastobestricken,therecamefromthe
brazenlungsofthe
clockasoundwhichwasclearandloudanddeepandexceedingly
musical,butof
sopeculiaranoteandemphasisthat,ateachlapseofanhour,
themusiciansof
theorchestrawereconstrainedtopause...tohearkentothe
sound;andthus
thewaltzersperforceceasedtheirevolutions;andtherewasa
briefdisconcert
ofthewholegaycompany;and;whilethechimesoftheclockyet
rang,itwas
observedthatthegiddiestgrewpale,andthemoreagedand
sedatepassedtheir
handsovertheirbrowsasifinconfusedreverieormeditation.
Butwhenthe
echoeshadfullyceased,alightlaughteratoncepervadedthe
assembly...
and[they]smiledasifattheirownnervousness...andmade
whisperingvows,
eachtotheother,thatthenextchimingoftheclockshould
produceinthemno
similaremotion;andthen,afterthelapseofsixtyminutes...
therecameyet
anotherchimingoftheclock,andthenwerethesamedisconcert
and
tremulousnessandmeditationasbefore.
Butinspiteofthesethings,itwasagayandmagnificent
revel...

E.A.POE
"TheMasqueof
theRedDeath"

Thesleepofreasonbreedsmonsters.
GOYA

It'llshinewhenitshines
FOLKSAYING

PARTONE

PrefatoryMatters

<<1>>

JOBINTERVIEW

JackTorrancethought:Officiouslittleprick.
Ullmanstoodfivefive,andwhenhemoved,itwaswiththe
prissyspeedthat
seemstobetheexclusivedomainofallsmallplumpmen.Thepart
inhishair
wasexact,andhisdarksuitwassoberbutcomforting.Iamaman
youcanbring
yourproblemsto,thatsuitsaidtothepayingcustomer.Tothe
hiredhelpit
spokemorecurtly:Thishadbetterbegood,you.Therewasared
carnationin
thelapel,perhapssothatnooneonthestreetwouldmistake
StuartUllmanfor
thelocalundertaker.
AshelistenedtoUllmanspeak,Jackadmittedtohimselfthat
heprobably
couldnothavelikedanymanonthatsideofthedeskunderthe
circumstances.
Ullmanhadaskedaquestionhehadn'tcaught.Thatwasbad;
Ullmanwasthe
typeofmanwhowouldfilesuchlapsesawayinamentalRolodex
forlater
consideration.
"I'msorry?"
"Iaskedifyourwifefullyunderstoodwhatyouwouldbetaking
onhere.And
there'syourson,ofcourse."Heglanceddownattheapplication
infrontof
him."Daniel.Yourwifeisn'tabitintimidatedbytheidea?"
"Wendyisanextraordinarywoman."
"Andyoursonisalsoextraordinary?"
Jacksmiled,abigwidePRsmile."Weliketothinkso,I
suppose.He'squite
selfreliantforafiveyearold."
NoreturningsmilefromUllman.HeslippedJack'sapplication
backintothe
file.Thefilewentintoadrawer.Thedesktopwasnow
completelybareexcept
forablotter,atelephone,aTensorlamp,andanin/outbasket.
Bothsidesof
thein/outwereempty,too.
Ullmanstoodupandwenttothefilecabinetinthecorner.
"Steparoundthe
desk,ifyouwill,Mr.Torrance.We'lllookatthefloorplans."
Hebroughtbackfivelargesheetsandsetthemdownonthe
glossywalnutplain
ofthedesk.Jackstoodbyhisshoulder,verymuchawareofthe
scentof
Ullman'scologne.AllmymenwearEnglishLeatherortheywear
nothingatall
cameintohismindfornoreasonatall,andhehadtoclamphis
tonguebetween
histeethtokeepinabrayoflaughter.Beyondthewall,
faintly,camethe
soundsoftheOverlookHotel'skitchen,gearingdownfromlunch.
"Topfloor,"Ullmansaidbriskly."Theattic.Absolutely
nothinguptherenow
butbricabrac.TheOverlookhaschangedhandsseveraltimes
sinceWorldWarII
anditseemsthateachsuccessivemanagerhasputeverythingthey
don'twantup
intheattic.Iwantrattrapsandpoisonbaitsowedaroundinit.
Someofthe
thirdfloorchambermaidssaytheyhaveheardrustlingnoises.I
don'tbelieve
it,notforamoment,buttheremustn'tevenbethatoneina
hundredchance
thatasingleratinhabitstheOverlookHotel."
Jack,whosuspectedthateveryhotelintheworldhadarator
two,heldhis
tongue.
"Ofcourseyouwouldn'tallowyoursonupintheatticunder
any
circumstances."
"No,"Jacksaid,andflashedthebigPRsmileagain.
Humiliatingsituation.
Didthisofficiouslittleprickactuallythinkhewouldallowhis
sontogoof
aroundinarattrapatticfullofjunkfurnitureandGodknew
whatelse?
Ullmanwhiskedawaytheatticfloorplanandputitonthe
bottomofthepile.
"TheOverlookhasonehundredandtenguestquarters,"hesaid
inascholarly
voice."Thirtyofthem,allsuites,arehereonthethirdfloor.
Teninthewest
wing(includingthePresidentialSuite),teninthecenter,ten
moreintheeast
wing.Allofthemcommandmagnificentviews."
Couldyouatleastsparethesalestalk?
Buthekeptquiet.Heneededthejob.
Ullmanputthethirdflooronthebottomofthepileandthey
studiedthe
secondfloor.
"Fortyrooms,"Ullmansaid,"thirtydoublesandtensingles.
Andonthefirst
floor,twentyofeach.Plusthreelinenclosetsoneachfloor,
andastoreroom
whichisattheextremeeastendofthehotelonthesecondfloor
andthe
extremewestendonthefirst.Questions?"
Jackshookhishead.Ullmanwhiskedthesecondandfirstfloors
away.
"Now.Lobbylevel:Hereinthecenteristheregistrationdesk.
Behinditare
theoffices.Thelobbyrunsforeightyfeetineitherdirection
fromthedesk.
OverhereinthewestwingistheOverlookDiningRoomandthe
ColoradoLounge.
Thebanquetandballroomfacilityisintheeastwing.
Questions?"
"Onlyaboutthebasement,"Jacksaid."Forthewinter
caretaker,that'sthe
mostimportantlevelofall.Wheretheactionis,sotospeak."
"Watsonwillshowyouallthat.Thebasementfloorplanison
theboilerroom
wall."Hefrownedimpressively,perhapstoshowthatasmanager,
hedidnot
concernhimselfwithsuchmundaneaspectsoftheOverlook's
operationasthe
boilerandtheplumbing."Mightnotbeabadideatoputsome
trapsdownthere
too.Justaminute..."
Hescrawledanoteonapadhetookfromhisinnercoatpocket
(eachsheet
borethelegendFromtheDeskofStuartUllmaninboldblack
script),toreit
off,anddroppeditintotheoutbasket.Itsattherelooking
lonesome.Thepad
disappearedbackintoUllman'sjacketpocketliketheconclusion
ofamagician's
trick.Nowyouseeit,Jackyboy,nowyoudon't.Thisguyisa
realheavyweight.
Theyhadresumedtheiroriginalpositions,Ullmanbehindthe
deskandJackin
frontofit,interviewerandinterviewee,supplicantand
reluctantpatron.
Ullmanfoldedhisneatlittlehandsonthedeskblotterand
lookeddirectlyat
Jack,asmall,baldingmaninabanker'ssuitandaquietgray
tie.Theflower
inhislapelwasbalancedoffbyasmalllapelpinontheother
side.Itread
simplySTAFFinsmallgoldletters.
"I'llbeperfectlyfrankwithyou,Mr.Torrance.Albert
Shockleyisapowerful
manwithalargeinterestintheOverlook,whichshowedaprofit
thisseasonfor
thefirsttimeinitshistory.Mr.Shockleyalsositsonthe
BoardofDirectors,
butheisnotahotelmanandhewouldbethefirsttoadmit
this.Buthehas
madehiswishesinthiscaretakingmatterquiteobvious.Hewants
youhired.I
willdoso.ButifIhadbeengivenafreehandinthismatter,I
wouldnothave
takenyouon."
Jack'shandswereclenchedtightlyinhislap,workingagainst
eachother,
sweating.Officiouslittleprick,officious
"Idon'tbelieveyoucaremuchforme,Mr.Torrance.I
littleprick,officious
don'tcare.Certainlyyourfeelingstowardmeplaynopartinmy
ownbelief
thatyouarenotrightforthejob.Duringtheseasonthatruns
fromMay
fifteenthtoSeptemberthirtieth,theOverlookemploysone
hundredandten
peoplefulltime;oneforeveryroominthehotel,youmightsay.
Idon'tthink
manyofthemlikemeandIsuspectthatsomeofthemthinkI'ma
bitofa
bastard.Theywouldbecorrectintheirjudgmentofmycharacter.
Ihavetobea
bitofabastardtorunthishotelinthemanneritdeserves."
HelookedatJackforcomment,andJackflashedthePRsmile
again,largeand
insultinglytoothy.
Ullmansaid:"TheOverlookwasbuiltintheyears1907to1909.
Theclosest
townisSidewinder,fortymileseastofhereoverroadsthatare
closedfrom
sometimeinlateOctoberorNovemberuntilsometimeinApril.A
mannamedRobert
TownleyWatsonbuiltit,thegrandfatherofourpresent
maintenanceman.
Vanderbiltshavestayedhere,andRockefellers,andAstors,and
DuPouts.Four
PresidentshavestayedinthePresidentialSuite.Wilson,
Harding,Roosevelt,
andNixon."
"Iwouldn'tbetooproudofHardingandNixon,"Jackmurmured.
Ullmanfrownedbutwentonregardless."Itprovedtoomuchfor
Mr.Watson,and
hesoldthehotelin1915.Itwassoldagainin1922,in1929,in
1936.Itstood
vacantuntiltheendofWorldWarII,whenitwaspurchasedand
completely
renovatedbyHoraceDerwent,millionaireinventor,pilot,film
producer,and
entrepreneur."
"Iknowthename,"Jacksaid.
"Yes.Everythinghetouchedseemedtoturntogold...except
theOverlook.
Hefunneledoveramilliondollarsintoitbeforethefirst
postwarguestever
steppedthroughitsdoors,turningadecrepitrelicintoa
showplace.Itwas
DerwentwhoaddedtheroquecourtIsawyouadmiringwhenyou
arrived."
"Roque?"
"ABritishforebearofourcroquet,Mr.Torrance.Croquetis
bastardized
roque.Accordingtolegend,Derwentlearnedthegamefromhis
socialsecretary
andfellcompletelyinlovewithit.Oursmaybethefinestroque
courtin
America."
"Iwouldn'tdoubtit,"Jacksaidgravely.Aroquecourt,a
topiaryfullof
hedgeanimalsoutfront,whatnext?AlifesizedUncleWiggly
gamebehindthe
equipmentshed?HewasgettingverytiredofMr.StuartUllman,
buthecouldsee
thatUllmanwasn'tdone.Ullmanwasgoingtohavehissay,every
lastwordof
it.
"Whenhehadlostthreemillion,Derwentsoldittoagroupof
California
investors.TheirexperiencewiththeOverlookwasequallybad.
Justnothotel
people.
"In1970,Mr.Shockleyandagroupofhisassociatesboughtthe
hoteland
turneditsmanagementovertome.Wehavealsorunintheredfor
severalyears,
butI'mhappytosaythatthetrustofthepresentownersinme
hasnever
wavered.Lastyearwebrokeeven.AndthisyeartheOverlook's
accountswere
writteninblackinkforthefirsttimeinalmostsevendecades."
Jacksupposedthatthisfussylittleman'spridewasjustified,
andthenhis
originaldislikewashedoverhimagaininawave.
Hesaid:"IseenoconnectionbetweentheOverlook'sadmittedly
colorful
historyandyourfeelingthatI'mwrongforthepost,Mr.
Ullman."
"OnereasonthattheOverlookhaslostsomuchmoneyliesin
thedepreciation
thatoccurseachwinter.Itshortenstheprofitmarginagreat
dealmorethan
youmightbelieve,Mr.Torrance.Thewintersarefantastically
cruel.Inorder
tocopewiththeproblem,I'veinstalledafulltimewinter
caretakertorunthe
boilerandtoheatdifferentpartsofthehotelonadaily
rotatingbasis.To
repairbreakageasitoccursandtodorepairs,sotheelements
can'tgeta
foothold.Tobeconstantlyalerttoanyandeverycontingency.
Duringourfirst
winterIhiredafamilyinsteadofasingleman.Therewasa
tragedy.Ahorrible
tragedy."
UllmanlookedatJackcoollyandappraisingly.
"Imadeamistake.Iadmititfreely.Themanwasadrunk."
Jackfeltaslow,hotgrinthetotalantithesisofthetoothy
PRgrin
stretchacrosshismouth."Isthatit?I'msurprisedAldidn't
tellyou.I've
retired."
"Yes,Mr.Shockleytoldmeyounolongerdrink.Healsotoldme
aboutyour
lastjob...yourlastpositionoftrust,shallwesay?You
wereteaching
EnglishinaVermontprepschool.Youlostyourtemper,Idon't
believeIneed
tobeanymorespecificthanthat.ButIdohappentobelieve
thatGrady'scase
hasabearing,andthatiswhyIhavebroughtthematterof
your...uh,
previoushistoryintotheconversation.Duringthewinterof
197071,afterwe
hadrefurbishedtheOverlookbutbeforeourfirstseason,Ihired
this...this
unfortunatenamedDelbertGrady.Hemovedintothequartersyou
andyourwife
andsonwillbesharing.Hehadawifeandtwodaughters.Ihad
reservations,
themainonesbeingtheharshnessofthewinterseasonandthe
factthatthe
Gradyswouldbecutofffromtheoutsideworldforfivetosix
months."
"Butthat'snotreallytrue,isit?Therearetelephoneshere,
andprobablya
citizen'sbandradioaswell.AndtheRockyMountainNational
Parkiswithin
helicopterrangeandsurelyapieceofgroundthatbigmusthave
achopperor
two."
"Iwouldn'tknowaboutthat,"Ullmansaid."Thehoteldoeshave
atwoway
radiothatMr.Watsonwillshowyou,alongwithalistofthe
correct
frequenciestobroadcastonifyouneedhelp.Thetelephonelines
betweenhere
andSidewinderarestillaboveground,andtheygodownalmost
everywinterat
somepointorotherandareapttostaydownforthreeweekstoa
monthanda
half.Thereisasnowmobileintheequipmentshedalso."
"Thentheplacereallyisn'tcutoff."
Mr.Ullmanlookedpained."Supposeyoursonoryourwife
trippedonthestairs
andfracturedhisorherskull,Mr.Torrance.Wouldyouthinkthe
placewascut
offthen?"
Jacksawthepoint.Asnowmobilerunningattopspeedcouldget
youdownto
Sidewinderinanhourandahalf...maybe.Ahelicopterfrom
theParksRescue
Servicecouldgetuphereinthreehours...underoptimum
conditions.Ina
blizzarditwouldneverevenbeabletoliftoffandyoucouldn't
hopetoruna
snowmobileattopspeed,evenifyoudaredtakeaseriously
injuredpersonout
intotemperaturesthatmightbetwentyfivebeloworfortyfive
below,ifyou
addedinthewindchillfactor.
"InthecaseofGrady,"Ullmansaid,"IreasonedmuchasMr.
Shockleyseemsto
havedoneinyourcase.Solitudecanbedamaginginitself.
Betterfortheman
tohavehisfamilywithhim.Iftherewastrouble,Ithought,the
oddswerevery
highthatitwouldbesomethinglessurgentthanafractured
skulloran
accidentwithoneofthepowertoolsorsomesortofconvulsion.
Aseriouscase
oftheflu,pneumonia,abrokenarm,evenappendicitis.Anyof
thosethings
wouldhaveleftenoughtime.
"Isuspectthatwhathappenedcameasaresultoftoomuch
cheapwhiskey,of
whichGradyhadlaidinageneroussupply,unbeknownsttome,and
acurious
conditionwhichtheoldtimerscallcabinfever.Doyouknowthe
term?"Ullman
offeredapatronizinglittlesmile,readytoexplainassoonas
Jackadmitted
hisignorance,andJackwashappytorespondquicklyandcrisply.
"It'saslangtermfortheclaustrophobicreactionthatcan
occurwhenpeople
areshutintogetheroverlongperiodsoftime.Thefeelingof
claustrophobiais
externalizedasdislikeforthepeopleyouhappentobeshutin
with.Inextreme
casesitcanresultinhallucinationsandviolencemurderhas
beendoneover
suchminorthingsasaburnedmealoranargumentaboutwhose
turnitistodo
thedishes."
Ullmanlookedrathernonplussed,whichdidJackaworldof
good.Hedecidedto
pressalittlefurther,butsilentlypromisedWendyhewouldstay
cool.
"Isuspectyoudidmakeamistakeatthat.Didhehurtthem?"
"Hekilledthem,Mr.Torrance,andthencommittedsuicide.He
murderedthe
littlegirlswithahatchet,hiswifewithashotgun,andhimself
thesameway.
Hislegwasbroken.Undoubtedlysodrunkhefelldownstairs."
UllmanspreadhishandsandlookedatJackselfrighteously.
"Washeahighschoolgraduate?"
"Asamatteroffact,hewasn't,"Ullmansaidalittlestiffly.
"Ithoughta,
shallwesay,lessimaginativeindividualwouldbeless
susceptibletothe
rigors,theloneliness"
"Thatwasyourmistake,"Jacksaid."Astupidmanismoreprone
tocabinfever
justashe'smorepronetoshootsomeoneoveracardgameor
commitaspurof
themomentrobbery.Hegetsbored.Whenthesnowcomes,there's
nothingtodo
butwatchTVorplaysolitaireandcheatwhenhecan'tgetall
theacesout.
Nothingtodobutbitchathiswifeandnagatthekidsand
drink.Itgetshard
tosleepbecausethere'snothingtohear.Sohedrinkshimselfto
sleepand
wakesupwithahangover.Hegetsedgy.Andmaybethetelephone
goesoutandthe
TVaerialblowsdownandthere'snothingtodobutthinkand
cheatatsolitaire
andgetedgierandedgier.Finally...boom,boom,boom."
"Whereasamoreeducatedman,suchasyourself?"
"MywifeandIbothliketoread.Ihaveaplaytoworkon,as
AlShockley
probablytoldyou.Dannyhashispuzzles,hiscoloringbooks,and
hiscrystal
radio.Iplantoteachhimtoread,andIalsowanttoteachhim
tosnowshoe.
Wendywouldliketolearnhow,too.Ohyes,Ithinkwecankeep
busyandoutof
eachother'shairiftheTVgoesonthefritz."Hepaused."And
Alwastelling
thetruthwhenhetoldyouInolongerdrink.Ididonce,andit
gottobe
serious.ButIhaven'thadsomuchasaglassofbeerinthelast
fourteen
months.Idon'tintendtobringanyalcoholuphere,andIdon't
thinkthere
willbeanopportunitytogetartyafterthesnowflies."
"Inthatyouwouldbequitecorrect,"Ullmansaid."Butaslong
asthethree
ofyouareuphere,thepotentialforproblemsismultiplied.I
havetoldMr.
Shockleythis,andhetoldmehewouldtaketheresponsibility.
NowI'vetold
you,andapparentlyyouarealsowillingtotakethe
responsibility"
"Iam."
"Allright.I'llacceptthat,sinceIhavelittlechoice.ButI
wouldstill
ratherhaveanunattachedcollegeboytakingayearoff.Well,
perhapsyou'll
do.NowI'llturnyouovertoMr.Watson,whowilltakeyou
throughthebasement
andaroundthegrounds.Unlessyouhavefurtherquestions?"
"No.Noneatall."
Ullmanstood."Ihopetherearenohardfeelings,Mr.Torrance.
Thereis
nothingpersonalinthethingsIhavesaidtoyou.Ionlywant
what'sbestfor
theOverlook.Itisagreathotel.Iwantittostaythatway."
"No.Nohardfeelings."JackflashedthePRgrinagain,buthe
wasgladUllman
didn'toffertoshakehands.Therewerehardfeelings.Allkinds
ofthem.

<<2>>

BOULDER

Shelookedoutthekitchenwindowandsawhimjustsitting
thereonthecurb,
notplayingwithhistrucksorthewagonoreventhebalsaglider
thathad
pleasedhimsomuchallthelastweeksinceJackhadbroughtit
home.Hewas
justsittingthere,watchingfortheirshopwornVW,hiselbows
plantedonhis
thighsandhischinproppedinhishands,afiveyearoldkid
waitingforhis
daddy.
Wendysuddenlyfeltbad,almostcryingbad.
Shehungthedishtoweloverthebarbythesinkandwent
downstairs,
buttoningthetoptwobuttonsofherhousedress.Jackandhis
pride!Heyno,
Al,Idon'tneedanadvance.I'mokayforawhile.Thehallway
wallsweregouged
andmarkedwithcrayons,greasepencil,spraypaint.Thestairs
weresteepand
splintery.Thewholebuildingsmelledofsourage,andwhatsort
ofplacewas
thisforDannyafterthesmallneatbrickhouseinStovington?
Thepeopleliving
abovethemonthethirdfloorweren'tmarried,andwhilethat
didn'tbotherher,
theirconstant,rancorousfightingdid.Itscaredher.Theguyup
therewasTom,
andafterthebarshadclosedandtheyhadreturnedhome,the
fightswouldstart
inearnesttherestoftheweekwasjustaprelimincomparison.
TheFriday
NightFights,Jackcalledthem,butitwasn'tfunny.Thewoman
hernamewas
Elainewouldatlastbereducedtotearsandtorepeatingover
andoveragain:
"Don't,Tom.Pleasedon't.Pleasedon't."Andhewouldshoutat
her.Oncethey
hadevenawakenedDanny,andDannysleptlikeacorpse.Thenext
morningJack
caughtTomgoingoutandhadspokentohimonthesidewalkat
somelength.Tom
startedtoblusterandJackhadsaidsomethingelsetohim,too
quietlyfor
Wendytohear,andTomhadonlyshakenhisheadsullenlyand
walkedaway.That
hadbeenaweekagoandforafewdaysthingshadbeenbetter,
butsincethe
weekendthingshadbeenworkingbacktonormalexcuseme,
abnormal.Itwasbad
fortheboy.
Hersenseofgriefwashedoverheragainbutshewasonthe
walknowandshe
smotheredit.Sweepingherdressunderherandsittingdownon
thecurbbeside
him,shesaid:"What'sup,doc?"
Hesmiledatherbutitwasperfunctory."Hi,Mom."
Thegliderwasbetweenhissneakeredfeet,andshesawthatone
ofthewings
hadstartedtosplinter.
"WantmetoseewhatIcandowiththat,honey?"
Dannyhadgonebacktostaringupthestreet."No.Dadwillfix
it."
"Yourdaddymaynotbebackuntilsuppertime,doc.It'salong
driveupinto
thosemountains."
"Doyouthinkthebugwillbreakdown?"
"No,Idon'tthinkso."Buthehadjustgivenhersomethingnew
toworry
about.Thanks,Danny.Ineededthat.
"Dadsaiditmight,"Dannysaidinamatteroffact,almost
boredmanner."He
saidthefuelpumpwasallshottoshit."
"Don'tsaythat,Danny."
"Fuelpump?"heaskedherwithhonestsurprise.
Shesighed."No,`Allshottoshit.'Don'tsaythat."
"Why?"
"It'svulgar."
"What'svulgar,Mom?"
"Likewhenyoupickyournoseatthetableorpeewiththe
bathroomdooropen.
Orsayingthingslike`Allshottoshit.'Shitisavulgarword.
Nicepeople
don'tsayit."
"Dadsaysit.Whenhewaslookingatthebugmotorbesaid,
`Christthisfuel
pump'sallshottosbit.'Isn'tDadnice?"
Howdoyougetintothesethings,Winnifred?Doyoupractice?
"He'snice,buthe'salsoagrownup.Andhe'sverycarefulnot
tosaythings
likethatinfrontofpeoplewhowouldn'tunderstand."
"YoumeanlikeUncleAI?"
"Yes,that'sright."
"CanIsayitwhenI'mgrownup?"
"Isupposeyouwill,whetherIlikeitornot."
"Howold?"
"Howdoestwentysound,doc?"
"That'salongtimetohavetowait."
"Iguessitis,butwillyoutry?"
"Hokay."
Hewentbacktostaringupthestreet.Heflexedalittle,as
iftorise,but
thebeetlecomingwasmuchnewer,andmuchbrighterred.He
relaxedagain.She
wonderedjusthowhardthismovetoColoradohadbeenonDanny.
Hewas
closemouthedaboutit,butitbotheredhertoseehimspendingso
muchtimeby
himself.InVermontthreeofJack'sfellowfacultymembershad
hadchildren
aboutDanny'sageandtherebadbeenthepreschoolbutinthis
neighborhood
therewasnooneforhimtoplaywith.Mostoftheapartments
wereoccupiedby
studentsattendingCU,andofthefewmarriedcoupleshereon
ArapahoeStreet,
onlyatinypercentagehadchildren.Shehadspottedperhapsa
dozenofhigh
schoolorjuniorhighschoolage,threeinfants,andthatwas
all.
"Mommy,whydidDaddylosehisjob?"
Shewasjoltedoutofherreverieandflounderingforan
answer.SheandJack
haddiscussedwaystheymighthandlejustsuchaquestionfrom
Danny,waysthat
hadvariedfromevasiontotheplaintruthwithnovarnishonit.
ButDannyhad
neverasked.Notuntilnow,whenshewasfeelinglowandleast
preparedforsuch
aquestion.Yethewaslookingather,maybereadingthe
confusiononherface
andforminghisownideasaboutthat.Shethoughtthatto
childrenadultmotives
andactionsmustseemasbulkingandominousasdangerousanimals
seeninthe
shadowsofadarkforest.Theywerejerkedaboutlikepuppets,
havingonlythe
vaguestnotionswhy.Thethoughtbroughtherdangerouslycloseto
tearsagain,
andwhileshefoughtthemoffsheleanedover,pickedupthe
disabledglider,
andturneditoverinherhands.
"Yourdaddywascoachingthedebateteam,Danny.Doyou
rememberthat?"
"Sure,"hesaid."Argumentsforfun,right?"
"Right."Sheturnedtheglideroverandover,lookingatthe
tradename
(SPEEDOGLIDE)andthebluestardecalsonthewings,andfound
herselftelling
theexacttruthtoherson.
"TherewasaboynamedGeorgeHatfieldthatDaddyhadtocut
fromtheteam.
Thatmeanshewasn'tasgoodassomeoftheothers.Georgesaid
yourdaddycut
himbecausehedidn'tlikehimandnotbecausehewasn'tgood
enough.Then
Georgedidabadthing.Ithinkyouknowaboutthat."
"Washetheonewhoputtheholesinourbug'stires?"
"Yes,hewas.Itwasafterschoolandyourdaddycaughthim
doingit."Nowshe
hesitatedagain,buttherewasnoquestionofevasionnow;itwas
reducedto
tellthetruthortellalie.
"Yourdaddy...sometimeshedoesthingshe'ssorryfor
later.Sometimeshe
doesn'tthinkthewayheshould.Thatdoesn'thappenveryoften,
butsometimes
itdoes."
"DidhehurtGeorgeHatfieldlikethetimeIspilledallhis
papers?"
Sometimes
(Dannywithhisarminacast)
hedoesthingshe'ssorryforlater.
Wendyblinkedhereyessavagelyhard,drivinghertearsallthe
wayback.
"Somethinglikethat,honey.YourdaddyhitGeorgetomakehim
stopcutting
thetiresandGeorgehithishead.Thenthemenwhoareincharge
oftheschool
saidthatGeorgecouldn'tgothereanymoreandyourdaddy
couldn'tteachthere
anymore."Shestopped,outofwords,andwaitedindreadforthe
delugeof
questions.
"Oh,"Dannysaid,andwentbacktolookingupthestreet.
Apparentlythe
subjectwasclosed.Ifonlyitcouldbeclosedthateasilyfor
her
Shestoodup."I'mgoingupstairsforacupoftea,doc.Wanta
coupleof
cookiesandaglassofmilk?"
"IthinkI'llwatchforDad."
"Idon'tthinkhe'llbehomemuchbeforefive."
"Maybehe'llbeearly."
"Maybe,"sheagreed."Maybehewill."
Shewashalfwayupthewalkwhenhecalled,"Mommy?"
"What,Danny?"
"Doyouwanttogoandliveinthathotelforthewinter?"
Now,whichoffivethousandanswersshouldshegivetothat
one?Thewayshe
hadfeltyesterdayorlastnightorthismorning?Theywereall
different,they
crossedthespectrumfromrosypinktodeadblack.
Shesaid:"Ifit'swhatyourfatherwants,it'swhatIwant."
Shepaused.
"Whataboutyou?"
"IguessIdo,"hesaidfinally."Nobodymuchtoplaywith
aroundhere."
"Youmissyourfriends,don'tyou?"
"SometimesImissScottandAndy.That'saboutall."
Shewentbacktohimandkissedhim,rumpledhislightcolored
hairthatwas
justlosingitsbabyfineness.Hewassuchasolemnlittleboy,
andsometimes
shewonderedjusthowhewassupposedtosurvivewithherand
Jackforparents.
Thehighhopestheyhadbegunwithcamedowntothisunpleasant
apartment
buildinginacitytheydidn'tknow.TheimageofDannyinhis
castroseup
beforeheragain.SomebodyintheDivinePlacementServicehad
madeamistake,
oneshesometimesfearedcouldneverbecorrectedandwhichonly
themost
innocentbystandercouldpayfor.
"Stayoutoftheroad,doc,"shesaid,andhuggedhimtight.
"Sure,Mom."
Shewentupstairsandintothekitchen.Sheputontheteapot
andlaida
coupleofOreosonaplateforDannyincasehedecidedtocome
upwhileshewas
lyingdown.Sittingatthetablewithherbigpotterycupin
frontofher,she
lookedoutthewindowathim,stillsittingonthecurbinhis
bluejeansandhis
oversizeddarkgreenStovingtonPrepsweatshirt,theglidernow
lyingbeside
him.Thetearswhichhadthreatenedalldaynowcameina
cloudburstandshe
leanedintothefragrant,curlingsteamoftheteaandwept.In
griefandloss
forthepast,andterrorofthefuture.

<<3>>

WATSON
Youlostyourtemper,Ullmanhadsaid.
"Okay,here'syourfurnace,"Watsonsaid,turningonalightin
thedark,
mustysmellingroom.Hewasabeefymanwithfluffypopcornhair,
whiteshirt,
anddarkgreenchinos.Heswungopenasmallsquaregratingin
thefurnace's
bellyandheandJackpeeredintogether."Thishere'sthepilot
light."A
steadybluewhitejethissingsteadilyupwardchanneled
destructiveforce,but
thekeyword,Jackthought,wasdestructiveandnotchanneled:if
youstuckyour
handinthere,thebarbecuewouldhappeninthreequickseconds.
Lostyourtemper.
(Danny,areyouallright?)
Thefurnacefilledtheentireroom,byfarthebiggestand
oldestJackhad
everseen.
"Thepilot'sgotafailsafe,"Watsontoldhim."Littlesensor
inthere
measuresheat.Iftheheatfallsbelowacertainpoint,itsets
offabuzzerin
yourquarters.Boiler'sontheothersideofthewall.I'lltake
youaround."He
slammedthegratingshutandledJackbehindtheironbulkofthe
furnacetoward
anotherdoor.Theironradiatedastuporousheatatthem,andfor
somereason
Jackthoughtofalarge,dozingcat.Watsonjingledhiskeysand
whistled.
Lostyour
(WhenhewentbackintohisstudyandsawDannystandingthere,
wearing
nothingbuthistrainingpantsandagrin,aslow,redcloudof
ragehad
eclipsedJack'sreason.Ithadseemedslowsubjectively,inside
hishead,butit
musthaveallhappenedinlessthanaminute.Itonlyseemedslow
thewaysome
dreamsseemslow.Thebadones.Everydooranddrawerinhis
studyseemedto
havebeenransackedinthetimehehadbeengone.Closet,
cupboards,thesliding
bookcase.Everydeskdraweryankedouttothestop.His
manuscript,thethree
actplayhehadbeenslowlydevelopingfromanovelettehehad
writtenseven
yearsagoasanundergraduate,wasscatteredalloverthefloor.
Hehadbeen
drinkingabeeranddoingtheActIIcorrectionswhenWendysaid
thephonewas
forhim,andDannyhadpouredthecanofbeeralloverthepages.
Probablyto
seeitfoam.Seeitfoam,seeitfoam,thewordsplayedoverand
overinhis
mindlikeasinglesickchordonanoutoftunepiano,completing
thecircuitof
hisrage.Hesteppeddeliberatelytowardhisthreeyearoldson,
whowaslooking
upathimwiththatpleasedgrin,hispleasureatthejobofwork
so
successfullyandrecentlycompletedinDaddy'sstudy;Dannybegan
tosay
somethingandthatwaswhenhehadgrabbedDanny'shandandbent
ittomakehim
dropthetypewritereraserandthemechanicalpencilhewas
clenchinginit.
Dannyhadcriedoutalittle...no...no...tellthe
truth...he
screamed.Itwasallhardtorememberthroughthefogofanger,
thesicksingle
thumpofthatoneSpikeJoneschord.Wendysomewhere,askingwhat
waswrong.Her
voicefaint,dampedbytheinnermist.Thiswasbetweenthetwo
ofthem.Hehad
whirledDannyaroundtospankhim,hisbigadultfingersdigging
intothescant
meatoftheboy'sforearm,meetingarounditinaclosedfist,
andthesnapof
thebreakingbonehadnotbeenloud,notloudbutithadbeen
veryloud,HUGE,
butnotloud.Justenoughofasoundtoslitthroughtheredfog
likeanarrow
butinsteadoflettinginsunlight,thatsoundletinthedark
cloudsofshame
andremorse,theterror,theagonizingconvulsionofthespirit.
Acleansound
withthepastononesideofitandallthefutureontheother,
asoundlikea
breakingpencilleadorasmallpieceofkindlingwhenyou
broughtitdownover
yourknee.Amomentofuttersilenceontheotherside,in
respecttothe
beginningfuturemaybe,alltherestofhislife.SeeingDanny's
facedrainof
coloruntilitwaslikecheese,seeinghiseyes,alwayslarge,
growlarger
still,andglassy,Jacksuretheboywasgoingtofaintdeadaway
intothe
puddleofbeerandpapers;hisownvoice,weakanddrunk,slurry,
tryingtotake
itallback,tofindawayaroundthatnottooloudsoundofbone
crackingand
intothepastisthereastatusquointhehouse?saying:
Danny,areyouall
right?Danny'sansweringshriek,thenWendy'sshockedgaspasshe
camearound
themandsawthepeculiarangleDanny'sforearmhadtohiselbow;
noarmwas
meanttohangquitethatwayinaworldofnormalfamilies.Her
ownscreamas
sheswepthimintoherarms,andanonsensebabble:OhGodDanny
ohdearGodoh
sweetGodyourpoorsweetarm;andJackwasstandingthere,
stunnedandstupid,
tryingtounderstandhowathinglikethiscouldhavehappened.
Hewasstanding
thereandhiseyesmettheeyesofhiswifeandhesawthatWendy
hatedhim.It
didnotoccurtohimwhatthehatemightmeaninpracticalterms;
itwasonly
laterthatherealizedshemighthavelefthimthatnight,gone
toamotel,
gottenadivorcelawyerinthemorning;orcalledthepolice.He
sawonlythat
hiswifehatedhimandhefeltstaggeredbyit,allalone.He
feltawful.This
waswhatoncomingdeathfeltlike.Thenshefledforthe
telephoneanddialed
thehospitalwiththeirscreamingboywedgedinthecrookofher
armandJack
didnotgoafterher,heonlystoodintheruinsofhisoffice,
smellingbeer
andthinking)
Youlostyourtemper.
HerubbedhishandharshlyacrosshislipsandfollowedWatson
intotheboiler
room.Itwashumidinhere,butitwasmorethanthehumidity
thatbroughtthe
sickandslimysweatontohisbrowandstomachandlegs.The
rememberingdid
that,itwasatotalthingthatmadethatnighttwoyearsago
seemliketwo
hoursago.Therewasnolag.Itbroughttheshameandrevulsion
back,thesense
ofhavingnoworthatall,andthatfeelingalwaysmadehimwant
tohavea
drink,andthewantingofadrinkbroughtstillblackerdespair
wouldheever
haveanhour,notaweekorevenaday,mindyou,butjustone
wakinghourwhen
thecravingforadrinkwouldn'tsurprisehimlikethis?
"Theboiler,"Watsonannounced.Hepulledaredandblue
bandannafromhis
backpocket,blewhisnosewithadecisivehonk,andthrustit
backoutofsight
afterashortpeekintoittoseeifhehadgottenanything
interesting.
Theboilerstoodonfourcementblocks,alongandcylindrical
metaltank,
copperjacketedandoftenpatched.Itsquattedbeneatha
confusionofpipesand
ductswhichzigzaggedupwardintothehigh,cobwebfestooned
basementceiling.
ToJack'sright,twolargeheatingpipescamethroughthewall
fromthefurnace
intheadjoiningroom.
"Pressuregaugeishere."Watsontappedit."Poundspersquare
inch,psi.I
guessyou'dknowthat.Igotheruptoahundrednow,andthe
roomsgetalittle
chillyatnight.Fewguestscomplain,whatthefuck.They're
crazytocomeup
hereinSeptemberanyway.Besides,thisisanoldbaby.Gotmore
patchesonher
thanapairofwelfareoveralls."Outcamethebandanna.Ahonk.
Apeek.Backit
went.
"Igotmeafuckincold,"Watsonsaidconversationally."Iget
oneevery
September.Ibetinkeringdownherewiththisoldwhore,thenI
beoutcuttin
thegrassorrakinthatroguecourt.Getachillandcatcha
cold,myoldmum
usedtosay.Godblessher,shebeendeadsixyear.Thecancer
gother.Oncethe
cancergetsyou,youmightaswellmakeyourwill.
"You'llwanttokeepyourpressuptonomorethanfifty,maybe
sixty.Mr.
Ullman,besaystoheatthewestwingoneday,centralwingthe
next,eastwing
thedayafterthat.Ain'theacrazyman?Ihatethatlittle
fucker.Yapyapyap
allthelivelongday,he'sjustlikeoneathoselittledogsthat
bitesyouon
theanklethenrunaroundanpeeallovertherug.Ifbrainswas
blackpowderhe
couldn'tblowhisownnose.It'sapitythethingsyouseewhen
youain'tgota
gun.
"Lookhere.Youopenanclosetheseducksbypullinthese
rings.Igotemall
markedforyou.Thebluetagsallgototheroomsintheeast
wing.Redtagsis
themiddle.Yellowisthewestwing.Whenyougotoheatthewest
wing,yougot
torememberthat'sthesideofthehotelthatreallycatchesthe
weather.When
itwhoops,thoseroomsgetascoldasafrigidwomanwithanice
cubeupher
works.Youcanrunyourpressallthewaytoeightyonwestwing
days.Iwould,
anyway."
"Thethermostatsupstairs"Jackbegan.
Watsonshookhisbeadvehemently,makinghisfluffyhairbounce
onhisskull.
"Theyain'thookedup.They'rejustthereforshow.Someofthese
peoplefrom
California,theydon'tthinkthingsisrightunlesstheygotit
hotenoughto
growapalmtreeintheirfuckinbedroom.Alltheheatcomesfrom
downhere.Got
towatchthepress,though.Seehercreep?"
Hetappedthemaindial,whichhadcreptfromahundredpounds
persquareinch
toahundredandtwoasWatsonsoliloquized.Jackfeltasudden
shivercrosshis
backinahurryandthought:Thegoosejustwalkedovermygrave.
ThenWatson
gavethepressurewheelaspinanddumpedtheboileroff:There
wasagreat
hissing,andtheneedledroppedbacktoninetyone.Watson
twistedthevalve
shutandthehissingdiedreluctantly.
"Shecreeps,"Watsonsaid."Youtellthatfatlittlepeckerwood
Ullman,he
dragsouttheaccountbooksandspendsthreehoursshowinghowhe
can'tafforda
newoneuntil1982.Itellyou,thiswholeplaceisgonnagosky
highsomeday,
andIjusthopethatfatfuck'sheretoridetherocket.God,I
wishIcouldbe
ascharitableasmymotherwas.Shecouldseethegoodin
everyone.Me,I'mjust
asmeanasasnakewiththeshingles.Whatthefuck,amancan't
helphis
nature.
"Nowyougottoremembertocomedownheretwiceadayandonce
atnight
beforeyourackin.Yougottocheckthepress.Ifyouforget,
it'lljustcreep
andcreepandlikeasnotyouanyourfambly'llwakeuponthe
fuckinmoon.You
justdumpheroffalittleandyou'llhavenotrouble."
"What'stopend?"
"Oh,she'sratedfortwofifty,butshe'dblowlongbeforethat
now.You
couldn'tgetmetocomedownanstandnexttoherwhenthatdial
wasuptoone
hundredandeighty."
"There'snoautomaticshutdown?"
"No,thereain't.Thiswasbuiltbeforesuchthingswere
required.Federal
government'sintoeverythingthesedays,ain'tit?FBIopenin
mail,CIAbuggin
thegoddamphones...andlookwhathappenedtothatNixon.
Wasn'tthata
sorrysight?
"Butifyoujustcomedownhereregularancheckthepress,
you'llbefine.An
remembertoswitchthoseducksaroundlikehewants.Won'tnone
oftheroomsget
muchabovefortyfiveunlesswehaveanamazinwarmwinter.And
you'llhaveyour
ownapartmentjustaswarmasyoulikeit."
"Whatabouttheplumbing?"
"Okay,Iwasjustgettingtothat.Overherethroughthis
arch."
Theywalkedintoalong,rectangularroomthatseemedto
stretchformiles.
Watsonpulledacordandasingleseventyfivewattbulbcasta
sickish,swinging
glowovertheareatheywerestandingin.Straightaheadwasthe
bottomofthe
elevatorshaft,heavygreasedcablesdescendingtopulleystwenty
feetin
diameterandahuge,greasecloggedmotor.Newspaperswere
everywhere,bundled
andbandedandboxed.OthercartonsweremarkedRecordsor
InvoicesorReceipts
SAV$1Thesmellwasyellowandmoldy.Someofthecartonswere
fallingapart,
spillingyellowflimsysheetsthatmighthavebeentwentyyears
oldoutontothe
floor.Jackstaredaround,fascinated.TheOverlook'sentire
historymightbe
here,buriedintheserottingcartons.
"Thatelevator'sabitchtokeeprunnin,"Watsonsaid,jerking
histhumbat
it."IknowUllman'sbuyingthestateelevatorinspectorafew
fancydinnersto
keeptherepairmanawayfromthatfucker.
"Now,here'syourcentralplumbincore."Infrontofthemfive
largepipes,
eachofthemwrappedininsulationandcinchedwithsteelbands,
roseintothe
shadowsandoutofsight.
Watsonpointedtoacobwebbyshelfbesidetheutilityshaft.
Therewerea
numberofgreasyragsonit,andalooseleafbinder."Thatthere
isallyour
plumbinschematics,"hesaid."Idon'tthinkyou'llhaveany
troublewith
leaksneverhasbeenbutsometimesthepipesfreezeup.Only
waytostopthat
istorunthefaucetsalittlebitdurinthenights,butthere's
overfour
hundredtapsinthisfuckinpalace.Thatfatfairyupstairswould
screamallthe
waytoDenverwhenhesawthewaterbill.Ain'tthatright?"
"I'dsaythat'saremarkablyastuteanalysis."
Watsonlookedathimadmiringly."Say,youreallyareacollege
fellaaren't
you?Talkjustlikeabook.Iadmirethat,aslongasthefella
ain'toneof
thosefairyboys.Lotsofemare.Youknowwhostirredupall
thosecollege
riotsafewyearsago?Thehommasexshuls,that'swho.Theyget
frustratedan
havetocutloose.Cominoutofthecloset,theycallit.Holy
shit,Idon't
knowwhattheworld'scominto.
"Now,ifshefreezes,shemostlikelygonnafreezerightupin
thisshaft.No
heat,yousee.Ifithappens,usethis."Hereachedintoabroken
orangecrate
andproducedasmallgastorch.
"Youjustunstraptheinsulationwhenyoufindtheiceplugand
puttheheat
righttoher.Getit?"
"Yes.Butwhatifapipefreezesoutsidetheutilitycore?"
"Thatwon'thappenifyou'redoinyourjobandkeepintheplace
heated.You
can'tgettotheotherpipesanyway.Don'tyoufretaboutit.
You'llhaveno
trouble.Beastlyplacedownhere.Cobwebby.Givesmethehorrors,
itdoes."
"Ullmansaidthefirstwintercaretakerkilledhisfamilyand
himself."
"Yeah,thatguyGrady.Hewasabadactor,Iknewthatthe
minuteIsawhim.
Alwaysgrinninlikeaneggsuckdog.Thatwaswhentheywerejust
startinout
hereandthatfatfuckUllman,hewouldahiredtheBoston
Stranglerifhe'd've
workedforminimumwage.WasarangerfromtheNationalParkthat
foundem;the
phonewasout.Allofemupinthewestwingonthethirdfloor,
frozesolid.
Toobadaboutthelittlegirls.Eightandsix,theywas.Cuteas
cutbuttons.
Oh,thatwasahellofamess.ThatUllman,hemanagessome
honkytonkyresort
placedowninFloridaintheoffseason,andhecaughtaplaneup
toDenverand
hiredasleightotakehimupherefromSidewinderbecausethe
roadswere
closedasleigh,canyoubelievethat?Heaboutsplitagut
tryintokeepit
outofthepapers.Didprettywell,Igottogivehimthat.There
wasanitemin
theDenverPost,andofcoursethebituaryinthatpissantlittle
ragtheyhave
downinEstesPark,butthatwasjustaboutall.Prettygood,
considerinthe
reputationthisplacehasgot.Iexpectedsomereporterwoulddig
itallup
againandjustsortaputGradyinitasanexcusetorakeover
thescandals."
"Whatscandals?"
Watsonshrugged."Anybighotelshavegotscandals,"hesaid.
"Justlikeevery
bighotelhasgotaghost.Why?Hell,peoplecomeandgo.
Sometimesoneofem
willpopoffinhisroom,heartattackorstrokeorsomething
likethat.Hotels
aresuperstitiousplaces.Nothirteenthfloororroomthirteen,
nomirrorson
thebackofthedooryoucomeinthrough,stufflikethat.Why,
welostalady
justthislastJuly.Ullmanhadtotakecareofthat,andyoucan
betyourass
hedid.That'swhattheypayhimtwentytwothousandbucksa
seasonfor,andas
muchasIdislikethelittleprick,heearnsit.It'slikesome
peoplejustcome
heretothrowupandtheyhireaguylikeUllmantocleanupthe
messes.Here's
thiswoman,mustbesixtyfuckinyearsoldmyage!andher
hair'sdyedjustas
redasawhore'sstoplight,titssagginjustaboutdowntoher
bellybuttonon
accountofsheain'twearinnobrassyear,bigvarycoarseveins
allupanddown
herlegssotheylooklikeacoupleofgoddamroadmaps,thejools
drippinoff
herneckandarmsanhanginoutherears.Andshe'sgotthiskid
withher,he
can'tbenomorethanseventeen,withhairdowntohisasshole
andhiscrotch
bulgin'likehestuffeditwiththefunnypages.Sothey'reherea
week,tendays
maybe,andeverynightit'sthesamedrill.DownintheColorado
Loungefrom
fivetoseven,hersuckinupsingaporeslingslikethey'regonna
outlawem
tomorrowandhimwithjusttheonebottleofOlympia,suckinit,
makinitlast.
Andshe'dbemakinjokesandsayinallthesewittythings,and
everytimeshe
saidonehe'dgrinjustlikeafuckinape,likeshehadstrings
tiedtothe
cornersofhismouth.Onlyafterafewdaysyoucouldseeitwas
gettinharder
anharderforhimtogrin,andGodknowswhathehadtothink
abouttogethis
pumpprimedbybedtime.Well,they'dgoinfordinner,himwalkin
andher
staggerin,drunkasacoot,youknow,andhe'dbepinchinthe
waitressesand
grinninatemwhenshewasn'tlookin.Hell,weevenhadbetson
howlonghe'd
last."
Watsonshrugged.
"Thenhecomesdownonenightaroundten,sayinhis'wife'is
'indisposed'
whichmeantshewaspassedoutagainlikeeveryothernightthey
wasthereand
he'sgointogethersomestomachmedicine.Sooffhegoesinthe
littlePorsche
theycomein,andthat'sthelastweseeofhim.Nextmorningshe
comesdownand
triestoputonthisbigact,butalldayshe'sgettinpaleran
paler,andMr.
Ullmanasksher,sortadiplomaticlike,wouldshelikehimto
notifythestate
cops,justincasemaybehehadalittleaccidentorsomething.
She'sonhim
likeacat.Nonono,he'safinedriver,sheisn'tworried,
everything'sunder
control,he'llbebackfordinner.Sothatafternoonshesteps
intotheColorado
aroundthreeandneverhasnodinneratall.Shegoesuptoher
roomaroundten
thirty,andthat'sthelasttimeanybodysawheralive."
"Whathappened?"
"Countycoronersaidshetookaboutthirtysleepinpillsontop
ofallthe
booze.Herhusbandshowedupthenextday,somebigshotlawyer
fromNewYork.
HegaveoldUllmanfourdifferentshadesofholyhell.I'llsue
thisanI'llsue
thatanwhenI'mthroughyouwon'tevenbeabletofindaclean
pairof
underwear,stufflikethat.ButUllman'sgood,thesucker.Ullman
gothim
quieteddown.Probablyaskedthatbigshothowhe'dliketosee
hiswifesplashed
allovertheNewYorkpapers:WifeofProminentNewYorkBlah
BlahFoundDead
WithBellyfulofSleepingPills.Afterplayinghidethesalami
withakidyoung
enoughtobehergrandson.
"ThestatecopsfoundthePorscheinthebackofthisallnight
burgerjoint
downinLyons,andUllmanpulledafewstringstogetitreleased
tothat
lawyer.ThenbothofthemgangeduponoldArcherHoughton,which
isthecounty
coroner,andgothimtochangetheverdicttoaccidentaldeath.
Heartattack.
NowoleArcher'sdrivingaChrysler.Idon'tbegrudgehim.A
man'sgottotake
itwherehefindsit,especiallywhenhestartsgettinalongin
years."
Outcamethebandanna.Honk.Peek.Outofsight.
"Sowhathappens?Aboutaweeklaterthisstupidcuntofa
chambermaid,
DeloresVickerybyname,shegivesoutwithahelluvashriek
whileshe'smakin
uptheroomwherethosetwostayed,andshefaintsdeadaway.
Whenshecomesto
shesayssheseenthedeadwomaninthebathroom,layinnakedin
thetub.'Her
facewasallpurpleanpuffy.'shesays,'anshewasgrinninat
me.'SoUllman
gavehertwoweeks'worthofwalkingpapersandtoldhertoget
lost.Ifigure
there'smaybefortyfiftypeoplediedinthishotelsincemy
grandfatheropened
itforbusinessin1910."
HelookedshrewdlyatJack.
"Youknowhowmostofemgo?Heartattackorstroke,while
they'rebanginthe
ladythey'rewith.That'swhattheseresortsgetalotof,old
typesthatwant
onelastfling.Theycomeupheretothemountainstopretend
they'retwenty
again.Sometimessomethingives,andnotalltheguyswhoran
thisplacewasas
goodasUllmanisatkeepinitoutofthepapers.Sothe
Overlook'sgota
reputation,yeah.I'llbetthefuckinBiltmoreinNewYorkCity
hasgota
reputation,ifyouasktherightpeople."
"Butnoghosts?"
"Mr.Torrance,I'veworkedhereallmylife.Iplayedherewhen
Iwasakidno
older'nyourboyinthatwalletsnapshotyoushowedme.Inever
seenaghost
yet.Youwanttocomeoutbackwithme,I'llshowyouthe
equipmentshed."
"Fine."
AsWatsonreacheduptoturnoffthelight,Jacksaid,"There
surearealot
ofpapersdownhere."
"Oh,you'renotkiddin.Seemsliketheygobackathousand
years.Newspapers
andoldinvoicesandbillsofladingandChristknowswhatelse.
Mydadusedto
keepupwiththemprettygoodwhenwehadtheoldwoodburning
furnace,butnow
they'vegotalloutofhand.SomeyearIgottogetaboytohaul
themdownto
Sidewinderandburnem.IfUllmanwillstandtheexpense.Iguess
hewillifI
holler`rat'loudenough."
"Thentherearerats?"
"Yeah,Iguessthere'ssome.IgotthetrapsandthepoisonMr.
Ullmanwants
youtouseupintheatticanddownhere.Youkeepagoodeyeon
yourboy,Mr.
Torrance.Youwouldn'twantnothingtohappentohim."
"No,Isurewouldn't."ComingfromWatsontheadvicedidn't
sting.
Theywenttothestairsandpausedthereforamomentwhile
Watsonblewhis
noseagain.
"You'llfindallthetoolsyouneedoutthereandsomeyou
don't,Iguess.And
there'stheshingles.DidUllmantellyouaboutthat?"
"Yes,hewantspartofthewestroofreshingled."
"Hellgetalltheforfreeoutofyouthathecan,thefat
littleprick,and
thenwhinearoundinthespringabouthowyoudidn'tdothejob
halfright.I
toldhimoncerighttohisface,Isaid..."
Watson'swordsfadedawaytoacomfortingdroneastheymounted
thestairs.
JackTorrancelookedbackoverhisshoulderonceintothe
impenetrable,musty
smellingdarknessandthoughtthatiftherewaseveraplacethat
shouldhave
ghosts,thiswasit.HethoughtofGrady,lockedinbythesoft,
implacable
snow,goingquietlyberserkandcommittinghisatrocity.Didthey
scream?he
wondered.PoorGrady,feelingitcloseinonhimmoreeveryday,
andknowingat
lastthatforhimspringwouldnevercome.Heshouldn'thavebeen
here.Andhe
shouldn'thavelosthistemper.
AshefollowedWatsonthroughthedoor,thewordsechoedback
tohimlikea
knell,accompaniedbyasharpsnaplikeabreakingpencillead.
DearGod,he
coulduseadrink.Orathousandofthem.

<<4>>
SHADOWLAND

Dannyweakenedandwentupforhismilkandcookiesatquarter
pastfour.He
gobbledthemwhilelookingoutthewindow,thenwentintokiss
hismother,who
waslyingdown.Shesuggestedthathestayinandwatch"Sesame
Street"the
timewouldpassfasterbutheshookhisheadfirmlyandwent
backtohisplace
onthecurb.
Nowitwasfiveo'clock,andalthoughhedidn'thaveawatch
andcouldn'ttell
timetoowellyetanyway,hewasawareofpassingtimebythe
lengtheningofthe
shadows,andbythegoldencastthatnowtingedtheafternoon
light.
Turningtheglideroverinhishands,hesangunderhisbreath:
"Skiptom
Lou,nIdon'tcare...skiptomLou,nIdon'tcare...my
master'sgone
away...Lou,Lou,skiptoInLou..."
TheyhadsungthatsongalltogetherattheJackandJill
NurserySchoolhe
hadgonetobackinStovington.Hedidn'tgotonurseryschool
outherebecause
Daddycouldn'taffordtosendhimanymore.Heknewhismotherand
fatherworried
aboutthat,worriedthatitwasaddingtohisloneliness(and
evenmoredeeply,
unspokenbetweenthem,thatDannyblamedthem),buthedidn't
reallywanttogo
tothatoldJackandJillanymore.Itwasforbabies.Hewasn't
quiteabigkid
yet,buthewasn'tababyanymore.Bigkidswenttothebig
schoolandgotahot
lunch.Firstgrade.Nextyear.Thisyearwassomeplacebetween
beingababyand
arealkid.Itwasallright.HedidmissScottandAndymostly
Scottbutitwas
stillallright.Itseemedbesttowaitaloneforwhatevermight
happennext.
Heunderstoodagreatmanythingsabouthisparents,andhe
knewthatmany
timestheydidn'tlikehisunderstandingsandmanyothertimes
refusedto
believethem.Butsomedaytheywouldhavetobelieve.Hewas
contenttowait.
Itwastoobadtheycouldn'tbelievemore,though,especially
attimeslike
now.Mommywaslyingonherbedintheapartment,justabout
cryingshewasso
worriedaboutDaddy.Someofthethingsshewasworriedabout
weretoogrownup
forDannytounderstandvaguethingsthathadtodowith
security,withDaddy's
selfimagefeelingsofguiltandangerandthefearofwhatwasto
becomeof
thembutthetwomainthingsonhermindrightnowwerethat
Daddyhadhada
breakdowninthemountains(thenwhydoesn'thecall?)orthat
Daddyhadgone
offtodotheBadThing.DannyknewperfectlywellwhattheBad
Thingwassince
ScottyAaronson,whowassixmonthsolder,hadexplaineditto
him.Scottyknew
becausehisdaddydidtheBadThing,too.Once,Scottytoldhim,
hisdaddyhad
punchedhismomrightintheeyeandknockedherdown.Finally,
Scotty'sdadand
momhadgottenaDIVORCEovertheBadThing,andwhenDannyhad
knownhim,
Scottylivedwithhismotherandonlysawhisdaddyonweekends.
Thegreatest
terrorofDanny'slifewasDIVORCE,awordthatalwaysappeared
inhismindasa
signpaintedinredletterswhichwerecoveredwithhissing,
poisonoussnakes.
InDIVORCE,yourparentsnolongerlivedtogether.Theyhadatug
ofwarover
youinacourt(tenniscourt?badmintoncourt?Dannywasn'tsure
whichorifit
wassomeother,butMommyandDaddyhadplayedbothtennisand
badmintonat
Stovington,soheassumeditcouldbeeither)andyouhadtogo
withoneofthem
andyoupracticallyneversawtheotherone,andtheoneyouwere
withcould
marrysomebodyyoudidn'tevenknowiftheurgecameonthem.The
most
terrifyingthingaboutDIVORCEwasthathehadsensedthewordor
concept,or
whateveritwasthatcametohiminhisunderstandingsfloating
aroundinhis
ownparents'heads,sometimesdiffuseandrelativelydistant,
sometimesasthick
andobscuringandfrighteningasthunderheads.Ithadbeenthat
wayafterDaddy
punishedhimformessingthepapersupinhisstudyandthe
doctorhadtoput
hisarminacast.Thatmemorywasalreadyfaded,butthememory
oftheDIVORCE
thoughtswasclearandterrifying.Ithadmostlybeenaroundhis
mommythat
time,andhehadbeeninconstantterrorthatshewouldpluckthe
wordfromher
brainanddragitoutofhermouth,makingitreal.DIVORCE.It
wasaconstant
undercurrentintheirthoughts,oneofthefewhecouldalways
pickup,likethe
beatofsimplemusic.Butlikeabeat,thecentralthoughtformed
onlythespine
ofmorecomplexthoughts,thoughtshecouldnotasyetevenbegin
tointerpret.
Theycametohimonlyascolorsandmoods.Mommy'sDIVORCE
thoughtscentered
aroundwhatDaddyhaddonetohisarm,andwhathadhappenedat
Stovingtonwhen
Daddylosthisjob.Thatboy.ThatGeorgeHatfieldwhogotpissed
offatDaddy
andputtheholesintheirbug'sfeet.Daddy'sDIVORCEthoughts
weremore
complex,coloreddarkvioletandshotthroughwithfrightening
veinsofpure
black.Heseemedtothinktheywouldbebetteroffifheleft.
Thatthingswould
stophurting.Hisdaddyhurtalmostallthetime,mostlyabout
theBadThing.
Dannycouldalmostalwayspickthatuptoo:Daddy'sconstant
cravingtogointo
adarkplaceandwatchacolorTVandeatpeanutsoutofabowl
anddotheBad
Thinguntilhisbrainwouldbequietandleavehimalone.
Butthisafternoonhismotherhadnoneedtoworryandhe
wishedhecouldgo
toherandtellherthat.Thebughadnotbrokendown.Daddywas
notoff
somewheredoingtheBadThing.Hewasalmosthomenow,put
puttingalongthe
highwaybetweenLyonsandBoulder.Forthemomenthisdaddy
wasn'teventhinking
abouttheBadThing.Hewasthinkingabout...about...
Dannylookedfurtivelybehindhimatthekitchenwindow.
Sometimesthinking
veryhardmadesomethinghappentohim.Itmadethingsreal
thingsgoaway,
andthenhesawthingsthatweren'tthere.Once,notlongafter
theyputthe
castonhisarm,thishadhappenedatthesuppertable.They
weren'ttalking
muchtoeachotherthen.Buttheywerethinking.Ohyes.The
thoughtsofDIVORCE
hungoverthekitchentablelikeacloudfullofblackrain,
pregnant,readyto
burst.Itwassobadhecouldn'teat.Thethoughtofeatingwith
allthatblack
DIVORCEaroundmadehimwanttothrowup.Andbecauseithad
seemeddesperately
important,hehadthrownhimselffullyintoconcentrationand
somethinghad
happened.Whenhecamebacktorealthings,hewaslyingonthe
floorwithbeans
andmashedpotatoesinhislapandhismommywasholdinghimand
cryingand
Daddyhadbeenonthephone.Hehadbeenfrightened,hadtriedto
explainto
themthattherewasnothingwrong.thatthissometimeshappened
tohimwhenhe
concentratedonunderstandingmorethanwhatnormallvcameto
him.Hetriedto
explainaboutTony,whotheycalledhis"invisibleplaymate."
Hisfatherhadsaid:"He'shavingaHaLooSinNation.Heseems
okay,butI
wantthedoctortolookathimanyway."
Afterthedoctorleft,Mommyhadmadehimpromisetoneverdo
thatagain,to
neverscarethemthatway,andDannyhadagreed.Hewas
frightenedhimself.
Becausewhenhebadconcentratedhismind,ithadflownoutto
hisdaddy,and
forjustamoment,beforeTonyhadappeared(faraway,asbe
alwaysdid,calling
distantly)andthestrangethingshadblottedouttheirkitchen
andthecarved
roastontheblueplate,forjustamomenthisownconsciousness
hadplunged
throughhisdaddy'sdarknesstoanincomprehensiblewordmuch
morefrightening
thanDIVORCE,andthatwordwasSUICIDE.Dannyhadnevercome
acrossitagainin
hisdaddy'smind,andhehadcertainlynotgonelookingforit.
Hedidn'tcare
ifheneverfoundoutexactlywhatthatwordmeant.
Buthedidliketoconcentrate,becausesometimesTonywould
come.Notevery
time.Sometimesthingsjustgotwoozyandswimmyforaminuteand
thencleared
mosttimes,infactbutatothertimesTonywouldappearatthe
verylimitof
hisvision,callingdistantlyandbeckoning...
IthadhappenedtwicesincetheymovedtoBoulder,andhe
rememberedhow
surprisedandpleasedhehadbeentofindTonyhadfollowedhim
allthewayfrom
Vermont.Soallhisfriendshadn'tbeenleftbehindafterall.
Thefirsttimehehadbeenoutinthebackyardandnothing
muchhadhappened.
JustTonybeckoningandthendarknessandafewminuteslaterhe
hadcomeback
torealthingswithafewvaguefragmentsofmemory,likea
jumbleddream.The
secondtime,twoweeksago,hadbeenmoreinteresting.Tony,
beckoning,calling
fromfouryardsover:"Danny...comesee..."Itseemedthat
hewasgetting
up,thenfallingintoadeephole,likeAliceintoWonderland.
Thenhehadbeen
inthebasementoftheapartmenthouseandTonyhadbeenbeside
him,pointing
intotheshadowsatthetrunkhisdaddycarriedallhisimportant
papersin,
especially"THEPLAY."
"See?"Tonyhadsaidinhisdistant,musicalvoice."It'sunder
thestairs.
Rightunderthestairs.Themoversputitright...under...
thestairs."
Dannyhadsteppedforwardtolookmorecloselyatthismarvel
andthenhewas
fallingagain,thistimeoutofthebackyardswing,wherehehad
beensitting
allalong.Hehadgottenthewindknockedoutofhimself,too.
Threeorfourdayslaterhisdaddyhadbeenstompingaround,
tellingMommy
furiouslythathehadbeenalloverthegoddambasementandthe
trunkwasn't
thereandhewasgoingtosuethegoddammoverswhohadleftit
somewhere
betweenVermontandColorado.Howwashesupposedtobeableto
finish"THE
PLAY"ifthingslikethiskeptcroppingup?
Dannysaid,"No,Daddy.It'sunderthestairs.Themoversput
itrightunder
thestairs."
Daddyhadgivenhimastrangelookandhadgonedowntosee.
Thetrunkhad
beenthere,justwhereTonyhadshownhim.Daddyhadtakenhim
aside,hadsat
himonhislap,andhadaskedDannywholethimdowncellar.Had
itbeenTom
fromupstairs?Thecellarwasdangerous,Daddysaid.Thatwaswhy
thelandlord
keptitlocked.Ifsomeonewasleavingitunlocked,Daddywanted
toknow.Hewas
gladtohavehispapersandhis"PLAY"butitwouldn'tbeworth
ittohim,he
said,ifDannyfelldownthestairsandbrokehis...hisleg.
Dannytoldhis
fatherearnestlythathehadn'tbeendowninthecellar.That
doorwasalways
locked.AndMommyagreed.Dannyneverwentdowninthebackhall,
shesaid,
becauseitwasdampanddarkandspidery.Andhedidn'ttell
lies.
"Thenbowdidyouknow,doc?"Daddyasked.
"Tonyshowedme."
Hismotherandfatherhadexchangedalookoverhishead.This
hadhappened
before,fromtimetotime.Becauseitwasfrightening,theyswept
itquickly
fromtheirminds.ButbeknewtheyworriedaboutTony,Mommy
especially,andhe
wascarefulaboutthinkingthewaythatcouldmakeTonycome
whereshemight
see.Butnowhethoughtshewaslyingdown,notmovingaboutin
thekitchenyet,
andsoheconcentratedhardtoseeifhecouldunderstandwhat
Daddywas
thinkingabout.
Hisbrowfurrowedandhisslightlygrimyhandsclenchedinto
tightfistson
hisjeans.Hedidnotclosehiseyesthatwasn'tnecessarybuthe
squinchedthem
downtoslitsandimaginedDaddy'svoice,Jack'svoice,John
DanielTorrance's
voice,deepandsteady,sometimesquirkingupwithamusementor
deepeningeven
morewithangerorjuststayingsteadybecausehewasthinking.
Thinkingof.
Thinkingabout.Thinking..
(thinking)
Dannysighedquietlyandhisbodyslumpedonthecurbasifall
themuscles
hadgoneoutofit.Hewasfullyconscious;hesawthestreetand
thegirland
boywalkingupthesidewalkontheotherside,holdinghands
becausetheywere
(?inlove?)
sohappyaboutthedayandthemselvestogetherintheday.He
sawautumn
leavesblowingalongthegutter,yellowcartwheelsofirregular
shape.Hesaw
thehousetheywerepassingandnoticedhowtheroofwascovered
with
(shingles.iguessit'llbenoproblemiftheflashing'sok
yeahthat'llbe
allright.thatwatson.christwhatacharacter.wishtherewasa
placeforhim
in"THEPLAY."i'llendupwiththewholefuckinghumanracein
itifidon't
watchout.yeah.shingles.aretherenailsoutthere?ohshit
forgottoaskhim
wellthey'resimpletoget.sidewinderhardwarestore.wasps.
they'renesting
thistimeofyear.imightwanttogetoneofthosebugbombsin
casethey're
therewheniripuptheoldshingles.newshingles.old)
shingles.Sothat'swhathewasthinkingabout.Hehadgotten
thejobandwas
thinkingaboutshingles.Dannydidn'tknowwhoWatsonwas,but
everythingelse
seemedclearenough.Andhemightgettoseeawasps'nest.Just
assureashis
namewas
"Danny...Dannee..."
HelookedupandtherewasTony,farupthestreet,standingby
astopsign
andwaving.Danny,asalways,feltawarmburstofpleasureat
seeinghisold
friend,butthistimeheseemedtofeelaprickoffear,too,as
ifTonyhad
comewithsomedarknesshiddenbehindhisback.Ajarofwasps
whichwhen
releasedwouldstingdeeply.
Buttherewasnoquestionofnotgoing.
Heslumpedfurtherdownonthecurb,hishandsslidinglaxly
fromhisthighs
anddanglingbelowtheforkofhiscrotch.Hischinsankontohis
chest.Then
therewasadim,painlesstugaspartofhimgotupandranafter
Tonyinto
funnelingdarkness.
"Dannee"
Nowthedarknesswasshotwithswirlingwhiteness.Acoughing,
whoopingsound
andbending,torturedshadowsthatresolvedthemselvesintofir
treesatnight,
beingpushedbyascreaminggale.Snowswirledanddanced.Snow
everywhere.
"Toodeep,"Tonysaidfromthedarkness,andtherewasa
sadnessinhisvoice
thatterrifiedDanny."Toodeeptogetout."
Anothershape,looming,rearing.Hugeandrectangular.A
slopingroof.
Whitenessthatwasblurredinthestormydarkness.Manywindows.
Alongbuilding
withashingledroof.Someoftheshinglesweregreener,newer.
Hisdaddyput
themon.WithnailsfromtheSidewinderhardwarestore.Nowthe
snowwas
coveringtheshingles.Itwascoveringeverything.
Agreenwitchlightglowedintobeingonthefrontofthe
building,flickered,
andbecameagiant,grinningskullovertwocrossedbones:
"Poison,"Tonysaidfromthefloatingdarkness."Poison."
Othersignsflickeredpasthiseyes,someingreenletters,
someofthemon
boardsstuckatleaninganglesintothesnowdrifts.NOSWIMMING.
DANGER!LIVE
WIRES.THISPROPERTYCONDEMNED.HIGHVOLTAGE.THIRDRAIL.DANGER
OFDEATH.KEEP
OFF.KEEPOUT.NOTRESPASSING.VIOLATORSWILLBESHOTONSIGHT.
Heunderstood
noneofthemcompletelyhecouldn'tread!butgotasenseof
all,andadreamy
terrorfloatedintothedarkhollowsofhisbodylikelightbrown
sporesthat
woulddieinsunlight.
Theyfaded.Nowhewasinaroomfilledwithstrangefurniture,
aroomthat
wasdark.Snowspatteredagainstthewindowslikethrownsand.
Hismouthwas
dry,hiseyeslikehotmarbles,hishearttriphammeringinhis
chest.Outside
therewasahollowboomingnoise,likeadreadfuldoorbeing
thrownwide.
Footfalls.Acrosstheroomwasamirror,anddeepdowninits
silverbubblea
singlewordappearedingreenfireandthatwordwas:REDRUM.
Theroomfaded.Anotherroom.Heknew
(wouldknow)
thisone.Anoverturnedchair.Abrokenwindowwithsnow
swirlingin;already
ithadfrostedtheedgeoftherug.Thedrapeshadbeenpulled
freeandhungon
theirbrokenrodatanangle.Alowcabinetlyingonitsface.
Morehollowboomingnoises,steady,rhythmic,horrible.
Smashingglass.
Approachingdestruction.Ahoarsevoice,thevoiceofamadman,
madethemore
terriblebyitsfamiliarity:
Comeout!Cameout,youlittleshit!Takeyourmedicine!
Crash.Crash.Crash.Splinteringwood.Abellowofrageand
satisfaction.
REDRUM.Coming.
Driftingacrosstheroom.Picturestornoffthewalls.Arecord
player
(?Mommy'srecordplayer'!)
overturnedonthefloor.Herrecords,Grieg,Handel,the
Beatles,Art
Garfunkel,Bach,Liszt,throwneverywhere.Brokenintojagged
blackpiewedges.
Ashaftoflightcomingfromanotherroom,thebathroom,harsh
whitelightanda
wordflickeringonandoffinthemedicinecabinetmirrorlikea
redeye,
REDRUM,REDRUM,REDRUM
"No,"hewhispered."No,Tonyplease"
And,danglingoverthewhiteporcelainlipofthebathtub,a
hand.Limp.A
slowtrickleofblood(REDRUM)tricklingdownoneofthefingers,
thethird,
drippingontothetilefromthecarefullyshapednail
Noohnoohno
(ohplease,Tony,you'rescaringme)
REDRUMREDRUMREDRUM
(stopit,Tony,stopit)
Fading.
Inthedarknesstheboomingnoisesgrewlouder,louderstill,
echoing,
everywhere,allaround.
Andnowhewascrouchedinadarkhallway,crouchedonablue
rugwithariot
oftwistingblackshapeswovenintoitspile,listeningtothe
boomingnoises
approach,andnowaShapeturnedthecornerandbegantocome
towardhim,
lurching,smellingofbloodanddoom.Ithadamalletinonehand
anditwas
swingingit(REDRUM)fromsidetosideinviciousarcs,slamming
itintothe
walls,cuttingthesilkwallpaperandknockingoutghostlybursts
of
plasterdust:
Comeonandtakeyourmedicine!Takeitlikeaman!
TheShapeadvancingonhim,reekingofthatsweetsourodor,
gigantic,the
malletheadcuttingacrosstheairwithawickedhissingwhisper,
thenthegreat
hollowboomasitcrashedintothewall,sendingthedustoutin
apuffyou
couldsmell,dryanditchy.Tinyredeyesglowedinthedark.The
monsterwas
uponhim,ithaddiscoveredhim,coweringherewithablankwall
athisback.
Andthetrapdoorintheceilingwaslocked.
Darkness.Drifting.
"Tony,pleasetakemeback,please,please"
Andhewasback,sittingonthecurbofArapahoeStreet,his
shirtsticking
damplytohisback,hisbodybathedinsweat.Inhisearshe
couldstillhear
thathuge,contrapuntalboomingsoundandsmellhisownurineas
hevoided
himselfintheextremityofhisterror.Hecouldseethatlimp
handdangling
overtheedgeofthetubwithbloodrunningdownonefinger,the
third,andthat
inexplicablewordsomuchmorehorriblethananyoftheothers:
REDRUM.
Andnowsunshine.Realthings.ExceptforTony,nowsixblocks
up,onlya
speck,standingonthecorner,hisvoicefaintandhighand
sweet."Becareful,
doc..."
Then,inthenextinstant,TonywasgoneandDaddy'sbattered
redbugwas
turningthecornerandchatteringupthestreet,fartingblue
smokebehindit.
Dannywasoffthecurbinasecond,waving,jivingfromonefoot
totheother,
yelling:"Daddy!Hey,Dad!Hi!Hi!"
HisdaddyswungtheVWintothecurb,killedtheengine,and
openedthedoor.
Dannyrantowardhimandthenfroze,hiseyeswidening.Hisheart
crawledup
intothemiddleofhisthroatandfrozesolid.Besidehisdaddy,
intheother
frontseat,wasashorthandledmallet,itsheadclottedwith
bloodandhair.
Thenitwasjustabagofgroceries.
"Danny...youokay,doc?"
"Yeah.I'mokay."Hewenttohisdaddyandburiedhisfacein
Daddy's
sheepskinlineddenimjacketandhuggedhimtighttighttight.
Jackhuggedhim
back,slightlybewildered.
"Hey,youdon'twanttositinthesunlikethat,doc.You're
drippinsweat."
"IguessIfellasleepalittle.Iloveyou,Daddy.Ibeen
waiting."
"Iloveyoutoo,Dan.Ibroughthomesomestuff.Thinkyou're
bigenoughto
carryitupstairs?"
"Suream!"
"DocTorrance,theworld'sstroneestman,"Jacksaid,and
ruffledhishair.
"Whosehobbyisfallingasleeponstreetcorners."
ThentheywerewalkinguptothedoorandMommyhadcomedown
totheporchto
meetthemandhestoodonthesecondstepandwatchedthemkiss.
Theywereglad
toseeeachother.Lovecameoutofthemthewaylovehadcome
outoftheboy
andgirlwalkingupthestreetandholdinghands.Dannywasglad.
Thebagofgroceriesjustabagofgroceriescrackledinhis
arms.
Everythingwasallright.Daddywashome.Mommywaslovinghim.
Therewereno
badthings.AndnoteverythingTonyshowedhimalwayshappened.
Butfearhadsettledaroundhisheart,deepanddreadful,
aroundhisheartand
aroundthatindecipherablewordhehadseeninhisspirit's
mirror.

<<5>>

PHONEBOOTH

JackparkedtheVWinfrontoftheRexallintheTableMesa
shoppingcenter
andlettheenginedie.Hewonderedagainifheshouldn'tgo
aheadandgetthe
fuelpumpreplaced,andtoldhimselfagainthattheycouldn't
affordit.Ifthe
littlecarcouldkeeprunninguntilNovember,itcouldretire
withfullhonors
anyway.ByNovemberthesnowupthereinthemountainswouldbe
higherthanthe
beetle'sroof...maybehigherthanthreebeetlesstackedon
topofeach
other.
"Wantyoutostayinthecar,doe.I'llbringyouacandybar."
"Whycan'tIcomein?"
"Ihavetomakeaphonecall.It'sprivatestuff."
"Isthatwhyyoudidn'tmakeitathome?"
"Check."
Wendyhadinsistedonaphoneinspiteoftheirunraveling
finances.Shehad
arguedthatwithasmallchildespeciallyaboylikeDanny,who
sometimes
sufferedfromfaintingspellstheycouldn'taffordnottohave
one.SoJackhad
forkedoverthethirtydollarinstallationfee,badenough,anda
ninetydollar
securitydeposit,whichreallyhurt.Andsofarthephonehad
beenmuteexcept
fortwowrongnumbers.
"CanIhaveaBabyRuth,Daddy?"
"Yes.Yousitstillanddon'tplaywiththegearshift,right?"
"Right.I'lllookatthemaps."
"Youdothat."
AsJackgotout,Dannyopenedthebug'sgloveboxandtookout
thefive
batteredgasstationmaps:Colorado,Nebraska,Utah,Wyoming,New
Mexico.He
lovedroadmaps,lovedtotracewheretheroadswentwithhis
finger.Asfaras
hewasconcerned,newmapswerethebestpartofmovingWest.
Jackwenttothedrugstorecounter,gotDanny'scandybar,and
newspaper,and
acopyoftheOctoberWriter'sDigest.Hegavethegirlafive
andaskedforhis
changeinquarters.Withthesilverinhishandhewalkedoverto
thetelephone
boothbythekeymakingmachineandslippedinside.Fromherehe
couldseeDanny
inthebugthroughthreesetsofglass.Theboy'sheadwasbent
studiouslyover
hismaps.Jackfeltawaveofnearlydesperatelovefortheboy.
Theemotion
showedonhisfaceasastonygrimness.
Hesupposedhecouldhavemadehisobligatorythankyoucallto
Alfromhome;
hecertainlywasn'tgoingtosayanythingWendywouldobjectto.
Itwashis
pridethatsaidno.Thesedayshealmostalwayslistenedtowhat
hispridetold
himtodo,becausealongwithhiswifeandson,sixhundred
dollarsina
checkingaccount,andoneweary1968Volkswagen,hispridewas
allthatwas
left.Theonlythingthatwashis.Eventhecheckingaccountwas
joint.Ayear
agohehadbeenteachingEnglishinoneofthefinestprep
schoolsinNew
England.Therehadbeenfriendsalthoughnotexactlythesame
oneshe'dhad
beforegoingonthewagonsomelaughs,fellowfacultymembers
whoadmiredhis
defttouchintheclassroomandhisprivatededicationto
writing.Thingshad
beenverygoodsixmonthsago.Allatoncetherewasenoughmoney
leftoverat
theendofeachtwoweekpayperiodtostartalittlesavings
account.Inhis
drinkingdaystherehadneverbeenapennyleftover,eventhough
AlShockley
hadstoodagreatmanyoftherounds.HeandWendyhadbegunto
talkcautiously
aboutfindingahouseandmakingadownpaymentinayearorso.
Afarmhousein
thecountry,takesixoreightyearstorenovateitcompletely,
whatthehell,
theywereyoung,theyhadtime.
Thenhehadlosthistemper.
GeorgeHatfield.
Thesmellofhopehadturnedtothesmellofoldleatherin
Crommert'soffice,
thewholethinglikesomescenefromhisownplay:theoldprints
ofprevious
Stovingtonheadmastersonthewalls,steelengravingsofthe
schoolasithad
beenin1879,whenitwasfirstbuilt,andin1895,when
Vanderbiltmoneyhad
enabledthemtobuildthefieldhousethatstillstoodatthe
westendofthe
soccerfield,squat,immense,dressedinivy.Aprilivyhadbeen
rustling
outsideCrommert'sslitwindowandthedrowsysoundofsteamheat
camefromthe
radiator.Itwasnoset,herememberedthinking.Itwasreal.His
life.How
couldhehavefuckeditupsobadly?
"Thisisaserioussituation,Jack.Terriblyserious.TheBoard
hasaskedme
toconveyitsdecisiontoyou."
TheBoardwantedlack'sresignationandJackhadgivenitto
them.Under
differentcircumstances,hewouldhavegottentenurethatJune.
WhathadfollowedthatinterviewinCrommert'sofficehadbeen
thedarkest,
mostdreadfulnightofhislife.Thewanting,theneedingtoget
drunkhadnever
beensobad.Hishandsshook.Heknockedthingsover.Andhekept
wantingto
takeitoutonWendyandDanny.Histemperwaslikeavicious
animalonafrayed
leash.Hehadleftthehouseinterrorthathemightstrikethem.
Hadendedup
outsideabar,andtheonlythingthathadkepthimfromgoingin
wasthe
knowledgethatifhedid,Wendywouldleavehimatlast,andtake
Dannywith
her.Hewouldbedeadfromthedaytheyleft.
Insteadofgoingintothebar,wheredarkshadowssatsampling
thetasty
watersofoblivion,hehadgonetoAlShockley'shouse.The
Board'svotehad
beensixtoone.Alhadbeentheone.
Nowhedialedtheoperatorandshetoldhimthatforadollar
eightyfivehe
couldbeputintouchwithAltwothousandmilesawayforthree
minutes.Timeis
relative,baby,hethought,andstuckineightquarters.Faintly
hecouldhear
theelectronicboopsandbeepsofhisconnectionsniffingitsway
eastward.
Al'sfatherhadbeenArthurLongleyShockley,thesteelbaron.
Hehadlefthis
onlyson,Albert,afortuneandahugerangeofinvestmentsand
directorships
andchairsonvariousboards.OneofthesehadbeenontheBoard
ofDirectors
forStovingtonPreparatoryAcademy,theoldman'sfavorite
charity.BothArthur
andAlbertShockleywerealumniandAllivedinBarre,close
enoughtotakea
personalinterestintheschool'saffairs.ForseveralyearsAl
hadbeen
Stovington'stenniscoach.
JackandAlhadbecomefriendsinacompletelynaturaland
uncoincidentalway:
atthemanyschoolandfacultyfunctionstheyattendedtogether,
theywere
alwaysthetwodrunkestpeoplethere.Shockleywasseparatedfrom
hiswife,and
Jack'sownmarriagewasskiddingslowlydownhill,althoughhe
stilllovedWendy
andhadpromisedsincerely(andfrequently)toreform,forher
sakeandforbaby
Danny's.
Thetwoofthemwentonfrommanyfacultyparties,hittingthe
barsuntilthey
closed,thenstoppingatsomemom'n'pot)storeforacaseof
beertheywould
drinkparkedattheendofsomebackroad.Thereweremornings
whenJackwould
stumbleintotheirleasedhousewithdawnseepingintothesky
andfindWendy
andthebabyasleeponthecouch,Dannyalwaysontheinside,a
tinyfistcurled
undertheshelfofWendy'sjaw.Hewouldlookatthemandthe
selfloathing
wouldbackuphisthroatinabitterwave,evenstrongerthanthe
tasteofbeer
andcigarettesandmartinismartians,asAlcalledthem.Those
werethetimes
thathismindwouldturnthoughtfullyandsanelytothegunor
theropeorthe
razorblade.
Ifthebenderhadoccurredonaweeknight,hewouldsleepfor
threehours,get
up,dress,chewfourExcedrins,andgoofftoteachhisnine
o'clockAmerican
Poetsstilldrunk.Goodmorning,kids,todaytheRedEyedWonder
isgoingto
tellyouabouthowLongfellowlosthiswifeinthebigfire.
Hehadn'tbelievedhewasanalcoholic,JackthoughtasAl's
telephonebegan
ringinginhisear.Theclasseshehadmissedortaughtunshaven,
stillreeking
oflastnight'smartians.Notme,Icanstopanytime.Thenights
heandWendy
hadpassedinseparatebeds.Listen,I'mfine.Mashedfenders.
SureI'mokayto
drive.Thetearsshealwaysshedinthebathroom.Cautiouslooks
fromhis
colleaguesatanypartywherealcoholwasserved,evenwine.The
slowlydawning
realizationthathewasbeingtalkedabout.Theknowledgethathe
wasproducing
nothingathisUnderwoodbutballsofmostlyblankpaperthat
endedupinthe
wastebasket.HehadbeensomethingofacatchforStovington,a
slowlyblooming
Americanwriterperhaps,andcertainlyamanwellqualifiedto
teachthatgreat
mystery,creativewriting.Hehadpublishedtwodozenshort
stories.Hewas
workingonaplay,andthoughttheremightbeanovelincubating
insomemental
backroom.Butnowhewasnotproducingandhisteachinghad
becomeerratic.
IthadfinallyendedonenightlessthanamonthafterJackhad
brokenhis
son'sarm.That,itseemedtohim,hadendedhismarriage.All
thatremainedwas
forWendytogatherherwill...ifhermotherhadn'tbeensuch
agradeA
bitch,heknew,WendywouldhavetakenabusbacktoNew
Hampshireassoonas
Dannyhadbeenokaytotravel.Itwasover.
Ithadbeenalittlepastmidnight.JackandAlwerecoming
intoBarreonU.S.
31,AlbehindthewheelofhisJag,shiftingfancilyonthe
curves,sometimes
crossingthedoubleyellowline.Theywerebothverydrunk;the
martianshad
landedthatnightinforce.Theycamearoundthelastcurve
beforethebridgeat
seventy,andtherewasakid'sbikeintheroad,andthenthe
sharp,hurt
squealingasrubbershreddedfromtheJag'stires,andJack
rememberedseeing
Al'sfaceloomingoverthesteeringwheellikearoundwhite
moon.Thenthe
jinglingcrashingsoundastheyhitthebikeatforty,andithad
flownuplike
abentandtwistedbird,thehandlebarsstrikingthewindshield,
andthenitwas
intheairagain,leavingthestarredsafetyglassinfrontof
Jack'sbulging
eyes.Amomentlaterheheardthefinaldreadfulsmashasit
landedontheroad
behindthem.Somethingthumpedunderneaththemasthetires
passedoverit.The
Jagdriftedaroundbroadside,Alstilljockeyingthewheel,and
fromfaraway
Jackheardhimselfsaying:"Jesus,Al.Weranhimdown.Ifelt
it."
Inhisearthephonekeptringing.Comeon,Al.Behome.Letme
getthisover
with.
Alhadbroughtthecartoasmokinghaltnotmorethanthree
feetfroma
bridgestanchion.TwooftheJag'stireswereflat.Theyhadleft
zigzagging
loopsofburnedrubberforahundredandthirtyfeet.Theylooked
ateachother
foramomentandthenranbackinthecolddarkness.
Thebikewascompletelyruined.Onewheelwasgone,andlooking
backoverhis
shoulderAlhadseenitlyinginthemiddleoftheroad,halfa
dozenspokes
stickinguplikepianowire.Alhadsaidhesitantly:"Ithink
that'swhatweran
over,Tackyboy."
"Thenwhere'sthekid?"
"Didyouseeakid?"
Jackfrowned.Ithadallhappenedwithsuchcrazyspeed.Coming
aroundthe
corner.ThebikeloomingintheJag'sheadlights.Alyelling
something.Thenthe
collisionandthelongskid.
Theymovedthebiketooneshoulderoftheroad.Alwentback
totheJagand
putonitsfourwayflashers.Forthenexttwohoursthey
searchedthesidesof
theroad,usingapowerfulfourcellflashlight.Nothing.
Althoughitwaslate,
severalcarspassedthebeachedJaguarandthetwomenwiththe
bobbing
flashlight.Noneofthemstopped.Jackthoughtlaterthatsome
queerprovidence,
bentongivingthembothalastchance,hadkeptthecopsaway,
hadkeptanyof
thepassersbyfromcallingthem.
AtquarterpasttwotheyreturnedtotheJag,soberbutqueasy.
"Iftherewas
nobodyridingit,whatwasitdoinginthemiddleoftheroad?"
Aldemanded."It
wasn'tparkedontheside;itwasrightinthefuckingmiddle!"
Jackcouldonlyshakehishead.
"Yourpartydoesnotanswer,"theoperatorsaid."Wouldyou
likemetokeepon
trying?"
"Acouplemorerings,operator.Doyoumind?"
"No,sir,"thevoicesaiddutifully.
Comeon,Al!
Alhadhikedacrossthebridgetothenearestpayphone,called
abachelor
friendandtoldhimitwouldbeworthfiftydollarsifthefriend
wouldgetthe
Jag'ssnowtiresoutofthegarageandbringthemdowntothe
Highway31bridge
outsideofBarre.Thefriendshoweduptwentyminuteslater,
wearingapairof
jeansandhispajamatop.Hesurveyedthescene.
"Killanybody?"heasked.
AlwasalreadyjackingupthebackofthecarandJackwas
looseninglugnuts.
"Providentially,noone,"Alsaid.
"IthinkI'lljustheadonbackanyway.Paymeinthemorning."
"Fine,"Alsaidwithoutlookingup.
Thetwoofthemhadgottenthetiresonwithoutincident,and
togetherthey
drovebacktoAIShockley'shouse.AlputtheJaginthegarage
andkilledthe
motor.
Inthedarkquiethesaid:"I'moffdrinking,Jackyboy.It's
allover.I've
slainmylastmartian."
Andnow,sweatinginthisphonebootb,itoccurredtolackthat
hehadnever
doubtedAl'sabilitytocarrythrough.Hehaddrivenbacktohis
ownhousein
theVWwiththeradioturnedup,andsomediscogroupchanted
overandover
again,talismanicinthehousebeforedawn:Doitanyway...
youwantadoit.
..doitanywayyouwant...Nomatterhowloudheheardthe
squealingtires,
thecrash.Whenheblinkedhiseyesshut,hesawthatsingle
crushedwheelwith
itsbrokenspokespointingatthesky.
Whenhegotin,Wendywasasleeponthecouch.Helookedin
Danny'sroomand
Dannywasinhiscribonhisback,sleepingdeeply,hisarmstill
buriedinthe
cast.Inthesoftlyfilteredglowfromthestreetlightoutsidehe
couldseethe
darklinesonitsplasteredwhitenesswhereallthedoctorsand
nursesin
pediatricshadsignedit.
Itwasanaccident.Hefelldownthestairs.
(oyoudirtyliar)
Itwasanaccident.llostmytemper.
(youfuckingdrunkenwastegodwipedsnotoutofhisnoseand
thatwasyou)
Listen,hey,comeon,please,justanaccident
Butthelastpleawasdrivenawaybytheimageofthatbobbing
flashlightas
theyhuntedthroughthedrylateNovemberweeds,lookingforthe
sprawledbody
thatbyallgoodrightsshouldhavebeenthere,waitingforthe
police.It
didn'tmatterthatAlhadbeendriving.Therehadbeenother
nightswhenhehad
beendriving.
HepulledthecoversupoverDanny,wentintotheirbedroom,
andtookthe
SpanishLlama.38downfromthetopshelfofthecloset.Itwas
inashoebox.
Hesatonthebedwithitfornearlyanhour,lookingatit,
fascinatedbyits
deadlyshine.
Itwasdawnwhenheputitbackintheboxandputtheboxback
inthecloset.
ThatmorninghehadcalledBruckner,thedepartmenthead,and
toldhimto
pleaseposthisclasses.Hehadtheflu.Bruckneragreed,with
lessgoodgrace
thanwascommon.JackTorrancehadbeenextremelysusceptibleto
thefluinthe
lastyear.
Wendymadehimscrambledeggsandcoffee.Theyateinsilence.
Theonlysound
camefromthebackyard,whereDannywasgleefullyrunninghis
trucksacrossthe
sandpilewithhisgoodhand.
Shewenttodothedishes.Herbacktohim,shesaid:"Jack.
I'vebeen
thinking."
"Haveyou?"Helitacigarettewithtremblinghands.No
hangoverthismorning,
oddlyenough.Onlytheshakes.Heblinked.Intheinstant's
darknessthebike
flewupagainstthewindshield,starringtheglass.Thetires
shrieked.The
flashlightbobbed.
"Iwanttotalktoyouabout...aboutwhat'sbestformeand
Danny.Foryou
too,maybe.Idon'tknow.Weshouldhavetalkedaboutitbefore,
Iguess."
"Wouldyoudosomethingforme?"heasked,lookingatthe
waveringtipofhis
cigarette."Wouldyoudomeafavor?"
"What?"Hervoicewasdullandneutral.Helookedatherback.
"Let'stalkaboutitaweekfromtoday.Ifyoustillwantto..,
Nowsheturnedtohim,herhandslacywithsuds,herpretty
facepaleand
disillusioned."Jack,promisesdon'tworkwithyou.Youjustgo
rightonwith"
Shestopped,lookinginhiseyes,fascinated,suddenly
uncertain.
"Inaweek,"hesaid.Hisvoicehadlostallitsstrengthand
droppedtoa
whisper."Please.I'mnotpromisinganything.Ifyoustillwant
totalkthen,
we'lltalk.Aboutanythingyouwant."
Theylookedacrossthesunnykitchenateachotherforalong
time,andwhen
sheturnedbacktothedisheswithoutsayinganythingmore,he
begantoshudder.
God,heneededadrink.Justalittlepickmeuptoputthingsin
theirtrue
perspective
"Dannysaidhedreamedyouhadacaraccident,"shesaid
abruptly."Hehas
funnydreamssometimes.Hesaiditthismorning,whenIgothim
dressed.Did
you,Jack?Didyouhaveanaccident?"
"No."
Bynoonthecravingforadrinkhadbecomealowgradefever.
HewenttoAl's.
"Youdry?"Alaskedbeforelettinghimin.Allookedhorrible.
"Bonedry.YoulooklikeLonChaneyinPhantomoftheOpera."
"Comeonin."
Theyplayedtwohandedwhistallafternoon.Theydidn'tdrink.
Aweekpassed.HeandWendydidn'tspeakmuch.Butheknewshe
waswatching,
notbelieving.HedrankcoffeeblackandendlesscansofCoca
Cola.Onenighthe
drankawholesixpackofCokeandthenranintothebathroomand
vomiteditup.
Thelevelofthebottlesintheliquorcabinetdidnotgodown.
Afterhis
classeshewentovertoAlShockley'sshehatedAlShockleyworse
thanshehad
everhatedanyoneandwhenhecamehomeshewouldswearshe
smelledscotchor
ginonhisbreath,buthewouldtalklucidlytoherbefore
supper,drinkcoffee,
playwithDannyaftersupper,sharingaCokewithhim,readhima
bedtimestory,
thensitandcorrectthemeswithcupaftercupofblackcoffeeby
hishand,and
shewouldhavetoadmittoherselfthatshehadbeenwrong.
Weekspassedandtheunspokenwordretreatedfurtherfromthe
backofher
lips.Jacksenseditsretirementbutknewitwouldneverretire
completely.
Thingsbegantogetalittleeasier.ThenGeorgeHatfield.Hehad
losthis
temperagain,thistimestonesober.
"Sir,yourpartystilldoesn't"
"Hello?"Al'svoice,outofbreath.
"Goahead,"theoperatorsaiddourly.
"Al,thisisJackTorrance."
"Jackyboy!"Genuinepleasure."Howareyou?"
"Good.Ijustcalledtosaythanks.Igotthejob.It's
perfect.IfIcan't
finishthatgoddamplaysnowedinallwinter,I'llneverfinish
it."
"You'llfinish."
"Howarethings?"Jackaskedhesitantly.
"Dry,"Alresponded."You?"
"Asabone."
"Missitmuch?"
"Everyday."
Allaughed."Iknowthatscene.ButIdon'tknowhowyoustayed
dryafterthat
Hatfieldthing,Jack.Thatwasaboveandbeyond."
"Ireallybitchedthingsupformyself,"hesaidevenly.
"Oh,hell.I'llhavetheBoardaroundbyspring.Effinger's
alreadysaying
theymighthavebeentoohasty.Andifthatplaycomesto
something"
"Yes.Listen,myboy'soutinthecar,Al.Helookslikehe
mightbegetting
restless"
"Sure.Understand.Youhaveagoodwinterupthere,Jack.Glad
tohelp."
"Thanksagain,Al."Hehungup,closedhiseyesinthehot
booth,andagain
sawthecrashingbike,thebobbingflashlight.Therehadbeena
squibinthe
paperthenextday,nomorethanaspacefillerreally,butthe
ownerhadnot
beennamed.Whyithadbeenoutthereinthenightwouldalways
beamysteryto
them,andperhapsthatwasasitshouldbe.
HewentbackouttothecarandgaveDannyhisslightlymelted
BabyRuth.
"Daddy?"
"What,doc?"
Dannyhesitated,lookingathisfather'sabstractedface.
"WhenIwaswaitingforyoutocomebackfromthathotel,Ihad
abaddream.
Doyouremember?WhenIfellasleep?"
"Umhm."
Butitwasnogood.Daddy'smindwassomeplaceelse,notwith
him.Thinking
abouttheBadThingagain.
(Idreamedthatyouhurtme,Daddy)
"Whatwasthedream,doc?"
"Nothing,"Dannysaidastheypulledoutintotheparkinglot.
Heputthemaps
backintotheglovecompartment.
"Yousure?"
"Yes."
Jackgavehissonafaint,troubledglance;andthenhismind
turnedtohis
play.

<<6>>

NIGHTTHOUGHTS

Lovewasover,andhermanwassleepingbesideher.
Herman.
Shesmiledalittleinthedarkness,hisseedstilltrickling
withslowwarmth
frombetweenherslightlypartedthighs,andhersmilewasboth
ruefuland
pleased,becausethephrasehermansummonedupahundred
feelings.Eachfeeling
examinedalonewasabewilderment.Together,inthisdarkness
floatingtosleep,
theywerelikeadistantbluestuneheardinanalmostdeserted
nightclub,
melancholybutpleasing.

Lovin'youbaby,isjustlikerollin'offalog,
ButifIcan'tbeyourwoman,Isureain'tgoin'tobeyour
dog.

HadthatbeenBillieHoliday?Orsomeonemoreprosaiclike
PeggyLee?Didn't
matter.Itwaslowandtorchy,andinthesilenceofherheadit
played
mellowly,asifissuingfromoneofthoseoldfashioned
jukeboxes,aWurlitzer,
perhaps,halfanhourbeforeclosing.
Now,movingawayfromherconsciousness,shewonderedhowmany
bedsshehad
sleptinwiththismanbesideher.Theyhadmetincollegeand
hadfirstmade
loveinhisapartment...thathadbeenlessthanthreemonths
afterher
motherdroveherfromthehouse,toldhernevertocomeback,
thatifshewanted
togosomewhereshecouldgotoherfathersinceshehadbeen
responsiblefor
thedivorce.Thatbadbeenin1970.Solongago?Asemesterlater
theyhadmoved
intogether,hadfoundjobsforthesummer,andhadkeptthe
apartmentwhen
theirsenioryearbegan.Sherememberedthatbedthemost
clearly,abigdouble
thatsaggedinthemiddle.Whentheymadelove,therustybox
springhadcounted
thebeats.Thatfallshehadfinallymanagedtobreakfromher
mother.Jackhad
helpedher.Shewantstokeepbeatingyou,Jackhadsaid.The
moretimesyou
phoneher,themoretimesyoucrawlbackbeggingforgiveness,the
moreshecan
beatyouwithyourfather.It'sgoodforher,Wendy,becauseshe
cangoon
makingbelieveitwasyourfault.Butit'snotgoodforyou.They
hadtalkedit
overagainandagaininthatbed,thatyear.
(Jacksittingupwiththecoverspooledaroundhiswaist,a
cigaretteburning
betweenhisfingers,lookingherintheeyehehadahalf
humorous,half
scowlingwayofdoingthattellingher:Shetoldyouneverto
comeback,right?
Nevertodarkenherdooragain,right?Thenwhydoesn'tshehang
upthephone
whensheknowsit'syou?Whydoessheonlytellyouthatyou
can'tcomeinif
I'mwithyou?BecauseshethinksImightcrampherstylealittle
bit.Shewants
tokeepputtingthethumbscrewsrighttoyou,baby.You'reafool
ifyoukeep
lettingherdoit.Shetoldyounevertocomeback,sowhydon't
youtakeherat
herword?Giveitarest.Andatlastshe'dseenithisway.)
IthadbeenJack'sideatoseparateforawhiletoget
perspectiveonthe
relationship,hesaid.Shehadbeenafraidhehadbecome
interestedinsomeone
else.Latershefounditwasn'tso.Theyweretogetheragainin
thespringand
heaskedherifshehadbeentoseeherfather.Shehadjumpedas
ifhe'dstruck
herwithaquirt.
Howdidyouknowthat?
TheShadowknows.
Haveyoubeenspyingonme?
Andhisimpatientlaughter,whichhadalwaysmadeherfeelso
awkwardasif
shewereeightandhewasabletoseehermotivationsmore
clearlythanshe.
Youneededtime,Wendy.
Forwhat?
Iguess...toseewhichoneofusyouwantedtomarry.
Jack,whatareyousaying?
IthinkI'mproposingmarriage.
Thewedding.Herfatherhadbeenthere,hermotherhadnot
been.She
discoveredshecouldlivewiththat,ifshehadJack.ThenDanny
hadcome,her
fineson.
Thathadbeenthebestyear,thebestbed.AfterDannywas
born,Jackhad
gottenherajobtypingforhalfadozenEnglishDepartment
profsquizzes,
exams,classsyllabi,studynotes,readinglists.Sheendedup
tvpinganovel
foroneofthem,anovelthatnevergotpublished...muchto
Jack'svery
irreverentandveryprivateglee.Thejobwasgoodforfortya
week,and
skyrocketedallthewayuptosixtyduringthetwomonthsshe
spenttypingthe
unsuccessfulnovel.Theyhadtheirfirstcar,afiveyearold
Buickwithababy
seatinthemiddle.Bright,upwardlymobileyoungmarrieds.Danny
forceda
reconciliationbetweenherandhermother,areconciliationthat
wasalways
tenseandneverhappy,butareconciliationallthesame.When
shetookDannyto
thehouse,shewentwithoutJack.Andshedidn'ttellJackthat
hermother
alwaysremadeDanny'sdiapers,frownedoverhisformula,could
alwaysspotthe
accusatoryfirstsignsofarashonthebaby'sbottomor
privates.Hermother
neversaidanythingovertly,butthemessagecamethroughanyway:
thepriceshe
hadbeguntopay(andmaybealwayswould)forthereconciliation
wasthefeeling
thatshewasaninadequatemother.Itwashermother'swayof
keepingthe
thumbscrewshandy.
DuringthedaysWendywouldstayhomeandhousewife,feeding
Dannyhisbottles
inthesunwashedkitchenofthefourroomsecondstoryapartment,
playingher
recordsonthebatteredportablestereoshehadhadsincehigh
school.Jack
wouldcomehomeatthree(orattwoifhefelthecouldcuthis
lastclass),and
whileDannyslepthewouldleadherintothebedroomandfearsof
inadequacy
wouldbeerased.
Atnightwhileshetyped,hewoulddohiswritingandhis
assignments.In
thosedaysshesometimescameoutofthebedroomwherethe
typewriterwasto
findbothofthemasleeponthestudiocouch,Jackwearing
nothingbuthis
underpants,Dannysprawledcomfortablyonherhusband'schest
withhisthumbin
hismouth.ShewouldputDannyinhiscrib,thenreadwhatever
Jackhadwritten
thatnightbeforewakinghimupenoughtocometobed.
Thebestbed,thebestyear.

Sungonnashineinmybackyardsomeday...
Inthosedays,Jack'sdrinkinghadstillbeenwellinhand.On
Saturdaynights
abunchofhisfellowstudentswoulddropoverandtherewouldbe
acaseofbeer
anddiscussionsinwhichsheseldomtookpartbecauseherfield
hadbeen
sociologyandhiswasEnglish:argumentsoverwhetherPepys's
diarieswere
literatureorhistory;discussionsofCharlesOlson'spoetry;
sometimesthe
readingofworksinprogress.Thoseandahundredothers.No,a
thousand.She
feltnorealurgetotakepart;itwasenoughtositinher
rockingchairbeside
Jack,whosatcrossleggedonthefloor,onehandholdingabeer,
theother
gentlycuppinghercalforbraceletingherankle.
ThecompetitionatUNHhadbeenfierce,andJackcarriedan
extraburdenin
hiswriting.Heputinatleastanhouratiteverynight.Itwas
hisroutine.
TheSaturdaysessionswerenecessarytherapy.Theyletsomething
outofhimthat
mightotherwisehaveswelledandswelleduntilheburst.
Attheendofhisgradworkhehadlandedthejobat
Stovington,mostlyonthe
strengthofhisstoriesfourofthempublishedatthattime,one
ofthemin
Esquire.Sherememberedthatdayclearlyenough;itwouldtake
morethanthree
yearstoforgetit.Shehadalmostthrowntheenvelopeaway,
thinkingitwasa
subscriptionoffer.Openingit,shehadfoundinsteadthatitwas
aletter
sayingthatEsquirewouldliketouseJack'sstory"Concerning
theBlackHoles"
earlythefollowingyear.Theywouldpayninehundreddollars,
noton
publicationbutonacceptance.Thatwasnearlyhalfayear'stake
typingpapers
andshehadflowntothetelephone,leavingDannyinhishigh
chairtogoggle
comicallyafterher,hisfacelatheredwithcreamedpeasandbeef
puree.
Jackhadarrivedfromtheuniversityfortyfiveminuteslater,
theBuick
weighteddownwithsevenfriendsandakegofbeer.Aftera
ceremonialtoast
(Wendyalsohadaglass,althoughsheordinarilyhadnotastefor
beer),Jack
hadsignedtheacceptanceletter,putitinthereturnenvelope,
andwentdown
theblocktodropitintheletterbox.Whenhecamebackhe
stoodgravelyin
thedoorandsaid,"Veni,vidi,vici."Therewerecheersand
applause.Whenthe
kegwasemptyateleventhatnight,Jackandtheonlytwoothers
whowerestill
ambulatorywentontohitafewbars.
Shehadgottenhimasideinthedownstairshallway.Theother
twowerealready
outinthecar,drunkenlysingingtheNewHampshirefightsong.
Jackwasdownon
oneknee,owlishlyfumblingwiththelacingsofhismoccasins.
"Jack,"shesaid,"youshouldn't.Youcan'teventieyour
shoes,letalone
drive."
Hestoodupandputhishandscalmlyonhershoulders."Tonight
Icouldflyto
themoonifIwantedto."
"No,"shesaid."NotforalltheEsquirestoriesintheworld."
"I'llbehomeearly."
Buthehadn'tbeenhomeuntilfourinthemorning,stumbling
andmumblinghis
wayupthestairs,wakingDannyupwhenhecamein.Hehadtried
tosoothethe
babyanddroppedhimonthefloor.Wendyhadrushedout,thinking
ofwhather
motherwouldthinkifshesawthebruisebeforeshethoughtof
anythingelse
Godhelpher,GodhelpthembothandthenpickedDannyup,sat
intherocking
chairwithhim,soothedhim.Shehadbeenthinkingofhermother
formostofthe
fivehoursJackhadbeengone,hermother'sprophecythatJack
wouldnevercome
toanything.Bigideas,hermotherhadsaid.Sure.Thewelfare
linesarefullof
educatedfoolswithbigideas.DidtheEsquirestorymakeher
motherwrongor
right?Winnifred,you'renotholdingthatbabyright.Givehimto
me.Andwas
shenotholdingherhusbandright?Whyelsewouldhetakehisjoy
outofthe
house?Ahelplesskindofterrorhadrisenupinheranditnever
occurredto
herthathehadgoneoutforreasonsthathadnothingtodowith
her.
"Congratulations,"shesaid,rockingDannyhewasalmost
asleepagain."Maybe
yougavehimaconcussion."
"It'sjustabruise."Hesoundedsulky,wantingtobe
repentant:alittleboy.
Foraninstantshehatedhim.
"Maybe,"shesaidtightly."Maybenot."Sheheardsomuchof
hermother
talkingtoherdepartedfatherinherownvoicethatshewas
sickenedand
afraid.
"Likemotherlikedaughter,"Jackmuttered.
"Gotobed!"shecried,herfearcomingoutsoundinglike
anger."Gotobed,
you'redrunk!"
"Don'ttellmewhattodo."
"Jack...please,weshouldn't...it..."Therewereno
words.
"Don'ttellmewhattodo,"herepeatedsullenly,andthenwent
intothe
bedroom.ShewasleftaloneintherockingchairwithDanny,who
wassleeping
again.FiveminuteslaterJack'ssnorescamefloatingouttothe
livingroom.
Thathadbeenthefirstnightshehadsleptonthecouch.
Nowsheturnedrestlesslyonthebed,alreadydozing.Hermind,
freedofany
linearorderbyencroachingsleep,floatedpastthefirstyearat
Stovington,
pastthesteadilyworseningtimesthathadreachedlowebbwhen
herhusbandhad
brokenDanny'sarm,tothatmorninginthebreakfastnook.
Dannyoutsideplayingtrucksinthesandpile,hisarmstillin
thecast.Jack
sittingatthetable,pallidandgrizzled,acigarettejittering
betweenhis
fingers.Shehaddecidedtoaskhimforadivorce.Shehad
ponderedthequestion
fromahundreddifferentangles,hadbeenponderingitinfact
forthesix
monthsbeforethebrokenarm.Shetoldherselfshewouldhave
madethedecision
longagoifithadn'tbeenforDanny,butnoteventhatwas
necessarilytrue.
ShedreamedonthelongnightswhenJackwasout,andherdreams
werealwaysof
hermother'sfaceandofherownwedding.
(Whogiveththiswoman?Herfatherstandinginhisbestsuit
whichwasnone
toogoodhewasatravelingsalesmanforalineofcannedgoods
thateventhen
wasgoingbrokeandhistiredface,howoldhelooked,howpale:
Ido.)
Evenaftertheaccidentifyoucouldcallitanaccidentshe
hadnotbeen
abletobringitallthewayout,toadmitthathermarriagewas
alopsided
defeat.Shehadwaited,dumblyhopingthatamiraclewouldoccur
andJackwould
seewhatwashappening,notonlytohimbuttoher.Buttherehad
beenno
slowdown.AdrinkbeforegoingofftotheAcademy.Twoorthree
beerswithlunch
attheStovingtonHouse.Threeorfourmartinisbeforedinner.
Fiveorsixmore
whilegradingpapers.Theweekendswereworse.Thenightsout
withAlShockley
wereworsestill.Shehadneverdreamedtherecouldbesomuch
paininalife
whentherewasnothingphysicallywrong.Shehurtallthetime.
Howmuchofit
washerfault?Thatquestionhauntedher.Shefeltlikeher
mother.Likeher
father.Sometimes,whenshefeltlikeherselfshewonderedwhat
itwouldbelike
forDanny,andshedreadedthedaywhenhegrewoldenoughtolay
blame.Andshe
wonderedwheretheywouldgo.Shehadnodoubthermotherwould
takeherin,and
nodoubtthatafterayearofwatchingherdiapersremade,
Danny'smeals
recookedand/orredistributed,ofcominghometofindhisclothes
changedorhis
haircutorthebookshermotherfoundunsuitablespiritedaway
tosomelimboin
theattic...afterhalfayearofthat,shewouldhavea
completenervous
breakdown.Andhermotherwouldpatherhandandsay
comfortingly,Althoughit's
notyourfault,it'sallyourownfault.Youwereneverready.
Youshowedyour
truecolorswhenyoucamebetweenyourfatherandme.
Myfather,Danny'sfather.Mine,his.
(Whogiveththiswoman?Ido.Deadofaheartattacksixmonths
later.)
Thenightbeforethatmorningshehadlainawakealmostuntil
hecamein,
thinking,comingtoherdecision.
Thedivorcewasnecessary,shetoldherself.Hermotherand
fatherdidn't
belonginthedecision.Neitherdidherfeelingsofguiltover
theirmarriage
norherfeelingsofinadequacyoverherown.Itwasnecessaryfor
herson's
sake,andforherself,ifshewastosalvageanythingatallfrom
herearly
adulthood.Thehandwritingonthewallwasbrutalbutclear.Her
husbandwasa
lush.Hehadabadtemper,onehecouldnolongerkeepwholly
undercontrolnow
thathewasdrinkingsoheavilyandhiswritingwasgoingso
badly.Accidentally
ornotaccidentally,hehadbrokenDanny'sarm.Hewasgoingto
losehisjob,if
notthisyearthentheyearafter.Alreadyshehadnoticedthe
sympatheticlooks
fromtheotherfacultywives.Shetoldherselfthatshehadstuck
withthemessy
jobofhermarriageforaslongasshecould.Nowshewouldhave
toleaveit.
Jackcouldhavefullvisitationrights,andshewouldwant
supportfromhimonly
untilshecouldfindsomethingandgetonherfeetandthat
wouldhavetobe
fairlyrapidlybecauseshedidn'tknowhowlongJackwouldbe
abletopay
supportmoney.Shewoulddoitwithaslittlebitternessas
possible.Butithad
toend.
Sothinking,shehadfallenoffintoherownthinandunrestful
sleep,haunted
bythefacesofherownmotherandfather.You'renothingbuta
homewrecker,
hermothersaid.Whogiveththis,woman?theministersaid.Ido,
herfather
said.Butinthebrightandsunnymorningshefeltthesame.Her
backtohim,
herhandsplungedinwarmdishwateruptothewrists,shehad
commencedwiththe
unpleasantness.
"Iwanttotalktoyouaboutsomethingthatmightbebestfor
DannyandI.For
youtoo,maybe.Weshouldhavetalkedaboutitbefore,Iguess."
Andthenhehadsaidanoddthing.Shehadexpectedtodiscover
hisanger,to
provokethebitterness,therecriminations.Shehadexpecteda
maddashforthe
liquorcabinet.Butnotthissoft,almosttonelessreplythatwas
sounlikehim.
ItwasalmostasthoughtheJackshehadlivedwithforsixyears
hadnevercome
backlastnightasifhehadbeenreplacedbysomeunearthly
doppelgangerthat
shewouldneverknoworbequitesureof.
"Wouldyoudosomethingforme?Afavor?"
"What?"Shehadtodisciplinehervoicestrictlytokeepit
fromtrembling.
"Let'stalkaboutitinaweek.Ifyoustillwantto"
Andshehadagreed.Itremainedunspokenbetweenthem.During
thatweekhehad
seenAlShockleymorethanever,buthecamehomeearlyandthere
wasnoliquor
onhisbreath.Sheimaginedshesmelledit,butknewitwasn't
so.Anotherweek.
Andanother.
Divorcewentbacktocommittee,unvotedon.
Whathadhappened?Shestillwonderedandstillhadnotthe
slightestidea.
Thesubjectwastaboobetweenthem.Hewaslikeamanwhohad
leanedarounda
cornerandhadseenanunexpectedmonsterlyinginwait,
crouchingamongthe
driedbonesofitsoldkills.Theliquorremainedinthecabinet,
buthedidn't
touchit.Shehadconsideredthrowingthemoutadozentimesbut
intheend
alwaysbackedawayfromtheidea,asifsomeunknowncharmwould
bebrokenby
theact.
AndtherewasDanny'spartinittoconsider.
Ifshefeltshedidn'tknowherhusband,thenshewasinaweof
herchildawe
inthestrictmeaningofthatword:akindofundefined
superstitiousdread.
Dozinglightly,theimageoftheinstantofhisbirthwas
presentedtoher.
Shewasagainlyingonthedeliverytable,bathedinsweat,her
hairinstrings,
herfeetsplayedoutinthestirrups
(andalittlehighfromthegastheykeptgivingherwhiffsof;
atonepoint
shehadmutteredthatshefeltlikeanadvertisementforgang
rape,andthe
nurse,anoldbirdwhohadassistedatthebirthsofenough
childrentopopulate
ahighschool,foundthatextremelyfunny)
thedoctorbetweenherlegs,thenurseofftooneside,
arranginginstruments
andhumming.Thesharp,glassypainshadbeencomingatsteadily
shortening
intervals,andseveraltimesshehadscreamedinspiteofher
shame.
ThenthedoctortoldherquitesternlythatshemustPUSH,and
shedid,and
thenshefeltsomethingbeingtakenfromher.Itwasaclearand
distinct
feeling,oneshewouldneverforgetthethingtaken.Thenthe
doctorheldher
sonupbythelegsshehadseenhistinysexandknownhewasa
boyimmediately
andasthedoctorgropedfortheairmask,shehadseensomething
else,something
sohorriblethatshefoundthestrengthtoscreamagainaftershe
hadthought
allscreamswereusedup:
Hehasnoface!
Butofcoursetherehadbeenaface,Danny'sownsweetface,
andthecaulthat
hadcovereditatbirthnowresidedinasmalljarwhichshehad
kept,almost
shamefully.Shedidnotholdwitholdsuperstition,butshehad
keptthecaul
nevertheless.Shedidnotholdwithwives'tales,buttheboyhad
beenunusual
fromthefirst.Shedidnotbelieveinsecondsightbut
DidDaddyhaveanaccident?IdreamedDaddyhadanaccident.
Somethinghadchangedhim.Shedidn'tbelieveitwasjusther
gettingreadyto
askforadivorcethathaddoneit.Somethinghadhappenedbefore
thatmorning.
Somethingthathadhappenedwhileshesleptuneasily.AlShockley
saidthat
nothinghadhappened,nothingatall,buthehadavertedhiseyes
whenhesaid
it,andifyoubelievedfacultygossip,Alhadalsoclimbed
aboardthefabled
wagon.
DidDaddyhaveanaccident?
Maybeachancecollisionwithfate,surelynothingmuchmore
concrete.Shehad
readthatday'spaperandthenextday'swithaclosereyethan
usual,butshe
sawnothingshecouldconnectwithJack.Godhelpher,shehad
beenlookingfor
ahitandrunaccidentorabarroombrawlthathadresultedin
seriousinjuries
or...whoknew?Whowantedto?Butnopolicemancametocall,
eithertoask
questionsorwithawarrantempoweringhimtotakepaint
scrapingsfromtheWV's
bumpers.Nothing.Onlyherhusband'sonehundredandeighty
degreechangeand
herson'ssleepyquestiononwaking:
DidDaddyhaveanaccident?Idreamed...
ShehadstuckwithJackmoreforDanny'ssakethanshewould
admitinher
wakinghours,butnow,sleepinglightly,shecouldadmitit:
Dannyhadbeen
Jack'sfortheasking,almostfromthefirst.Justasshehad
beenherfather's,
almostfromthefirst.Shecouldn'trememberDannyeverspitting
abottleback
onJack'sshirt.Jackcouldgethimtoeataftershehadgivenup
indisgust,
evenwhenDannywasteethinganditgavehimvisiblepainto
chew.WhenDanny
hadastomachache,shewouldrockhimforanhourbeforehebegan
toquiet;Jack
hadonlytopickhimup,walktwicearoundtheroomwithhim,and
Dannywouldbe
asleeponlack'sshoulder,histhumbsecurelycorkedinhis
mouth.
Hehadn'tmindedchangingdiapers,eventhosehecalledthe
special
deliveries.HesatwithDannyforhoursonend,bouncinghimon
hislap,playing
fingergameswithhim,makingfacesathimwhileDannypokedat
hisnoseand
thencollapsedwiththegiggles.Hemadeformulasand
administeredthem
faultlessly,gettingupeverylastburpafterward.Hewouldtake
Dannywithhim
inthecartogetthepaperorabottleofmilkornailsatthe
hardwarestore
evenwhentheirsonwasstillaninfant.HehadtakenDannytoa
Stovington
KeenesoccermatchwhenDannywasonlysixmonthsold,andDanny
hadsat
motionlesslyonhisfather'slapthroughthewholegame,wrapped
inablanket,a
smallStovingtonpennantclutchedinonechubbyfist.
Helovedhismotherbuthewashisfather'sboy.
Andhadn'tshefelt,timeandtimeagain,herson'swordless
oppositiontothe
wholeideaofdivorce?Shewouldbethinkingaboutitinthe
kitchen,turningit
overinhermindassheturnedthepotatoesforsupperoverin
herhandsforthe
peeler'sblade.Andshewouldturnaroundtoseehimsitting
crossleggedina
kitchenchair,lookingatherwitheyesthatseemedboth
frightenedand
accusatory.Walkingwithhiminthepark,hewouldsuddenlyseize
bothherhands
andsayalmostdemand:"Doyouloveme?Doyoulovedaddy?"And,
confused,she
wouldnodorsay,"OfcourseIdo,honey."Thenhewouldrunto
theduckpond,
sendingthemsquawkingandscaredtotheotherend,flapping
theirwingsina
panicbeforethesmallferocityofhischarge,leavingherto
stareafterhim
andwonder.
Therewereeventimeswhenitseemedthatherdeterminationto
atleast
discussthematterwithJackdissolved,notoutofherown
weakness,butunder
thedeterminationofherson'swill.
Idon'tbelievesuchthings.
Butinsleepshedidbelievethem,andinsleep,withher
husband'sseedstill
dryingonherthighs,shefeltthatthethreeofthemhadbeen
permanently
weldedtogetherthatiftheirthree/onenesswastobedestroyed,
itwouldnot
bedestroyedbyanyofthembutfromoutside.
MostofwhatshebelievedcenteredaroundherloveforJack.
Shehadnever
stoppedlovinghim,exceptmaybeforthatdarkperiodimmediately
following
Danny's"accident."Andshelovedherson.Mostofallsheloved
themtogether,
walkingorridingoronlysitting,Jack'slargeheadandDanny's
smallone
poisedalertlyoverthefansofoldmaidhands,sharingabottle
ofCoke,
lookingatthefunnies.Shelovedhavingthemwithher,andshe
hopedtodear
GodthatthishotelcaretakingjobAlhadgottenforJackwould
bethebeginning
ofgoodtimesagain.

Andthewindgonnariseup,baby,
andblowmybluesaway...

Softandsweetandmellow,thesongcamebackandlingered,
followingherdown
intoadeepersleepwherethoughtceasedandthefacesthatcame
indreamswent
unremembered.
<<7>>

INANOTHERBEDROOM

Dannyawokewiththeboomingstillloudinhisears,andthe
drunk,savagely
pettishvoicecryinghoarsely:Comeouthereandtakeyour
medicine!I'llfind
you!I'llfindyoul
Butnowtheboomingwasonlyhisracingheart,andtheonly
voiceinthenight
wasthefarawaysoundofapolicesiren.
Helayinbedmotionlessly,lookingupatthewindstirred
shadowsofthe
leavesonhisbedroomceiling.Theytwinedsinuouslytogether,
makingshapes
likethevinesandcreepersinajungle,likepatternswoveninto
thenapofa
thickcarpet.HewascladinDoctorDentonpajamas,butbetween
thepajamasuit
andhisskinhehadgrownamorecloselyfittingsingletof
perspiration.
"Tony?"hewhispered."Youthere?"
Noanswer.
Heslippedoutofbedandpaddedsilentlyacrosstothewindow
andlookedout
onArapahoeStreet,nowstillandsilent.Itwastwointhe
morning.Therewas
nothingouttherebutemptysidewalksdriftedwithfallenleaves,
parkedcars,
andthelongneckedstreetlightonthecorneracrossfromthe
CliffBricegas
station.Withitshoodedtopandmotionlessstance,the
streetlightlookedlike
amonsterinaspaceshow.
Helookedupthestreetbothways,straininghiseyesfor
Tony'sslight,
beckoningform,buttherewasnoonethere.
Thewindsighedthroughthetrees,andthefallenleaves
rattledupthe
desertedwalksandaroundthehubcapsofparkedcars.Itwasa
faintand
sorrowfulsound,andtheboythoughtthathemightbetheonly
oneinBoulder
awakeenoughtohearit.Theonlyhumanbeing,atleast.There
wasnowayof
knowingwhatelsemightbeoutinthenight,slinkinghungrily
throughthe
shadows,watchingandscentingthebreeze.
I'llfindyou!I'llfindyou!
"Tony?"hewhisperedagain,butwithoutmuchhope.
Onlythewindspokeback,gustingmorestronglythistime,
scatteringleaves
acrosstheslopingroofbelowhiswindow.Someofthemslipped
intothe
raingutterandcametorestthereliketireddancers.
Danny...Danneee...
Hestartedatthesoundofthatfamiliarvoiceandcranedout
thewindow,his
smallhandsonthesill.WiththesoundofTony'svoicethewhole
nightseemed
tohavecomesilentlyandsecretlyalive,whisperingevenwhen
thewindquieted
againandtheleaveswerestillandtheshadowshadstopped
moving.Hethought
hesawadarkershadowstandingbythebusstopablockdown,but
itwashardto
tellifitwasarealthingoraneyetrick.
Don'tgo,Danny..
Thenthewindgustedagain,makinghimsquint,andtheshadow
bythebusstop
wasgone...ifithadeverbeenthereatall.Hestoodbyhis
windowfor
(aminute?anhour?)
sometimelonger,buttherewasnomore.Atlasthecreptback
intohisbed
andpulledtheblanketsupandwatchedtheshadowsthrownbythe
alien
streetlightturnintoasinuousjunglefilledwithflesheating
plantsthat
wantedonlytosliparoundhim,squeezethelifeoutofhim,and
draghimdown
intoablacknesswhereonesinisterwordflashedinred:
REDRUM.
PARTTWO

ClosingDay

<<8>>

AVIEWOFTHEOVERLOOK

Mommywasworried.
Shewasafraidthebugwouldn'tmakeitupanddownallthese
mountainsand
thattheywouldgetstrandedbythesideoftheroadwhere
somebodymightcome
rippingalongandhitthem.Dannyhimselfwasmoresanguine;if
Daddythought
thebugwouldmakethisonelasttrip,thenprobablyitwould.
"We'rejustaboutthere,"Jacksaid.
Wendybrushedherhairbackfromhertemples."ThankGod."
Shewassittingintherighthandbucket,aVictoriaHolt
paperbackopenbut
facedowninherlap.Shewaswearingherbluedress,theone
Dannythoughtwas
herprettiest.Ithadasailorcollarandmadeherlookvery
young,likeagirl
justgettingreadytograduatefromhighschool.Daddykept
puttinghishand
highuponherlegandshekeptlaughingandbrushingitoff,
sayingGetaway,
fly.
Dannywasimpressedwiththemountains.OnedayDaddyhadtaken
themupinthe
onesnearBoulder,theonestheycalledtheFlatirons,butthese
weremuch
bigger,andonthetallestofthemyoucouldseeafinedusting
ofsnow,which
Daddysaidwasoftenthereyearround.
Andtheywereactuallyinthemountains,nogoofingaround.
Sheerrockfaces
roseallaroundthem,sohighyoucouldbarelyseetheirtops
evenbycraning
yourneckoutthewindow.WhentheyleftBoulder,thetemperature
hadbeenin
thehighseventies.Now,justafternoon,theairupherefelt
crispandcold
likeNovemberbackinVermontandDaddyhadtheheater
going...notthatit
workedallthatwell.Theyhadpassedseveralsignsthatsaid
FALLINGROCKZONE
(Mommyreadeachonetohim),andalthoughDannyhadwaited
anxiouslytosee
somerockfall,nonehad.Atleastnotyet.
HalfanhouragotheyhadpassedanothersignthatDaddysaid
wasvery
important.ThissignsaidENTERINGSIDEWINDERPASS,andDaddy
saidthatsignwas
asfarasthesnowplowswentinthewintertime.Afterthatthe
roadgottoo
steep.Inthewintertheroadwasclosedfromthelittletownof
Sidewinder,
whichtheyhadgonethroughjustbeforetheygottothatsign,
allthewayto
Buckland,Utah.
Nowtheywerepassinganothersign.
"What'sthatone,Mom?"
"ThatonesaysSLOWERVEHICLESUSERIGHTLANE.Thatmeansus."
"Thebugwillmakeit,"Dannysaid.
"Please,God,"Mommysaid,andcrossedherfingers.Danny
lookeddownather
opentoedsandalsandsawthatshehadcrossedhertoesaswell.
Hegiggled.She
smiledback,butheknewthatshewasstillworried.
TheroadwoundupandupinaseriesofslowScurves,andJack
droppedthe
bug'sstickshiftfromfourthgeartothird,thenintosecond.
Thebugwheezed
andprotested,andWendy'seyefixedonthespeedometerneedle,
whichsankfrom
fortytothirtytotwenty,whereithoveredreluctantly.
"Thefuelpump..."shebegantimidly.
"Thefuelpumpwillgoanotherthreemiles,"Jacksaidshortly.
Therockwallfellawayontheirright,disclosingaslash
valleythatseemed
togodownforever,linedadarkgreenwithRockyMountainpine
andspruce.The
pinesfellawaytograycliffsofrockthatdroppedforhundreds
offeetbefore
smoothingout.Shesawawaterfallspillingoveroneofthem,the
early
afternoonsunsparklinginitlikeagoldenfishsnaredinablue
net.Theywere
beautifulmountainsbuttheywerehard.Shedidnotthinkthey
wouldforgive
manymistakes.Anunhappyforebodingroseinherthroat.Further
westinthe
SierraNevadatheDonnerPartyhadbecomesnowboundandhad
resortedto
cannibalismtostayalive.Themountainsdidnotforgivemany
mistakes.
Withapunchoftheclutchandajerk,Jackshifteddownto
firstgearand
theylaboredupward,thebug'senginethumpinggamely.
"Youknow,"shesaid,"Idon'tthinkwe'veseenfivecarssince
wecame
throughSidewinder.Andoneofthemwasthehotellimousine."
Jacknodded."ItgoesrighttoStapletonAirportinDenver.
There'salready
someicypatchesupbeyondthehotel,Watsonsays,andthey're
forecastingmore
snowfortomorrowuphigher.Anybodygoingthroughthemountains
nowwantstobe
ononeofthemainroads,justincase.ThatgoddamUllmanbetter
stillbeup
there.Iguesshewillbe."
"You'resurethelarderisfullystocked?"sheasked,still
thinkingofthe
Donners.
"Hesaidso.HewantedHalloranntogooveritwithyou.
Hallorann'sthe
cook."
"Oh,"shesaidfaintly,lookingatthespeedometer.Ithad
droppedfrom
fifteentotenmilesanhour.
"There'sthetop,"Jacksaid,pointingthreehundredyards
ahead."There'sa
scenicturnoutandyoucanseetheOverlookfromthere.I'mgoing
topulloff
theroadandgivethebugachancetorest."Hecranedoverhis
shoulderat
Danny,whowassittingonapileofblankets."Whatdoyouthink,
doc?Wemight
seesomedeer.Orcaribou."
"Sure,Dad."
TheVWlaboredupandup.Thespeedometerdroppedtojustabove
thefivemile
anhourhashmarkandwasbeginningtohitchwhenJackpulledoff
theroad
("What'sthatsign,Mommy?""SCENICTURNOUT,"sheread
dutifully.)
andsteppedontheemergencybrakeandlettheVWrunin
neutral.
"Comeon,"hesaid,andgotout.
Theywalkedtotheguardrailtogether.
"That'sit,"Jacksaid,andpointedateleveno'clock.
ForWendy,itwasdiscoveringtruthinacliche:herbreathwas
takenaway.
Foramomentshewasunabletobreatheatall;theviewhad
knockedthewind
fromher.Theywerestandingnearthetopofonepeak.Across
fromthemwho
knewhowfar?aneventallermountainrearedintothesky,its
jaggedtiponly
asilhouettethatwasnownimbusedbythesun,whichwas
beginningitsdecline.
Thewholevalleyfloorwasspreadoutbelowthem,theslopesthat
theyhad
climbedinthelaboringbugfallingawaywithsuchdizzying
suddennessthatshe
knewtolookdowntherefortoolongwouldbringonnauseaand
eventual
vomiting.Theimaginationseemedtospringtofulllifeinthe
clearair,beyond
thereinofreason,andtolookwastohelplesslyseeone'sself
plungingdown
anddownanddown,skyandslopeschangingplacesinslow
cartwheels,thescream
driftingfromyourmouthlikealazyballoonasyourhairand
yourdress
billowedout...
Shejerkedhergazeawayfromthedropalmostbyforceand
followedJack's
finger.Shecouldseethehighwayclingingtothesideofthis
cathedralspire,
switchingbackonitselfbutalwaystendingnorthwest,still
climbingbutata
moregentleangle.Furtherup,seeminglysetdirectlyintothe
slopeitself,she
sawthegrimlyclingingpinesgivewaytoawidesquareofgreen
lawnand
standinginthemiddleofit,overlookingallthis,thehotel.
TheOverlook.
Seeingit,shefoundbreathandvoiceagain.
"Oh,Jack,it'sgorgeous!"
"Yes,itis,"hesaid."Unmansayshethinksit'sthesingle
mostbeautiful
locationinAmerica.Idon'tcaremuchforhim,butIthinkhe
mightbe...
Danny!Danny,areyouallright?"
Shelookedaroundforhimandhersuddenfearforhimblotted
outeverything
else,stupendousornot.Shedartedtowardhim.Hewasholding
ontothe
guardrailandlookingupatthehotel,hisfaceapastygray
color.Hiseyeshad
theblanklookofsomeoneonthevergeoffainting.
Shekneltbesidehimandputsteadyinghandsonhisshoulders.
"Danny,
what's"
Jackwasbesideher."Youokay,doc?"HegaveDannyabrisk
littleshakeand
hiseyescleared.
"I'mokay,Daddy.I'mfine."
"Whatwasit,Danny?"sheasked."Wereyoudizzy,honey?"
"No,Iwasjust...thinking.I'msorry.Ididn'tmeanto
scareyou."He
lookedathisparents,kneelinginfrontofhim,andofferedthem
asmall
puzzledsmile."Maybeitwasthesun.Thesungotinmyeyes."
"We'llgetyouuptothehotelandgiveyouadrinkofwater,"
Daddysaid.
"Okay."
Andinthebug,whichmovedupwardmoresurelyonthegentler
grade,hekept
lookingoutbetweenthemastheroadunwound,affording
occasionalglimpsesof
theOverlookHo:.tel,itsmassivebankofwestwardlooking
windowsreflecting
backthesun.Itwastheplacehehadseeninthemidstofthe
blizzard,the
darkandboomingplacewheresomehideouslyfamiliarfigure
soughthimdownlong
corridorscarpetedwithjungle.TheplaceTonyhadwarnedhim
against.Itwas
here.Itwashere.WhateverRedrumwas,itwashere.

<<9>>

CHECKINGITOUT

Ullmanwaswaitingforthemjustinsidethewide,oldfashioned
frontdoors.
HeshookhandswithJackandnoddedcoollyatWendy,perhaps
noticingtheway
headsturnedwhenshecamethroughintothelobby,hergolden
hairspilling
acrosstheshouldersofthesimplenavydress.Thehemofthe
dressstoppeda
modesttwoinchesabovetheknee,butyoudidn'thavetoseemore
toknowthey
weregoodlegs.
UllmanseemedtrulywarmtowardDannyonly,butWendyhad
experiencedthat
before.Dannyseemedtobeachildforpeoplewhoordinarilyheld
W.C.Fields'
sentimentsaboutchildren.Hebentalittlefromthewaistand
offeredDannyhis
hand.Dannyshookitformally,withoutasmile.
"MysonDanny,"Jacksaid."AndmywifeWinnifred."
"I'mhappytomeetyouboth,"Ullmansaid."Howoldareyou,
Danny?"
"Five,sir."
"Sir,yet."UllmansmiledandglancedatJack."He'swell
mannered."
"Ofcoursebeis,"Jacksaid.
"AndMrs.Torrance."Heofferedthesamelittlebow,andfora
bemusedinstant
Wendythoughthewouldkissherhand.Shehalfoffereditandhe
didtakeit,
butonlyforamoment,claspedinbothofhis.Hishandswere
smallanddryand
smooth,andsheguessedthathepowderedthem.
Thelobbywasabustleofactivity.Almosteveryoneofthe
oldfashioned
highbackedchairswastaken.Bellboysshuttledinandoutwith
suitcasesand
therewasalineatthedesk,whichwasdominatedbyahugebrass
cashregister.
TheBankAmericardandMasterChargedecalsonitseemedjarringly
anachronistic.
Totheirright,downtowardapairoftalldoubledoorsthat
werepulled
closedandropedoff,therewasanoldfashionedfireplacenow
blazingwith
birchlogs.Threenunssatonasofathatwasdrawnupalmostto
thehearth
itself.Theyweretalkingandsmilingwiththeirbagsstackedup
toeitherside,
waitingforthecheckoutlinetothinalittle.AsWendywatched
themthey
burstintoachordoftinkling,girlishlaughter.Shefelta
smiletouchherown
lips;notoneofthemcouldbeundersixty.
Inthebackgroundwastheconstanthumofconversation,the
mutedding!ofthe
silverplatedbellbesidethecashregisterasoneofthetwo
clerksonduty
struckit,theslightlyimpatientcallof"Front,please!"It
broughtback
strong,warmmemoriesofherhoneymooninNewYorkwithJack,at
theBeekman
Tower.Forthefirsttimesheletherselfbelievethatthismight
beexactly
whatthethreeofthemneeded:aseasontogetherawayfromthe
world,asortof
familyhoneymoon.ShesmiledaffectionatelydownatDanny,who
wasgoggling
aroundfranklyateverything.Anotherlimo,asgrayasabanker's
vest,had
pulledupoutfront
"Thelastdayoftheseason,"Ullmanwassaying."Closingday.
Alwayshectic.
Ihadexpectedyoumorearoundthree,Mr.Torrance."
"IwantedtogivetheVolkstimeforanervousbreakdownifit
decidedtohave
one,"Jacksaid."Itdidn't."
"Howfortunate,"Ullmansaid."I'dliketotakethethreeof
youonatourof
theplacealittlelater,andofcourseDickHallorannwantsto
showMrs.
TorrancetheOverlook'skitchen.ButI'mafraid"
Oneoftheclerkscameoverandalmosttuggedhisforelock.
"Excuseme,Mr.Unman"
"Well?Whatisit?"
"It'sMrs.Brant,"theclerksaiduncomfortably."Sherefuses
topayherbill
withanythingbutherAmericanExpresscard.Itoldherwe
stoppedtaking
AmericanExpressattheendoftheseasonlastyear,butshe
won't..."His
eyesshiftedtotheTorrancefamily,thenbacktoUllman.He
shrugged.
"I'lltakecareofit."
"Thankyou,Mr.Ullman."Theclerkcrossedbacktothedesk,
wherea
dreadnoughtofawomanbundledintoalongfurcoatandwhat
lookedlikeablack
featherboawasremonstratingloudly.
"IhavebeencomingtotheOverlookHotelsince1955,"shewas
tellingthe
smiling,shruggingclerk."Icontinuedtocomeevenaftermy
secondhusbanddied
ofastrokeonthattiresomeroquecourtItoldhimthesunwas
toohotthat
dayandIhavenever...Irepeat:never...paidwith
anythingbutmy
AmericanExpresscreditcard.Callthepoliceifyoulike!Have
themdragme
away!IwillstillrefusetopaywithanythingbutmyAmerican
Expresscredit
card.Irepeat:..."
"Excuseme,"Mr.Ullmansaid.
Theywatchedhimcrossthelobby,touchMrs.Brant'selbow
deferentially,and
spreadhishandsandnodwhensheturnedhertiradeonhim.He
listened
sympathetically,noddedagain,andsaidsomethinginreturn.Mrs.
Brantsmiled
triumphantly,turnedtotheunhappydeskclerk,andsaidloudly:
"ThankGod
thereisoneemployeeofthishotelwhohasn'tbecomeanutter
Philistinel"
SheallowedUllman,whobarelycametothebulkyshoulderof
herfurcoat,to
takeherarmandleadheraway,presumablytohisinneroffice.
"Whooo!"Wendysaid,smiling."There'sadudewhoearnshis
money."
"Buthedidn'tlikethatlady,"Dannysaidimmediately."Hewas
just
pretendingtolikeher."
Jackgrinneddownathim."I'msurethat'strue,doc.But
flatteryisthe
stuffthatgreasesthewheelsoftheworld."
"What'sflattery?"
"Flattery,"Wendytoldhim,"iswhenyourdaddysayshelikes
mynewyellow
slacksevenifhedoesn'torwhenhesaysIdon'tneedtotake
offfivepounds."
"Oh.Isitlyingforfun?"
"Somethingverylikethat."
Hehadbeenlookingathercloselyandnowsaid:"You're
pretty,Mommy."He
frownedinconfusionwhentheyexchangedaglanceandthenburst
intolaughter.
"Ullmandidn'twastemuchflatteryonme,"Jacksaid."Comeon
overbythe
window,youguys.Ifeelconspicuousstandingouthereinthe
middlewithmy
denimjacketon.IhonesttoGoddidn'tthinkthere'dbeanybody
muchhereon
closingday.GuessIwaswrong."
"Youlookveryhandsome,"shesaid,andthentheylaughed
again,Wendyputting
ahandoverhermouth.Dannystilldidn'tunderstand,butitwas
okay.Theywere
lovingeachother.Dannythoughtthisplaceremindedherof
somewhereelse
(thebeakmanplace)
whereshehadbeenhappy.Hewishedhelikeditaswellasshe
did,buthe
kepttellinghimselfoverandoverthatthethingsTonyshowed
himdidn'talways
cometrue.Hewouldbecareful.Hewouldwatchforsomething
calledRedrum.But
hewouldnotsayanythingunlessheabsolutelyhadto.Because
theywerehappy,
theyhadbeenlaughing,andtherewerenobadthoughts.
"Lookatthisview,"Jacksaid.
"Oh,it'sgorgeouslDanny,Iookl"
ButDannydidn'tthinkitwasparticularlygorgeous.Hedidn't
likeheights;
theymadehimdizzy.Beyondthewidefrontporch,whichranthe
lengthofthe
hotel,abeautifullymanicuredlawn(therewasaputtinggreenon
theright)
slopedawaytoalong,rectangularswimmingpool.ACLOSEDsign
stoodona
littletripodatoneendofthepool;closedwasonesignhe
couldreadby
himself,alongwithStop,Exit,Pizza,andafewothers.
Beyondthepoolagraveledpathwoundoffthroughbabypines
andsprucesand
aspens.Herewasasmallsignhedidn'tknow:ROQUE.Therewasan
arrowbelow
it.
"What'sROQUE,Daddy?"
"Agame,"Daddysaid."It'salittlebitlikecroquet,onlyyou
playitona
gravelcourtthathassideslikeabigbilliardtableinsteadof
grass.It'sa
veryoldgame,Danny.Sometimestheyhavetournamentshere."
"Doyouplayitwithacroquetmallet?"
"Likethat,"Jackagreed."Onlythehandle'salittleshorter
andtheheadhas
twosides.Onesideishardrubberandtheothersideiswood."
(Comeout,youlittleshit!)
"It'spronouncedroke,"Daddywassaying."I'llteachyouhow
toplay,ifyou
want."
"Maybe,"Dannysaidinanoddcolorlesslittlevoicethatmade
hisparents
exchangeapuzzledlookoverhishead."Imightnotlikeit;
though."
"Wellifyoudon'tlikeit,doc,youdon'thavetoplay.All
right?"
"Sure."
"Doyouliketheanimals?"Wendyasked."That'scalleda
topiary."Beyondthe
pathleadingtoroquetherewerehedgesclippedintotheshapes
ofvarious
animals.Danny,whoseeyesweresharp,madeoutarabbit,adog,
ahorse,acow,
andatrioofbiggeronesthatlookedlikefrolickinglions.
"ThoseanimalswerewhatmadeUncleAlthinkofmeforthe
job,"Jacktold
him."HeknewthatwhenIwasincollegeIusedtoworkfora
landscaping
company.That'sabusinessthatfixespeople'slawnsandbushes
andhedges.I
usedtotrimalady'stopiary."
Wendyputahandoverhermouthandsnickered.Lookingather,
Jacksaid,
"Yes,Iusedtotrimhertopiaryatleastonceaweek"
"Getaway,fly,"Wendysaid,andsnickeredagain.
"Didshehavenicehedges,Dad?"Dannyasked,andatthisthey
bothstifled
greatburstsoflaughter.Wendylaughedsohardthattears
streameddownher
cheeksandshehadtogetaKleenexoutofherhandbag.
"Theyweren'tanimals,Danny,"Jacksaidwhenhehadcontrolof
himself."They
wereplayingcards.Spadesandheartsandclubsanddiamonds.But
thehedges
grow,yousee"
(Theycreep,Watsonhadsaid...no,notthehedges,the
boiler.Youhaveto
watchitallthetimeoryouandyourfamblywillenduponthe
fuckinmoon.)
Theylookedathim,puzzled.Thesmilehadfadedoffhisface.
"Dad?"Dannyasked.
Heblinkedatthem,asifcomingbackfromfaraway."They
grow,Danny,and
losetheirshape.SoI'llhavetogivethemahaircutonceor
twiceaweekuntil
itgetssocoldtheystopgrowingfortheyear."
"Andaplayground,too,"Wendysaid."Myluckyboy."
Theplaygroundwasbeyondthetopiary.Twoslides,abigswing
setwithhalfa
dozenswingssetatvaryingheights,ajunglegym,atunnelmade
ofcement
rings,asandbox,andaplayhousethatwasanexactreplicaof
theOverlook
itself.
"Doyoulikeit,Danny?"Wendyasked.
"Isuredo,"hesaid,hopinghesoundedmoreenthusedthanhe
felt."It's
neat."
Beyondtheplaygroundtherewasaninconspicuouschainlink
securityfence,
beyondthatthewide,macadamizeddrivethatleduptothehotel,
andbeyond
thatthevalleyitself,droppingawayintothebrightbluehaze
ofafternoon.
Dannydidn'tknowthewordisolation,butifsomeonehad
explainedittohimhe
wouldhaveseizedonit.Farbelow,lyinginthesunlikealong
blacksnake
thathaddecidedtosnoozeforawhile,wastheroadthatled
backthrough
SidewinderPassandeventuallytoBoulder.Theroadthatwouldbe
closedall
winterlong.Hefeltalittlesuffocatedatthethought,and
almostjumpedwhen
Daddydroppedhishandonhisshoulder.
"I'llgetyouthatdrinkassoonasIcan,doc.They'rea
littlebusyright
now."
"Sure,Dad."
Mrs.Brantcameoutoftheinnerofficelookingvindicated.A
fewmoments
latertwobellboys,strugglingwitheightsuitcasesbetweenthem,
followedher
asbesttheycouldasshestrodetriumphantlyoutthedoor.Danny
watched
throughthewindowasamaninagrayuniformandahatlikea
captaininthe
Armybroughtherlongsilvercararoundtothedoorandgotout.
Hetippedhis
captoherandranaroundtoopenthetrunk.
Andinoneofthoseflashesthatsometimescame,hegota
completethought
fromher,onethatfloatedabovetheconfused,lowpitchedbabble
ofemotions
andcolorsthatheusuallygotincrowdedplaces.
(i'dliketogetintohispants)
Danny'sbrowwrinkledashewatchedthebellboysputhercases
intothetrunk.
Shewaslookingrathersharplyatthemaninthegrayuniform,
whowas
supervisingtheloading.Whywouldshewanttogetthatman's
pants?Wasshe
cold,evenwiththatlongfurcoaton?Andifshewasthatcold,
whyhadn'tshe
justputonsomepantsofherown?Hismommyworepantsjust
aboutallwinter.
Themaninthegrayuniformclosedthetrunkandwalkedbackto
helpherinto
thecar.Dannywatchedcloselytoseeifshewouldsayanything
abouthispants,
butsheonlysmiledandgavehimadollarbillatip.Amoment
latershewas
guidingthebigsilvercardownthedriveway.
HethoughtaboutaskinghismotherwhyMrs.Brantmightwant
thecarman's
pants,anddecidedagainstit.Sometimesquestionscouldgetyou
inawholelot
oftrouble.Ithadhappenedtohimbefore.
Soinsteadhesqueezedinbetweenthemonthesmallsofathey
weresharingand
watchedallthepeoplecheckoutatthedesk.Hewasgladhis
mommyanddaddy
werehappyandlovingeachother,buthecouldn'thelpbeinga
littleworried.
Hecouldn'thelpit.

<<10>>

HALLORANN
Thecookdidn'tconformtoWendy'simageofthetypicalresort
hotelkitchen
personageatall.Tobeginwith,suchapersonagewascalleda
chef,nothingso
mundaneasacookcookingwaswhatshedidinherapartment
kitchenwhenshe
threwalltheleftoversintoagreasedPyrexcasseroledishand
addednoodles.
Further,theculinarywizardofsuchaplaceastheOverlook,
whichadvertised
intheresortsectionoftheNewYorkSundayTimes,shouldbe
small,rotund,and
pastyfaced(ratherlikethePillsburyDoughBoy);heshouldhave
athinpencil
linemustachelikeafortiesmusicalcomedystar,darkeyes,a
Frenchaccent,
andadetestablepersonality.
Hallorannhadthedarkeyesandthatwasall.Hewasatall
blackmanwitha
modestafrothatwasbeginningtopowderwhite.Hehadasoft
southernaccent
andhelaughedalot,disclosingteethtoowhiteandtooevento
beanythingbut
1950vintageSearsandRoebuckdentures.Herownfatherhadhada
pair,whichhe
calledRoebuckers,andfromtimetotimehewouldpushthemout
athercomically
atthesuppertable...always,Wendyrememberednow,whenher
motherwasout
inthekitchengettingsomethingelseoronthetelephone.
Dannyhadstaredupatthisblackgiantinblueserge,andthen
hadsmiled
whenHallorannpickedhimupeasily,sethiminthecrookofhis
elbow,and
said:"Youain'tgonnastayuphereallwinter."
"YesIam,"Dannysaidwithashygrin.
"No,you'regonnacomedowntoSt.Pete'swithmeandlearnto
cookandgoout
onthebeacheverydamneveninwatchinforcrabs.Right?"
Dannygiggleddelightedlyandshookhisheadno.Hallorannset
himdown.
"Ifyou'regonnachangeyourmind,"Hallorannsaid,bending
overhimgravely,
"youbetterdoitquick.ThirtyminutesfromnowandI'minmy
car.Twoanda
halfhoursafterthat,I'msittingatGate32,ConcourseB,
Stapleton
InternationalAirport,inthemilehighcityofDenver,Colorado.
Threehours
afterthat,I'mrentinacarattheMiamaAirportandonmyway
tosunnySt.
Pete's,waitingtogetiotamyswimtrunksandjustlaaafinupmy
sleeveat
anybodystuckandcaughtinthesnow.Canyoudigit,myboy?"
"Yes,sir,"Dannysaid,smiling.
HallorannturnedtoJackandWendy."Lookslikeafineboy
there."
"Wethinkhe'lldo,"Jacksaid,andofferedhishand.Hallorann
tookit."I'm
JackTorrance.MywifeWinnifred.Dannyyou'vemet."
"Andapleasureitwas.Ma'am,areyouaWinnieoraFreddie?"
"I'maWendy,"shesaid,smiling.
"Okay.That'sbetterthantheothertwo,Ithink.Rightthis
way.Mr.Unman
wantsyoutohavethetour,thetouryou'llget."Heshookhis
beadandsaid
underhisbreath:"Andwon'tIbegladtoseethelastofhim."
Halloranncommencedtotourthemaroundthemostimmense
kitchenWendyhad
everseeninherlife.Itwassparklingclean.Everysurfacewas
coaxedtoa
highgloss.Itwasmorethanjustbig;itwasintimidating.She
walkedat
Hallorann'ssidewhileJack,whollyoutofhiselement,hungback
alittlewith
Danny.Alongwallboardhungwithcuttinginstrumentswhichwent
alltheway
fromparingknivestotwohandedcleavershungbesideafourbasin
sink.There
wasabreadboardasbigastheirBoulderapartment'skitchen
table.Anamazing
arrayofstainlesssteelpotsandpanshungfromfloorto
ceiling,coveringone
wholewall.
"IthinkI'llhavetoleaveatrailofbreadcrumbseverytimeI
comein,"she
said.
"Don'tletitgetyoudown,"Hallorannsaid."It'sbig,but
it'sstillonlya
kitchen.Mostofthisstuffyou'llneverevenhavetotouch.Keep
itclean,
that'sallIask.Here'sthestoveI'dbeusing,ifIwasyou.
Therearethree
oftheminall,butthisisthesmallest.
Smallest,shethoughtdismally,lookingatitThereweretwelve
burners,two
regularovensandaDutchoven,aheatedwellontopinwhichyou
couldsimmer
saucesorbakebeans,abroiler,andawarmerplusamillion
dialsand
temperaturegauges.
"Allgas,"Hallorannsaid."You'vecookedwithgasbefore,
Wendy?"
"Yes..:'
"Ilovegas,"hesaid,andturnedononeoftheburners.Blue
flamepopped
intolifeandheadjusteditdowntoafaintglowwithadelicate
touch."Ilike
tobeabletoseetheflameyou'recookinwith.Youseewhereall
thesurface
burnerswitchesare?"
"Yes."
"Andtheovendialsareallmarked.Myself,Ifavorthemiddle
onebecauseit
seemstoheatthemosteven,butyouusewhicheveroneyoulike
orallthree,
forthatmatter."
"ATVdinnerineachone,"Wendysaid,andlaughedweakly.
Hallorannroared."Gorightahead,ifyoulike.Ileftalist
ofeverything
edibleoverbythesink.Youseeit?"
"Hereitis,Mommyl"Dannybroughtovertwosheetsofpaper,
writtenclosely
onbothsides.
"Goodboy,"Hallorannsaid,takingitfromhimandrufflinghis
hair."You
sureyoudon'twanttocometoFloridawithme,myboy?Learnto
cookthe
sweetestshrimpcreolethissideofparadise?"
Dannyputhishandsoverhismouthandgiggledandretreatedto
hisfather's
side.
"Youthreefolkscouldeatuphereforayear,Iguess,"
Hallorannsaid."We
gotacoldpantry,awalkinfreezer,allsortsofvegetable
bins,andtwo
refrigerators.Comeonandletmeshowyou."
ForthenexttenminutesHallorannopenedbinsanddoors,
disclosingfoodin
suchamountsasWendyhadneverseenbefore.Thefoodsupplies
amazedherbut
didnotreassureherasmuchasshemighthavethought:the
DonnerPartykept
recurringtoher,notwiththoughtsofcannibalism(withallthis
fooditwould
indeedbealongtimebeforetheywerereducedtosuchpoor
rationsaseach
other),butwiththereinforcedideathatthiswasindeeda
seriousbusiness:
whensnowfell,gettingoutofherewouldnotbeamatterofan
hour'sdriveto
Sidewinderbutamajoroperation.Theywouldsituphereinthis
desertedgrand
hotel,eatingthefoodthathadbeenleftthemlikecreaturesin
afairytale
andlisteningtothebitterwindaroundtheirsnowboundeaves.In
Vermont,when
Dannyhadbrokenhisarm
(whenJackbrokeDanny'sarm)
shehadcalledtheemergencyMedixsquad,dialingthenumber
fromthelittle
cardattachedtothephone.Theyhadbeenatthehouseonlyten
minuteslater.
Therewereothernumberswrittenonthatlittlecard.Youcould
haveapolice
carinfiveminutesandafiretruckinevenlesstimethanthat,
becausethe
firestationwasonlythreeblocksawayandoneblockover.There
wasamanto
callifthelightswentout,amantocalliftheshowerstopped
up,amanto
calliftheTVwentonthefritz.Butwhatwouldhappenuphere
ifDannyhadone
ofhisfaintingspellsandswallowedhistongue?
(ohGodwhatathought!)
Whatiftheplacecaughtonfire?IfJackfelldownthe
elevatorshaftand
fracturedhisskull?Whatif?
(whatifwehaveawonderfultimenowstopft,Winnifred!)
Hallorannshowedthemintothewalkinfreezerfirst,where
theirbreath
puffedoutlikecomicstripballoons.Inthefreezeritwasasif
winterhad
alreadycome.
Hamburgerinbigplasticbags,tenpoundsineachbag,adozen
bags.Forty
wholechickenshangingfromarowofhooksinthewoodplanked
walls.Canned
hamsstackeduplikepokerchips,adozenofthem.Belowthe
chickens,ten
roastsofbeef,tenroastsofpork,andahugelegoflamb.
"Youlikelamb,doe?"Hallorannasked,grinning.
"Iloveit,"Dannysaidimmediately.Hehadneverhadit.
"Iknewyoudid.There'snothinliketwogoodslicesoflambon
acoldnight,
withsomemintjellyontheside.Yougotthemintjellyhere,
too.Lambeases
thebelly.It'sanoncontentioussortofmeat."
FrombehindthemJacksaidcuriously:"Howdidyouknowwe
calledhimdoe?"
Hallorannturnedaround."Pardon?"
"Danny:Wecallhimdoesometimes.LikeintheBugsBunny
cartoons."
"Lookssortoflikeadoe,doesn'tbe?"Hewrinkledhisnoseat
Danny,smacked
hislips,andsaid,"Ehhhh,what'sup,doe?"
DannygiggledandthenHallorannsaidsomething
(Sureyoudon'twanttogotoFlorida,doe?)
tohim,veryclearly.Heheardeveryword.Helookedat
Hallorann,startled
andalittlescared.Hallorannwinkedsolemnlyandturnedbackto
thefood.
Wendylookedfromthecook'sbroad,sergecladbacktoherson.
Shehadthe
oddestfeelingthatsomethinghadpassedbetweenthem,something
shecouldnot
quitefollow.
"Yougottwelvepackagesofsausage,twelvepackagesofbacon,"
Hallorann
said."Somuchforthepig.Inthisdrawer,twentypoundsof
butter."
"Realbutter?"Jackasked.
"TheAnumberone."
"Idon'tthinkI'vehadrealbuttersinceIwasakidbackin
Berlin,New
Hampshire."
"Well,you'lleatituphereuntiloleoseemsatreat,"
Hallorannsaid,and
laughed."Overinthisbinyougotyourbreadthirtyloavesof
white,twentyof
dark.WetrytokeepracialbalanceattheOverlook,don'tyou
know.NowIknow
fiftyloaveswon'ttakeyouthrough,butthere'splentyof
makingsandfreshis
betterthanfrozenanydayoftheweek.
"Downhereyougotyourfish.Brainfood,right,doe?"
"Isit,Mom?"
"IfMr.Hallorannsaysso,honey."Shesmiled.
Dannywrinkledhisnose."Idon'tlikefish."
"You'redeadwrong,"Hallorannsaid."Youjustneverhadany
fishthatliked
you.Thisfishherewilllikeyoufine.Fivepoundsofrainbow
trout,tenpounds
ofturbot,fifteencansoftunafish"
"Ohyeah,Iliketuna."
"andfivepoundsofthesweetesttastingsolethateverswamin
thesea.My
boy,whennextspringrollsaround,you'regonnathankold..."
Hesnappedhis
fingersasifhehadforgottensomething."What'smyname,now?I
guessitjust
slippedmymind."
"Mr.Hallorann,"Dannysaid,grinning."Dick,toyourfriends."
"That'sright!Andyoubeinafriend,youmakeitDick."
Asheledthemintothefarcorner,JackandWendyexchangeda
puzzledglance,
bothofthemtryingtorememberifHallorannhadtoldthemhis
firstname.
"AndthishereIputinspecial,"Hallorannsaid."Hopeyou
folksenjoyit."
"Ohreally,youshouldn'thave,"Wendysaid,touched.Itwasa
twentypound
turkeywrappedinawidescarletribbonwithabowontop.
"YougottohaveyourturkeyonThanksgiving,Wendy,"Hallorann
saidgravely.
"Ibelievethere'sacaponbackheresomewhereforChristmas.
Doubtlessyou'll
stumbleonit.Let'scomeonoutofherenowbeforeweallcatch
thepeenumonia.
Right,doc?"
"Right!"
Thereweremorewondersinthecoldpantry.Ahundredboxesof
driedmilk
(Hallorannadvisedhergravelytobuyfreshmilkfortheboyin
Sidewinderas
longasitwasfeasible),fivetwelvepoundbagsofsugar,a
gallonjugof
blackstrapmolasses,cereals,glassjugsofrice,macaroni,
spaghetti;ranked
cansoffruitandfruitsalad;abusheloffreshapplesthat
scentedthewhole
roomwithautumn;driedraisins,prunes,andapricots("Yougot
toberegularif
youwanttobehappy,"Hallorannsaid,andpealedlaughteratthe
coldpantry
ceiling,whereoneoldfashionedlightglobehungdownonaniron
chain);adeep
binfilledwithpotatoes;andsmallercachesoftomatoes,onions,
turnips,
squashes,andcabbages.
"Myword,"Wendysaidastheycameout.Butseeingallthat
freshfoodafter
herthirtydollaraweekgrocerybudgetsostunnedherthatshe
wasunableto
sayjustwhatherwordwas.
"I'mrunninabitlate,"Hallorannsaid,checkinghiswatch,
"soI'lljustlet
yougothroughthecabinetsandthefridgesasyougetsettled
in.There's
cheeses,cannedmilk,sweetenedcondensedmilk,yeast,bakin
soda,awhole
bagfulofthoseTableTalkpies,afewbunchesofbananasthat
ain'tevennear
toripeyet"
"Stop,"shesaid,holdingupahandandlaughing."I'llnever
rememberitall.
It'ssuper.AndIpromisetoleavetheplaceclean."
"That'sallIask."HeturnedtoJack."DidMr.Ullmangiveyou
therundownon
theratsinhisbelfry?"
Jackgrinned."Hesaidtherewerepossiblysomeintheattic,
andMr.Watson
saidtheremightbesomemoredowninthebasement.Theremustbe
twotonsof
paperdownthere,butIdidn'tseeanyshredded,asifthey'd
beenusingitto
makenests."
"ThatWatson,"Hallorannsaid,shakinghisheadinmocksorrow.
"Ain'thethe
foulesttalkingmanyoueverranon?"
"He'squiteacharacter,"Jackagreed.Hisownfatherhadbeen
thefoulest
talkingmanJackhadeverrunon.
"It'ssortofapity,"Hallorannsaid,leadingthembacktoward
thewide
swingingdoorsthatgaveontheOverlookdiningroom."Therewas
moneyinthat
family,longago.ItwasWatson'sgranddadorgreatgranddadI
can'tremember
whichthatbuiltthisplace."
"SoIwastold,"Jacksaid.
"Whathappened?"Wendyasked.
"Well,theycouldn'tmakeitgo,"Hallorannsaid."Watsonwill
tellyouthe
wholestorytwiceaday,ifyoulethim.Theoldmangotabee
inhisbonnet
abouttheplace.Heletitdraghimdown,Iguess.Hehadtwo
boysandoneof
themwaskilledinaridingaccidentonthegroundswhilethe
hotelwasstilla
building.Thatwouldhavebeen1908or'09.Theoldman'swife
diedoftheflu,
andthenitwasjusttheoldmanandhisyoungestson.Theyended
upgetting
tookbackonascaretakersinthesamehoteltheoldmanhad
built."
"Itissortofapity,"Wendysaid.
"Whathappenedtohim?Theoldman?"Jackasked.
"Hepluggedhisfingerintoalightsocketbymistakeandthat
wastheendof
him,"Hallorannsaid."Sometimeintheearlythirtiesbeforethe
Depression
closedthisplacedownfortenyears.
"Anyway,Jack,I'dappreciateitifyouandyourwifewould
keepaneyeout
forratsinthekitchen,aswell.Ifyoushouldseethem...
traps,not
poison."
Jackblinked."Ofcourse.Who'dwanttoputratpoisoninthe
kitchen?"
Hallorannlaughedderisively."Mr.Ullman,that'swho.Thatwas
hisbright
idealastfall.Iputittohim,Isaid:`Whatifweallgetup
herenextMay,
Mr.Ullman,andIservethetraditionalopeningnightdinner'
whichjust
happenstobesalmoninaverynicesauce'andeverybodygits
sickandthe
doctorcomesandsaystoyou,"Ullman,whathaveyoubeendoing
uphere?You've
goteightyoftherichestfolksinAmericasufferingfromrat
poisoning!""'
Jackthrewhisheadbackandbellowedlaughter."Whatdid
Ullmansay?"
Halloranntuckedhistongueintohischeekasiffeelingfora
bitoffoodin
there."Hesaid:`Getsometraps,Hallorann.'"
Thistimetheyalllaughed,evenDanny,althoughhewasnot
completelysure
whatthejokewas,exceptithadsomethingtodowithMr.Ullman,
whodidn't
knoweverythingafterall.
Thefourofthempassedthroughthediningroom,emptyand
silentnow,with
itsfabulouswesternexposureonthesnowdustedpeaks.Eachof
thewhitelinen
tableclothshadbeencoveredwithasheetoftoughclearplastic.
Therug,now
rolledupfortheseason,stoodinonecornerlikeasentinelon
guardduty.
Acrossthewideroomwasadoublesetofbatwingdoors,and
overthemanold
fashionedsignletteredingiltscript:TheColoradoLounge.
Followinghisgaze,Hallorannsaid,"Ifyou'readrinkinman,I
hopeyou
broughtyourownsupplies.Thatplaceispickedclean.Employee's
partylast
night,youknow.Everymaidandbellhopintheplaceisgoin
aroundwitha
headachetoday,meincluded."
"Idon'tdrink,"Jacksaidshortly.Theywentbacktothe
lobby.
Ithadclearedgreatlyduringthehalfhourthey'dspentinthe
kitchen.The
longmainroomwasbeginningtotakeonthequiet,desertedlook
thatJack
supposedtheywouldbecomefamiliarwithsoonenough.Thehigh
backedchairs
wereempty.Thenunswhohadbeensittingbythefireweregone,
andthefire
itselfwasdowntoabedofcomfortablyglowingcoals.Wendy
glancedoutinto
theparkinglotandsawthatallbutadozencarshad
disappeared.
ShefoundherselfwishingtheycouldgetbackintheVWandgo
backto
Boulder...oranywhereelse.
JackwaslookingaroundforUllman,buthewasn'tinthelobby.
Ayoungmaidwithherashblondhairpinneduponherneckcame
over."Your
luggageisoutontheporch,Dick."
"Thankyou,Sally."Hegaveherapeckontheforehead."You
haveyourselfa
goodwinter.Gettingmarried,Ihear."
HeturnedtotheTorrancesasshestrolledaway,backside
twitchingpertly.
"I'vegottohurryalongifI'mgoingtomakethatplane.Iwant
towishyouall
thebest.Knowyou'llhaveit."
"Thanks,"Jacksaid."You'vebeenverykind."
"I'lltakegoodcareofyourkitchen,"Wendypromisedagain.
"EnjoyFlorida."
"Ialwaysdo,"Hallorannsaid.Heputhishandsonhisknees
andbentdownto
Danny."Lastchance,guy.WanttocometoFlorida?"
"Iguessnot,"Dannysaid,smiling.
"Okay.Liketogivemeahandouttomycarwithmybags?"
"IfmymommysaysIcan."
"Youcan,"Wendysaid,"butyou'llhavetohavethatjacket
buttoned."She
leanedforwardtodoitbutHallorannwasaheadofher,hislarge
brownfingers
movingwithsmoothdexterity.
"I'llsendhimrightbackin,"Hallorannsaid.
"Fine,"Wendysaid,andfollowedthemtothedoor.Jackwas
stilllooking
aroundforUllman.ThelastoftheOverlooksguestswerechecking
outatthe
desk.
<<11>>

THESHINING

Therewerefourbagsinapilejustoutsidethedoor.Threeof
themwere
giant,batteredoldsuitcasescoveredwithblackimitation
alligatorhide.The
lastwasanoversizedzipperbagwithafadedtartanskin.
"Guessyoucanhandlethatone,can'tyou?"Hallorannasked
him.Hepickedup
twoofthebigcasesinonehandandhoistedtheotherunderhis
arm.
"Sure,"Dannysaid.Hegotagriponitwithbothhandsand
followedthecook
downtheporchsteps,tryingmanfullynottogruntandgiveaway
howheavyit
was.
Asharpandcuttingfallwindhadcomeupsincetheyhad
arrived;itwhistled
acrosstheparkinglot,makingDannywincehiseyesdowntoslits
ashecarried
thezipperbaginfrontofhim,bumpingonhisknees.Afew
errantaspenleaves
rattledandturnedacrossthenowmostlydesertedasphalt,making
Dannythink
momentarilyofthatnightlastweekwhenhehadwakenedoutof
hisnightmareand
hadheardorthoughtheheard,atleastTonytellinghimnotto
go.
HallorannsethisbagsdownbythetrunkofabeigePlymouth
Fury."Thisain't
muchcar,"heconfidedtoDanny,"justarentaljob.MyBessie's
ontheother
end.She'sacar.1950Cadillac,anddoessherunsweet?I'll
telltheworld.I
keepherinFloridabecauseshe'stoooldforallthismountain
climbing.You
needahandwiththat?"
"No,sir,"Dannysaid.Hemanagedtocarryitthelasttenor
twelvesteps
withoutgruntingandsetitdownwithalargesighofrelief.
"Goodboy,"Hallorannsaid.Heproducedalargekeyringfrom
thepocketof
hisbluesergejacketandunlockedthetrunk.Asheliftedthe
bagsinhesaid:
"Youshineon,boy.HarderthananyoneIevermetinmylife.And
I'msixty
yearsoldthisJanuary."
"Huh?"
"Yougotaknack,"Hallorannsaid,turningtohim."Me,I've
alwayscalledit
shining.That'swhatmygrandmothercalledit,too.Shehadit.
Weusedtosit
inthekitchenwhenIwasaboynoolderthanyouandhavelong
talkswithout
evenopeninourmouths."
"Really?"
HallorannsmiledatDanny'sopenmouthed,almosthungry
expressionandsaid,
"Comeonupandsitinthecarwithmeforafewminutes.Wantto
talktoyou."
Heslammedthetrunk.
InthelobbyoftheOverlook,WendyTorrancesawhersonget
intothe
passengersideofHallorann'scarasthebigblackcookslidin
behindthe
wheel.Asharppangoffearstruckherandsheopenedhermouth
totellJack
thatHallorannhadnotbeenlyingabouttakingtheirsonto
Floridatherewasa
kidnapingafoot.Buttheywereonlysittingthere.Shecould
barelyseethe
smallsilhouetteofherson'shead,turnedattentivelytoward
Hallorann'sbig
one.Evenatthisdistancethatsmallheadhadasettoitthat
sherecognized
itwasthewayhersonlookedwhentherewassomethingontheTV
that
particularlyfascinatedhim,orwhenheandhisfatherwere
playingoldmaidor
idiotcribbage.Jack,whowasstilllookingaroundforUllman,
hadn'tnoticed.
Wendykeptsilent,watchingHallorann'scarnervously,wondering
whattheycould
possiblybetalkingaboutthatwouldmakeDannycockhishead
thatway.
InthecarHallorannwassaying:"Getyoukindalonely,thinkin
youwerethe
onlyone?"
Danny,whohadbeenfrightenedaswellaslonelysometimes,
nodded."AmIthe
onlyoneyouevermet?"heasked.
Hallorannlaughedandshookhishead."No,child,no.Butyou
shinethe
hardest."
"Aretherelots,then?"
"No,"Hallorannsaid,"butyoudorunacrossthem.Alotof
folks,theygota
littlebitofshinetothem.Theydon'tovenknowit.Butthey
alwaysseemto
showupwithflowerswhentheirwivesarefeelinbluewiththe
monthlies,they
dogoodonschoolteststheydon'tevenstudyfor,theygota
goodideahow
peoplearefeelinassoonastheywalkintoaroom.Icomeacross
fiftyorsixty
likethat.Butmaybeonlyadozen,countinmygram,thatknew
theywasshinin."
"Wow,"Dannysaid,andthoughtaboutit.Then:"Doyouknow
Mrs.Brant?"
"Her?"Hallorannaskedscornfully."Shedon'tshine.Justsends
hersupper
backtwothreetimeseverynight."
"Iknowshedoesn't,"Dannysaidearnestly."Butdoyouknow
themaninthe
grayuniformthatgetsthecars?"
"Mike?Sure,IknowMike.Whatabouthim?"
"Mr.Hallorann,whywouldshewanthispants?"
"Whatareyoutalkingabout,boy?"
"Well,whenshewaswatchinghim,shewasthinkingshewould
sureliketoget
intohispantsandIjustwonderedwhy"
Buthegotnofurther.Hallorannhadthrownhisheadback,and
rich,dark
laughterissuedfromhischest,rollingaroundinthecarlike
cannonfire.The
seatshookwiththeforceofit.Dannysmiled,puzzled,andat
lastthestorm
subsidedbyfitsandstarts.Hallorannproducedalargesilk
handkerchieffrom
hisbreastpocketlikeawhiteflagofsurrenderandwipedhis
streamingeyes.
"Boy,"hesaid,stillsnortingalittle,"youaregonnaknow
everythingthere
istoknowaboutthehumanconditionbeforeyoumaketen.Idunno
iftoenvyyou
ornot."
"ButMrs.Brant"
"Younevermindher,"hesaid."Anddon'tgoaskinyourmom,
either.You'd
onlyupsether,digwhatI'msayin?"
"Yes,sir,"Dannysaid.Hedugitperfectlywell.Hehadupset
hismotherthat
wayinthepast.
"ThatMrs.Brantisjustadirtyoldwomanwithanitch,that's
allyouhave
toknow."HelookedatDannyspeculatively."Howhardcanyou
hit,doc?"
"Huh?"
"Givemeablast.Thinkatme.Iwanttoknowifyougotas
muchasIthink
youdo."
"Whatdoyouwantmetothink?"
"Anything.Justthinkithard."
"Okay,"Dannysaid.Heconsidereditforamoment,then
gatheredhis
concentrationandflungitoutatHallorann.Hehadneverdone
anything
preciselylikethisbefore,andatthelastinstantsome
instinctivepartofhim
roseupandbluntedsomeofthethought'srawforcehedidn't
wanttohurtMr.
Hallorann.Stillthethoughtarrowedoutofhimwithaforcehe
neverwouldhave
believed.ItwentlikeaNolanRyanfastballwithalittleextra
onit.
(GeeIhopeIdon'thurthim)
Andthethoughtwas:
(!!!HI,DICK!!!)
Hallorannwincedandjerkedbackwardontheseat.Histeeth
cametogether
withahardclick,drawingbloodfromhislowerlipinathin
trickle.Hishands
flewupinvoluntarilyfromhislaptothelevelofhischestand
thensettled
backagain.Foramomenthiseyelidsflutteredlimply,withno
conscious
control,andDannywasfrightened.
"Mr.Hallorann?Dick?Areyouokay?"
"Idon'tknow,"Hallorannsaid,andlaughedweakly."Ihonest
toGoddon't.My
God,boy,you'reapistol."
"I'msorry,"Dannysaid,morealarmed."ShouldIgetmydaddy?
I'llrunand
gethim."
"No,hereIcome.I'mokay,Danny.Youjustsitrightthere.I
feelalittle
scrambled,that'sall."
"Ididn'tgoashardasIcould,"Dannyconfessed."Iwas
scaredto,atthe
lastminute."
"Probablymygoodluckyoudid...mybrainswouldbeleakin
outmyears."
HesawthealarmonDanny'sfaceandsmiled."Noharmdone.What
diditfeel
liketoyou?"
"LikeIwasNolanRyanthrowingafastball,"hereplied
promptly.
"Youlikebaseball,doyou?"Hallorannwasrubbinghistemples
gingerly.
"DaddyandmeliketheAngels,"Dannysaid."TheRedSoxinthe
American
LeagueEastandtheAngelsintheWest.WesawtheRedSox
againstCincinnatiin
theWorldSeries.Iwasalotlittlerthen.AndDaddywas..."
Danny'sface
wentdarkandtroubled.
"Waswhat,Dan?"
"Iforget,"Dannysaid.Hestartedtoputhisthumbinhis
mouthtosuckit,
butthatwasababytrick.Heputhishandbackinhislap.
"Canyoutellwhatyourmomanddadarethinking,Danny?"
Hallorannwas
watchinghimclosely.
"Mosttimes,ifIwantto.ButusuallyIdon'ttry."
"Whynot?"
"Well..."hepausedamoment,troubled."Itwouldbelike
peekingintothe
bedroomandwatchingwhilethey'redoingthethingthatmakes
babies.Doyou
knowthatthing?"
"Ihavehadacquaintancewithit,"Hallorannsaidgravely.
"Theywouldn'tlikethat.Andtheywouldn'tlikemepeekingat
theirthinks.
Itwouldbedirty."
"Isee."
"ButIknowhowthey'refeeling,"Dannysaid."Ican'thelp
that.Iknowhow
you'refeeling,too.Ihurtyou.I'msorry."
"It'sjustaheadache.I'vehadhangoversthatwereworse.Can
youreadother
people,Danny?"
"Ican'treadyetatall,"Dannysaid,"exceptafewwords.But
Daddy'sgoing
toteachmethiswinter.Mydaddyusedtoteachreadingand
writinginabig
school.Mostlywriting,butheknowsreading,too."
"Imean,canyoutellwhatanybodyisthinking?"
Dannythoughtaboutit.
"Icanifit'sloud,"hesaidfinally."LikeMrs.Brantandthe
pants.Orlike
once,whenmeandMommywereinthisbigstoretogetmesome
shoes,therewas
thisbigkidlookingatradios,andhewasthinkingabouttaking
onewithout
buyingit.Thenhe'dthink,whatifIgetcaught?Thenhe'd
think,Ireallywant
it.Thenhe'dthinkaboutgettingcaughtagain.Hewasmaking
himselfsickabout
it,andhewasmakingmesick.Mommywastalkingtothemanwho
sellstheshoes
soIwentoverandsaid,`Kid,don'ttakethatradio.Goaway.'
Andhegot
reallyscared.Hewentawayfast."
Hallorannwasgrinningbroadly."Ibethedid.Canyoudo
anythingelse,
Danny?Isitonlythoughtsandfeelings,oristheremore?"
Cautiously:"Istheremoreforyou?"
"Sometimes,"Hallorannsaid."Notoften.Sometimes...
sometimesthereare
dreams.Doyoudream,Danny?"
"Sometimes,"Dannysaid,"IdreamwhenI'mawake.AfterTony
comes."Histhumb
wantedtogointohismouthagain.Hehadnevertoldanyonebut
MommyandDaddy
aboutTony.Hemadehisthumbsuckinghandgobackintohislap.
"Who'sTony?"
AndsuddenlyDannyhadoneofthoseflashesofunderstanding
thatfrightened
himmostofall;itwaslikeasuddenglimpseofsome
incomprehensiblemachine
thatmightbesafeormightbedeadlydangerous.Hewastooyoung
toknowwhich.
Hewastooyoungtounderstand.
"What'swrong?"hecried."You'reaskingmeallthisbecause
you'reworried,
aren'tyou?Whyareyouworriedaboutme?Whyareyouworried
aboutus?"
Hallorannputhislargedarkhandsonthesmallboy's
shoulders."Stop,"he
said.It'sprobablynothin.Butifitissomethin...well,
you'vegotalarge
thinginyourhead,Danny.You'llhavetodoalotofgrowinyet
beforeyou
catchuptoit,Iguess.Yougottobebraveaboutit."
"ButIdon'tunderstandthingsl"Dannyburstout."IdobutI
don't!People.
..theyfeelthingsandIfeelthem,butIdon'tknowwhatI'm
feeling!"He
lookeddownathislapwretchedly."IwishIcouldread.
SometimesTonyshowsme
signsandIcanhardlyreadanyofthem."
"Who'sTony?"Hallorannaskedagain.
"MommyandDaddycallhimmy`invisibleplaymate,"'Dannysaid,
recitingthe
wordscarefully."Buthe'sreallyreal.Atleast,Ithinkheis.
Sometimes,when
Itryrealhardtounderstandthings,hecomes.Hesays,'Danny,
Iwanttoshow
yousomething.'Andit'slikeIpassout.Only...thereare
dreams,likeyou
said."HelookedatHallorannandswallowed."Theyusedtobe
nice.Butnow..
.Ican'trememberthewordfordreamsthatscareyouandmake
youcry."
"Nightmares?"Hallorannasked.
"Yes.That'sright.Nightmares."
"Aboutthisplace?AbouttheOverlook?"
Dannylookeddownathisthumbsuckinghandagain."Yes,"he
whispered.Then
hespokeshrilly,lookingupintoHallorann'sface:"ButIcan't
tellmydaddy,
andyoucan't,either!Hehastohavethisjobbecauseit'sthe
onlyoneUncle
Alcouldgetforhimandhehastofinishhisplayorhemight
startdoingthe
BadThingagainandIknowwhatthatis,it'sgettingdrunk,
that'swhatitis,
it'swhenheusedtoalwaysbedrunkandthatwasaBadThingto
do!"He
stopped,onthevergeoftears.
"Shh,"Hallorannsaid,andpulledDanny'sfaceagainstthe
roughsergeofhis
jacket.Itsmelledfaintlyofmothballs."That'sallright,son.
Andifthat
thumblikesyourmouth,letitgowhereitwants."Buthisface
wastroubled.
Hesaid:"Whatyougot,son,Icallitshininon,theBible
callsithaving
visions,andthere'sscientiststhatcallitprecognition.I've
readuponit,
son.I'vestudiedonit.Theyallmeanseeingthefuture.Doyou
understand
that?"
DannynoddedagainstHallorann'scoat.
"IrememberthestrongestshineIeverhadthatway...I'm
notliableto
forget.Itwas1955.IwasstillintheArmythen,stationed
overseasinWest
Germany.Itwasanhourbeforesupper,andIwasstandinbythe
sink,givinone
oftheKPshellfortakintoomuchofthepotatoalongwiththe
peel.Isays,
'Here,lemmeshowyouhowthat'sdone.'Heheldoutthepotato
andthepeeler
andthenthewholekitchenwasgone.Bang,justlikethat.You
sayyouseethis
guyTonybefore...beforeyouhavedreams?"
Dannynodded.
Hallorannputanarmaroundhim."Withmeit'ssmellinoranges.
Allthat
afternoonI'dbeensmellinthemandthinkinnothinofit,because
theywereon
themenuforthatnightwehadthirtycratesofValencias.
Everybodyinthedamn
kitchenwassmellinorangesthatnight.
"ForaminuteitwaslikeIhadjustpassedout.AndthenI
heardanexplosion
andsawflames.Therewerepeoplescreaming.Sirens.AndIheard
thishissin
noisethatcouldonlybesteam.ThenitseemedlikeIgota
littlecloserto
whateveritwasandIsawarailroadcaroffthetracksand
layingonitsside
withGeorgiaacedSouthCarolinaRailroadwrittenonit,andI
knewlikeaflash
thatmybrotherCarlwasonthattrainanditjumpedthetracks
andCarlwas
dead.Justlikethat.Thenitwasgoneandhere'sthisscared,
stupidlittleKP
infrontofme,stillholdinoutthatpotatoandthepeeler.He
says,'Areyou
okay,Sarge?'AndIsays,`No.Mybrother'sjustbeenkilleddown
inGeorgia'
AndwhenIfinallygotmymommaontheoverseastelephone,she
toldmehowit
was.
"Butsee,boy,Ialreadyknewhowitwas."
Heshookhisheadslowly,asifdismissingthememory,and
lookeddownatthe
wideeyedboy.
"Butthethingyougottoremember,myboy,isthis:Those
thingsdon'talways
cometrue.IrememberjustfouryearsagoIhadajobcookinata
boys'campup
inMaineonLongLake.SoIamsittinbytheboardinggateat
LoganAirportin
Boston,justwaitingtogetonmyflight,andIstarttosmell
oranges.Forthe
firsttimeinmaybefiveyears.SoIsaytomyself,'MyGod,
what'scominon
thiscrazylateshownow?'andIgotdowntothebathroomandsat
ononeofthe
toiletstobeprivate.Ineverdidblackout,butIstartedto
getthisfeelin,
strongerandstronger,thatmyplanewasgonnacrash.Thenthe
feelingwent
away,andthesmelloforanges,andIknewitwasover.Iwent
backtotheDelta
Airlinesdeskandchangedmyflighttoonethreehourslater.And
doyouknow
whathappened?"
"What?"Dannywhispered.
"Nothin!"Hallorannsaid,andlaughed.Hewasrelievedtosee
theboysmilea
little,too."NotonesinglethinglThatoldplanelandedright
ontimeand
withoutasinglebumporbruise.Soyousee...sometimesthose
feelinsdon't
cometoanything."
"Oh,"Dannysaid.
"Oryoutaketheracetrack.Igoalot,andIusuallydo
prettywell.Istand
bytherailwhentheygobythestartinggate,andsometimesI
getalittle
shineaboutthishorseorthatone.Usuallythosefeelinshelpme
getrealwell.
IalwaystellmyselfthatsomedayI'mgonnagetthreeatonceon
threelong
shotsandmakeenoughonthetrifectatoretireearly.Itain't
happenedyet.
Butthere'splentyoftimesI'vecomehomefromthetrackon
shank'smare
insteadofinataxicabwithmywalletswollenup.Nobodyshines
onallthe
time,exceptmaybeforGodupinheaven."
"Yes,sir,"Dannysaid,thinkingofthetimealmostayearago
whenTonyhad
showedhimanewbabylyinginacribattheirhousein
Stovington.Hehadbeen
veryexcitedaboutthat,andhadwaited,knowingthatittook
time,butthere
hadbeennonewbaby.
"Nowyoulisten,"Hallorannsaid,andtookbothofDanny's
handsinhisown.
"I'vehadsomebaddreamshere,andI'vehadsomebadfeelins.
I'veworkedhere
twoseasonsnowandmaybeadozentimesI'vehad...well,
nightmares.And
maybehalfadozentimesI'vethoughtI'veseenthings.No,I
won'tsaywhat.It
ain'tforalittleboylikeyou.Justnastythings.Onceithad
somethingtodo
withthosedamnhedgesclippedtolooklikeanimals.Anothertime
therewasa
maid,DeloresVickeryhernamewas,andshehadalittleshineto
her,butI
don'tthinksheknewit.Mr.Ullmanfiredher...doyouknow
whatthatis,
doc?"
"Yes,sir,"Dannysaidcandidly,"mydaddygotfiredfromhis
teachingjoband
that'swhywe'reinColorado,Iguess."
"Well,Ullmanfiredheronaccountofhersayingshe'dseen
somethinginone
oftheroomswhere...well,whereabadthinghappened.That
wasinRoom217,
andIwantyoutopromisemeyouwon'tgointhere,Danny.Not
allwinter.Steer
rightclear."
"Allright,"Dannysaid."Didtheladythemaidendidsheask
youtogo
look?"
"Yes,shedid.Andtherewasabadthingthere.But...I
don'tthinkitwas
abadthingthatcouldhurtanyone,Danny,that'swhatI'mtryin
tosay.People
whoshinecansometimesseethingsthataregonnahappen,andI
thinksometimes
theycanseethingsthatdidhappen.Butthey'rejustlike
picturesinabook.
Didyoueverseeapictureinabookthatscaredyou,Danny?"
"Yes,"hesaid,thinkingofthestoryofBluebeardandthe
picturewhere
Bluebeard'snewwifeopensthedoorandseesalltheheads.
"Butyouknewitcouldn'thurtyou,didn'tyou?"
"Yeess..."Dannysaid,alittledubious.
"Well,that'showitisinthishotel.Idon'tknowwhy,butit
seemsthatall
thebadthingsthateverhappenedhere,there'slittlepiecesof
thosethings
stilllayinaroundlikefingernailclippinsortheboogersthat
somebodynasty
justwipedunderachair.Idon'tknowwhyitshouldjustbe
here,there'sbad
goingsoninjustabouteveryhotelintheworld,Iguess,and
I'veworkedina
lotofthemandhadnotrouble.Onlyhere.ButDanny,Idon't
thinkthosethings
canhurtanybody."Heemphasizedeachwordinthesentencewitha
mildshakeof
theboy'sshoulders."Soifyoushouldseesomething,ina
hallwayoraroomor
outsidebythosehedges...justlooktheotherwayandwhen
youlookback,
it'llbegone.Areyoudigginme?"
"Yes,"Dannysaid.Hefeltmuchbetter,soothed.Hegotupon
hisknees,
kissedHallorann'scheek,andgavehimabighardhug.Hallorann
huggedhim
back.
Whenhereleasedtheboyheasked:"Yourfolks,theydon't
shine,dothey?"
"No,Idon'tthinkso."
"ItriedthemlikeIdidyou,"Hallorannsaid."Yourmomma
jumpedthetiniest
bit.Ithinkallmothersshinealittle,youknow,atleastuntil
theirkids
growupenoughtowatchoutforthemselves.Yourdad..."
Hallorannpausedmomentarily.Hehadprobedattheboy'sfather
andhejust
didn'tknow.Itwasn'tlikemeetingsomeonewhohadtheshine,or
someonewho
definitelydidnot.PokingatDanny'sfatherhadbeen...
strange,asifJack
Torrancehadsomethingsomethingthathewashiding.Orsomething
hewasholding
insodeeplysubmergedinhimselfthatitwasimpossibletoget
to.
"Idon'tthinkheshinesatall,"Hallorannfinished."Soyou
don'tworry
aboutthem.Youjusttakecareofyou.Idon'tthinkthere's
anythingherethat
canhurtyou.Sojustbecool,okay?"
"Okay."
"Danny!Hey,doc!"
Dannylookedaround."That'sMom.Shewantsme.Ihavetogo."
"Iknowyoudo,"Hallorannsaid."Youhaveagoodtimehere,
Danny.Bestyou
can,anyway."
"Iwill.Thanks,Mr.Hallorann.Ifeelalotbetter."
Thesmilingthoughtcameinhismind:
(Dick,tomyfriends)(Yes,Dick,okay)
Theireyesmet,andDickHallorannwinked.
Dannyscrambledacrosstheseatofthecarandopenedthe
passengersidedoor.
Ashewasgettingout,Hallorannsaid,"Danny?"
"What?"
"IfthereIstrouble...yougiveacall.Abigloudholler
liketheoneyou
gaveafewminutesago.Imighthearyouevenwaydownin
Florida.AndifIdo,
I'llcomeontherun."
"Okay,"Dannysaid,andsmiled.
"Youtakecare,bigboy."
"Iwill."
Dannyslammedthedoorandranacrosstheparkinglottoward
theporch,where
Wendystoodholdingherelbowsagainstthechillwind.Hallorann
watched,the
biggrinslowlyfading.
Idon'tthinkthere'sanythingherethatcanhurtyou.
Idon'tthink.
Butwhatifhewaswrong?Hehadknownthatthiswashislast
seasonatthe
OverlookeversincehehadseenthatthinginthebathtubofRoom
217.Ithad
beenworsethananypictureinanybook,andfromheretheboy
runningtohis
motherlookedsosmall...
Idon'tthink
Hiseyesdrifteddowntothetopiaryanimals.
Abruptlyhestartedthecarandputitingearanddroveaway,
tryingnotto
lookback.Andofcoursehedid,andofcoursetheporchwas
empty.Theyhad
gonebackinside.ItwasasiftheOverlookhadswallowedthem.

<<12>>

THEGRANDTOUR

"Whatwereyoutalkingabout,hon?"Wendyaskedhimasthey
wentbackinside.
"Oh,nothingmuch."
"Fornothingmuchitsurewasalongtalk."
HeshruggedandWendysawDanny'spaternityinthegesture;
Jackcouldhardly
havedoneitbetterhimself.ShewouldgetnomoreoutofDanny.
Shefeltstrong
exasperationmixedwithanevenstrongerlove:thelovewas
helpless,the
exasperationcamefromafeelingthatshewasdeliberatelybeing
excluded.With
thetwoofthemaroundshesometimesfeltlikeanoutsider,abit
playerwhohad
accidentallywanderedbackonstagewhilethemainactionwas
takingplace.Well,
theywouldn'tbeabletoexcludeherthiswinter,hertwo
exasperatingmales;
quartersweregoingtobealittletoocloseforthat.She
suddenlyrealizedshe
wasfeelingjealousoftheclosenessbetweenherhusbandandher
son,andfelt
ashamed.Thatwastooclosetothewayherownmothermighthave
felt...too
closeforcomfort.
ThelobbywasnowemptyexceptforUllmanandtheheaddesk
clerk(theywere
attheregister,cashingup),acoupleofmaidswhohadchanged
towarmslacks
andsweaters,standingbythefrontdoorandlookingoutwith
theirluggage
pooledaroundthem,andWatson,themaintenanceman.Hecaught
herlookingat
himandgaveherawink...adecidedlylecherousone.She
lookedaway
hurriedly.Jackwasoverbythewindowjustoutsidethe
restaurant,studyingthe
view.Helookedraptanddreamy.
Thecashregisterapparentlycheckedout,becausenowUllman
ranitshutwith
anauthoritativesnap.Heinitialedthetapeandputitina
smallzippercase.
Wendysilentlyapplaudedtheheadclerk,wholookedgreatly
relieved.Ullman
lookedlikethetypeofmanwhomighttakeanyshortageoutof
theheadclerk's
hide...withouteverspillingadropofblood.Wendydidn't
muchcarefor
Ullmanorhisofficious,ostentatiouslybustlingmanner.Hewas
likeeveryboss
she'deverhad,maleorfemale.Hewouldbesaccharinsweetwith
theguests,a
pettytyrantwhenhewasbackstagewiththehelp.Butnowschool
wasoutandthe
headclerk'spleasurewaswrittenlargeonhisface.Itwasout
foreveryonebut
sheandJackandDanny,anyway.
"Mr.Torrance,"Ullmancalledperemptorily."Wouldyoucome
overhere,please?
"
Jackwalkedover,noddingtoWendyandDannythattheywereto
cometoo.
Theclerk,whohadgoneintotheback,nowcameoutagain
wearinganovercoat.
"Haveapleasantwinter,Mr.Ullman."
"Idoubtit,"Ullmansaiddistantly."Maytwelfth,Braddock.
Notaday
earlier.Notadaylater."
"Yes,sir."
Braddockwalkedaroundthedesk,hisfacesoberanddignified,
asbefittedhis
position,butwhenhisbackwasentirelytoUllman,hegrinned
likeaschoolboy.
Hespokebrieflytothetwogirlsstillwaitingbythedoorfor
theirride,and
hewasfollowedoutbyabriefburstofstifledlaughter.
NowWendybegantonoticethesilenceoftheplace.Ithad
fallenoverthe
hotellikeaheavyblanketmutingeverythingbutthefaintpulse
ofthe
afternoonwindoutside.Fromwhereshestoodshecouldlook
throughtheinner
office,nowneattothepointofsterilitywithitstwobare
desksandtwosets
ofgrayfilingcabinets.BeyondthatshecouldseeHallorann's
spotlesskitchen,
thebigportholeddoubledoorsproppedopenbyrubberwedges.
"IthoughtIwouldtakeafewextraminutesandshowyou
throughtheHotel,"
Ullmansaid,andWendyreflectedthatyoucouldalwayshearthat
capitalHin
Ullman'svoice.Youweresupposedtohearit."I'msureyour
husbandwillgetto
knowtheinsandoutsoftheOverlookquitewell,Mrs.Torrance,
butyouand
yoursonwilldoubtlesskeepmoretothelobbylevelandthe
firstfloor,where
yourquartersare."
"Doubtless,"Wendymurmureddemurely,andJackshothera
privateglance.
"It'sabeautifulplace,"Ullmansaidexpansively."Irather
enjoyshowingit
off."
I'llbetyoudo,Wendythought.
"Let'sgouptothirdandworkourwaydown,"Ullmansaid.He
sounded
positivelyenthused.
"Ifwe'rekeepingyou"Jackbegan.
"Notatall,"Ullmansaid:"Theshopisshut.Toutfins,for
thisseason,at
least.AndIplantoovernightinBoulderattheBoulderado,of
course.Only
decenthotelthissideofDenver...exceptfortheOverlook
itself,of
course.Thisway."
Theysteppedintotheelevatortogether.Itwasornately
scrolledincopper
andbrass,butitsettledappreciablybeforeUllmanpulledthe
gateacross.
Dannystirredalittleuneasily,andUllmansmileddownathim.
Dannytriedto
smilebackwithoutnotablesuccess.
"Don'tyouworry,littleman,"Ullmansaid."Safeashouses."
"SowastheTitanic,"Jacksaid,lookingupatthecutglass
globeinthe
centeroftheelevatorceiling.Wendybittheinsideofhercheek
tokeepthe
smileaway.
Ullmanwasnotamused.Heslidtheinnergateacrosswitha
rattleandabang.
"TheTitanicmadeonlyonevoyage,Mr.Torrance.Thiselevator
hasmade
thousandsofthemsinceitwasinstalledin1926."
"That'sreassuring,"Jacksaid.HeruffedDanny'shair."The
planeain'tgonna
crash,doc."
Ullmanthrewtheleverover,andforamomenttherewasnothing
buta
shudderingbeneaththeirfeetandthetorturedwhineofthemotor
belowthem.
Wendyhadavisionofthefourofthembeingtrappedbetween
floorslikeflies
inabottleandfoundinthespring...withlittlebitsand
piecesgone...
liketheDonnerParty...
(Stopit!)
Theelevatorbegantorise,withsomevibrationandclashing
andbangingfrom
belowatfirst.Thentheridesmoothedout.Atthethirdfloor
Ullmanbrought
themtoabumpystop,retractedthegate,andopenedthedoor.
Theelevatorcar
wasstillsixinchesbelowfloorlevel.Dannygazedatthe
differenceinheight
betweenthethirdfloorhallandtheelevatorfloorasifhehad
justsensedthe
universewasnotassaneashehadbeentold.Ullmanclearedhis
throatand
raisedthecaralittle,broughtittoastopwithajerk(still
twoinches
low),andtheyallclimbedout.Withtheirweightgonethecar
reboundedalmost
tofloorlevel,somethingWendydidnotfindreassuringatall.
Safeashouses
ornot,sheresolvedtotakethestairswhenshehadtogoupor
downinthis
place.Andundernoconditionswouldsheallowthethreeofthem
togetintothe
ricketythingtogether.
"Whatareyoulookingat,doc?"Jackinquiredhumorously."See
anyspots
there?"
"Ofcoursenot,"Ullmansaid,nettled."Alltherugswere
shampooedjusttwo
daysago."
Wendyglanceddownatthehallrunnerherself.Pretty,but
definitelynot
anythingshewouldchooseforherownhome,ifthedayevercame
whenshehad
one.Deepbluepile,itwasentwinedwithwhatseemedtobea
surrealistic
junglescenefullofropesandvinesandtreesfilledwithexotic
birds.Itwas
hardtotelljustwhatsortofbirds,becauseallthe
interweavingwasdonein
unshadedblack,givingonlysilhouettes.
"Doyouliketherug?"WendyaskedDanny.
"Yes,Mom,"hesaidcolorlessly.
Theywalkeddownthehall,whichwascomfortablywide.The
wallpaperwassilk,
alighterbluetogoagainsttherug.Electricflambeauxstoodat
tenfoot
intervalsataheightofaboutsevenfeet.Fashionedtolooklike
Londongas
lamps,thebulbsweremaskedbehindcloudy,creamhuedglassthat
wasboundwith
crisscrossingironstrips.
"Ilikethoseverymuch,"shesaid.
Ullmannodded,pleased."Mr.Derwentbadthoseinstalled
throughouttheHotel
afterthewarnumberTwo,Imean.Infactmostalthoughnot
allofthethird
floordecoratingschemewashisidea.Thisis300,the
PresidentialSuite."
Hetwistedhiskeyinthelockofthemahoganydoubledoorsand
swungthem
wide.Thesittingroom'swidewesternexposuremadethemall
gasp,whichhad
probablybeenUllman'sintention.Hesmiled."Quiteaview,isn't
it?"
"Itsureis,"Jacksaid.
Thewindowrannearlythelengthofthesittingroom,and
beyonditthesun
waspoiseddirectlybetweentwosawtoothedpeaks,castinggolden
lightacross
therockfacesandthesugaredsnowonthehightips.Theclouds
aroundand
behindthispicturepostcardviewwerealsotintedgold,anda
sunbeamglinted
duskilydownintothedarklypooledfirsbelowthetimberline.
JackandWendyweresoabsorbedintheviewthattheydidn't
lookdownat
Danny,whowasstaringnotoutthewindowbutattheredand
whitestripedsilk
wallpapertotheleft,whereadooropenedintoaninterior
bedroom.Andhis
gasp,whichhadbeenmingledwiththeirs,hadnothingtodowith
beauty.
Greatsplashesofdriedblood,fleckedwithtinybitsof
grayishwhitetissue,
clottedthewallpaper.ItmadeDannyfeelsick.Itwaslikea
crazypicture
drawninblood,asurrealisticetchingofaman'sfacedrawnback
interrorand
pain,themouthyawningandhalftheheadpulverized
(Soifyoushouldseesomething...justlooktheotherway
andwhenyou
lookback,it'llbegone.Areyoudigginme?)
Hedeliberatelylookedoutthewindow,beingcarefultoshowno
expressionon
hisface,andwhenhismommy'shandclosedoverhisownhetook
it,being
carefulnottosqueezeitorgiveherasignalofanykind.
Themanagerwassayingsomethingtohisdaddyaboutmakingsure
toshutter
thatbigwindowsoastrongwindwouldn'tblowitin.Jackwas
nodding.Danny
lookedcautiouslybackatthewall.Thebigdriedbloodstainwas
gone.Those
littlegraywhiteflecksthathadbeenscatteredallthroughit,
theyweregone,
too.
ThenUllmanwasleadingthemout.Mommyaskedhimifhethought
themountains
werepretty.Dannysaidhedid,althoughhedidn'treallycare
forthe
mountains,onewayortheother.AsUllmanwasclosingthedoor
behindthem,
Dannylookedbackoverhisshoulder.Thebloodstainhadreturned,
onlynowit
wasfresh.Itwasrunning.Ullman,lookingdirectlyatit,went
onwithhis
runningcommentaryaboutthefamousmenwhohadstayedhere.
Dannydiscovered
thathehadbittenhisliphardenoughtomakeitbleed,andhe
hadnevereven
feltit.Astheywalkedondownthecorridor,hefellalittle
bitbehindthe
othersandwipedthebloodawaywiththebackofhishandand
thoughtabout
(blood)
(DidMr.Hallorannseebloodorwasitsomethingworse?)
(Idon'tthinkthosethingscanhurtyou.)
Therewasanironscreambehindhislips,buthewouldnotlet
itout.His
mommyanddaddycouldnotseesuchthings;theyneverhad.He
wouldkeepquiet.
Hismommyanddaddywerelovingeachother,andthatwasareal
thing.Theother
thingswerejustlikepicturesinabook.Somepictureswere
scary,butthey
couldn'thurtyou.They...couldn't...hurtyou.
Mr.Ullmanshowedthemsomeotherroomsonthethirdfloor,
leadingthem
throughcorridorsthattwistedandturnedlikeamaze.Theywere
allsweetsup
here,Mr.Ullmansaid,althoughDannydidn'tseeanycandy.He
showedthemsome
roomswherealadynamedMarilynMonroeoncestayedwhenshewas
marriedtoa
mannamedArthurMiller(Dannygotavagueunderstandingthat
MarilynandArthur
hadgottenaDIVORCEnotlongaftertheywereintheOverlook
Hotel).
"Mommy?"
"What,honey?"
"Iftheyweremarried,whydidtheyhavedifferentnames?You
andDaddyhave
thesamenames."
"Yes,butwe'renotfamous,Danny,"Jacksaid."Famouswomen
keeptheirsame
namesevenaftertheygetmarriedbecausetheirnamesaretheir
breadand
butter."
"Breadandbutter,"Dannysaid,completelymystified.
"WhatDaddymeansisthatpeopleusedtoliketogotothe
moviesandsee
MarilynMonroe,"Wendysaid,"buttheymightnotliketogoto
seeMarilyn
Miller."
"Whynot?She'dstillbethesamelady.Wouldn'teveryoneknow
that?"
"Yes,but"ShelookedatJackhelplessly.
"TrumanCapoteoncestayedinthisroom,"Ullmaninterrupted
impatiently.He
openedthedoor."Thatwasinmytime.Anawfullyniceman.
Continental
manners."
Therewasnothingremarkableinanyoftheserooms(exceptfor
theabsenceof
sweets,whichMr.Ullmankeptcallingthem),nothingthatDanny
wasafraidof.
Infact,therewasonlyoneotherthingonthethirdfloorthat
botheredDanny,
andhecouldnothavesaidwhy.Itwasthefireextinguisheron
thewalljust
beforetheyturnedthecornerandwentbacktotheelevator,
whichstoodopen
andwaitinglikeamouthfulofgoldteeth.
Itwasanoldfashionedextinguisher,aflathosefoldedbacka
dozentimes
uponitself,oneendattachedtoalargeredvalve,theother
endinginabrass
nozzle.Thefoldsofthehoseweresecuredwitharedsteelslat
onahinge.In
caseofafireyoucouldknockthesteelslatupandoutofthe
waywithone
hardpushandthehosewasyours.Dannycouldseethatmuch;he
wasgoodat
seeinghowthingsworked.Bythetimehewastwoandahalfhe
hadbeen
unlockingtheprotectivegatehisfatherhadinstalledatthetop
ofthestairs
intheStovingtonhouse.Hehadseenhowthelockworked.His
daddysaiditwas
aNACK.SomepeoplehadtheNACKandsomepeopledidn't.
Thisfireextinguisherwasalittleolderthanothershehad
seentheonein
thenurseryschool,forinstancebutthatwasnotsounusual.
Nonethelessit
filledhimwithfaintunease,curledupthereagainstthelight
bluewallpaper
likeasleepingsnake.Andhewasgladwhenitwasoutofsight
aroundthe
corner.
"Ofcourseallthewindowshavetobeshuttered,"Mr.Ullman
saidasthey
steppedbackintotheelevator.Onceagainthecarsankqueasily
beneaththeir
feet."ButI'mparticularlyconcernedabouttheoneinthe
PresidentialSuite.
Theoriginalbillonthatwindowwasfourhundredandtwenty
dollars,andthat
wasoverthirtyyearsago.Itwouldcosteighttimesthatto
replacetoday."
"I'llshutterit,"Jacksaid.
Theywentdowntothesecondfloorwherethereweremorerooms
andevenmore
twistsandturnsinthecorridor.Thelightfromthewindowshad
beguntofade
appreciablynowasthesunwentbehindthemountains.Mr.Ullman
showedthemone
ortworoomsandthatwasall.Hewalkedpast217,theoneDick
Hallorannhad
warnedhimabout,withoutslowing.Dannylookedatthebland
numberplateonthe
doorwithuneasyfascination.
Thendowntothefirstfloor.Mr.Ullmandidn'tshowtheminto
anyroomshere
untiltheyhadalmostreachedthethicklycarpetedstaircasethat
leddowninto
thelobbyagain."Hereareyourquarters,"hesaid."Ithink
you'llfindthem
adequate."
Theywentin.Dannywasbracedforwhatevermightbethere.
Therewasnothing.
WendyTorrancefeltastrongsurgeofrelief.ThePresidential
Suite,withits
coldelegance,hadmadeherfeelawkwardandclumsyitwasall
verywellto
visitsomerestoredhistoricalbuildingwithabedroomplaque
thatannounced
AbrahamLincolnorFranklinD.Roosevelthadsleptthere,but
anotherthing
entirelytoimagineyouandyourhusbandlyingbeneathacreages
oflinenand
perhapsmakinglovewherethegreatestmenintheworldhadonce
lain(themost
powerful,anyway,sheamended).Butthisapartmentwassimpler,
homier,almost
inviting.Shethoughtshecouldabidethisplaceforaseason
withnogreat
difficulty.
"It'sverypleasant,"shesaidtoUllman,andheardthe
gratitudeinher
voice.
Ullmannodded."Simplebutadequate.Duringtheseason,this
suitequarters
thecookandhiswife,orthecookandhisapprentice."
"Mr.Hallorannlivedhere?"Dannybrokein.
Mr.UllmaninclinedhisheadtoDannycondescendingly."Quite
so.HeandMr.
Nevers."HeturnedbacktoJackandWendy."Thisisthesitting
room."
Therewereseveralchairsthatlookedcomfortablebutnot
expensive,acoffee
tablethathadoncebeenexpensivebutnowhadalongchipgone
fromtheside,
twobookcases(stuffedfullofReader'sDigestCondensedBooks
andDetective
BookClubtrilogiesfromtheforties,Wendysawwithsome
amusement),andan
anonymoushotelTVthatlookedmuchlesselegantthanthebuffed
woodconsoles
intherooms.
"Nokitchen,ofcourse,"Ullmansaid,"butthereisadumb
waiter.This
apartmentisdirectlyoverthekitchen."Heslidasideasquare
ofpanelingand
disclosedawide,squarertray.Hegaveitapushandit
disappeared,trailing
ropebehindit.
"It'sasecretpassage!"Dannysaidexcitedlytohismother,
momentarily
forgettingallfearsinfavorofthatintoxicatingshaftbehind
thewall."Just
likeinAbbottandCostelloMeettheMonsters!"
Mr.UllmanfrownedbutWendysmiledindulgently.Dannyranover
tothedumb
waiterandpeereddowntheshaft.,
"Thisway,please."
Heopenedthedooronthefarsideofthelivingroom.Itgave
onthebedroom,
whichwasspaciousandairy.Thereweretwinbeds.Wendylooked
atherhusband,
smiled,shrugged.
"Noproblem,"Jacksaid."We'llpushthemtogether."
Mr.Ullmanlookedoverhisshoulder,honestlypuzzled."Beg
pardon?"
"Thebeds,"Jacksaidpleasantly."Wecanpushthemtogether."
"Oh,quite,"Ullmansaid,momentarilyconfused.Thenhisface
clearedanda
redflushbegantocreepupfromthecollarofhisshirt.
"Whateveryoulike."
Heledthembackintothesittingroom,whereaseconddoor
openedonasecond
bedroom,thisoneequippedwithbunkbeds.Aradiatorclankedin
onecorner,and
therugonthefloorwasahideousembroideryofwesternsageand
cactusDanny
badalreadyfalleninlovewithit,Wendysaw.Thewallsofthis
smallerroom
werepaneledinrealpine.
"Thinkyoucanstanditinhere,doc?"Jackasked.
"SureIcan.I'mgoingtosleepinthetopbunk.Okay?"
"Ifthat'swhatyouwant."
"Iliketherug,too.Mr.Ullman,whydon'tyouhaveallthe
rugslikethat?"
Mr.Ullmanlookedforamomentasifhehadsunkhisteethinto
alemon.Then
hesmiledandpattedDanny'shead."Thoseareyourquarters,"he
said,"except
forthebath,whichopensoffthemainbedroom.It'snotahuge
apartment,but
ofcourseyou'llhavetherestofthehoteltospreadoutin.The
lobby
fireplaceisingoodworkingorder,orsoWatsontellsme,and
youmustfeel
freetoeatinthediningroomifthespiritmovesyoutodoso."
Hespokein
thetoneofamanconferringagreatfavor.
"Allright,"Jacksaid.
"Shallwegodown?"Mr.Ullmanasked.
"Fine,"Wendysaid.
Theywentdownstairsintheelevator,andnowthelobbywas
whollydeserted
exceptforWatson,whowasleaningagainstthemaindoorsina
rawhidejacket,a
toothpickbetweenhislips.
"Iwouldhavethoughtyou'dbemilesfromherebynow,"Mr.
Ullmansaid,his
voiceslightlychill.
"JuststuckaroundtoremindMr.Torrancehereaboutthe
boiler,"Watsonsaid,
straighteningup."Keepyourgoodweathereyeonher,fella,and
she'llbefine.
Knockthepressdownacoupleoftimesaday.Shecreeps."
Shecreeps,Dannythought,andthewordsechoeddownalongand
silent
corridorinhismind,acorridorlinedwithmirrorswherepeople
seldomlooked.
"Iwill,"hisdaddysaid.
"You'llbefine,"Watsonsaid,andofferedJackhishand.Jack
shookit.
WatsonturnedtoWendyandinclinedhishead."Ma'am,"hesaid.
"I'mpleased,"Wendysaid,andthoughtitwouldsoundabsurd.
Itdidn't.She
hadcomeoutherefromNewEngland,whereshehadspentherlife,
anditseemed
toherthatinafewshortsentencesthismanWatson,withhis
fluffyfringeof
hair,hadepitomizedwhattheWestwassupposedtobeallabout.
Andnevermind
thelecherouswinkearlier.
"YoungmasterTorrance,"Watsonsaidgravely,andputouthis
hand.Danny,who
hadknownallabouthandshakingforalmostayearnow,puthis
ownhandout
gingerlyandfeltitswallowedup."Youtakegoodcareofem,
Dan."
"Yes,sir."
WatsonletgoofDanny'shandandstraightenedupfully.He
lookedatUllman.
"Untilnextyear,Iguess,"hesaid,andheldhishandout.
Ullmantoucheditbloodlessly.Hispinkyringcaughtthe
lobby'selectric
lightsinabalefulsortofwink.
"Maytwelfth,Watson,"hesaid."Notadayearlierorlater."
"Yes,sir,"Watsonsaid,andJackcouldalmostreadthecodicil
inWatson's
mind:...youfuckinglittlefaggot.
"Haveagoodwinter,Mr.Ullman."
"Oh,Idoubtit,"Ullmansaidremotely.
Watsonopenedoneofthetwobigmaindoors;thewindwhined
louderandbegan
toflutterthecollarofhisjacket."Youfolkstakecarenow,"
hesaid.
ItwasDannywhoanswered."Yes,sir,wewill."
Watson,whosenotsodistantancestorhadownedthisplace,
slippedhumbly
throughthedoor.Itclosedbehindhim,mufflingthewind.
Togethertheywatched
himclopdowntheporch'sbroadfrontstepsinhisbatteredblack
cowboyboots.
Brittleyellowaspenleavestumbledaroundhisheelsashe
crossedthelotto
hisInternationalHarvesterpickupandclimbedin.Bluesmoke
jettedfromthe
rustedexhaustpipeashestarteditup.Thespellofsilence
heldamongthemas
hebacked,thenpulledoutoftheparkinglot.Histruck
disappearedoverthe
browofthehillandthenreappeared,smaller,onthemainroad,
headingwest.
ForamomentDannyfeltmorelonelythanheeverhadinhis
life.

<<13>>

THEFRONTPORCH

TheTorrancefamilystoodtogetheronthelongfrontporchof
theOverlook
Hotelasifposingforafamilyportrait,Dannyinthemiddle,
zipperedinto
lastyear'sfalljacketwhichwasnowtoosmallandstartingto
comeoutatthe
elbow,Wendybehindhimwithonehandonhisshoulder,andJack
tohisleft,his
ownhandrestinglightlyonhisson'shead.
Mr.Ullmanwasastepbelowthem,buttonedintoanexpensive
lookingbrown
mohairovercoat.Thesunwasentirelybehindthemountainsnow,
edgingthemwith
goldfire,makingtheshadowsaroundthingslooklongandpurple.
Theonlythree
vehiclesleftintheparkinglotswerethehoteltruck,Ullman's
Lincoln
Continental,andthebatteredTorranceVW.
"You'vegotyourkeys,then;"UllmansaidtoJack,"andyou
understandfully
aboutthefurnaceandtheboiler?"
Jacknodded,feelingsomerealsympathyforUllman.Everything
wasdonefor
theseason,theballofstringwasneatlywrappedupuntilnext
May12nota
dayearlierorlaterandUllman,whowasresponsibleforallof
itandwho
referredtothehotelintheunmistakabletonesofinfatuation,
couldnothelp
lookingforlooseends.
"Ithinkeverythingiswellinhand,"Jacksaid.
"Good.I'llbeintouch."Buthestilllingeredforamoment,
asifwaiting
forthewindtotakeahandandperhapsgusthimdowntohiscar.
Hesighed.
"Allright.Haveagoodwinter,Mr.Torrance,Mrs.Torrance.You
too,Danny."
"Thankyou,sir,"Dannysaid."Ihopeyoudo,too."
"Idoubtit,"Ullmanrepeated,andhesoundedsad."Theplace
inFloridaisa
dump,iftheoutandouttruthistobespoken.Busywork.The
Overlookismy
realjob.Takegoodcareofitforme,Mr.Torrance."
"Ithinkitwillbeherewhenyougetbacknextspring,"Jack
said,anda
thoughtflashedthroughDanny'smind
(butwillwe?)
andwasgone.
"Ofcourse.Ofcourseitwill"
Ullmanlookedouttowardtheplaygroundwherethehedgeanimals
were
clatteringinthewind.Thenhenoddedoncemoreina
businesslikeway.
"Goodby,then."
Hewalkedquicklyandprissilyacrosstohiscararidiculously
bigonefor
suchalittlemanandtuckedhimselfintoit.TheLincoln'smotor
purredinto
lifeandthetaillightsflashedashepulledoutofhisparking
stall.Asthe
carmovedaway,Jackcouldreadthesmallsignattheheadofthe
stall:
RESERVEDFORMR.ULLMAN,MGR.
"Right,"Jacksaidsoftly.
Theywatcheduntilthecarwasoutofsight,headeddownthe
easternslope.
Whenitwasgone,thethreeofthemlookedateachotherfora
silent,almost
frightenedmoment.Theywerealone.Aspenleaveswhirledand
skitteredin
aimlesspacksacrossthelawnthatwasnowneatlymowedand
tendedforno
guest'seyes.Therewasnoonetoseetheautumnleavessteal
acrossthegrass
butthethreeofthem.ItgaveJackacuriousshrinkingfeeling,
asifhislife
forcehaddwindledtoameresparkwhilethehotelandthe
groundsbadsuddenly
doubledinsizeandbecomesinister,dwarfingthemwithsullen,
inanimatepower.
ThenWendysaid:"Lookatyou,doc.Yournoseisrunninglikea
firehose.
Let'sgetinside."
Andtheydid,closingthedoorfirmlybehindthemagainstthe
restlesswhine
ofthewind.

PARTTHREE

TheWasps'Nest

<<14>>
UPONTHEROOF

"Ohyougoddamfuckingsonofabitch!"
JackTorrancecriedthesewordsoutinbothsurpriseandagony
asheslapped
hisrighthandagainsthisbluechambrayworkshirt,dislodging
thebig,slow
movingwaspthathadstunghim.Thenhewasscramblingupthe
roofasfastashe
could,lookingbackoverhisshouldertoseeifthewasp's
brothersandsisters
wererisingfromthenesthehaduncoveredtodobattle.Ifthey
were,itcould
bebad;thenestwasbetweenhimandhisladder,andthetrapdoor
leadingdown
intotheatticwaslockedfromtheinside.Thedropwasseventy
feetfromthe
rooftothecementpatiobetweenthehotelandthelawn.
Theclearairabovethenestwasstillandundisturbed.
Jackwhistleddisgustedlybetweenhisteeth,satstraddlingthe
peakofthe
roof,andexaminedhisrightindexfinger.Itwasswelling
already,andhe
supposedhewouldhavetotryandcreeppastthatnesttohis
laddersohecould
godownandputsomeiceonit.
ItwasOctober20.WendyandDannyhadgonedowntoSidewinder
inthehotel
truck(anelderly,rattlingDodgethatwasstillmoretrustworthy
thantheVW,
whichwasnowwheezinggravelyandseemedterminal)togetthree
gallonsofmilk
anddosomeChristmasshopping.Itwasearlytoshop,butthere
wasnotelling
whenthesnowwouldcometostay.Therehadalreadybeen
flurries,andinsome
placestheroaddownfromtheOverlookwasslickwithpatchice.
Sofarthefallhadbeenalmostpreternaturallybeautiful.In
thethreeweeks
theyhadbeenhere,goldendayhadfollowedgoldenday.Crisp,
thirtydegree
morningsgavewaytoafternoontemperaturesinthelowsixties,
theperfect
temperatureforclimbingaroundontheOverlook'sgentlysloping
westernroof
anddoingtheshingling.JackhadadmittedfreelytoWendythat
hecouldhave
finishedthejobfourdaysago,buthefeltnorealurgeto
hurry.Theviewfrom
upherewasspectacular,evenputtingthevistafromthe
PresidentialSuitein
theshade.Moreimportant,theworkitselfwassoothing.Onthe
roofhefelt
himselfhealingfromthetroubledwoundsofthelastthreeyears.
Ontheroofhe
feltatpeace.Thosethreeyearsbegantoseemlikeaturbulent
nightmare.
Theshingleshadbeenbadlyrotted,someofthemblownentirely
awaybylast
winter'sstorms.Hehadrippedthemallup,yelling"Bombsaway!"
ashedropped
themovertheside,notwantingDannytogethitincasehehad
wanderedover.
Hehadbeenpullingoutbadflashingwhenthewasphadgotten
him.
Theironicpartwasthathewarnedhimselfeachtimeheclimbed
ontotheroof
tokeepaneyeoutfornests;hehadgottenthatbugbombjustin
case.Butthis
morningthestillnessandpeacehadbeensocompletethathis
watchfulnesshad
lapsed.Hehadbeenbackintheworldoftheplayhewasslowly
creating,
roughingoutwhateverscenehewouldbeworkingonthatevening
inhishead.The
playwasgoingverywell,andalthoughWendyhadsaidlittle,he
knewshewas
pleased.Hehadbeenroadblockedonthecrucialscenebetween
Denker,the
sadisticheadmaster,andGaryBenson,hisyounghero,duringthe
lastunhappy
sixmonthsatStovington,monthswhenthecravingforadrinkhad
beensobad
thathecouldbarelyconcentrateonhisinclasslectures,let
alonehis
extracurricularliteraryambitions.
Butinthelasttwelveevenings,asheactuallysatdownin
frontofthe
officemodelUnderwoodhehadborrowedfromthemainoffice
downstairs,the
roadblockhaddisappearedunderhisfingersasmagicallyas
cottoncandy
dissolvesonthelips.Hehadcomeupalmosteffortlesslywith
theinsightsinto
Denker'scharacterthathadalwaysbeenlacking,andhehad
rewrittenmostof
thesecondactaccordingly,makingitrevolvearoundthenew
scene.Andthe
progressofthethirdact,whichhehadbeenturningoverinhis
mindwhenthe
waspputanendtocogitation,wascomingclearerallthetime.
Hethoughthe
couldroughitoutintwoweeks,andhaveacleancopyofthe
wholedamnedplay
byNewYear's.
HehadanagentinNewYork,atoughredheadedwomannamed
PhyllisSandler
whosmokedHerbertTareytons,drankJimBeamfromapapercup,
andthoughtthe
literarysunroseandsetonSeanO'Casey.Shehadmarketedthree
ofJack's
shortstories,includingtheEsquirepiece.Hehadwrittenher
abouttheplay,
whichwascalledTheLittleSchool,describingthebasicconflict
between
Denker,agiftedstudentwhohadfailedintobecomingthebrutal
andbrutalizing
headmasterofaturnofthecenturyNewEnglandprepschool,and
GaryBenson,
thestudentheseesasayoungerversionofhimself.Phyllishad
writtenback
expressinginterestandadmonishinghimtoreadO'Caseybefore
sittingdownto
it.Shehadwrittenagainearlierthatyearaskingwherethehell
wastheplay?
HehadwrittenbackwrylythatTheLittleSchoolhadbeen
indefinitelyand
perhapsinfinitelydelayedbetweenhandandpage"inthat
interesting
intellectualGobiknownasthewriter'sblock."Nowitlookedas
ifshemight
actuallygettheplay.Whetherornotitwasanygoodorifit
wouldeversee
actualproductionwasanothermatter.Andhedidn'tseemtocare
agreatdeal
aboutthosethings.Hefeltinawaythattheplayitself,the
wholething,was
theroadblock,acolossalsymbolofthebadyearsatStovington
Prep,the
marriagehehadalmosttotaledlikeanuttykidbehindthewheel
ofanold
jalopy,themonstrousassaultonhisson,theincidentinthe
parkinglotwith
GeorgeHatfield,anincidenthecouldnolongerviewasjust
anothersuddenand
destructiveflareoftemper.Henowthoughtthatpartofhis
drinkingproblem
hadstemmedfromanunconsciousdesiretobefreeofStovington
andthesecurity
hefeltwasstiflingwhatevercreativeurgehehad.Hehad
stoppeddrinking,but
theneedtobefreehadbeenjustasgreat.HenceGeorge
Hatfield.Nowallthat
remainedofthosedayswastheplayonthedeskinhisand
Wendy'sbedroom,and
whenitwasdoneandsentofftoPhyllis'sholeinthewallNew
Yorkagency,he
couldturntootherthings.Notanovel,hewasnotreadyto
stumbleintothe
swampofanotherthreeyearundertaking,butsurelymoreshort
stories.Perhaps
abookofthem.
Movingwarily,hescrambledbackdowntheslopeoftheroofon
hishandsand
kneespastthelineofdemarcationwherethefreshgreenBird
shinglesgaveway
tothesectionofroofhehadjustfinishedclearing.Hecameto
theedgeonthe
leftofthewasps'nesthehaduncoveredandmovedgingerly
towardit,readyto
backtrackandboltdownhisladdertothegroundifthingslooked
toohot.
Heleanedoverthesectionofpulledoutflashingandlooked
in.
Thenestwasinthere,tuckedintothespacebetweentheold
flashingandthe
finalroofundercoatingofthreebyfives.Itwasadamnbigone.
Thegrayish
paperballlookedtoJackasifitmightbenearlytwofeet
throughthecenter.
Itsshapewasnotperfectbecausethespacebetweentheflashing
andtheboards
wastoonarrow,buthethoughtthelittlebuggershadstilldone
apretty
respectablejob.Thesurfaceofthenestwasacrawlwiththe
lumbering,slow
movinginsects.Theywerethebigmeanones,notyellowjackets,
whichare
smallerandcalmer,butwallwasps.Theyhadbeenrenderedsludgy
andstupidby
thefalltemperatures,butJack,whoknewaboutwaspsfromhis
childhood,
countedhimselfluckythathehadbeenstungonlyonce.And,he
thought,if
Ullmanhadhiredthejobdoneintheheightofsummer,the
workmanwhotoreup
thatparticularsectionoftheflashingwouldhavegottenone
hellofa
surprise.Yesindeedy.Whenadozenwallwaspslandonyouallat
onceandstart
stingingyourfaceandhandsandarms,stingingyourlegsright
throughyour
pants,itwouldbeentirelypossibletoforgetyouwereseventy
feetup.You
mightjustchargerightofftheedgeoftheroofwhileyouwere
tryingtoget
awayfromthem.Allfromthoselittlethings,thebiggestofthem
onlyhalfthe
lengthofapencilstub.
HehadreadsomeplaceinaSundaysupplementpieceoraback
ofthebook
newsmagazinearticlethat7percentofallautomobile
fatalitiesgo
unexplained.Nomechanicalfailure,noexcessivespeed,nobooze,
nobad
weather.Simplyonecarcrashesondesertedsectionsofroad,one
deadoccupant,
thedriver,unabletoexplainwhathadhappenedtohim.The
articlehadincluded
aninterviewwithastatetrooperwhotheorizedthatmanyof
thesesocalled
"foocrashes"resultedfrominsectsinthecar.Wasps,abee,
possiblyevena
spiderormoth.Thedrivergetspanicky,triestoswatitor
unrollawindowto
letitout.Possiblytheinsectstingshim.Maybethedriverjust
losescontrol.
Eitherwayit'sbang!.,.allover.Andtheinsect,usually
completely
unharmed,wouldbuzzmerrilyoutofthesmokingwreck,looking
forgreener
pastures.Thetrooperhadbeeninfavorofhavingpathologists
lookforinsect
venomwhileautopsyingsuchvictims,Jackrecalled.
Now,lookingdownintothenest,itseemedtohimthatitcould
serveasboth
aworkablesymbolforwhathehadbeenthrough(andwhathehad
draggedhis
hostagestofortunethrough)andanomenforabetterfuture.How
elsecouldyou
explainthethingsthathadhappenedtohim?Forhestillfelt
thatthewhole
rangeofunhappyStovingtonexperienceshadtobelookedatwith
JackTorrance
inthepassivemode.Hehadnotdonethings;thingshadbeendone
tohim.Hehad
knownplentyofpeopleontheStovingtonfaculty,twoofthem
rightinthe
EnglishDepartment,whowereharddrinkers.ZackTunneywasin
thehabitof
pickingupafullkegofbeeronSaturdayafternoon,plonkingit
inabackyard
snowbankovernight,andthenkillingdamnnearallofiton
Sundaywatching
footballgamesandoldmovies.YetthroughtheweekZackwasas
soberasa
judgeaweakcocktailwithlunchwasanoccasion.
HeandAlShockleyhadbeenalcoholics.Theyhadsoughteach
otheroutlike
twocastoffswhowerestillsocialenoughtopreferdrowning
togethertodoing
italone.Theseahadbeenwholegraininsteadofsalt,thatwas
all.Looking
downatthewasps,astheyslowlywentabouttheirinstinctual
businessbefore
wintercloseddowntokillallbuttheirhibernatingqueen,he
wouldgofurther.
Hewasstillanalcoholic,alwayswouldbe,perhapshadbeen
sinceSophomore
ClassNightinhighschoolwhenhehadtakenhisfirstdrink.It
hadnothingto
dowithwillpower,orthemoralityofdrinking,ortheweakness
orstrengthof
hisowncharacter.Therewasabrokenswitchsomewhereinside,or
acircuit
breakerthatdidn'twork,andhehadbeenpropelleddownthe
chutewillynilly,
slowlyatfirst,thenacceleratingasStovingtonappliedits
pressuresonhim.A
biggrease&slideandatthebottomhadbeenashattered,
ownerlessbicycleand
asonwithabrokenarm.JackTorranceinthepassivemode.And
histemper,same
thing.Allhislifehehadbeentryingunsuccessfullytocontrol
it.Hecould
rememberhimselfatseven,spankedbyaneighborladyforplaying
withmatches.
Hehadgoneoutandhurledarockatapassingcar.Hisfather
hadseenthat,
andhehaddescendedonlittleJacky,roaring.Hehadreddened
Jack'sbehind..
.andthenblackedhiseye.Andwhenhisfatherhadgoneintothe
house,
muttering,toseewhatwasontelevision,Jackhadcomeupona
straydogandhad
kickeditintothegutter.Therehadbeentwodozenfightsin
grammarschool,
evenmoreoftheminhighschool,warrantingtwosuspensionsand
uncounted
detentionsinspiteofhisgoodgrades.Footballhadprovideda
partialsafety
valve,althoughherememberedperfectlywellthathehadspent
almostevery
minuteofeverygameinastateofhighpissoff,takingevery
opposingblock
andtacklepersonally.Hehadbeenafineplayer,makingAll
Conferenceinhis
juniorandsenioryears,andheknewperfectlywellthathehad
hisownbad
tempertothank...ortoblame.Hehadnotenjoyedfootball.
Everygamewasa
grudgematch.
Andyet,throughitall,hehadn'tfeltlikeasonofabitch.
Hehadn'tfelt
mean.HehadalwaysregardedhimselfasJackTorrance,areally
niceguywhowas
justgoingtohavetolearnhowtocopewithhistempersomeday
beforeitgot
himintrouble.Thesamewayhewasgoingtohavetolearnhowto
copewithhis
drinking.Buthehadbeenanemotionalalcoholicjustassurely
ashehadbeena
physicalonethetwoofthemwerenodoubttiedtogether
somewheredeepinside
him,whereyou'djustassoonnotlook.Butitdidn'tmuchmatter
tohimifthe
rootcauseswereinterrelatedorseparate,sociologicalor
psychologicalor
physiological.Hehadhadtodealwiththeresults:the
spankings,thebeatings
fromhisoldman,thesuspensions,withtryingtoexplainthe
schoolclothes
torninplaygroundbrawls,andlaterthehangovers,theslowly
dissolvingglue
ofhismarriage,thesinglebicyclewheelwithitsbentspokes
pointingintothe
sky,Danny'sbrokenarm.AndGeorgeHatfield,ofcourse.
HefeltthathehadunwittinglystuckhishandintoTheGreat
Wasps'Nestof
Life.Asanimageitstank.Asacameoofreality,hefeltitwas
serviceable.
Hehadstuckhishandthroughsomerottedflashinginhighsummer
andthathand
andhiswholearmhadbeenconsumedinholy,righteousfire,
destroying
consciousthought,makingtheconceptofcivilizedbehavior
obsolete.Couldyou
beexpectedtobehaveasathinkinghumanbeingwhenyourhand
wasbeingimpaled
onredhotdarningneedles?Couldyoubeexpectedtoliveinthe
loveofyour
nearestanddearestwhenthebrown,furiouscloudroseoutofthe
holeinthe
fabricofthings(thefabricyouthoughtwassoinnocent)and
arrowedstraight
atyou?Couldyoubeheldresponsibleforyourownactionsasyou
rancrazily
aboutontheslopingroofseventyfeetabovetheground,not
knowingwhereyou
weregoing,notrememberingthatyourpanicky,stumblingfeet
couldleadyou
crashingandblunderingrightovertheraingutteranddownto
yourdeathonthe
concreteseventyfeetbelow?Jackdidn'tthinkyoucould.When
youunwittingly
stuckyourhandintothewasps'nest,youhadn'tmadeacovenant
withthedevil
togiveupyourcivilizedselfwithitstrappingsofloveand
respectandhonor.
Itjusthappenedtoyou.Passively,withnosay,youceasedtobe
acreatureof
themindandbecameacreatureofthenerveendings;from
collegeeducatedman
towailingapeinfiveeasyseconds.
HethoughtaboutGeorgeHatfield.
Tallandshaggilyblond,Georgehadbeenanalmostinsolently
beautifulboy.
InhistightfadedjeansandStovingtonsweatshirtwiththe
sleevescarelessly
pusheduptotheelbowstodisclosehistannedforearms,hehad
remindedJackof
ayoungRobertRedford,andhedoubtedthatGeorgehadmuch
troublescoringno
morethanthatyoungfootballplayingdevilJackTorrancehadten
yearsearlier.
Hecouldsaythathehonestlydidn'tfeeljealousofGeorge,or
envyhimhis
goodlooks;infact,hehadalmostunconsciouslybegunto
visualizeGeorgeas
thephysicalincarnationofhisplayhero,GaryBensonthe
perfectfoilforthe
dark,slumped,andagingDenker,whogrewtohateGarysomuch.
Buthe,Jack
Torrance,hadneverfeltthatwayaboutGeorge.Ifhehad,he
wouldhaveknown
it.Hewasquitesureofthat.
GeorgehadfloatedthroughhisclassesatStovington.Asoccer
andbaseball
star,hisacademicprogramhadbeenfairlyundemandingandhehad
beencontent
withC'sandanoccasionalBinhistoryorbotany.Hewasa
fiercefield
contenderbutalackadaisical,amusedsortofstudentinthe
classroomsJackwas
familiarwiththetype,morefromhisowndaysasahighschool
andcollege
studentthanfromhisteachingexperience,whichwasatsecond
hand.George
Hatfieldwasajock.Hecouldbeacalm,undemandingfigurein
theclassroom,
butwhentherightsetofcompetitivestimuliwasapplied(like
electrodesto
thetemplesofFrankenstein'smonster,Jackthoughtwryly),he
couldbecomea
juggernaut.
InJanuary,Georgehadtriedoutwithtwodozenothersforthe
debateteam.He
hadbeenquitefrankwithJack.Hisfatherwasacorporation
lawyer,andhe
wantedhissontofollowinhisfootsteps.George,whofeltno
burningcallto
doanythingelse,waswilling.Hisgradeswerenottopend,but
thiswas,after
all,onlyprepschoolanditwasstillearlytimes.Ifshouldbe
cametomust
be,hisfathercouldpullsomestrings.George'sownathletic
abilitywouldopen
stillotherdoors.ButBrianHatfieldthoughthissonshouldget
onthedebate
team.Itwasgoodpractice,anditwassomethingthatlawschool
admissions
boardsalwayslookedfor.SoGeorgewentoutfordebate,andin
lateMarchJack
cuthimfromtheteam.
ThelatewinterintersquaddebateshadfiredGeorgeHatfield's
competitive
soul.Hebecameagrimlydetermineddebater,preppinghisproor
conposition
fiercely.Itdidn'tmatterifthesubjectwaslegalizationof
marijuana,
reinstatingthedeathpenalty,ortheoildepletionallowance.
Georgebecame
conversant,andhewasjustjingoistenoughtohonestlynotcare
whichsidehe
wasonarareandvaluabletrait',eveninhighleveldebaters,
Jackknew.The
soulsofatruecarpetbaggerandatruedebaterwerenotfar
removedfromeach
other;theywerebothpassionatelyinterestedinthemainchance.
Sofar,so
good.
ButGeorgeHatfieldstuttered.
Thiswasnotahandicapthathadevenshownupinthe
classroom,whereGeorge
wasalwayscoolandcollected(whetherhehaddonehishomework
ornot),and
certainlynotontheStovingtonplayingfields,wheretalkwas
notavirtueand
theysometimeseventhrewyououtofthegamefortoomuch
discussion.
WhenGeorgegottightlywoundupinadebate,thestutterwould
comeout.The
moreeagerhebecame,theworseitwas.Andwhenhefelthehad
anopponentdead
inhissights,anintellectualsortofbuckfeverseemedtotake
placebetween
hisspeechcentersandhismouthandhewouldfreezesolidwhile
theclockran
out.Itwaspainfultowatch.
"SSSoIthththinkwehavetosaythatthefuhfuhfactsin
theccaseMr.
DDDDorskycitesarerenrenrenderedobsoletebytheruh
recentduhduh
decisionhandeddownininin..."
ThebuzzerwouldgooffandGeorgewouldwhirlaroundtostare
furiouslyat
Jack,whosatbesideit.George'sfaceatthosemomentswouldbe
flushed,his
notescrumpledspasmodicallyinonehand.
JackhadheldontoGeorgelongafterhehadcutmostofthe
obviousflat
tires,hopingGeorgewouldworkout.Herememberedonelate
afternoonabouta
weekbeforehehadreluctantlydroppedtheax.Georgehadstayed
afterthe
othershadfiledout,andthenhadconfrontedJackangrily.
"Youssetthetimerahead."
Jacklookedupfromthepapershewasputtingbackintohis
briefcase.
"George,whatareyoutalkingabout?"
"Iddidn'tgetmywholefivemihminutes.Yousetitahead.I
waswuh
watchingtheclock."
"Theclockandthetimermaykeepslightlydifferenttimes,
George,butI
nevertouchedthedialonthedamnedthing.Scout'shonor."
"Yuhyuhyoudid!"
Thebelligerent,I'mstickingupformyrightswayGeorgewas
lookingathim
hadsparkedJack'sowntemper.Hehad
beenoffthesaucefortwomonths,twomonthstoolong,andhe
wasragged.He
madeonelastefforttoholdhimselfin."IassureyouIdidnot,
George.It's
yourstutter.Doyouhaveanyideawhatcausesit?Youdon't
stutterinclass."
"Iduhduhdon'tssstststutterl"
"Loweryourvoice."
"YouwwanttoggetmetYouduhdon'twwantmeonyourgg
goddamteam!"
"Loweryourvoice,Isaid.Let'sdiscussthisrationally."
"Ffuhfuckththat!"
"George,ifyoucontrolyourstutter,I'dbegladtohaveyou.
You'rewell
preppedforeverypracticeandyou'regoodatthebackground
stuff,whichmeans
you'rerarelysurprised.Butallthatdoesn'tmeanmuchifyou
can'tcontrol
that"
"I'venehnehneverstuttered!"hecriedout."It'syuhyou!I
iifsuh
someoneelsehadthedddebdebatetteam,Icould"
Jack'stemperslippedanothernotch.
"George,you'renevergoingtomakemuchofalawyer,
corporationor
otherwise,ifyoucan'tcontrolthat.Lawisn'tlikesoccer.Two
hoursof
practiceeverynightwon'tcutit.Whatareyougoingtodo,
standupinfront
ofaboardmeetingandsay,`Nuhnuhnow,ggentlemen,aboutthis
tttort'?"
Hesuddenlyflushed,notwithangerbutwithshameathisown
cruelty.This
wasnotamaninfrontofhimbutaseventeenyearoldboywho
wasfacingthe
firstmajordefeatofhislife,andmaybeaskingintheonlyway
hecouldfor
Jacktohelphimfindawaytocopewithit.
Georgegavehimafinal,furiousglance,hislipstwistingand
buckingasthe
wordsbottledupbehindthemstruggledtofindtheirwayout.
"YuhyuhyousssetitaheadlYouhuhhatemebbecauseyou
nuhnuhnuhknow
...youknow...nuhnuh"
Withanarticulatecryhehadrushedoutoftheclassroom,
slammingthedoor
hardenoughtomakethewirereinforcedglassrattleinits
frame.Jackhad
stoodthere,feeling,ratherthanhearing,theechoofGeorge's
Adidasinthe
emptyhall.Stillinthegripofhistemperandhisshameat
mockingGeorge's
stutter,hisfirstthoughthadbeenasicksortofexultation:
Forthefirst
timeinhislifeGeorgeHatfieldhadwantedsomethinghecould
nothave.Forthe
firsttimetherewassomethingwrongthatallofDaddy'smoney
couldnotfix.
Youcouldn'tbribeaspeechcenter.Youcouldn'tofferatongue
anextrafiftya
weekandabonusatChristmasifitwouldagreetostopflapping
likearecord
needleinadefectivegroove.Thentheexultationwassimply
buriedinshame,
andhefeltthewayhehadafterhehadbrokenDanny'sarm.
DearGod,Iamnotasonofabitch.Please.
ThatsickhappinessatGeorge'sretreatwasmoretypicalof
Denkerintheplay
thanofJackTorrancetheplaywright.
Youhatemebecauseyouknow...
Becauseheknewwhat?
WhatcouldhepossiblyknowaboutGeorgeHatfieldthatwould
makehimhate
him?Thathiswholefuturelayaheadofhim?Thathelookeda
littlebitlike
RobertRedfordandallconversationamongthegirlsstoppedwhen
hedidadouble
gainerfromthepooldivingboard?Thatheplayedsoccerand
baseballwitha
natural,unlearnedgrace?
Ridiculous.Absolutelyabsurd.HeenviedGeorgeHatfield
nothing.Ifthetruth
wasknown,hefeltworseaboutGeorge'sunfortunatestutterthan
Georgehimself,
becauseGeorgereallywouldhavemadeanexcellentdebater.And
ifJackhadset
thetimeraheadandofcoursehehadn'titwouldhavebeen
becausebothheand
theothermembersofthesquadwereembarrassedforGeorge's
struggle,theyhad
agonizedoveritthewayyouagonizewhentheClassNightspeaker
forgetssome
ofhislines.Ifhehadsetthetimerahead,itwouldhavebeen
justto...to
putGeorgeoutofhismisery.
Buthehadn'tsetthetimerahead.Hewasquitesureofit.
Aweeklaterhehadcuthim,andthattimehehadkepthis
temper.Theshouts
andthethreatshadallbeenonGeorge'sside.Aweekafterthat
hehadgoneout
totheparkinglothalfwaythroughpracticetogetapileof
sourcebooksthathe
hadleftinthetrunkoftheVWandtherehadbeenGeorge,down
ononekneewith
hislongblondhairswinginginhisface,ahuntingknifeinone
hand.Hewas
sawingthroughtheVW'srightfronttire.Thebacktireswere
alreadyshredded,
andthebugsatonthefiatslikeasmall,tireddog.
Jackhadseenred,andrememberedverylittleoftheencounter
thatfollowed.
Herememberedathickgrowlthatseemedtoissuefromhisown
throat:"All
right,George.Ifthat'showyouwantit,justcomehereandtake
your
medicine."
HerememberedGeorgelookingup,startledandfearful.Hehad
said:"Mr.
Torrance"asiftoexplainhowallthiswasjustamistake,the
tireshadbeen
flatwhenhegotthereandhewasjustcleaningdirtoutofthe
fronttreads
withthe
tipofthisguttingknifehejusthappenedtohavewithhim
and
Jackhadwadedin,hisfistsheldupinfrontofhim,andit
seemedthathe
hadbeengrinning.Buthewasn'tsureofthat.
ThelastthingberememberedwasGeorgeholdinguptheknife
andsaying:"You
betternotcomeanycloser"
AndthenextthingwasMissStrong,theFrenchteacher,holding
Jack'sarms,
crying,screaming:"Stopit,Jack!Stopit!You'regoingtokill
him!"
Hehadblinkedaroundstupidly.Therewasthehuntingknife,
glittering
harmlesslyontheparkinglotasphaltfouryardsaway.Therewas
hisVolkswagen,
hispooroldbatteredbug,veteranofmanywildmidnightdrunken
rides,sitting
onthreefiatshoes.Therewasanewdentintherightfront
fender,hesaw,and
therewassomethinginthemiddleofthedentthatwaseitherred
paintor
blood.Foramomenthehadbeenconfused,histhoughts
(jesuschristalwehithimafterall)
ofthatothernight.ThenhiseyeshadshiftedtoGeorge,
Georgelyingdazed
andblinkingontheasphalt.Hisdebategrouphadcomeoutand
theywerehuddled
togetherbythedoor,staringatGeorge.Therewasbloodonhis
facefroma
scalplacerationthatlookedminor,buttherewasalsoblood
runningoutofone
ofGeorge'searsandthatprobablymeantaconcussion.When
Georgetriedtoget
up,JackshookfreeofMissStrongandwenttohim.George
cringed.
JackputhishandsonGeorge'schestandpushedhimbackdown.
"Liestill,"he
said."Don'ttrytomove."HeturnedtoMissStrong,whowas
staringatthem
bothwithhorror.
"Pleasegocalltheschooldoctor,MissStrong,"betoldher.
Sheturnedand
fledtowardtheoffice.Helookedathisdebateclassthen,
lookedthemrightin
theeyebecausehewasinchargeagain,fullyhimself,andwhen
hewashimself
therewasn'tanicerguyinthewholestateofVermont.Surely
theyknewthat.
"Youcangohomenow,"hetoldthemquietly."We'llmeetagain
tomorrow."
Butbytheendofthatweeksixofhisdebatershaddropped
out,twoofthem
theclassoftheact,butofcourseitdidn'tmattermuchbecause
hehadbeen
informedbythenthathewouldbedroppingouthimself.
Yetsomehowhehadstayedoffthebottle,andhesupposedthat
wassomething.
AndhehadnothatedGeorgeHatfield.Hewassureofthat.He
hadnotacted
buthadbeenactedupon.
Youhatemebecauseyouknow...
Buthehadknownnothing.Nothing.Hewouldswearthatbefore
theThroneof
AlmightyGod,justashewouldswearthathehadsetthetimer
aheadnomore
thanaminute.Andnotoutofhatebutoutofpity.
Twowaspswerecrawlingsluggishlyaboutontheroofbesidethe
holeinthe
flashing.
Hewatchedthemuntiltheyspreadtheiraerodynamicallyunsound
butstrangely
efficientwingsandlumberedoffintotheOctobersunshine,
perchancetosting
someoneelse.Godhadseenfittogivethemstingersandlack
supposedtheyhad
tousethemonsomebody.
Howlonghadhebeensittingthere,lookingatthatholewith
itsunpleasant
surprisedowninside,rakingoveroldcoals?Helookedathis
watch.Almosthalf
anhour.
Helethimselfdowntotheedgeoftheroof,droppedoneleg
over,andfelt
arounduntilhisfootfoundthetoprungoftheladderjustbelow
theoverhang.
Hewouldgodowntotheequipmentshedwherehehadstoredthe
bugbombona
highshelfoutofDanny'sreach.Hewouldgetit,comebackup,
andthenthey
wouldbetheonessurprised.Youcouldbestung,butyoucould
alsostingback.
Hebelievedthatsincerely.Twohoursfromnowthenestwouldbe
justsomuch
chewedpaperandDannycouldhaveitinhisroomifhewanted
toJackhadhad
oneinhisroomwhenhewasjustakid,ithadalwayssmelled
faintlyof
woodsmokeandgasoline.Hecouldhaveitrightbytheheadofhis
bed.It
wouldn'thurthim.
"I'mgettingbetter."
Thesoundofhisownvoice,confidentinthesilentafternoon,
reassuredhim
eventhoughhehadn'tmeanttospeakaloud.Hewasgetting
better.Itwas
possibletograduatefrompassivetoactive,totakethething
thathadonce
drivenyounearlytomadnessasaneutralprizeofnomorethan
occasional
academicinterest.Andiftherewasaplacewherethethingcould
bedone,this
wassurelyit.
Hewentdowntheladdertogetthebugbomb.Theywouldpay.
Theywouldpay
forstinginghim.

<<15>>

DOWNINTHEFRONTYARD

Jackhadfoundahugewhitepaintedwickerchairinthebackof
theequipment
shedtwoweeksago,andhaddraggeditaroundtotheporchover
Wendy's
objectionsthatitwasreallytheugliestthingshehadeverseen
inherwhole
life.Hewassittinginitnow,amusinghimselfwithacopyofE.
L.Doctorow's
WelcometoHardTimes,whenhiswifeandsonrattledupthe
drivewayinthe
hoteltruck.
Wendyparkeditintheturnaround,racedtheenginesportily,
andthenturned
itoff.Thetruck'ssingletaillightdied.Theenginerumbled
grumpilywith
postignitionandfinallystopped.Jackgotoutofhischairand
ambleddownto
meetthem.
"Hi,Dad!"Dannycalled,andracedupthehill.Hehadaboxin
onehand.
"LookwhatMommyboughtme!"
Jackpickedhissonup,swunghimaroundtwice,andkissedhim
heartilyonthe
mouth.
"JackTorrance,theEugeneO'Neillofhisgeneration,the
American
Shakespeare!"Wendysaid,smiling."Fancymeetingyouhere,so
farupinthe
mountains."
"Thecommonruckbecametoomuchforme,dearlady,"hesaid,
andslippedhis
armsaroundher.Theykissed."Howwasyourtrip?"
"Verygood.DannycomplainsthatIkeepjerkinghimbutI
didn'tstallthe
truckonceand...oh,Jack,youfinishedit!"
Shewaslookingattheroof,andDannyfollowedhergaze.A
faintfrown
touchedhisfaceashelookedatthewideswatchoffresh
shinglesatopthe
Overlook'swestwing,alightergreenthantherestoftheroof.
Thenhelooked
downattheboxinhishandandhisfaceclearedagain.Atnight
thepictures
Tonyhadshowedhimcamebacktohauntinalltheiroriginal
clarity,butin
sunnydaylighttheywereeasiertodisregard.
"Look,Daddy,look!"
Jacktooktheboxfromhisson.Itwasamodelcar,oneofthe
BigDaddyRoth
caricaturesthatDannybadexpressedanadmirationforinthe
past.Thisonewas
theViolentVioletVolkswagen,andthepictureontheboxshowed
ahugepurple
VW`withlong'59CadillacCoupedeVilletaillightsburningupa
dirttrack.
TheVWhadasunroof,andpokingupthroughit,clawedhandson
thewheeldown
below,wasagiganticwartymonsterwithpoppingbloodshoteyes,
amaniacal
grin,andagiganticEnglishracingcapturnedaroundbackward.
Wendywassmilingathim,andJackwinkedather.
"That'swhatIlikeaboutyou,doc,"Jacksaid,handingthebox
back."Your
tasterunstothequiet,thesober,theintrospective.Youare
definitelythe
childofmyloins."
"Mommysaidyou'dhelpmeputittogetherassoonasIcould
readallofthe
firstDickandJane."
"Thatoughttobebytheendoftheweek,"Jacksaid."What
elsehaveyougot
inthatfinelookingtruck,ma'am?"
"Uhuh."Shegrabbedhisarmandpulledhimback."Nopeeking.
Someofthat
stuffisforyou.DannyandIwilltakeitin.Youcangetthe
milk.It'sonthe
floorofthecab."
"That'sallIamtoyou,"Jackcried,clappingahandtohis
forehead."Justa
drayhorse,acommonbeastofthefield.Drayhere,draythere,
dray
everywhere."
"Justdraythatmilkrightintothekitchen,mister."
"It'stoomuch!"hecried,andthrewhimselfontheground
whileDannystood
overhimandgiggled.
"Getup,youox,"Wendysaid,andproddedhimwiththetoeof
hersneaker.
"See?"hesaidtoDanny."Shecalledmeanox.You'rea
witness."
"Witness,witness!"Dannyconcurredgleefully,andbroadjumped
hisprone
father.
Jacksatup."Thatremindsme,chumly.I'vegotsomethingfor
you.too.Onthe
porchbymyashtray."
"Whatisit?"
"Forgot.Goandsee."
Jackgotupandthetwoofthemstoodtogether,watchingDanny
chargeupthe
lawnandthentakethestepstotheporchtwobytwo.Heputan
armaround
Wendy'swaist.
"Youhappy,babe?"
Shelookedupathimsolemnly."ThisisthehappiestI'vebeen
sincewewere
married."
"Isthatthetruth?"
"God'shonest."
Hesqueezedhertightly."Iloveyou."
Shesqueezedhimback,touched.Thosehadneverbeencheap
wordswithJohn
Torrance;shecouldcountthenumberoftimeshehadsaidthemto
her,both
beforeandaftermarriage,onbothherhands.
"Iloveyoutoo."
"Mommy!Mommyl"Dannywasontheporchnow,shrillandexcited.
"Comeandsee!
Wow!It'sneat!"
"Whatisit?"Wendyaskedhimastheywalkedupfromthe
parkinglot,handin
hand.
"Forgot,"Jacksaid.
"Oh,you'llgetyours,"shesaid,andelbowedhim."Seeifyou
don't."
"IwashopingI'dgetittonight,"heremarked,andshe
laughed.Amoment
laterheasked,"IsDannyhappy,doyouthink?"
"Yououghttoknow.You'retheonewhohasalongtalkwithhim
everynight
beforebed."
"That'susuallyaboutwhathewantstobewhenhegrowsupor
ifSantaClaus
isreallyreal.That'sgettingtobeabigthingwithhim.I
thinkhisoldbuddy
Scottletsomepenniesdroponthatone.No,hehasn'tsaidmuch
ofanything
abouttheOverlooktome."
"Meeither,"shesaid.Theywereclimbingtheporchstepsnow.
"Buthe'svery
quietalotofthetime.AndIthinkhe'slostweight,Jack,I
reallydo."
"He'sjustgettingtall."
Danny'sbackwastothem.Hewasexaminingsomethingonthe
tablebyJack's
chair,butWendycouldn'tseewhatitwas.
"He'snoteatingaswell,either.Heusedtobetheoriginal
steamshovel.
Rememberlastyear?"
"Theytaperoff,"hesaidvaguely."IthinkIreadthatin
Spock.He'llbe
usingtwoforksagainbythetimehe'sseven."
Theyhadstoppedonthetopstep.
"He'spushingawfullyhardonthosereaders,too,"shesaid."I
knowhewants
tolearnhow,topleaseus...topleaseyou,"sheadded
reluctantly.
"Topleasehimselfmostofall,"Jacksaid."Ihaven'tbeen
pushinghimon
thatatall.Infact,Idowishhewouldn'tgoquitesohard."
"WouldyouthinkIwasfoolishifImadeanappointmentforhim
tohavea
physical?There'saG.P.inSidewinder,ayoungmanfromwhatthe
checkerinthe
marketsaid"
"You'realittlenervousaboutthesnowcoming,aren'tyou?"
Sheshrugged."Isuppose.Ifyouthinkit'sfoolish"
"Idon't.Infact,youcanmakeappointmentsforallthreeof
us.We'llget
ourcleanbillsofhealthandthenwecansleepeasyatnight."
"I'llmaketheappointmentsthisafternoon,"shesaid.
"Mom!Look,Mommy!"
Hecamerunningtoherwithalargegraythinginhishands,
andforone
comichorriblemomentWendythoughtitwasabrain.Shesawwhat
itreallywas
andrecoiledinstinctively.
Jackputanarmaroundher."It'sallright.Thetenantswho
didn'tflyaway
havebeenshakenout.Iusedthebugbomb."
Shelookedatthelargewasps'nesthersonwasholdingbut
wouldnottouch
it."Areyousureit'ssafe?"
"Positive.IhadoneinmyroomwhenIwasakid.Mydadgave
ittome.Want
toputitinyourroom,Danny?"
"Yeah!Rightnow!"
Heturnedaroundandracedthroughthedoubledoors.Theycould
hearhis
muffled,runningfeetonthemainstairs.
"Therewerewaspsupthere,"shesaid."Didyougetstung?"
"Where'smypurpleheart?"heasked,anddisplayedhisfinger.
Theswelling
hadalreadybeguntogodown,butsheooohedoveritsatisfyingly
andgaveita
small,gentlekiss.
"Didyoupullthestingerout?"
"Waspsdon'tleavethemin.That'sbees.Theyhavebarbed
stingers.Wasp
stingersaresmooth.That'swhatmakesthemsodangerous.They
canstingagain
andagain."
"Jack,areyousurethat'ssafeforhimtohave?"
"Ifollowedthedirectionsonthebomb.Thestuffisguaranteed
tokillevery
singlebugintwohours'timeandthendissipatewithno
residue."
"Ihatethem,"shesaid.
"What...wasps?"
"Anythingthatstings,"shesaid.Herhandswenttoherelbows
andcupped
them,herarmscrossedoverherbreasts.
"Idotoo,"hesaid,andhuggedher.

<<16>>

DANNY

Downthehall,inthebedroom,Wendycouldhearthetypewriter
Jackhad
carriedupfromdownstairsburstintolifeforthirtyseconds,
fallsilentfora
minuteortwo,andthenrattlebrieflyagain.Itwaslike
listeningtomachine
gunfirefromanisolatedpillbox.Thesoundwasmusictoher
ears;Jackhadnot
beenwritingsosteadilysincethesecondyearoftheirmarriage,
whenhewrote
thestorythatEsquirehadpurchased.Hesaidhethoughttheplay
wouldbedone
bytheendoftheyear,forbetterorworse,andhewouldbe
movingonto
somethingnew.Hesaidhedidn'tcareifTheLittleSchool
stirredany
excitementwhenPhyllisshoweditaround,didn'tcareifitsank
withouta
trace,andWendybelievedthat,too.Theactualactofhis
writingmadeher
immenselyhopeful,notbecausesheexpectedgreatthingsfromthe
playbut
becauseherhusbandseemedtobeslowlyclosingahugedoorona
roomfulof
monsters.Hehadhadhisshouldertothatdoorforalongtime
now,butatlast
itwasswingingshut.
Everykeytypedcloseditalittlemore.
"Look,Dick,look."
Dannywashunchedoverthefirstofthefivebatteredprimers
Jackhaddugup
bycullingmercilesslythroughBoulder'smyriadsecondhand
bookshops.Theywould
takeDannyrightuptothesecondgradereadinglevel,aprogram
shehadtold
Jackshethoughtwasmuchtooambitious.Theirsonwas
intelligent,theyknew
that,butitwouldbeamistaketopushhimtoofartoofast.
Jackhadagreed.
Therewouldbenopushinginvolved.Butifthekidcaughton
fast,theywouldbe
prepared.AndnowshewonderedifJackhadn'tbeenrightabout
that,too.
Danny,preparedbyfouryearsof"SesameStreet"andthree
yearsof"Electric
Company,"seemedtobecatchingonwithalmostscaryspeed.It
botheredher.He
hunchedovertheinnocuouslittlebooks,hiscrystalradioand
balsaglideron
theshelfabovehim,asthoughhislifedependedonlearningto
read.Hissmall
facewasmoretenseandpalerthanshelikedinthecloseand
cozyglowofthe
gooseneckedlamptheyhadputinhisroom.Hewastakingitvery
seriously,both
thereadingandtheworkbookpageshisfathermadeupforhim
everyafternoon.
Pictureofanappleandapeach.Thewordapplewrittenbeneath
inJack'slarge,
neatlymadeprinting.Circletherightpicture,theonethatwent
withtheword.
Andtheirsonwouldstarefromthewordtothepictures,hislips
moving,
soundingout,actuallysweatingitout,Andwithhisdoublesized
redpencil
curledintohispudgyrightfist,hecouldnowwriteaboutthree
dozenwordson
hisown.
Hisfingertracedslowlyunderthewordsinthereader.Above
themwasa
pictureWendyhalfrememberedfromherowngrammarschooldays,
nineteenyears
before.Alaughingboywithbrowncurlyhair.Agirlinashort
dress,herhair
inblondringletsonehandholdingajumprope.Aprancingdog
runningaftera
largeredrubberball.Thefirstgradetrinity.Dick,Jane,and
Jip.
"SeeJiprun,"Dannyreadslowly."Run,Jip,run.Run,run,
run."Hepaused,
droppinghisfingerdownaline."Seethe..."Hebentcloser,
hisnosealmost
touchingthepagenow."Seethe..."
"Notsoclose,doc,"Wendysaidquietly."You'llhurtyour
eyes.It's"
"Don'ttellme!"hesaid,sittingupwithajerk.Hisvoicewas
alarmed.
"Don'ttellme,Mommy,Icangetit!"
"Allright,honey,"shesaid."Butit'snotabigthing.Really
it'snot."
Unheeding,Dannybentforwardagain.Onhisfacewasan
expressionthatmight
bemorecommonlyseenhoveringoveragraduaterecordexamina
collegegym
somewhere.Shelikeditlessandless.
"Seethe...buh.Aw.El.El.Seethebuhawelel?Seethe
buhawl.Ball!"
Suddenlytriumphant.Fierce.Thefiercenessinhisvoicescared
her."Seethe
ball!"
"That'sright,"shesaid."Honey,Ithinkthat'senoughfor
tonight."
"Acouplemorepages,Mommy?Please?"
"No,doc."Sheclosedtheredboundbookfirmly."It's
bedtime."
"Please?"
"Don'tteasemeaboutit,Danny.Mommy'stired."
"Okay."Buthelookedlonginglyattheprimer.
"Gokissyourfatherandthenwashup.Don'tforgettobrush."
"Yeah."
Heslouchedout,asmallboyinpajamabottomswithfeetanda
largeflannel
topwithafootballonthefrontandNEWENGLANDPATRIOTSwritten
ontheback.
Jack'stypewriterstopped,andsheheardDanny'sheartysmack.
"Night,Daddy."
"Goodnight,doc.How'dyoudo?"
"Okay,Iguess.Mommymademestop."
"Mommywasright.It'spasteightthirty.Goingtothe
bathroom?"
"Yeah."
"Good.There'spotatoesgrowingoutofyourears.Andonions
andcarrotsand
chivesand"
Danny'sgiggle,fading,thencutoffbythefirmclickofthe
bathroomdoor.
Hewasprivateabouthisbathroomfunctions,whilebothsheand
Jackwerepretty
muchcatchascatchcan.Anothersignandtheyweremultiplying
allthetime
thattherewasanotherhumanbeingintheplace,notjusta
carboncopyofone
ofthemoracombinationofboth.Itmadeheralittlesad.
Somedayherchild
wouldbeastrangertoher,andshewouldbestrangetohim...
butnotas
strangeasherownmotherhadbecometoher.Pleasedon'tletit
bethatway,
God.Lethimgrowupandstilllovehismother.
Jack'stypewriterbeganitsirregularburstsagain.
StillsittinginthechairbesideDanny'sreadingtable,she
lethereyes
wanderaroundherson'sroom.Theglider'swinghadbeenneatly
mended.Hisdesk
waspiledhighwithpicturebooks,coloringbooks,oldSpiderman
comicbooks
withthecovershalftornoff,Crayolas,andanuntidypileof
LincolnLogs.The
VWmodelwasneatlyplacedabovetheselesserthings,itsshrink
wrapstill
undisturbed.Heandhisfatherwouldbeputtingittogether
tomorrownightor
thenightafterifDannywentonatthisrate,andnevermindthe
endofthe
week.HispicturesofPoohandEyoreandChristopherRobinwere
tackedneatlyto
thewall,soonenoughtobereplacedwithpinupsandphotographs
ofdope
smokingrocksingers,shesupposed.Innocencetoexperience.
Humannature,baby.
Grabitandgrowl.Stillitmadehersad.Nextyearhewouldbe
inschooland
shewouldloseatleasthalfofhim,maybemore,tohisfriends.
SheandJack
hadtriedtohaveanotheroneforawhilewhenthingshadseemed
tobegoing
wellatStovington,butshewasonthepillagainnow.Things
weretoo
uncertain.Godknewwheretheywouldbeinninemonths.
Hereyesfellonthewasps'nest.
ItheldtheultimatehighplaceinDanny'sroom,restingona
largeplastic
plateonthetablebyhisbed.Shedidn'tlikeit,evenifitwas
empty.She
wonderedvaguelyifitmighthavegerms,thoughttoaskJack,
thendecidedhe
wouldlaughather.Butshewouldaskthedoctortomorrow,ifshe
couldcatch
himwithJackoutoftheroom.Shedidn'tliketheideaofthat
thing,
constructedfromthechewingsandsalivaofsomanyalien
creatures,lying
withinafootofhersleepingson'shead.
Thewaterinthebathroomwasstillrunning,andshegotupand
wentintothe
bigbedroomtomakesureeverythingwasokay.Jackdidn'tlook
up;hewaslost
intheworldhewasmaking,staringatthetypewriter,afilter
cigarette
clampedinhisteeth.
Sheknockedlightlyontheclosedbathroomroom."Youokay,
doc?Youawake?"
Noanswer.
"Danny?"
Noanswer.Shetriedthedoor.Itwaslocked.
"Danny?"Shewasworriednow.Thelackofanysoundbeneaththe
steadily
runningwatermadeheruneasy."Danny?Openthedoor,honey."
Noanswer.
"Danny!"
"JesusChrist,Wendy,Ican'tthinkifyou'regoingtopoundon
thedoorall
night."
"Danny'slockedhimselfinthebathroomandhedoesn'tanswer
me!"
Jackcamearoundthedesk,lookingputout.Heknockedonthe
dooronce,hard.
"Openup,Danny.Nogames."
Noanswer.
Jackknockedharder."Stopfooling,doc.Bedtime'sbedtime.
Spankingifyou
don'topenup."
He'slosinghistemper,shethought,andwasmoreafraid.He
hadnottouched
Dannyinangersincethateveningtwoyearsago,butatthis
momenthesounded
angryenoughtodoit.
"Danny,honey"shebegan.
Noanswer.Onlyrunningwater.
"Danny,ifyoumakemebreakthislockIcanguaranteeyou
you'llspendthe
nightsleepingonyourbelly,"Jackwarned.
Nothing.
"Breakit,"shesaid,andsuddenlyitwashardtotalk.
"Quick."
Heraisedonefootandbroughtitdownhardagainstthedoorto
therightof
theknob.Thelockwasapoorthing;itgaveimmediatelyandthe
doorshuddered
open,bangingthetiledbathroomwallandreboundinghalfway.
"Danny!"shescreamed.
Thewaterwasrunningfullforceinthebasin.Besideit,a
tubeofCrestwith
thecapoff.Dannywassittingontherimofthebathtubacross
theroom,his
toothbrushclaspedlimplyinhislefthand,athinfoamof
toothpastearoundhis
mouth.Hewasstaring,trancelike,intothemirroronthefront
ofthemedicine
cabinetabovethewashbasin.Theexpressiononhisfacewasone
ofdrugged
horror,andherfirstthoughtwasthathewashavingsomesortof
epileptic
seizure,thathemighthaveswallowedhistongue.
"Danny!"
Dannydidn'tanswer.Gutturalsoundscamefromhisthroat.
Thenshewaspushedasidesohardthatshecrashedintothe
towelrack,and
Jackwaskneelinginfrontoftheboy.
"Danny,"hesaid."Danny,Danny!"Hesnappedhisfingersin
frontofDanny's
blankeyes.
"Ahsure,"Dannysaid."Tournamentplay.Stroke.Nurrrrr..."
"Danny"
"Roque!"Dannysaid,hisvoicesuddenlydeep,almostmanlike.
"Roque.Stroke.
Theroquemallet...hastwosides.Gaaaaaa"
"OhJackmyGodwhat'swrongwithhim?"
Jackgrabbedtheboy'selbowsandshookhimhard.Danny'shead
rolledlimply
backwardandthensnappedforwardlikeaballoononastick.
"Roque.Stroke.Redrum."
Jackshookhimagain,andDanny'seyessuddenlycleared.His
toothbrushfell
outofhishandandontothetiledfloorwithasmallclick.
"What?"heasked,lookingaround.Hesawhisfatherkneeling
beforehim,Wendy
standingbythewall."What?"Dannyaskedagain,withrising
alarm."WWWuh
What'swrrr"
"Don'tstutter!"Jacksuddenlyscreamedintohisface.Danny
criedoutin
shock,hisbodygoingtense,tryingtodrawawayfromhisfather,
andthenhe
collapsedintotears.Stricken,Jackpulledhimclose."Oh,
honey,I'msorry.
I'msorry,doc.Please.Don'tcry.I'msorry.Everything'sokay."
Thewaterranceaselesslyinthebasin,andWendyfeltthatshe
hadsuddenly
steppedintosomegrindingnightmarewheretimeranbackward,
backwardtothe
timewhenherdrunkenhusbandhadbrokenherson'sarmandhad
thenmewledover
himinalmosttheexactsamewords.
(Ohhoney.I'msorry.I'msorry,doc.Please.Sosorry.)
Sherantothemboth,priedDannyoutofJack'sarmssomehow
(shesawthelook
ofangryreproachonhisfacebutfileditawayforlater
consideration),and
liftedhimup.Shewalkedhimbackintothesmallbedroom,
Danny'sarmsclasped
aroundherneck,Jacktrailingthem.
ShesatdownonDanny'sbedandrockedhimbackandforth,
soothinghimwith
nonsensicalwordsrepeatedoverandover.ShelookedupatJack
andtherewas
onlyworryinhiseyesnow.Heraisedquestioningeyebrowsat
her.Sheshookher
headfaintly.
"Danny,"shesaid."Danny,Danny,Danny.'Sokay,doc.'S
fine."
AtlastDannywasquiet,onlyfaintlytremblinginherarms.
YetitwasJack
hespoketofirst,Jackwhowasnowsittingbesidethemonthe
bed,andshefelt
theoldfaintpang
(It'shimfirstandit'salwaysbeenhimfirst)
ofjealousy.Jackhadshoutedathim,shehadcomfortedhim,
yetitwastohis
fatherthatDannysaid,
"I'msorryifIwasbad."
"Nothingtobesorryfor,doc."Jackruffledhishair."What
thehellhappened
inthere?"
Dannyshookhisheadslowly,dazedly."I...Idon'tknow.
Whydidyoutell
metostopstuttering,Daddy?Idon'tstutter."
"Ofcoursenot,"Jacksaidheartily,butWendyfeltacold
fingertouchher
heart.Jacksuddenlylookedscared,asifhe'dseensomething
thatmightjust
havebeenaghost.
"Somethingaboutthetimer..."Dannymuttered.
"What?"Jackwasleaningforward,andDannyflinchedinher
arms.
"Jack,you'rescaringhim!"shesaid,andhervoicewashigh,
accusatory.It
suddenlycametoherthattheywereallscared.Butofwhat?
"Idon'tknow,Idon'tknow,"Dannywassayingtohisfather.
"What...what
didIsay,Daddy?"
"Nothing,"Jackmuttered.Hetookhishandkerchieffromhis
backpocketand
wipedhismouthwithit.Wendyhadamomentofthatsickening
timeisrunning
backwardfeelingagain.Itwasagesturesherememberedwellfrom
hisdrinking
days.
"Whydidyoulockthedoor,Danny?"sheaskedgently."Whydid
youdothat?"
"Tony,"hesaid."Tonytoldmeto."
Theyexchangedaglanceoverthetopofhishead.
"DidTonysaywhy,son?"Jackaskedquietly.
"IwasbrushingmyteethandIwasthinkingaboutmyreading,"
Dannysaid.
"Thinkingrealbard.And...andIsawTonywaydowninthe
mirror.Hesaidhe
hadtoshowmeagain."
"Youmeanhewasbehindyou?"Wendyasked.
"No,hewasinthemirror."Dannywasveryemphaticonthis
point."Waydown
deep.AndthenIwentthroughthemirror.ThenextthingI
rememberDaddywas
shakingmeandIthoughtIwasbeingbadagain."
Jackwincedasifstruck.
"No,doc,"hesaidquietly.
"Tonytoldyoutolockthedoor?"Wendyasked,brushinghis
hair.
"Yes."
"Andwhatdidhewanttoshowyou?"
Dannytensedinherarms;itwasasifthemusclesinhisbody
hadturnedinto
somethinglikepianowire."Idon'tremember,"hesaid,
distraught."Idon't
remember.Don'taskme.I...Idon'tremembernothing!"
"Shh,"Wendysaid,alarmed.Shebegantorockhimagain."It's
allrightif
youdon'tremember,bon.Sureitis."
AtlastDannybegantorelaxagain.
"Doyouwantmetostayalittlewhile?Readyouastory?"
"No.Justthenightlight."Helookedshylyathisfather.
"Wouldyoustay,
Daddy?Foraminute?"
"Sure,doc."
Wendysighed."I'llbeinthelivingroom,Jack."
"Okay."
ShegotupandwatchedasDannyslidunderthecovers.He
seemedverysmall.
"Areyousureyou'reokay,Danny?"
"I'mokay.JustpluginSnoopy,Mom."
"Sure."
Shepluggedinthenightlight,whichshowedSnoopylyingfast
asleepontop
ofhisdoghouse.Hehadneverwantedanightlightuntilthey
movedintothe
Overlook,andthenhehadspecificallyrequestedone.Sheturned
offthelamp
andtheoverheadandlookedbackatthem,thesmallwhitecircle
ofDanny's
face,andJack'saboveit.Shehesitatedamoment
(andthenIwentthroughthemirror)
andthenleftthemquietly.
"Yousleepy?"Jackasked,brushingDanny'shairoffhis
forehead.
"Yeah."
"Wantadrinkofwater?"
"No..."
Therewassilenceforfiveminutes.Dannywasstillbeneathhis
hand.Thinking
theboyhaddroppedoff,hewasabouttogetupandleavequietly
whenDanny
saidfromthebrinkofsleep:
"Roque.,'
Jackturnedback,allzeroatthebone.
"Danny?"
"You'dneverhurtMommy,wouldyou,Daddy?"
"No."
"Orme?"
"No."
Silenceagain,spinningout.
"Daddy?"
"What?"
"Tonycameandtoldmeaboutroque."
"Didhe,doc?Whatdidhesay?"
"Idon'tremembermuch.Excepthesaiditwasininnings.Like
baseball.Isn't
thatfunny?"
"Yes."Jack'sheartwasthuddingdullyinhischest.Howcould
theboy
possiblyknowathinglikethat?Roquewasplayedbyinnings,not
likebaseball
butlikecricket.
"Daddy...?"Hewasalmostasleepnow.
"What?"
"What'sredrum?"
"Reddrum?SoundslikesomethinganIndianmighttakeonthe
warpath."
Silence.
"Hey,doc?"
ButDannywasalseep,breathinginlong,slowstrokes.Jacksat
lookingdown
athimforamoment,andarushoflovepushedthroughhimlike
tidalwater.Why
hadheyelledattheboylikethat?Itwasperfectlynormalfor
himtostuttera
little.Hehadbeencomingoutofadazeorsomeweirdkindof
trance,and
stutteringwasperfectlynormalunderthosecircumstances.
Perfectly.Andhe
hadn'tsaidtimeratall.Ithadbeensomethingelse,nonsense,
gibberish.
Howhadheknownroquewasplayedininnings?Hadsomeonetold
him?Ullman?
Hallorann?
Helookeddownathishands.Theyweremadeintotight,
clenchedfistsof
tension
(godhowineedadrink)
andthenailswerediggingintohispalmsliketinybrands.
Slowlyheforced
themtoopen.
"Iloveyou,Danny,"hewhispered."GodknowsIdo."
Helefttheroom.Hehadlosthistemperagain,onlyalittle,
butenoughto
makehimfeelsickandafraid.Adrinkwouldbluntthatfeeling,
ohyes.It
wouldbluntthat
(Somethingaboutthetimer)
andeverythingelse.Therewasnomistakeaboutthosewordsat
all.None.Each
hadcomeoutclearasabell.Hepausedinthehallway,looking
back,and
automaticallywipedhislipswithhishandkerchief.

***
Theirshapeswereonlydarksilhouettesintheglowofthe
nightlight.Wendy,
wearingonlypanties,wenttohisbedandtuckedhiminagain;he
hadkickedthe
coversback.Jackstoodinthedoorway,watchingassheputher
innerwrist
againsthisforehead.
"Ishefeverish?"
"No."Shekissedhischeek.
"ThankGodyoumadethatappointment,"hesaidasshecameback
tothe
doorway."Youthinkthatguyknowshisstuff?"
"Thecheckersaidhewasverygood.That'sallIknow."
"Ifthere'ssomethingwrong,I'mgoingtosendyouandhimto
yourmother's,
Wendy."
"No."
"Iknow,"hesaid,puttinganarmaroundher,"howyoufeel."
"Youdon'tknowhowIfeelatallabouther."
"Wendy,there'snoplaceelseIcansendyou.Youknowthat."
"Ifyoucame"
"Withoutthisjobwe'redone,"hesaidsimply."Youknowthat."
Hersilhouettenoddedslowly.Sheknewit.
"WhenIhadthatinterviewwithUllman,Ithoughthewasjust
blowingoffhis
bazoo.NowI'mnotsosure.MaybeIreallyshouldn'thavetried
thiswithyou
twoalong.Fortymilesfromnowhere."
"Iloveyou,"shesaid."AndDannylovesyouevenmore,if
that'spossible.He
wouldhavebeenheartbroken,Jack.Hewillbe,ifyousendus
away."
"Don'tmakeitsoundthatway."
"Ifthedoctorsaysthere'ssomethingwrong,I'lllookfora
jobin
Sidewinder,"shesaid."IfIcan'tgetoneinSidewinder,Danny
andIwillgoto
Boulder.Ican'tgotomymother,Jack.Notonthoseterms.Don't
askme.I..
.Ijustcan't."
"IguessIknowthat.Cheerup.Maybeit'snothing."
"Maybe."
"Theappointment'sattwo?"
"Yes."
"Let'sleavethebedroomdooropen,Wendy."
"Iwantto.ButIthinkhe'llsleepthroughnow."
Buthedidn't.

***

Boom...boom..boomboomBOOMBOOM
Hefledtheheavy,crashing,echoingsoundsthroughtwisting,
mazelike
corridors,hisbarefeetwhisperingoveradeeppilejungleof
blueandblack.
Eachtimeheheardtheroquemalletsmashintothewallsomewhere
behindhimhe
wantedtoscreamaloud.Buthemustn't.Hemustn't.Ascream
wouldgivehimaway
andthen
(thenREDRUM)
(Comeouthereandtakeyourmedicine,youfuckingcrybaby!)
Ohandhecouldheartheownerofthatvoicecoming,comingfor
him,charging
upthehalllikeatigerinanalienblueblackjungle.Aman
eater.
(Comeouthere,youlittlesonofabitch!)
Ifhecouldgettothestairsgoingdown,ifhecouldgetoff
thisthird
floor,hemightbeallright.Eventheelevator.Ifhecould
rememberwhathad
beenforgotten.Butitwasdarkandinhisterrorhehadlosthis
orientation.
Hehadturneddownonecorridorandthenanother,hisheart
leapingintohis
mouthlikeahot'lumpofice,fearingthateachturnwouldbring
himfaceto
facewiththehumantigerinthesehalls.
Theboomingwasrightbehindhimnow,theawfulhoarse
shouting.
Thewhistletheheadofthemalletmadecuttingthroughtheair
(roque...stroke...roque...stroke...REDRUM)
beforeitcrashedintothewall.Thesoftwhisperoffeeton
thejungle
carpet.Panicsquirtinginhismouthlikebitterjuice.
(Youwillrememberwhatwasforgotten...butwouldhe?What
wasit?)
Hefledaroundanothercornerandsawwithcreeping,utter
horrorthathewas
inaculdesac.Lockeddoorsfrowneddownathimfromthree
sides.Thewest
wing.Hewasinthewestwingandoutsidehecouldhearthestorm
whoopingand
screaming,seemingtochokeonitsowndarkthroatfilledwith
snow.
Hebackedupagainstthewall,weepingwithterrornow,his
heartracinglike
theheartofarabbitcaughtinasnare.Whenhisbackwas
againstthelight
bluesilkwallpaperwiththeembossedpatternofwavylines,his
legsgaveway
andhecollapsedtothecarpet,handssplayedonthejungleof
wovenvinesand
creepers,thebreathwhistlinginandoutofhisthroat.
Louder.Louder.
Therewasatigerinthehall,andnowthetigerwasjust
aroundthecorner,
stillcryingoutinthatshrillandpetulantandlunaticrage,
theroquemallet
slamming,becausethistigerwalkedontwolegsanditwas
Hewokewithasuddenindrawngasp,sittingboltuprightin
bed,eyeswideand
staringintothedarkness,handscrossedinfrontofhisface.
Somethingononehand.Crawling.
Wasps.Threeofthem.
Theystunghimthen,seemingtoneedleallatonce,andthat
waswhenallthe
imagesbrokeapartandfellonhiminadarkfloodandhebegan
toshriekinto
thedark,thewaspsclingingtohislefthand,stingingagainand
again.
ThelightswentonandDaddywasstandingthereinhisshorts,
hiseyes
glaring.Mommybehindhim,sleepyandscared.
"Getthemo$me!"Dannyscreamed.
"OhmyGod,"Jacksaid.Hesaw.
"Jack,what'swrongwithhim?What'swrong?"
Hedidn'tanswerher.Herantothebed,scoopedupDanny's
pillow,and
slappedDanny'sthrashinglefthandwithit.Again.Again.Wendy
sawlumbering,
insectileformsriseintotheair,droning.
"Getamagazine!"heyelledoverhisshoulder."Killthem!"
"Wasps?"shesaid,andforamomentshewasinsideherself,
almostdetachedin
herrealization.Thenhermindcrosspatched,andknowledgewas
connectedto
emotion."Wasps,ohJesus,Jack,yousaid"
"Shutthefuckupandkillthem!"heroared."Willyoudowhat
Isay!"
OneofthemhadlandedonDanny'sreadingdesk.Shetooka
coloringbookoff
hisworktableandslammeditdownonthewasp.Itleftaviscous
brownsmear.
"There'sanotheroneonthecurtain,"hesaid,andranoutpast
herwithDanny
inhisarms.
HetooktheboyintotheirbedroomandputhimonWendy'sside
ofthe
makeshiftdouble."Lierightthere,Danny.Don'tcomebackuntil
Itellyou.
Understand?"
Hisfacepuffedandstreakedwithtears,Dannynodded.
"That'smybraveboy."
Jackranbackdownthehalltothestairs.Behindhimheheard
thecoloring
bookslaptwice,andthenhiswifescreamedinpain.Hedidn't
slowbutwent
downthestairstwobytwointothedarkenedlobby.Hewent
throughUllman's
officeintothekitchen,slammingtheheavypartofhisthigh
intothecornerof
Ullman'soakdesk,barelyfeelingit.Heslappedonthekitchen
overheadsand
crossedtothesink.Thewasheddishesfromsupperwerestill
heapedupinthe
drainer,whereWendyhadleftthemtodripdry.Hesnatchedthe
bigPyrexbowl
offthetop.Adishfelltothefloorandexploded.Ignoringit,
heturnedand
ranbackthroughtheofficeandupthestairs.
WendywasstandingoutsideDanny'sdoor,breathinghard.Her
facewasthe
coloroftablelinen.Hereyeswereshinyandflat;herhairhung
damplyagainst
herneck."Igotallofthem,"shesaiddully,"butonestungme.
Jack,yousaid
theywerealldead."Shebegantocry.
HeslippedpastherwithoutansweringandcarriedthePyrex
bowlovertothe
nestbyDanny'sbed.Itwasstill.Nothingthere.Ontheoutside,
anyway.He
slammedthebowldownoverthenest.
"There,"hesaid."Comeon."
Theywentbackintotheirbedroom.
"Wherediditgetyou?"heaskedher.
"My...onmywrist."
"Let'ssee."
Sheshowedittohim.Justabovethebraceletoflinesbetween
wristandpalm,
therewasasmallcircularhole.Theflesharounditwaspuffing
up.
"Areyouallergictostings?"heasked."Thinkhard!Ifyou
are,Dannymight
be.Thefuckinglittlebastardsgothimfiveorsixtimes."
"No,"shesaid,morecalmly."I...Ijusthatethem,that's
all.Hate
them."
Dannywassittingonthefootofthebed,holdinghislefthand
andlookingat
them.Hiseyes,circledwiththewhiteofshock,lookedatJack
reproachfully.
"Daddy,yousaidyoukilledthemall.Myhand...itreally
hurts."
"Let'sseeit,doe...no,I'mnotgoingtotouchit.That
wouldmakeit
hurtevenmore.Justholditout."
HedidandWendymoaned."OhDanny...oh,yourpoorhand!"
Laterthedoctorwouldcountelevenseparatestings.Nowall
theysawwasa
dottingofsmallholes,asifhispalmandfingershadbeen
sprinkledwith
grainsofredpepper.Theswellingwasbad.Hishandhadbegunto
looklikeone
ofthosecartoonimageswhereBugsBunnyorDaffyDuckhadjust
slammedhimself
withahammer.
"Wendy,gogetthatspraystuffinthebathroom,"hesaid.
Shewentafterit,andhesatdownnexttoDannyandslippedan
armaroundhis
shoulders.
"Afterwesprayyourhand,IwanttotakesomePolaroidsofit,
doc.Thenyou
sleeptherestofthenightwithus,Tay?"
"Sure,"Dannysaid."Butwhyareyougoingtotakepictures?"
"Somaybewecansuetheassoutofsomepeople."
Wendycamebackwithaspraytubeintheshapeofachemical
fire
extinguisher.
"Thiswon'thurt,honey,"shesaid,takingoffthecap.
Dannyheldouthishandandshesprayedbothsidesuntilit
gleamed.Helet
outalong,shudderysigh.
"Doesitsmart?"sheasked.
"No.Feelsbetter."
"Nowthese.Crunchthemup."Sheheldoutfiveorangeflavored
babyaspirin.
Dannytookthemandpoppedthemintohismouthonebyone.
"Isn'tthatalotofaspirin?"Jackasked.
"It'salotofstings,"shesnappedathimangrily."Yougoand
getridof
thatnest,JohnTorrance.Rightnow."
"Justaminute."
HewenttothedresserandtookhisPolaroidSquareShooterout
ofthetop
drawer.Herummageddeeperandfoundsomeflashcubes.
"Jack,whatareyoudoing?"sheasked,alittlehysterically.
"He'sgonnatakesomepicturesofmyhand,"Dannysaidgravely,
"andthen
we'regonnasuetheassoutofsomepeople.Right,Dad?"
"Right,"Jacksaidgrimly.Hehadfoundtheflashattachment,
andhejabbedit
ontothecamera."Holditout,son.Ifigureaboutfivethousand
dollarsa
sting."
"Whatareyoutalkingabout?"Wendynearlyscreamed.
"I'lltellyouwhat,"hesaid."Ifollowedthedirectionson
thatfuckingbug
bomb.We'regoingtosuethem.Thedamnthingwasdefective.Had
tohavebeen.
Howelsecanyouexplainthis?"
"Oh,"shesaidinasmallvoice.
Hetookfourpictures,pullingouteachcoveredprintforWendy
totimeonthe
smalllocketwatchsheworearoundherneck.Danny,fascinated
withtheidea
thathisstunghandmightbeworththousandsandthousandsof
dollars,beganto
losesomeofhisfrightandtakeanactiveinterest.Thehand
throbbeddully,
andhehadasmallheadache.
WhenJackhadputthecameraawayandspreadtheprintsouton
topofthe
dressertodry,Wendysaid:"Shouldwetakehimtothedoctor
tonight?"
"Notunlesshe'sreallyinpain,"Jacksaid."Ifapersonhasa
strongallergy
towaspvenom,ithitswithinthirtyseconds."
"Hits?Whatdoyou"
"Acoma.Orconvulsions."
"Oh.OhmyJesus."Shecuppedherhandsoverherelbowsand
huggedherself,
lookingpaleandwan.
"Howdoyoufeel,son?Thinkyoucouldsleep?"
Dannyblinkedatthem.Thenightmarehadfadedtoadull,
featureless
backgroundinhismind,buthewasstillfrightened.
"IfIcansleepwithyou."
"Ofcourse,"Wendysaid."Ohhoney,I'msosorry."
"It'sokay,Mommy."
Shebegantocryagain,andJackputhishandsonher
shoulders."Wendy,I
sweartoyouthatIfollowedthedirections."
"Willyougetridofitinthemorning?Please?"
"OfcourseIwill."
Thethreeofthemgotinbedtogether,andJackwasaboutto
snapoffthe
lightoverthebedwhenhepausedandpushedthecoversback
instead."Wanta
pictureofthenest,too."
"Comerightback."
"Iwill."
Hewenttothedresser,gotthecameraandthelastflashcube,
andgaveDanny
aclosedthumbandforefingercircle.Dannysmiledandgaveit
backwithhis
goodhand.
QuiteakidhethoughtashewalkeddowntoDanny'sroom.All
ofthatandthen
some.
Theoverheadwasstillon.Jackcrossedtothebunksetup,and
asheglanced
atthetablebesideit,hisskincrawledintogooseflesh.The
shorthairson
hisneckprickledandtriedtostanderect.
HecouldhardlyseethenestthroughtheclearPyrexbowl.The
insideofthe
glasswascrawlingwithwasps.Itwashardtotellhowmany.
Fiftyatleast.
Maybeahundred.
Hisheartthuddingslowlyinhischest,hetookhispictures
andthensetthe
cameradowntowaitforthemtodevelop.Hewipedhislipswith
thepalmofhis
hand.Onethoughtplayedoverandoverinhismind,echoingwith
(Youlostyourtemper.Youlostyourtemper.Youlostyour
temper.)
analmostsuperstitiousdread.Theyhadcomeback.Hehad
killedthewaspsbut
theyhadcomeback.
Inhismindheheardhimselfscreamingintohisfrightened,
cryingson'sface:
Don'tstutter/
Hewipedhislipsagain.
HewenttoDanny'sworktable,rummagedinitsdrawers,andcame
upwithabig
jigsawpuzzlewithafiberboardbacking.Hetookitovertothe
bedtableand
carefullyslidthebowlandthenestontoit.Thewaspsbuzzed
angrilyinside
theirprison.Then,puttinghishandfirmlyontopofthebowlso
itwouldn't
slip,hewentoutintothehall.
"Comingtobed,Jack?"Wendyasked.
"Comingtobed,Daddy?"
"Havetogodownstairsforaminute,"hesaid,makinghisvoice
light.
Howhadithappened?HowinGod'sname?
Thebombsurehadn'tbeenadud.Hehadseenthethickwhite
smokestartto
puffoutofitwhenhehadpulledthering.Andwhenhehadgone
uptwohours
later,hehadshakenadriftofsmalldeadbodiesoutofthehole
inthetop.
Thenhow?Spontaneousregeneration?
Thatwascrazy.Seventeenthcenturybullshit.Insectsdidn't
regenerate.And
evenifwaspeggscouldmaturefullgrowninsectsintwelve
hours,thiswasn't
theseasoninwhichthequeenlaid.ThathappenedinAprilor
May.Fallwas
theirdyingtime.
Alivingcontradiction,thewaspsbuzzedfuriouslyunderthe
bowl.
Hetookthemdownstairsandthroughthekitchen.Inbackthere
wasadoor
whichgaveontheoutside.Acoldnightwindblewagainsthis
nearlynakedbody,
andhisfeetwentnumbalmostinstantlyagainstthecoldconcrete
ofthe
platformhewasstandingon,theplatformwheremilkdeliveries
weremadeduring
thehotel'soperatingseason.Heputthepuzzleandthebowldown
carefully,and
whenhestooduphelookedatthethermometernailedoutsidethe
door.FRESHUP
WITH7up,thethermometersaid,andthemercurystoodataneven
twentyfive
degrees.Thecoldwouldkillthembymorning.Hewentinandshut
thedoor
firmly.Afteramoment'sthoughthelockedit,too.
Hecrossedthekitchenagainandshutoffthelights.Hestood
inthedarkness
foramoment,thinking,wantingadrink.Suddenlythehotel
seemedfullofa
thousandstealthysounds:creakingsandgroansandtheslysniff
ofthewind
undertheeaveswheremorewasps'nestsmightbehanginglike
deadlyfruit.
Theyhadcomeback.
Andsuddenlyhefoundthathedidn'tliketheOverlooksowell
anymore,asif
itwasn'twaspsthathadstunghisson,waspsthathad
miraculouslylived
throughthebugbombassault,butthehotelitself.
Hislastthoughtbeforegoingupstairstohiswifeandson
(fromnowonyouwillholdyourtemper.NoMattesWhat.)
wasfirmandhardandsure.
Ashewentdownthehalltothemhewipedhislipswiththe
backofhishand.

<<17>>
THEDOCTOR'SOFFICE

Strippedtohisunderpants,lyingontheexaminationtable,
DannyTorrance
lookedverysmall.HewaslookingupatDr.("JustcallmeBill")
Edmonds,who
waswheelingalargeblackmachineupbesidehim.Dannyrolled
hiseyestogeta
betterlookatit.
"Don'tletitscareyou,guy,"BillEdmondssaid."It'san
electroencephalograph,anditdoesn'thurt."
"Electro"
"WecallitEEGforshort.I'mgoingtohookabunchofwires
toyourhead
no,notstickthemin,onlytapethemandthepensinthispart
ofthegadget
willrecordyourbrainwaves."
"Likeon`TheSixMillionDollarMan'?"
"Aboutthesame.WouldyouliketobelikeSteveAustinwhen
yougrowup?"
"Noway,"Dannysaidasthenursebegantotapethewirestoa
numberoftiny
shavedspotsonhisscalp."Mydaddysaysthatsomedayhe'llget
ashortcircuit
andthenhe'llbeupsh...he'llbeupthecreek."
"Iknowthatcreekwell,"Dr.Edmondssaidamiably."I'vebeen
upitafew
timesmyself,sanspaddle.AnEEGcantelluslotsofthings,
Danny."
"Likewhat?"
"Likeforinstanceifyouhaveepilepsy.That'salittle
problemwhere"
"Yeah,Iknowwhatepilespyis."
"Really?"
"Sure.TherewasakidinmynurseryschoolbackinVermontI
wenttonursery
schoolwhenIwasalittlekidandhehadit.Hewasn'tsupposed
tousethe
flashboard."
"Whatwasthat,Dan?"Hehadturnedonthemachine.Thinlines
begantotrace
theirwayacrossgraphpaper.
"Ithadalltheselights,alldifferentcolors.Andwhenyou
turnediton,
somecolorswouldflashbutnotall.Andyouhadtocountthe
colorsandifyou
pushedtherightbutton,youcouldturnitoff.Brentcouldn't
usethat."
"That'sbecausebrightflashinglightssometimescausean
epilepticseizure."
"Youmeanusingtheflashboardmight'vemadeBrentpitcha
fit?"
Edmondsandthenurseexchangedabrief,amusedglance.
"Inelegantlybut
accuratelyput,Danny."
"What?"
"Isaidyou'reright,exceptyoushouldsay`seizure'instead
of`pitcha
fit.'That'snotnice...okay,liejustasstillasamouse
now."
"Okay."
"Danny,whenyouhavethese...whatevertheyares,doyou
everrecall
seeingbrightflashinglightsbefore?"
"No..,
"Funnynoises?Ringing?Orchimeslikeadoorbell?"
"Huhuh."
"Howaboutafunnysmell,maybelikeorangesorsawdust?Ora
smelllike
somethingrotten?"
"No,Sir."
"Sometimesdoyoufeellikecryingbeforeyoupassout?Even
thoughyoudon't
feelsad?"
"Noway."
"That'sfine,then."
"HaveIgotepilepsy,Dr.Bill?"
"Idon'tthinkso,Danny.Justliestill.Almostdone."
Themachinehummedandscratchedforanotherfiveminutesand
thenDr.Edmonds
shutitoff.
"Alldone,guy,"Edmondssaidbriskly."LetSallygetthose
electrodesoffyou
andthencomeintothenextroom.Iwanttohavealittletalk
withyou.Okay?"
"Sure."
"Sally,yougoaheadandgivehimatinetestbeforehecomes
in."
"Allright."
Edmondsrippedoffthelongcurlofpaperthemachinehad
extrudedandwent
intothenextroom,lookingatit.
"I'mgoingtoprickyourarmjustalittle,"thenursesaid
afterDannyhad
pulleduphispants."It'stomakesureyoudon'thaveTB."
"Theygavemethatatmyschooljustlastyear,"Dannysaid
withoutmuchhope.
"Butthatwasalongtimeagoandyou'reabigboynow,right?"
"Iguessso,"Dannysighed,andofferedhisarmupfor
sacrifice.
Whenhehadhisshirtandshoeson,hewentthroughthesliding
doorandinto
Dr.Edmonds'soffice.Edmondswassittingontheedgeofhis
desk,swinginghis
legsthoughtfully.
"Hi,Danny."
"Hi."
"How'sthathandnow?"HepointedatDanny'slefthand,which
waslightly
bandaged.
"Prettygood."
"Good.IlookedatyourEEGanditseemsfine.ButI'mgoingto
sendittoa
friendofmineinDenverwhomakeshislivingreadingthose
things.Ijustwant
tomakesure."
"Yes,Sir."
"TellmeaboutTony,Dan."
Dannyshuffledhisfeet."He'sjustaninvisiblefriend,"he
said."Imadehim
up.Tokeepmecompany."
EdmondslaughedandputhishandsonDanny'sshoulders."Now
that'swhatyour
MomandDadsay.Butthisisjustbetweenus,guy.I'myour
doctor.Tellmethe
truthandI'llpromisenottotellthemunlessyousayIcan."
Dannythoughtaboutit.HelookedatEdmondsandthen,witha
smalleffortof
concentration,hetriedtocatchEdmonds'sthoughtsoratleast
thecolorofhis
mood.Andsuddenlyhegotanoddlycomfortingimageinhishead:
filecabinets,
theirdoorsslidingshutoneafteranother,lockingwithaclick.
Writtenonthe
smalltabsinthecenterofeachdoorwas:AC,SECRET;DG,
SECRET;andsoon.
ThismadeDannyfeelalittleeasier.
Cautiouslyhesaid:"Idon'tknowwhoTonyis."
"Isheyourage?"
"No.He'satleasteleven.Ithinkhemightbeevenolder.I've
neverseenhim
rightupclose.Hemightbeoldenoughtodriveacar."
"Youjustseehimatadistance,huh?"
"Yes,Sir."
"Andhealwayscomesjustbeforeyoupassout?"
"Well,Idon'tpassout.It'slikeIgowithhim.Andheshows
methings."
"Whatkindofthings?"
"Well..."DannydebatedforamomentandthentoldEdmonds
aboutDaddy's
trunkwithallhiswritinginit,andabouthowthemovershadn't
lostit
betweenVermontand
Coloradoafterall.Ithadbeenrightunderthestairsall
along.
"AndyourdaddyfounditwhereTonysaidhewould?"
"Ohyes,sir.OnlyTonydidn'ttellme.Heshowedme."
"Iunderstand.Danny,whatdidTonyshowyoulastnight?When
youlocked
yourselfinthebathroom?"
"Idon'tremember,"Dannysaidquickly.
"Areyousure?"
"Yes,sir."
"AmomentagoIsaidyoulockedthebathroomdoor.Butthat
wasn'tright,was
it?Tonylockedthedoor."
"No,sir.Tonycouldn'tlockthedoorbecauseheisn'treal.He
wantedmeto
doit,soIdid.Ilockedit."
"DoesTonyalwaysshowyouwherelostthingsare?"
"No,sir.Sometimesheshowsmethingsthataregoingto
happen."
"Really?"
"Sure.LikeonetimeTonyshowedmetheamusementsand
wildanimalparkinGreatBarrington.TonysaidDaddywasgoing
totakeme
thereformybirthday.Hedid,too."
"Whatelsedoesheshowyou?"
Dannyfrowned."Signs.He'salwaysshowingmestupidoldsigns.
AndIcan't
readthem,hardlyever."
"WhydoyousupposeTonywoulddothat,Danny?"
"Idon'tknow."Dannybrightened."Butmydaddyandmommyare
teachingmeto
read,andI'mtryingrealhard."
"SoyoucanreadTony'ssigns."
"Well,Ireallywanttolearn.Butthattoo,yeah."
"DoyoulikeTony,Danny?"
Dannylookedatthetilefloorandsaidnothing.
"Danny?"
"It'shardtotell,"Dannysaid."Iusedto.Iusedtohope
he'dcomeevery
day,becausehealwaysshowedmegoodthings,especiallysince
MommyandDaddy
don'tthinkaboutDIVORCEanymore."Dr.Edmonds'sgazesharpened,
butDanny
didn'tnotice.Hewaslookinghardatthefloor,concentratingon
expressing
himself."Butnowwheneverhecomesheshowsmebadthings.Awful
things.Like
inthebathroomlastnight.Thethingsheshowsme,theystingme
likethose
waspsstungme.OnlyTony'sthingsstingmeuphere."Hecockeda
fingergravely
athistemple,asmallboyunconsciouslyburlesquingsuicide.
"Whatthings,Danny?"
"Ican'tremember!"Dannycriedout,agonized."I'dtellyouif
Icould!It's
likeIcan'trememberbecauseit'ssobadIdon'twantto
remember.AllIcan
rememberwhenIwakeupisREDRUM."
"Reddrumorredrum?"
"Rum.,'
"What'sthat,Danny?"
"Idon'tknow."
"Danny?"
"Yes,sir?"
"CanyoumakeTonycomenow?"
"Idon'tknow.Hedoesn'talwayscome.Idon'tevenknowifI
wanthimtocome
anymore."
"Try,Danny.I'llberighthere."
DannylookedatEdmondsdoubtfully.Edmondsnodded
encouragement.
Dannyletoutalong,sighingbreathandnodded."ButIdon't
knowifitwill
work.Ineverdiditwithanyonelookingatmebefore.AndTony
doesn'talways
come,anyway."
"Ifhedoesn't,hedoesn't,"Edmondssaid."Ijustwantyouto
try."
"Okay."
HedroppedhisgazetoEdmonds'sslowlyswingingloafersand
casthismind
outwardtowardhismommyanddaddy.Theywerehere
someplace...rightbeyond
thatwallwiththepictureonit,asamatteroffact.Inthe
waitingroomwhere
theyhadcomein.Sittingsidebysidebutnottalking.Leafing
through
magazines.Worried.Abouthim.
Heconcentratedharder,hisbrowfurrowing,tryingtogetInto
thefeelingof
hismommy'sthoughts.Itwasalwaysharderwhentheyweren't
rightthereinthe
roomwithhim.Thenhebegantogetit.Mommywasthinkingabout
asister.Her
sister.Thesisterwasdead.Hismommywasthinkingthatwasthe
mainthingthat
turnedhermommyintosucha
(hitch?)
intosuchanoldbiddy.Becausehersisterhaddied.Asa
littlegirlshewas
(hitbyacarohgodicouldneverstandanythinglikethat
againlikeaileen
butwhatifhe'ssickreallysickcancerspinalmeningitis
leukemiabraintumor
likejohngunther'ssonormusculardystrophyohjeezkidshis
agegetleukemia
allthetimeradiumtreatmentschemotherapywecouldn'tafford
anythinglike
thatbutofcoursetheyjustcan'tturnyououttodieonthe
streetcanthey
andanywayhe'sallrightallrightallrightyoureally
shouldn'tletyourself
think)
(Danny)
(aboutaileenand)
(Dannee)
(thatcar)
(Dannee)
ButTonywasn'tthere.Onlyhisvoice.Andasitfaded,Danny
followeditdown
intodarkness,fallingandtumblingdownsomemagicholebetween
Dr.Bill's
swingingloafers,pastaloudknockingsound,further,abathtub
cruised
silentlybyinthedarknesswithsomehorriblethinglollingin
it,pastasound
likesweetlychimingchurchbells,pastaclockunderadomeof
glass.
Thenthedarkwaspiercedfeeblybyasinglelight,festooned
withcobwebs.
Theweakglowdisclosedastonefloorthatlookeddampand
unpleasant.Somewhere
notfardistantwasasteadymechanicalroaringsound,butmuted,
not
frightening.Soporific.Itwasthethingthatwouldbeforgotten,
Dannythought
withdreamysurprise.
AshiseyesadjustedtothegloomhecouldseeTonyjustahead
ofhim,a
silhouette.TonywaslookingatsomethingandDannystrainedhis
eyestosee
whatitwas.
(Yourdaddy.Seeyourdaddy?)
Ofcoursehedid.Howcouldhehavemissedhim,eveninthe
basementlight's
feebleglow?Daddywaskneelingonthefloor,castingthebeamof
aflashlight
overoldcardboardboxesandwoodencrates.Thecardboardboxes
weremushyand
old;someofthemhadsplitopenandspilleddriftsofpaperonto
thefloor.
Newspapers,books,printedpiecesofpaperthatlookedlike
bills.Hisdaddywas
examiningthemwithgreatinterest.AndthenDaddylookedupand
shonehis
flashlightinanotherdirection.Itsbeamoflightimpaled
anotherbook,alarge
whiteoneboundwithgoldstring.Thecoverlookedlikewhite
leather.Itwasa
scrapbook.Dannysuddenlyneededtocryouttohisdaddy,totell
himtoleave
thatbookalone,thatsomebooksshouldnotbeopened.Buthis
daddywas
climbingtowardit.
Themechanicalroaringsound,whichhenowrecognizedasthe
boileratthe
OverlookwhichDaddycheckedthreeorfourtimeseveryday,had
developedan
ominous,rhythmichitching.Itbegantosoundlike...like
pounding.Andthe
smellofmildewandwet,rottingpaperwaschangingtosomething
elsethehigh,
juniperysmelloftheBadStuff.Ithungaroundhisdaddylikea
vaporashe
reachedforthebook...andgraspedit.
Tonywassomewhereinthedarkness
(Thisinhumanplacemakeshumanmonsters.Thisinhumanplace)
repeatingthesameincomprehensiblethingoverandover.
(makeshumanmonsters.)
Fallingthroughdarknessagain,nowaccompaniedbytheheavy,
poundingthunder
thatwasnolongertheboilerbutthesoundofawhistlingmallet
strikingsilk
paperedwalls,knockingoutwhiffsofplasterdust.Crouching
helplesslyonthe
blueblackwovenjunglerug.
(Comeout)
(Thisinhumanplace)
(andtakeyourmedicine!)
(makeshumanmonsters.)
Withagaspthatechoedinhisownheadhejerkedhimselfout
ofthedarkness.
Handswereonhimandatfirstheshrankback,thinkingthatthe
darkthingin
theOverlookofTony'sworldhadsomehowfollowedhimbackinto
theworldof
realthingsandthenDr.Edmondswassaying:"You'reallright,
Danny.You're
allright.Everythingisfine."
Dannyrecognizedthedoctor,thenhissurroundingsinthe
office.Hebeganto
shudderhelplessly.Edmondsheldhim.
Whenthereactionbegantosubside,Edmondsasked,"Yousaid
somethingabout
monsters,Dannywhatwasit?"
"Thisinhumanplace,"hesaidgutturally."Tonytoldme...
thisinhuman
place...makes...makes..."Heshookhishead."Can't
remember."
"Try!"
"Ican't."
"DidTonycome?"
"Yes."
"Whatdidheshowyou?"
"Dark.Pounding.Idon'tremember."
"Wherewereyou?"
"Leavemealone!Idon'tremember!Leavemealone!"Hebeganto
sobhelplessly
infearandfrustration.Itwasallgone,dissolvedintoasticky
messlikea
wetbundleofpaper,thememoryunreadable.
Edmondswenttothewatercoolerandgothimapapercupof
water.Dannydrank
itandEdmondsgothimanotherone.
"Better?"
"Yes."
"Danny,Idon'twanttobadgeryou...teaseyouaboutthis,
Imean.Butcan
yourememberanythingaboutbeforeTonycame?"
"Mymommy,"Dannysaidslowly."She'sworriedaboutme."
"Mothersalwaysare,guy."
"No...shehadasisterthatdiedwhenshewasalittle
girl.Aileen.She
wasthinkingabouthowAileengothitbyacarandthatmadeher
worriedabout
me.Idon'trememberanythingelse."
Edmondswaslookingathimsharply."Justnowshewasthinking
that?Outin
thewaitingroom?"
"Yes,sir."
"Danny,howwouldyouknowthat?"
"Idon'tknow,"Dannysaidwanly."Theshining,Iguess."
"Thewhat?"
Dannyshookhisheadveryslowly."I'mawfultired.Can'tIgo
seemymommy
anddaddy?Idon'twanttoansweranymorequestions.I'mtired.
Andmystomach
hurts."
"Areyougoingtothrowup?"
"No,sir.Ijustwanttogoseemymommyanddaddy."
"Okay,Dan."Edmondsstoodup."Yougoonoutandseethemfor
aminute,then
sendtheminsoIcantalktothem.Okay?','
"Yes,sir."
"Therearebooksouttheretolookat.Youlikebooks,don't
you?"
"Yes,sir,"Dannysaiddutifully.
"You'reagoodboy,Danny."
Dannygavehimafaintsmile.

***

"Ican'tfindathingwrongwithhim,"Dr.Edmondssaidtothe
Torrances."Not
physically.Mentally,he'sbrightandrathertooimaginative.It
happens.
Childrenhavetogrowintotheirimaginationslikeapairof
oversizedshoes.
Danny'sisstillwaytoobigforhim.EverhadhisIQtested?"
"Idon'tbelieveinthem,"Jacksaid."Theystraightjacketthe
expectations
ofbothparentsandteachers."
Dr.Edmondsnodded."Thatmaybe.Butifyoudidtesthim,I
thinkyou'dfind
he'srightoffthescaleforhisagegroup.Hisverbalability,
foraboywhois
fivegoingonsix,isamazing."
"Wedon'ttalkdowntohim,"Jacksaidwithatraceofpride.
"Idoubtifyou'veeverhadtoinordertomakeyourself
understood."Edmonds
paused,fiddlingwithapen."HewentintoatrancewhileIwas
withhim.Atmy
request.Exactlyasyoudescribedhiminthebathroomlastnight.
Allhis
muscleswentlax,hisbodyslumped,hiseyeballsrotatedoutward.
Textbookauto
hypnosis.Iwasamazed.Istillam."
TheTorrancessatforward."Whathappened?"Wendyasked
tensely,andEdmonds
carefullyrelatedDanny'strance,themutteredphrasefromwhich
Edmondshad
onlybeenabletoplucktheword"monsters,"the"dark,"the
"pounding."The
aftermathoftears,nearhysteria,andnervousstomach.
"Tonyagain,"Jacksaid.
"Whatdoesitmean?"Wendyasked."Haveyouanyidea?"
"Afew.Youmightnotlikethem."
"Goaheadanyway,"Jacktoldhim.
"FromwhatDannytoldme,his`invisiblefriend'wastrulya
frienduntilyou
folksmovedoutherefromNewEngland.Tonyhasonlybecomea
threateningfigure
sincethatmove.Thepleasantinterludeshavebecomenightmarish,
evenmore
frighteningtoyoursonbecausehecan'trememberexactlywhat
thenightmares
areabout.That'scommonenough.Weallrememberourpleasant
dreamsmore
clearlythanthescaryones.Thereseemstobeabuffersomewhere
betweenthe
consciousandthesubconscious,andonehellofabluenoselives
inthere.This
censoronlyletsthroughasmallamount,andoftenwhatdoescome
throughis
onlysymbolic.That'soversimplifiedFreud,butitdoespretty
muchdescribe
whatweknowofthemind'sinteractionwithitself."
"YouthinkmovinghasupsetDannythatbadly?"Wendyasked.
"Itmayhave,ifthemovetookplaceundertraumatic
circumstances,"Edmonds
said."Didit?"
WendyandJackexchangedaglance.
"Iwasteachingataprepschool,"Jacksaidslowly."Ilostmy
job."
"Isee,"Edmondssaid.Heputthepenhebadbeenplayingwith
firmlybackin
itsholder."There'smorehere,I'mafraid.Itmaybepainfulto
you.Yourson
seemstobelieveyoutwohaveseriouslycontemplateddivorce.He
spokeofitin
anoffhandway,butonlybecausehebelievesyouarenolonger
consideringit."
Jack'smouthdroppedopen,andWendyrecoiledasifslapped.
Theblooddrained
fromherface.
"Weneverevendiscussedit!"shesaid."Notinfrontofhim,
notevenin
frontofeachother!We"
"Ithinkit'sbestifyouunderstandeverything,Doctor,"Jack
said."Shortly
afterDannywasborn,Ibecameanalcoholic.I'dhadadrinking
problemallthe
waythroughcollege,itsubsidedalittleafterWendyandImet,
croppedup
worsethaneverafterDannywasbornandthewritingIconsider
tobemyreal
workwasgoingbadly.WhenDannywasthreeandahalf,hespilled
somebeerona
bunchofpapersIwasworkingon...papersIwasshuffling
around,anyway..
.andI...well...ohshit."Hisvoicebroke,buthiseyes
remaineddry
andunflinching."Itsoundssogoddambeastlysaidoutloud.I
brokehisarm
turninghimaroundtospankhim.ThreemonthslaterIgaveup
drinking.I
haven'ttoucheditsince."
"Isee,"Edmondssaidneutrally."Iknewthearmhadbeen
broken,ofcourse.
Itwassetwell."Hepushedbackfromhisdeskalittleand
crossedhislegs.
"IfImaybefrank,it'sobviousthathe'sbeeninnowayabused
sincethen.
Otherthanthestings,there'snothingonhimbutthenormal
bruisesandscabs
thatanykidhasinabundance."
"Ofcoursenot,"Wendysaidhotly."Jackdidn'tmean"
"No,Wendy,"Jacksaid."Imeanttodoit.Iguesssomeplace
insideIreally
didmeantodothattohim.Orsomethingevenworse."Helooked
backatEdmonds
again."Youknowsomething,Doctor?Thisisthefirsttimethe
worddivorcehas
beenmentionedbetweenus.Andalcoholism.Andchildbeating.
Threefirstsin
fiveminutes."
"Thatmaybeattherootoftheproblem,"Edmondssaid."Iam
nota
psychiatrist.IfyouwantDannytoseeachildpsychiatrist,I
canrecommenda
goodonewhoworksoutoftheMissionRidgeMedicalCenterin
Boulder.ButIam
fairlyconfidentofmydiagnosis.Dannyisanintelligent,
imaginative,
perceptiveboy.Idon'tbelievehewouldhavebeenasupsetby
yourmarital
problemsasyoubelieved.Smallchildrenaregreataccepters.
Theydon't
understandshame,ortheneedtohidethings."
Jackwasstudyinghishands.Wendytookoneofthemand
squeezedit.
"Buthesensedthethingsthatwerewrong.Chiefamongthem
fromhispointof
viewwasnotthebrokenarmbutthebrokenorbreakinglink
betweenyoutwo.
Hementioneddivorcetome,butnotthebrokenarm.Whenmynurse
mentionedthe
settohim,hesimplyshruggedifoff.Itwasnopressurething.
`Ithappeneda
longtimeago'iswhatIthinkhesaid."
"Thatkid,"Jackmuttered.Hisjawswereclampedtogether,the
musclesinthe
cheeksstandingout."Wedon'tdeservehim."
"Youhavehim,allthesame,"Edmondssaiddryly."Atanyrate,
heretires
intoafantasyworldfromtimetotime.Nothingunusualabout
that;lotsofkids
do.AsIrecall,IhadmyowninvisiblefriendwhenIwasDanny's
age,atalking
roosternamedChugChug.OfcoursenoonecouldseeChugChugbut
me.Ihadtwo
olderbrotherswhooftenleftmebehind,andinsuchasituation
ChugChugcame
inmightyhandy.Andofcourseyoutwomustunderstandwhy
Danny'sinvisible
friendisnamedTonyinsteadofMikeorHalorDutch."
"Yes,"Wendysaid.
"Haveyoueverpointeditouttohim?"
"No,"Jacksaid."Shouldwe?"
"Whybother?Lethimrealizeitinhisowntime,byhisown
logic.Yousee,
Danny'sfantasieswereconsiderablydeeperthanthosethatgrow
aroundthe
ordinaryinvisiblefriendsyndrome,buthefeltheneededTony
thatmuchmore.
Tonywouldcomeandshowhimpleasantthings.Sometimesamazing
things.Always
goodthings.OnceTonyshowedhimwhereDaddy'slosttrunk
was...underthe
stairs.AnothertimeTonyshowedhimthatMommyandDaddywere
goingtotakehim
toanamusementparkforhisbirthday"
"AtGreatBarrington!"Wendycried."Buthowcouldheknow
thosethings?It's
eerie,thethingshecomesoutwithsometimes.Almostasif"
"Hehadsecondsight?"Edmondsasked,smiling.
"Hewasbornwithacaul,"Wendysaidweakly.
Edmonds'ssmilebecameagood,heartylaugh.JackandWendy
exchangedaglance
andthenalsosmiled,bothofthemamazedathoweasyitwas.
Danny'soccasional
"luckyguesses"aboutthingswassomethingelsetheyhadnot
discussedmuch.
"Nextyou'llbetellingmehecanlevitate,"Edmondssaid,
stillsmiling."No,
no,no,I'mafraidnot.It'snotextrasensorybutgoodoldhuman
perception,
whichinDanny'scaseisunusuallykeen.Mr.Torrance,heknew
yourtrunkwas
underthestairsbecauseyouhadlookedeverywhereelse.Process
ofelimination,
what?It'ssosimpleElleryQueenwouldlaughatit.Sooneror
lateryouwould
havethoughtofityourself.
"AsfortheamusementparkatGreatBarrington,whoseideawas
that
originally?Yoursorhis?"
"His,ofcourse,"Wendysaid."Theyadvertisedonallthe
morningchildren's
programs.Hewaswildtogo.Butthethingis,Doctor,we
couldn'taffordto
takehim.Andwehadtoldhimso."
"Thenamen'smagazineI'dsoldastorytobackin1971senta
checkforfifty
dollars,"Jacksaid."Theywerereprintingthestoryinan
annual,orsomething.
SowedecidedtospenditonDanny."
Edmondsshrugged."Wishfulfillmentplusaluckycoincidence."
"Goddammit,Ibetthat'sjustright,"Jacksaid.
Edmondssmiledalittle."AndDannyhimselftoldmethatTony
oftenshowedhim
thingsthatneveroccurred.Visionsbasedonfaultyperception,
that'sall.
Dannyisdoingsubconsciouslywhatthesesocalledmysticsand
mindreadersdo
quiteconsciouslyandcynically.Iadmirehimforit.Iflife
doesn'tcausehim
toretracthisantennae,Ithinkhe'llbequiteaman."
WendynoddedofcourseshethoughtDannywouldbequitea
manbutthe
doctor'sexplanationstruckherasglib.Ittastedmorelike
margarinethan
butter.Edmondshadnotlivedwiththem.Hehadnotbeenthere
whenDannyfound
lostbuttons,toldherthatmaybetheTVGuidewasunderthebed,
thathe
thoughthebetterwearhisrubberstonurseryschooleventhough
thesunwasout
...andlaterthatdaytheyhadwalkedhomeunderherumbrella
throughthe
pouringrain.Edmondscouldn'tknowofthecuriouswayDannyhad
ofpreguessing
themboth.Shewoulddecidetohaveanunusualeveningcupof
tea,gooutinthe
kitchenandfindhercupoutwithateabaginit.Shewould
rememberthatthe
booksweredueatthelibraryandfindthemallneatlypiledup
onthehall
table,herlibrarycardontop.OrJackwouldtakeitintohis
headtowaxthe
VolkswagenandfindDannyalreadyoutthere,listeningtotinny
topfortymusic
onhiscrystalradioashesatonthecurbtowatch.
Aloudshesaid,"Thenwhythenightmaresnow?WhydidTonytell
himtolock
thebathroomdoor?"
"Ibelieveit'sbecauseTonyhasoutlivedhisusefulness,"
Edmondssaid."He
wasbornTony,notDannyatatimewhenyouandyourhusband
werestrainingto
keepyourmarriagetogether.Yourhusbandwasdrinkingtoomuch.
Therewasthe
incidentofthebrokenarm.Theominousquietbetweenyou."
Ominousquiet,yes,thatphrasewastherealthing,anyway.The
stiff,tense
mealswheretheonlyconversationhadbeenpleasepassthebutter
orDanny,eat
therestofyourcarrotsormayIbeexcused,please.Thenights
whenJackwas
goneandshehadlaindown,dryeyed,onthecouchwhileDanny
watchedTV.The
morningswhensheandJackhadstalkedaroundeachotherliketwo
angrycats
withaquivering,frightenedmousebetweenthem.Itallrang
true;
(dearGod,dooldscarseverstophurting?)
horribly,horriblytrue.
Edmondsresumed,"Butthingshavechanged.Youknow,schizoid
behaviorisa
prettycommonthinginchildren.It'saccepted,becauseallwe
adultshavethis
unspokenagreementthatchildrenarelunatics.Theyhave
invisiblefriends.They
maygoandsitintheclosetwhenthey'redepressed,withdrawing
fromtheworld.
Theyattachtalismanicimportancetoaspecialblanket,ora
teddybear,ora
stuffedtiger.Theysucktheirthumbs.Whenanadultseesthings
thataren't
there,weconsiderhimreadyfortherubberroom.Whenachild
sayshe'sseena
trollinhisbedroomoravampireoutsidethewindow,wesimply
smile
indulgently.Wehaveaonesentenceexplanationthatexplainsthe
wholerangeof
suchphenomenainchildren"
"He'llgrowoutofit,"Jacksaid.
Edmondsblinked."Myverywords,"hesaid."Yes.NowIwould
guessthatDanny
wasinaprettygoodpositiontodevelopafullfledged
psychosis.Unhappyhome
life,abigimagination,theinvisiblefriendwhowassorealto
himthathe
nearlybecamerealtoyou.Insteadof`growingoutof'is
childhood
schizophrenia,hemightwellhavegrownintoit."
"Andbecomeautistic?"Wendyasked.Shehadreadaboutautism.
Theworditself
frightenedher;itsoundedlikedreadandwhitesilence.
"Possiblebutnotnecessarily.Hemightsimplyhaveentered
Tony'sworld
somedayandnevercomebacktowhathecalls`realthings.'"
"God,"Jacksaid.
"Butnowthebasicsituationhaschangeddrastically.Mr.
Torrancenolonger
drinks.Youareinanewplacewhereconditionshaveforcedthe
threeofyou
intoatighterfamilyunitthaneverbeforecertainlytighter
thanmyown,
wheremywifeandkidsmayseemeforonlytwoorthreehoursa
day.Tomymind,
heisintheperfecthealingsituation.AndIthinktheveryfact
thatheis
abletodifferentiatesosharplybetweenTony'sworldand`real
things'saysa
lotaboutthefundamentallyhealthystateofhismind.Hesays
thatyoutwoare
nolongerconsideringdivorce.IsheasrightasIthinkheis?"
"Yes,"Wendysaid,andJacksqueezedherhandtightly,almost
painfully.She
squeezedback.
Edmondsnodded."Hereallydoesn'tneedTonyanymore.Dannyis
flushinghim
outofhissystem.Tonynolongerbringspleasantvisionsbut
hostilenightmares
thataretoofrighteningforhimtorememberexcept
fragmentarily.He
internalizedTonyduringadifficultdesperatelifesituation,
andTonyisnot
leavingeasily.Butheisleaving.Yoursonisalittlelikea
junkiekicking
thehabit."
Hestoodup,andtheTorrancesstoodalso.
"AsIsaid,I'mnotapsychiatrist.Ifthenightmaresarestill
continuing
whenyourjobattheOverlookendsnextspring,Mr.Torrance,I
wouldstrongly
urgeyoutotakehimtothismaninBoulder."
"Iwill."
"Well,let'sgooutandtellhimhecangohome,"Edmondssaid.
"Iwanttothankyou,"Jacktoldhimpainfully."Ifeelbetter
aboutallthis
thanIhaveinaverylongtime."
"SodoI,"Wendysaid.
Atthedoor,EdmondspausedandlookedatWendy."Doyouordid
youhavea
sister,Mrs.Torrance?NamedAileen?"
Wendylookedathim,surprised."Yes,Idid.Shewaskilled
outsideourhome
inSomersworth,NewHampshire,whenshewassixandIwasten.
Shechasedaball
intothestreetandwasstruckbyadeliveryvan."
"DoesDannyknowthat?"
"Idon'tknow.Idon'tthinkso."
"Hesaysyouwerethinkingaboutherinthewaitingroom."
"Iwas,"Wendysaidslowly."Forthefirsttimein...oh,I
don'tknowhow
long."
"Doestheword'redrum'meananythingtoeitherofyou?"
WendyshookherheadbutJacksaid,"Hementionedthatword
lastnight,just
beforehewenttosleep.Reddrum."
"No,rum,"Edmondscorrected."Hewasquiteemphaticabout
that.Rum.Asin
thedrink.Thealcoholicdrink."
"Oh,"Jacksaid."Itfitsin,doesn'tit?"Hetookhis
handkerchiefoutofhis
backpocketandwipedhislipswithit.
"Doesthephrase`theshining'meananythingtoyou?"
Thistimetheybothshooktheirheads.
"Doesn'tmatter,Iguess,"Edmondssaid.Heopenedthedoor
intothewaiting
room."AnybodyherenamedDannyTorrancethatwouldliketogo
home?"
"Hi,Daddy!Hi,Mommy!"Hestoodupfromthesmalltablewhere
hehadbeen
leafingslowlythroughacopyofWheretheWildThingsAreand
mutteringthe
wordsheknewaloud.
HerantoJack,whoscoopedhimup.Wendyruffledhishair.
Edmondspeeredathim."Ifyoudon'tloveyourmommyanddaddy,
youcanstay
withgoodoldBill."
"No,sir!"Dannysaidemphatically.Heslungonearmaround
Jack'sneck,one
armaroundWendy's,andlookedradiantlyhappy.
"Okay,"Edmondssaid,smiling.HelookedatWendy."Youcallif
youhaveany
problems."
"Yes."
"Idon'tthinkyouwill,"Edmondssaid,smiling.
<<18>>

THESCRAPBOOK

JackfoundthescrapbookonthefirstofNovember,whilehis
wifeandsonwere
hikinguptheruttedoldroadthatranfrombehindtheroque
courttoadeserted
sawmilltwomilesfurtherup.Thefineweatherstillheld,and
allthreeofthem
hadacquiredimprobableautumnsuntans.
Hehadgonedowninthebasementtoknockthepressdownonthe
boilerand
then,onimpulse,hehadtakentheflashlightfromtheshelf
wheretheplumbing
schematicswereanddecidedtolookatsomeoftheoldpapers.He
wasalso
lookingforgoodplacestosethistraps,althoughhedidn'tplan
todothatfor
anothermonthIwantthemalltobehomefromvacation,hehad
toldWendy.
Shiningtheflashlightaheadofhim,hesteppedpastthe
elevatorshaft(at
Wendy'sinsistencetheyhadn'tusedtheelevatorsincetheymoved
in)and
throughthesmallstonearch.Hisnosewrinkledatthesmellof
rottingpaper.
Behindhimtheboilerkickedonwithathunderingwhoosh,making
himjump.
Heflickeredthelightaround,whistlingtunelesslybetweenhis
teeth.There
wasascalemodelAndesrangedownhere:dozensofboxesand
cratesstuffedwith
papers,mostofthemwhiteandshapelesswithageanddamp.
Othershadbroken
openandspilledyellowedsheavesofpaperontothestonefloor.
Therewere
balesofnewspapertiedupwithhayrope.Someboxescontained
whatlookedlike
ledgers,andotherscontainedinvoicesboundwithrubberbands.
Jackpulledone
outandputtheflashlightbeamonit.
ROCKYMOUNTAINEXPRESS,INC.
To:OVERLOOKHOTEL
From:SIDEY'SWAREHOUSE,121016thStreet,
Denver,CO.
Via:CANDIANPACIFICRR
Contents:400CASESDELSEYTOILETTISSUE,1
GROSS/CASE

SignedDEF
Date
August24,1954

Smiling,Jackletthepaperdropbackintothebox.
Heflashedthelightaboveitanditspearedahanging
lightbulb,almost
buriedincobwebs.Therewasnochainpull.
Hestoodontiptoeandtriedscrewingthebulbin.Itlit
weakly.Hepickedup
thetoiletpaperinvoiceagainandusedittowipeoffsomeof
thecobwebs.The
glowdidn'tbrightenmuch.
Stillusingtheflashlight,hewanderedthroughtheboxesand
balesofpaper,
lookingforratspoor.Theyhadbeenhere,butnotforquitea
longtime...
maybeyears.Hefoundsomedroppingsthatwerepowderywithage,
andseveral
nestsofneatlyshreddedpaperthatwereoldandunused.
Jackpulledanewspaperfromoneofthebundlesandglanced
downatthe
headline.

JOHNSONPROMISESORDERLYTRANSITION
SaysWorkBegunbyJFKWillGoForward
inComingYear

ThepaperwastheRockyMountainNews,datedDecember19,1963.
Hedroppedit
backontoitspile.
Hesupposedhewasfascinatedbythatcommonplacesenseof
historythatanyone
canfeelglancingthroughthefreshnewsoftenortwentyyears
ago.Hefound
gapsinthepilednewspapersandrecords;nothingfrom1937to
1945,from1957
to1960,from1962to1963.Periodswhenthehotelhadbeen
closed,heguessed.
Whenithadbeenbetweensuckersgrabbingforthebrassring.
Ullman'sexplanationsoftheOverlook'scheckeredcareerstill
didn'tring
quitetruetohim.ItseemedthattheOverlooksspectacular
locationalone
shouldhaveguaranteeditscontinuingsuccess.Therehadalways
beenanAmerican
jetset,evenbeforejetswereinvented,anditseemedtoJack
thattheOverlook
shouldhavebeenoneofthebasestheytouchedintheir
migrations.Iteven
soundedright.TheWaldorfinMay,theBarHarborHouseinJune
andJuly,the
OverlookinAugustandearlySeptember,beforemovingonto
Bermuda,Havana,
Rio,wherever.Hefoundapileofolddeskregistersandthey
borehimout.
NelsonRockefellerin1950.HenryFord&Fam.in1927.Jean
Harlowin1930.
ClarkGableandCaroleLombard.In1956thewholetopfloorhad
beentakenfora
weekby"DarrylF.Zanuck&Party."Themoneymusthaverolled
downthe
corridorsandintothecashregisterslikeatwentiethcentury
ComstockLode.
Themanagementmusthavebeenspectacularlybad.
Therewashistoryhere,allright,andnotjustinnewspaper
headlines.Itwas
buriedbetweentheentriesintheseledgersandaccountbooksand
roomservice
chitswhereyoucouldn'tquiteseeit.In1922WarrenG.Harding
hadordereda
wholesalmonatteno'clockintheevening,andacaseofCoors
beer.Butwhom
hadhebeeneatinganddrinkingwith?Haditbeenapokergame?A
strategy
session?What?
Jackglancedathiswatchandwassurprisedtoseethatforty
fiveminuteshad
somehowslippedbysincehehadcomedownhere.Hishandsand
armsweregrimy,
andheprobablysmelledbad.Hedecidedtogoupandtakea
showerbeforeWendy
andDannygotback.
Hewalkedslowlybetweenthemountainsofpaper,hismindalive
andticking
overpossibilitiesinaspeedywaythatwasexhilarating.He
hadn'tfeltthis
wayinyears.Itsuddenlyseemedthatthebookhehad
semijokinglypromised
himselfmightreallyhappen.Itmightevenberighthere,buried
intheseuntidy
heapsofpaper.Itcouldbeaworkoffiction,orhistory,or
bothalongbook
explodingoutofthiscentralplaceinahundreddirections.
Hestoodbeneaththecobwebbylight,tookhishandkerchieffrom
hisback
pocketwithoutthinking,andscrubbedathislipswithit.And
thatwaswhenhe
sawthescrapbook.
Apileoffiveboxesstoodonhisleftlikesometottering
Pisa.Theoneon
topwasstuffedwithmoreinvoicesandledgers.Balancedontop
ofthose,
keepingitsangleofreposeforwhoknewhowmanyyears,wasa
thickscrapbook
withwhiteleathercovers,itspagesboundwithtwohanksofgold
stringthat
badbeentiedalongthebindingingaudybows.
Curious,hewentoverandtookitdown.Thetopcoverwasthick
withdust.He
helditonaplaneatliplevel,blewthedustoffinacloud,
andopenedit.As
hedidsoacardflutteredoutandhegrabbeditinmidair
beforeitcouldfall
tothestonefloor.Itwasrichandcreamy,dominatedbyaraised
engravingof
theOverlookwitheverywindowalight.Thelawnandplayground
weredecorated
withglowingJapaneselanterns.Itlookedalmostasthoughyou
couldstepright
intoit,anOverlookHotelthathadexistedthirtyyearsago.

HoraceM.DerwentRequests
ThePleasureofYourCompany
AtaMaskedBalltoCelebrate
TheGrandOpeningof
THEOVERLOOKHOTEL

DinnerWillBeServedAt8P.M.
UnmaskingAndDancingAtMidnight
August29,1945RSVP

Dinnerateight!Unmaskingatmidnight!
Hecouldalmostseetheminthediningroom,therichestmenin
Americaand
theirwomen.Tuxedosandglimmeringstarchedshirts;evening
gowns;theband
playing;gleaminghighheeledpumps.Theclinkofglasses,the
jocundpopof
champagnecorks.Thewarwasover,oralmostover.Thefuturelay
ahead,clean
andshining.Americawasthecolossusoftheworldandatlast
sheknewitand
acceptedit.
Andlater,atmidnight,Derwenthimselfcrying:"Unmask!
Unmask!"Themasks
comingoffand...
(TheRedDeathheldswayoverall!)
Hefrowned.Whatleftfieldhadthatcomeoutof?ThatwasPoe,
theGreat
AmericanHack.AndsurelytheOverlookthisshining,glowing
Overlookonthe
invitationheheldinhishandswasthefarthestcryfromE.A.
Poeimaginable.
Heputtheinvitationbackandturnedtothenextpage.A
pasteupfromoneof
theDenverpapers,andscratchedbeneathitthedate:May15,
1947.

POSHMOUNTAINRESORTREOPENSWITH
STELLARGUESTREGISTER
DerwentSaysOverlookWillBe"Showplaceofthe
World"

ByDavidFelton,FeaturesEditor
TheOverlookHotelhasbeenopenedandreopenedinits
thirtyeightyear
history,butrarelywithsuchstyleanddashasthatpromised
byHorace
Derwent,themysteriousCaliforniamillionairewhoisthe
latestownerof
thehostelry.
Derwent,whomakesnosecretofhavingsunkmorethanone
milliondollars
intohisnewestventureandsomesaythefigureiscloserto
three
millionsaysthat"ThenewOverlookwillbeoneofthe
world'sshowplaces,
thekindofhotelyouwillrememberovernigbtinginthirty
yearslater."
WhenDerwent,whoisrumoredtohavesubstantialLasVegas
holdings,was
askedifhispurchaseandrefurbishingoftheOverlook
signaledtheopening
guninabattletolegalizecasinostylegamblingin
Colorado,the
aircraft,movie,munitions,andshippingmagnatedenied
it...witha
smile."TheOverlookwouldbecheapenedbygambling,"he
said,"anddon't
thinkI'mknockingVegas!They'vegottoomanyofmymarkers
outtherefor
metodothat!Ihavenointerestinlobbyingforlegalized
gamblingin
Colorado.Itwouldbespittingintothewind."
WhentheOverlookopensofficially(therewasagigantic
andhugely
successfulpartytheresometimeagowhentheactualworkwas
finished),
thenewlypainted,papered,anddecoratedroomswillbe
occupiedbya
stellarguestlist,rangingfromChicdesignerCorbatStani
to...

Smilingbemusedly,Jackturnedthepage.Nowhewaslookingat
afullpagead
fromtheNewYorkSundayTimestravelsection.Onthepageafter
thatastoryon
Derwenthimself,abaldingmanwitheyesthatpiercedyoueven
fromanold
newsprintphoto.Hewaswearingrimlessspectaclesandaforties
stylepencil
linemustachethatdidnothingatalltomakehimlooklikeErrol
Flynn.His
facewasthatofanaccountant.Itwastheeyesthatmadehim
looklikesomeone
orsomethingelse.
Jackskimmedthearticlerapidly.Heknewmostofthe
informationfroma
NewsweekstoryonDerwenttheyearbefore.BornpoorinSt.Paul,
neverfinished
highschool,joinedtheNavyinstead.Roserapidly,thenleftin
abitter
wrangleoverthepatentonanewtypeofpropellerthathehad
designed.Inthe
tugofwarbetweentheNavyandanunknownyoungmannamedHorace
Derwent,Uncle
Samcameoffthepredictablewinner.ButUncleSamhadnever
gottenanother
patent,andtherehadbeenalotofthem.
Inthelatetwentiesandearlythirties,Derwentturnedto
aviation.Hebought
outabankruptcropdustingcompany,turneditintoanairmail
service,and
prospered.Morepatentsfollowed:anewmonoplanewingdesign,a
bombcarriage
usedontheFlyingFortressesthathadrainedfireonHamburgand
Dresdenand
Berlin,amachinegunthatwascooledbyalcohol,aprototypeof
theejection
seatlaterusedinUnitedStatesjets.
Andalongtheline,theaccountantwholivedinthesameskin
astheinventor
keptpilinguptheinvestments.Apiddlingstringofmunition
factoriesinNew
YorkandNewJersey.FivetextilemillsinNewEngland.Chemical
factoriesin
thebankruptandgroaningSouth.AttheendoftheDepressionhis
wealthhad
beennothingbutahandfulofcontrollinginterests,boughtat
abysmallylow
prices,salableonlyatlowerpricesstill.AtonepointDerwent
boastedthathe
couldliquidatecompletelyandrealizethepriceofathreeyear
oldChevrolet.
Therebadbeenrumors,Jackrecalled,thatsomeofthemeans
employedby
Derwenttokeephisheadabovewaterwerelessthansavory.
Involvementwith
bootlegging.ProstitutionintheMidwest.Smugglinginthe
coastalareasofthe
Southwherehisfertilizerfactorieswere.Finallyanassociation
withthe
nascentwesterngamblinginterests.
ProbablyDerwent'smostfamousinvestmentwasthepurchaseof
thefoundering
TopMarkStudios,whichhadnothadabitsincetheirchildstar,
LittleMargery
Morris,haddiedofaheroinoverdosein1934.Shewasfourteen.
LittleMargery,
whohadspecializedinsweetsevenyearoldswhosavedmarriages
andthelives
ofdogsunjustlyaccusedofkillingchickens,hadbeengiventhe
biggest
HollywoodfuneralinhistorybyTopMarktheofficialstorywas
thatLittle
Margeryhadcontracteda"wastingdisease"whileentertainingat
aNewYork
orphanageandsomecynicssuggestedthestudiohadlaidoutall
thatlonggreen
becauseitknewitwasburyingitself.
Derwenthiredakeenbusinessmanandragingsexmaniacnamed
HenryFinkelto
runTopMark,andinthetwoyearsbeforePearlHarborthestudio
groundout
sixtymovies,fiftyfiveofwhichglidedrightintothefaceof
theHayesOffice
andspitonitslargebluenose.Theotherfiveweregovernment
trainingfilms.
Thefeaturefilmswerehugesuccesses.Duringoneoftheman
unnamedcostume
designerhadjuryriggedastraplessbrafortheheroinetoappear
induringthe
GrandBallscene,wheresherevealedeverythingexceptpossibly
thebirthmark
justbelowthecleftofherbuttocks.Derwentreceivedcreditfor
thisinvention
aswell,andhisreputationornotorietygrew.
Thewarhadmadehimrichandhewasstillrich.Livingin
Chicago,seldom
seenexceptforDerwentEnterprisesboardmeetings(whichheran
withaniron
hand),itwasrumoredthatheownedUnitedAirLines,LasVegas
(wherehewas
knowntohavecontrollinginterestsinfourhotelcasinosand
someinvolvement
inatleastsixothers),LosAngeles,andtheU.S.A.itself.
Reputedtobea
friendofroyalty,presidents,andunderworldkingpins,itwas
supposedbymany
thathewastherichestmanintheworld.
ButhehadnotbeenabletomakeagooftheOverlook,Jack
thought.Heput
thescrapbookdownforamomentandtookthesmallnotebookand
mechanical
pencilhealwayskeptwithhimoutofhisbreastpocket.He
jotted"LookintoH.
Derwent,SidwndrIbry?"Heputthenotebookbackandpickedup
thescrapbook
again.Hisfacewaspreoccupied,hiseyesdistant.Hewipedhis
mouthconstantly
withhishandasheturnedthepages.
Heskimmedthematerialthatfollowed,makingamentalnoteto
readitmore
closelylater.Pressreleaseswerepastedintomanyofthepages.
Soandsowas
expectedattheOverlooknextweek,thusandsuchwouldbe
entertaininginthe
lounge(inDerwent'stimeithadbeentheRedEyeLounge).Many
ofthe
entertainerswereVegasnames,andmanyoftheguestswereTop
Markexecutives
andstars.
Then,inaclippingmarkedFebruary1,1952:

MILLIONAIREEXECTOSELLCOLORADO
INVESTMENTS
DealMadewithCaliforniaInvestorson
Overlook,OtherInvestments,DerwentReveals

ByRodneyConklin,FinancialEditor
InatersecommuniqueyesterdayfromtheChicagoofficesof
themonolithic
DerwentEnterprises,itwasrevealedthatmillionaire
(perhapsbillionaire)
HoraceDerwenthassoldoutofColoradoinastunning
financialpowerplay
thatwillbecompletedbyOctober1,1954.Derwent's
investmentsinclude
naturalgas,coal,hydroelectricpower,andaland
developmentcompany
calledColoradoSunshine,Inc.,whichownsorholdsoptions
onbetterthan
500,000acresofColoradoland.
ThemostfamousDerwentholdinginColorado,theOverlook
Hotel,has
alreadybeensold,Derwentrevealedinarareinterview
yesterday.The
buyerwasaCaliforniagroupofinvestorsheadedbyCharles
Grondin,a
formerdirectoroftheCaliforniaLandDevelopment
Corporation.While
Derwentrefusedtodiscussprice,informedsources...

Hehadsoldouteverything,lock,stock,andbarrel.Itwasn't
justthe
Overlook.Butsomehow...somehow...
Hewipedhislipswithhishandandwishedhehadadrink.This
wouldgo
betterwithadrink.Heturnedmorepages.
TheCaliforniagrouphadopenedthehotelfortwoseasons,and
thensolditto
aColoradogroupcalledMountainviewResorts.Mountainviewwent
bankruptin1957
amidchargesofcorruption,nestfeathering,andcheatingthe
stockholders.The
presidentofthecompanyshothimselftwodaysafterbeing
subpoenaedtoappear
beforeagrandjury.
Thehotelhadbeenclosedfortherestofthedecade.Therewas
asinglestory
aboutit,aSundayfeatureheadlinedFORMERGRANDHOTELSINKING
INTODECAY.The
accompanyingphotoswrenchedatJack'sheart:thepaintonthe
frontporch
peeling,thelawnabaldandscabrousmess,windowsbrokenby
stormsandstones.
Thiswouldbeapartofthebook,ifheactuallywroteit,too
thephoenixgoing
downintotheashestobereborn.Hepromisedhimselfhewould
takecareofthe
place,verygoodcare.Itseemedthatbeforetodayhehadnever
really
understoodthebreadthofhisresponsibilitytotheOverlook.It
wasalmostlike
havingaresponsibilitytohistory.
In1961fourwriters,twoofthemPulitzerPrizewinners,had
leasedthe
Overlookandreopeneditasawriters'school.Thathadlasted
oneyear.Oneof
thestudentshadgottendrunkinhisthirdfloorroom,crashed
outofthewindow
somehow,andfelltohisdeathonthecementterracebelow.The
paperhinted
thatitmighthavebeensuicide.
Anybighotel.havegotscandals,Watsonhadsaid,justlike
everybighotel
hasgotaghost.Why?Hell,peoplecomeandgo...
Suddenlyitseemedthathecouldalmostfeeltheweightofthe
Overlook
bearingdownonhimfromabove,onehundredandtenguestrooms,
thestorage
rooms,kitchen,pantry,freezer,lounge,ballroom,dining
room...
(Intheroomthewomencomeandgo)
(...andtheRedDeathheldswayoverall.)
Herubbedhislipsandturnedtothenextpageinthe
scrapbook.Hewasinthe
lastthirdofitnow,andforthefirsttimehewondered
consciouslywhosebook
thiswas,leftatopthehighestpileofrecordsinthecellar.
Anewheadline,thisonedatedApril10,1963.

LASVEGASGROUPBUYSFAMEDCOLORADO
HOTEL
ScenicOverlooktoBecomeKeyClub

RobertT.Leffing,spokesmanforagroupofinvestorsgoing
underthename
ofHighCountryInvestments,announcedtodayinLasVegas
thatHigh
CountryhasnegotiatedadealforthefamousOverlookHotel,
aresort
locatedhighintheRockies.Leffingdeclinedtomentionthe
namesof
specificinvestors,butsaidthehotelwouldbeturnedinto
anexclusive
"keyclub."Hesaidthatthegroupherepresentshopesto
sellmemberships
tohighechelonexecutivesinAmericanandforeigncompanies.
HighCountryalsoownshotelsinMontana,Wyoming,and
Utah.
TheOverlookbecameworldknownintheyears1946to1952
whenitwas
ownedbyelusivemegamillionaireHoraceDerwent,who...

Theitemonthenextpagewasameresquib,datedfourmonths
later.The
Overlookhadopenedunderitsnewmanagement.Apparentlythe
paperhadn'tbeen
abletofindoutorwasn'tinterestedinwhothekeyholders
were,becauseno
namewasmentionedbutHighCountryInvestmentsthemost
anonymoussounding
companynameJackhadeverheardexceptforachainofbikeand
applianceshops
inwesternNewEnglandthatwentunderthenameofBusiness,Inc.
Heturnedthepageandblinkeddownattheclippingpasted
there.

MILLIONAIREDERWENTBACKINCOLO
RADOVIABACKDOOR?
HighCountryExecRevealedtobe
CharlesGrondin

ByRodneyConklin,FinancialEditor
TheOverlookHotel,ascenicpleasurepalaceintheColorado
highcountry
andoncetheprivateplaythingofmillionaireHoraceDerwent,
isatthe
centerofafinancialtanglewhichisonlynowbeginningto
cometolight.
OnApril10oflastyearthehotelwaspurchasedbyaLas
Vegasfirm,
HighCountryInvestments,asakeyclubforwealthy
executivesofboth
foreignanddomesticbreeds.Nowinformedsourcessaythat
HighCountryis
headedbyCharlesGrondin,53,whowastheheadofCalifornia
Land
DevelopmentCorp.until1959,whenheresignedtotakethe
positionof
executiveveepintheChicagohomeofficeofDerwent
Enterprises.
ThishasledtospeculationthatHighCountryInvestments
maybe
controlledbyDerwent,whomayhaveacquiredtheOverlookfor
thesecond
time,andunderdecidedlypeculiarcircumstances.
Grondin,whowasindictedandacquittedonchargesoftax
evasionin
1960,couldnotbereachedforcomment,andHoraceDerwent,
whoguardshis
ownprivacyjealously,hadnocommentwhenreachedby
telephone.State
RepresentativeDickBowsofGoldenhascalledforacomplete
investigation
into...

ThatclippingwasdatedJuly27,1964.Thenextwasacolumn
fromaSunday
paperthatSeptember.ThebylinebelongedtoJoshBrannigar,a
muckraking
investigatoroftheJackAndersonbreed.Jackvaguelyrecalled
thatBrannigar
haddiedin1968or'69.

MAFIAFREEZONEINCOLORADO?

ByJoshBrannigar
Itnowseemspossiblethatthenewestr&rspotof
Organizationoverlordsin
theU.S.islocatedatanoutofthewayhotelnestledinthe
centerofthe
Rockies.TheOverlookHotel,awhiteelephantthathasbeen
runlucklessly
byalmostadozendifferentgroupsandindividualssinceit
firstopened
itsdoorsin1910,isnowbeingoperatedasasecurity
jacketed"keyclub,"
ostensiblyforunwindingbusinessmen.Thequestionis,what
businessare
theOverlook'skeyholdersreallyin?
ThememberspresentduringtheweekofAugust1623maygive
usanidea.
ThelistbelowwasobtainedbyaformeremployeeofHigh
Country
Investments,acompanyfirstbelievedtobeadummycompany
ownedby
DerwentEnterprises.ItnowseemsmorelikelythatDerwent's
interestin
HighCountry(ifany)isoutweighedbythoseofseveralLas
Vegasgambling
barons.Andthesesamegaminghonchoshavebeenlinkedinthe
pasttoboth
suspectedandconvictedunderworldkingpins.
PresentattheOverlookduringthatsunnyweekinAugust
were:
CharlesGrondin,PresidentofHighCountryInvestments.
Whenitbecame
knowninJulyofthisyearthathewasrunningtheHigh
Countryshipitwas
announcedconsiderablyafterthefactthathehadresigned
hispositionin
DerwentEnterprisespreviously.ThesilvermanedGrondin,who
refusedto
talktomeforthiscolumn,hasbeentriedonceandacquitted
ontax
evasioncharges(1960).
Charles"BabyCharlie"Battaglia,a60yearoldVegas
empressario
(controllinginterestsinTheGreenbackandTheLuckyBones
ontheStrip).
BattagliaisaclosepersonalfriendofGrondin.Hisarrest
record
stretchesbackto1932,whenhewastriedandacquittedin
the
ganglandstylemurderofJack"Dutchy"Morgan.Federal
authoritiessuspect
hisinvolvementinthedrugtraffic,prostitution,andmurder
forhire,but
"BabyCharlie"hasonlybeenbehindbarsonce,forincometax
evasionin
195556.
RichardScarne,theprincipalstockholderofFunTime
AutomaticMachines.
FunTimemakesslotmachinesfortheNevadacrowd,pinball
machines,and
jukeboxes(MelodyCoin)fortherestofthecountry.Hehas
donetimefor
assaultwithadeadlyweapon(1940),carryingaconcealed
weapon(1948),
andconspiracytocommittaxfraud(1961).
PeterZeiss,aMiamibasedimporter,nownearing70.For
thelastfive
yearsZeisshasbeenfightingdeportationasanundesirable
person.Hehas
beenconvictedonchargesofreceivingandconcealingstolen
property
(1958),andconspiracytocommittaxfraud(1954).Charming,
distinguished,
andcourtly,PeteZeissiscalled"Poppa"byhisintimates
andhasbeen
triedonchargesofmurderandaccessorytomurder.Alarge
stockholderin
Scarne'sFunTimecompany,healsohasknowninterestsin
fourLasVegas
casinos.
VittorioGienelli,alsoknownas"VitotheChopper,"tried
twicefor
ganglandstylemurders,oneofthemtheaxmurderofBoston
viceoverlord
FrankScoffy.Gienellihasbeenindictedtwentythreetimes,
triedfourteen
times,andconvictedonlyonce,forshopliftingin1940.It
hasbeensaid
thatinrecentyearsGienellihasbecomeapowerinthe
organization's
westernoperation,whichiscenteredinLasVegas.
Carl"JimmyRicks"Prashkin,aSanFranciscoinvestor,
reputedtobethe
heirapparentofthepowerGienellinowwields.Prashkinowns
largeblocks
ofstockinDerwentEnterprises,HighCountryInvestments,
FunTime
AutomaticMachines,andthreeVegascasinos.Prashkinis
cleaninAmerica,
butwasindictedinMexicoonfraudchargesthatweredropped
quicklythree
weeksaftertheywerebrought.Ithasbeensuggestedthat
Prashkinmaybe
inchargeoflaunderingmoneyskimmedfromVegascasino
operationsand
funnelingthebigbucksbackintotheorganization's
legitimatewestern
operations.AndsuchoperationsmaynowincludetheOverlook
Hotelin
Colorado.
Othervisitorsduringthecurrentseasoninclude...
TherewasmorebutJackonlyskimmedit,constantlywipinghis
lipswithhis
hand.AbankerwithLasVegasconnections.MenfromNewYorkwho
wereapparently
doingmoreintheGarmentDistrictthanmakingclothes.Men
reputedtobe
involvedwithdrugs,vice,robbery,murder.
God,whatastory!Andtheyhadallbeenhere,rightabovehim,
inthoseempty
rooms.Screwingexpensivewhoresonthethirdfloor,maybe.
Drinkingmagnumsof
champagne.Makingdealsthatwouldturnovermillionsofdollars,
maybeinthe
verysuiteofroomswherePresidentshadstayed.Therewasa
story,allright.
Onehellofastory.Alittlefrantically,hetookouthis
notebookandjotted
downanothermemotocheckallofthesepeopleoutatthelibrary
inDenverwhen
thecaretakingjobwasover.Everyhotelhasitsghost?The
Overlookhadawhole
covenofthem.Firstsuicide,thentheMafia,whatnext?
ThenextclippingwasanangrydenialofBrannigar'schargesby
Charles
Grondin.Jacksmirkedatit.
Theclippingonthenextpagewassolargethatithadbeen
folded.Jack
unfoldeditandgaspedharshly.Thepicturethereseemedtoleap
outathim:the
wallpaperhadbeenchangedsinceJuneof1966,butheknewthat
windowandthe
viewperfectlywell.Itwasthewesternexposureofthe
PresidentialSuite.
Murdercamenext.Thesittingroomwallbythedoorleadinginto
thebedroomwas
splashedwithbloodandwhatcouldonlybewhiteflecksofbrain
matter.A
blankfacedcopwasstandingoveracorpsehiddenbyablanket.
Jackstared,
fascinated,andthenhiseyesmoveduptotheheadline.

GANGLANDSTYLESHOOTINGAT
COLORADOHOTEL
ReputedCrimeOverlordShotatMountainKeyClub
TwoOthersDead
SIDEWINDER,COLO(UPI)FortymilesfromthissleepyColorado
town,a
ganglandstyleexecutionhasoccurredintheheartofthe
RockyMountains.
TheOverlookHotel,purchasedthreeyearsagoasanexclusive
keyclubbya
LasVegasfirm,wasthesiteofatripleshotgunslaying.Two
ofthemen
wereeitherthecompanionsorbodyguardsofVittorio
Gienelli,alsoknown
as"TheChopper"forhisreputedinvolvementinaBoston
slayingtwenty
yearsago.
PoliceweresummonedbyRobertNorman,managerofthe
Overlook,whosaid
heheardshotsandthatsomeoftheguestsreportedtwomen
wearing
stockingsontheirfacesandcarryinggunshadfleddownthe
fireescape
anddrivenoffinalatemodeltanconvertible.
StateTrooperBenjaminMoorerdiscoveredtwodeadmen,
lateridentified
asVictorT.BoormanandRogerMacassi,bothofLasVegas,
outsidethedoor
ofthePresidentialSuitewheretwoAmericanPresidentshave
stayed.
Inside,MoorerfoundthebodyofGienellisprawledonthe
floor.Gienelli
wasapparentlyfleeinghisattackerswhenhewascutdown.
Moorersaid
Gienellihadbeenshotwithheavygaugeshotgunsatclose
range.
CharlesGrondin,therepresentativeofthecompanywhich
nowownsthe
Overlook,couldnotbereachedfor...

Belowtheclipping,inheavystrokesofaballpointpen,
someonehadwritten:
Theytookhisballsalongwiththem.Jackstaredatthatfora
longtime,
feelingcold.Whosebookwasthis?
Heturnedthepageatlast,swallowingaclickinhisthroat.
Anothercolumn
fromJoshBrannigar,thisonedatedearly1967.Heonlyreadthe
headline:
NOTORIOUSHOTELSOLDFOLLOWINGMURDEROFUNDERWORLDFIGURE.
Thesheetsfollowingthatclippingwereblank.
(Theytookhisballsalongwiththem.)
Heflippedbacktothebeginning,lookingforanameor
address.Evenaroom
number.Becausehefeltquitesurethatwhoeverhadkeptthis
littlebookof
memorieshadstayedatthehotel.Buttherewasnothing.
Hewasgettingreadytogothroughalltheclippings,more
closelythistime,
whenavoicecalleddownthestairs:"Jack?Hon?"
Wendy.
Hestarted,almostguiltily,asifhehadbeendrinking
secretlyandshewould
smellthefumesonhim.Ridiculous.Hescrubbedhislipswithhis
handand
calledback,"Yeah,babe.Lookinforrats."
Shewascomingdown.Heheardheronthestairs,thencrossing
theboiler
room.Quickly,withoutthinkingwhyhemightbedoingit,be
stuffedthe
scrapbookunderapileofbillsandinvoices.Hestoodupasshe
camethrough
thearch.
"Whatintheworldhaveyoubeendoingdownhere?It'salmost
threeo'clock!"
Hesmiled."Isitthatlate?Igotrootingaroundthroughall
thisstuff.
Tryingtofindoutwherethebodiesareburied,Iguess."
Thewordsclangedbackviciouslyinhismind.
Shecamecloser,lookingathim,andheunconsciouslyretreated
astep,unable
tohelphimself.Heknewwhatshewasdoing.Shewastryingto
smellliquoron
him.Probablyshewasn'tevenawareofitherself,buthewas,
anditmadehim
feelbothguiltyandangry.
"Yourmouthisbleeding,"shesaidinacuriouslyflattone.
"Huh?"Heputhishandtohislipsandwincedatthethin
stinging.Hisindex
fingercameawaybloody.Hisguiltincreased.
"You'vebeenrubbingyourmouthagain,"shesaid.
Helookeddownandshrugged."Yeah,IguessIhave."
"It'sbeenhellforyou,hasn'tit?"
"No,notsobad."
"Hasitgottenanyeasier?"
Helookedupatherandmadehisfeetstartmoving.Oncethey
wereactuallyin
motionitwaseasier.Hecrossedtohiswifeandslippedanarm
aroundher
waist.Hebrushedasideasheafofherblondhairandkissedher
neck."Yes,"he
said."Where'sDanny?"
"Oh,he'saroundsomewhere.It'sstartedtocloudupoutside.
Hungry?"
Heslippedahandoverhertaut,jeanscladbottomwith
counterfeitlechery.
"Likezebear,madame."
"Watchout,slugger.Don'tstartsomethingyoucan'tfinish."
"Figfig,madame?"heasked,stillrubbing."Dirtypeeotures?
Unnatural
positions?"Astheywentthroughthearch,hethrewoneglance
backatthebox
wherethescrapbook
(whose?)
washidden.Withthelightoutitwasonlyashadow.Hewas
relievedthathe
hadgottenWendyaway.Hislustbecamelessacted,morenatural,
asthey
approachedthestairs.
"Maybe,"shesaid."Afterwegetyouasandwichyeek!"She
twistedawayfrom
him,giggling."Thattickles!"
"ItteeklesnozzinglikeJockTorrancewouldliketoteekle
you,madame."
"Layoff,Jock.Howaboutahamandcheese...forthefirst
course?"
Theywentupthestairstogether,andJackdidn'tlookoverhis
shoulder
again.ButhethoughtofWatson'swords:
Everybighotelhasgotaghost.Why?Hell,peoplecomeand
go...
ThenWendyshutthebasementdoorbehindthem,closingitinto
darkness.

<<19>>
OUTSIDE217

Dannywasrememberingthewordsofsomeoneelsewhohadworked
attheOverlook
duringtheseason:
Hersayingshe'dseensomethinginoneoftheroomswhere...
abadthing
happened.ThatwasinRoom217andIwantyoutopromisemeyou
won'tgoin
there,Danny...steerrightclear...
Itwasaperfectlyordinarydoor,nodifferentfromanyother
dooronthe
firsttwofloorsofthehotel.Itwasdarkgray,halfwaydowna
corridorthat
ranatrightanglestothemainsecondfloorhallway.Thenumbers
onthedoor
lookednodifferentfromthehousenumbersontheBoulder
apartmentbuilding
theyhadlivedin.A2,a1,anda7.Bigdeal.Justbelowthem
wasatinyglass
circle,apeephole.Dannyhadtriedseveralofthem.Fromthe
insideyougota
wide,fisheyeviewofthecorridor.Fromoutsideyoucouldscrew
upyoureye
sevenwaystoSundayandstillnotseeathing.Adirtygyp:
(Whyareyouhere?)
AfterthewalkbehindtheOverlook,heandMommyhadcomeback
andshehad
fixedhimhisfavoritelunch,acheeseandbolognasandwichplus
Campbell'sBean
Soup.TheyateinDick'skitchenandtalked.Theradiowason,
gettingthinand
cracklymusicfromtheEstesParkstation.Thekitchenwashis
favoriteplacein
thehotel,andheguessedthatMommyandDaddymustfeelthesame
way,because
aftertryingtheirmealsinthediningroomforthreedaysorso,
theyhadbegun
eatinginthekitchenbymutualconsent,settingupchairsaround
Dick
Hallorann'sbutcherblock,whichwasalmostasbigastheir
diningroomtable
backinStovington,anyway.Thediningroomhadbeentoo
depressing,evenwith
thelightsonandthemusicplayingfromthetapecassettesystem
intheofce.
Youwerestilljustoneofthreepeoplesittingatatable
surroundedbydozens
ofothertables,allempty,allcoveredwiththosetransparent
plastic
dustcloths.Mommysaiditwaslikehavingdinnerinthemiddleof
aHorace
Walpolenovel,andDaddyhadlaughedandagreed.Dannyhadno
ideawhoHorace
Walpolewas,buthedidknowthatMommy'scookinghadbegunto
tastebetteras
soonastheybegantoeatitinthekitchen.Hekeptdiscovering
littleflashes
ofDickHallorann'spersonalitylyingaround,andtheyreassured
himlikeawarm
touch.
Mommybadeatenhalfasandwich,nosoup.ShesaidDaddymust
havegoneout
forawalkofhisownsinceboththeVWandthehoteltruckwere
intheparking
lot.Shesaidshewastiredandmightliedownforanhourorso,
ifhethought
hecouldamusehimselfandnotgetintotrouble.Dannytoldher
arounda
mouthfulofcheeseandbolognathathethoughthecould.
"Whydon'tyougooutintotheplayground?"sheaskedhim."I
thoughtyou'd
lovethatplace,withasandboxforyourtrucksandall."
Heswallowedandthefoodwentdownhisthroatinalumpthat
wasdryand
hard."MaybeIwill,"hesaid,turningtotheradioandfiddling
withit.
"Andallthoseneathedgeanimals,"shesaid,takinghisempty
plate."Your
father'sgottogetoutandtrimthemprettysoon."
"Yeah,"hesaid.
(Justnastythings...onceithadtodowiththosedamn
hedgesclippedto
looklikeanimals...)
"IfyouseeyourfatherbeforeIdo,tellhimI'mlyingdown."
"Sure,Mom."
Sheputthedirtydishesinthesinkandcamebackovertohim.
"Areyouhappy
here,Danny?"
Helookedatherguilelessly,amilkmustacheonhislip."Uh
huh."
"Nomorebaddreams?"
"No."Tonyhadcometohimonce,onenightwhilehewaslying
inbed,calling
hisnamefaintlyandfromfaraway.Dannyhadsqueezedhiseyes
tightlyshut
untilTonyhadgone.
"Yousure?"
"Yes,Mom."
Sheseemedsatisfied."How'syourhand?"
Heflexeditforher."Allbetter."
Shenodded.JackhadtakenthenestunderthePyrexbowl,full
offrozen
wasps,outtotheincineratorinbackoftheequipmentshedand
burnedit.They
hadseennomorewaspssince.Hehadwrittentoalawyerin
Boulder,enclosing
thesnapsofDanny'shand,andthelawyerhadcalledbacktwo
daysagothathad
putJackinafoultemperallafternoon.Thelawyerdoubtedif
thecompanythat
hadmanufacturedthebugbombcouldbesuedsuccessfullybecause
therewasonly
Jacktotestifythathehadfolloweddirectionsprintedonthe
package.Jackhad
askedthelawyeriftheycouldn'tpurchasesomeothersandtest
themforthe
samedefect.Yes,thelawyersaid,buttheresultswerehighly
doubtfulevenif
allthetestbombsmalfunctioned.HetoldJackofacasethat
involvedan
extensionladdercompanyandamanwhohadbrokenhisback.Wendy
had
commiseratedwithJack,butprivatelyshehadjustbeengladthat
Dannyhad
gottenoffascheaplyashehad.Itwasbesttoleavelawsuitsto
peoplewho
understoodthem,andthatdidnotincludetheTorrances.Andthey
hadseenno
morewaspssince.
"Goandplay,doc.Havefun."
Buthehadn'thadfun.Hehadwanderedaimlesslyaroundthe
hotel,pokinginto
themaids'closetsandthejanitor'srooms,lookingforsomething
interesting,
notfindingit,asmallboypaddingalongadarkbluecarpet
wovenwithtwisting
blacklines.Hehadtriedaroomdoorfromtimetotime,butof
coursetheywere
alllocked.Thepasskeywashangingdownintheoffice,heknew
where,butDaddy
hadtoldhimheshouldn'ttouchthat.Andhedidn'twantto.Did
be?
(Whyareyouhere?)
Therewasnothingaimlessaboutitafterall.Hehadbeendrawn
toRoom217by
amorbidkindofcuriosity.HerememberedastoryDaddyhadread
tohimonce
whenhewasdrunk.Thathadbeenalongtimeago,butthestory
wasjustas
vividnowaswhenDaddyhadreadittohim.Mommyhadscolded
Daddyandasked
whathewasdoing,readingathreeyearoldbabysomethingso
horrible.Thename
ofthestorywasBluebeard.Thatwasclearinhismindtoo,
becausehehad
thoughtatfirstDaddywassayingBluebird,andtherewereno
bluebirdsinthe
story,orbirdsofanykindforthatmatter.Actuallythestory
wasabout
Bluebeard'swife,aprettyladythathadcorncoloredhairlike
Mommy.After
Bluebeardmarriedher,theylivedinabigandominouscastle
thatwasnot
unliketheOverlook.AndeverydayBluebeardwentofftoworkand
everydayhe
wouldtellhisprettylittlewifenottolookinacertainroom,
althoughthe
keytothatroomwashangingrightonahook,justlikethe
passkeywashanging
ontheofficewalldownstairs.Bluebeard'swifehadgottenmore
andmorecurious
aboutthelockedroom.Shetriedtopeepthroughthekeyholethe
wayDannyhad
triedtolookthroughRoom217'speepholewithsimilar
unsatisfyingresults.
Therewasevenapictureofhergettingdownonherkneesand
tryingtolook
underthedoor,butthecrackwasn'twideenough.Thedoorswung
wideand...
Theoldfairytalebookhaddepictedherdiscoveryinghastly,
lovingdetail.
TheimagewasburnedonDanny'smind.Theseveredheadsof
Bluebeard'sseven
previouswiveswereintheroom,eachoneonitsownpedestal,
theeyesturned
uptowhites,themouthsunhingedandgapinginsilentscreams.
Theywere
somehowbalancedonnecksraggedfromthebroadsword's
decapitatingswing,and
therewasbloodrunningdownthepedestals.
Terrified,shehadturnedtofleefromtheroomandthecastle,
onlyto
discoverBluebeardstandinginthedoorway,histerribleeyes
blazing."Itold
younottoenterthisroom,"Bluebeardsaid,unsheathinghis
sword."Alas,in
yourcuriosityyouareliketheotherseven,andthoughIloved
youbestofall
yourendingshallbeaswastheirs.Preparetodie,wretched
woman!"
ItseemedvaguelytoDannythatthestoryhadbadahappy
ending,butthathad
paledtoinsignificancebesidethetwodominantimages:the
taunting,maddening
lockeddoorwithsomegreatsecretbehindit,andthegrisly
secretitself,
repeatedmorethanhalfadozentimes.Thelockeddoorandbehind
ittheheads,
theseveredbeads.
Hishandreachedoutandstrokedtheroom'sdoorknob,almost
furtively.Hehad
noideahowlongbehadbeenhere,standinghypnotizedbeforethe
blandgray
lockeddoor.
(AndmaybethreetimesI'vethoughtI'veseenthings...
nastythings...
)
ButMr.HallorannDickhadalsosaidhedidn'tthinkthose
thingscouldhurt
you.Theywerelikescarypicturesinabook,thatwasall.And
maybehe
wouldn'tseeanything.Ontheotherhand...
Heplungedhislefthandintohispocketanditcameout
holdingthepasskey.
Ithadbeenthereallalong,ofcourse.
HehelditbythesquaremetaltabontheendwhichhadOFFICE
printedonit
inMagicMarker.Hetwirledthekeyonitschain,watchingitgo
aroundand
around.Afterseveralminutesofthishestoppedandslippedthe
passkeyinto
thelock.Itslidinsmoothly,withnohitch,asifithadwanted
tobethere
allalong.
(I'vethoughtI'veseenthings...nastythings...promise
meyouwon't
gointhere.)
(Ipromise.)
Andapromisewas,ofcourse,veryimportant.Still,his
curiosityitchedat
himasmaddeninglyaspoisonivyinaplaceyouaren'tsupposed
toscratch.But
itwasadreadfulkindofcuriosity,thekindthatmakesyoupeek
throughyour
fingersduringthescariestpartsofascarymovie.Whatwas
beyondthatdoor
wouldbenomovie.
(Idon'tthinkthosethingscanhurtyou...likescary
picturesinabook.
..)
Suddenlyhereachedoutwithhislefthand,notsureofwhatit
wasgoingto
dountilithadremovedthepasskeyandstuffeditbackintohis
pocket.He
staredatthedooramomentlonger,bluegrayeyeswide,then
turnedquicklyand
walkedbackdownthecorridortowardthemainhallwaythatranat
rightangles
tothecorridorhewasin.
Somethingmadehimpausethereandhewasn'tsurewhatfora
moment.Thenhe
rememberedthatdirectlyaroundthiscorner,onthewaybackto
thestairs,
therewasoneofthoseoldfashionedfireextinguisherscurledup
againstthe
wall.Curledtherelikeadozingsnake.
Theyweren'tchemicaltypeextinguishersatall,Daddysaid,
althoughthere
wereseveralofthoseinthekitchen.Theseweretheforerunner
ofthemodern
sprinklersystems.Thelongcanvashoseshookeddirectlyintothe
Overlook's
plumbingsystem,andbyturningasinglevalveyoucouldbecomea
onemanfire
department.Daddysaidthatthechemicalextinguishers,which
sprayedfoamor
CO,weremuchbetter.Thechemicalssmotheredfires,tookaway
theoxygenthey
neededtoburn,whileahighpressurespraymightjustspreadthe
flamesaround.
DaddysaidthatMr.Ullmanshouldreplacetheoldfashionedhoses
rightalong
withtheoldfashionedboiler,butMr.Ullmanwouldprobablydo
neitherbecause
hewasaCHEAPPRICK.Dannyknewthatthiswasoneoftheworst
epithetshis
fathercouldsummon.Itwasappliedtocertaindoctors,dentists,
andappliance
repairmen,andalsototheheadofhisEnglishDepartmentat
Stovington,whohad
disallowedsomeofDaddy'sbookordersbecausehesaidthebooks
wouldputthem
overbudget."Overbudget,hell,"hehadfumedtoWendyDannyhad
beenlistening
fromhisbedroomwherehewassupposedtobeasleep."He'sjust
savingthelast
fivehundredbucksforhimself,theCHEAPPRICK."
Dannylookedaroundthecorner.
Theextinguisherwasthere,afiathosefoldedbackadozen
timesonitself,
theredtankattachedtothewall.Aboveitwasanaxinaglass
caselikea
museumexhibit,withwhitewordsprintedonaredbackground:IN
CASEOF
EMERGENCY,BREAKGLASS.DannycouldreadthewordEMERGENCY,
whichwasalsothe
nameofoneofhisfavoriteTVshows,butwasunsureoftherest.
Buthedidn't
likethewaythewordwasusedinconnectionwiththatlongfiat
hose.EMERGENCY
was',fire,explosions,carcrashes,hospitals,sometimesdeath.
Andhedidn't
likethewaythathosehungsoblandlyonthewall.Whenhewas
alone,healways
skitteredpasttheseextinguishersasfastashecould.No
particularreason.It
justfeltbettertogofast.Itfeltsafer.
Now,heartthumpingloudlyinhischest,hecamearoundthe
cornerandlooked
downthehallpasttheextinguishertothestairs.Mommywasdown
there,
sleeping.AndifDaddywasbackfromhiswalk,hewouldprobably
besittingin
thekitchen,eatingasandwichandreadingabook.Hewouldjust
walkrightpast
thatoldextinguisherandgodownstairs.
Hestartedtowardit,movingclosertothefarwalluntilhis
rightarmwas
brushingtheexpensivesilkpaper.Twentystepsaway.Fifteen.A
dozen.
Whenhewastenstepsaway,thebrassnozzlesuddenlyrolled
offthefatloop
ithadbeenlying
(sleeping?)
onandfelltothehallcarpetwithadullthump.Itlaythere,
thedarkbore
ofitsmuzzlepointingatDanny.Hestoppedimmediately,his
shoulderstwitching
forwardwiththesuddennessofhisscare.Hisbloodthumped
thicklyinhisears
andtemples.Hismouthhadgonedryandsour,hishandscurled
intofists.Yet
thenozzleofthehoseonlylaythere,itsbrasscasingglowing
mellowly,aloop
offlatcanvasleadingbackuptotheredpaintedframeboltedto
thewall.
Soithadfallenoff,sowhat?Itwasonlyafireextinguisher,
nothingelse.
Itwasstupidtothinkthatitlookedlikesomepoisonsnakefrom
"WideWorldof
Animals"thathadheardhimandwokenup.Evenifthestitched
canvasdidlooka
littlebitlikescales.Hewouldjuststepoveritandgodown
thehalltothe
stairs,walkingalittlebitfast,maybe,tomakesureitdidn't
snapoutafter
himandcurlaroundhisfoot...
Hewipedhislipswithhislefthand,inunconsciousimitation
ofhisfather,
andtookastepforward.Nomovementfromthehose.Anotherstep.
Nothing.
There,seehowstupidyouare?Yougotallworkedupthinking
aboutthatdumb
roomandthatdumbBluebeardstoryandthathosewasprobably
readytofalloff
forthelastfiveyears.That'sall.
Dannystaredatthehoseonthefloorandthoughtofwasps.
Eightstepsaway,thenozzleofthehosegleamedpeacefullyat
himfromthe
rugasiftosay:Don'tworry.I'mjustahose,that'sall.And
evenifthat
isn'tall,whatIdotoyouwon'tbemuchworsethanabeesting.
Orawasp
sting.WhatwouldIwanttodotoanicelittleboylike
you...exceptbite..
.andbite...andbite?
Dannytookanotherstep,andanother.Hisbreathwasdryand
harshinhis
throat.Panicwasclosenow.Hebegantowishthehosewould
move,thenatlast
bewouldknow,hewouldbesure.Hetookanotherstepandnowhe
waswithin
strikingdistance.Butit'snotgoingtostrikeatyou,he
thoughthysterically.
Howcanitstrikeatyou,biteatyou,whenit'sjustahose?
Maybeit'sfullofwasps.
Hisinternaltemperatureplummetedtotenbelowzero.Hestared
attheblack
boreinthecenterofthenozzle,nearlyhypnotized.Maybeitwas
fullofwasps,
secretwasps,theirbrownbodiesbloatedwithpoison,sofullof
autumnpoison
thatitdrippedfromtheirstingersincleardropsoffluid.
Suddenlyheknewthathewasnearlyfrozenwithterror;ifhe
didnotmakehis
feetgonow,theywouldbecomelockedtothecarpetandhewould
stayhere,
staringattheblackholeinthecenterofthebrassnozzlelike
abirdstaring
atasnake,hewouldstayhereuntilhisdaddyfoundhimandthen
whatwould
happen?
Withahighmoan,hemadehimselfrun.Ashereachedthehose,
sometrickof
thelightmadethenozzleseemtomove,torevolveasifto
strike,andhe
leapedhighintheairaboveit;inhispanickystateitseemed
thathislegs
pushedhimnearlyallthewaytotheceiling,thathecouldfeel
thestiffback
hairsthatformedhiscowlickbrushingthehallway'splaster
ceiling,although
laterheknewthatcouldn'thavebeenso.
Hecamedownontheothersideofthehoseandran,and
suddenlyheheardit
behindhim,comingforhim,thesoftdrywhickerofthatbrass
snake'sheadas
itslitheredrapidlyalongthecarpetafterhimlikea
rattlesnakemoving
swiftlythroughadryfieldofgrass.Itwascomingforhim,and
suddenlythe
stairsseemedveryfaraway;theyseemedtoretreatarunning
stepintothe
distanceforeachrunningstephetooktowardthem.
Daddy!hetriedtoscream,buthisclosedthroatwouldnot
allowawordto
pass.Hewasonhisown.Behindhimthesoundgrewlouder,the
dryslidingsound
ofthesnake,slippingswiftlyoverthecarpet'sdryhackles.At
hisheelsnow,
perhapsrisingupwiththeclearpoisondribblingfromitsbrass
snout.
Dannyreachedthestairsandhadtopinwheelhisarmscrazily
forbalance.For
onemomentitseemedsurethathewouldcartwheeloverandgo
headforheelsto
thebottom.
Hethrewaglancebackoverhisshoulder.
Thehosehadnotmoved.Itlayasithadlain,oneloopoffthe
frame,the
brassnozzleonthehallfloor,thenozzlepointing
disinterestedlyawayfrom
him.Yousee,stupid?heberatedhimself.Youmadeitallup,
scaredycat.It
wasallyourimagination,scaredycat,scaredycat.
Heclungtothestairwayrailing,hislegstremblingin
reaction.
(Itneverchasedyou)
hismindtoldhim,andseizedonthatthought,andplayedit
back.
(neverchasedyou,neverchasedyou,neverdid,neverdid)
Itwasnothingtobeafraidof.Why,hecouldgobackandput
thathoseright
intoitsframe,ifhewantedto.Hecould,buthedidn'tthinkhe
would.Because
whatifithadchasedhimandhadgonebackwhenitsawthatit
couldn't...
quite...catchhim?
Thehoselayonthecarpet,almostseemingtoaskhimifhe
wouldliketocome
backandtryagain.
Panting,Dannyrandownstairs.

<<20>>

TALKINGTOMR.ULLMAN

TheSidewinderPublicLibrarywasasmall,retiringbuilding
oneblockdown
fromthetown'sbusinessarea.Itwasamodest,vinecovered
building,andthe
wideconcretewalkuptothedoorwaslinedwiththecorpsesof
lastsummer's
flowers.OnthelawnwasalargebronzestatueofaCivilWar
generalJackhad
neverheardof,althoughhehadbeensomethingofaCivilWar
buffinhis
teenageyears.
Thenewspaperfileswerekeptdownstairs.Theyconsistedofthe
Sidewinder
Gazettethathadgonebustin1963,theEstesParkdaily,andthe
Boulder
Camera.NoDenverpapersatall.
Sighing,JacksettledfortheCamera.
Whenthefilesreached1965,theactualnewspaperswere
replacedbyspoolsof
microfilm("Afederalgrant,"thelibrariantoldhimbrightly.
"Wehopetodo
1958to'64whenthenextcheckcomesthrough,butthey'reso
slow,aren'tthey?
Youwillbecareful,won'tyou?Ijustknowyouwill.Callifyou
needme.").
Theonlyreadingmachinebadalensthathadsomehowgotten
warped,andbythe
timeWendyputherhandonhisshouldersomefortyfiveminutes
afterhehad
switchedfromtheactualpapers,hehadajuicythumperofa
headache.
"Danny'sinthepark,"shesaid,"butIdon'twanthimoutside
toolong.How
muchlongerdoyouthinkyou'llbe?"
"Tenminutes,"hesaid.Actuallyhehadtraceddownthelastof
theOverlook's
fascinatinghistorytheyearsbetweentheganglandshootingand
thetakeoverby
StuartUllman&Co.Buthefeltthesamereticenceabouttelling
Wendy.
"Whatareyouupto,anyway?"sheasked.Sheruffedhishairas
shesaidit,
buthervoicewasonlyhalfteasing.
"LookingupsomeoldOverlookhistory,"hesaid.
"Anyparticularreason?"
"No,
(andwhythehellareyousointerestedanyway?)
justcuriosity."
"Findanythinginteresting?"
"Notmuch,"hesaid,havingtostrivetokeephisvoice
pleasantnow.Shewas
prying,justthewayshehadalwayspriedandpokedathimwhen
theyhadbeenat
StovingtonandDannywasstillacribinfant.Whereareyou
going,Jack?When
willyoubeback?Howmuchmoneydoyouhavewithyou?Areyou
goingtotakethe
car?IsAlgoingtobewithyou?Willoneofyoustaysober?On
andon.Shehad,
pardontheexpression,drivenhimtodrink.Maybethathadn't
beentheonly
reason,butbyChristlet'stellthetruthhereandadmititwas
oneofthem.
Nagandnagandnaguntilyouwantedtocloutheronejustto
shutherupand
stopthe
(Where?When?How?Areyou?Willyou?)
endlessflowofquestions.Itcouldgiveyouareal
(headache?hangover?)
headache.Thereader.Thedamnedreaderwithitsdistorted
print.Thatwaswhy
hehadsuchacuntofaheadache.
"Jack,areyouallright?Youlookpale"
Hesnappedhisheadawayfromherfingers."Iamfine!"
Sherecoiledfromhishoteyesandtriedonasmilethatwasa
sizetoosmall.
"Well...ifyouare...I'lljustgoandwaitinthepark
withDanny..."
Shewasstartingawaynow,hersmiledissolvingintoabewildered
expressionof
hurt.
Hecalledtoher:"Wendy?"
Shelookedbackfromthefootofthestairs."What,Jack?"
Hegotupandwentovertoher."I'msorry,babe.IguessI'm
reallynotall
right.Thatmachine...thelensisdistorted.I'vegota
reallybadheadache.
Gotanyaspirin?"
"Sure."Shepawedinherpurseandcameupwithatinof
Anacin."Youkeep
them."
Hetookthetin."NoExcedrin?"Hesawthesmallrecoilonher
faceand
understood.Ithadbeenabittersortofjokebetweenthemat
first,beforethe
drinkinghadgottentoobadforjokes.Hehadclaimedthat
Excedrinwastheonly
nonprescriptiondrugeverinventedthatcouldstopahangover
deadinits
tracks.Absolutelytheonlyone.Hehadbeguntothinkofhis
morningafter
thumpersasExcedrinHeadacheNumberVat69.
"NoExcedrin,"shesaid."Sorry."
"That'sokay,"hesaid,"these'lldojustfine."Butofcourse
theywouldn't,
andsheshouldhaveknownit,too.Attimesshecouldbethe
stupidestbitch..
.
"Wantsomewater?"sheaskedbrightly.
(NoIjustwantyoutoGETTHEFUCKOUTOFHERE!).
"I'llgetsomeatthedrinkingfountainwhenIgoup.Thanks."
"Okay."Shestartedupthestairs,goodlegsmovinggracefully
underashort
tanwoolskirt."We'llbeinthepark."
"Right."HeslippedthetinofAnacinabsentlyintohispocket,
wentbackto
thereader,andturneditoff.Whenhewassureshewasgone,he
wentupstairs
himself.God,butitwasalousyheadache.Ifyouweregoingto
haveavise
gripperlikethisone,yououghttoatleastbeallowedthe
pleasureofafew
drinkstobalanceitoff.
Hetriedtoputthethoughtfromhismind,moreilltempered
thanever.He
wenttothemaindesk,fingeringamatchbookcoverwitha
telephonenumberon
it.
"Ma'am,doyouhaveapaytelephone?"
"No,sir,butyoucanusemineifit'slocal."
"It'slongdistance,sorry."
"Wellthen,Iguessthedrugstorewouldbeyourbestbet.They
haveabooth."
"Thanks."
Hewentoutanddownthewalk,pasttheanonymousCivilWar
general.Hebegan
towalktowardthebusinessblock,handsstuffedinhispockets,
headthudding
likealeadenbell.Theskywasalsoleaden;itwasNovember7,
andwiththenew
monththeweatherhadbecomethreatening.Therehadbeenanumber
ofsnow
flurries.TherehadbeensnowinOctobertoo,butthathad
melted.Thenew
flurrieshadstayed,alightfrostingovereverythingitsparkled
inthe
sunlightlikefinecrystal.Buttherehadbeennosunlighttoday,
andevenashe
reachedthedrugstoreitbegantospitsnowagain.
Thephoneboothwasatthebackofthebuilding,andhewas
halfwaydownan
aisleofpatentmedicines,jinglinghischangeinhispocket,
whenhiseyesfell
onthewhiteboxeswiththeirgreenprint.Hetookoneofthemto
thecashier,
paid,andwentbacktothetelephonebooth.Hepulledthedoor
closed,puthis
changeandmatchbookcoveronthecounter,anddialedO.
"Yourcall,please?"
"FortLauderdale,Florida,operator."Hegaveherthenumber
thereandthe
numberinthebooth.Whenshetoldhimitwouldbeadollar
ninetyforthefirst
threeminutes,hedroppedeightquartersintotheslot,wincing
eachtimethe
bellbongedinhisear.
Then,leftinlimbowithonlythefarawayclickingsand
gabblingsof
connectionmaking,hetookthegreenbottleofExcedrinoutof
itsbox,priedup
thewhitecap,anddroppedthewadofcottonbattingtothefloor
ofthebooth.
Cradling,thephonereceiverbetweenhisearandshoulder,he
shookoutthreeof
thewhitetabletsandlinedthemuponthecounterbesidehis
remainingchange.
Herecappedthebottleandputitinhispocket.
Attheotherend,thephonewaspickeduponthefirstring.
"SurfSandResort,howmaywehelpyou?"theperkyfemalevoice
asked.
"I'dliketospeakwiththemanager,please."
"DoyoumeanMr.Trentor"
"ImeanMr.Ullman."
"IbelieveMr.Ullmanisbusy,butifyouwouldlikemeto
check"
"Iwould.Tellhimit'sJackTorrancecallingfromColorado."
"Onemoment,please."Sheputhimonhold.
Jack'sdislikeforthatcheap,selfimportantlittleprick
Ullmancame
floodingback.HetookoneoftheExcedrinsfromthecounter,
regardeditfora
moment,thenputitintohismouthandbegantochewit,slowly
andwithrelish.
Thetastefloodedbacklikememory,makinghissalivasquirtin
mingledpleasure
andunhappiness.Adry,bittertaste,butacompellingone.He
swallowedwitha
grimace.Chewingaspirinhadbeenahabitwithhiminhis
drinkingdays;he
hadn'tdoneitatallsincethen.Butwhenyourheadachewasbad
enough,a
hangoverheadacheoronelikethisone,chewingthemseemedto
makethemgetto
workquicker.Hehadreadsomewherethatchewingaspirincould
becomeaddictive.
Wherehadhereadthat,anyway?Frowning,hetriedtothink.And
thenUllman
cameontheline.
"Torrance?What'sthetrouble?"
"Notrouble,"hesaid."Theboiler'sokayandIhaven'teven
gottenaroundto
murderingmywifeyet.I'msavingthatuntilaftertheholidays,
whenthingsget
dull."
"Veryfunny.Whyareyoucalling?I'mabusy"
"Busyman,yes,Iunderstandthat.I'mcallingaboutsome
thingsthatyou
didn'ttellmeduringyourhistoryoftheOverlooksgreatand
honorablepast.
LikehowHoraceDerwentsoldittoabunchofLasVegassharpies
whodealtit
throughsomanydummycorporationsthatnoteventheIRSknewwho
reallyowned
it.Abouthowtheywaiteduntilthetimewasrightandthen
turneditintoa
playgroundforMafiabigwigs,andabouthowithadtobeshut
downin1966when
oneofthemgotalittlebitdead.Alongwithhisbodyguards,who
werestanding
outsidethedoortothePresidentialSuite.Greatplace,the
Overlook's
PresidentialSuite.Wilson,Harding,Roosevelt,Nixon,andVito
theChopper,
right?"
Therewasamomentofsurprisedsilenceontheotherendofthe
line,andthen
Ullmansaidquietly:"Idon'tseehowthatcanhaveanybearing
onyourjob,Mr.
Torrance.It"
"ThebestparthappenedafterGienelliwasshot,though,don't
youthink?Two
morequickshuffles,nowyouseeitandnowyoudon't,andthen
theOverlookis
suddenlyownedbyaprivatecitizen,awomannamedSylvia
Hunter...whojust
happenedtobeSylviaHunterDerwentfrom1942to1948."
"Yourthreeminutesareup,"theoperatorsaid."Signalwhen
through."
"MydearMr.Torrance,allofthisispublicknowledge...
andancient
history."
"Itformednopartofmyknowledge,"Jacksaid."Idoubtif
manyotherpeople
knowit,either.Notallofit.ThevremembertheGienelli
shooting,maybe,but
Idoubtifanybodyhasputtogetherallthewondrousandstrange
shufflesthe
Overlookhasbeenthroughsince1945.Anditalwaysseemslike
Derwentora
Derwentassociatecomesupwiththedoorprize.WhatwasSylvia
Hunterrunning
uptherein'67and'68,Mr.Ullman?Itwasawhorehouse,wasn't
it?"
"Torrance!"Hisshockcrackledacrosstwothousandmilesof
telephonecable
withoutlosingathing.
Smiling,JackpoppedanotherExcedrinintohismouthandchewed
it.
"ShesoldoutafteraratherwellknownU.S.senatordiedofa
heartattackup
there.Therewererumorsthathewasfoundnakedexceptforblack
nylon
stockingsandagarterbeltandapairofhighheeledpumps.
Patentleather
pumps,asamatteroffact."
"That'savicious,damnablelie!"Ullmancried.
"Isit?"Jackasked.Hewasbeginningtofeelbetter.The
headachewas
drainingaway.HetookthelastExcedrinandcheweditup,
enjoyingthebitter,
powderytasteasthetabletshreddedinhismouth.
"Itwasaveryunfortunateoccurrence,"Ullmansaid."Nowwhat
isthepoint,
Torrance?Ifyou'replanningtowritesomeuglysmeararticle..
.ifthisis
someillconceived,stupidblackmailidea..."
"Nothingofthesort,"Jacksaid."IcalledbecauseIdidn't
thinkyouplayed
squarewithme.Andbecause"
"Didn'tplaysquare?"Ullmancried."MyGod,didyouthinkI
wasgoingto
sharealargepileofdirtylaundrywiththehotel'scaretaker?
Whoinheaven's
namedoyouthinkyouare?Andhowcouldthoseoldstories
possiblyaffectyou
anyway?Ordoyouthinkthereareghostsparadingupanddownthe
hallsofthe
westwingwearingbedsheetsandcrying'Woe!'?"
"No,Idon'tthinkthereareanyghosts.Butyourakedupalot
ofmypersonal
historybeforeyougavemethejob.Youhadmeonthecarpet,
quizzingmeabout
myabilitytotakecareofyourhotellikealittleboyinfront
ofthe
teacher'sdeskforpeeinginthecoatroom.Youembarrassedme."
"Ijustdonotbelieveyourcheek,yourbloodydamned
impertinence,"Ullman
said.Hesoundedasifhemightbechoking."I'dliketosack
you.AndperhapsI
will."
"IthinkAlShockleymightobject.Strenuously."
"AndIthinkyoumayhavefinallyoverestimatedMr.Shockley's
commitmentto
you,Mr.Torrance."
ForamomentJack'sheadachecamebackinallitsthudding
glory,andhe
closedhiseyesagainstthepain.Asiffromadistanceawayhe
heardhimself
ask:"WhoownstheOverlooknow?IsitstillDerwentEnterprises?
Orareyoutoo
smallfrytoknow?"
"Ithinkthatwilldo,Mr.Torrance.Youareanemployeeofthe
hotel,no
differentfromabusboyorakitchenpotscrubber.Ihaveno
intentionof"
"Okay,I'llwriteAl,"Jacksaid."He'llknow;afterall,he's
ontheBoardof
Directors.AndImightjustaddalittleP.S.totheeffect
that"
"Derwentdoesn'townit."
"What?Icouldn'tquitemakethatout."
"IsaidDerwentdoesn'townit.Thestockholdersareall
Easterners.Your
friendMr.Shockleyownsthelargestblockofstockhimself,
betterthanthirty
fivepercent.YouwouldknowbetterthanIifhehasanytiesto
Derwent."
"Whoelse?"
"Ihavenointentionofdivulgingthenamesoftheother
stockholderstoyou,
Mr.Torrance.Iintendtobringthiswholemattertothe
attentionof"
"Oneotherquestion."
"Iamundernoobligationtoyou."
"MostoftheOverlook'shistorysavoryandunsavoryalikeI
foundina
scrapbookthatwasinthecellar.Bigthingwithwhiteleather
covers.Gold
threadforbinding.Doyouhaveanyideawhosescrapbookthat
mightbe?"
"Noneatall."
"IsitpossibleitcouldhavebelongedtoGrady?Thecaretaker
whokilled
himself?"
"Mr.Torrance,"Ullmansaidintonesofdeepestfrost,"Iamby
nomeanssure
thatMr.Gradycouldread,letalonedigouttherottenapples
youhavebeen
wastingmytimewith."
"I'mthinkingofwritingabookabouttheOverlookHotel.I
thoughtifI
actuallygotthroughit,theownerofthescrapbookwouldliketo
havean
acknowledgmentatthefront."
"IthinkwritingabookabouttheOverlookwouldbevery
unwise,"Ullmansaid.
"Especiallyabookdonefromyour...uh,pointofview."
"Youropiniondoesn'tsurpriseme."Hisheadachewasallgone
now.Therehad
beenthatoneflashofpain,andthatwasall.Hismindfelt
sharpandaccurate,
allthewaydowntomillimeters.Itwasthewayheusuallyfelt
onlywhenthe
writingwasgoingextremelywellorwhenhehadathreedrinkbuzz
on.Thatwas
anotherthinghehadforgottenaboutExcedrin;hedidn'tknowif
itworkedfor
others,butforhimcrunchingthreetabletswaslikeaninstant
high.
Nowhesaid:"Whatyou'dlikeissomesortofcommissioned
guidebookthatyou
couldhandoutfreetotheguestswhentheycheckedin.Something
withalotof
glossyphotosofthemountainsatsunriseandsunsetandalemon
meringuetext
togowithit.Alsoasectiononthecolorfulpeoplewhohave
stayedthere,of
courseexcludingthereallycolorfuloneslikeGienelliandhis
friends."
"IfIfeltIcouldfireyouandbeahundredpercentcertain
ofmyownjob
insteadofjustninetyfivepercent,"UIImansaidinclipped,
strangledtones,
"Iwouldfireyourightthisminute,overthetelephone.But
sinceIfeelthat
fivepercentofuncertainty,IintendtocallMr.Shockleythe
momentyou're
offtheline...whichwillbesoon,orsoIdevoutlyhope."
Jacksaid,"Thereisn'tgoingtobeanythinginthebookthat
isn'ttrue,you
know.There'snoneedtodressitup."
(Whyareyoubaitinghim?Doyouwanttobefired?)
"Idon'tcareifChapterFiveisaboutthePopeofRome
screwingtheshadeof
theVirginMary,"Ullmansaid,hisvoicerising."Iwantyouout
ofmyhotel!"
"It'snotyourhotel!"Jackscreamed,andslammedthereceiver
intoits
cradle.
Hesatonthestoolbreathinghard,alittlescarednow,
(alittle?hell,alot)
wonderingwhyinthenameofGodhehadcalledUllmaninthe
firstplace.
(Youlostyourtemperagain,Jack.)
Yes.Yes,hehad.Nosensetryingtodenyit.Andthebellof
itwas,hehad
noideahowmuchinfluencethatcheaplittleprickhadoverAl,
nomorethanhe
knewhowmuchbullshitAlwouldtakefromhiminthenameofauld
langsyne.If
Ullmanwasasgoodasheclaimedtobe,andifhegaveAlahe
goesorIgo
ultimatum,mightnotAlbeforcedtotakeit?Heclosedhiseyes
andtriedto
imaginetellingWendy.Guesswhat,babe?Ilostanotherjob.This
timeIhadto
gothroughtwothousandmilesofBellTelephonecabletofind
someonetopunch
out,butImanagedit.
Heopenedhiseyesandwipedhismouthwithhishandkerchief.
Hewanteda
drink.Hell,heneededone.Therewasacafejustdownthe
street,surelyhehad
timeforaquickbeeronhiswayuptothepark,justonetolay
thedust...
Heclenchedhishandstogetherhelplessly.
Thequestionrecurred:WhyhadhecalledUllmaninthefirst
place?Thenumber
oftheSurfSandinLauderdalehadbeenwritteninasmall
notebookbythephone
andtheCBradiointheofficeplumbers'numbers,carpenters,
glaziers,
electricians,others.Jackbadcopieditontothematchbookcover
shortlyafter
gettingoutofbed,theideaofcallingUllmanfullblownand
gleefulinhis
mind.Buttowhatpurpose?Once,duringthedrinkingphase,Wendy
hadaccused
himofdesiringhisowndestructionbutnotpossessingthe
necessarymoralfiber
tosupportafullblowndeathwish.Sohemanufacturedwaysin
whichotherpeople
coulddoit,loppingapieceatatimeoffhimselfandtheir
family.Coulditbe
true?WasbeafraidsomewhereinsidethattheOverlookmightbe
justwhathe
neededtofinishhisplayandgenerallycollecttiphisshitand
getit
together?Washeblowingthewhistleonhimself?PleaseGodno,
don'tletitbe
thatway.Please.
Heclosedhiseyesandanimageimmediatelyaroseonthe
darkenedscreenof
hisinnerlids:stickinghishandthroughthatholeinthe
shinglestopullout
therottedflashing,thesuddenneedlingsting,hisownagonized,
startledcry
inthestillandunheedingair:Ohyougoddamnfuckingsonofa
bitch...
Replacedwithanimagetwoyearsearlier,himselfstumbling
intothehouseat
threeinthemorning,drunk,fallingoveratableandsprawling
fulllengthon
thefloor,cursing,wakingWendyuponthecouch.Wendyturning
onthelight,
seeinghisclothesrippedandsmearedfromsomecloudyparking
lotscufflethat
hadoccurredatavaguelyrememberedhonkytonkjustovertheNew
Hampshire
borderhoursbefore,crustedbloodunderhisnose,nowlookingup
athiswife,
blinkingstupidlyinthelightlikeamoleinthesunshine,and
Wendysaying
dully,Yousonofabitch,youwokeDannyup.Ifyoudon'tcare
aboutyourself,
can'tyoucarealittlebitaboutus?Oh,whydoIevenbother
talkingtoyou?
Thetelephonerang,makinghimjump.Hesnatcheditoffthe
cradle,
illogicallysureitmustbeeitherUllmanorAlShockley."What?"
hebarked.
"Yourovertime,sir.Threedollarsandfiftycents."
"I'llhavetobreaksomeones,"hesaid."Waitaminute."
Heputthephoneontheshelf,depositedhislastsixquarters,
thenwentout
tothecashiertogetmore.Heperformedthetransaction
automatically,hismind
runninginasingleclosedcirclelikeasquirrelonanexercise
wheel.
WhyhadhecalledUllman?
BecauseUllmanhadembarrassedhim?Hehadbeenembarrassed
before,andby
realmasterstheGrandMaster,ofcourse,beinghimself.Simply
tocrowatthe
man,exposehishypocrisy?Jackdidn'tthinkhewasthatpetty.
Hismindtried
toseizeonthescrapbookasavalidreason,butthatwouldn't
holdwater
either.ThechancesofUllmanknowingwhotheownerwaswereno
morethantwoin
athousand.Attheinterview,hehadtreatedthecellaras
anothercountrya
nastyunderdevelopedoneatthat.Ifhehadreallywantedto
know,hewouldhave
calledWatson,whosewinternumberwasalsointheoffice
notebook.EvenWatson
wouldnothavebeenasurethingbutsurerthanUllman.
Andtellinghimaboutthebookidea,thathadbeenanother
stupidthing.
Incrediblystupid.Besidesjeopardizinghisjob,hecouldbe
closingoffwide
channelsofinformationonceUllmancalledaroundandtoldpeople
tobewareof
NewEnglandersbearingquestionsabouttheOverlookHotel.He
couldhavedone
hisresearchesquietly,mailingoffpoliteletters,perhapseven
arrangingsome
interviewsinthespring...andthenlaugheduphissleeveat
Ullman'srage
whenthebookcameoutandhewassafelyawayTheMaskedAuthor
StrikesAgain.
Insteadhehadmadethatdamnedsenselesscall,losthistemper,
antagonized
Ullman,andbroughtoutallofthehotelmanager'sLittleCaesar
tendencies.
Why?Ifitwasn'tanefforttogethimselfthrownoutofthegood
jobAlhad
snaggedforhim,thenwhatwasit?
Hedepositedtherestofthemoneyintheslotsandhungupthe
phone.It
reallywasthesenselesskindofthinghemighthavedoneifhe
hadbeendrunk.
Buthehadbeensober;deadcoldsober.
WalkingoutofthedrugstorebecrunchedanotherExcedrininto
hismouth,
grimacingyetrelishingthebittertaste.
OnthewalkoutsidehemetWendyandDanny.
"Hey,wewerejustcomingafteryou,"Wendysaid."Snowing,
don'tyouknow."
Jackblinkedup."Soitis."Itwassnowinghard.Sidewinder's
mainstreetwas
alreadyheavilypowdered,thecenterlineobscured.Dannyhadhis
headtiltedup
tothewhitesky,hismouthopenandhistongueouttocatchsome
ofthefat
flakesdriftingdown.
"Doyouthinkthisisit?"Wendyasked.
Jackshrugged."Idon'tknow.Iwashopingforanotherweekor
twoofgrace.
Westillmightgetit."
Grace,thatwasit.
(I'msorry,Al.Grace,yourmercy.Foryourmercy.Onemore
chance.Iam
heartilysorry)
Howmanytimes,overhowmanyyears,hadheagrownmanasked
forthemercy
ofanotherchance?Hewassuddenlysosickofhimself,so
revolted,thathe
couldhavegroanedaloud.
"How'syourheadache?"sheasked,studyinghimclosely.
Heputanarmaroundherandhuggedhertight."Better.Come
on,youtwo,
let'sgohomewhilewestillcan."
Theywalkedbacktowherethehoteltruckwasslantparked
againstthecurb,
Jackinthemiddle,hisleftarmaroundWendy'sshoulders,his
righthand
holdingDanny'shand.Hehadcalledithomeforthefirsttime,
forbetteror
worse.
Ashegotbehindthetruck'swheelitoccurredtohimthat
whilehewas
fascinatedbytheOverlook,hedidn'tmuchlikeit.Hewasn't
sureitwasgood
foreitherhiswifeorhissonorhimself.Maybethatwaswhyhe
hadcalled
Ullman.
Tobefiredwhiletherewasstilltime.
Hebackedthetruckoutofitsparkingspaceandheadedthem
outoftownand
upintothemountains.

<<21>>

NIGHTTHOUGHTS

Itwasteno'clock.Theirquarterswerefilledwithcounterfeit
sleep.
Jacklayonhissidefacingthewall,eyesopen,listeningto
Wendy'sslowand
regularbreathing.Thetasteofdissolvedaspirinwasstillon
histongue,
makingitfeelroughandslightlynumb.AlShockleyhadcalledat
quarterof
six,quarterofeightbackEast.Wendyhadbeendownstairswith
Danny,sitting
infrontofthelobbyfireplaceandreading.
"Persontoperson,"theoperatorsaid,"forMr.JackTorrance."
"Speaking."Hehadswitchedthephonetohisrighthand,had
dughis
handkerchiefoutofhisbackpocketwithhisleft,andhadwiped
histenderlips
withit.Thenhelitacigarette.
Al'svoicethen,stronginhisear:"Jackyboy,whatinthe
nameofGodare
youupto?"
"Hi,Al."HesnuffedthecigaretteandgropedfortheExcedrin
bottle.
"What'sgoingon,Jack?IgotthisweirdphonecallfromStuart
Ullmanthis
afternoon.AndwhenStuUllmancallslongdistanceoutofhisown
pocket,you
knowtheshithashitthefan."
"Ullmanhasnothingtoworryabout,Al.Neitherdoyou."
"Whatexactlyisthenothingwedon'thavetoworryabout?Stu
madeitsound
likeacrossbetweenblackmailandaNationalEnquirerfeatureon
theOverlook.
Talktome,boy."
"Iwantedtopokehimalittle,"Jacksaid."WhenIcameup
heretobe
interviewed,hehadtodragoutallmydirtylaundry.Drinking
problem.Lost
yourlastjobforrackingoverastudent.Wonderifyou'rethe
rightmanfor
this.Etcetera.Thethingthatbuggedmewasthathewas
bringingallthisup
becausehelovedthegoddamnhotelsomuch.Thebeautiful
Overlook.The
traditionalOverlook.ThebloodysacredOverlook.Well,Ifounda
scrapbookin
thebasement.Somebodyhadputtogetherallthelesssavory
aspectsofUllman's
cathedral,anditlookedtomelikealittleblackmasshadbeen
goingonafter
hours."
"Ihopethat'smetaphorical,Jack."Al'svoicesounded
frighteninglycold.
"Itis.ButIdidfindout"
"Iknowthehotel'shistory."
Jackranahandthroughhishair."SoIcalledhimupandpoked
himwithit.I
admititwasn'tverybright,andIsurewouldn'tdoitagain.End
ofstory."
"Stusaysyou'replanningtodoalittledirtylaundryairing
yourself."
"Stuisanasshole!"hebarkedintothephone."ItoldhimI
hadanideaof
writingabouttheOverlook,yes.Ido.Ithinkthisplaceforms
anindexofthe
wholepostWorldWarIIAmericancharacter.Thatsoundslikean
inflatedclaim,
statedsobaldly...Iknowitdoes...butit'sallhere,
Al!MyGod,it
couldbeagreatbook.Butit'sfarinthefuture,Icanpromise
youthat,I've
gotmoreonmyplaterightnowthanIcaneat,and"
"Jack,that'snotgoodenough."
Hefoundhimselfgapingattheblackreceiverofthephone,
unabletobelieve
whathehadsurelyheard."What?Al,didyousay?"
"IsaidwhatIsaid.Howlongisfarinthefuture,Jack?For
youitmaybe
twoyears,maybefive.Formeit'sthirtyorforty,becauseI
expecttobe
associatedwiththeOverlookforalongtime.Thethoughtofyou
doingsomesort
ofascumjobonmyhotelandpassingitoffasagreatpieceof
American
writing,thatmakesmesick."
Jackwasspeechless.
"Itriedtohelpyou,Jackyboy.Wewentthroughthewar
together,andI
thoughtIowedyousomehelp.Yourememberthewar?"
"Irememberit,"hemuttered,butthecoalsofresentmenthad
beguntoglow
aroundhisheart.FirstUllman,thenWendy,nowAl.Whatwas
this?National
Let'sPickJackTorranceApartWeek?Heclampedhislipsmore
tightlytogether,
reachedforhiscigarettes,andknockedthemoffontothefloor.
Hadheever
likedthischeappricktalkingtohimfromhismahoganylinedden
inVermont?
Hadhereally?
"BeforeyouhitthatHatfieldkid,"Alwassaying,"Ihad
talkedtheBoardout
oflettingyougoandevenhadthemswungaroundtoconsidering
tenure.Youblew
thatoneforyourself.Igotyouthishotelthing,anicequiet
placeforyouto
getyourselftogether,finishyourplay,andwaititoutuntil
HarryEffinger
andIcouldconvincetherestofthoseguysthattheymadeabig
mistake.Nowit
lookslikeyouwanttochewmyarmoffonyourwaytoabigger
killing.Isthat
thewayyousaythankstoyourfriends,Jack?"
"No,"hewhispered.
Hedidn'tdaresaymore.Hisheadwasthrobbingwiththehot,
acidetched
wordsthatwantedtogetout.Hetrieddesperatelytothinkof
DannyandWendy,
dependingonhim,DannyandWendysittingpeacefullydownstairs
infrontofthe
fireandworkingonthefirstofthesecondgradereading
primers,thinking
everythingwasAOK.Ifhelostthisjob,whatthen?Offto
Californiainthat
tiredoldVWwiththedistintegratingfuelpumplikeafamilyof
dustbowlOkies?
HetoldhimselfhewouldgetdownonhiskneesandbegAlbefore
heletthat
happen,butstillthewordsstruggledtopourout,andthehand
holdingthehot
wiresofhisragefeltgreased.
"What?"Alsaidsharply.
"No,"hesaid."ThatisnotthewayItreatmyfriends.Andyou
knowit."
"HowdoIknowit?Attheworst,you'replanningtosmearmy
hotelbydigging
upbodiesthatweredecentlyburiedyearsago.Atthebest,you
callupmy
temperamentalbutextremelycompetenthotelmanagerandworkhim
intoafrenzy
aspartofsome...somestupidkid'sgame."
"Itwasmorethanagame,Al.It'seasierforyou.Youdon't
havetotakesome
richfriend'scharity.Youdon'tneedafriendincourtbecause
youarethe
court.Thefactthatyouwereonestepfromabrownbaglushgoes
prettymuch
unmentioned,doesn'tit?"
"Isupposeitdoes,"Alsaid.Hisvoicehaddroppedanotchand
hesounded
tiredofthewholething."ButJack,Jack...Ican'thelp
that.Ican't
changethat."
"Iknow,"Jacksaidemptily."AmIfired?Iguessyoubetter
tellmeifIam."
"Notifyou'lldotwothingsforme."
"Allright."
"Hadn'tyoubetterheartheconditionsbeforeyouacceptthem?"
"No.GivemeyourdealandI'lltakeit.There'sWendyand
Dannytothink
about.Ifyouwantmyballs,I'llsendthemairmail."
"Areyousureselfpityisaluxuryyoucanafford,Jack?"
HehadclosedhiseyesandslidanExcedrinbetweenhisdry
lips."Atthis
pointIfeelit'stheonlyoneIcanafford.Fireaway...no
punintended."
Alwassilentforamoment.Thenhesaid:"First,nomorecalls
toUllman.Not
eveniftheplaceburnsdown.Ifthathappens,callthe
maintenanceman,that
guywhoswearsallthetime,youknowwhoImean..."
"Watson."
"Yes."
"Okay.Done."
"Second,youpromiseme,Jack.Wordofhonor.Nobookabouta
famousColorado
mountainhotelwithahistory."
Foramomenthisragewassogreatthatbeliterallycouldnot
speak.The
bloodbeatloudlyinhisears.Itwaslikegettingacallfrom
sometwentieth
centuryMediciprince...noportraitsofmyfamilywiththeir
wartsshowing,
please,orbacktotherabbleyou'llgo.Isubsidizenopictures
butpretty
pictures.Whenyoupaintthedaughterofmygoodfriendand
businesspartner,
pleaseomitbirthmarkorbacktotherabbleyou'llgo.Ofcourse
we'refriends.
..wearebothcivilizedmenaren'twe?We'vesharedbedand
boardandbottle.
We'llalwaysbefriends,andthedogcollarIhaveonyouwill
alwaysbeignored
bymutualconsent,andI'lltakegoodandbenevolentcareofyou.
AllIaskin
returnisyoursoul.Smallitem.Wecanevenignorethefactthat
you'vehanded
itover,thewayweignorethedogcollar.Remember,mytalented
friend,there
areMichelangelosbeggingeverywhereinthestreetsofRome...
"Jack?Youthere?"
Hemadeastranglednoisethatwasintendedtobethewordyes.
Al'svoicewasfirmandverysureofitself."Ireallydon't
thinkI'masking
somuch,Jack.Andtherewillbeotherbooks.Youjustcan't
expectmeto
subsidizeyouwhileyou..."
"Allright,agreed."
"Idon'twantyoutothinkI'mtryingtocontrolyourartistic
life,Jack.You
knowmebetterthanthat.It'sjustthat"
"What?"
"IsDerwentstillinvolvedwiththeOverlook?Somehow?"
"Idon'tseehowthatcanpossiblybeanyconcernofyours,
Jack."
"No,"hesaiddistantly."Isupposeitisn't.Listen,Al,I
thinkIhearWendy
callingmeforsomething.I'llgetbacktoyou."
"Surething,Jackyboy.We'llhaveagoodtalk.Howarethings?
Dry?"
YOU'VEGOTYOURPOUNDOFFLESHBLOODANDALLNOWCAN'TYOU
LEAVEMEALONE?)
"Asabone."
"Heretoo.I'mactuallybeginningtoenjoysobriety.If"
"I'llgetback,Al.Wendy"
"Sure.Okay."
Andsohehadhungupandthatwaswhenthecrampshadcome,
hittinghimlike
lightningbolts,makinghimcurlupinfrontofthetelephone
likeapenitent,
handsoverhisbelly,headthrobbinglikeamonstrousbladder.
Themovingwasp,havingstungmoveson...
IthadpassedalittlewhenWendycameupstairsandaskedhim
whohadbeenon
thephone.
"Al,"hesaid."Hecalledtoaskhowthingsweregoing.Isaid
theywere
fine."
"Jack,youlookterrible.Areyousick?"
"Headache'sback.I'mgoingtobedearly.Nosensetryingto
write."
"CanIgetyousomewarmmilk?"
Hesmiledwanly."Thatwouldbenice."
Andnowhelaybesideher,feelingherwarmandsleepingthigh
againsthis
own.ThinkingoftheconversationwithAl,howhehadgroveled,
stillmadehim
hotandcoldbyturns.Somedaytherewouldbeareckoning.
Somedaytherewould
beabook,notthesoftandthoughtfulthinghehadfirst
considered,butagem
hardworkofresearch,photosectionandall,andhewouldpull
aparttheentire
Overlookhistory,nasty,incestuousownershipdealsandall.He
wouldspreadit
alloutforthereaderlikeadissectedcrayfish.AndifAl
Shockleyhad
connectionswiththeDerwentempire,thenGodhelphim.
Strunguplikepianowire,helaystaringintothedark,
knowingitmightbe
hoursyetbeforehecouldsleep.

***

WendyTorrancelayonherback,eyesclosed,listeningtothe
soundofher
husband'sslumberthelonginhale,thebriefhold,theslightly
guttural
exhale.Wheredidhegowhenheslept,shewondered.Tosome
amusementpark,a
GreatBarringtonofdreamswherealltherideswerefreeand
therewasnowife
motheralongtotellthemthey'dhadenoughhotdogsorthat
they'dbetterbe
goingiftheywantedtogethomebydark?Orwasitsomefathoms
deepbarwhere
thedrinkingneverstoppedandthebatwingswerealwayspropped
openandallthe
oldcompanionsweregatheredaroundtheelectronichockeygame,
glassesinhand,
AlShockleyprominentamongthemwithhistieloosenedandthe
topbuttonofhis
shirtundone?AplacewherebothsheandDannywereexcludedand
theboogiewent
onendlessly?
Wendywasworriedabouthim,theold,helplessworrythatshe
hadhopedwas
behindherforeverinVermont,asifworrycouldsomehownot
crossstatelines.
Shedidn'tlikewhattheOverlookseemedtobedoingtoJackand
Danny.
Themostfrighteningthing,vaporousandunmentioned,perhaps
unmentionable,
wasthatallofJack'sdrinkingsymptomshadcomeback,oneby
one...allbut
thedrinkitself.Theconstantwipingofthelipswithhandor
handkerchief,as
iftoridthemofexcessmoisture.Longpausesatthetypewriter,
moreballsof
paperinthewastebasket.TherehadbeenabottleofExcedrinon
thetelephone
tabletonightafterAlhadcalledhim,butnowaterglass.Hehad
beenchewing
themagain.Hegotirritatedoverlittlethings.Hewould
unconsciouslystart
snappinghisfingersinanervousrhythmwhenthingsgottoo
quiet.Increased
profanity.Shehadbeguntoworryabouthistemper,too.Itwould
almostcomeas
areliefifhewouldloseit,blowoffsteam,inmuchthesame
waythathewent
downtothebasementfirstthinginthemorningandlastthingat
nighttodump
thepressontheboiler.Itwouldalmostbegoodtoseehimcurse
andkicka
chairacrosstheroomorslamadoor.Butthosethings,alwaysan
integralpart
ofhistemperament,hadalmostwhollyceased.Yetshehadthe
feelingthatJack
wasmoreandmoreoftenangrywithherorDanny,butwasrefusing
toletitout.
Theboilerhadapressuregauge:old,cracked,clottedwith
grease,butstill
workable.Jackhadnone.Shehadneverbeenabletoreadhimvery
well.Danny
could,butDannywasn'ttalking.
AndthecallfromAl.Ataboutthesametimeithadcome,Danny
hadlostall
interestinthestorytheyhadbeenreading.Helefthertosit
bythefireand
crossedtothemaindeskwhereJackhadconstructedaroadwayfor
hismatchbox
carsandtrucks.TheViolentVioletVolkswagenwasthereand
Dannyhadbegunto
pushitrapidlybackandforth.Pretendingtoreadherownbook
butactually
lookingatDannyoverthetopofit,shehadseenanoddamalgam
ofthewaysshe
andJackexpressedanxiety.Thewipingofthelips.Runningboth
handsnervously
throughhishair,asshehaddonewhilewaitingforJacktocome
homefromhis
roundofthebars.Shecouldn'tbelieveAlhadcalledjustto
"askhowthings
weregoing."Ifyouwantedtoshootthebull,youcalledAl.When
Alcalledyou,
thatwasbusiness.
Later,whenshehadcomebackdownstairs,shehadfoundDanny
curledupbythe
fireagain,readingthesecondgradeprimeradventuresofJoeand
Rachelatthe
circuswiththeirdaddyincomplete,absorbedattention.The
fidgetydistraction
hadcompletelydisappeared.Watchinghim,shehadbeenstruck
againbytheeerie
certaintythatDannyknewmoreandunderstoodmorethantherewas
roomforin
Dr.("JustcallmeBill")Edmonds'sphilosophy.
"Hey,timeforbed,doc,"she'dsaid.
"Yeah,okay."Hemarkedhisplaceinthebookandstoodup.
"Washupandbrushyourteeth."
"Okay."
"Don'tforgettousethefloss."
"Iwon't."
Theystoodsidebysideforamoment,watchingthewaxandwane
ofthecoals
ofthefire.Mostofthelobbywaschillyanddrafty,butthis
circlearoundthe
fireplacewasmagicallywarm,andhardtoleave.
"ItwasUncleAlonthephone,"shesaidcasually.
"Ohyeah?"Totallyunsurprised.
"IwonderifUncleAlwasmadatDaddy,"shesaid,still
casually.
"Yeah,hesurewas,"Dannysaid,stillwatchingthefire."He
didn'twant
Daddytowritethebook."
"Whatbook,Danny?"
"Aboutthehotel."
ThequestionframedonherlipswasonesheandJackhadasked
Dannya
thousandtimes:Howdoyouknowthat?Shehadn'taskedhim.She
didn'twantto
upsethimbeforebed,ormakehimawarethattheywerecasually
discussinghis
knowledgeofthingshehadnowayofknowingatall.Andhedid
know,shewas
convincedofthat.Dr.Edmonds'spatteraboutinductivereasoning
and
subconsciouslogicwasjustthat:patter.Hersister...how
hadDannyknown
shewasthinkingaboutAileeninthewaitingroomthatday?And
(IdreamedDaddyhadanaccident.)
Sheshookherhead,asiftoclearit."Gowashup,doc."
"Okay."Heranupthestairstowardtheirquarters.Frowning,
shehadgone
intothekitchentowarmJack'smilkinasaucepan.
Andnow,lyingwakefulinherbedandlisteningtoher
husband'sbreathingand
thewindoutside(miraculously,they'dhadonlyanotherflurry
thatafternoon;
stillnoheavysnow),shelethermindturnfullytoherlovely,
troublingson,
bornwithacauloverhisface,asimpletissueofmembranethat
doctorssaw
perhapsonceineverysevenhundredbirths,atissuethattheold
wives'tales
saidbetokenedthesecondsight.
ShedecidedthatitwastimetotalktoDannyaboutthe
Overlook...and
hightimeshetriedtogetDannytotalktoher.Tomorrow.For
sure.Thetwoof
themwouldbegoingdowntotheSidewinderPublicLibrarytosee
iftheycould
gethimsomesecondgradelevelbooksonanextendedloanthrough
thewinter,
andshewouldtalktohim.Andfrankly.Withthatthoughtshe
feltalittle
easier,andatlastbegantodrifttowardsleep.

***

Dannylayawakeinhisbedroom,eyesopen,leftarmencircling
hisagedand
slightlyworseforwearPooh(Poohhadlostoneshoebuttoneye
andwasoozing
stuffingfromhalfadozensprungseams),listeningtohis
parentssleepin
theirbedroom.Hefeltasifhewerestandingunwillingguard
overthem.The
nightsweretheworstofall.Hehatedthenightsandthe
constanthowlofthe
windaroundthewestsideofthehotel.
Hisgliderfloatedoverheadfromastring.OnhisbureautheVW
model,brought
upfromtheroadwaysetupdownstairs,glowedadimlyfluorescent
purple.His
bookswereinthebookcase,hiscoloringbooksonthedesk.A
placefor
everythingandeverythinginitsplace.Mommysaid.Thenyouknow
whereitis
whenyouwantit.Butnowthingshadbeenmisplaced.Thingswere
missing.Worse
still,thingshadbeenadded,thingsyoucouldn'tquitesee,like
inoneof
thosepicturesthatsaidCANYOUSEETHEINDIANS?Andifyou
strainedand
squinted,youcouldseesomeofthemthethingyouhadtakenfor
acactusat
firstglancewasreallyabravewithaknifeclampedinhis
teeth,andthere
wereothershidingintherocks,andyoucouldevenseeoneof
theirevil,
mercilessfacespeeringthroughthespokesofacoveredwagon
wheel.Butyou
couldneverseeallofthem,andthatwaswhatmadeyouuneasy.
Becauseitwas
theonesyoucouldn'tseethatwouldsneakupbehindyou,a
tomahawkinonehand
andascalpingknifeintheother...
Heshifteduneasilyinhisbed,hiseyessearchingoutthe
comfortingglowof
thenightlight.Thingswereworsehere.Heknewthatmuchfor
sure.Atfirst
theyhadn'tbeensobad,butlittlebylittle...hisdaddy
thoughtabout
drinkingalotmore.SometimeshewasangryatMommyanddidn't
knowwhy.He
wentaroundwipinghislipswithhishandkerchiefandhiseyes
werefarawayand
cloudy.MommywasworriedabouthimandDanny,too.Hedidn't
havetoshineinto
hertoknowthat;ithadbeenintheanxiouswayshehad
questionedhimonthe
daythefirehosehadseemedtoturnintoasnake.Mr.Hallorann
saidhethought
allmotherscouldshinealittlebit,andshehadknownonthat
daythat
somethinghadhappened.Butnotwhat.
Hehadalmosttoldher,butacoupleofthingshadheldhim
back.Heknewthat
thedoctorinSidewinderhaddismissedTonyandthethingsthat
Tonyshowedhim
asperfectly
(wellalmost)
normal.Hismothermightnotbelievehimifhetoldherabout
thehose.Worse,
shemightbelievehiminthewrongway,mightthinkhewasLOSING
HISMARBLES.
HeunderstoodalittleaboutLOSINGYOURMARBLES,notasmuchas
hedidabout
GETTINGABABY,whichhismommyhadexplainedtohimtheyear
beforeatsome
length,butenough.
Once,atnurseryschool,hisfriendScotthadpointedoutaboy
namedRobin
Stenger,whowasmopingaroundtheswingswithafacealmostlong
enoughtostep
on.Robin'sfathertaughtarithmeticatDaddy'sschool,and
Scott'sdaddytaught
historythere.Mostofthekidsatthenurseryschoolwere
associatedeither
withStovingtonPreporwiththesmallIBMplantjustoutsideof
town.Theprep
kidschummedinonegroup,theIBMkidsinanother.Therewere
cross
friendships,ofcourse,butitwasnaturalenoughforthekids
whosefathers
kneweachothertomoreorlesssticktogether.Whentherewasan
adultscandal
inonegroup,italmostalwaysfiltereddowntothechildrenin
somewildly
mutatedformorother,butitrarelyjumpedtotheothergroup.
HeandScottyweresittingintheplayrocketshipwhenScotty
jerkedhisthumb
atRobinandsaid:"Youknowthatkid?"
"Yeah,"Dannysaid.
Scottleanedforward."HisdadLOSTHISMARBLESlastnight.
Theytookhim
away."
"Yeah?Justforlosingsomemarbles?"
Scottylookeddisgusted."Hewentcrazy.Youknow."Scott
crossedhiseyes,
floppedouthistongue,andtwirledhisindexfingersinlarge
ellipticalorbits
aroundhisears."Theytookhimt0THEBUGHOUSE."
"Wow,"Dannysaid."Whenwilltheylethimcomeback?"
"Nevernevernever,"Scottysaiddarkly.
Inthecourseofthatdayandthenext,Dannyheardthat
a.)Mr.Stengerhadtriedtokilleverybodyinhisfamily,
includingRobin,
withhisWorldWarIIsouvenirpistol;
b.)Mr.StengerrippedthehousetopieceswhilehewasSTINKO;
c.)Mr.Stengerhadbeendiscoveredeatingabowlofdeadbugs
andgrasslike
theywerecerealandmilkandcryingwhilehedidit;
d.)Mr.Stengerhadtriedtostranglehiswifewithastocking
whentheRed
Soxlostabigballgame.
Finally,tootroubledtokeepittohimself,hehadaskedDaddy
aboutMr.
Stenger.Hisdaddyhadtakenhimonhislapandhadexplained
thatMr.Stenger
hadbeenunderagreatdealofstrain,someofitabouthis
familyandsome
abouthisjobandsomeofitaboutthingsthatnobodybutdoctors
could
understand.Hehadbeenhavingcryingfits,andthreenightsago
hehadgotten
cryingandcouldn'tstopitandhadbrokenalotofthingsinthe
Stengerhome.
Itwasn'tLOSINGYOURMARBLES,Daddysaid,itwasHAVINGA
BREAKDOWN,andMr.
Stengerwasn'tinaBUGHOUSEbutinaSANNYTARIUM.Butdespite
Daddy'scareful
explanations,Dannywasscared.Theredidn'tseemtobeany
differenceatall
betweenLOSINGYOURMARBLESandHAVINGABREAKDOWN,andwhether
youcalledita
BUGHOUSEoraSANNYTARIUM,therewerestillbarsonthewindows
andthey
wouldn'tletyououtifyouwantedtogo.Andhisfather,quite
innocently,had
confirmedanotherofScotty'sphrasesunchanged,onethatfilled
Dannywitha
vagueandunformeddread.IntheplacewhereMr.Stengernow
lived,therewere
THEMENINTHEWHITECOATS.Theycametogetyouinatruckwith
nowindows,a
truckthatwasgravestonegray.Itrolleduptothecurbinfront
ofyourhouse
andTHEMENINTHEWHITECOATSgotoutandtookyouawayfrom
yourfamilyand
madeyouliveinaroomwithsoftwalls.Andifyouwantedto
writehome,you
hadtodoitwithCrayolas.
"Whenwilltheylethimcomeback?"Dannyaskedhisfather.
"Justassoonashe'sbetter,doc."
"Butwhenwillthatbe?"Dannyhadpersisted.
"Dan,"Jacksaid,"NOONEKNOWS."
Andthatwastheworstofall.Itwasanotherwayofsaying
nevernevernever.
Amonthlater,Robin'smothertookhimoutofnurseryschooland
theymovedaway
fromStovingtonwithoutMr.Stenger.
Thathadbeenoverayearago,afterDaddystoppedtakingthe
BadStuffbut
beforehehadlosthisjob.Dannystillthoughtaboutitoften.
Sometimeswhen
hefelldownorbumpedhisheadorhadabellyache,hewould
begintocryand
thememorywouldflashoverhim,accompaniedbythefearthathe
wouldnotbe
abletostopcrying,thathewouldjustgoonandon,weepingand
wailing,until
hisdaddywenttothephone,dialedit,andsaid:"Hello?Thisis
JackTorrance
at149MaplelineWay.Mysonherecan'tstopcrying.Pleasesend
THEMENINTHE
WHITECOATSt0takehimtotheSANNYTARIUM.That'sright,he's
LOSTHIS
MARBLES.Thankyou."Andthegraytruckwithnowindowswould
comerollingupto
hisdoor,theywouldloadhimin,stillweepinghysterically,and
takehimaway.
Whenwouldheseehismommyanddaddyagain?NOONEKNOWS.
Itwasthisfearthathadkepthimsilent.Ayearolder,hewas
quitesure
thathisdaddyandmommywouldn'tlethimbetakenawayfor
thinkingafirehose
wasasnake,hisrationalmindwassureofthat,butstill,when
hethoughtof
tellingthem,thatoldmemoryroseuplikeastonefillinghis
mouthand
blockingwords.Itwasn'tlikeTony;Tonyhadalwaysseemed
perfectlynatural
(untilthebaddreams,ofcourse),andhisparentshadalso
seemedtoaccept
Tonyasamoreorlessnaturalphenomenon.ThingslikeTonycame
frombeing
BRIGHT,whichtheybothassumedhewas(thesamewaytheyassumed
theywere
BRIGHT),butafirehosethatturnedintoasnake,orseeing
bloodandbrainson
thewallofthePresidentialSweetwhennooneelsecould,those
thingswould
notbenatural.Theyhadalreadytakenhimtoseearegular
doctor.Wasitnot
reasonabletoassumethatTHEMENINTHEWHITECOATSmightcome
next?
Stillhemighthavetoldthemexcepthewassure,sooneror
later,thatthey
wouldwanttotakehimawayfromthehotel.Andhewanted
desperatelytoget
awayfromtheOverlook.Buthealsoknewthatthiswashis
daddy'slastchance,
thathewashereattheOverlooktodomorethantakecareofthe
place.Hewas
heretoworkonhispapers.Togetoverlosinghisjob.Tolove
Mommy/Wendy.And
untilveryrecently,ithadseemedthatallthosethingswere
happening.Itwas
onlylatelythatDaddyhadbeguntohavetrouble.Sincehefound
thosepapers.
(Thisinhumanplacemakeshumanmonsters.)
Whatdidthatmean?HehadprayedtoGod,butGodhadn'ttold
him.Andwhat
wouldDaddydoifhestoppedworkinghere?Hehadtriedtofind
outfromDaddy's
mind,andhadbecomemoreandmoreconvincedthatDaddydidn't
know.The
strongestproofhadcomeearlierthiseveningwhenUncleAlhad
calledhisdaddy
uponthephoneandsaidmeanthingsandDaddydidn'tdaresay
anythingback
becauseUncleAlcouldfirehimfromthisjobjustthewaythat
Mr.Crommert,
theStovingtonheadmaster,andtheBoardofDirectorshadfired
himfromhis
schoolteachingjob.AndDaddywasscaredtodeathofthat,for
himandMommyas
wellashimself.
Sohedidn'tdaresayanything.Hecouldonlywatchhelplessly
andhopethat
therereallyweren'tanyIndiansatall,oriftherewerethat
theywouldbe
contenttowaitforbiggergameandlettheirlittlethreewagon
trainpass
unmolested.
Buthecouldn'tbelieveit,nomatterhowhardhetried.
ThingswereworseattheOverlooknow.
Thesnowwascoming,andwhenitdid,anypooroptionshehad
wouldbe
abrogated.Andafterthesnow,what?Whatthen,whentheywere
shutinandat
themercyofwhatevermighthaveonlybeentoyingwiththem
before?
(Comeouthereandtakeyourmedicine!)
Whatthen?REDRUM.
Heshiveredinhisbedandturnedoveragain.Hecouldread
morenow.Tomorrow
maybehewouldtrytocallTony,hewouldtrytomakeTonyshow
himexactlywhat
REDRUMwasandiftherewasanywayhecouldpreventit.HeWould
riskthe
nightmares.Hehadtoknow.
Dannywasstillawakelongafterhisparents'falsesleephad
becomethereal
thing.Herolledinhisbed,twistingthesheets,grapplingwith
aproblemyears
toobigforhim,awakeinthenightlikeasinglesentinelon
picket.And
sometimeaftermidnight,heslepttooandthenonlythewindwas
awake,prying
atthehotelandhootinginitsgablesunderthebrightgimlet
gazeofthe
stars.

<<22>>

INTHETRUCK

Iseeabadmoonarising.
Iseetroubleontheway.
Iseeearthquakesandlightnin'
Iseebadtimestoday.
Don'tgo'roundtonight,
It'sboundtotakeyourlife,
There'sabadmoonontherise.*

SomeonehadaddedaveryoldBuickcarradiounderthehotel
truck's
dashboard,andnow,tinnyandchokedwithstatic,thedistinctive
soundofJohn
Fogerty'sCreedenceClearwaterRevivalbandcameoutofthe
speaker.Wendyand
DannywereontheirwaydowntoSidewinder.Thedaywasclearand
bright.Danny
wasturningJack'sorangelibrarycardoverandoverinhishands
andseemed
cheerfulenough,butWendythoughthelookeddrawnandtired,as
ifbehadn't
beensleepingenoughandwasgoingonnervousenergyalone.
Thesongendedandthediscjockeycameon."Yeah,that's
Creedence.And
speakinofbadmoon,itlookslikeitmayberisinovertheKMTX
listeningarea
beforelong,hardasitistobelievewiththebeautiful,
springlikeweather
we'veenjoyedforthelastcouplethreedays.TheKMTXFearless
Forecastersays
highpressurewillgivewaybyoneo'clockthisafternoontoa
widespreadlow
pressureareawhichisjustgonnagrindtoastopinourKMTX
area,upwherethe
airisrare.Temperatureswillfallrapidly,andprecipitation
shouldstart
arounddusk.Elevationsunderseventhousandfeet,includingthe
metroDenver
area,canexpectamixtureofsleetandsnow,perhapsfreezingon
someroads,
andnothinbutsnowuphere,cuz.We'relookinatonetothree
inchesbelow
seventhousandandpossibleaccumulationsofsixtoteninchesin
Central
ColoradoandontheSlope.TheHighwayAdvisoryBoardsaysthat
ifyou're
plannintotourthemountainsinyourcarthisafternoonor
tonight,youshould
rememberthatthechainlawwillbeineffect.Anddon'tgo
nowhereunlessyou
haveto.Remember,"theannounceraddedjocularly,"that'show
theDonnersgot
intotrouble.Theyjustweren'tasclosetothenearestSeven
Elevenasthey
thought."
AClairolcommercialcameon,andWendyreacheddownand
snappedtheradio
off."Youmind?"
"Huhuh,that'sokay."Heglancedoutatthesky,whichwas
brightblue.
"GuessDaddypickedjusttherightdaytotrimthosehedge
animals,didn'the?"
"Iguesshedid,"Wendysaid.
"Suredoesn'tlookmuchlikesnow,though,"Dannyadded
hopefully.
"Gettingcoldfeet?"Wendyasked.Shewasstillthinkingabout
thatcrackthe
discjockeyhadmadeabouttheDonnerParty.
"Nah,Iguessnot."
Well,shethought,thisisthetime.Ifyou'regoingtobring
itup,doitnow
orforeverholdyourpeace.
"Danny,"shesaid,makinghervoiceascasualaspossible,
"wouldyoube
happierifwewentawayfromtheOverlook?Ifwedidn'tstaythe
winter?"
Dannylookeddownathishands."Iguessso,"hesaid."Yeah.
Butit'sDaddy's
job."
"Sometimes,"shesaidcarefully,"IgettheideathatDaddy
mightbehappier
awayfromtheOverlook,too."Theypassedasignwhichread
SIDEWINDER18mi.
andthenshetookthetruckcautiouslyaroundahairpinand
shiftedupinto
second.Shetooknochancesonthesedowngrades;theyscaredher
silly.
"Doyoureallythinkso?"Dannyasked.Helookedatherwith
interestfora
momentandthenshookhishead."No,Idon'tthinkso."
"Whynot?"
"Becausehe'sworriedaboutus,"Dannysaid,choosinghiswords
carefully.It
washardtoexplain,heunderstoodsolittleofithimself.He
foundhimself
harkingbacktoanincidenthehadtoldMr.Hallorannabout,the
bigkidlooking
atdepartmentstoreTVsetsandwantingtostealone.Thathad
beendistressing,
butatleastithadbeenclearwhatwasgoingon,eventoDanny,
thenlittle
morethananinfant.Butgrownupswerealwaysinaturmoil,every
possible
actionmuddiedoverbythoughtsoftheconsequences,byself
doubt,by
seIfimage,byfeelingsofloveandresponsibility.Everypossible
choiceseemed
tohavedrawbacks,andsometimeshedidn'tunderstandwhythe
drawbackswere
drawbacks.Itwasveryhard.
"Hethinks..."Dannybeganagain,andthenlookedathis
motherquickly.
Shewaswatchingtheroad,notlookingathim,andhefelthe
couldgoon.
"Hethinksmaybewe'llbelonely.Andthenhethinksthathe
likesithereand
it'sagoodplaceforus.Helovesusanddoesn'twantustobe
lonely...or
sad...buthethinksevenifweare,itmightbeokayinthe
LONGRUN.Doyou
knowLONGRUN?"
Shenodded."Yes,dear.Ido."
"He'sworriedthatifwelefthecouldn'tgetanotherjob.That
we'dhaveto
beg,orsomething."
"Isthatall?"
"No,buttherestisallmixedup.Becausehe'sdifferentnow."
"Yes,"shesaid,almostsighing.Thegradeeasedalittleand
sheshifted
cautiouslybacktothirdgear.
"I'mnotmakingthisup,Mommy.HonesttoGod."
"Iknowthat,"shesaid,andsmiled."DidTonytellyou?"
"No,"hesaid."Ijustknow.Thatdoctordidn'tbelievein
Tony,didhe?"
"Nevermindthatdoctor,"shesaid."IbelieveinTony.Idon't
knowwhathe
isorwhoheis,ifhe'sapartofyouthat'sspecialorifhe
comesfrom...
somewhereoutside,butIdobelieveinhim,Danny.Andifyou..
.he...
thinkweshouldgo,wewill.Thetwoofuswillgoandbe
togetherwithDaddy
againinthespring."
Helookedatherwithsharphope."Where?Amotel?"
"Hon,wecouldn'taffordamotel.Itwouldhavetobeatmy
mother's."
ThehopeinDanny'sfacediedout."Iknow"hesaid,and
stopped.
"What?"
"Nothing,"hemuttered.
Sheshiftedbacktosecondasthegradesteepenedagain."No,
doc,please
don'tsaythat.Thistalkissomethingweshouldhavehadweeks
ago,Ithink.So
please.Whatisityouknow?Iwon'tbemad.Ican'tbemad,
becausethisistoo
important.Talkstraighttome."
"Iknowhowyoufeelabouther,"Dannysaid,andsighed.
"HowdoIfeel?"
"Bad,"Dannysaid,andthenrhyming,singsong,frighteningher:
"Bad.Sad.
Mad.It'slikeshewasn'tyourmommyatall.Likeshewantedto
eatyou."He
lookedather,frightened."AndIdon'tlikeitthere.She's
alwaysthinking
abouthowshewouldbebetterformethanyou.Andhowshecould
getmeaway
fromyou.Mommy,Idon'twanttogothere.I'dratherbeatthe
Overlookthan
there."
Wendywasshaken.Wasitthatbadbetweenherandhermother?
God,whathell
fortheboyifitwasandhecouldreallyreadtheirthoughtsfor
eachother.
Shesuddenlyfeltmorenakedthannaked,asifshehadbeen
caughtinanobscene
act.
"Allright,"shesaid."Allright,Danny."
"You'remadatme,"hesaidinasmall,neartotearsvoice.
"No,I'mnot.ReallyI'mnot.I'mjustsortofshookup."They
werepassinga
SIDEWINDER15mi.sign,andWendyrelaxedalittle.Fromhereon
intheroadwas
better.
"Iwanttoaskyouonemorequestion,Danny.Iwantyouto
answeritas
truthfullyasyoucan.Willyoudothat?"
"Yes,Mommy,"hesaid,almostwhispering.
"Hasyourdaddybeendrinkingagain?"
"No,"hesaid,andsmotheredthetwowordsthatrosebehindhis
lipsafter
thatsimplenegative:Notyet.
Wendyrelaxedalittlemore.SheputahandonDanny'sjeans
cladlegand
squeezedit."Yourdaddyhastriedveryhard,"shesaidsoftly.
"Becausehe
lovesus.Andwelovehim,don'twe?"
Henoddedgravely.
Speakingalmosttoherselfshewenton:"He'snotaperfect
man,buthehas
tried...Danny,he'striedsohard!Whenhe...
stopped...hewent
throughakindofhell.He'sstillgoingthroughit.Ithinkif
ithadn'tbeen
forus,hewouldhavejustletgo.Iwanttodowhat'sright.And
Idon'tknow.
Shouldwego?Stay?It'slikeachoicebetweenthefatandthe
fire."
"Iknow."
"Wouldyoudosomethingforme,doc?"
"What?"
"TrytomakeTonycome.Rightnow.Askhimifwe'resafeatthe
Overlook."
"Ialreadytried,"Dannysaidslowly."Thismorning."
"Whathappened?"Wendyasked."Whatdidhesay?"
"Hedidn'tcome,"Dannysaid."Tonydidn'tcome."Andhe
suddenlyburstinto
tears.
"Danny,"shesaid,alarmed."Honey,don'tdothat.Please"The
truckswerved
acrossthedoubleyellowlineandshepulleditback,scared.
"Don'ttakemetoGramma's,"Dannysaidthroughhistears.
"Please,Mommy,I
don'twanttogothere,IwanttostaywithDaddy"
"Allright,"shesaidsoftly."Allright,that'swhatwe'll
do."Shetooka
KleenexoutofthepocketofherWesternstyleshirtandhanded
ittohim.
"We'llstay.Andeverythingwillbefine.Justfine."

*"BadMoonRising,"byJ.C.Fogerty,(c)1969JondoraMusic,
Berkeley,
California.Usedbypermission.Allrightsreserved.
Internationalcopyright
secured.

<<23>>

INTHEPLAYGROUND
Jackcameoutontotheporch,tuggingthetabofhiszipperup
underhischin,
blinkingintothebrightair.Inhislefthandhewasholdinga
batterypowered
hedgeclipper.Hetuggedafreshhandkerchiefoutofhisback
pocketwithhis
righthand,wipedhislipswithit,andtuckeditaway.Snow,
theyhadsaidon
theradio.Itwashardtobelieve,eventhoughhecouldseethe
cloudsbuilding
uponthefarhorizon.
Hestarteddownthepathtothetopiary,switchingthehedge
clipperoverto
theotherhand.Itwouldn'tbealongjob,hethought;alittle
touchupwould
doit.Thecoldnightshadsurelystuntedtheirgrowth.The
rabbit'searslooked
alittlefuzzy,andtwoofthedog'slegshadgrownfuzzygreen
bonespurs,but
thelionsandthebuffalolookedfine.Justalittlehaircut
woulddothetrick,
andthenletthesnowcome.
Theconcretepathendedasabruptlyasadivingboard.He
steppedoffitand
walkedpastthedrainedpooltothegravelpathwhichwound
throughthehedge
sculpturesandintotheplaygrounditself.Hewalkedovertothe
rabbitand
pushedthebuttononthehandleoftheclippers.Ithummedinto
quietlife.
"Hi,Br'erRabbit,"Jacksaid."Howareyoutoday?Alittleoff
thetopand
getsomeoftheextraoffyourears?Fine.Say,didyouhearthe
oneaboutthe
travelingsalesmanandtheoldladywithapetpoodle?"
Hisvoicesoundedunnaturalandstupidinhisears,andhe
stopped.It
occurredtohimthathedidn'tcaremuchforthesehedgeanimals.
Ithadalways
seemedslightlypervertedtohimtoclipandtortureaplainold
hedgeinto
somethingthatitwasn't.AlongoneofthehighwaysinVermont
therehadbeena
hedgebillboardonahighslopeoverlookingtheroad,advertising
somekindof
icecream.Makingnaturepeddleicecream,thatwasjustwrong.
Itwas
grotesque.
(Youweren'thiredtophilosophize,Torrance.)
Ah,thatwastrue.Sotrue.Heclippedalongtherabbit'sears,
brushinga
smalllitterofsticksandtwigsoffontothegrass.Thehedge
clipperhummedin
thatlowandratherdisgustinglymetallicwaythatallbattery
powered
appliancesseemtohave.Thesunwasbrilliantbutitheldno
warmth,andnowit
wasn'tsohardtobelievethatsnowwascoming.
Workingquickly,knowingthattostopandthinkwhenyouwere
atthiskindof
ataskusuallymeantmakingamistake,Jacktouchedupthe
rabbit's"face"(up
thiscloseitdidn'tlooklikeafaceatall,butheknewthatat
adistanceof
twentypacesorsolightandshadowwouldseemtosuggestone;
that,andthe
viewer'simagination)andthenzippedtheclippersalongits
belly.
Thatdone,heshuttheclippersoff,walkeddowntowardthe
playground,and
thenturnedbackabruptlytogetitallatonce,theentire
rabbit.Yes,it
lookedallright.Well,hewoulddothedognext.
"Butifitwasmyhotel,"hesaid,"I'dcutthewholedamn
bunchofyoudown."
Hewould,too.Justcutthemdownandresodthelawnwherethey'd
beenandput
inhalfadozensmallmetaltableswithgailycoloredumbrellas.
Peoplecould
havecocktailsontheOverlook'slawninthesummersun.Sloegin
fizzesand
margaritasandpinkladiesandallthosesweettouristdrinks.A
rumandtonic,
maybe.Jacktookhishandkerchiefoutofhisbackpocketand
slowlyrubbedhis
lipswithit.
"Comeon,comeon,"hesaidsoftly.Thatwasnothingtobe
thinkingabout.
Hewasgoingtostartback,andthensomeimpulsemadehim
changehismindand
hewentdowntotheplaygroundinstead.Itwasfunnyhowyou
neverknewkids,he
thought.HeandWendyhadexpectedDannywouldlovethe
playground;ithad
everythingakidcouldwant.ButJackdidn'tthinktheboyhad
beendownhalfa
dozentimes,ifthat.Hesupposediftherehadbeenanotherkid
toplaywith,it
wouldhavebeendifferent.
Thegatesqueakedslightlyashelethimselfin,andthenthere
wascrushed
gravelcrunchingunderhisfeet.Hewentfirsttotheplayhouse,
theperfect
scalemodeloftheOverlookitself.Itcameuptohislower
thigh,justabout
Danny'sheightwhenhewasstandingup.Jackhunkereddownand
lookedinthe
thirdfloorwindows.
"Thegianthascometoeatyouallupinyourbeds,"hesaid
hollowly."Kiss
yourTripleAratinggoodbye."Butthatwasn'tfunny,either.You
couldopenthe
housesimplybypullingitapartitopenedonahiddenhinge.
Theinsidewasa
disappointment.Thewallswerepainted,buttheplacewasmostly
hollow.Butof
courseitwouldhavetobe,hetoldhimself,orhowelsecould
thekidsget
inside?Whatplayfurnituremightgowiththeplaceinthesummer
wasgone,
probablypackedawayintheequipmentshed.Hecloseditupand
heardthesmall
clickasthelatchclosed.
Hewalkedovertotheslide,setthehedgeclipperdown,and
afteraglance
backatthedrivewaytomakesureWendyandDannyhadn't
returned,heclimbedto
thetopandsatdown.Thiswasthebigkids'slide,butthefit
wasstill
uncomfortablytightforhisgrownupass.Howlonghaditbeen
sincehehadbeen
onaslide?Twentyyears?Itdidn'tseempossibleitcouldbe
thatlong,it
didn'tfeelthatlong,butithadtobethat,ormore.Hecould
rememberhisold
mantakinghimtotheparkinBerlinwhenhehadbeenDanny's
age,andhehad
donethewholebitslide,swings,teetertotters,everything.He
andtheoldman
wouldhaveahotdoglunchandbuypeanutsfromthemanwiththe
cartafterward.
Theywouldsitonabenchtoeatthemandduskycloudsofpigeons
wouldflock
aroundtheirfeet.
"Goddamscavengerbirds,"hisdadwouldsay,"don'tyoufeed
them,Jacky."But
theywouldbothendupfeedingthem,andgigglingatthewaythey
ranafterthe
nuts,thegreedywaytheyranafterthenuts.Jackdidn'tthink
theoldmanhad
evertakenhisbrotherstothepark.Jackhadbeenhisfavorite,
andevenso
Jackhadtakenhislumpswhentheoldmanwasdrunk,whichwasa
lotofthe
time.ButJackhadlovedhimforaslongashewasable,long
aftertherestof
thefamilycouldonlyhateandfearhim.
Hepushedoffwithhishandsandwenttothebottom,butthe
tripwas
unsatisfying.Theslide,unused,hadtoomuchfrictionandno
reallypleasant
speedcouldbebuiltup.Andhisasswasjusttoobig.Hisadult
feetthumped
intotheslightdipwherethousandsofchildren'sfeethadlanded
beforehim.He
stoodup,brushedattheseatofhispants,andlookedatthe
hedgeclipper.But
insteadofgoingbacktoithewenttotheswings,whichwere
alsoa
disappointment.Thechainshadbuiltuprustsincethecloseof
theseason,and
theysquealedlikethingsinpain.Jackpromisedhimselfhewould
oilthemin
thespring.
Youbetterstopit,headvisedhimself.You'renotakid
anymore.Youdon't
needthisplacetoproveit.
Buthewentontothecementringstheyweretoosmallforhim
andhepassed
themupandthentothesecurityfencewhichmarkedtheedgeof
thegrounds.He
curledhisfingersthroughthelinksandlookedthrough,thesun
crosshatching
shadowlinesonhisfacelikeamanbehindbars.Herecognized
thesimilarity
himselfandheshookthechainlink,putaharriedexpressionon
hisface,and
whispered:"Lemmeouttahere!Lemmeouttahere!"Butforthe
thirdtime,not
funny.Itwastimetogetbacktowork.
Thatwaswhenheheardthesoundbehindhim.
Heturnedaroundquickly,frowning,embarrassed,wonderingif
someonehadseen
himfoolingarounddownhereinkiddiecountry.Hiseyesticked
offtheslides,
theopposinganglesoftheseesaws,theswingsinwhichonlythe
windsat.
Beyondallthattothegateandthelowfencethatdividedthe
playgroundfrom
thelawnandthetopiarythelionsgatheredprotectivelyaround
thepath,the
rabbitbentoverasiftocropgrass,thebuffaloreadyto
charge,thecrouching
dog.Beyondthem,theputtinggreenandthehotelitself.From
herehecould
evenseetheraisedlipoftheroquecourtontheOverlook's
westernside.
Everythingwasjustasithadbeen.Sowhyhadthefleshofhis
faceandhands
beguntocreep,andwhybadthehairalongthebackofhisneck
beguntostand
up,asifthefleshbacktherehadsuddenlytightened?
Hesquintedupatthehotelagain,butthatwasnoanswer.It
simplystood
there,itswindowsdark,atinythreadofsmokecurlingfromthe
chimney,coming
fromthebankedfireinthelobby.
(Buster,youbettergetgoingorthey'regoingtocomebackand
wonderifyou
weredoinganythingallthewhile.)
Sure,getgoing.Becausethesnowwascomingandhehadtoget
thedamnhedges
trimmed.Itwaspartoftheagreement.Besides,theywouldn't
dare
(Whowouldn't?Whatwouldn't?Daredowhat?)
Hebegantowalkbacktowardthehedgeclipperatthefootof
thebigkids'
slide,andthesoundofhisfeetcrunchingonthecrushedstone
seemed
abnormallyloud.Nowthefleshonhistesticleshadbegunto
creeptoo,andhis
buttocksfelthardandheavy,likestone.
(Jesus,whatisthis?)
Hestoppedbythehedgeclipper,butmadenomovetopickit
up.Yes,there
wassomethingdifferent.Inthetopiary.Anditwassosimple,so
easytosee,
thathejustwasn'tpickingitup.Comeon,hescoldedhimself,
youjusttrimmed
thefuckingrabbit,sowhat'sthe
(that'sit)
Hisbreathstoppedinhisthroat.
Therabbitwasdownonallfours,croppinggrass.Itsbellywas
againstthe
ground.Butnottenminutesagoithadbeenuponitshindlegs,
ofcourseit
hadbeen,hehadtrimmeditsears...anditsbelly.
Hiseyesdartedtothedog.Whenhehadcomedownthepathit
hadbeensitting
up,asifbeggingforasweet.Nowitwascrouched,headtilted,
theclipped
wedgeofmouthseemingtosnarlsilently.Andthelions
(ohno,baby,ohno,uhuh,noway)
thelionswereclosertothepath.Thetwoonhisrighthad
subtlychanged
positions,haddrawnclosertogether.Thetailoftheoneonthe
leftnowalmost
juttedoutoverthepath.Whenhehadcomepastthemandthrough
thegate,that
lionhadbeenontherightandhewasquitesureitstailhad
beencurledaround
it.
Theywerenolongerprotectingthepath;theywereblockingit.
Jackputhishandsuddenlyoverhiseyesandthentookitaway.
Thepicture
didn'tchange.Asoftsigh,tooquiettobeagroan,escapedhim.
Inhis
drinkingdayshehadalwaysbeenafraidofsomethinglikethis
happening.But
whenyouwereaheavydrinkeryoucalledittheDTsgoodoldRay
Millandin
LostWeekend,seeingthebugscomingoutofthewalls.
Whatdidyoucallitwhenyouwerecoldsober?
Thequestionwasmeanttoberhetorical,buthismindanswered
it
(youcallitinsanity)
nevertheless.
Staringatthehedgeanimals,herealizedsomethinghadchanged
whilehehad
hishandoverhiseyes.Thedoghadmovedcloser.Nolonger
crouching,itseemed
tobeinarunningposture,haunchesflexed,onefrontleg
forward,theother
back.Thehedgemouthyawnedwider,theprunedstickslooked
sharpandvicious.
Andnowhefanciedhecouldseefainteyeindentationsinthe
greeneryaswell.
Lookingathim.
Whydotheyhavetobetrimmed?hethoughthysterically.
They'reperfect.
Anothersoftsound.Heinvoluntarilybackedupastepwhenhe
lookedatthe
lions.Oneofthetwoontherightseemedtohavedrawnslightly
aheadofthe
other.Itsheadwaslowered.Onepawhadstolenalmostallthe
waytothelow
fence.DearGod,whatnext?
(nextitleapsoverandgobblesyouuplikesomethinginan
evilnursery
fable)
Itwaslikethatgametheyhadplayedwhentheywerekids,red
light.One
personwas"it,"andwhileheturnedhisbackandcountedtoten,
theother
playerscreptforward.When"it"gottoten,hewhirledaround
andifhecaught
anyonemoving,theywereoutofthegame.Theothersremained
frozeninstatue
posturesuntil"it"turnedhisbackandcountedagain.Theygot
closerand
closer,andatlast,somewherebetweenfiveandten,youwould
feelahandon
yourback...
Gravelrattledonthepath.
Hejerkedhisheadaroundtolookatthedoganditwashalfway
downthe
pathway,justbehindthelionsnow,itsmouthwideandyawning.
Before,ithad
onlybeenahedgeclippedinthegeneralshapeofadog,
somethingthatlostall
definitionwhenyougotupclosetoit.ButnowJackcouldsee
thatithadbeen
clippedtolooklikeaGermanshepherd,andshepherdscouldbe
mean.Youcould
trainshepherdstokill.
Alowrustlingsound.
Theliononthelefthadadvancedallthewaytothefencenow;
itsmuzzlewas
touchingtheboards.Itseemedtobegrinningathim.Jackbacked
upanothertwo
steps.Hisheadwasthuddingcrazilyandhecouldfeelthedry
raspofhis
breathinhisthroat.Nowthebuffalohadmoved,circlingtothe
right,behind
andaroundtherabbit.Theheadwaslowered,thegreenhedge
hornspointingat
him.Thethingwas,youcouldn'twatchallofthem.Notallat
once.
Hebegantomakeawhiningsound,unawareinhislocked
concentrationthathe
wasmakinganysoundatall.Hiseyesdartedfromonehedge
creaturetothe
next,tryingtoseethemmove.Thewindgusted,makingahungry
rattlingsound
intheclosemattedbranches.Whatkindofsoundwouldtherebe
iftheygothim?
Butofcourseheknew.Asnapping,rending,breakingsound.It
wouldbe
(nonoNONOIWILLNOTBELIEVETHISNOTATALL!)
Heclappedhishandsoverhiseyes,clutchingathishair,his
forehead,his
throbbingtemples.Andhestoodlikethatforalongtime,dread
buildinguntil
hecouldstanditnolongerandhepulledhishandsawaywitha
cry.
Bytheputtinggreenthedogwassittingup,asifbeggingfor
ascrap.The
buffalowasgazingwithdisinterestbacktowardtheroquecourt,
asithadbeen
whenJackhadcomedownwiththeclippers.Therabbitstoodon
itshindlegs,
earsuptocatchthefaintestsound,freshlyclippedbelly
exposed.Thelions,
rootedintoplace,stoodbesidethepath.
Hestoodfrozenforalongtime,theharshbreathinhisthroat
finally
slowing.Hereachedforhiscigarettesandshookfourofthemout
ontothe
gravel.Hestoopeddownandpickedthemup,gropedforthem,
nevertakinghis
eyesfromthetopiaryforfeartheanimalswouldbegintomove
again.Hepicked
themup,stuffedthreecarelesslybackintothepack,andlitthe
fourth.After
twodeepdragshedroppeditandcrusheditout.Hewenttothe
hedgeclipper
andpickeditup.
"I'mverytired,"besaid,andnowitseemedokaytotalkout
loud.Itdidn't
seemcrazyatall."I'vebeenunderastrain.Thewasps...the
play...Al
callingmelikethat.Butit'sallright."
Hebegantotrudgebackuptothehotel.Partofhismind
tuggedfretfullyat
him,triedtomakehimdetouraroundthehedgeanimals,buthe
wentdirectlyup
thegravelpath,throughthem.Afaintbreezerattledthrough
them,thatwas
all.Hehadimaginedthewholething.Hehadhadabadscarebut
itwasover
now.
IntheOverlook'skitchenhepausedtotaketwoExcedrinand
thenwent
downstairsandlookedatpapersuntilheheardthedimsoundof
thehoteltruck
rattlingintothedriveway.Hewentuptomeetthem.Hefeltall
right.Hesaw
noneedtomentionhishallucination.He'dhadabadscarebutit
wasovernow.
<<24>>

SNOW

Itwasdusk.
Theystoodontheporchinthefadinglight,Jackinthe
middle,hisleftarm
aroundDanny'sshouldersandhisrightarmaroundWendy'swaist.
Togetherthey
watchedasthedecisionwastakenoutoftheirhands.
Theskyhadbeencompletelycloudedoverbytwothirtyandit
hadbegunto
snowanhourlater,andthistimeyoudidn'tneedaweathermanto
tellyouit
wasserioussnow,noflurrythatwasgoingtomeltorblowaway
whentheevening
windstartedtowhoop.Atfirstithadfalleninperfectly
straightlines,
buildingupasnowcoverthatcoatedeverythingevenly,butnow,
anhourafterit
hadstarted,thewindhadbeguntoblowfromthenorthwestand
thesnowhad
beguntodriftagainsttheporchandthesidesoftheOverlook's
driveway.
Beyondthegroundsthehighwayhaddisappearedunderaneven
blanketofwhite.
Thehedgeanimalswerealsogone,butwhenWendyandDannyhad
gottenhome,she
hadcommendedhimonthegoodjobhehaddone.Doyouthinkso?
hehadasked,
andsaidnomore.Nowthehedgeswereburiedunderamorphous
whitecloaks.
Curiously,allofthemwerethinkingdifferentthoughtsbut
feelingthesame
emotion:relief.Thebridgehadbeencrossed.
"Williteverbespring?"Wendymurmured.
Jacksqueezedhertighter."Beforeyouknowit.Whatdoyousay
wegoinand
havesomesupper?It'scoldouthere."
Shesmiled.AllafternoonJackhadseemeddistantand...
well,odd.Nowhe
soundedmorelikehisnormalself."Finebyme.Howaboutyou,
Danny?"
"Sure."
Sotheywentintogether,leavingthewindtobuildtothelow
pitchedscream
thatwouldgoonallnightasoundtheywouldgettoknowwell.
Flakesofsnow
swirledanddancedacrosstheporch.TheOverlookfaceditasit
hadfornearly
threequartersofacentury,itsdarkenedwindowsnowbearded
withsnow,
indifferenttothefactthatitwasnowcutofffromtheworld.
Orpossiblyit
waspleasedwiththeprospect.Insideitsshellthethreeofthem
wentabout
theirearlyeveningroutine,likemicrobestrappedinthe
intestineofa
monster.

<<25>>

INSIDE217

Aweekandahalflatertwofeetofsnowlaywhiteandcrisp
andevenonthe
groundsoftheOverlookHotel.Thehedgemenageriewasburiedup
toits
haunches;therabbit,frozenonitshindlegs,seemedtobe
risingfromawhite
pool.Someofthedriftswereoverfivefeetdeep.Thewindwas
constantly
changingthem,sculptingthemintosinuous,dunelikeshapes.
TwiceJackhad
snowshoedclumsilyaroundtotheequipmentshedforhisshovelto
clearthe
porch,thethirdtimeheshrugged,simplyclearedapaththrough
thetowering
driftlyingagainstthedoor,andletDannyamusehimselfby
sleddingtothe
rightandleftofthepath.Thetrulyheroicdriftslayagainst
theOverlook's
westside;someofthemtoweredtoaheightoftwentyfeet,and
beyondthemthe
groundwasscouredbaretothegrassbytheconstantwindflow.
Thefirstfloor
windowswerecovered,andtheviewfromthediningroomwhich
Jackhadso
admiredonclosingdaywasnownomoreexcitingthanaviewofa
blankmovie
screen.Theirphonehadbeenoutforthelasteightdays,andthe
CBradioin
Ullman'sofficewasnowtheironlycommunicationslinkwiththe
outsideworld.
Itsnowedeverydaynow,sometimesonlybriefflurriesthat
powderedthe
glitteringsnowcrust,sometimesforreal,thelowwhistleofthe
windcranking
uptoawomanishshriekthatmadetheoldhotelrockandgroan
alarminglyeven
initsdeepcradleofsnow.Nighttemperatureshadnotgotten
above10,and
althoughthethermometerbythekitchenserviceentrance
sometimesgotashigh
as25intheearlyafternoons,thesteadyknifeedgeofthewind
madeit
uncomfortabletogooutwithoutaskimask.Buttheyalldidgo
outonthedays
whenthesunshone,usuallywearingtwosetsofclothingand
mittensonover
theirgloves.Gettingoutwasalmostacompulsivething;the
hotelwascircled
withthedoubletrackofDanny'sFlexibleFlyer.Thepermutations
werenearly
endless:Dannyridingwhilehisparentspulled;Daddyridingand
laughingwhile
WendyandDannytriedtopull(itwasjustpossibleforthemto
pullhimonthe
icycrust,andflatlyimpossiblewhenpowdercoveredit);Danny
andMommy
riding;Wendyridingbyherselfwhilehermenfolkpulledand
puffedwhitevapor
likedrayhorses,pretendingshewasheavierthanshewas.They
laughedagreat
dealonthesesledexcursionsaroundthehouse,butthewhooping
andimpersonal
voiceofthewind,sohugeandhollowlysincere,madetheir
laughterseemtinny
andforced.
Theyhadseencariboutracksinthesnowandoncethecaribou
themselves,a
groupoffivestandingmotionlesslybelowthesecurityfence.
Theyhadalltaken
turnswithJack'sZeissIkonbinocularstoseethembetter,and
lookingatthem
hadgivenWendyaweird,unrealfeeling:theywerestandingleg
deepinthesnow
thatcoveredthehighway,anditcametoherthatbetweennowand
thespring
thaw,theroadbelongedmoretothecaribouthanitdidtothem.
Nowthethings
thatmenhadmadeupherewereneutralized.Thecaribou
understoodthat,she
believed.Shehadputthebinocularsdownandhadsaidsomething
aboutstarting
lunchandinthekitchenshehadcriedalittle,tryingtorid
herselfofthe
awfulpentupfeelingthatsometimesfellonherlikealarge,
pressinghand
overherheart.Shethoughtofthecaribou.Shethoughtofthe
waspsJackhad
putoutontheserviceentranceplatform,underthePyrexbowl,
tofreeze.
Therewereplentyofsnowshoeshungfromnailsintheequipment
shed,andJack
foundapairtofiteachofthem,althoughDanny'spairwasquite
abit
outsized.Jackdidwellwiththem.Althoughhehadnotsnowshoed
sincehis
boyhoodinBerlin,NewHampshire,heretaughthimselfquickly.
Wendydidn'tcare
muchforitevenfifteenminutesoftrampingaroundonthe
outsizedlaced
paddlesmadeherlegsandanklesacheoutrageouslybutDannywas
intriguedand
workinghardtopickuptheknack.Hestillfelloften,butlack
waspleased
withhisprogress.HesaidthatbyFebruaryDannywouldbe
skippingcircles
aroundbothofthem.

***
Thisdaywasovercast,andbynoontheskyhadalreadybegunto
spitsnow.The
radiowaspromisinganothereighttotwelveinchesandchanting
hosannasto
Precipitation,thatgreatgodofColoradoskiers.Wendy,sitting
inthebedroom
andknittingascarf,thoughttoherselfthatsheknewexactly
whattheskiers
coulddowithallthatsnow.Sheknewexactlywheretheycould
putit.
Jackwasinthecellar.Hehadgonedowntocheckthefurnace
andboilersuch
checkshadbecomearitualwithhimsincethesnowhadclosed
theminandafter
satisfyinghimselfthateverythingwasgoingwellhehadwandered
throughthe
arch,screwedthelightbulbon,andhadseatedhimselfinanold
andcobwebby
campchairhehadfound.Hewasleafingthroughtheoldrecords
andpapers,
constantlywipinghismouthwithhishandkerchiefashedidso.
Confinementhad
leachedhisskinofitsautumntan,andashesathunchedover
theyellowed,
cracklingsheets,hisreddishblondhairtumblinguntidilyover
hisforehead,he
lookedslightlylunatic.Hehadfoundsomeoddthingstuckedin
amongthe
invoices,billsoflading,receipts.Disquietingthings.Abloody
stripof
sheeting.Adismemberedteddybearthatseemedtohavebeen
slashedtopieces.A
crumpledsheetofvioletladies'stationery,aghostofperfume
stillclinging
toitbeneaththemuskofage,anotebegunandleftunfinished
infadedblue
ink:"DearestTommy,Ican'tthinksowelluphereasI'dhoped,
aboutusI
mean,ofcourse,whoelse?Ha.Ha.Thingskeepgettinginthe
way.I'vehad
strangedreamsaboutthingsgoingbumpinthenight,canyou
believethatand"
Thatwasall.ThenotewasdatedJune27,1934.Hefoundahand
puppetthat
seemedtobeeitherawitchorawarlock...somethingwith
longteethanda
pointyhat,atanyrate.Ithadbeenimprobablytuckedbetweena
bundleof
naturalgasreceiptsandabundleofreceiptsforVichywater.
Andsomething
thatseemedtobeapoem,scribbledonthebackofamenuindark
pencil:
"Medoc/areyouhere?/I'vebeensleepwalkingagain,mydear./The
plantsare
movingundertherug."Nodateonthemenu,andnonameonthe
poem,ifitwasa
poem.Elusive,butfascinating.Itseemedtohimthatthese
thingswerelike
piecesinajigsaw,thingsthatwouldeventuallyfittogetherif
hecouldfind
therightlinkingpieces.Andsohekeptlooking,jumpingand
wipinghislips
everytimethefurnaceroaredintolifebehindhim.

***

DannywasstandingoutsideRoom217again.
Thepasskeywasinhispocket.Hewasstaringatthedoorwith
akindof
druggedavidity,andhisupperbodyseemedtotwitchandjiggle
beneathhis
flannelshirt.Hewashummingsoftlyandtunelessly.
Hehadn'twantedtocomehere,notafterthefirehose.Hewas
scaredtocome
here.Hewasscaredthathehadtakenthepasskeyagain,
disobeyinghisfather.
Hehadwantedtocomehere.Curiosity
(killedthecat;satisfactionbroughthimback)
waslikeaconstantfishhookinhisbrain,akindofnagging
sirensongthat
wouldnotbeappeased.Andhadn'tMr.Hallorannsaid,"Idon't
thinkthere's
anythingherethatcanhurtyou"?
(Youpromised.)
(Promisesweremadetobebroken.)
Hejumpedatthat.Itwasasifthatthoughthadcomefrom
outside,insectile,
buzzing,softlycajoling.
(Promisesweremadetobebrokenmydearredrum,tobebroken.
splintered.
shattered.hammeredapart.FORE!)
Hisnervoushummingbrokeintolow,atonalsong:"Lou,Lou,
skiptom'Lou,
skiptom'Loumydaaarlin..."
Hadn'tMr.Hallorannbeenright?Hadn'tthatbeen,intheend,
thereasonwhy
hehadkeptsilentandallowedthesnowtoclosethemin?
Justcloseyoureyesanditwillbegone.
WhathehadseeninthePresidentialSweethadgoneaway.And
thesnakehad
onlybeenafirehosethathadfallenontotherug.Yes,eventhe
bloodinthe
PresidentialSweethadbeenharmless,somethingold,something
thathadhappened
longbeforehewasbornoreventhoughtof,somethingthatwas
donewith.Likea
moviethatonlyhecouldsee.Therewasnothing,reallynothing,
inthishotel
thatcouldhurthim,andifhehadtoprovethattohimselfby
goingintothis
room,shouldn'thedoso?
"Lou,Lou,skiptom'Lou..."
(Curiositykilledthecatmydearredrum,redrummydear,
satisfactionbrought
himbacksafeandsound,fromtoestocrown;fromheadtoground
hewassafeand
sound.Heknewthatthosethings)
(arelikescarypictures,theycan'thurtyou,butohmygod)
(whatbigteethyouhavegrandmaandisthatawolfina
BLUEBEARDsuitora
BLUEBEARDinawolfsuitandi'mso)
(gladyouaskedbecausecuriositykilledthatcatanditwas
theHOPEof
satisfactionthatbroughthim)
upthehall,treadingsoftlyovertheblueandtwistingjungle
carpet.Hehad
stoppedbythefireextinguisher,hadputthebrassnozzleback
intheframe,
andthenhadpokeditrepeatedlywithhisfinger,heartthumping,
whispering:
"Comeonandhurtme.Comeonandhurtme,youcheapprick.Can't
doit,can
you?Huh?You'renothingbutacheapfirehose.Can'tdonothin
butliethere.
Comeon,comeon!"Hehadfeltinsanewithbravado.Andnothing
hadhappened.It
wasonlyahoseafterall,onlycanvasandbrass,youcouldhack
ittopieces
anditwouldnevercomplain,nevertwistandjerkandbleedgreen
slimeallover
thebluecarpet,becauseitwasonlyahose,notanoseandnota
rose,not
glassbuttonsorsatinbows,notasnakeinasleepydoze...
andhehad
hurriedon,hadhurriedonbecausehewas
("late,I'mlate,"saidthewhiterabbit.)
thewhiterabbit.Yes.Nowtherewasawhiterabbitoutbythe
playground,
onceithadbeengreenbutnowitwaswhite,asifsomethinghad
shockedit
repeatedlyonthesnowy,windynightsandturneditold...
Dannytookthepasskeyfromhispocketandsliditintothe
lock.
"Lou,Lou..."
(thewhiterabbithadbeenonitswaytoacroquetpartytothe
RedQueen's
croquetpartystorksformalletshedgehogsforhalls)
Hetouchedthekey,lethisfingerswanderoverit.Hishead
feltdryand
sick.Heturnedthekeyandthetumblersthumpedbacksmoothly.
(OFFWITHHISHEAD!OFFWITHHISHEAD!OFFWITHHISHEAD!)
(thisgameisn'tcroquetthoughthemalletsaretooshortthis
gameis)
(WHACKBOOM!Straightthroughthewicket.)
(OFFWITHHISHEEEEEAAAAAAAD)
Dannypushedthedooropen.Itswungsmoothly,withoutacreak.
Hewas
standingjustoutsidealargecombinationbedsittingroom,and
althoughthesnow
hadnotreachedupthisfarthehighestdriftswerestillafoot
belowthe
secondfloorwindowstheroomwasdarkbecauseDaddyhadclosed
alltheshutters
onthewesternexposuretwoweeksago.
Hestoodinthedoorway,fumbledtohisright,andfoundthe
switchplate.Two
bulbsinanoverheadcutglassfixturecameon.Dannystepped
furtherinand
lookedaround.Therugwasdeepandsoft,aquietrosecolor.
Soothing.Adouble
bedwithawhitecoverlet.Awritingdesk
(Praytellme:Whyisaravenlikeawritingdesk?)
bythelargeshutteredwindow.DuringtheseasontheConstant
Writer
(havingawonderfultime,wishyouwerefear)
wouldhaveaprettyviewofthemountainstodescribetothe
folksbackhome.
Hesteppedfurtherin.Nothinghere,nothingatall.Onlyan
emptyroom,cold
becauseDaddywasheatingtheeastwingtoday.Abureau.A
closet,itsdooropen
torevealaclutchofhotelhangers,thekindyoucan'tsteal.A
GideonBibleon
anendtable.Tohisleftwasthebathroomdoor,afulllength
mirroronit
reflectinghisownwhitefacedimage.Thatdoorwasajarand
Hewatchedhisdoublenodslowly.
Yes,that'swhereitwas,whateveritwas.Inthere.Inthe
bathroom.His
doublewalkedforward,asiftoescapetheglass.Itputitshand
out,pressed
itagainsthisown.Thenitfellawayatanangleasthebathroom
doorswung
open.Helookedin.
Alongroom,oldfashioned,likeaPullmancar.Tinywhite
hexagonaltileson
thefloor.Atthefarend,atoiletwiththelidup.Atthe
right,awashbasin
andanothermirroraboveit,thekindthathidesamedicine
cabinet.Tothe
left,ahugewhitetubonclawfeet,theshowercurtainpulled
closed.Danny
steppedintothebathroomandwalkedtowardthetubdreamily,as
ifpropelled
fromoutsidehimself,asifthiswholethingwereoneofthe
dreamsTonyhad
broughthim,thathewouldperhapsseesomethingnicewhenhe
pulledtheshower
curtainback,somethingDaddyhadforgottenorMommyhadlost,
somethingthat
wouldmakethembothhappy
Sohepulledtheshowercurtainback.
Thewomaninthetubhadbeendeadforalongtime.Shewas
bloatedand
purple,hergasfilledbellyrisingoutofthecold,icerimmed
waterlikesome
fleshyisland.HereyeswerefixedonDanny's,glassyandhuge,
likemarbles.
Shewasgrinning,herpurplelipspulledbackinagrimace.Her
breastslolled.
Herpubichairfloated.Herhandswerefrozenontheknurled
porcelainsidesof
thetublikecrabclaws.
Dannyshrieked.Butthesoundneverescapedhislips;turning
inwardand
inward,itfelldowninhisdarknesslikeastoneinawell.He
tookasingle
blunderingstepbackward,bearinghisheelsclackonthewhite
hexagonaltiles,
andatthesamemomenthisurinebroke,spillingeffortlesslyout
ofhim.
Thewomanwassittingup.
Stillgrinning,herhugemarbleeyesfixedonhim,shewas
sittingup.Her
deadpalmsmadesquitteringnoisesontheporcelain.Herbreasts
swayedlike
ancientcrackedpunchingbags.Therewastheminutesoundof
breakingice
shards.Shewasnotbreathing.Shewasacorpse,anddeadlong
years.
Dannyturnedandran.Boltingthroughthebathroomdoor,his
eyesstarting
fromtheirsockets,hishaironendlikethehairofahedgehog
abouttobe
turnedintoasacrificial
(croquet?orrogue?)
ball,hismouthopenandsoundless.Heranfulltiltintothe
outsidedoorof
217,whichwasnowclosed.Hebeganhammeringonit,farbeyond
realizingthat
itwasunlocked,andhehadonlytoturntheknobtolethimself
out.Hismouth
pealedforthdeafeningscreamsthatwerebeyondhumanauditory
range.Hecould
onlyhammeronthedoorandhearthedeadwomancomingforhim,
bloatedbelly,
dryhair,outstretchedhandssomethingthathadlainslainin
thattubfor
perhapsyears,embalmedthereinmagic.
Thedoorwouldnotopen,wouldnot,wouldnot,wouldnot.
AndthenthevoiceofDickHalloranncametohim,sosuddenand
unexpected,so
calm,thathislockedvocalcordsopenedandhebegantocry
weaklynotwith
fearbutwithblessedrelief.
(Idon'tthinktheycanhurtyou...they'relikepicturesin
abook...
closeyoureyesandthey'llhegone.)
Hiseyelidssnappeddown.Hishandscurledintoballs.His
shouldershunched
withtheeffortofhisconcentration:
(NothingtherenothingtherenotthereatallNOTHING
THERETHEREISNOTHING!)
Timepassed.Andhewasjustbeginningtorelax,justbeginning
torealize
thatthedoormustbeunlockedandhecouldgo,whentheyears
damp,bloated,
fishsmellinghandsclosedsoftlyaroundhisthroatandhewas
turnedimplacably
aroundtostareintothatdeadandpurpleface.

PARTFOUR

Snowbound

<<26>>
DREAMLAND

Knittingmadehersleepy.TodayevenBartokwouldhavemadeher
sleepy,andit
wasn'tBartokonthelittlephonograph,itwasBach.Herhands
grewslowerand
slower,andatthetimehersonwasmakingtheacquaintanceof
Room217'slong
termresident,Wendywasasleepwithherknittingonherlap.The
yarnand
needlesroseintheslowtimeofherbreathing.Hersleepwas
deepandshedid
notdream.

***

JackTorrancehadfallenasleeptoo,buthissleepwaslight
anduneasy,
populatedbydreamsthatseemedtoovividtobemeredreamsthey
werecertainly
morevividthananydreamshehadeverhadbefore.
Hiseyeshadbeguntogetheavyasheleafedthroughpacketsof
milkbills,a
hundredtoapacket,seeminglytensofthousandsalltogether.
Yethegaveeach
oneacursoryglance,afraidthatbynotbeingthoroughhemight
missexactly
thepieceofOverlookianaheneededtomakethemysticconnection
thathewas
suremustbeheresomewhere.Hefeltlikeamanwithapowercord
inonehand,
gropingaroundadarkandunfamiliarroomforasocket.Ifhe
couldfindithe
wouldberewardedwithaviewofwonders.
HehadcometogripswithAlShockley'sphonecallandhis
request;his
strangeexperienceintheplaygroundhadhelpedhimtodothat.
Thathadbeen
toodamnedclosetosomekindofbreakdown,andhewasconvinced
thatitwashis
mindinrevoltagainstAl'shighgoddamhandedrequestthathe
chuckhisbook
project.Ithadmaybebeenasignalthathisownsenseofself
respectcould
onlybepushedsofarbeforedisintegratingentirely.Hewould
writethebook.
IfitmeanttheendofhisassociationwithAlShockley,that
wouldhavetobe.
Hewouldwritethehotel'sbiography,writeitstraightfromthe
shoulder,and
theintroductionwouldbehishallucinationthatthetopiary
animalshadmoved.
Thetitlewouldbeuninspiredbutworkable:StrangeResort,The
Storyofthe
OverlookHotel.Straightfromtheshoulder,yes,butitwouldnot
bewritten
vindictively,inanyefforttogetbackatAlorStuartUllmanor
George
Hatfieldorhisfather(miserable,bullyingdrunkthathehad
been)oranyone
else,forthatmatter.HewouldwriteitbecausetheOverlookhad
enchanted
himcouldanyotherexplanationbesosimpleorsotrue?He
wouldwriteitfor
thereasonhefeltthatallgreatliterature,fictionand
nonfiction,was
written:truthcomesout,intheenditalwayscomesout.He
wouldwriteit
becausehefelthehadto.
Fivehundredgalswholemilk.Onehundredgalsskimmilk.Pd.
Billedtoacc't.
Threehundredptsorangejuice.Pd.
Heslippeddownfurtherinhischair,stillholdingaclutchof
thereceipts,
buthiseyesnolongerlookingatwhatwasprintedthere.They
hadcome
unfocused.Hislidswereslowandheavy.Hismindhadslipped
fromtheOverlook
tohisfather,whohadbeenamalenurseattheBerlinCommunity
Hospital.Big
man.Afatmanwhohadtoweredtosixfeettwoinches,hehad
beentallerthan
JackevenwhenJackgothisfullgrowthofsixfeetevennot
thattheoldman
hadstillbeenaroundthen."Runtofthelitter,"hewouldsay,
andthencuff
Jacklovinglyandlaugh.Therehadbeentwootherbrothers,both
tallerthan
theirfather,andBecky,whoatfivetenhadonlybeentwoinches
shorterthan
Jackandtallerthanheformostoftheirchildhood.
Hisrelationshipwithhisfatherhadbeenliketheunfurlingof
someflowerof
beautifulpotential,which,whenwhollyopened,turnedouttobe
blighted
inside.Untilhehadbeensevenhehadlovedthetall,big
belliedman
uncriticallyandstronglyinspiteofthespankings,theblack
andblues,the
occasionalblackeye.
Hecouldremembervelvetsummernights,thehousequiet,oldest
brotherBrett
outwithhisgirl,middlebrotherMikestudyingsomething,Becky
andtheir
motherinthelivingroom,watchingsomethingonthebalkyold
TV;andhewould
sitinthehalldressedinapajamasingletandnothingelse,
ostensiblyplaying
withhistrucks,actuallywaitingforthemomentwhenthesilence
wouldbe
brokenbythedoorswingingopenwithalargebang,thebellowof
hisfather's
welcomewhenhesawJackywaswaiting,hisownhappysquealin
answerasthis
bigmancamedownthehall,hispinkscalpglowingbeneathhis
crewcutinthe
glowofthehalllight.Inthatlighthealwayslookedlikesome
softand
flappingoversizedghostinhishospitalwhites,theshirtalways
untucked(and
sometimesbloody),thepantscuffsdroopingdownovertheblack
shoes.
HisfatherwouldsweephimintohisarmsandJackywouldbe
propelled
deliriouslyupward,sofastitseemedhecouldfeelairpressure
settling
againsthisskulllikeacapmadeoutoflead,upandup,bothof
themcrying
"Elevator!Elevator!";andtherehadbeennightswhenhisfather
inhis
drunkennesshadnotstoppedtheupwardliftofhisslabmuscled
armssoonenough
andJackyhadgonerightoverhisfather'sflattoppedheadlikea
human
projectiletocrashlandonthehallfloorbehindhisdad.Buton
othernights
hisfatherwouldonlysweephimintoagigglingecstasy,through
thezoneofair
wherebeerhungaroundhisfather'sfacelikeamistof
raindrops,tobetwisted
andturnedandshakenlikealaughingrag,andfinallytobeset
downonhis
feet,hiccuppingwithreaction.
Thereceiptsslippedfromhisrelaxinghandandseesaweddown
throughtheair
tolandlazilyonthefloor;hiseyelids,whichhadsettledshut
withhis
father'simagetattooedontheirbackslikestereopticonimages,
openedalittle
bitandthenslippedbackdownagain.Hetwitchedalittle.
Consciousness,like
thereceipts,likeautumnaspenleaves,seesawedlazilydownward.
Thathadbeenthefirstphaseofhisrelationshipwithhis
father,andasit
wasdrawingtoitsendhehadbecomeawarethatBeckyandhis
brothers,allof
themolder,hatedthefatherandthattheirmother,anondescript
womanwho
rarelyspokeaboveamutter,onlysufferedhimbecauseher
Catholicupbringing
saidthatshemust.Inthosedaysithadnotseemedstrangeto
Jackthatthe
fatherwonallhisargumentswithhischildrenbyuseofhis
fists,andithad
notseemedstrangethathisownloveshouldgohandinhandwith
hisfear:fear
oftheelevatorgamewhichmightendinasplinteringcrashon
anygivennight;
fearthathisfather'sbearishgoodhumoronhisdayoffmight
suddenlychange
toboarishbellowingandthesmackofhis"goodrighthand";and
sometimes,he
remembered,hehadevenbeenafraidthathisfather'sshadow
mightfalloverhim
whilehewasatplay.Itwasneartheendofthisphasethathe
begantonotice
thatBrettneverbroughthisdateshome,orMikeandBeckytheir
chums.
Lovebegantocurdleatnine,whenhisfatherputhismother
intothehospital
withhiscane.Hehadbeguntocarrythecaneayearearlier,
whenacar
accidenthadlefthimlame.Afterthathewasneverwithoutit,
longandblack
andthickandgoldheaded.Now,dozing,Jack'sbodytwitchedina
remembered
cringeatthesounditmadeintheair,amurderousswish,and
itsheavycrack
againstthewall...oragainstflesh.Hehadbeatentheir
motherfornogood
reasonatall,suddenlyandwithoutwarning.Theyhadbeenatthe
suppertable.
Thecanehadbeenstandingbyhischair.ItwasaSundaynight,
theendofa
threedayweekendforDaddy,aweekendwhichhehadboozedaway
inhisusual
inimitablestyle.Roastchicken.Peas.Mashedpotatoes.Daddyat
theheadofthe
table,hisplateheapedhigh,snoozingornearlysnoozing.His
motherpassing
plates.AndsuddenlyDaddyhadbeenwideawake,hiseyesset
deeplyintotheir
fateyesockets,glitteringwithakindofstupid,evilpetulance.
Theyflickered
fromonememberofthefamilytothenext,andtheveininthe
centerofhis
foreheadwasstandingoutprominently,alwaysabadsign.Oneof
hislarge
freckledhandshaddroppedtothegoldknobofhiscane,
caressingit.Hesaid
somethingaboutcoffeetothisdayJackwassureithadbeen
"coffee"thathis
fathersaid.Mommahadopenedhermouthtoanswerandthenthe
canewas
whickeringthroughtheair,smashingagainstherface.Blood
spurtedfromher
nose.Beckyscreamed.Momma'sspectaclesdroppedintohergravy.
Thecanehad
beendrawnback,hadcomedownagain,thistimeontopofher
head,splitting
thescalp.Mommahaddroppedtothefloor.Hehadbeenoutofhis
chairand
aroundtowhereshelaydazedonthecarpet,brandishingthe
cane,movingwitha
fatman'sgrotesquespeedandagility,littleeyesflashing,
jowlsquiveringas
hespoketoherjustashehadalwaysspokentohischildren
duringsuch
outbursts."Now.NowbyChrist.Iguessyou'lltakeyourmedicine
now.Goddam
puppy.Whelp.Comeonandtakeyourmedicine."Thecanehadgone
upanddownon
hersevenmoretimesbeforeBrettandMikegotholdofhim,
draggedhimaway,
wrestledthecaneoutofhishand.Jack
(littleJackynowhewaslittleJackynowdozingandmumbling
onacobwebby
campchairwhilethefurnaceroaredintohollowlifebehindhim)
knewexactlyhowmanyblowsithadbeenbecauseeachsoftwhump
againsthis
mother'sbodyhadbeenengravedonhismemoryliketheirrational
swipeofa
chiselonstone.Sevenwhumps.Nomore,noless.HeandBecky
crying,
unbelieving,lookingattheirmother'sspectacleslyinginher
mashedpotatoes,
onecrackedlenssmearedwithgravy.BrettshoutingatDaddyfrom
thebackhall,
tellinghimhe'dkillhimifhemoved.AndDaddysayingoverand
over:"Damn
littlepuppy.Damnlittlewhelp.Givememycane,youdamnlittle
pup.Giveit
tome."Brettbrandishingithysterically,sayingyes,yes,I'll
giveittoyou,
justyoumovealittlebitandI'llgiveyouallyouwantandtwo
extra.I'll
giveyouplenty.Mommagettingslowlytoherfeet,dazed,her
facealready
puffedandswellinglikeanoldtirewithtoomuchairinit,
bleedinginfour
orfivedifferentplaces,andshehadsaidaterriblething,
perhapstheonly
thingMommahadeversaidwhichJackycouldrecallwordforword:
"Who'sgotthe
newspaper?Yourdaddywantsthefunnies.Isitrainingyet?"And
thenshesank
toherkneesagain,herhairhanginginherpuffedandbleeding
face.Mike
callingthedoctor,babblingintothephone.Couldhecomeright
away?Itwas
theirmother.No,hecouldn'tsaywhatthetroublewas,notover
thephone,not
overapartylinehecouldn't.Justcome.Thedoctorcameand
tookMommaawayto
thehospitalwhereDaddyhadworkedallofhisadultlife.Daddy,
soberedup
some(orperhapsonlywiththestupidcunningofanyhardpressed
animal),told
thedoctorshehadfallendownstairs.Therewasbloodonthe
tableclothbecause
hehadtriedtowipeherdearfacewithit.Hadherglassesflown
alltheway
throughthelivingroomandintothediningroomtolandinher
mashedpotatoes
andgravy?thedoctoraskedwithakindofhorrid,grinning
sarcasm.Isthat
whathappened,Mark?Ihaveheardoffolkswhocangetaradio
stationontheir
goldfillingsandIhaveseenamangetshotbetweentheeyesand
livetotell
aboutit,butthatisanewoneonme.Daddyhadmerelyshookhis
headandsaid
hedidn'tknow;theymusthavefallenoffherfacewhenhe
broughtherthrough
thediningroom.Thefourchildrenhadbeenstunnedtosilenceby
thecalm
stupendousnessofthelie.FourdayslaterBrettquithisjobin
themilland
joinedtheArmy.Jackhadalwaysfeltitwasnotjustthesudden
andirrational
beatinghisfatherhadadministeredatthedinnertablebutthe
factthat,in
thehospital,theirmotherhadcorroboratedtheirfather'sstory
whileholding
thehandoftheparishpriest.Revolted,Bretthadleftthemto
whatevermight
come.HehadbeenkilledinDongHoprovincein1965,theyear
whenJack
Torrance,undergraduate,hadjoinedtheactivecollegeagitation
toendthewar.
Hehadwavedhisbrother'sbloodyshirtatralliesthatwere
increasinglywell
attended,butitwasnotBrett'sfacethathungbeforehiseyes
whenhespokeit
wasthefaceofhismother,adazed,uncomprehendingface,his
mothersaying:
"Who'sgotthenewspaper?"
MikeescapedthreeyearslaterwhenJackwastwelvehewentto
UNHonahefty
MeritScholarship.Ayearafterthattheirfatherdiedofa
sudden,massive
strokewhichoccurredwhilehewaspreppingapatientfor
surgery.Hehad
collapsedinhisflappinganduntuckedhospitalwhites,dead
possiblyeven
beforehehittheindustrialblackandredhospitaltiles,and
threedayslater
themanwhohaddominatedJacky'slife,theirrationalwhite
ghostgod,was
underground.
ThestonereadMarkAnthonyTorrance,LovingFather.Tothat
Jackwouldhave
addedoneline:HeKnewHowtoPlayElevator.
Therehadbeenagreatlotofinsurancemoney.Therearepeople
whocollect
insuranceascompulsivelyasotherscollectcoinsandstamps,and
MarkTorrance
hadbeenthattype.Theinsurancemoneycameinatthesametime
themonthly
policypaymentsandliquorbillsstopped.Forfiveyearstheyhad
beenrich.
Nearlyrich...
Inhisshallow,uneasysleephisfacerosebeforehimasifin
aglass,his
facebutnothisface,thewideeyesandinnocentbowedmouthof
aboysitting
intheballwithhistrucks,waitingforhisdaddy,waitingfor
thewhiteghost
god,waitingfortheelevatortoriseupwithdizzying,
exhilaratingspeed
throughthesaltandsawdustmistofexhaledtaverns,waiting
perhapsforitto
gocrashingdown,spillingoldclockspringsoutofhisearswhile
hisdaddy
roaredwithlaughter,andit
(transformedintoDanny'sface,somuchlikehisownhadbeen,
hiseyeshad
beenlightbluewhileDanny'swerecloudygray,butthelips
stillmadeabow
andthecomplexionwasfair;Dannyinhisstudy,wearingtraining
pants,allhis
paperssoggyandthefinemistysmellofbeerrising...a
dreadfulbatterall
inferment,risingonthewingsofyeast,thebreathoftaverns.
..snapof
bone...hisownvoice,mewlingdrunkenlyDanny,youokay
doc?...OhGodoh
Godyourpoorsweetarm...andthatfacetransformedinto)
(momma'sdazedfacerisingupfrombelowthetable,punchedand
bleeding,and
mommawassaying)
("fromyourfather.Irepeat,anenormouslyimportant
announcementfromyour
father.PleasestaytunedortuneimmediatelytotheHappyJack
frequency.
Repeat,tuneimmediatelytotheHappyHourfrequency.I
repeat")
Aslowdissolve.Disembodiedvoicesechoinguptohimasif
alonganendless,
cloudyhallway.
(Thingskeepgettingintheway,dearTommy...)
(Medoc,areyouhere?I'vebeensleepwalkingagain,mydear.
It'stheinhuman
monstersthatIfear...)
("Excuseme,Mr.Ullman,butisn'tthisthe...")
...office,withitsfilecabinets,Ullman'sbigdesk,a
blankreservations
bookfornextyearalreadyinplacenevermissesatrick,that
Ullmanallthe
keyshangingneatlyontheirhooks
(exceptforone,whichone,whichkey,passkeypasskey,
passkey,who'sgotthe
passkey?ifwewentupstairsperhapswe'dsee)
andthebigtwowayradioonitsshelf.
Hesnappediton.CBtransmissionscominginshort,crackly
bursts.He
switchedthebandanddialedacrossburstsofmusic,news,a
preacherharanguing
asoftlymoaningcongregation,aweatherreport.Andanother
voicewhichhe
dialedbackto.Itwashisfather'svoice.
"killhim.Youhavetokillhim,Jacky,andher,too.Because
arealartist
mustsuffer.Becauseeachmankillsthethingheloves.Because
they'llalways
beconspiringagainstyou,tryingtoholdyoubackanddragyou
down.Rightthis
minutethatboyofyoursisinwhereheshouldn'tbe.
Trespassing.That'swhat
he'sdoing.He'sagoddamlittlepup.Canehimforit,Jacky,
canehimwithinan
inchofhislife.HaveadrinkJackymyboy,andwe'llplaythe
elevatorgame.
ThenI'llgowithyouwhileyougivehimhismedicine.Iknowyou
candoit,of
courseyoucan.Youmustkillhim.Youhavetokillhim,Jacky,
andher,too.
Becausearealartistmustsuffer.Becauseeachman"
Hisfather'svoice,goinguphigherandhigher,becoming
somethingmaddening,
nothumanatall,somethingsquealingandpetulantandmaddening,
thevoiceof
theGhostGod,thePigGod,comingdeadathimoutoftheradio
and
"No!"hescreamedback."You'redead,you'reinyourgrave,
you'renotinme
atall!"Becausehehadcutallthefatheroutofhimanditwas
notrightthat
heshouldcomebackcreepingthroughthishoteltwothousand
milesfromtheNew
Englandtownwherehisfatherhadlivedanddied.
Heraisedtheradioupandbroughtitdown,anditsmashedon
thefloor
spillingoldclockspringsandtubesliketheresultofsomecrazy
elevatorgame
goneawry,makinghisfather'svoicegone,leavingonlyhis
voice,Jack'svoice,
Jacky'svoice,chantinginthecoldrealityoftheoffice:
"dead,you'redead,you'redead!"
AndthestartledsoundofWendy'sfeethittingthefloorover
hishead,and
Wendy'sstartled,frightenedvoice:"Jack?Jack!"
Hestood,blinkingdownattheshatteredradio.Nowtherewas
onlythe
snowmobileintheequipmentshedtolinkthemtotheoutside
world.
Heputhishandsoverhiseyesandclutchedathistemples.He
wasgettinga
headache.
<<27>>

CATATONIC

Wendyrandownthehallinherstockingfeetandrandownthe
mainstairsto
thelobbytwoatatime.Shedidn'tlookupatthecarpeted
flightthatledto
thesecondfloor,butifshehad,shewouldhaveseenDanny
standingatthetop
ofthem,stillandsilent,hisunfocusedeyesdirectedoutinto
indifferent
space,histhumbinhismouth,thecollarandshouldersofhis
shirtdamp.There
werepuffybruisesonhisneckandjustbelowhischin.
Jack'scrieshadceased,butthatdidnothingtoeaseherfear.
Rippedoutof
hersleepbyhisvoice,raisedinthatoldhectoringpitchshe
rememberedso
well,shestillfeltthatshewasdreamingbutanotherpartknew
shewasawake,
andthatterrifiedhermore.Shehalfexpectedtoburstintothe
officeandfind
himstandingoverDanny'ssprawledoutbody,drunkandconfused.
ShepushedthroughthedoorandJackwasstandingthere,
rubbingathis
templeswithhisfingers.Hisfacewasghostwhite.ThetwowayCB
radiolayat
hisfeetinasprinklingofbrokenglass.
"Wendy?"heaskeduncertainly."Wendy?"
Thebewildermentseemedtogrowandforamomentshesawhis
trueface,the
oneheordinarilykeptsowellhidden,anditwasafaceof
desperate
unhappiness,thefaceofananimalcaughtinasnarebeyondits
abilityto
decipherandrenderharmless.Thenthemusclesbegantowork,
begantowrithe
undertheskin,themouthbegantotrembleinfirmly,theAdam's
applebeganto
riseandfall.
Herownbewildermentandsurprisewereoverlaidbyshock:he
wasgoingtocry.
Shehadseenhimcrybefore,butneversincehestopped
drinking...andnever
inthosedaysunlesshewasverydrunkandpathetically
remorseful.Hewasa
tightman,drumtight,andhislossofcontrolfrightenedherall
overagain.
Hecametowardher,thetearsbrimmingoverhislowerlidsnow,
hishead
shakinginvoluntarilyasifinafruitlessefforttowardoff
thisemotional
storm,andhischestdrewinaconvulsivegaspthatwasexpelled
inahuge,
rackingsob.Hisfeet,cladinHushPuppies,stumbledoverthe
wreckofthe
radioandhealmostfellintoherarms,makingherstaggerback
withhisweight.
Hisbreathblewintoherfaceandtherewasnosmellofliquoron
it.Ofcourse
not;therewasnoliquoruphere.
"What'swrong?"Sheheldhimasbestshecould."Jack,whatis
it?"
Buthecoulddonothingatfirstbutsob,clingingtoher,
almostcrushingthe
windfromher,hisheadturningonhershoulderinthathelpless,
shaking,
wardingoffgesture.Hissobswereheavyandfierce.Hewas
shudderingallover,
hismusclesjerkingbeneathhisplaidshirtandjeans.
"Jack?What?Tellmewhat'swrong!"
Atlastthesobsbegantochangethemselvesintowords,mostof
them
incoherentatfirst,butcomingclearerashistearsbeganto
spendthemselves.
"...dream,Iguessitwasadream,butitwassoreal,I
..itwasmymothersayingthatDaddywasgoingtobeonthe
radioandI..
.hewas...hewastellingmeto...Idon'tknow,hewas
yellingatme..
.andsoIbroketheradio...toshuthimup.Toshuthimup.
He'sdead.I
don'tevenwanttodreamabouthim.He'sdead.MyGod,Wendy,my
God.Inever
hadanightmarelikethat.Ineverwanttohaveanotherone.
Christ!Itwas
awful."
"Youjustfellasleepintheoffice?"
"No...nothere.Downstairs."Hewasstraighteningalittle
now,hisweight
comingoffher,andthesteadybackandforthmotionofhishead
firstslowedand
thenstopped.
"Iwaslookingthroughthoseoldpapers.SittingonachairI
setupdown
there.Milkreceipts.Dullstuff.AndIguessIjustdrowsedoff.
That'swhenI
startedtodream.Imusthavesleepwalkeduphere."Heessayeda
shakylittle
laughagainstherneck."Anotherfirst."
"WhereisDanny,Jack?"
"Idon'tknow.Isn'thewithyou?"
"Hewasn't...downstairswithyou?"
Helookedoverhisshoulderandhisfacetightenedatwhathe
sawonherface.
"Nevergoingtoletmeforgetthat,areyou,Wendy?"
"Jack"
"WhenI'monmydeathbedyou'llleanoverandsay,`Itserves
youright,
rememberthetimeyoubrokeDanny'sarm?'"
"Jack!"
"Jackwhat?"heaskedhotly,andjumpedtohisfeet."Areyou
denyingthat's
whatyou'rethinking?ThatIhurthim?ThatIhurthimonce
beforeandIcould
hurthimagain?"
"Iwanttoknowwhereheis,that'sall!"
"Goahead,yellyourfuckingheadoff,that'llmakeeverything
okay,won'tit?
"
Sheturnedandwalkedoutthedoor.
Hewatchedhergo,frozenforamoment,ablottercoveredwith
fragmentsof
brokenglassinonehand.Thenhedroppeditintothe
wastebasket,wentafter
her,andcaughtherbythelobbydesk.Heputhishandsonher
shouldersand
turnedheraround.Herfacewascarefullyset.
"Wendy,I'msorry.Itwasthedream.I'mupset.Forgive?"
"Ofcourse,"shesaid,herfacenotchangingexpression.Her
woodenshoulders
slippedoutofhishands.Shewalkedtothemiddleofthelobby
andcalled:
"Hey,doc!Whereareyou?"
Silencecameback.Shewalkedtowardthedoublelobbydoors
openedoneof
them,andsteppedoutontothepathJackhadshoveled.Itwas
morelikea
trench;thepackedanddriftedsnowthroughwhichthepathwas
cutcametoher
shoulders.Shecalledhimagain,herbreathcomingoutinawhite
plume.When
shecamebackinshehadbeguntolookscared.
Controllinghisirritationwithher,hesaidreasonably:"Are
yousurehe's
notsleepinginhisroom?"
"Itoldyou,hewasplayingsomewherewhenIwasknitting.I
couldhearhim
downstairs."
"Didyoufallasleep?"
"What'sthatgottodowithit?Yes.Danny?"
"Didyoulookinhisroomwhenyoucamedownstairsjustnow?"
"I"Shestopped.
Henodded."Ididn'treallythinkso."
Hestartedupthestairswithoutwaitingforher.Shefollowed
him,half
running,buthewastakingtheriserstwoatatime.Shealmost
crashedintohis
backwhenhecametoadeadstoponthefirstfloorlanding.He
wasrooted
there,lookingup,hiseyeswide.
"What?"shebegan,andfollowedhisgaze.
Dannystillstoodthere,hiseyesblank,suckinghisthumb.The
marksonhis
throatwerecruellyvisibleinthelightofthehall'selectric
flambeaux.
"Danny!"sheshrieked.
ItbrokeJack'sparalysisandtheyrushedupthestairs
togethertowherehe
stood.Wendyfellonherkneesbesidehimandswepttheboyinto
herarms.Danny
camepliantlyenough,buthedidnothugherback.Itwaslike
huggingapadded
stick,andthesweettasteofhorrorfloodedhermouth.Heonly
suckedhisthumb
andstaredwithindifferentblanknessoutintothestairwell
beyondbothof
them.
"Danny,whathappened?"Jackasked.Heputouthishandto
touchthepuffy
sideofDanny'sneck."Whodidthisto
"Don'tyoutouchhim!"Wendyhissed.SheclutchedDannyinher
arms,lifted
him,andhadretreatedhalfwaydownthestairsbeforeJackcould
domorethan
standup,confused.
"What?Wendy,whatthehellareyout"
"Don'tyoutouchhim!I'llkillyouifyoulayyourhandson
himagain!"
"Wendy"
"Youbastard!"
Sheturnedandrandowntherestofthestairstothefirst
floor.Danny's
headjouncedmildlyupanddownassheran.Histhumbwaslodged
securelyinhis
mouth.Hiseyesweresoapedwindows.Sheturnedrightatthefoot
ofthestairs,
andJackheardherfeetretreattotheendofit.Theirbedroom
doorslammed.
Theboltwasrunhome.Thelockturned.Briefsilence.Thenthe
soft,muttered
soundsofcomforting.
Hestoodforanunknownlengthoftime,literallyparalyzedby
allthathad
happenedinsuchashortspaceoftime.Hisdreamwasstillwith
him,painting
everythingaslightlyunrealshade.Itwasasifhehadtakena
verymild
mescalinehit.HadhemaybehurtDannyasWendythought?Triedto
stranglehis
sonathisdeadfather'srequest?No.HewouldneverhurtDanny.
(Hefelldownthestairs,Doctor.)
HewouldneverhurtDannynow.
(HowcouldIknowthebugbombwasdefective?)
Neverinhislifehadhebeenwillfullyviciouswhenhewas
sober.
(ExceptwhenyoualmostkilledGeorgeHatfield.)
"No!"hecriedintothedarkness.Hebroughtbothfists
crashingdownonhis
legs,againandagainandagain.

***

WendysatintheoverstuffedchairbythewindowwithDannyon
herlap,
holdinghim,crooningtheoldmeaninglesswords,theonesyou
neverremember
afterwardnomatterhowathingturnsout.Hehadfoldedontoher
lapwith
neitherprotestnorgladness,likeapapercutoutofhimself,and
hiseyes
didn'tevenshifttowardthedoorwhenJackcriedout"No!"
somewhereinthe
hallway.
Theconfusionhadrecededalittlebitinhermind,butshenow
discovered
somethingevenworsebehindit.Panic.
Jackhaddonethis,shehadnodoubtofit.Hisdenialsmeant
nothingtoher.
ShethoughtitwasperfectlypossiblethatJackhadtriedto
throttleDannyin
hissleepjustashehadsmashedtheCBradioinhissleep.He
washavinga
breakdownofsomekind.Butwhatwasshegoingtodoaboutit?
Shecouldn'tstay
lockedinhereforever.Theywouldhavetoeat.
Therewasreallyonlyonequestion,anditwasaskedina
mentalvoiceof
uttercoldnessandpragmatism,thevoiceofhermaternity,acold
and
passionlessvoiceonceitwasdirectedawayfromtheclosed
circleofmotherand
childandouttowardJack.Itwasavoicethatspokeofself
preservationonly
aftersonpreservationanditsquestionwas:
(Exactlyhowdangerousishe?)
Hehaddenieddoingit.Hehadbeenhorrifiedatthebruises,
atDanny'ssoft
andimplacabledisconnection.Ifhehaddoneit,aseparate
sectionofhimself
hadbeenresponsible.Thefactthathehaddoneitwhenhewas
asleepwasina
terrible,twistedwayencouraging.Wasn'titpossiblethathe
couldbetrusted
togetthemoutofhere?Togetthemdownandaway.Andafter
that...
ButshecouldseenofurtherthansheandDannyarrivingsafe
atDr.Edmonds's
officeinSidewinder.Shehadnoparticularneedtoseefurther.
Thepresent
crisiswasmorethanenoughtokeepheroccupied.
ShecroonedtoDanny,rockinghimonherbreasts.Herfingers,
onhis
shoulder,hadnoticedthathisTshirtwasdamp,buttheyhadnot
bothered
reportingtheinformationtoherbraininmorethanacursory
way.Ifithad
beenreported,shemighthaverememberedthatJack'shands,ashe
hadhuggedher
intheofficeandsobbedagainstherneck,badbeendry.Itmight
havegivenher
pause.Buthermindwasstillonotherthings.Thedecisionhad
tobemadeto
approachJackornot?
Actuallyitwasnotmuchofadecision.Therewasnothingshe
coulddoalone,
notevencarryDannydowntotheofficeandcallforhelponthe
CBradio.He
hadsufferedagreatshock.Heoughttobetakenoutquickly
beforeany
permanentdamagecouldbedone.Sherefusedtoletherself
believethat
permanentdamagemightalreadyhavebeendone.
Andstillsheagonizedoverit,lookingforanother
alternative.Shedidnot
wanttoputDannybackwithinJack'sreach.Shewasawarenow
thatshehadmade
onebaddecisionwhenshehadgoneagainstherfeelings(and
Danny's)and
allowedthesnowtoclosethemin...forJack'ssake.Another
baddecision
whenshehadshelvedtheideaofdivorce.Nowshewasnearly
paralyzedbythe
ideathatshemightbemakinganothermistake,oneshewould
regreteveryminute
ofeverydayoftherestofherlife.
Therewasnotagunintheplace.Therewerekniveshanging
fromthe
magnetizedrunnersinthekitchen,butJackwasbetweenherand
them.
Inherstrivingtomaketherightdecision,tofindthe
alternative,the
bitterironyofherthoughtsdidnotoccur:anhouragoshehad
beenasleep,
firmlyconvincedthatthingswereallrightandsoonwouldbe
evenbetter.Now
shewasconsideringthepossibilityofusingabutcherknifeon
herhusbandif
hetriedtointerferewithherandherson.
AtlastshestoodupwithDannyinherarms,herlegs
trembling.Therewasno
otherway.ShewouldhavetoassumethatJackawakewasJack
sane,andthathe
wouldhelphergetDannydowntoSidewinderandDr.Edmonds.And
ifJacktried
todoanythingbuthelp,Godhelphim.
Shewenttothedoorandunlockedit.ShiftingDannyuptoher
shoulder,she
openeditandwentoutintothehall.
"Jack?"shecallednervously,andgotnoanswer.
Withgrowingtrepidationshewalkeddowntothestairwell,but
Jackwasnot
there.Andasshestoodthereonthelanding,wonderingwhatto
donext,the
singingcameupfrombelow,rich,angry,bitterlysatiric:

"Rollmeover
Intheclohover,
Rollmeover,laymedownanddoitagain."

Shewasfrightenedevenmorebythesoundofhimthanshehad
beenbyhis
silence,buttherewasstillnoalternative.Shestarteddownthe
stairs.

<<28>>

"ITWASHER!"
Jackhadstoodonthestairs,listeningtothecrooning,
comfortingsounds
comingmuffledthroughthelockeddoor,andslowlyhisconfusion
hadgivenway
toanger.Thingshadneverreallychanged.NottoWendy.Hecould
beoffthe
juicefortwentyyearsandstillwhenhecamehomeatnightand
sheembracedhim
atthedoor,hewouldsee/sensethatlittleflareofher
nostrilsasshetried
todivinescotchorginfumesridingtheoutboundtrainofhis
exhalation.She
wasalwaysgoingtoassumetheworst;ifheandDannygotina
caraccidentwith
adrunkenblindmanwho.hadhadastrokejustbeforethe
collision,shewould
silentlyblameDanny'sinjuriesonhimandturnaway.
HerfaceasshehadsnatchedDannyawayitroseupbeforehim
andhesuddenly
wantedtowipetheangerthathadbeenonitoutwithhisfist.
Shehadnogoddamright!
Yes,maybeatfirst.Hehadbeenalush,hehaddoneterrible
things.Breaking
Danny'sarmhadbeenaterriblething.Butifamanreforms,
doesn'thedeserve
tohavehisreformationcreditedsoonerorlater?Andifhe
doesn'tgetit,
doesn'thedeservethegametogowiththename?Ifafather
constantlyaccuses
hisvirginaldaughterofscrewingeveryboyinjuniorhigh,must
shenotatlast
growweary(enough)ofittoearnherscoldings?Andifawife
secretlyandnot
sosecretlycontinuestobelievethatherteetotalinghusbandis
adrunk...
Hegotup,walkedslowlydowntothefirstfloorlanding,and
stoodtherefor
amoment.Hetookhishandkerchieffromhisbackpocket,wiped
hislipswithit,
andconsideredgoingdownandpoundingonthebedroomdoor,
demandingtobelet
insohecouldseehisson.Shehadnorighttobesogoddam
highhanded.
Well,soonerorlatershe'dhavetocomeout,unlessshe
plannedaradical
sortofdietforthetwoofthem.Aratheruglygrintouchedhis
lipsatthe
thought.Lethercometohim.Shewouldintime.
Hewentdownstairstothegroundfloor,stoodaimlesslybythe
lobbydeskfor
amoment,thenturnedright.Hewentintothediningroomand
stoodjustinside
thedoor.Theemptytables,theirwhitelinenclothsneatly
cleanedandpressed
beneaththeirclearplasticcovers,glimmeredupathim.Allwas
desertednow
but

(DinnerWillBeServedat8P.M.
UnmaskingandDancingAtMidnight)

Jackwalkedamongthetables,momentarilyforgettinghiswife
andson
upstairs,forgettingthedream,thesmashedradio,thebruises.
Hetrailedhis
fingersovertheslickplasticdustcovers,tryingtoimaginehow
itmusthave
beenonthat
hotAugustnightin1945,thewarwon,thefuturestretching
aheadsovarious
andnew,likealandofdreams.Thebrightandparticolored
Japaneselanterns
hungthewholelengthofthecirculardrive,thegoldenyellow
lightspilling
fromthesehighwindowsthatwerenowdriftedoverwithsnow.Men
andwomenincostume,hereaglitteringprincess,thereahigh
booted
cavalier,flashingjewelryandflashingwitevery
where,dancing,liquorflowingfreely,firstwineandthen
cocktailsandthen
perhapsboilermakersthelevelofconver
sationgoingupandupandupuntilthejollycryrangoutfrom
the
bandmaster'spodium,thecryof"Unmask!Unmask!"
(AndtheRedDeathheldsway...)
Hefoundhimselfstandingontheothersideofthediningroom,
justoutside
thestylizedbatwingdoorsoftheColoradoLoungewhere,onthat
nightin1945,
alltheboozewouldhavebeenfree.
(Bellyuptothebar,pardner,thedrinks'reonthehouse.)
Hesteppedthroughthebatwingsandintothedeep,folded
shadowsofthebar.
Andastrangethingoccurred.Hehadbeeninherebefore,onceto
checkthe
inventorysheetUllmanhadleft,andheknewtheplacehadbeen
strippedclean.
Theshelvesweretotallybare.Butnow,litonlymurkilybythe
lightwhich
filteredthroughfromthediningroom(whichwasitselfonly
dimlylitbecause
ofthesnowblockingthewindows),hethoughthesawranksand
ranksofbottles
twinklingmutedlybehindthebar,andsyphons,andevenbeer
drippingfromthe
spigotsofallthreehighlypolishedtaps.Yes,hecouldeven
smellbeer,that
dampandfermentedandyeastyodor,nodifferentfromthesmell
thathadhung
finelymistedaroundhisfather'sfaceeverynightwhenhecame
homefromwork.
Eyeswidening,hefumbledforthewallswitch,andthelow,
intimatebar
lightingcameon,circlesoftwentywattbulbsemplantedonthe
topsofthe
threewagonwheelchandeliersoverhead.
Theshelveswereallempty.Theyhadnotevenasyetgathereda
goodcoatof
dust.Thebeertapsweredry,aswerethechromedrainsbeneath
them.Tohis
leftandright,thevelvetupholsteredboothsstoodlikemenwith
highbacks,
eachonedesignedtogiveamaximumofprivacytothecouple
inside.Straight
ahead,acrosstheredcarpetedfloor,fortybarstoolsstood
aroundthe
horseshoeshapedbar.Eachstoolwasupholsteredinleatherand
embossedwith
cattlebrandsCircleH,BarDBar(thatwasfitting),RockingW,
LazyB.
Heapproachedit,givinghisheadalittleshakeof
bewildermentashedidso.
Itwaslikethatdayontheplaygroundwhen...buttherewas
nosensein
thinkingaboutthat.Stillhecouldhaveswornhehadseenthose
bottles,
vaguely,itwastrue,thewayyouseethedarkenedshapesof
furnitureinaroom
wherethecurtainshavebeendrawn.Mildglintsonglass.The
onlythingthat
remainedwasthatsmellofbeer,andJackknewthatwasasmell
thatfadedinto
thewoodworkofeverybarintheworldafteracertainperiodof
time,nottobe
eradicatedbyanycleanerinvented.Yetthesmellhereseemed
sharp...almost
fresh.
Hesatdownononeofthestoolsandproppedhiselbowsonthe
bar'sleather
cushionededge.Athislefthandwasabowlforpeanutsnow
empty,ofcourse.
Thefirstbarhe'dbeeninfornineteenmonthsandthedamned
thingwasdryjust
hisluck.Allthesame,abitterlypowerfulwaveofnostalgia
sweptoverhim,
andthephysicalcravingforadrinkseemedtoworkitselfup
fromhisbellyto
histhroattohismouthandnose,shrivelingandwrinklingthe
tissuesasit
went,makingthemcryoutforsomethingwetandlongandcold.
Heglancedattheshelvesagaininwild,irrationalhopebut
theshelveswere
justasemptyasbefore.Hegrinnedinpainandfrustration.His
fists,
clenchingslowly,mademinutescratchingsonthebar'sleather
paddededge.
"Hi,Lloyd,"hesaid."Alittleslowtonight,isn'tit?"
Lloydsaiditwas.Lloydaskedhimwhatitwouldbe.
"NowI'mreallygladyouaskedmethat,"Jacksaid,"really
glad.BecauseI
happentohavetwotwentiesandtwotensinmywalletandIwas
afraidthey'dbe
sittingthereuntilsometimenextApril.Thereisn'taSeven
Elevenaroundhere,
wouldyoubelieveit?AndIthoughttheyhadSevenElevensonthe
fuckingmoon."
Lloydsympathized.
"Sohere'swhat,"Jacksaid."Yousetmeupaneventwenty
martinis.Aneven
twenty,justlikethat,kazang.OneforeverymonthI'vebeenon
thewagonand
onetogrowon.Youcandothat,can'tyou?Youaren'ttoobusy?"
Lloydsaidhewasn'tbusyatall.
"Goodman.Youlinethosemartiansuprightalongthebarand
I'mgoingto
takethemdown,onebyone.Whiteman'sburden,Lloydmyman."
Lloydturnedtodothejob.Jackreachedintohispocketfor
hismoneyclip
andcameoutwithanExcedrinbottleinstead.Hismoneyclipwas
onthebedroom
bureau,andofcoursehisskinnyshankswifehadlockedhimout
ofthebedroom.
Nicegoing,Wendy.Youbleedingbitch.
"Iseemtobemomentarilylight,"Jacksaid."How'smycredit
inthisjoint,
anyhow?"
Lloydsaidhiscreditwasfine.
"That'ssuper.Ilikeyou,Lloyd.Youwerealwaysthebestof
them.Best
damnedbarkeepbetweenBarreandPortland,Maine.Portland,
Oregon,forthat
matter."
Lloydthankedhimforsayingso.
JackthumpedthecapfromhisExcedrinbottle,shooktwo
tabletsout,and
flippedthemintohismouth.Thefamiliaracidcompellingtaste
floodedin.
Hehadasuddensensationthatpeoplewerewatchinghim,
curiouslyandwith
somecontempt.Theboothsbehindhimwerefulltherewere
graying,distinguished
menandbeautifulyounggirls,allofthemincostume,watching
thissad
exerciseinthedramaticartswithcoldamusement.
Jackwhirledonhisstool.
Theboothswereallempty,stretchingawayfromtheloungedoor
totheleft
andright,thelineonhisleftcorneringtoflankthebar's
horseshoecurve
downtheshortlengthoftheroom.Paddedleatherseatsand
backs.Gleamingdark
Formicatables,anashtrayoneachone,abookofmatchesineach
ashtray,the
wordsColoradoLoungestampedoneachingoldleafabovethe
batwingdoorlogo.
Heturnedback,swallowingtherestofthedissolvingExcedrin
withagrimace.
"Lloyd,you'reawonder,"hesaid."Setupalready.Yourspeed
isonly
exceededbythesoulfulbeautyofyourNeapolitaneyes.Salud."
Jackcontemplatedthetwentyimaginarydrinks,themartini
glassesblushing
dropletsofcondensation,eachwithaswizzlepokedthrougha
plumpgreenolive.
Hecouldalmostsmellginontheair.
"Thewagon,"hesaid."Haveyoueverbeenacquaintedwitha
gentlemanwhohas
hoppeduponthewagon?"
Lloydallowedashowhehadmetsuchmenfromtimetotime.
"Haveyoueverrenewedacquaintanceswithsuchamanafterhe
hoppedbackoff?
"
Lloydcouldnot,inallhonesty,recall.
"Youneverdid,then,"Jacksaid.Hecurledhishandaroundthe
firstdrink,
carriedhisfisttohismouth,whichwasopen,andturnedhis
fistup.He
swallowedandthentossedtheimaginaryglassoverhisshoulder.
Thepeoplewere
backagain,freshfromtheircostumeball,studyinghim,laughing
behindtheir
hands.Hecouldfeelthem.Ifthebackbarhadfeaturedamirror
insteadofthose
damnstupidemptyshelves,hecouldhaveseenthem.Letthem
stare.Fuckthem.
Letanybodystarewhowantedtostare.
"No,youneverdid,"hetoldLloyd."Fewmeneverreturnfrom
thefabled
Wagon,butthosewhodocomewithafearfultaletotell.When
youjumpon,it
seemslikethebrightest,cleanestWagonyoueversaw,withten
footwheelsto
keepthebedofithighoutofthegutterwhereallthedrunks
arelayingaround
withtheirbrownbagsandtheirThunderbirdandtheirGranddad
Flash'sPopskull
Bourbon.You'reawayfromallthepeoplewhothrowyounasty
looksandtellyou
tocleanupyouractorgoputitoninanothertown.Fromthe
gutter,that's
thefinestlookinWagonyoueversaw,Lloydmyboy.Allhungwith
buntinganda
brassbandinfrontandthreemajorettestoeachside,twirling
theirbatonsand
flashingtheirpantiesatyou.Man,yougottogetonthatWagon
andawayfrom
thejuicersthatarestrainingcannedheatandsmellingtheirown
puketoget
highagainandpokingalongthegutterforbuttswithhalfan
inchleftbelow
thefilter."
Hedrainedtwomoreimaginarydrinksandtossedtheglasses
backoverhis
shoulder.Hecouldalmosthearthemsmashingonthefloor.And
goddamifhe
wasn'tstartingtofeelhigh.ItwastheExcedrin.
"Soyouclimbup,"hetoldLloyd."andain'tyougladtobe
there.MyGodyes,
that'saffirmative.ThatWagonisthebiggestandbestfloatin
thewhole
parade,andeverybodyisliningthestreetsandclappingand
cheeringand
waving,allforyou.Exceptforthewinospassedoutinthe
gutter.Thoseguys
usedtobeyourfriends,butthat'sallbehindyounow."
Hecarriedhisemptyfisttohismouthandsluiceddown
anotherfourdown,
sixteentogo.Makingexcellentprogress.Heswayedalittleon
thestool.Let
emstare,ifthatwashowtheygotoff.Takeapicture,folks,
it'lllast
longer.
"Thenyoustarttoseethings,Lloydymyboy.Thingsyoumissed
fromthe
gutter.LikehowtheflooroftheWagonisnothingbutstraight
pineboards,so
freshthey'restillbleedingsap,andifyoutookyourshoesoff
you'dbesure
togetasplinter.LikehowtheonlyfurnitureintheWagonis
theselong
bencheswithhighbacksandnocushionstositon,andinfact
theyarenothing
butpewswithasongbookeveryfivefeetorso.Likehowallthe
peoplesitting
inthepewsontheWagonaretheseflatchestedelbirdosinlong
dresseswitha
littlelacearoundthecollarandtheirhairpulledbackinto
bunsuntilit'sso
tightyoucanalmosthearitscreaming.Andeveryfaceisfiat
andpaleand
shiny,andthey'reallsinging`Shallwegatherattheriiiiver,
thebeautiful,
thebeautiful,theriiiiiver,'andupfrontthere'sthisreekin
bitchwithblond
hairplayingtheorganandtellinemtosinglouder,singlouder.
Andsomebody
slamsasongbookintoyourhandsandsays,`Singitout,brother.
Ifyouexpect
tostayonthisWagon,yougottosingmorning,noon,andnight.
Especiallyat
night.'Andthat'swhenyourealizewhattheWagonreallyis,
Lloyd.It'sa
churchwithbarsonthewindows,achurchforwomenandaprison
foryou."
Hestopped.Lloydwasgone.Worsestill,hehadneverbeen
there.Thedrinks
hadneverbeenthere.Onlythepeopleinthebooths,thepeople
fromthecostume
party,andhecouldalmostheartheirmuffledlaughterasthey
heldtheirbands
totheirmouthsandpointed,theireyessparklingwithcruel
pinpointsoflight.
Hewhirledaroundagain."Leaveme"
(alone?)
Alltheboothswereempty.Thesoundoflaughterhaddiedlike
astirof
autumnleaves.Jackstaredattheemptyloungeforatickof
time,hiseyeswide
anddark.Apulsebeatnoticeablyinthecenterofhisforehead.
Inthevery
centerofhimacoldcertaintywasformingandthecertaintywas
thathewas
losinghismind.Hefeltanurgetopickupthebarstoolnextto
him,reverse
it,andgothroughtheplacelikeanavengingwhirlwind.Instead
hewhirledback
aroundtothebarandbegantobellow:

"Rollmeover
Intheclohover,
Rollmeover,laymedownanddoitagain."

Danny'sfacerosebeforehim,notDanny'snormalface,lively
andalert,the
eyessparklingandopen,butthecatatonic,zombielikefaceofa
stranger,the
eyesdullandopaque,themouthpursedbabyishlyaroundhis
thumb.Whatwashe
doing,sittinghereandtalkingtohimselflikeasulkyteenager
whenhisson
wasupstairs,someplace,actinglikesomethingthatbelongedina
paddedroom,
actingthewayWallyHollissaidVicStengerhadbeenbeforethe
meninthe
whitecoatshadtocomeandtakehimaway?
(But1neverputahandonhim!Goddammit,1didn't!)
"Jack?"Thevoicewastimid,hesitant.
Hewassostartledhealmostfelloffthestoolwhirlingit
around.Wendywas
standingjustinsidethebatwingdoors,Dannycradledinherarms
likesome
waxenhorrorshowdummy.Thethreeofthemmadeatableauthat
Jackfeltvery
strongly;itwasjustbeforethecurtainofActIIinsome
oldtimetemperance
play,onesopoorlymountedthatthepropmanhadforgottento
stocktheshelves
oftheDenofIniquity.
"Inevertouchedhim,"Jacksaidthickly."Ineverhavesince
thenightI
brokehisarm.Noteventospankhim."
"Jack,thatdoesn'tmatternow.Whatmattersis"
"Thismatters!"heshouted.Hebroughtonefistcrashingdown
onthebar,hard
enoughtomaketheemptypeanutdishesjump."Itmatters,
goddammit,itmatters!
"
"Jack,wehavetogethimoffthemountain.He's"
Dannybegantostirinherarms.Theslack,emptyexpressionon
hisfacehad
beguntobreakuplikeathickmatteoficeoversomeburied
surface.Hislips
twisted,asifatsomeweirdtaste.Hiseyeswidened.Hishands
cameupasifto
coverthemandthendroppedback.
Abruptlyhestiffenedinherarms.Hisbackarchedintoabow,
makingWendy
stagger.Andhesuddenlybegantoshriek,madsoundsthatescaped
hisstraining
throatinboltaftercrazy,echoingbolt.Thesoundseemedto
filltheempty
downstairsandcomebackatthemlikebanshees.Theremighthave
beenahundred
Dannys,allscreamingatonce.
"Jack!"shecriedinterror."OhGodJackwhat'swrongwith
him?"
Hecameoffthestool,numbfromthewaistdown,more
frightenedthanhehad
everbeeninhislife.Whatholehadhissonpokedthroughand
into?Whatdark
nest?Andwhathadbeenintheretostinghim?
"Danny!"heroared."Danny!"
Dannysawhim.Hebrokehismother'sgripwithasudden,fierce
strengththat
gavehernochancetoholdhim.Shestumbledbackagainstoneof
theboothsand
nearlyfellintoit.
"Daddy!"hescreamed,runningtoJack,hiseyeshugsand
affrighted."OhDaddy
Daddy,itwasher!Her!Her!OhDaaaaahdeee"
HeslammedintoJack'sarmslikeabluntarrow,makingJack
rockonhisfeet.
Dannyclutchedathimfuriously,atfirstseemingtopummelhim
likeafighter,
thenclutchinghisbeltandsobbingagainsthisshirt.Jackcould
feelhisson's
face,hotandworking,againsthisbelly.
Daddy,itwasher.
JacklookedslowlyupintoWendy'sface.Hiseyeswerelike
smallsilver
coins.
"Wendy?"Voicesoft,nearlypurring."Wendy,whatdidyoudoto
him?"
Wendystaredbackathiminstunneddisbelief,herfacepallid.
Sheshookher
head.
"OhJack,youmustknow"
Outsideithadbeguntosnowagain.
<<29>>

KITCHENTALK

JackcarriedDannyintothekitchen.Theboywasstillsobbing
wildly,
refusingtolookupfromJack'schest.Inthekitchenhegave
Dannybackto
Wendy,whostillseemedstunnedanddisbelieving.
"Jack,Idon'tknowwhathe'stalkingabout.Please,youmust
believethat."
"Idobelieveit,"hesaid,althoughhehadtoadmittohimself
thatitgave
himacertainamountofpleasuretoseetheshoeswitchedtothe
otherfootwith
suchdazzling,unexpectedspeed:ButhisangeratWendyhadbeen
onlyapassing
guttwitch.InhisheartheknewWendywouldpouracanof
gasolineoverherself
andstrikeamatchbeforeharmingDanny.
Thelargeteakettlewasonthebackburner,pokingalongon
lowheat.Jack
droppedateabagintohisownlargeceramiccupandpouredhot
waterhalfway.
"Gotcookingsherry,don'tyou?"heaskedWendy.
"What?...oh,sure.Twoorthreebottlesofit."
"Whichcupboard?"
Shepointed,andJacktookoneofthebottlesdown.Hepoureda
heftydollop
intotheteacup,putthesherryback,andfilledthelastquarter
ofthecup
withmilk.Thenheaddedthreetablespoonsofsugarandstirred.
Hebroughtit
toDanny,whosesobshadtaperedofftosnifflingsandhitchings.
Buthewas
tremblingallover,andhiseyeswerewideandstarey.
"Wantyoutodrinkthis,doc,"Jacksaid."It'sgoingtotaste
friggingawful,
butit'llmakeyoufeelbetter.Canyoudrinkitforyourdaddy?"
Dannynoddedthathecouldandtookthecup.Hedrankalittle,
grimaced,and
lookedquestioninglyatJack.JacknoddedandDannydrankagain.
Wendyfeltthe
familiartwistofjealousysomewhereinhermiddle,knowingthe
boywouldnot
havedrunkitforher.
Ontheheelsofthatcameanuncomfortable,evenstartling
thought:Hadshe
wantedtothinkJackwastoblame?Wasshethatjealous?Itwas
thewayher
motherwouldhavethought,thatwasthereallyhorriblething.
Shecould
rememberaSundaywhenherDadhadtakenhertotheparkandshe
hadtoppled
fromthesecondtierofthejunglegym,cuttingbothknees.When
herfather
broughtherhome,hermotherhadshriekedathim:Whatdidyou
do?Whyweren't
youwatchingher?Whatkindofafatherareyou?
(Shehadhoundedhimtohisgrave;bythetimehedivorcedher
itwastoo
late.)
ShehadneverevengivenJackthebenefitofthedoubt.Notthe
smallest.
Wendyfeltherfaceburnyetknewwithakindofhelpless
finalitythatifthe
wholethingweretobeplayedoveragain,shewoulddoandthink
thesameway.
Shecarriedpartofhermotherwithheralways,forgoodorbad.
"Jack"shebegan,notsureifshemeanttoapologizeor
justify.Either,she
knew,wouldbeuseless.
"Notnow,"hesaid.
IttookDannyfifteenminutestodrinkhalfofthebigcup's
contents,andby
thattimehehadcalmedvisibly.Theshakeswerealmostgone.
Jackputhishandssolemnlyonhisson'sshoulders."Danny,do
youthinkyou
cantellusexactlywhathappenedtoyou?It'sveryimportant."
DannylookedfromJacktoWendy,thenbackagain.Inthesilent
pause,their
settingandsituationmadethemselvesknown:thewhoopofthe
windoutside,
drivingfreshsnowdownfromthenorthwest;thecreakingand
groaningoftheold
hotelasitsettledintoanotherstorm.Thefactoftheir
disconnectcameto
Wendywithunexpectedforceasitsometimesdid,likeablow
undertheheart.
"Iwant...totellyoueverything,"Dannysaid."IwishI
hadbefore."He
pickedupthecupandheldit,asifcomfortedbythewarmth.
"Whydidn'tyou,son?"JackbrushedDanny'ssweaty,tumbled
hairbackgently
fromhisbrow.
"BecauseUncleAlgotyouthejob.AndIcouldn'tfigureout
howitwasgood
foryouhereandbadforyouhereatthesametime.Itwas..."
Helookedat
themforhelp.Hedidnothavethenecessaryword.
"Adilemma?"Wendyaskedgently."Whenneitherchoiceseemsany
good?"
"Yes,that."Henodded,relieved.
Wendysaid:"Thedaythatyoutrimmedthehedges,DannyandI
hadatalkin
thetruck.Thedaythefirstrealsnowcame.Remember?"
Jacknodded.Thedayhehadtrimmedthehedgeswasveryclear
inhismind.
Wendysighed."Iguesswedidn'ttalkenough.Didwe,doc?"
Danny,thepictureofwoe,shookhishead.
"Exactlywhatdidyoutalkabout?"Jackasked."I'mnotsure
howmuchIlike
mywifeandson"
"discussinghowmuchtheyloveyou?"
"Whateveritwas,Idon'tunderstandit.IfeellikeIcame
intoamoviejust
aftertheintermission."
"Wewerediscussingyou,"Wendysaidquietly."Andmaybewe
didn'tsayitall
inwords,butwebothknew.MebecauseI'myourwifeandDanny
becausehe...
justunderstandsthings."
Jackwassilent.
"Dannysaiditjustright.Theplaceseemedgoodforyou.You
wereawayfrom
allthepressuresthatmadeyousounhappyatStovington.You
wereyourown
boss,workingwithyourhandssoyoucouldsaveyourbrainall
ofyourbrain
foryoureveningswriting.Then...Idon'tknowjust
when...theplace
begantoseembadforyou.Spendingallthattimedowninthe
cellar,sifting
throughthoseoldpapers,allthatoldhistory.Talkinginyour
sleep"
"Inmysleep?"Jackasked.Hisfaceworeacautious,startled
expression."I
talkinmysleep?"
"Mostofitisslurry.OnceIgotuptousethebathroomand
youweresaying,
'Tohellwithit,bringintheslotsatleast,noonewillknow,
noonewill
everknow.'Anothertimeyouwokemerightup,practically
yelling,`Unmask,
unmask,unmask."'
"JesusChrist,"hesaid,andrubbedahandoverhisface.He
lookedill.
"Allyourolddrinkinghabits,too.ChewingExcedrin.Wiping
yourmouthall
thetime.Crankyinthemorning.Andyouhaven'tbeenableto
finishtheplay
yet,haveyou?"
"No.Notyet,butit'sonlyamatteroftime.I'vebeen
thinkingabout
somethingelse...anewproject"
"Thishotel.TheprojectAlShockleycalledyouabout.Theone
hewantedyou
todrop."
"Howdoyouknowaboutthat?"Jackbarked."Wereyoulistening
in?You"
"No,"shesaid."Icouldn'thavelistenedinifI'dwantedto,
andyou'dknow
thatifyouwerethinkingstraight.DannyandIweredownstairs
thatnight.The
switchboardisshutdown.Ourphoneupstairswastheonlyonein
thehotelthat
wasworking,becauseit'spatcheddirectlyintotheoutsideline.
Youtoldmeso
yourself."
"ThenhowcouldyouknowwhatAltoldme?"
"Dannytoldme.Dannyknew.Thesamewayhesometimesknows
whenthingsare
misplaced,orwhenpeoplearethinkingaboutdivorce."
"Thedoctorsaid"
Sheshookherheadimpatiently."Thedoctorwasfullofshit
andwebothknow
it.We'veknownitallthetime.RememberwhenDannysaidhe
wantedtoseethe
firetrucks?Thatwasnohunch.Hewasjustababy.Heknows
things.AndnowI'm
afraid..."ShelookedatthebruisesonDanny'sneck.
"DidyoureallyknowUncleAlhadcalledme,Danny?"
Dannynodded."Hewasreallymad,Daddy.BecauseyoucalledMr.
UllmanandMr.
Ullmancalledhim.UncleAIdidn'twantyoutowriteanything
aboutthehotel."
"Jesus,"Jacksaidagain."Thebruises,Danny.Whotriedto
strangleyou?"
Danny'sfacewentdark."Her,"hesaid."Thewomaninthat
room.In217.The
deadlady."Hislipsbegantotrembleagain,andheseizedthe
teacupanddrank.
JackandWendyexchangedascaredlookoverhisbowedhead.
"Doyouknowanythingaboutthis?"heaskedher.
Sheshookherhead."Notaboutthis,no."
"Danny?"Heraisedtheboy'sfrightenedface."Try,son.We're
righthere."
"Iknewitwasbadhere,"Dannysaidinalowvoice."Ever
sincewewerein
Boulder.BecauseTonygavemedreamsaboutit."
"Whatdreams?"
"Ican'tremembereverything.HeshowedmetheOverlookat
night,withaskull
andcrossbonesonthefront.Andtherewaspounding.
Something...Idon't
rememberwhat..chasingafterme.Amonster.Tonyshowedme
aboutredrum."
"What'sthat,doc?"Wendyasked.
Heshookhishead."Idon'tknow."
"Rum,likeyohohoandabottleofrum?"Jackasked.
Dannyshookhisheadagain."Idon'tknow.Thenwegothere,
andMr.Hallorann
talkedtomeinhiscar.Becausehehastheshine,too."
"Shine?"
"It's..."Dannymadeasweeping,allencompassinggesture
withhishands.
"It'sbeingabletounderstandthings.Toknowthings.Sometimes
youseethings.
LikemeknowingUncleAlcalled.AndMr.Hallorannknowingyou
callmedoc.Mr.
Hallorann,hewaspeelingpotatoesintheArmywhenheknewhis
brothergot
killedinatraincrash.Andwhenhecalledhomeitwastrue."
"HolyGod,"Jackwhispered."You'renotmakingthisup,are
you,Dan?"
Dannyshookhisheadviolently."No,IsweartoGod."Then,
withatouchof
prideheadded:"Mr.HallorannsaidIhadthebestshineof
anyoneheevermet.
Wecouldtalkbackandforthtoeachotherwithouthardlyopening
ourmouths."
Hisparentslookedateachotheragain,franklystunned.
"Mr.Halloranngotmealonebecausehewasworried,"Dannywent
on."Hesaid
thiswasabadplaceforpeoplewhoshine.Hesaidhe'dseen
things.Isaw
something,too;RightafterItalkedtohim.WhenMr.Ullmanwas
takingus
around."
"Whatwasit?"Jackasked.
"InthePresidentialSweet.Onthewallbythedoorgoinginto
thebedroom.A
wholelotofbloodandsomeotherstuff.Gushystuff.Ithink..
.thatthe
gushystuffmusthavebeenbrains."
"OhmyGod,"Jacksaid.
Wendywasnowverypale,herlipsnearlygray.
"Thisplace,"Jacksaid."Someprettybadtypesowneditawhile
back.
OrganizationpeoplefromLasVegas."
"Crooks?"Dannyasked.
"Yeah,crooks."HelookedatWendy."In1966abigtimehood
namedVito
Gienelligotkilledupthere,alongwithhistwobodyguards.
Therewasapicture
inthenewspaper.Dannyjustdescribedthepicture."
"Mr.Hallorannsaidhesawsomeotherstuff,"Dannytoldthem.
"Onceaboutthe
playground.Andonceitwassomethingbadinthatroom.217.A
maidsawitand
lostherjobbecauseshetalkedaboutit.SoMr.Hallorannwent
upandhesawit
too.Buthedidn'ttalkaboutitbecausehedidn'twanttolose
hisjob.Except
hetoldmenevertogointhere.ButIdid.BecauseIbelieved
himwhenhesaid
thethingsyousawherecouldn'thurtyou."Thislastwasnearly
whisperedina
low,huskyvoice,andDannytouchedthepuffedcircleofbruises
onhisneck.
"Whatabouttheplayground?"Jackaskedinastrange,casual
voice.
"Idon'tknow.Theplayground,hesaid.Andthehedgeanimals."
Jackjumpedalittle,andWendylookedathimcuriously.
"Haveyouseenanythingdownthere,Jack?"
"No,"hesaid."Nothing."
Dannywaslookingathim.
"Nothing,"hesaidagain,morecalmly.Andthatwastrue.He
hadbeenthe
victimofanhallucination.Andthatwasall.
"Danny,wehavetohearaboutthewoman,"Wendysaidgently.
SoDannytoldthem,buthiswordscameincyclicbursts,
sometimesalmost
vergingonincomprehensiblegarbleinhishurrytospititout
andbefreeof
it.Hepushedtighterandtighteragainsthismother'sbreastsas
hetalked.
"Iwentin,"hesaid."Istolethepasskeyandwentin.Itwas
likeIcouldn't
helpmyself.Ihadtoknow.Andshe...thelady...wasin
thetub.Shewas
dead.Allswelledup.Shewasnuhnuh...didn'thaveno
clotheson."He
lookedmiserablyathismother."Andshestartedtogetupand
shewantedme.I
knowshedidbecauseIcouldfeelit.Shewasn'teventhinking,
notthewayyou
andDaddythink.Itwasblack...itwashurtthink...
like...likethe
waspsthatnightinmyroom!Onlywantingtohurt.Likethe
wasps."
Heswallowedandtherewassilenceforamoment,allquiet
whiletheimageof
thewaspssankintothem.
"SoIran,"Dannysaid."Iranbutthedoorwasclosed.Ileft
itopenbutit
wasclosed.Ididn'tthinkaboutjustopeningitagainand
runningout.Iwas
scared.SoIjust...Ileanedagainstthedoorandclosedmy
eyesandthought
ofhowMr.Hallorannsaidthethingsherewerejustlikepictures
inabookand
ifI....keptsayingtomyself...you'renotthere,go
away,you'renot
there...shewouldgoaway.Butitdidn'twork."
Hisvoicebegantorisehysterically.
"Shegrabbedme...turnedmearound...Icouldseeher
eyes...how
hereyeswere...andshestartedtochokeme...Icould
smellher...I
couldsmellhowdeadshewas..s"
"Stopnow,shhh,"Wendysaid,alarmed."Stop,Danny.It'sall
right.It"
Shewasgettingreadytogointohercroonagain.TheWendy
TorranceAll
purposeCroon.Pat.Pending.
"Lethimfinish,"Jacksaidcurtly.
"Thereisn'tanymore,"Dannysaid."Ipassedout.Either
becauseshewas
chokingmeorjustbecauseIwasscared.WhenIcameto,Iwas
dreamingyouand
MommywerefightingovermeandyouwantedtodotheBadThing
again,Daddy.
ThenIknewitwasn'tadreamatall...andIwasawake...
and...Iwet
mypants.Iwetmypantslikeababy."Hisheadfellbackagainst
Wendy's
sweaterandhebegantocrywithhorribleweakness,hishands
lyinglimpand
spentinhislap.
Jackgotup."Takecareofhim."
"Whatareyougoingtodo?"Herfacewasfullofdread.
"I'mgoinguptothatroom,whatdidyouthinkIwasgoingto
do?Havecoffee?
"
"No!Don't,Jack,pleasedon't!"
"Wendy,ifthere'ssomeoneelseinthehotel,wehavetoknow."
"Don'tyoudareleaveusalone!"sheshriekedathim.Spittle
flewfromher
lipswiththeforceofhercry.
Jacksaid:"Wendy,that'saremarkableimitationofyourmom."
Sheburstintotearsthen,unabletocoverherfacebecause
Dannywasonher
lap.
"I'msorry,"Jacksaid."ButIhaveto,youknow.I'mthe
goddamcaretaker.
It'swhatI'mpaidfor."
Sheonlycriedharderandheleftherthatway,goingoutof
thekitchen,
rubbinghismouthwithhishandkerchiefasthedoorswungshut
behindhim.
"Don'tworry,mommy,"Dannysaid."He'llbeallright.He
doesn'tshine.
Nothingherecanhurthim."
Throughhertearsshesaid,"No,Idon'tbelievethat."

<<30>>

217REVISITED

Hetooktheelevatorupanditwasstrange,becausenoneof
themhadusedthe
elevatorsincetheymovedin.Hethrewthebrasshandleoverand
itwheezed
vibratoriouslyuptheshaft,thebrassgraterattlingmadly.
Wendyhadatrue
claustrophobe'shorroroftheelevator,heknew.Sheenvisioned
thethreeof
themtrappedinitbetweenfloorswhilethewinterstormsraged
outside,she
couldseethemgrowingthinnerandweaker,starvingtodeath.Or
perhapsdining
oneachother,thewaythoseRugbyplayershad.Heremembereda
bumpersticker
hehadseeninBoulder,RUGBYPLAYERSEATTHEIROWNDEAD.He
couldthinkof
others.YOUAREWHATYOUEAT.Ormenuitems.Welcometothe
OverlookDining
Room,PrideoftheRockies.EatinSplendorattheRoofofthe
World.Human
HaunchBroiledOverMatchesLaSpecialitedelaMaison.The
contemptuoussmile
flickedoverhisfeaturesagain.Asthenumber2roseonthe
shaftwall,he
threwthebrasshandlebacktothehomepositionandtheelevator
carcreakedto
astop.HetookhisExcedrinfromhispocket,shookthreeofthem
intohishand,
andopenedtheelevatordoor.NothingintheOverlookfrightened
him.Hefelt
thatheanditweresimpdtico.
HewalkedupthehallflippinghisExcedrinintohismouthand
chewingthem
onebyone.Heroundedthecornerintotheshortcorridoroffthe
mainhall.The
doortoRoom217wasajar,andthepasskeyhungfromthelockon
itswhite
paddle.
Hefrowned,feelingawaveofirritationandevenrealanger.
Whateverhad
comeofit,theboyhadbeentrespassing.Hehadbeentold,and
toldbluntly,
thatcertainareasofthehotelwereofflimits:theequipment
shed,the
basement,andalloftheguestrooms.HewouldtalktoDanny
aboutthatjustas
soonastheboywasoverhisfright.Hewouldtalktohim
reasonablybut
sternly.Therewereplentyoffatherswhowouldhavedonemore
thanjusttalk.
Theywouldhaveadministeredagoodshaking,andperhapsthatwas
whatDanny
needed.Iftheboyhadgottenascare,wasn'tthatatleasthis
justdeserts?
Hewalkeddowntothedoor,removedthepasskey,droppedit
intohispocket,
andsteppedinside.Theoverheadlightwason.Heglancedatthe
bed,sawitwas
notrumpled,andthenwalkeddirectlyacrosstothebathroom
door.Acurious
certaintyhadgrowninhim.AlthoughWatsonhadmentionedno
namesorroom
numbers,Jackfeltsurethatthiswastheroomthelawyer'swife
andherstud
hadshared,thatthiswasthebathroomwhereshehadbeenfound
dead,fullof
barbituratesandColoradoLoungebooze.
Hepushedthemirrorbackedbathroomdooropenandstepped
through.Thelight
inherewasoff.Heturneditonandobservedthelong,Pullman
carroom,
furnishedinthedistinctiveearlynineteenhundredsremodeled
inthetwenties
stylethatseemedcommontoallOverlookbathrooms,exceptfor
theonesonthe
thirdfloorthosewereproperlyByzantine,asbefittedthe
royalty,politicians,
moviestars,andcaposwhohadstayedthereovertheyears.
Theshowercurtain,apallidpastelpink,wasdrawn
protectivelyaroundthe
longclawfootedtub.
(neverthelesstheydidmove)
Andforthefirsttimehefelthisnewsenseofsureness
(almostcockiness)
thathadcomeoverhimwhenDannyrantohimshoutingItwasher!
Itwasher!
desertinghim.Achilledfingerpressedgentlyagainstthebase
ofhisspine,
coolinghimofftendegrees.Itwasjoinedbyothersandthey
suddenlyrippled
allthewayuphisbacktohismedullaoblongata,playinghis
spinelikea
jungleinstrument.
HisangeratDannyevaporated,andashesteppedforwardand
pushedtheshower
curtainbackhismouthwasdryandhefeltonlysympathyforhis
sonandterror
forhimself.
Thetubwasdryandempty.
Reliefandirritationventedinasudden"Pahl"soundthat
escapedhis
compressedlipslikeaverysmallexplosive.Thetubhadbeen
scrubbedcleanat
theendoftheseason;exceptfortheruststainunderthetwin
faucets,it
sparkled.Therewasafaintbutdefinablesmellofcleanser,the
kindthatcan
irritateyournosewiththesmellofitsownrighteousnessfor
weeks,even
months,afterithasbeenused.
Hebentdownandranhisfingertipsalongthebottomofthe
tub.Dryasa
bone.Notevenahintofmoisture.Theboyhadbeeneither
hallucinatingor
outrightlying.Hefeltangryagain.Thatwaswhenthebathmaton
thefloor
caughthisattention.Hefrowneddownatit.Whatwasabathmat
doinginhere?
Itshouldbedowninthelinencupboardattheendofthewing
withtherestof
thesheetsandtowelsandpillowslips.Allthelinenwas
supposedtobethere.
Noteventhebedswerereallymadeupintheseguestrooms;the
mattresseshad
beenzippedintoclearplasticandthencoveredwithbedspreads.
Hesupposed
Dannymighthavegonedownandgottenitthepasskeywouldopen
thelinen
cupboardbutwhy?Hebrushedthetipsofhisfingersbackand
forthacrossit.
Thebathmatwasbonedry.
Hewentbacktothebathroomdoorandstoodinit.Everything
wasallright.
Theboyhadbeendreaming.Therewasnotathingoutofplace.It
wasalittle
puzzlingaboutthebathmat,granted,butthelogicalexplanation
wasthatsome
chambermaid,hurryinglikemadonthelastdayoftheseason,had
justforgotten
topickitup.Otherthanthat,everythingwas
Hisnostrilsflaredalittle.Disinfectant,thatselfrighteous
smell,
cleanerthanthou.And
Soap?
Surelynot.Butoncethesmellhadbeenidentified,itwastoo
clearto
dismiss.Soap.AndnotoneofthosepostcardsizebarsofIvory
theyprovideyou
withinhotelsandmotels,either.Thisscentwaslightand
perfumed,alady's
soap.Ithadapinksortofsmell.CamayorLowila,thebrand
thatWendyhad
alwaysusedinStovington.
(It'snothing.It'syourimagination.)
(yeslikethehedgesneverthelesstheydidmove)
(Theydidnotmove!)
Hecrossedjerkilytothedoorwhichgaveonthehall,feeling
theirregular
thumpofaheadachebeginningathistemples.Toomuchhad
happenedtoday,too
muchbyfar.Hewouldn'tspanktheboyorshakehim,justtalkto
him,butby
God,hewasn'tgoingtoaddRoom217tohisproblems.Notonthe
basisofadry
bathmatandafaintsmellofLowilasoap.He
Therewasasuddenrattling,metallicsoundbehindhim.Itcame
justashis
handclosedaroundthedoorknob,andanobservermighthave
thoughtthebrushed
steeloftheknobcarriedanelectriccharge.Hejerked
convulsively,eyes
widening,otherfacialfeaturesdrawingin,grimacing.
Thenhehadcontrolofhimself,alittle,anyway,andhelet90
ofthe
doorknobandturnedcarefullyaround.Hisjointscreaked.He
begantowalkback
tothebathroomdoor,stepbyleadenstep.
Theshowercurtain,whichhehadpushedbacktolookintothe
tub,wasnow
drawn.Themetallicrattle,whichhadsoundedtohimlikeastir
ofbonesina
crypt,hadbeenthecurtainringsontheoverheadbar.Jack
staredatthe
curtain.Hisfacefeltasifithadbeenheavilywaxed,alldead
skinonthe
outside,live,hotrivuletsoffearontheinside.Thewayhehad
feltonthe
playground.
Therewassomethingbehindthepinkplasticshowercurtain.
Therewas
somethinginthetub.
Hecouldseeit,illdefinedandobscurethroughtheplastic,a
nearly
amorphousshape.Itcouldhavebeenanything.Atrickofthe
light.Theshadow
oftheshowerattachment.Awomanlongdeadandreclininginher
bath,abarof
Lowilainonestiffeninghandasshewaitedpatientlyfor
whateverlovermight
come.
Jacktoldhimselftostepforwardboldlyandraketheshower
curtainback.To
exposewhatevermightbethere.Insteadheturnedwithjerky,
marionette
strides,hisheartwhammingfrightfullyinhischest,andwent
backintothe
bed/sittingroom.
Thedoortothehallwasshut.
Hestaredatitforalong,immobilesecond.Hecouldtastehis
terrornow.It
wasinthebackofhisthroatlikeatasteofgoneovercherries.
Hewalkedtothedoorwiththatsamejerkystrideandforced
hisfingersto
curlaroundtheknob.
(Itwon'topen.)
Butitdid.
Heturnedoffthelightwithafumblinggesture,steppedout
intothehall,
andpulledthedoorshutwithoutlookingback.Frominside,he
seemedtohearan
oddwetthumpingsound,faroff,dim,asifsomethinghadjust
scrambled
belatedlyoutofthetub,asiftogreetacaller,asifithad
realizedthe
callerwasleavingbeforethesocialamenitieshadbeencompleted
andsoitwas
nowrushingtothedoor,allpurpleandgrinning,toinvitethe
callerback
inside.Perhapsforever.
Footstepsapproachingthedoororonlytheheartbeatinhis
ears?
Hefumbledatthepasskey.Itseemedsludgy,unwillingtoturn
inthelock.He
attackedthepasskey.Thetumblerssuddenlyfellandhestepped
backagainstthe
corridor'sfarwall,alittlegroanofreliefescapinghim.He
closedhiseyes
andalltheoldphrasesbegantoparadethroughhismind,it
seemedtheremust
behundredsofthem,
(crackingupnotplayingwithafulldecklostyamarblesguy
justwentloony
tuneshewentupandoverthehighsidewentbananaslosthis
footballcrackers
nutshalfaseabag)
allmeaningthesamething:losingyourmind.
"No,"hewhimpered,hardlyawarethathehadbeenreducedto
this,whimpering
withhiseyesshutlikeachild."Ohno,God.Please,God,no."
Butbelowthetumbleofhischaoticthoughts,belowthe
triphammerbeatofhis
heart,hecouldhearthesoftandfutilesoundofthedoorknob
beingturnedto
andfroassomethinglockedintriedhelplesslytogetout,
somethingthat
wantedtomeethim,somethingthatwouldliketobeintroducedto
hisfamilyas
thestormshriekedaroundthemandwhitedaylightbecameblack
night.Ifhe
openedhiseyesandsawthatdoorknobmovinghewouldgomad.So
hekeptthem
shut,andafteranunknowabletime,therewasstillness.
Jackforcedhimselftoopenhiseyes,halfconvincedthatwhen
hedid,she
wouldbestandingbeforehim.Butthehallwasempty.
Hefeltwatchedjustthesame.
Helookedatthepeepholeinthecenterofthedoorand
wonderedwhatwould
happenifheapproachedit,staredintoft.Whatwouldhebe
eyeballtoeyeball
with?
Hisfeetweremoving
(feetsdon'tfailmenow)
beforeherealizedit.Heturnedthemawayfromthedoorand
walkeddownto
themainhall,hisfeetwhisperingontheblueblackjungle
carpet.Hestopped
halfwaytothestairsandlookedatthefireextinguisher.He
thoughtthatthe
foldsofcanvaswerearrangedinaslightlydifferentmanner.And
hewasquite
surethatthebrassnozzlehadbeenpointingtowardtheelevator
whenhecameup
thehall.Nowitwaspointingtheotherway.
"Ididn'tseethatatall,"JackTorrancesaidquiteclearly.
Hisfacewas
whiteandhaggardandhismouthkepttryingtogrin.
Buthedidn'ttaketheelevatorbackdown.Itwastoomuchlike
anopenmouth.
Toomuchbyhalf.Hetookthestairs.

<<31>>
THEVERDICT

Hesteppedintothekitchenandlookedatthem,bouncingthe
passkeyafew
inchesupoffhislefthand,makingthechainonthewhitemetal
tonguejingle,
thencatchingitagain.Dannywaspallidandwornout.Wendyhad
beencrying,he
saw;hereyeswereredanddarklycircled.Hefeltasuddenburst
ofgladnessat
this.Hewasn'tsufferingalone,thatwassure.
Theylookedathimwithoutspeaking.
"Nothingthere,"hesaid,astoundedbytheheartinessofhis
voice."Nota
thing."
Hebouncedthepasskeyupanddown,upanddown,smiling
reassuringlyatthem,
watchingthereliefspreadovertheirfaces,andthoughthehad
neverinhis
lifewantedadrinksobadlyashedidrightnow.

<<32>>

THEBEDROOM

LatethatafternoonJackgotacotfromthefirstfloorstorage
roomandput
itinthecorneroftheirbedroom.Wendyhadexpectedthatthe
boywouldbehalf
thenightgettingtosleep,butDannywasnoddingbefore"The
Waltons"washalf
over,andfifteenminutesaftertheyhadtuckedbiroinhewas
fardownin
sleep,moveless,onebandtuckedunderhischeek.Wendysat
watchinghim,
holdingherplaceinafatpaperbackcopyofCashelmarawithone
finger.Jack
satathisdesk,lookingathisplay.
"Ohshit,"Jacksaid.
WendylookedupfromhercontemplationofDanny."What?"
"Nothing."
Helookeddownattheplaywithsmolderingilltemper.How
couldhehave
thoughtitwasgood?Itwaspuerile.Ithadbeendoneathousand
times.Worse,
hehadnoideahowtofinishit.Onceithadseemedsimple
enough.Denker,ina
fitofrage,seizesthepokerfrombesidethefireplaceandbeats
saintlyGary
todeath.Then,standingspreadleggedoverthebody,thebloody
pokerinone
hand,hescreamsattheaudience:"It'sheresomewhereandIwill
findit!"
Then,asthelightsdimandthecurtainisslowlydrawn,the
audiencesees
Gary'sbodyfacedownontheforestageasDenkerstridestothe
upstagebookcase
andfeverishlybeginspullingbooksfromtheshelves,lookingat
them,throwing
themaside.Hebadthoughtitwassomethingoldenoughtobenew,
aplaywhose
noveltyalonemightbeenoughtoseeitthroughasuccessful
Broadwayrun:a
tragedyinfiveacts.
But,inadditiontohissuddendiversionofinteresttothe_
Overlooks
history,somethingelsehadhappened.Hehaddevelopedopposing
feelingsabout
hischaracters.Thiswassomethingquitenew.Ordinarilyheliked
allofhis
characters,thegoodandthebad.Hewasgladhedid.Itallowed
himtotryto
seealloftheirsidesandunderstandtheirmotivationsmore
clearly.His
favoritestory,soldtoasmallsouthernMainemagazinecalled
Contrabandfor
copies,hadbeenapiececalled"TheMonkeyIsHere,Paul
DeLong."Ithadbeen
aboutachildmolesterabouttocommitsuicideinhisfurnished
room.Thechild
molester'snamehadbeenPaulDeLong,Monkeytohisfriends.Jack
hadliked
Monkeyverymuch.HesympathizedwithMonkey'sbizarreneeds.
knowingthat
Monkeywasnottheonlyonetoblameforthethreerapemurders
inhispast.
Therehadbeenbadparents,thefatherabeaterashisownfather
hadbeen,the
motheralimpandsilentdishragashismotherhadbeen.A
homosexualexperience
ingrammarschool.Publichumiliation.Worseexperiencesinhigh
schooland
college.Hehadbeenarrestedandsenttoaninstitutionafter
exposinghimself
toapairoflittlegirlsgettingoffaschoolbus.Worstofall,
hehadbeen
dismissedfromtheinstitution,letbackoutontothestreets,
becausetheman
inchargehaddecidedhewasallright.Thisman'snamehadbeen
Grimmer.
GrimmerhadknownthatMonkeyDeLongwasexhibitingdeviant
symptoms,buthehad
writtenthegood,hopefulreportandhadlethimgoanyway.Jack
likedand
sympathizedwithGrimmer,too.Grimmerhadtorunanunderstaffed
and
underfundedinstitutionandtrytokeepthewholethingtogether
withspit,
balingwire,andnickleanddimeappropriationsfromastate
legislaturewhohad
togobackandfacethevoters.GrimmerknewthatMonkeycould
interactwith
otherpeople,thathedidnotsoilhispantsortrytostabhis
fellowinmates
withthescissors.HedidnotthinkhewasNapoleon.Thestaff
psychiatristin
chargeofMonkey'scasethoughttherewasabetterthaneven
chancethatMonkey
couldmakeitonthestreet,andtheybothknewthatthelongera
manisinan
institutionthemorehecomestoneedthatclosedenvironment,
likeajunkie
withhissmack.Andmeanwhile,peoplewereknockingdownthe
doors.Paranoids,
schizoids,cycloids,semicatatonics,menwhoclaimedtohavegone
toheavenin
flyingsaucers,womenwhohadburnedtheirchildren'ssexorgans
offwithBic
lighters,alcoholics,pyromaniacs,kleptomaniacs,manic
depressives,suicidals.
Tougholdworld,baby.Ifyou'renotboltedtogethertightly,
you'regonna
shake,rattle,androllbeforeyouturnthirty.Jackcould
sympathizewith
Grimmer'sproblem.Hecouldsympathizewiththeparentsofthe
murdervictims.
Withthemurderedchildrenthemselves,ofcourse.AndwithMonkey
DeLong.Let
thereaderlayblame.Inthosedayshehadn'twantedtojudge.
Thecloakofthe
moralistsatbadlyonhisshoulders.
HehadstartedTheLittleSchoolinthesameoptimisticvein.
Butlatelyhe
hadbeguntochooseupsides,andworsestill,hehadcometo
loathehishero,
GaryBenson.Originallyconceivedasabrightboymorecursed
withmoneythan
blessedwithit,aboywhowantedmorethananythingtocompilea
goodrecordso
hecouldgotoagooduniversitybecausehehadearnedadmission
andnotbecause
hisfatherhadpulledstrings,hehadbecometoJackakindof
simperingGoody
Twoshoes,apostulantbeforethealtarofknowledgeratherthan
asincere
acolyte,anoutwardparagonofBoyScoutvirtues,inwardly
cynical,fillednot
withrealbrilliance(ashehadfirstbeenconceived)butonly
withslyanimal
cunning.AllthroughtheplayheunfailinglyaddressedDenkeras
"sir,"justas
Jackhadtaughthisownsontoaddressthoseolderandthosein
authorityas
"sir."HethoughtthatDannyusedthewordquitesincerely,and
GaryBensonas
originallyconceivedhadtoo,butashehadbegunActV,ithad
comemoreand
morestronglytohimthatGarywasusingthewordsatirically,
outwardly
straightfacedwhiletheGaryBensoninsidewasmuggingand
leeringatDenker.
Denker,whohadneverhadanyofthethingsGaryhad.Denker,who
hadhadto
workallhislifejusttobecomeheadofasinglelittleschool.
Whowasnow
facedwithruinoverthishandsome,innocentseemingrichboywho
hadcheatedon
hisFinalCompositionandhadthencunninglycoveredhistracks.
Jackhadseen
DenkertheteacherasnotmuchdifferentfromthestruttingSouth
American
littleCaesarsintheirbananakingdoms,standingdissidentsup
againstthewall
ofthehandiestsquashorhandballcourt,asuperzealotina
comparatively
smallpuddle,amanwhoseeverywhimbecomesacrusade.Inthe
beginninghehad
wantedtousehisplayasamicrocosmtosaysomethingaboutthe
abuseofpower.
NowhetendedmoreandmoretoseeDenkerasaMr.Chipsfigure,
andthetragedy
wasnottheintellectualrackingofGaryBensonbutratherthe
destructionofa
kindlyoldteacherandheadmasterunabletoseethroughthe
cynicalwilesof
thismonstermasqueradingasaboy.
Hehadn'tbeenabletofinishtheplay.
Nowhesatlookingdownatit,scowling,wonderingiftherewas
anywayhe
couldsalvagethesituation.Hedidn'treallythinktherewas.He
badbegunwith
oneplayandithadsomehowturnedintoanother,prestochango.
Well,whatthe
hell.Eitherwayithadbeendonebefore.Eitherwayitwasa
loadofshit.And
whywashedrivinghimselfcrazyaboutittonightanyway?After
thedayjust
gonebyitwasnowonderhecouldn'tthinkstraight.
"gethimdown?"
Helookedup,tryingtoblinkthecobwebsaway."Huh?"
"Isaid,howarewegoingtogethimdown?We'vegottogethim
outofhere,
Jack."
Foramomenthiswitsweresoscatteredthathewasn'teven
surewhatshewas
talkingabout.Thenherealizedandutteredashort,barking
laugh.
"Yousaythatasifitweresoeasy."
"Ididn'tmean"
"Noproblem,Wendy.I'lljustchangeclothesinthattelephone
boothdownin
thelobbyandflyhimtoDenveronmyback.SupermanJack
Torrance,theycalled
meinmysaladdays."
Herfaceregisteredslowhurt.
"Iunderstandtheproblem,Jack.Theradioisbroken.The
snow...butyou
havetounderstandDanny'sproblem.MyGod,don'tyou?Hewas
nearlycatatonic,
Jack!Whatifhehadn'tcomeoutofthat?"
"Buthedid,"Jacksaid,atrifleshortly.Hehadbeen
frightenedatDanny's
blankeyed,slackfacedstatetoo,ofcoursehehad.Atfirst.
Butthemorehe
thoughtaboutit,themorehewonderedifithadn'tbeenapiece
ofplayacting
putontoescapehispunishment.Hehad,afterall,been
trespassing.
"Allthesame,"shesaid.Shecametohimandsatontheendof
thebedbyhis
desk.Herfacewasbothsurprisedandworried."Jack,thebruises
onhisneck!
Somethinggotathim!AndIwanthimawayfromit!"
"Don'tshout,"hesaid."Myheadaches,Wendy.I'masworried
aboutthisas
youare,soplease...don't...shout."
"Allright,"shesaid,loweringhervoice."Iwon'tshout.But
Idon't
understandyou,Jack.Someoneisinherewithus.Andnotavery
nicesomeone,
either.WehavetogetdowntoSidewinder,notjustDannybutall
ofus.
Quickly.Andyou...you'resittingtherereadingyourplay!"
"'Wehavetogetdown,wehavetogetdown,'youkeepsaying
that.Youmust
thinkIreallyamSuperman."
"Ithinkyou'remyhusband,"shesaidsoftly,andlookeddown
atherhands.
Histemperflared.Heslammedtheplayscriptdown,knockingthe
edgesofthe
pileoutoftrueagainandcrumplingthesheetsonthebottom.
"It'stimeyougotsomeofthehometruthsintoyou,Wendy.You
don'tseemto
haveinternalizedthem,asthesociologistssay.They'reknocking
aroundupin
yourheadlikeabunchofloosecueballs.Youneedtoshootthem
intothe
pockets.Youneedtounderstandthatwearesnowedin."
Dannyhadsuddenlybecomeactiveinhisbed.Stillsleeping,he
hadbegunto
twistandturn.Thewayhealwaysdidwhenwefought,Wendy
thoughtdismally.
Andwe'redoingitagain.
"Don'twakehimup,Jack.Please."
HeglancedoveratDannyandsomeoftheflushwentoutofhis
cheeks."Okay.
I'msorry.I'msorryIsoundedmad,Wendy.It'snotreallyfor
you.ButIbroke
theradio.Ifit'sanybody'sfaultit'smine.Thatwasourbig
linktothe
outside.Ollyoilyinforfree.Pleasecomegetus,Mister
Ranger.Wecan'tstay
outthislate."
"Don't,"shesaid,andputahandonhisshoulder.Heleaned
hisheadagainst
it.Shebrushedhishairwithherotherhand."Iguessyou'vegot
aright,after
whatIaccusedyouof.SometimesIamlikemymother.Icanbea
bitch.Butyou
havetounderstandthatsomethings...arehardtogetover.
Youhaveto
understandthat."
"Doyoumeanhisarm?"Hislipshadthinned.
"Yes,"Wendysaid,andthensherushedon:"Butit'snotjust
you.Iworry
whenhegoesouttoplay.Iworryabouthimwantingatwowheeler
nextyear,
evenonewithtrainingwheels.Iworryabouthisteethandhis
eyesightand
aboutthisthing,whathecallshisshine.Iworry.Becausehe's
littleandhe
seemsveryfragileandbecause...becausesomethinginthis
hotelseemsto
wanthim.Anditwillgothroughustogethimifithasto.
That'swhywemust
gethimout,Jack.Iknowthat!Ifeelthat!Wemustgethim
out!"
Herhandhadtightenedpainfullyonhisshoulderinher
agitation,buthe
didn'tmoveaway.Onehandfoundthefirmweightofherleft
breastandhebegan
tostrokeitthroughhershirt.
"Wendy,"hesaid,andstopped.Shewaitedforhimtorearrange
whateverhehad
tosay.Hisstronghandonherbreastfeltgood,soothing."I
couldmaybe
snowshoehimdown.Hecouldwalkpartofthewayhimself,butI
wouldmostly
havetocarryhim.Itwouldmeancampingoutone,two,maybe
threenights.That
wouldmeanbuildingatravoistocarrysuppliesandbedrollson.
Wehavethe
AM/FMradio,sowecouldpickadaywhentheweatherforecast
calledfora
threedayspellofgoodweather.Butiftheforecastwaswrong,"
hefinished,
hisvoicesoftandmeasured,"Ithinkwemightdie."
Herfacehadpaled.Itlookedshiny,almostghostly.He
continuedtostroke
herbreast,rubbingtheballofhisthumbgentlyoverthenipple.
Shemadeasoftsoundfromhiswordsorinreactiontohis
gentlepressureon
herbreast,hecouldn'ttell.Heraisedhishandslightlyand
undidthetop
buttonofhershirt.Wendyshiftedherlegsslightly.Allatonce
herjeans
seemedtootight,slightlyirritatinginapleasantsortofway.
"Itwouldmeanleavingyoualonebecauseyoucan'tsnowshoe
worthbeans.It
wouldbemaybethreedaysofnotknowing.Wouldyouwantthat?"
Hishanddropped
tothesecondbutton,slippedit,andthebeginningofher
cleavagewasexposed.
"No,"shesaidinavoicethatwasslightlythick.Sheglanced
overatDanny.
Hehadstoppedtwistingandturning.Histhumbhadcreptback
intohismouth.So
thatwasallright.ButJackwasleavingsomethingoutofthe
picture.Itwas
toobleak.Therewassomethingelse...what?
"Ifwestayput,"Jacksaid,unbuttoningthethirdandfourth
buttonswith
thatsamedeliberateslowness,"arangerfromtheparkoragame
wardenisgoing
topokeinherejusttofindouthowwe'redoing.Atthatpoint
wesimplytell
himwewantdown.He'llseetoit."Heslippedhernakedbreasts
intothewideV
oftheopenshirt,bent,andmoldedhislipsaroundthestemofa
nipple.Itwas
hardanderect.Heslippedhistongueslowlybackandforth
acrossitinaway
heknewsheliked.Wendymoanedalittleandarchedherback.
(?SomethingI'veforgotten?)
"Honey?"sheasked.Ontheirownherhandssoughtthebackof
hisheadsothat
whenheansweredhisvoicewasmuffledagainstherflesh.
"Howwouldtherangertakeusout?"
Heraisedhisheadslightlytoanswerandthensettledhis
mouthagainstthe
othernipple.
"IfthehelicopterwasspokenforIguessitwouldhavetobe
bysnowmobile."
(!!!)
"Butwehaveoneofthose!Ullmansaidso!"
Hismouthfrozeagainstherbreastforamoment,andthenhe
satup.Herown
facewasslightlyflushed,hereyesoverbright.Jack'sonthe
otherhand,was
calm,asifhehadbeenreadingaratherdullbookinsteadof
engagingin
foreplaywithhiswife.
"Ifthere'sasnowmobilethere'snoproblem,"shesaid
excitedly."Wecanall
threegodowntogether."
"Wendy,I'veneverdrivenasnowmobileinmylife."
"Itcan'tbethathardtolearn.BackinVermontyouseeten
yearoldsdriving
theminthefields...althoughwhattheirparentscanbe
thinkingofIdon't
know.Andyouhadamotorcyclewhenwemet."Hehad,aHonda
350cc.Hehad
tradeditinonaSaabshortlyafterheandWendytookup
residencetogether.
"IsupposeIcould,"hesaidslowly."ButIwonderhowwell
it'sbeen
maintained.UllmanandWatson...theyrunthisplacefromMay
toOctober.
Theyhavesummertimeminds.Iknowitwon'thavegasinit.There
maynotbe
plugsorabattery,either.Idon'twantyoutogetyourhopesup
overyour
head,Wendy."
Shewastotallyexcitednow,leaningoverhim,herbreasts
tumblingoutofher
shirt.Hehadasuddenimpulsetoseizeoneandtwistituntil
sheshrieked.
Maybethatwouldteachhertoshutup.
"Thegasisnoproblem,"shesaid."TheVW`andthehoteltruck
arebothfull.
There'sgasfortheemergencygeneratordownstairs,too.And
theremustbea
gascanoutinthatshedsoyoucouldcarryextra."
"Yes,"hesaid."Thereis"Actuallytherewerethreeofthem,
twofivegallons
andatwogallon.
"I'llbetthesparkplugsandthebatteryareouttheretoo.
Nobodywouldstore
theirsnowmobileinoneplaceandtheplugsandbatterysomeplace
else,would
they?"
"Doesn'tseemlikely,doesit?"Hegotupandwalkedoverto
whereDannylay
sleeping.AspillofhairhadfallenacrosshisforeheadandJack
brushedit
awaygently.Dannydidn'tstir.
"Andifyoucangetitrunningyou'lltakeusout?"sheasked
frombehindhim.
"Onthefirstdaytheradiosaysgoodweather?"
Foramomenthedidn'tanswer.Hestoodlookingdownathis
son,andhismixed
feelingsdissolvedinawaveoflove.Hewasthewayshehad
said,vulnerable,
fragile.Themarksonhisneckwereveryprominent.
"Yes,"hesaid."I'llgetitrunningandwe'llgetoutasquick
aswecan."
"ThankGod!"
Heturnedaround.Shehadtakenoffhershirtandlayonthe
bed,herbelly
flat,herbreastsaimedperkilyattheceiling.Shewasplaying
withthem
lazily,flickingatthenipples."Hurryup,gentlemen,"shesaid
softly,"time."

***

After,withnolightburningintheroombutthenightlight
thatDannyhad
broughtwithhimfromhisroom,shelayinthecrookofhisarm,
feeling
deliciouslyatpeace.Shefoundithardtobelievetheycouldbe
sharingthe
Overlookwithamurderousstowaway.
"Jack?"
"Hmmmm?"
"Whatgotathim?"
Hedidn'tanswerherdirectly."Hedoeshavesomething.Some
talenttherest
ofusaremissing.Themostofus,begpardon.Andmaybethe
Overlookhas
something,too."
"Ghosts?"
"Idon'tknow.NotintheAlgernonBlackwoodsense,that'sfor
sure.Morelike
theresiduesofthefeelingsofthepeoplewhohavestayedhere.
Goodthingsand
badthings.Inthatsense,Isupposethateverybighotelhasgot
itsghosts.
Especiallytheoldones."
"Butadeadwomaninthetub...Jack,he'snotlosinghis
mind,ishe?"
Hegaveherabriefsqueeze."Weknowhegoesinto...well,
trances,for
wantofabetterword...fromtimetotime.Weknowthatwhen
he'sinthemhe
sometimes...sees?...thingshedoesn'tunderstand.If
precognitive
trancesarepossible,they'reprobablyfunctionsofthe
subconsciousmind.Freud
saidthatthesubconsciousneverspeakstousinliteral
language.Onlyin
symbols.Ifyoudreamaboutbeinginabakerywherenoonespeaks
English,you
maybeworriedaboutyourabilitytosupportyourfamily.Or
maybejustthatno
oneunderstandsyou.I'vereadthatthefallingdreamisa
standardoutletfor
feelingsofinsecurity.Games,littlegames.Consciousonone
sideofthenet,
subconsciousontheother,servingsomecockamamieimagebackand
forth.Same
withmentalillness,withhunches,allofthat.Whyshould
precognitionbeany
different?MaybeDannyreallydidseebloodalloverthewallsof
the
PresidentialSuite.Toakidhisage,theimageofbloodandthe
conceptof
deatharenearlyinterchangeable.Tokids,theimageisalways
moreaccessible
thantheconcept,anyway.WilliamCarlosWilliamsknewthat,he
wasa
pediatrician.Whenwegrowup,conceptsgraduallygeteasierand
weleavethe
imagestothepoets...andI'mjustramblingon."
"Iliketohearyouramble."
"Shesaidit,folks.Shesaidit.Youallheardit."
"Themarksonhisneck,Jack.Thosearereal."
"Yes."
Therewasnothingelseforalongtime.Shehadbeguntothink
hemusthave
gonetosleepandshewasslippingintoadrowseherselfwhenhe
said:
"Icanthinkoftwoexplanationsforthose.Andneitherofthem
involvesa
fourthpartyinthehotel."
"What?"Shecameupononeelbow.
"Stigmata,maybe,"hesaid.
"Stigmata?Isn'tthatwhenpeoplebleedonGoodFridayor
something?"
"Yes.SometimespeoplewhobelievedeeplyinChrist'sdivinity
exhibit
bleedingmarksontheirhandsandfeetduringtheHolyWeek.It
wasmorecommon
intheMiddleAgesthannow.Inthosedayssuchpeoplewere
consideredblessed
byGod.Idon'tthinktheCatholicChurchproclaimedanyofitas
outandout
miracles,whichwasprettysmartofthem.Stigmataisn'tmuch
differentfrom
someofthethingstheyogiscando.It'sbetterunderstoodnow,
that'sall.The
peoplewhounderstandtheinteractionbetweenthemindandthe
bodystudyit,I
mean,nooneunderstandsitbelievewehavealotmorecontrol
overour
involuntaryfunctionsthantheyusedtothink.Youcanslowyour
heartbeatif
youthinkaboutitenough.Speedupyourownmetabolism.Make
yourselfsweat
more.Ormakeyourselfbleed."
"YouthinkDannythoughtthosebruisesontohisneck?Jack,I
justcan't
believethat."
"Icanbelieveit'spossible,althoughitseemsunlikelytome,
too.What's
morelikelyisthathedidittohimself."
"Tohimself?"
"He'sgoneintothese'trances'andhurthimselfinthepast.
Doyouremember
thetimeatthesuppertable?Abouttwoyearsago,Ithink.We
weresuperpissed
ateachother.Nobodytalkingverymuch.Then,allatonce,his
eyesrolledup
inhisheadandhewentfacefirstintohisdinner.Thenontothe
floor.
Remember?"
"Yes,"shesaid."Isuredo.Ithoughthewashavinga
convulsion."
"Anothertimewewereinthepark,"hesaid."JustDannyandI.
Saturday
afternoon.Hewassittingonaswing,coastingbackandforth.He
collapsedonto
theground.Itwaslikehe'dbeenshot.Iranoverandpickedhim
upandallof
asuddenhejustcamearound.Hesortofblinkedatmeandsaid,
`Ihurtmy
tummy.TellMommytoclosethebedroomwindowsifitrains.'And
thatnightit
rainedlikehell."
"Yes,but"
"Andhe'salwayscominginwithcutsandscrapedelbows.His
shinslooklikea
battlefieldindistress.Andwhenyouaskhimhowhegotthisone
orthatone,
hejustsays`Oh,Iwasplaying,'andthat'stheendofit."
"Jack,allkidsgetbumpedandbruisedup.Withlittleboys
it'salmost
constantfromthetimetheylearntowalkuntilthey'retwelveor
thirteen."
"AndI'msureDannygetshisshare,"Jackresponded."He'san
activekid.But
Irememberthatdayintheparkandthatnightatthesupper
table.AndIwonder
ifsomeofourkid'sbumpsandbruisescomefromjustkeeling
over.ThatDr.
EdmondssaidDannydiditrightinhisoffice,forChrist's
sake!"
"Allright.Butthosebruiseswerefingers.I'dsweartoit.He
didn'tget
themfallingdown."
"Hegoesintoatrance,"Jacksaid."Maybeheseessomething
thathappenedin
thatroom.Anargument.Maybeasuicide.Violentemotions.It
isn'tlike
watchingamovie;he'sinahighlysuggestiblestate.He'sright
inthedamn
thing.Hissubconsciousismaybevisualizingwhateverhappenedin
asymbolicway
...asadeadwomanwho'saliveagain,zombie,undead,ghoul,
youpickyour
term."
"You'regivingmegoosebumps,"shesaidthickly.
"I'mgivingmyselfafew.I'mnopsychiatrist,butitseemsto
fitsowell.
Thewalkingdeadwomanasasymbolfordeademotions,deadlives,
thatjust
won'tgiveupandgoaway...butbecauseshe'sasubconscious
figure,she's
alsohim.Inthetrancestate,theconsciousDannyissubmerged.
The
subconsciousfigureispullingthestrings.SoDannyputhis
handsaroundhis
ownneckand"
"Stop,"shesaid."Igetthepicture.Ithinkthat'smore
frighteningthan
havingastrangercreepingaroundthehalls,Jack.Youcanmove
awayfroma
stranger.Youcan'tmoveawayfromyourself.You'retalkingabout
schizophrenia."
"Ofaverylimitedtype,"hesaid,butatrifleuneasily."And
ofavery
specialnature.Becausehedoesseemabletoreadthoughts,and
hereallydoes
seemtohaveprecognitiveflashesfromtimetotime.Ican't
thinkofthatas
mentalillnessnomatterhowhardItry.Weallhaveschizo
depositsinus
anyway.IthinkasDannygetsolder,he'llgetthisunder
control."
"Ifyou'reright,thenit'simperativethatwegethimout.
Whateverhehas,
thishotelismakingitworse."
"Iwouldn'tsaythat,"heobjected."Ifhe'ddoneashewas
told,henever
wouldhavegoneuptothatroominthefirstplace.Itnever
wouldhave
happened."
"MyGod,Jack!Areyouimplyingthatbeinghalfstrangledwasa
...a
fittingpunishmentforbeingofflimits?"
"No...no.Ofcoursenot.But"
"Nobuts,"shesaid,shakingherheadviolently."Thetruthis,
we're
guessing.Wedon'thaveanyideawhenhemightturnacornerand
runintooneof
those...airpockets,onereelhorrormovies,whateverthey
are.Wehaveto
gethimaway."Shelaughedalittleinthedarkness."Nextthing
we'llbeseeing
things."
"Don'ttalknonsense,"hesaid,andinthedarknessoftheroom
hesawthe
hedgelionsbunchingaroundthepath,nolongerflankingitbut
guardingit,
hungryNovemberlions.Coldsweatsprangoutonhisbrow.
"Youdidn'treallyseeanything,didyou?"shewasasking."I
mean,whenyou
wentuptothatroom.Youdidn'tseeanything?"
Thelionsweregone.Nowhesawapinkpastelshowercurtain
withadarkshape
loungingbehindit.Thecloseddoor.Thatmuffled,hurriedthump,
andsounds
afteritthatmighthavebeenrunningfootsteps.Thehorrible,
lurchingbeatof
hisownheartashestruggledwiththepasskey.
"Nothing,"hesaid,andthatwastrue.Hehadbeenstrungtip,
notsureof
whatwashappening.Hehadn'thadachancetosiftthroughhis
thoughtsfora
reasonableexplanationconcerningthebruisesonhisson'sneck.
Hehadbeen
prettydamnsuggestiblehimself.Hallucinationscouldsometimes
becatching.
"Andyouhaven'tchangedyourmind?Aboutthesnowmobile,I
mean?"
Hishandsclampedintosuddentightfists
(Stopnaggingme!)
byhissides."IsaidIwould,didn'tI?Iwill.Nowgoto
sleep.It'sbeena
longhardday."
"Andhow,"shesaid.Therewasarustleofbedclothesasshe
turnedtowardhim
andkissedhisshoulder."Iloveyou,Jack."
"Iloveyoutoo,"hesaid,buthewasonlymouthingthewords.
Hishandswere
stillclenchedintofists.Theyfeltlikerocksontheendsof
hisarms.The
pulsebeatprominentlyinhisforehead.Shehadn'tsaidaword
aboutwhatwas
goingtohappentothemaftertheygotdown,whenthepartywas
over.Notone
word.IthadbeenDannythisandDannythatandJackI'mso
scared.Ohyes,she
wasscaredofalotofclosetboogeymenandjumpingshadows,
plentyscared.But
therewasnolackofrealones,either.Whentheygotdownto
Sidewinderthey
wouldarrivewithsixtydollarsandtheclothestheystoodupin.
Notevena
car.EvenifSidewinderbadapawnshop,whichitdidn't,theyhad
nothingto
hockbutWendy'sninetydollardiamondengagementringandthe
SonyAM/FMradio.
Apawnbrokermightgivethemtwentybucks.Akindpawnbroker.
Therewouldbeno
job,notevenparttimeorseasonal,exceptmaybeshovelingout
drivewaysfor
threedollarsashot.ThepictureofJohnTorrance,thirtyyears
old,whohad
oncepublishedinEsquireandwhohadharboreddreamsnotatall
unreasonable
dreams,hefeltofbecomingamajorAmericanwriterduringthe
nextdecade,with
ashovelfromtheSidewinderWesternAutoonhisshoulder,
ringingdoorbells..
.thatpicturesuddenlycametohimmuchmoreclearlythanthe
hedgelionsand
heclenchedhisfiststighterstill,feelingthefingernailssink
intohispalms
anddrawbloodinmysticquartermoonshapes.JohnTor_rance,
standinginline
tochangehissixtydollarsintofoodstamps,standinginline
againatthe
SidewinderMethodistChurchtogetdonatedcommoditiesanddirty
looksfromthe
locals.JohnTorranceexplainingtoAlthatthey'djusthadto
leave,hadto
shutdowntheboiler,hadtoleavetheOverlookandallit
containedopento
vandalsorthievesonsnowmachinesbecause,yousee,Al,
attendezvous,Al,
thereareghostsupthereandtheyhaveitinformyboy.Good
by,Al.Thoughts
ofChapterFour,SpringComesforJohnTorrance.Whatthen?
Whateverthen?They
mightbeabletogettotheWestCoastintheVW,hesupposed.A
newfuelpump
woulddoit.Fiftymileswestofhereanditwasalldownhill,
youcoulddamn
nearputthebuginneutralandcoasttoUtah.Ontosunny
California,landof
orangesandopportunity.Amanwithhissterlingrecordof
alcoholism,student
beating,andghostchasingwouldundoubtedlybeabletowritehis
ownticket.
Anythingyoulike.CustodialengineerswampingoutGreyhound
buses.The
automotivebusinesswashingcarsinarubbersuit.Theculinary
arts,perhaps,
washingdishesinadiner.Orpossiblyamoreresponsible
position,suchas
pumpinggas.Ajoblikethatevenheldtheintellectual
stimulationofmaking
changeandwritingoutcreditslips.Icangiveyoutwentyfive
hoursaweekat
theminimumwage.ThatwasheavytunesinayearwhenWonder
breadwentfor
sixtycentsaloaf.
Bloodhadbeguntotrickledownfromhispalms.Likestigmata,
ohyes.He
squeezedtighter,savaginghimselfwithpain.Hiswifewasasleep
besidehim,
whynot?Therewerenoproblems.Hehadagreedtotakeherand
Dannyawayfrom
thebigbadboogeymanandtherewerenoproblems.Soyousee,Al,
Ithoughtthe
bestthingtodowouldbeto
(killher.)
Thethoughtroseupfromnowhere,nakedandunadorned.Theurge
totumbleher
outofbed,naked,bewildered,justbeginningtowakeup;to
pounceonher,
seizehernecklikethegreenlimbofayoungaspenandto
throttleher,thumbs
onwindpipe,fingerspressingagainstthetopofherspine,
jerkingherheadup
andrammingitbackdownagainstthefloorboards,againand
again,whamming,
whacking,smashing,crashing.Jitterandjive,baby.Shake,
rattle,androll.He
wouldmakehertakehermedicine.Everydrop.Everylastbitter
drop.
Hewasdimlyawareofamufflednoisesomewhere,justoutside
hishotand
racinginnerworld.HelookedacrosstheroomandDannywas
thrashingagain,
twistinginhisbedandrumplingtheblankets.Theboywas
moaningdeepinhis
throat,asmall,cagedsound.Whatnightmare?Apurplewoman,
longdead,
shamblingafterhimdowntwistinghotelcorridors?Somehowhe
didn'tthinkso.
SomethingelsechasedDannyinhisdreams.Somethingworse.
Thebitterlockofhisemotionswasbroken.Hegotoutofbed
andwentacross
totheboy,feelingsickandashamedofhimself.ItwasDannyhe
hadtothink
of,notWendy,nothimself.OnlyDanny.Andnomatterwhatshape
hewrestledthe
factsinto,heknewinhisheartthatDannymustbetakenout.He
straightened
theboy'sblanketsandaddedthequiltfromthefootofthebed.
Dannyhad
quietedagainnow.Jacktouchedthesleepingforehead
(whatmonsterscaperingjustbehindthatridgeofbone?)
andfounditwarm,butnotoverlyso.Andhewassleeping
peacefullyagain.
Queer.
Hegotbackintobedandtriedtosleep.Iteludedhim.
Itwassounfairthatthingsshouldturnoutthiswaybadluck
seemedto
stalkthem.Theyhadn'tbeenabletoshakeitbycominguphere
afterall.By
thetimetheyarrivedinSidewindertomorrowafternoon,the
goldenopportunity
wouldhaveevaporatedgonethewayofthebluesuedeshoe,asan
oldroommate
ofhishadbeenwonttosay.Considerthedifferenceifthey
didn'tgodown,if
theycouldsomehowstickitout.Theplaywouldgetfinished.One
wayorthe
other,hewouldtackanendingontoit.Hisownuncertaintyabout
hischaracters
mightaddanappealingtouchofambiguitytohisoriginalending.
Perhapsit
wouldevenmakehimsomemoney,itwasn'timpossible.Even
lackingthat,Al
mightwellconvincetheStovingtonBoardtorehirehim.Hewould
beonproof
course,maybeforaslongasthreeyears,butifhecouldstay
soberandkeep
writing,hemightnothavetostayatStovingtonforthreeyears.
Ofcoursehe
hadn'tcaredmuchforStovingtonbefore,hehadfeltstifled,
buriedalive,but
thathadbeenanimmaturereaction.Furthermore,howmuchcoulda
manenjoy
teachingwhenhewentthroughhisfirstthreeclasseswitha
skullbusting
hangovereverysecondorthirdday?Itwouldn'tbethatway
again.Hewouldbe
abletohandlehisresponsibilitiesmuchbetter.Hewassureof
it.
Somewhereinthemidstofthatthought,thingsbegantobreak
upandhe
drifteddownintosleep.Hislastthoughtfollowedhimdownlike
asounding
bell:
Itseemedthathemightbeabletofindpeacehere.Atlast.If
theywould
onlylethim.

***

Whenhewokeuphewasstandinginthebathroomof217.
(beenwalkinginmysleepagainwhy?noradiostobreakup
here)
Thebathroomlightwason,theroombehindhimindarkness.The
showercurtain
wasdrawnaroundthelongclawfootedtub.Thebathmatbesideit
waswrinkled
andwet.
Hebegantofeelafraid,buttheverydreamlikequalityofhis
feartoldhim
thiswasnotreal.Yetthatcouldnotcontainthefear.Somany
thingsatthe
Overlookseemedlikedreams.
Hemovedacrossthefloortothetub,notwantingtobe
helplesstoturnhis
feetback.
Heflungthecurtainopen.
Lyinginthetub,naked,lollingalmostweightlessinthe
water,wasGeorge
Hatfield,aknifestuckinhischest.Thewateraroundhimwas
stainedabright
pink.George'seyeswereclosed.Hispenisfloatedlimply,like
kelp.
"George"heheardhimselfsay.
Attheword,George'seyessnappedopen.Theyweresilver,not
humaneyesat
all.George'shands,fishwhite,foundthesidesofthetuband
hepulled
himselfuptoasittingposition.Theknifestuckstraightout
fromhischest,
equidistantlyplacedbetweennipples.Thewoundwaslipless.
"Yousetthetimerahead,"silvereyedGeorgetoldhim.
"No,George,Ididn't.I"
"Idon'tstutter."
Georgewasstandingnow,stillfixinghimwiththatinhuman
silverglare,but
hismouthhaddrawnbackinadeadandgrimacingsmile.Hethrew
onelegover
theporcelainedsideofthetub.Onewhiteandwrinkledfoot
placeditselfon
thebathmat.
"Firstyoutriedtorunmeoveronmybikeandthenyousetthe
timerahead
andthenyoutriedtostabmetodeathbutIstilldon't
stutter."Georgewas
comingforhim,hishandsout,thefingersslightlycurled.He
smelledmoldyand
wet,likeleavesthathadbeenrainedon.
"Itwasforyourowngood,"Jacksaid,backingup."Isetit
aheadforyour
owngood.Furthermore,IhappentoknowyoucheatedonyourFinal
Composition."
"Idon'tcheat...andIdon'tstutter."
George'shandstouchedhisneck.
Jackturnedandran,ranwiththefloating,weightlessslowness
thatisso
commontodreams.
"Youdid!Youdidcheat!"hescreamedinfearandangerashe
crossedthe
darkenedbed/sittingroom."I'llproveit!"
George'shandswereonhisneckagain.Jack'sheartswelled
withfearuntilhe
wassureitwouldburst.Andthen,atlast,hishandcurled
aroundthedoorknob
anditturnedunderhishandandheyankedthedooropen.He
plungedout,not
intothesecondfloorhallway,butintothebasementroombeyond
thearch.The
cobwebbylightwason.Hiscampchair,starkandgeometrical,
stoodbeneathit.
Andallarounditwasaminiaturemountainrangeofboxesand
cratesandbanded
bundlesofrecordsandinvoicesandGodknewwhat.Reliefsurged
throughhim.
"I'llfindit!"heheardhimselfscreaming.Heseizedadamp
andmoldering
cardboardbox;itsplitapartinhishands,spillingouta
waterfallofyellow
flimsies."It'sheresomewhere!Iwillfindit!"Heplungedhis
handsdeepinto
thepileofpapersandcameupwithadry,paperywasps'nestin
onehandanda
timerintheother.Thetimerwasticking.Attachedtoitsback
wasalengthof
electricalcordandattachedtotheotherendofthecordwasa
bundleof
dynamite."Here!"hescreamed."Here,takeit!"
Hisreliefbecameabsolutetriumph.Hehaddonemorethan
escapeGeorge,;be
hadconquered.Withthesetalismanicobjectsinhishands,George
wouldnever
touchhimagain.Georgewouldfleeinterror.
HebegantoturnsohecouldconfrontGeorge,andthatwaswhen
George'shands
settledaroundhisneck,squeezing,stoppinghisbreath,damming
uphis
respirationentirelyafteronefinaldragginggasp.
"Idon'tstutter,"whisperedGeorgefrombehindhim.
Hedroppedthewasps'nestandwaspsboiledoutofitina
furiousbrownand
yellowwave.Hislungswereonfire.Hiswaveringsightfellon
thetimerand
thesenseoftriumphreturned,alongwithacrestingwaveof
righteouswrath.
Insteadofconnectingthetimertodynamite,thecordrantothe
goldknobofa
stoutblackcane,liketheonehisfatherhadcarriedafterthe
accidentwith
themilktruck.
Hegraspeditandthecordparted.Thecanefeltheavyand
rightinhishands.
Heswungitbackoverhisshoulder.Onthewayupitglanced
againstthewire
fromwhichthelightbulbdependedandthelightbegantoswing
backandforth,
makingtheroom'shoodedshadowsrockmonstrouslyagainstthe
floorandwalls.
Onthewaydownthecanestrucksomethingmuchharder.George
screamed.Thegrip
onJack'sthroatloosened.
HetorefreeofGeorge'sgripandwhirled.Georgewasonhis
knees,hishead
drooping,hishandslacedtogetherontopofit.Bloodwelled
throughhis
fingers.
"Please,"Georgewhisperedhumbly."Givemeabreak,Mr.
Torrance,"
"Nowyou'lltakeyourmedicine,"Jackgrunted."NowbyGod,
won'tyou.Young
pup.Youngworthlesscur.NowbyGod,rightnow.Everydrop.
Everysingledamn
drop!"
Asthelightswayedabovehimandtheshadowsdancedand
flapped,hebeganto
swingthecane,bringingitdownagainandagain,hisarmrising
andfalling
likeamachine.George'sbloodyprotectingfingersfellawayfrom
hisheadand
Jackbroughtthecanedownagainandagain,andonhisneckand
shouldersand
backandarms.Exceptthatthecanewasnolongerpreciselya
cane;itseemedto
beamalletwithsomekindofbrightlystripedhandle.Amallet
withahardside
andsoftside.Thebusinessendwasclottedwithbloodandhair.
Andtheflat,
whackingsoundofthemalletagainstfleshhadbeenreplacedwith
ahollow
boomingsound,echoingandreverberating.Hisownvoicehadtaken
onthissame
quality,bellowing,disembodied.Andyet,paradoxically,it
soundedweaker,
slurred,petulant...asifheweredrunk.
Thefigureonitskneesslowlyraiseditshead,asifin
supplication.There
wasnotaface,precisely,butonlyamaskofbloodthroughwhich
eyespeered.
Hebroughtthemalletbackforafinalwhistlingdownstrokeand
itwasfully
launchedbeforehesawthatthesupplicatingfacebelowhimwas
notGeorge'sbut
Danny's.Itwasthefaceofhisson.
"Daddy"
Andthenthemalletcrashedhome,strikingDannyrightbetween
theeyes,
closingthemforever.Andsomethingsomewhereseemedtobe
laughing
(!No!)

***

HecameoutofitstandingnakedoverDanny'sbed,hishands
empty,hisbody
sheenedwithsweat.Hisfinalscreamhadonlybeeninhismind.
Hevoicedit
again,thistimeinawhisper.
"No.No,Danny.Never."
Hewentbacktobedonlegsthathadturnedtorubber.Wendy
wassleeping
deeply.Theclockonthenightstandsaiditwasquartertofive.
Helay
sleeplessuntilseven,whenDannybegantostirawake.Thenhe
puthislegsover
theedgeofthebedandbegantodress.Itwastimetogo
downstairsandcheck
theboiler.

<<33>>

THESNOWMOBILE

Sometimeaftermidnight,whiletheyallsleptuneasily,the
snowhadstopped
afterdumpingafresheightinchesontheoldcrust.Theclouds
hadbroken,a
freshwindhadsweptthemaway,andnowJackstoodinadusty
ingotofsunlight,
whichslantedthroughthedirtywindowsetintotheeasternside
ofthe
equipmentshed.
Theplacewasaboutaslongasafreightcar,andaboutas
high.Itsmelledof
greaseandoilandgasolineandfaint,nostalgicsmellsweet
grass.Fourpower
lawnmowerswererankedlikesoldiersonreviewagainstthesouth
wall,twoof
themtheridingtypethatlooklikesmalltractors.Totheirleft
wereposthole
diggers,roundbladedshovelsmadefordoingsurgeryonthe
puttinggreen,a
chainsaw,theelectrichedgeclippers,andalongthinsteel
polewithared
flagatthetop.Caddy,fetchmyballinundertensecondsand
there'saquarter
initforyou.Yes,sir.
Againsttheeasternwall,wherethemorningsunslantedinmost
strongly,
threePingPongtablesleanedoneagainsttheotherlikea
drunkenhouseof
cards.Theirnetshadbeenremovedandfloppeddownfromthe
shelfabove.Inthe
cornerwasastackofshuffleboardweightsandaroquesetthe
wicketsbanded
togetherwithtwistsofwire,thebrightlypaintedballsinan
eggcartonsort
ofthing(strangehensyouhaveuphere,Watson...yes,and
youshouldsee
theanimalsdownonthefrontlawn,haha),andthemallets,two
setsofthem,
standingintheirracks.
Hewalkedovertothem,steppingoveranoldeightcellbattery
(whichhad
oncesatbeneaththehoodofthehoteltruck,nodoubt)anda
batterycharger
andapairofJ.C.Penneyjumpercablescoiledbetweenthem.He
slippedoneof
theshorthandledmalletsoutofthefrontrackandhelditupin
frontofhis
face,likeaknightboundforbattlesalutinghisking.
Fragmentsofhisdream(itwasalljumblednow,fading)
recurred,something
aboutGeorgeHatfieldandhisfather'scane,justenoughtomake
himuneasyand,
absurdlyenough,atrifleguiltyaboutholdingaplainold
gardenvarietyroque
mallet.Notthatroquewassuchacommongardenvarietygame
anymore;itsmore
moderncousin,croquet,wasmuchmorepopularnow...anda
child'sversionof
thegameatthat.Roque,however...thatmusthavebeenquitea
game.Jackhad
foundamildewedrulebookdowninthebasement,fromoneofthe
yearsinthe
earlytwentieswhenaNorthAmericanRoqueTournamenthadbeen
heldatthe
Overlook.Quiteagame.
(schizo)
Hefrownedalittle,thensmiled.Yes,itwasaschizosortof
gameatthat.
Themalletexpressedthatperfectly.Asoftendandahardend.A
gameof
finesseandaim,andagameofraw,bludgeoningpower.
Heswungthemalletthroughtheair...whhhoooop.Hesmiled
alittleatthe
powerful,whistlingsounditmade.Thenhereplaceditinthe
rackandturnedto
hisleft.Whathesawtheremadehimfrownagain.
Thesnowmobilesatalmostinthemiddleoftheequipmentshed,
afairlynew
one,andJackdidn'tcareforitslooksatall.BombardierSkidoo
waswrittenon
thesideoftheenginecowlingfacinghiminblackletterswhich
hadbeenraked
backward,presumablytoconnotespeed.Theprotrudingskiswere
alsoblack.
Therewasblackpipingtotherightandleftofthecowling,what
theywould
callracingstripesonasportscar.Buttheactualpaintjobwas
abright,
sneeringyellow,andthatwaswhathedidn'tlikeaboutit.
Sittingthereinits
shaftofmorningsun,yellowbodyandblackpiping,blackskis
andblack
upholsteredopencockpit,itlookedlikeamonstrousmechanized
wasp.Whenit
wasrunningitwouldsoundlikethattoo.Whiningandbuzzingand
readyto
sting.Butthen,whatelseshoulditlooklike?Itwasn'tflying
underfalse
colors,atleast.Becauseafterithaddoneitsjob,theywere
goingtobe
hurtingplenty.Allofthem.ByspringtheTorrancefamilywould
behurtingso
badlythatwhatthosewaspshaddonetoDanny'shandwouldlook
likeamother's
kisses.
Hepulledhishandkerchieffromhisbackpocket,wipedhis
mouthwithit,and
walkedovertotheSkidoo.Hestoodlookingdownatit,thefrown
verydeepnow,
andstuffedhishandkerchiefbackintohispocket.Outsidea
suddengustofwind
slammedagainsttheequipmentshed,makingitrockandcreak.He
lookedoutthe
windowandsawthegustcarryingasheetofsparklingsnow
crystalstowardthe
driftedinrearofthehotel,whirlingthemhighintothehard
bluesky.
Thewinddroppedandbewentbacktolookingatthemachine.It
wasa
disgustingthing,really.Youalmostexpectedtoseealong,
limberstinger
protrudingfromtherearofit.Hehadalwaysdislikedthegoddam
snowmobiles.
Theyshiveredthecathedralsilenceofwinterintoamillion
rattlingfragments.
Theystartledthewildlife.Theysentouthugeandpollutive
cloudsofblueand
billowingoilsmokebehindthemcough,cough,gag,gag,letme
breathe.They
wereperhapsthefinalgrotesquetoyoftheunwindingfossilfuel
age,givento
tenyearoldsforChristmas.
HerememberedanewspaperarticlehehadreadinStovington,a
storydatelined
someplaceinMaine.Akidonasnowmobile,barrelassingupa
roadhe'dnever
traveledbeforeatbetterthanthirtymilesanhour.Night.His
headlightoff.
TherehadbeenaheavychainstrungbetweentwopostswithaNO
TRESPASSINGsign
hungfromthemiddle.Theysaidthatinallprobabilitythekid
neversawit.
Themoonmighthavegonebehindacloud.Thechainhad
decapitatedhim.Reading
thestoryJackhadbeenalmostglad,andnow,lookingdownat
thismachine,the
feelingrecurred.
(Ifitwasn'tforDanny,Iwouldtakegreatpleasurein
grabbingoneofthose
mallets,openingthecowling,andjustpoundinguntil)
Helethispentupbreathescapehiminalongslowsigh.Wendy
wasright.
Comehell,highwater,orthewelfareline,Wendywasright.
Poundingthis
machinetodeathwouldbetheheightoffolly,nomatterhow
pleasantanaspect
thatfollymade.Itwouldalmostbetantamounttopoundinghis
ownsontodeath.
"FuckingLuddite,"hesaidaloud.
Hewenttothebackofthemachineandunscrewedthegascap.He
founda
dipstickononeoftheshelvesthatranatchestheightaround
thewallsand
slippeditin.Thelasteighthofaninchcameoutwet.Notvery
much,but
enoughtoseeifthedamnthingwouldrun.Laterhecouldsiphon
morefromthe
Volksandthehoteltruck.
Hescrewedthecapbackonandopenedthecowling.No
sparkplugs,nobattery.
Hewenttotheshelfagainandbegantopokealongit,pushing
aside
screwdriversandadjustablewrenches,aonelungcarburetorthat
hadbeentaken
outofanoldlawnmower,plasticboxesofscrewsandnailsand
boltsofvarying
sizes.Theshelfwasthickanddarkwitholdgrease,andthe
years'accumulation
ofdusthadstucktoitlikefur.Hedidn'tliketouchingit.
Hefoundasmall,oilstainedboxwiththeabbreviationSkid.
laconically
markedonitinpencil.Heshookitandsomethingrattledinside.
Plugs.Heheld
oneofthemuptothelight,tryingtoestimatethegapwithout
huntingaround
forthegappingtool.Fuckit,hethoughtresentfully,and
droppedtheplugback
intothebox.Ifthegap'swrong,that'sjusttoodamnbad.Tough
fuckingtitty.
Therewasastoolbehindthedoor.Hedraggeditover,sat
down,andinstalled
thefoursparkplugs,thenfittedthesmallrubbercapsovereach.
Thatdone,be
lethisfingersplaybrieflyoverthemagneto.Theylaughedwhen
Isatdownat
thepiano.
Backtotheshelves.Thistimehecouldn'tfindwhathewanted,
asmall
battery.Athreeorfourcell.Thereweresocketwrenches,a
casefilledwith
drillsanddrillbits,bagsoflawnfertilizerandVigoroforthe
flowerbeds,
butnosnowmobilebattery.Itdidn'tbotherhimintheslightest.
Infact,it
madehimfeelglad.Hewasrelieved.Ididmybest,Captain,but
Icouldnotget
through.That'sfine,son.I'mgoingtoputyouinfortheSilver
Starandthe
PurpleSnowmobile.You'reacredittoyourregiment.Thankyou,
sir.Ididtry.
Hebegantowhistle"RedRiverValley"uptempoashepoked
alongthelasttwo
orthreefeetofshelf.Thenotescameoutinlittlepuffsof
whitesmoke.He
badmadeacompletecircuitoftheshedandthethingwasn't
there.Maybe
somebodyhadliftedit.MaybeWatsonhad.Helaughedaloud.The
oldoffice
bootlegtrick.Afewpaperclips,acoupleofreamsofpaper,
nobodywillmiss
thistableclothorthisGoldenRegalplacesetting...andwhat
aboutthis
finesnowmobilebattery?Yes,thatmightcomeinhandy.Tossit
inthesack.
Whitecollarcrime,Baby.Everybodyhasstickyfingers.Under
thejacket
discount,weusedtocallitwhenwewerekids.
Hewalkedbacktothesnowmobileandgavethesideofitagood
healthykick
ashewentby.Well,thatwastheendofit.Hewouldjusthave
totellWendy
sorry,baby,but
Therewasaboxsittinginthecornerbythedoor.Thestool
badbeenright
overit.Writtenonthetop,inpencil,wastheabbreviation
Skid.
Helookedatit,thesmiledryinguponhislips.Look,sir,
it'sthecavalry.
Lookslikeyoursmokesignalsmusthaveworkedafterall.
Itwasn'tfair.
Goddammit,itjustwasn'tfair.
Somethingluck,fate,providencehadbeentryingtosavehim.
Someother
luck,whiteluck.AndatthelastmomentbadoldJackTorrance
luckhadstepped
backin.Thelousyrunofcardswasn'toveryet.
Resentment,agray,sullenwaveofit,pusheduphisthroat.
Hishandshad
clenchedintofistsagain.
(Notfair,goddammit,notfair!)
Whycouldn'thehavelookedsomeplaceelse?Anyplace!Why
hadn'thehada
crickinhisneckoranitchinhisnoseortheneedtoblink?
Justoneofthose
littlethings.Heneverwouldhaveseenit.
Well,hehadn't.Thatwasall.Itwasanhallucination,no
differentfromwhat
hadhappenedyesterdayoutsidethatroomonthesecondflooror
thegoddamhedge
menagerie.Amomentarystrain,thatwasall.Fancy,IthoughtI
sawasnowmobile
batteryinthatcorner.Nothingtherenow.Combatfatigue,I
guess,sir.Sorry.
Keepyourpeckerup,son.Ithappenstoallofussooneror
later.
Heyankedthedooropenalmosthardenoughtosnapthebinges
andpulledhis
snowshoesinside.Theywereclottedwithsnowandheslappedthem
downhard
enoughonthefloortoraiseacloudofit.Heputhisleftfoot
ontheleft
shoe...andpaused.
Dannywasoutthere,bythemilkplatform.Tryingtomakea
snowman,bythe
looks.Notmuchluck;thesnowwastoocoldtosticktogether.
Still,hewas
givingittheoldcollegetry,outthereintheflashingmorning,
aspeckofa
bundledupboyabovethebrilliantsnowandbelowthebrilliant
sky.Wearinghis
hatturnedaroundbackwardlikeCarltonFiske.
(WhatinthenameofGodwereyouthinkingof?)
Theanswercamebackwithnopause.
(Me.Iwasthinkingofme.)
Hesuddenlyrememberedlyinginbedthenightbefore,lying
thereandsuddenly
hehadbeencontemplatingthemurderofhiswife.
Inthatinstant,kneelingthere,everythingcamecleartohim.
Itwasnotjust
DannytheOverlookwasworkingon.Itwasworkingonhim,too.It
wasn'tDanny
whowastheweaklink,itwashim.Hewasthevulnerableone,the
onewhocould
bebentandtwisteduntilsomethingsnapped.
(untililetgoandsleep...andwhenidothatifido
that)
Helookedupatthebanksofwindowsandthesunthrewbackan
almostblinding
glarefromtheirmanypanedsurfacesbuthelookedanyway.For
thefirsttimehe
noticedhowmuchtheyseemedlikeeyes.Theyreflectedawaythe
sunandheld
theirowndarknesswithin.ItwasnotDannytheywerelookingat.
Itwashim.
Inthosefewsecondsheunderstoodeverything.Therewasa
certainblackand
whitepictureherememberedseeingasachild,incatechism
class.Thenunhad
presentedittothemonaneaselandcalleditamiracleofGod.
Theclasshad
lookedatitblankly,seeingnothingbutajumbleofwhitesand
blacks,
senselessandpatternlessThenoneofthechildreninthethird
rowhadgasped,
"It'sJesus!"andthatchildhadgonehomewithabrandnew
Testamentandalsoa
calendarbecausehehadbeenfirst.Theothersstaredeven
harder,Jacky
Torranceamongthem.Onebyonetheotherkidshadgivena
similargasp,one
littlegirltransportedinnearecstasy,cryingoutshrilly:"I
seeHim!Isee
Him!"ShehadalsobeenrewardedwithaTestament.Atlast
everyonehadseenthe
faceofJesusinthejumbleofblacksandwhitesexceptJacky.He
strained
harderandharder,scarednow,partofhimcynicallythinking
thateveryoneelse
wassimplyputtingontopleaseSisterBeatrice,partofhim
secretlyconvinced
thathewasn'tseeingitbecauseGodhaddecidedhewastheworst
sinnerinthe
class."Don'tyouseeit,Jacky?"SisterBeatricehadaskedhim
inhersad,
sweetmanner.Iseeyourtits,hehadthoughtinvicious
desperation.Hebegan
toshakehishead,thenfakedexcitementandsaid:"Yes,Ido!
Wow!ItisJesus!
"Andeveryoneinclasshadlaughedandapplaudedhim,makinghim
feel
triumphant,ashamed,andscared.Later,wheneveryoneelsehad
tumbledtheirway
upfromthechurchbasementandoutontothestreethehad
lingeredbehind,
lookingatthemeaninglessblackandwhitejumblethatSister
Beatricehadleft
ontheeasel.Hehatedit.Theyhadallmadeitupthewayhe
had,evenSister
herself.Itwasabigfake."Shitfirehellfireshitfire,"hehad
whisperedunder
hisbreath,andasheturnedtogohebadseenthefaceofJesus
fromthecorner
ofhiseye,sadand.wise.Heturnedback,hisheartinhis
throat.Everything
hadsuddenlyclickedintoplaceandhehadstaredatthepicture
withfearful
wonder,unabletobelievehehadmissedit.Theeyes,thezigzag
ofshadow
acrossthecarewornbrow,thefinenose,thecompassionatelips.
Lookingat
JackTorrance.Whathadonlybeenameaninglesssprawlhad
suddenlybeen
transformedintoastarkblackandwhiteetchingofthefaceof
ChristOurLord.
Fearfulwonderbecameterror.Hehadcussedinfrontofapicture
ofJesus.He
wouldbedamned.Hewouldbeinhellwiththesinners.Theface
ofChristhad
beeninthepictureallalong.Allalong.
Now,kneelinginthesunandwatchinghissonplayinginthe
shadowofthe
hotel,heknewthatitwasalltrue.ThehotelwantedDanny,
maybeallofthem
butDannyforsure.Thehedgeshadreallywalked.Therewasa
deadwomanin217,
awomanthatwasperhapsonlyaspiritandharmlessundermost
circumstances,
butawomanwhowasnowanactivedanger.Likesomemalevolent
clockworktoyshe
hadbeenwoundupandsetinmotionbyDanny'sownoddmind...
andhisown.
HaditbeenWatsonwhohadtoldhimamanhaddroppeddeadofa
strokeoneday
ontheroquecourt?OrhaditbeenUllman?Itdidn'tmatter.
Therehadbeenan
assassinationonthethirdfloor.Howmanyoldquarrels,
suicides,strokes?How
manymurders?WasGradylurkingsomewhereinthewestwingwith
hisax,just
waitingforDannytostarthimupsohecouldcomebackoutof
thewoodwork?
ThepuffedcircleofbruisesaroundDanny'sneck.
Thetwinkling,halfseenbottlesinthedesertedlounge.
Theradio.
Thedreams.
Thescrapbookhehadfoundinthecellar.
(Medoc,areyouhere?I'vebeensleepwalkingagain,mydear...)
Hegotupsuddenly,thrustingthesnowshoesbackoutthedoor.
Hewasshaking
allover.Heslammedthedoorandpickeduptheboxwiththe
batteryinit.It
slippedthroughhisshakingfingers
(ohchristwhatificrackedit)
andthumpedoveronitsside.Hepulledtheflapsofthecarton
openand
yankedthebatteryout,heedlessoftheacidthatmightbe
leakingthroughthe
battery'scasingifithadcracked.Butithadn't.Itwaswhole.
Alittlesigh
escapedhislips.
Cradlingit,hetookitovertotheSkidooandputitonits
platformnearthe
frontoftheengine.Hefoundasmalladjustablewrenchononeof
theshelves
andattachedthebatterycablesquicklyandwithnotrouble.The
batterywas
live;noneedtousethechargeronit.Therehadbeenacrackle
ofelectricity
andasmallodorofozonewhenheslippedthepositivecableonto
itsterminal.
Thejobdone,hestoodaway,wipinghishandsnervouslyonhis
fadeddenim
jacket.There.Itshouldwork.Noreasonwhynot.Noreasonat
allexceptthat
itwaspartoftheOverlookandtheOverlookreallydidn'twant
themoutof
here.Notatall.TheOverlookwashavingonehellofagood
time.Therewasa
littleboytoterrorizeamanandhiswomantosetoneagainst
theother,andif
itplayeditscardsrighttheycouldendupflittingthroughthe
Overlook's
hallslikeinsubstantialshadesinaShirleyJacksonnovel,
whateverwalkedin
HillHousewalkedalone,butyouwouldn'tbealoneinthe
Overlook,ohno,there
wouldbeplentyofcompanyhere.Buttherewasreallynoreason
whythe
snowmobileshouldn'tstart.Exceptofcourse
(Excepthestilldidn'treallywanttogo.)
yes,exceptforthat.
HestoodlookingattheSkidoo,hisbreathpuffingoutin
frozenlittle
plumes.Hewantedittobethewayithadbeen.Whenhehadcome
inherehe'd
hadnodoubts.Goingdownwouldbethewrongdecision,hehad
knownthatthen.
Wendywasonlyscaredoftheboogeymansummonedupbyasingle
hystericallittle
boy.Nowsuddenly,hecouldseeherside.Itwaslikehisplay,
hisdamnable
play.Henolongerknewwhichsidehewason,orhowthings
shouldcomeout.
Onceyousawthefaceofagodinthosejumbledblacksand
whites,itwas
everybodyoutofthepoolyoucouldneverunseeit.Othersmight
laughandsay
it'snothing,justalotofsplotcheswithnomeaning,givemea
goodoldCraft
masterpaintbythenumbersanyday,butyouwouldalwaysseethe
faceof
ChristOurLordlookingoutatyou.Youhadseenitinone
gestaltleap,the
consciousandunconsciousmeldinginthatoneshockingmomentof
understanding.
Youwouldalwaysseeit.Youweredamnedtoalwaysseeit.
(I'vebeensleepwalkingagain,mydear...)
IthadbeenallrightuntilhehadseenDannyplayinginthe
snow.Itwas
Danny'sfault.EverythinghadbeenDanny'sfault.Hewastheone
withthe
shining,orwhateveritwas.Itwasn'tashining.Itwasacurse.
Ifheand
Wendyhadbeenherealone,theycouldhavepassedthewinter
quitenicely.No
pain,nostrainonthebrain.
(Don'twanttoleave.?Can't?)
TheOverlookdidn'twantthemtogoandhedidn'twantthemto
goeither.Not
evenDanny.Maybehewasapartofit,now.PerhapstheOverlook,
largeand
ramblingSamuelJohnsonthatitwas,hadpickedhimtobeits
Boswell.Yousay
thenewcaretakerwrites?Verygood,signhimon.Timewetold
ourside.Let's
getridofthewomanandhissnotnosedkidfirst,however.We
don'twanthimto
bedistracted.Wedon't
Hewasstandingbythesnowmobile'scockpit,hisheadstarting
toacheagain.
Whatdiditcomedownto?Goorstay.Verysimple.Keepit
simple.Shallwego
orshallwestay?
Ifwego,howlongwillitbebeforeyoufindthelocalholein
Sidewinder?a
voiceinsidehimasked.ThedarkplacewiththelousycolorTV
thatunshavenand
unemployedmenspendthedaywatchinggameshowson?Wherethe
pissinthemen's
roomsmellstwothousandyearsoldandthere'salwaysasodden
Camelbutt
unravelinginthetoiletbowl?Wherethebeeristhirtycentsa
glassandyou
cutitwithsaltandthejukeboxisloadedwithseventycountry
oldies?
Howlong?OhChrist,hewassoafraiditwouldn'tbelongat
all.
"Ican'twin,"hesaid,verysoftly.Thatwasit.Itwaslike
tryingtoplay
solitairewithoneoftheacesmissingfromthedeck.
AbruptlyheleanedovertheSkidoo'smotorcompartmentand
yankedoffthe
magneto.Itcameoffwithsickeningease.Helookedatitfora
moment,then
wenttotheequipmentshed'sbackdoorandopenedit.
Fromheretheviewofthemountainswasunobstructed,picture
postcard
beautifulinthetwinklingbrightnessofmorning.Anunbroken
fieldofsnowrose
tothefirstpinesaboutamiledistant.Heflungthemagnetoas
faroutinto
thesnowashecould.Itwentmuchfurtherthanitshouldhave.
Therewasa
lightpuffofsnowwhenitfell.Thelightbreezecarriedthe
snowgranulesaway
tofreshrestingplaces.Dispersethere,Isay.There'snothing
tosee.It'sall
over.Disperse.
Hefeltatpeace.
Hestoodinthedoorwayforalongtime,breathingthegood
mountainair,and
thenhecloseditfirmlyandwentbackouttheotherdoortotell
Wendythey
wouldbestaying.Ontheway,hestoppedandhadasnowballfight
withDanny.

<<34>>

THEHEDGES

ItwasNovember29,threedaysafterThanksgiving.Thelast
weekhadbeena
goodone,theThanksgivingdinnerthebestthey'deverhadasa
family.Wendy
hadcookedDickHallorann'sturkeytoaturnandtheyhadall
eatentobursting
withoutevencomingclosetodemolishingthejollybird.Jackhad
groanedthat
theywouldbeeatingturkeyfortherestofthewintercreamed
turkey,turkey
sandwiches,turkeyandnoodles,turkeysurprise.
No,Wendytoldhimwithalittlesmile.OnlyuntilChristmas.
Thenwehavethe
capon.
JackandDannygroanedtogether.
ThebruisesonDanny'sneckhadfaded,andtheirfearsseemed
tohavefaded
withthem.OnThanksgivingafternoonWendyhadbeenpullingDanny
aroundonhis
sledwhileJackworkedontheplay,whichwasnowalmostdone.
"Areyoustillafraid,doe?"shehadasked,notknowingbowto
putthe
questionlessbaldly.
"Yes,"heansweredsimply."ButnowIstayinthesafeplaces."
"Yourdaddysaysthatsoonerorlatertheforestrangerswill
wonderwhywe're
notcheckinginontheCBradio.They'llcometoseeifanything
iswrong.We
mightgodownthen.YouandI.Andletyourdaddyfinishthe
winter.Hehasgood
reasonsforwantingto.Inaway,doe...Iknowthisishard
foryouto
understand...ourbacksareagainstthewall."
"Yes,"hehadanswerednoncommittally.
Onthissparklingafternoonthetwoofthemwereupstairs,and
Dannyknewthat
theyhadbeenmakinglove.Theyweredozingnow.Theywerehappy,
heknew.His
motherwasstillalittlebitafraid,buthisfather'sattitude
wasstrange.It
wasafeelingthathehaddonesomethingthatwasveryhardand
haddoneit
right.ButDannycouldnotseemtoseeexactlywhatthesomething
was.His
fatherwasguardingthatcarefully,eveninhisownmind.Wasit
possible,Danny
wondered,tobegladyouhaddonesomethingandstillbeso
ashamedofthat
somethingthatyoutriednottothinkofit?Thequestionwasa
disturbingone.
Hedidn'tthinksuchathingwaspossible...inanormalmind.
Hishardest
probingsathisfatherhadonlybroughthimadimpictureof
somethinglikean
octopus,whirlingupintothehardbluesky.Andonboth
occasionsthathehad
concentratedhardenoughtogetthis,Daddyhadsuddenlybeen
staringathimin
asharpandfrighteningway,asifheknewwhatDannywasdoing.
Nowhewasinthelobby,gettingreadytogoout.Hewentouta
lot,taking
hissledorwearinghissnowshoes.Helikedtogetoutofthe
hotel.Whenhewas
outinthesunshine,itseemedlikeaweighthadslippedfromhis
shoulders.
Hepulledachairover,stoodonit,andgothisparkaandsnow
pantsoutof
theballroomcloset,andthensatdownonthechairtoputthem
on.Hisboots
wereinthebootboxandhepulledthemon,histonguecreeping
outintothe
cornerofhismouthinconcentrationashelacedthemandtied
therawhideinto
carefulgrannyknots.Hepulledonhismittensandhisskimask
andwasready.
Hetrampedoutthroughthekitchentothebackdoor,then
paused.Hewastired
ofplayingoutback,andatthistimeofdaythehotel'sshadow
wouldbecast
overhisplayarea.Hedidn'tevenlikebeingintheOverlook's
shadow.He
decidedbewouldputonhissnowshoesandgodowntothe
playgroundinstead.
DickHallorannhadtoldhimtostayawayfromthetopiary,but
thethoughtof
thehedgeanimalsdidnotbotherhimmuch.Theywereburiedunder
snowdrifts
now,nothingshowingbutavaguehumpthatwastherabbit'shead
andthelions'
tails.Stickingoutofthesnowthewaytheywere,thetails
lookedmoreabsurd
thanfrightening.
Dannyopenedthebackdoorandgothissnowshoesfromthemilk
platform.Five
minuteslaterhewasstrappingthemtohisfeetonthefront
porch.Hisdaddy
hadtoldhimthathe(Danny)hadthehangofusingthesnowshoes
thelazy,
shufflingstride,thetwistofanklethatshookthepowderysnow
fromthe
lacingsjustbeforethebootcamebackdownandallthatremained
wasforhimto
buildupthenecessarymusclesinhisthighsandcalvesand
ankles.Dannyfound
itathisanklesgottiredthefastest.Snowshoeingwasalmostas
hardonyour
anklesasskating,becauseyouhadtokeepclearingthelacings.
Everyfive
minutesorsohehadtostopwithhislegsspreadandthe
snowshoesfatonthe
snowtorestthem.
Buthedidn'thavetorestonhiswaydowntotheplayground
becauseitwas
alldownhill.Lessthantenminutesafterhestruggledupand
overthemonstrous
snowdunethathaddriftedinontheOverlook'sfrontporchhe
wasstandingwith
hismittenedhandontheplaygroundslide.Hewasn'teven
breathinghard.
Theplaygroundseemedmuchnicerinthedeepsnowthanitever
hadduringthe
autumn.Itlookedlikeafairylandsculpture.Theswingchains
hadbeenfrozen
instrangepositions,theseatsofthebigkids'swingsresting
flushagainst
thesnow.Thejunglegymwasanicecaveguardedbydripping
icicleteeth.Only
thechimneysoftheplayOverlookstuckupoverthesnow
(wishtheotheronewasburiedthatwayonlynotwithusinit)
andthetopsofthecementringsprotrudedintwoplaceslike
Eskimoigloos.
Dannytrampedoverthere,squatted,andbegantodig.Beforelong
hehad
uncoveredthedarkmouthofoneofthemandheslippedintothe
coldtunnel.In
hismindhewasPatrickMcGoohan,theSecretAgentMan(theyhad
shownthe
rerunsofthatprogramtwiceontheBurlingtonTVchannelandhis
daddynever
missedthem;hewouldskipapartytostayhomeandwatch"Secret
Agent"or"The
Avengers"andDannyhadalwayswatchedwithhim),ontherunfrom
KGBagentsin
themountainsofSwitzerland.Therehadbeenavalanchesinthe
areaandthe
notoriousKGBagentSlobbohadkilledhisgirlfriendwitha
poisondart,but
somewherenearwastheRussianantigravitymachine.Perhapsat
theendofthis
verytunnel.Hedrewhisautomaticandwentalongtheconcrete
tunnel,hiseyes
wideandalert,hisbreathplumingout.
Thefarendoftheconcreteringwassolidlyblockedwithsnow.
Hetried
diggingthroughitandwasamazed(andalittleuneasy)tosee
howsoliditwas,
almostlikeicefromthecoldandtheconstantweightofmore
snowontopofit.
Hismakebelievegamecollapsedaroundhimandhewassuddenly
awarethathe
feltclosedinandextremelynervousinthistightringof
cement.Hecouldhear
hisbreathing;itsoundeddankandquickandhollow.Hewasunder
thesnow,and
hardlyanylightfiltereddowntheholehehaddugtogetin
here.Suddenlyhe
wantedtobeoutinthesunlightmorethananything,suddenlyhe
rememberedhis
daddyandmommyweresleepinganddidn'tknowtherehewas,that
iftheholehe
dugcavedinhewouldbetrapped,andtheOverlookdidn'tlike
him.
Dannygotturnedaroundwithsomedifficultyandcrawledback
alongthelength
oftheconcretering,hissnowshoesclackingwoodenlytogether
behindhim,his
palmscracklinginlastfall'sdeadaspenleavesbeneathhim.He
hadjust
reachedtheendandthecoldspilloflightcomingdownfrom
abovewhenthesnow
didgivein,aminorfall,butenoughtopowderhisfaceandclog
theopeninghe
hadwriggleddownthroughandleavehimindarkness.
Foramomenthisbrainfrozeinutterpanicandhecouldnot
think.Then,as
iffromfaroff,heheardhisdaddytellinghimthathemust
neverplayatthe
Stovingtondump,becausesometimesstupidpeoplehauledold
refrigeratorsoffto
thedumpwithoutremovingthedoorsandifyougotinoneandthe
doorhappened
toshutonyou,therewasnowaytogetout.Youwoulddieinthe
darkness.
(Youwouldn'twantathinglikethattohappentoyou,would
you,doc?)
(No,Daddy.)
Butithadhappened,hisfrenziedmindtoldhim,ithad
happened,hewasin
thedark,hewasclosedin,anditwasascoldasarefrigerator.
And
(somethingisinherewithme.)
Hisbreathstoppedinagasp.Analmostdrowsyterrorstole
throughhisveins.
Yes.Yes.Therewassomethinginherewithhim,someawfulthing
theOverlook
hadsavedforjustsuchachanceasthis.Maybeahugespider
thathadburrowed
downunderthedeadleaves,orarat...ormaybethecorpseof
somelittle
kidthathaddiedhereontheplayground.Hadthateverhappened?
Yes,he
thoughtmaybeithad.Hethoughtofthewomaninthetub.The
bloodandbrains
onthewallofthePresidentialSweet.Ofsomelittlekid,its
headsplitopen
fromafallfromthemonkeybarsoraswing,crawlingafterhim
inthedark,
grinning,lookingforonefinalplaymateinitsendless
playground.Forever.In
amomenthewouldhearitcoming.
Atthefarendoftheconcretering,Dannyheardthestealthy
crackleofdead
leavesassomethingcameforhimonitshandsandknees.Atany
momenthewould
feelitscoldhandcloseoverhisankle
Thatthoughtbrokehisparalysis.Hewasdiggingattheloose
fallofsnow
thatchokedtheendoftheconcretering,throwingitback
betweenhislegsin
powderyburstslikeadogdiggingforabone.Bluelightfiltered
downfrom
aboveandDannythrusthimselfupatitlikeadivercomingout
ofdeepwater.
Hescrapedhisbackonthelipoftheconcretering.Oneofhis
snowshoes
twistedbehindtheother.Snowspilleddowninsidehisskimask
andintothe
collarofhisparka.Hedugatthesnow,clawedatit.Itseemed
tobetryingto
holdhim,tosuckhimbackdown,backintotheconcretering
wherethatunseen,
leafcracklingthingwas,andkeephimthere.Forever.
Thenhewasout,hisfacewasturneduptothesun,andhewas
crawling
throughthesnow,crawlingawayfromthehalfburiedcementring,
gasping
harshly,hisfacealmostcomicallywhitewithpowderedsnowa
livingfright
mask.Hehobbledovertothejunglegymandsatdowntoreadjust
hissnowshoes
andgethisbreath.Ashesetthemtorightsandtightenedthe
strapsagain,he
nevertookhiseyesfromtheholeattheendoftheconcrete
ring.Hewaitedto
seeifsomethingwouldcomeout.Nothingdid,andafterthreeor
fourminutes,
Danny'sbreathingbegantoslowdown.Whateveritwas,it
couldn'tstandthe
sunlight.Itwascoopedupdownthere,maybeonlyabletocome
outwhenitwas
dark...orwhenbothendsofitscircularprisonwereplugged
withsnow.
(buti'msafenowi'msafei'lljustgobackbecausenowi'm)
Somethingthumpedsoftlybehindhim.
Heturnedaround,towardthehotel,andlooked.Butevenbefore
helooked
(CanyouseetheIndiansinthispicture?)
heknewwhathewouldsee,becauseheknewwhatthatsoft
thumpingsoundhad
been.Itwasthesoundofalargeclumpofsnowfalling,theway
itsoundedwhen
itslidofftheroofofthehotelandfelltotheground.
(Canyousee?)
Yes.Hecould.Thesnowhadfallenoffthehedgedog.Whenhe
camedownithad
onlybeenaharmlesslumpofsnowoutsidetheplayground.Nowit
stoodrevealed,
anincongruoussplashofgreeninalltheeyewateringwhiteness.
Itwassitting
up,asiftobegasweetorascrap.
Butthistimehewouldn'tgocrazy,hewouldn'tblowhiscool.
Becauseat
leasthewasn'ttrappedinsomedarkoldhole.Hewasinthe
sunlight.Andit
wasjustadog.It'sprettywarmouttoday,hethoughthopefully.
Maybethesun
justmeltedenoughsnowoffthatolddogsotherestfelloffin
abunch.Maybe
that'sallitis.
(Don'tgonearthatplace...steerrightclear.)
Hissnowshoebindingswereastightastheywereevergoingto
be.Hestoodup
andstaredbackattheconcretering,almostcompletelysubmerged
inthesnow,
andwhathesawattheendhehadexitedfromfrozehisheart.
Therewasa
circularpatchofdarknessattheendofit,afoldofshadow
thatmarkedthe
holehe'ddugtogetdowninside.Now,inspiteofthesnow
dazzle,hethought
hecouldseesomethingthere.Somethingmoving.Ahand.The
wavinghandofsome
desperatelyunhappychild,wavinghand,pleadingband,drowning
hand.
(SavemeOpleasesavemeIfyoucan'tsavemeatleastcome
playwithme..
.Forever.AndForever.AndForever.)
"No,"Dannywhisperedhuskily.Thewordfelldryandbarefrom
hismouth,
whichwasstrippedofmoisture.Hecouldfeelhismindwavering
now,tryingto
goawaythewayithadwhenthewomanintheroomhad...no,
betternotthink
ofthat.
Hegraspedatthestringsofrealityandheldthemtightly.He
hadtogetout
ofhere.Concentrateonthat.Becool.BeliketheSecretAgent
Man.Would
PatrickMcGoohanbecryingandpeeinginhispantslikealittle
baby?
Wouldhisdaddy?
Thatcalmedhimsomewhat.
Frombehindhim,thatsoftHumpsoundoffallingsnowcame
again.Heturned
aroundandtheheadofoneofthehedgelionswasstickingoutof
thesnownow,
snarlingathim.Itwascloserthanitshouldhavebeen,almost
uptothegate
oftheplayground.
Terrortriedtoriseupandhequelledit.HewastheSecret
AgentMan,andhe
wouldescape.
Hebegantowalkoutoftheplayground,takingthesame
roundaboutcoursehis
fatherhadtakenonthedaythatthesnowflew.Heconcentrated
onoperatingthe
snowshoes.Slow,flatstrides.Don'tliftyourfoottoohighor
you'llloseyour
balance.Twistyourankleandspillthesnowoffthecrisscrossed
lacings.It
seemedsoslow.Hereachedthecorneroftheplayground.Thesnow
wasdrifted
highhereandhewasabletostepoverthefence.Hegothalfway
overandthen
almostfellflatwhenthesnowshoeonhisbehindfootcaughton
oneofthefence
posts.Heleanedontheoutsideedgeofgravity,pinwheelinghis
arms,
rememberinghowbarditwastogetuponceyoufelldown.
Fromhisright,thatsoftsoundagain,fallingclumpsofsnow.
Helookedover
andsawtheothertwolions,clearofsnownowdowntotheir
forepaws,sideby
side,aboutsixtypacesaway.Thegreenindentationsthatwere
theireyeswere
fixedonhim.Thedoghadturneditshead.
(Itonlyhappenswhenyou'renotlooking.)
"Oh!Hey"
Hissnowshoeshadcrossedandheplungedforwardintothesnow,
armswaving
uselessly.Moresnowgotinsidehishoodanddownhisneckand
intothetopsof
hisboots.Hestruggledoutofthesnowandtriedtogetthe
snowshoesunder
him,hearthammeringcrazilynow
(SecretAgentManrememberyou'retheSecretAgent)
andoverbalancedbackward.Foramomenthelaytherelookingat
thesky,
thinkingitwouldbesimplertojustgiveup.
Thenhethoughtofthethingintheconcretetunnelandknewhe
couldnot.He
gainedhisfeetandstaredoveratthetopiary.Allthreelions
werebunched
togethernow,notfortyfeetaway.Thedoghadrangedoffto
theirleft,asif
toblockDanny'sretreat.Theywerebareofsnowexceptfor
powderyruffsaround
theirnecksandmuzzles.Theywereallstaringathim.
Hisbreathwasracingnow,andthepanicwaslikearatbehind
hisforehead,
twistingandgnawing.Hefoughtthepanicandhefoughtthe
snowshoes.
(Daddy'svoice:No,don'tfightthem,doc.Walkonthemlike
theywereyour
ownfeet.Walkwiththem.)
(Yes,Daddy.)
Hebegantowalkagain,tryingtoregaintheeasyrhythmhehad
practicedwith
hisdaddy.Littlebylittleitbegantocome,butwiththerhythm
camean
awarenessofjusthowtiredhewas,howmuchhisfearhad
exhaustedhim.The
tendonsofhisthighsandcalvesandankleswerehotandtrembly.
Aheadhecould
seetheOverlook,mockinglydistant,seemingtostareathimwith
itsmany
windows,asifthisweresomesortofcontestinwhichitwas
mildlyinterested.
Dannylookedbackoverhisshoulderandhishurriedbreathing
caughtfora
momentandthenhurriedonevenfaster.Thenearestlionwasnow
onlytwenty
feetbehind,breastingthroughthesnowlikeadogpaddlingina
pond.Thetwo
othersweretoitsrightandleft,pacingit.Theywerelikean
armyplatoonon
patrol,thedog,stillofftotheirleft,thescout.Theclosest
lionhadits
headdown.Theshouldersbunchedpowerfullyaboveitsneck.The
tailwasup,as
ifintheinstantbeforehehadturnedtolookithadbeen
swishingbackand
forth,backandforth.Hethoughtitlookedlikeagreatbig
housecatthatwas
havingagoodtimeplayingwithamousebeforekillingit.
(falling)
No,ifhefellhewasdead.Theywouldneverlethimgetup.
Theywould
pounce.Hepinwheeledhisarmsmadlyandlungedahead,hiscenter
ofgravity
dancingjustbeyondhisnose.Hecaughtitandhurriedon,
snappingglancesback
overhisshoulder.Theairwhistledinandoutofhisdrythroat
likehotglass.
Theworldcloseddowntothedazzlingsnow,thegreenhedges,
andthewhispery
soundofhissnowshoes.Andsomethingelse.Asoft,muffled
paddingsound.He
triedtohurryfasterandcouldn't.Hewaswalkingoverthe
burieddrivewaynow,
asmallboywithhisfacealmostburiedintheshadowofhis
parkahood.The
afternoonwasstillandbright.
Whenhelookedbackagain,thepointlionwasonlyfivefeet
behind.Itwas
grinning.Itsmouthwasopen,itshaunchestenseddownlikea
clockspring.
Behinditandtheothershecouldseetherabbit,itsheadnow
stickingoutof
thesnow,brightgreen,asifithadturneditshorridblankface
towatchthe
endofthestalk.
Now,ontheOverlook'sfrontlawnbetweenthecirculardrive
andtheporch,he
letthepaniclooseandbegantorunclumsilyinthesnowshoes,
notdaringto
lookbacknow,tiltingfurtherandfurtherforward,hisarmsout
aheadofhim
likeablindmanfeelingforobstacles.Hishoodfellback,
revealinghis
complexion,pastewhitegivingwaytohecticredblotchesonhis
cheeks,his
eyesbulgingwithterror.Theporchwasveryclosenow.
Behindhimheheardthesuddenhardcrunchofsnowassomething
leaped.
Hefellontheporchsteps,screamingwithoutsound,and
scrambledupthemon
hishandsandknees,snowshoesclatteringandaskewbehindhim.
Therewasaslashingsoundintheairandsuddenpaininhis
leg.Theripping
soundofcloth.Somethingelsethatmighthavemusthavebeen
inhismind.
Bellowing,angryroar.
Smellofbloodandevergreen.
Hefellfulllengthontheporch,sobbinghoarsely,therich,
metallictaste
ofcopperinhismouth.Hisheartwasthunderinginhischest.
Therewasasmall
trickleofbloodcomingfromhisnose.
Hehadnoideahowlonghelaytherebeforethelobbydoors
flewopenandJack
ranout,wearingjusthisjeansandapairofslippers.Wendywas
behindhim.
"Danny!"shescreamed.
"Doc!Danny,forChrist'ssake!What'swrong?Whathappened?"
Daddywashelpinghimup.Belowthekneehissnowpantswere
rippedopen.
Inside,hiswoollenskisockhadbeenrippedopenandhiscalf
hadbeen
shallowlyscratched...asifhehadtriedtopushhisway
throughaclosely
grownevergreenhedgeandthebrancheshadclawedhim.
Helookedoverhisshoulder.Fardownthelawn,pastthe
puttinggreen,werea
numberofvague,snowcowledhumps.Thehedgeanimals.Between
themandthe
playground.Betweenthemandtheroad.
Hislegsgaveway.Jackcaughthim.Hebegantocry.

<<35>>

THELOBBY

Hehadtoldthemeverythingexceptwhathadhappenedtohim
whenthesnowhad
blockedtheendoftheconcretering.Hecouldn'tbringhimself
torepeatthat.
Andbedidn'tknowtherightwordstoexpressthecreeping,
lassitudinoussense
ofterrorhehadfeltwhenheheardthedeadaspenleavesbegin
tocrackle
furtivelydownthereinthecolddarkness.Buthetoldthemabout
thesoftsound
ofsnowfallinginclumps.Aboutthelionwithitsheadandits
bunched
shouldersworkingitswayupandoutofthesnowtochasehim.He
eventoldthem
abouthowtherabbithadturneditsheadtowatchneartheend.
Thethreeofthemwereinthelobby.Jackhadbuiltaroaring
blazeinthe
fireplace.Dannywasbundledupinablanketonthesmallsofa
whereonce,a
millionyearsago,threenunshadsatlaughinglikegirlswhile
theywaitedfor
thelineatthedesktothinout.Hewassippinghotnoodlesoup
fromamug.
Wendysatbesidehim,strokinghishair.Jackhadsatonthe
floor,hisface
seemingtogrowmoreandmorestill,moreandmoresetasDanny
toldhisstory.
Twicehepulledhishandkerchiefoutofhisbackpocketand
rubbedhis
sorelookinglipswithit.
"Thentheychasedme,"hefinished.Jackgotupandwentover
tothewindow,
hisbacktothem.Helookedathismommy."Theychasedmeallthe
wayuptothe
porch."Hewasstrugglingtokeephisvoicecalm,becauseifhe
stayedcalm
maybetheywouldbelievehim.Mr.Stengerhadn'tstayedcalm.He
hadstartedto
cryandhadn'tbeenabletostopSOTHEMENINTHEWHITECOATS
hadcometotake
himawaybecauseifyoucouldn'tstopcryingitmeantyouhad
LOSTYOURMARBLES
andwhenwouldyoubeback?NOONEKNOWS.Hisparkaandsnowpants
andthe
clottedsnowshoeslayontherugjustinsidethebigdouble
doors.
(Iwon'tcryIwon'tletmyselfcry)
Andhethoughthecoulddothat,buthecouldn'tstopshaking.
Helookedinto
thefireandwaitedforDaddytosaysomething.Highyellow
flamesdancedonthe
darkstonehearth.Apineknotexplodedwithabangandsparks
rushedupthe
flue.
"Danny,comeoverhere."Jackturnedaround.Hisfacestillhad
thatpinched,
deathlylook.Dannydidn'tliketolookatit.
"Jack"
"Ijustwanttheboyoverhereforaminute."
Dannyslippedoffthesofaandcameoverbesidehisdaddy.
"Goodboy.Nowwhatdoyousee?"
Dannybadknownwhathewouldseeevenbeforehegottothe
window.Belowthe
clutterofboottracks,sledtracks,andsnowshoetracksthat
markedtheirusual
exercisearea,thesnowfieldthatcoveredtheOverlook'slawns
slopeddownto
thetopiaryandtheplaygroundbeyond.Itwasmarredbytwosets
oftracks,one
oftheminastraightlinefromtheporchtotheplayground,the
otheralong,
loopinglinecomingbackup.
"Onlymytracks,Daddy.But"
"Whataboutthehedges,Danny?"
Danny'slipsbegantotremble.Hewasgoingtocry.Whatifhe
couldn'tstop?
(iwon'tcryIWon'tCryWon'tWon'tWON'T)
"Allcoveredwithsnow,"hewhispered."But,Daddy"
"What?Icouldn'thearyou!"
"Jack,you'recrossexamininghim!Can'tyouseehe'supset,
he's"
"Shutup!Well,Danny?"
"Theyscratchedme,Daddy.Myleg"
"Youmusthavecutyourlegonthecrustofthesnow."
ThenWendywasbetweenthem,herfacepaleandangry."Whatare
youtryingto
makehimdo?"sheaskedhim."Confesstomurder?What'swrong
withyou?"
Thestrangenessinhiseyesseemedtobreakthen."I'mtrying
tohelphimfind
thedifferencebetweensomethingrealandsomethingthatwasonly
an
hallucination,that'sall."HesquattedbyDannysotheywereon
aneyetoeye
level,andthenhuggedhimtight."Danny,itdidn'treally
happen.Okay?Itwas
likeoneofthosetrancesyouhavesometimes.That'sall."
"Daddy?"
"What,Dan?"
"Ididn'tcutmylegonthecrust.Thereisn'tanycrust.It's
allpowdery
snow.Itwon'tevensticktogethertomakesnowballs.Rememberwe
triedtohave
asnowballfightandcouldn't?"
Hefelthisfatherstiffenagainsthim."Theporchstep,then."
Dannypulledaway.Suddenlyhehadit.Ithadflashedintohis
mindallat
once,thewaythingssometimesdid,thewayithadaboutthe
womanwantingtobe
inthatgrayman'spants.Hestaredathisfatherwithwidening
eyes.
"YouknowI'mtellingthetruth,"hewhispered,shocked.
"Danny"Jack'sface,tightening.
"Youknowbecauseyousaw"
ThesoundofJack'sopenpalmstrikingDanny'sfacewasflat,
notdramaticat
all.Theboy'sheadrockedback,thepalmprintreddeningonhis
cheeklikea
brand.
Wendymadeamoaningnoise.
Foramomenttheywerestill,thethreeofthem,andthenJack
grabbedforhis
sonandsaid,"Danny,I'msorry,youokay,doc?"
"Youhithim,youbastardl"Wendycried."Youdirtybastard!"
ShegrabbedhisotherarmandforamomentDannywaspulled
betweenthem.
"Ohpleasestoppullingme!"hescreamedatthem,andtherewas
suchagonyin
hisvoicethattheybothletgoofhim,andthenthetearshadto
comeandhe
collapsed,weeping,betweenthesofaandthewindow,hisparents
staringathim
helplessly,thewaychildrenmightstareatatoybrokenina
furioustussle
overtowhomitbelonged.Inthefireplaceanotherpineknot
explodedlikea
handgrenade,makingthemalljump.

***

WendygavehimbabyaspirinandJackslippedhim,unprotesting,
betweenthe
sheetsofhiscot.Hewasasleepinnotimewithhisthumbinhis
mouth.
"Idon'tlikethat,"shesaid."It'saregression."
Jackdidn'treply.
Shelookedathimsoftly,withoutanger,withoutasmile,
either."Youwantme
toapologizeforcallingyouabastard?Allright,Iapologize.
I'msorry.You
stillshouldn'thavehithim.
"Iknow,"hemuttered."Iknowthat.Idon'tknowwhatthehell
cameoverme."
"Youpromisedyou'dneverhithimagain."
Helookedatherfuriously,andthenthefurycollapsed.
Suddenly,withpity
andhorror,shesawwhatJackwouldlooklikeasanoldman.She
hadneverseen
himlookthatwaybefore.
(?whatway?)
Defeated,sheansweredherself.Helooksbeaten.
Hesaid:"IalwaysthoughtIcouldkeepmypromises."
Shewenttohimandputherhandsonhisarm."Allright,it's
over.Andwhen
therangercomestocheckus,we'lltellhimweallwanttogo
down.Allright?"
"Allright,"Jacksaid,andatthatmoment,atleast,hemeant
it.Thesame
wayhehadalwaysmeantitonthosemorningsafter,lookingat
hispaleand
haggardfaceinthebathroommirror.I'mgoingtostop,goingto
cutitoff
flat.Butmorninggavewaytoafternoon,andintheafternoonshe
feltalittle
better.Andafternoongavewaytonight.Assomegreattwentieth
centurythinker
hadsaid,nightmustfall.
HefoundhimselfwishingthatWendywouldaskhimaboutthe
hedges,wouldask
himwhatDannymeant,whenhesaidYouknowbecauseyousawIf
shedid,he
wouldtellhereverything.Everything.Thehedges,thewomanin
theroom,even
aboutthefirehosethatseemedtohaveswitchedpositions.But
wheredid
confessionstop?Couldhetellherhe'dthrownthemagnetoaway,
thattheycould
allbedowninSidewinderrightnowifhehadn'tdonethat?
Whatshesaidwas,"Doyouwanttea?"
"Yes.Acupofteawouldbegood."
Shewenttothedoorandpausedthere,rubbingherforearms
throughher
sweater."It'smyfaultasmuchasyours,"shesaid."Whatwere
wedoingwhile
hewasgoingthroughthat...dream,orwhateveritwas?"
"Wendy"
"Weweresleeping,"shesaid."Sleepinglikeacoupleof
teenagekidswith
theiritchnicelyscratched."
"Stopit,"hesaid."It'sover."
"No,"Wendyanswered,andgavehimastrange,restlesssmile.
"It'snotover."
Shewentouttomaketea,leavinghimtokeepwatchovertheir
son.

<<36>>

THEELEVATOR

Jackawokefromathinanduneasysleepwherehugeandill
definedshapes
chasedhimthroughendlesssnowfieldstowhathefirstthought
wasanother
dream:darkness,andinit,asuddenmechanicaljumbleof
noisesclicksand
clanks,hummings,rattlings,snapsandwhooshes.
ThenWendysatupbesidehimandheknewitwasnodream.
"What'sthat?"Herhand,coldmarble,grippedhiswrist.He
restrainedanurge
toshakeitoffhowinthehellwashesupposedtoknowwhatit
was?The
illuminatedclockonhisnightstandsaiditwasfiveminutesto
twelve.
Thehummingsoundagain.Loudandsteady,varyingtheslightest
bit.Followed
byaclankasthehummingceased.Arattlingbang.Athump.Then
thehumming
resumed.
Itwastheelevator.
Dannywassittingup."Daddy?Daddy?"Hisvoicewassleepyand
scared.
"Righthere,doc,"Jacksaid."Comeonoverandjumpin.Your
mom'sawake,
too."
ThebedclothesrustledasDannygotonthebedbetweenthem.
"It'sthe
elevator,"hewhispered.
"That'sright,"Jacksaid."Justtheelevator."
"Whatdoyoumean,just?"Wendydemanded.Therewasaniceskim
ofhysteriaon
hervoice."It'sthemiddleofthenight.Who'srunningit?"
Hummmmmmm.Click/clank.Abovethemnow.Therattleofthegate
accordioning
back,thebumpofthedoorsopeningandclosing.Thenthehumof
themotorand
thecablesagain.
Dannybegantowhimper.
Jackswunghisfeetoutofbedandontothefloor."It's
probablyashort.
I'llcheck."
"Don'tyoudaregooutofthisroom!"
"Don'tbestupid,"hesaid,pullingonhisrobe."It'smyjob."
Shewasoutofbedherselfamomentlater,pullingDannywith
her.
"We'llgo,too."
"Wendy"
"What'swrong?"Dannyaskedsomberly."What'swrong,Daddy?"
Insteadofansweringheturnedaway,hisfaceangryandset.He
beltedhis
robearoundhimatthedoor,openedit,andsteppedoutintothe
darkhall.
Wendyhesitatedforamoment,anditwasactuallyDannywho
begantomove
first.Shecaughtupquickly,andtheywentouttogether.
Jackhadn'tbotheredwiththelights.Shefumbledforthe
switchthatlitthe
fourspacedoverheadsinthehallwaythatledtothemain
corridor.Upahead,
Jackwasalreadyturningthecorner.ThistimeDannyfoundthe
switchplateand
flickedallthreeswitchesup.Thehallwayleadingdowntothe
stairsandthe
elevatorshaftcamealight.
Jackwasstandingattheelevatorstation,whichwasflankedby
benchesand
cigaretteurns.Hewasstandingmotionlessinfrontoftheclosed
elevatordoor.
Inhisfadedtartanbathrobeandbrownleatherslipperswiththe
rundownheels,
hishairallinsleepcorkscrewsandAlfalfacowlicks,helooked
toherlikean
absurdtwentiethcenturyHamlet,anindecisivefigureso
mesmerizedbyonrushing
tragedythathewashelplesstodivertitscourseoralteritin
anyway.
(jesusstopthinkingsocrazy)
Danny'shandbadtightenedpainfullyonherown.Hewaslooking
upather
intently,hisfacestrainedandanxious.Hehadbeencatchingthe
driftofher
thoughts,sherealized.Justbowmuchorhowlittleofthemhe
wasgettingwas
impossibletosay,butsheflushed,feelingmuchthesameasif
hehadcaught
herinamasturbatoryact.
"Comeon,"shesaid,andtheywentdownthehalltoJack.
Thehummingsandclankingsandthumpingswerelouderhere,
terrifyingina
disconnected,benumbedway.Jackwasstaringatthecloseddoor
withfeverish
intensity.Throughthediamondshapedwindowinthecenterofthe
elevatordoor
shethoughtshecouldmakeoutthecables,thrummingslightly.
Theelevator
clankedtoastopbelowthem,atlobbylevel.Theybeardthe
doorsthumpopen.
And...
(party)
Whyhadshethoughtparty?Thewordhadsimplyjumpedintoher
headforno
reasonatall.ThesilenceintheOverlookwascompleteand
intenseexceptfor
theweirdnoisescominguptheelevatorshaft.
(musthavebeenquiteaparty)
(???WHATPARTY???)
Forjustamomenthermindhadfilledwithanimagesoreal
thatitseemedto
beamemory...notjustanymemorybutoneofthoseyou
treasure,oneof
thoseyoukeepforveryspecialoccasionsandrarelymention
aloud.Lights...
hundreds,maybethousandsofthem.Lightsandcolors,thepopof
champagne
corks,afortypieceorchestraplayingGlennMiller's"Inthe
Mood."ButGlenn
Millerhadgonedowninhisbomberbeforeshewasborn,howcould
shehavea
memoryofGlennMiller?
ShelookeddownatDannyandsawhisheadhadcockedtoone
side,asifhewas
hearingsomethingshecouldn'thear.Hisfacewasverypale.
Thump.
Thedoorhadslidshutdownthere.Ahummingwhineasthe
elevatorbeganto
rise.Shesawtheenginehousingontopofthecarfirstthrough
thediamond
shapedwindow,thentheinteriorofthecar,seenthroughthe
furtherdiamond
shapesmadebythebrassgate.Warmyellowlightfromthecar's
overhead.Itwas
empty.Thecarwasempty.Itwasemptybut
(onthenightofthepartytheymusthavecrowdedinbythe
dozens,crowded
thecarwaybeyonditssafetylimitbutofcourseithadbeennew
thenandall
ofthemwearingmasks)
(????WHATMASKS????)
Thecarstoppedabovethem,onthethirdfloor.Shelookedat
Danny.Hisface
wasalleyes.Hismouthwaspressedintoafrightened,bloodless
slit.Above
them,thebrassgaterattledback.Theelevatordoorthumped
open,itthumped
openbecauseitwastime,thetimehadcome,itwastimetosay
(Goodnight...goodnight...yes,itwaslovely...no,i
reallycan't
stayfortheunmasking...earlytobed,earlytorise...
oh,wasthat
Sheila?...themonk?...isn'tthatwitty,Sheilacomingas
amonk?...
yes,goodnight...good)
Thump.
Gearsclashed.Themotorengaged.Thecarbegantowhineback
down.
"Jack,"shewhispered."Whatisit?What'swrongwithit?"
"Ashortcircuit,"hesaid.Hisfacewaslikewood."Itold
you,itwasa
shortcircuit."
"Ikeephearingvoicesinmyhead!"shecried."Whatisit?
What'swrong?I
feellikeI'mgoingcrazy!"
"Whatvoices?"Helookedatherwithdeadlyblandness.
SheturnedtoDanny."Didyou?"
Dannynoddedslowly."Yes.Andmusic.Likefromalongtime
ago.Inmyhead."
Theelevatorcarstoppedagain.Thehotelwassilent,creaking,
deserted.
Outside,thewindwhinedaroundtheeavesinthedarkness.
"Maybeyouarebothcrazy,"Jacksaidconversationally."I
don'theara
goddamnedthingexceptthatelevatorhavingacaseofthe
electricalhiccups.If
youtwowanttohaveduethysterics,fine.Butcountmeout."
Theelevatorwascomingdownagain.
Jacksteppedtotheright,whereaglassfrontedboxwas
mountedonthewall
atchestheight.Hesmashedhisbarefistagainstit.Glass
tinkledinward.
Blooddrippedfromtwoofhisknuckles.Hereachedinandtook
outakeywitha
long,smoothbarrel.
"Jack,no.Don't."
"Iamgoingtodomyjob.Nowleavemealone,Wendy!"
Shetriedtograbhisarm.Hepushedherbackward.Herfeet
tangledinthehem
ofherrobeandshefelltothecarpetwithanungainlythump.
Dannycriedout
shrillyandfellonhiskneesbesideher.Jackturnedbacktothe
elevatorand
thrustthekeyintothesocket.
Theelevatorcablesdisappearedandthebottomofthecarcame
intoviewin
thesmallwindow.AsecondlaterJackturnedthekeyhard.There
wasagrating,
screechingsoundastheelevatorcarcametoaninstant
standstill.Foramoment
thedeclutchedmotorinthebasementwhinedevenlouder,andthen
itscircuit
breakercutinandtheOverlookwentunearthlystill.Thenight
windoutside
seemedveryloudbycomparison.Jacklookedstupidlyatthegray
metalelevator
door.Therewerethreesplotchesofbloodbelowthekeyholefrom
hislacerated
knuckles.
HeturnedbacktoWendyandDannyforamoment.Shewassitting
up,andDanny
hadhisarmaroundher.Theywerebothstaringathimcarefully,
asifhewasa
strangertheyhadneverseenbefore,possiblyadangerousone.He
openedhis
mouth,notsurewhatwasgoingtocomeout.
"It...Wendy,it'smyjob."
Shesaidclearly:"Fuckyourjob"
Heturnedbacktotheelevator,workedhisfingersintothe
crackthatran
downtherightsideofthedoor,andgotittoopenalittleway.
Thenhewas
abletogethiswholeweightonitandthrewthedooropen.
Thecarhadstoppedhalfway,itsflooratJack'schestlevel.
Warmlightstill
spilledoutofit,contrastingwiththeoilydarknessofthe
shaftbelow.
Helookedinforwhatseemedalongtime.
"It'sempty,"hesaidthen."Ashortcircuit,likeIsaid."He
hookedhis
fingersintotheslotbehindthedoorandbegantopullitclosed
...thenher
handwasonhisshoulder,surprisinglystrong,yankinghimaway.
"Wendy!"heshouted.Butshehadalreadycaughtthecar's
bottomedgeand
pulledherselfupenoughsoshecouldlookin.Then,witha
convulsiveheaveof
hershoulderandbellymuscles,shetriedtoboostherselfall
thewayup.Fora
momenttheissuewasindoubt.Herfeettotteredoverthe
blacknessoftheshaft
andonepinkslipperfellfromherfootandslippedoutofsight.
"Mommy!"Dannyscreamed.
Thenshewasup,hercheeksflushed,herforeheadaspaleand
shiningasa
spiritlamp."Whataboutthis,Jack?Isthisashortcircuit?"
Shethrew
somethingandsuddenlythehallwasfullofdriftingconfetti,
redandwhiteand
blueandyellow."Isthis?"Agreenpartystreamer,fadedtoa
palepastelcolor
withage.
"Andthis?"
Shetosseditoutanditcametorestontheblueblackjungle
carpet,ablack
silkcat'seyemask,dustedwithsequinsatthetemples.
"Doesthatlooklikeashortcircuittoyou,Jack?"she
screamedathim.
Jacksteppedslowlyawayfromit,shakinghisheadmechanically
backand
forth.Thecat'seyemaskstaredupblanklyattheceilingfrom
theconfetti
strewnhallwaycarpet.

<<37>>

THEBALLROOM

ItwasthefirstofDecember.
Dannywasintheeastwingballroom,standingonanover
stuffed,highbacked
wingchair,lookingattheclockunderglass.Itstoodinthe
centerofthe
ballroom'shigh,ornamentalmantelpiece,flankedbytwolarge
ivoryelephants.
Healmostexpectedtheelephantswouldbegintomoveandtryto
gorehimwith
theirtusksashestoodthere,buttheyweremoveless.Theywere
"safe."Since
thenightoftheelevatorhebadcometodivideallthingsatthe
Overlookinto
twocategories.Theelevator,thebasement,theplayground,Room
217,andthe
PresidentialSuite(itwasSuite,notSweet;hehadseenthe
correctspellingin
anaccountbookDaddyhadbeenreadingatsupperlastnightand
hadmemorizedit
carefully)thoseplaceswere"unsafe."Theirquarters,the
lobby,andtheporch
were"safe."Apparentlytheballroomwas,too.
(Theelephantsare,anyway.)
Hewasnotsureaboutotherplacesandsoavoidedthemon
generalprinciple.
Helookedattheclockinsidetheglassdome.Itwasunder
glassbecauseall
itswheelsandcogsandspringswereshowing.Achromeorsteel
trackranaround
theoutsideoftheseworks,anddirectlybelowtheclockface
therewasasmall
axisbarwithapairofmeshingcogsateitherend.Thehandsof
theclockstood
atquarterpastXI,andalthoughhedidn'tknowRomannumeralshe
couldguessby
theconfigurationofthehandsatwhattimetheclockhad
stopped.Theclock
stoodonavelvetbase.Infrontofit,slightlydistortedbythe
curveofthe
dome,wasacarefullycarvedsilverkey.
Hesupposedthattheclockwasoneofthethingshewasn't
supposedtotouch,
likethedecorativefiretoolsintheirbrassboundcabinetby
thelobby
fireplaceorthetallchinahighboyatthebackofthedining
room.
Asenseofinjusticeandafeelingofangryrebellionsuddenly
roseinhimand
(nevermindwhatt'mnotsupposedtotouch,justnevermind.
touchedme,
hasn'tit?playedwithme,hasn'tit?)
Ithad.Andithadn'tbeenparticularlycarefulnottobreak
him,either.
Dannyputhishandsout,graspedtheglassdome,andliftedit
aside.Helet
onefingerplayovertheworksforamoment,thepadofhisindex
fingerdenting
againstthecogs,runningsmoothlyoverthewheels.Hepickedup
thesilverkey.
Foranadultitwouldhavebeenuncomfortablysmall,butit
fittedhisown
fingersperfectly.Heplaceditinthekeyholeatthecenterof
theclockface.
Itwentfirmlyhomewithatinyclick,morefeltthanheard.It
woundtothe
right,ofcourse;clockwise.
Dannyturnedthekeyuntilitwouldturnnomoreandthen
removedit.The
clockbegantotick.Cogsturned.Alargebalancewheelrocked
backandforthin
semicircles.Thehandsweremoving.Ifyoukeptyourhead
perfectlymotionless
andyoureyeswideopen,youcouldseetheminutehandinching
alongtowardits
meetingsomefortyfiveminutesfromnowwiththehourhand.At
XII.
(AndtheRedDeathheldswayoverall.)
Hefrowned,andthenshookthethoughtaway.Itwasathought
withnomeaning
orreferenceforhim.
Hereachedhisindexfingeroutagainandpushedtheminute
banduptothe
hour,curiousaboutwhatmighthappen.Itobviouslywasn'ta
cuckooclock,but
thatsteelrailbadtohavesomepurpose.
Therewasasmall,ratchetingseriesofclicks,andthenthe
clockbeganto
tinkleStrauss's"BlueDanubeWaltz."Apunchedrollofclothno
morethantwo
inchesinwidthbegantounwind.Asmallseriesofbrassstrikers
roseandfell.
Frombehindtheclockfacetwofiguresglidedintoviewalongthe
steeltrack,
balletdancers,ontheleftagirlinafluffyskirtandwhite
stockings,onthe
rightaboyinablackleotardandballetslippers.Theirhands
wereheldin
archesovertheirbeads.Theycametogetherinthemiddle,in
frontofVI.
Dannyespiedtinygroovesintheirsides,justbelowtheir
armpits.Theaxis
barslippedintothesegroovesandheheardanothersmallclick.
Thecogsat
eitherendofthebarbeganto.turn."TheBlueDanube"tinkled.
Thedancers'
armscamedownaroundeachother.Theboyflippedthegirlup
overhisheadand
thenwhirledoverthebar.Theywerenowlyingprone,theboy's
headburied
beneaththegirl'sshortballetskirt,thegirl'sfacepressed
againstthe
centeroftheboy'sleotard.Theywrithedinamechanicalfrenzy.
Danny'snosewrinkled.Theywerekissingpeepees.Thatmadehim
feelsick.
Amomentlaterandthingsbegantorunbackward.Theboy
whirledbackoverthe
axisbar.Heflippedthegirlintoanuprightposition.They
seemedtonod
knowinglyateachotherastheirhandsarchedbackovertheir
heads.They
retreatedthewaytheyhadcome,disappearingjustas"TheBlue
Danube"
finished.Theclockbegantostrikeacountofsilverchimes.
(Midnight!Strokeofmidnight!)
(Hoorayformasks!)
Dannywhirledonthechair,almostfallingdown.Theballroom
wasempty.
Beyondthedoublecathedralwindowhecouldseefreshsnow
beginningtosift
down.Thehugeballroomrug(rolledupfordancing,ofcourse),a
richtangleof
redandgoldembroidery,layundisturbedonthefloor.Spaced
arounditwere
small,intimatetablesfortwo,thespiderychairsthatwentwith
eachupended
withlegspointingattheceiling.
Thewholeplacewasempty.
Butitwasn'treallyempty.BecausehereintheOverlookthings
justwenton
andon.HereintheOverlookalltimeswereone.Therewasan
endlessnightin
Augustof1945,withlaughteranddrinksandachosenshiningfew
goingupand
comingdownintheelevator,drinkingchampagneandpoppingparty
favorsineach
other'sfaces.ItwasanotyetlightmorninginJunesometwenty
yearslater
andtheorganizationhittersendlesslypumpedshotgunshellsinto
thetornand
bleedingbodiesofthreemenwhowentthroughtheiragony
endlessly.Inaroom
onthesecondfloorawomanlolledinhertubandwaitedfor
visitors.
IntheOverlookallthingshadasortoflife.Itwasasifthe
wholeplace
hadbeenwoundupwithasilverkey.Theclockwasrunning.The
clockwas
running.
Hewasthatkey,Dannythoughtsadly.Tonyhadwarnedhimand
hehadjustlet
thingsgoon.
(I'mjustfive!)
hecriedtosomehalffeltpresenceintheroom.
(Doesn'titmakeanydeferencethatI'mjustfive?)
Therewasnoanswer.
Heturnedreluctantlybacktotheclock.
Hehadbeenputtingitoff,hopingthatsomethingwouldhappen
tohelphim
avoidtryingtocallTonyagain,thatarangerwouldcome,ora
helicopter,or
therescueteam;theyalwayscameintimeonhisTVprograms,the
peoplewere
saved.OnTVtherangersandtheSWATsquadandtheparamedics
wereafriendly
whiteforcecounterbalancingtheconfusedevilthatheperceived
intheworld;
whenpeoplegotintroubletheywerehelpedoutofit,theywere
fixedup.They
didnothavetohelpthemselvesoutoftrouble.
(Please?)
Therewasnoanswer.
Noanswer,andifTonycamewoulditbethesamenightmare?The
booming,the
Tioarseandpetulantvoice,theblueblackruglikesnakes?
Redrum?
Butwhatelse?
(Pleaseohplease)
Noanswer.
Withatremblingsigh,helookedattheclockface.Cogsturned
andmeshedwith
othercogs.Thebalancewheelrockedhypnoticallybackandforth.
Andifyou
heldyourheadperfectlystill,youcouldseetheminutehand
creeping
inexorablydownfromXIItoV.Ifyouheldyourbeadperfectly
stillyoucould
seethat
Theclockfacewasgone.Initsplacewasaroundblackhole.It
leddowninto
forever.Itbegantoswell.Theclockwasgone.Theroombehind
it.Danny
totteredandthenfellintothedarknessthathadbeenbiding
behindthe
clockfaceallalong.
Thesmallboyinthechairsuddenlycollapsedandlayinitat
acrooked
unnaturalangle,hisheadthrownback,hiseyesstaring
sightlesslyatthehigh
ballroomceiling.
Downanddownanddownanddownto
thehallway,crouchedinthehallway,andhehadmadeawrong
turn,trying
togetbacktothestairshehadmadeawrongturnandnowAND
NOW
hesawhewasintheshortdeadendcorridorthatledonlyto
the
PresidentialSuiteandtheboomingsoundwascomingcloser,the
roquemallet
whistlingsavagelythroughtheair,theheadofitembedding
itselfintothe
wall,cuttingthesilkpaper,lettingoutsmallpuffsofplaster
dust.
(Goddammit,comeouthere!Takeyour)
Buttherewasanotherfigureinthehallway.Slouched
nonchalantlyagainstthe
walljustbehindhim.Likeaghost.
No,notaghost,butalldressedinwhite.Dressedinwhites.
(I'llfindyou,yougoddamlittlewhoremasteringRUNT!)
Dannycringedbackfromthesound.Comingupthemainthird
floorhallnow.
Soontheownerofthatvoicewouldroundthecorner.
(Comehere!Comehere,youlittleshit!)
Thefiguredressedinwhitestraightenedupalittle,removeda
cigarettefrom
thecornerofhismouth,andpluckedashredoftobaccofromhis
fulllowerlip.
ItwasHallorann,Dannysaw.Dressedinhiscook'swhitesinstead
oftheblue
suithehadbeenwearingonclosingday.
"Ifthereistrouble,"Hallorannsaid,"yougiveacall.Abig
loudholler
liketheonethatknockedmebackafewminutesago.Imighthear
youevenway
downinFlorida.AndifIdo,I'llcomeontherun.I'llcomeon
therun.I'll
comeonthe"
(Comenow,then!Comenow,comeNOW!OhDickIneedyouweall
need)
"run.Sorry,butIgottorun.Sorry,Dannyolekidoledoc,
butIgotto
run.It'ssurebeenfun,yousonofagun,butIgottohurry,I
gottorun."
(No!)
Butashewatched,DickHallorannturned,puthiscigarette
backintothe
cornerofhismouth,andsteppednonchalantlythroughthewall.
Leavinghimalone.
Andthatwaswhentheshadowfigureturnedthecorner,hugein
thehallway's
gloom,onlythereflectedredofitseyesclear.
(Thereyouare!NowI'vegotyou,youfuck!NowI'llteach
you!)
Itlurchedtowardhiminahorrible,shamblingrun,theroque
malletswinging
upandupandup.Dannyscrambledbackward,screaming,and
suddenlyhewas
throughthewallandfalling,tumblingoverandover,downthe
hole,downthe
rabbitholeandintoalandfullofsickwonders.
Tonywasfarbelowhim,alsofalling.
(Ican'tcomeanymore,Danny...hewon'tletmenearyou..
.noneofthem
willletmenearyou...getDick...getDick...)
"Tony!"hescreamed.
ButTonywasgoneandsuddenlyhewasinadarkroom.Butnot
entirelydark.
Mutedlightspillingfromsomewhere.ItwasMommyandDaddy's
bedroom.Hecould
seeDaddy'sdesk.Buttheroomwasadreadfulshambles.Hehad
beeninthisroom
before.Mommy'srecordplayeroverturnedonthefloor.Her
recordsscatteredon
therug.Themattresshalfoffthebed.Picturesrippedfromthe
walls.Hiscot
lyingonitssidelikeadeaddog,theViolentVioletVolkswagen
crushedto
purpleshardsofplastic.
Thelightwascomingfromthebathroomdoor,halfopen.Just
beyonditahand
dangledlimply,blooddrippingfromthetipsofthefingers.And
inthemedicine
cabinetmirror,thewordREDRUMflashingoffandon.
Suddenlyahugeclockinaglassbowlmaterializedinfrontof
it.Therewere
nohandsornumbersontheclockface,onlyadatewritteninred:
DECEMBER2.
Andthen,eyeswideninginhorror,hesawthewordREDRUM
reflectingdimlyfrom
theglassdome,nowreflectedtwice.Andhesawthatitspelled
MURDER.
DannyTorrancescreamedinwretchedterror.Thedatewasgone
fromthe
clockface.Theclockfaceitselfwasgone,replacedbyacircular
blackholethat
swelledandswelledlikeadilatingiris.Itblottedout
everythingandhefell
forward,beginningtofall,falling,hewas

***

fallingoffthechair.
Foramomenthelayontheballroomfloor,breathingbard.

REDRUM.
MURDER.
REDRUM.
MURDER.

(TheRedDeathheldswayoverall!)
(Unmask!Unmask!)
Andbehindeachglitteringlovelymask,theasyetunseenface
oftheshape
thatchasedhimdownthesedarkhallways,itsredeyeswidening,
blankand
homicidal.
Oh,hewasafraidofwhatfacemightcometolightwhenthe
timeforunmasking
camearoundatlast.
(DICK!)
hescreamedwithallhismight.Hisheadseemedtoshiver
withtheforceof
it.
(!!!OHDICKOHPLEASEPLEASEPLEASECOME!!!)
Abovehimtheclockhehadwoundwiththesilverkeycontinued
tomarkoffthe
secondsandminutesandhours.
PARTFIVE

Mattersof
LifeandDeath

<<38>>

FLORIDA

Mrs.Hallorann'sthirdson,Dick,dressedinhiscook'swhites,
aLuckyStrike
parkedinthecornerofhismouth,backedhisreclaimedCadillac
limooutofits
spacebehindtheOneAWholesaleVegetableMartanddroveslowly
aroundthe
building.Masterton,partownernowbutstillwalkingwiththe
patentedshuffle
hehadadoptedbackbeforeWorldWarII,waspushingabinof
lettucesintothe
high,darkbuilding.
Hallorannpushedthebuttonthatloweredthepassengerside
windowand
hollered:"Thoseavocadoesistoodamnhigh,youcheapskate!"
Mastertonlookedbackoverhisshoulder,grinnedwidelyenough
toexposeall
threegoldteeth,andyelledback,"AndIknowexactlywhereyou
canputem,my
goodbuddy."
"RemarkslikethatIkeeptrackof,bro."
Mastertongavehimthefinger.Hallorannreturnedthe
compliment.
"Getyourcukes,didyou?"Mastertonasked.
"Idid."
"Youcomebackearlytomorrow,Igonnagiveyousomeofthe
nicestnew
potatoesyoueverseen."
"Isendtheboy,"Hallorannsaid."Youcominuptonight?"
"Yousupplyinthejuice,bro?"
"That'sabigtenfour."
"Ibethere.Youkeepthatthingoffthetopendgoinhome,you
hearme?Every
copbetweenhereanSt.Peteknowsyourname."
"Youknowallaboutit,huh?"Hallorannasked,grinning.
"Iknowmorethanyou'lleverlearn,myman."
"Listentothissassynigger.Wouldyoulisten?"
"Goon,getouttahereforeIstartthrowintheselettuces."
"Goonanthrowem.I'lltakeanythingforfree."
Mastertonmadeasiftothrowone.Hallorannducked,rolledup
thewindow,and
droveon.Hewasfeelingfine.Forthelasthalfhourorsohe
hadbeensmelling
oranges,buthedidn'tfindthatqueer.Forthelasthalfhourhe
hadbeenina
fruitandvegetablemarket.
Itwas4:30p.m.,EST,thefirstdayofDecember,OldMan
Wintersettlinghis
frostbittenrumpfirmlyontomostofthecountry,butdownhere
themenwore
openthroatedshortsleeveshirtsandthewomenwereinlight
summerdressesand
shorts.OntopoftheFirstBankofFloridabuilding,adigital
thermometer
borderedwithhugegrapefruitswasflashing79overandover.
ThankGodfor
Florida,Hallorannthought,mosquitoesandall.
Inthebackofthelimoweretwodozenavocados,acrateof
cucumbers,ditto
oranges,dittograpefruit.Threeshoppingsacksfilledwith
Bermudaonions,the
sweetestvegetablealovingGodevercreated,someprettygood
sweetpeas,which
wouldbeservedwiththeentreeandcomebackuneatenninetimes
outoften,and
asingleblueHubbardsquashthatwasstrictlyforpersonal
consumption.
HallorannstoppedintheturnlaneattheVermontStreetlight,
andwhenthe
greenarrowshowedhepulledoutontostatehighway219,pushing
uptofortyand
holdingitthereuntilthetownbegantotrickleawayintoan
exurbansprawlof
gasstations,BurgerKings,andMcDonalds.Itwasasmallorder
today,hecould
havesentBaedeckerafterit,butBaedeckerhadbeenchafingfor
hischanceto
buythemeat,andbesides,Hallorannnevermissedachanceto
bangitbackand
forthwithFrankMastertonifhecouldhelpit.Mastertonmight
showuptonight
towatchsomeTVanddrinkHallorann'sBushmill's,orhemight
not.Eitherway
wasallright.Butseeinghimmattered.Everytimeitmattered
now,becausethey
weren'tyounganymore.Inthelastfewdaysitseemedhewas
thinkingofthat
veryfactagreatdeal.Notsoyounganymore,whenyougotup
nearsixtyyears
old(ortellthetruthandsavealiepastit)youhadtostart
thinkingabout
steppingout.Youcouldgoanytime.Andthathadbeenonhismind
thisweek,not
inaheavywaybutasafact.Dyingwasapartofliving.Youhad
tokeeptuning
intothatifyouexpectedtobeawholeperson.Andifthefact
ofyourown
deathwashardtounderstand,atleastitwasn'timpossibleto
accept.
Whythisshouldhavebeenonhismindhecouldnothavesaid,
buthisother
reasonforgettingthissmallorderhimselfwassohecouldstep
upstairstothe
smallofficeoverFrank'sBarandGrill.Therewasalawyerup
therenow(the
dentistwhohadbeentherelastyearhadapparentlygonebroke),
ayoungblack
fellownamedMcIver.Hallorannhadsteppedinandtoldthis
McIverthathe
wantedtomakeawill,andcouldMcIverhelphimout?Well,
McIverasked,how
soondoyouwantthedocument?Yesterday,saidHallorann,and
threwhishead
backandlaughed.Haveyougotanythingcomplicatedinmind?was
McIver'snext
question.Halloranndidnot.HehadhisCadillac,hisbank
accountsomenine
thousanddollarsapiddlingcheckingaccount,andaclosetof
clothes.He
wanteditalltogotohissister.Andifyoursisterpredeceases
you?McIver
asked.Nevermind,Hallorannsaid.Ifthathappens,I'llmakea
newwill.The
documenthadbeencompletedandsignedinlessthanthreehours
fastworkfora
shysterandnowresidedinHallorann'sbreastpocket,folded
intoastiffblue
envelopewiththewordWILLontheoutsideinOldEnglish
letters.
Hecouldnothavesaidwhyhehadchosenthiswarmsunnyday
whenhefeltso
welltodosomethinghehadbeenputtingoffforyears,butthe
impulsehadcome
onhimandhehadn'tsaidno.Hewasusedtofollowinghis
hunches.
Hewasprettywelloutoftownnow.Hecrankedthelimoupto
anillegalsixty
andletitridethereinthelefthandlane,suckingupmostof
thePetersburg
boundtraffic.Heknewfromexperiencethatthelimowouldstill
rideassolid
asironatninety,andevenatahundredandtwentyitdidn't
seemtolightenup
much.Buthisscreamindayswerelonggone.Thethoughtof
puttingthelimoup
toahundredandtwentyonastraightstretchonlyscaredhim.He
wasgetting
old.
(Jesus,thoseorangessmellstrong.Wonderiftheygoneover?)
Bugssplatteredagainstthewindow.Hedialedtheradiotoa
Miamisoul
stationandgotthesoft,wailingvoiceofAlGreen.

"Whatabeautifultimewehadtogether,
Nowit'sgettinglateandwemustleaveeachother..."
Heunrolledthewindow,pitchedhiscigarettebuttout,then
rolleditfurther
downtoclearoutthesmelloftheoranges.Hetappedhisfingers
againstthe
wheelandhummedalongunderhisbreath.Hookedovertherearview
mirror,his
St.Christopher'smedalswunggentlybackandforth.
Andsuddenlythesmelloforangesintensifiedandheknewit
wascoming,
somethingwascomingathim.Hesawhisowneyesintherearview,
widening,
surprised.Andthenitcameallatonce,cameinahugeblast
thatdroveout
everythingelse:themusic,theroadahead,hisownabsent
awarenessofhimself
asauniquehumancreature.Itwasasifsomeonehadputa
psychicguntohis
headandshothimwitha.45caliberscream.
(!!!OHDICKOHPLEASEPLEASEPLEASECOME!!!)
ThelimohadjustdrawnevenwithaPintostationwagondriven
byamanin
workman'sclothes.Theworkmansawthelimodriftingintohis
laneandlaidon
theborn.WhentheCadillaccontinuedtodrifthesnappedalook
atthedriver
andsawabigblackmanboltuprightbehindthewheel,hiseyes
lookingvaguely
upward.Latertheworkmantoldhiswifethatheknewitwasjust
oneofthose
niggeryhairdostheywereallwearingthesedays,butatthetime
ithadlooked
justasifeveryhaironthatcoon'sheadwasstandingonend.He
thoughtthe
blackmanwashavingaheartattack.
Theworkmanbrakedhard,droppingbackintoaluckilyempty
spacebehindhim.
TherearendoftheCadillacpulledaheadofhim,stillcutting
in,andthe
workmanstaredwithbemusedhorrorasthelong,rocketshaped
reartaillights
cutintohislanenomorethanaquarterofaninchinfrontof
hisbumper.
Theworkmancuttotheleft,stilllayingonhishorn,and
roaredaroundthe
drunkenlyweavinglimousine.Heinvitedthedriverofthelimoto
performan
illegalsexactonhimself.Toengageinoralcongresswith
variousrodentsand
birds.HearticulatedhisownproposalthatallpersonsofNegro
bloodreturnto
theirnativecontinent.Heexpressedhissincerebeliefinthe
positionthe
limodriver'ssoulwouldoccupyintheafterlife.Hefinishedby
sayingthathe
believedbehadmetthelimodriver'smotherinaNewOrleans
houseof
prostitution.
Thenhewasaheadandoutofdangerandsuddenlyawarethathe
hadwethis
pants.
InHallorann'smindthethoughtkeptrepeating
(COMEDICKPLEASECOMEDICKPLEASE)
butitbegantofadeoffthewayaradiostationwillasyou
approachthe
limitsofitsbroadcastingarea.Hebecamefuzzilyawarethathis
carwas
toolingalongthesoftshoulderatbetterthanfiftymilesan
hour.Heguidedit
backontotheroad,feelingtherearendfishtailforamoment
beforeregaining
thecompositionsurface.
TherewasanA/WRootbeerstandjustahead.Hallorannsignaled
andturnedin,
hisheartthuddingpainfullyinhischest,hisfaceasicklygray
color.He
pulledintoaparkingslot,tookhishandkerchiefoutofhis
pocket,andmopped
hisforeheadwithit.
(LordGod!)
"MayIhelpyou?"
Thevoicestartledhimagain,eventhoughitwasn'tthevoice
ofGodbutthat
ofacutelittlecarhop,standingbyhisopenwindowwithan
orderpad.
"Yeah,baby,arootbeerfloat.Twoscoopsofvanilla,okay?"
"Yes,sir."Shewalkedaway,hipsrollingnicelybeneathher
rednylon
uniform.
Hallorannleanedbackagainsttheleatherseatandclosedhis
eyes.Therewas
nothinglefttopickup.Thelastofithadfadedoutbetween
pullinginhere
andgivingthewaitresshisorder.Allthatwasleftwasasick,
thudding
headache,asifhisbrainhadbeentwistedandwrungoutandbung
uptodry.
Liketheheadachehe'dgottenfromlettingthatboyDannyshine
athimupthere
atUllman'sFolly.
Butthishadbeenmuchlouder.Thentheboyhadonlybeen
playingagamewith
him.Thishadbeenpurepanic,eachwordscreamedaloudinhis
bead.
Helookeddownathisarms.Hotsunshinelayonthembutthey
hadstillgoose
bumped.Hehadtoldtheboytocallhimifheneededhelp,he
rememberedthat.
Andnowtheboywascalling.
Hesuddenlywonderedhowhecouldhaveleftthatboyupthere
atall,shining
thewayhedid.Therewasboundtobetrouble,maybebadtrouble.
Hesuddenlykeyedthelimo,putitinreverse,andpulledback
ontothe
highway,peelingrubber.Thewaitresswiththerollinghipsstood
intheA/W
stand'sarchway,atraywitharootbeerfloatonitinherhands.
"Whatisitwithyou,afire?"sheshouted,butHallorannwas
gone.

***

ThemanagerwasamannamedQueems,andwhenHalloranncamein
Queemswas
conversingwithhisbookie.HewantedthefourhorseatRockaway.
No,noparlay,
noquinella,noexacta,nogoddamfutura.Justthelittleold
four,sixhundred
dollarsonthenose.AndtheJetsonSunday.Whatdidhemean,
theJetswere
playingtheBills?Didn'theknowwhotheJetswereplaying?Five
hundred,
sevenpointspread.WhenQueemshungup,lookingputout,
Hallorannunderstood
howamancouldmakefiftygrandayearrunningthislittlespa
andstillwear
suitswithshinyseats.HeregardedHallorannwithaneyethat
wasstill
bloodshotfromtoomanyglancesintolastnight'sbourbonbottle.
"Problems,Dick?"
"Yes,sir,Mr.Queems,Iguessso.Ineedthreedaysoff."
TherewasapackageofKentsinthebreastpocketofQueems's
sheeryellow
shirt.Hereachedoneoutofthepocketwithoutremovingthe
pack,tweezingit
out,andbitdownmoroselyonthepatentedMicronitefilter.He
lititwithhis
desktopCricket.
"SodoI,"hesaid."Butwhat'sonyourmind?"
"Ineedthreedays,"Hallorannrepeated."It'smyboy."
Queems'seyesdroppedtoHallorann'slefthand,whichwas
ringless.
"Ibeendivorcedsince1964,"Hallorannsaidpatiently.
"Dick,youknowwhattheweekendsituationis.We'refull.To
thegunnels.
Eventhecheapseats.We'reevenfilledupintheFloridaRoomon
Sundaynight.
Sotakemywatch,mywallet,mypensionfund.Hell,youcaneven
takemywifeif
youcanstandthesharpedges.Butpleasedon'taskmefortime
off.Whatishe,
sick?"
"Yes,sir,"Hallorannsaid,stilltryingtovisualizehimself
twistingacheap
clothhatandrollinghiseyeballs."Heshot."
"Shot!"Queemssaid.HeputhisKentdowninanashtraywhich
boretheemblem
ofOleMiss,ofwhichhewasabusinessadmingraduate.
"Yes,sir,"Hallorannsaidsomberly.
"Huntingaccident?"
"No,sir,"Hallorannsaid,andlethisvoicedroptoalower,
huskiernote.
"Jana,she'sbeenlivinwiththistruckdriver.Awhiteman.He
shotmyboy.
He'sinahospitalinDenver,Colorado.Criticalcondition."
"Howinhelldidyoufindout?Ithoughtyouwerebuying
vegetables."
"Yes,sir,Iwas."HehadstoppedattheWesternUnionoffice
justbefore
comingheretoreserveanAviscaratStapletonAirport.Before
leavinghehad
swipedaWesternUnionflimsy.Nowhetookthefoldedand
crumpledblankform
fromhispocketandflasheditbeforeQueems'sbloodshoteyes.He
putitbackin
hispocketand,allowinghisvoicetodropanothernotch,said:
"Janasentit.
ItwaswaitininmyletterboxwhenIgotbackjustnow."
"Jesus.JesusChrist,"Queemssaid.Therewasapeculiartight
expressionof
concernonhisface,oneHallorannwasfamiliarwith.Itwasas
closetoan
expressionofsympathyasawhitemanwhothoughtofhimselfas
"goodwiththe
coloreds"couldgetwhentheobjectwasablackmanorhis
mythicalblackson.
"Yeah,okay,yougetgoing,"Queemssaid."Baedeckercantake
overforthree
days,Iguess.Thepotboycanhelpout."
Hallorannnodded,lettinghisfacegetlongerstill,butthe
thoughtofthe
potboyhelpingoutBaedeckermadehimgrininside.Evenonagood
dayHallorann
doubtedifthepotboycouldhittheurinalonthefirstsquirt.
"Iwanttorebatebackthisweek'spay,"Hallorannsaid."The
wholething.I
knowwhatabindthisputtinyouin,Mr.Queems,sir."
Queems'sexpressiongottighterstillitlookedasifhemight
haveafishbone
caughtinhisthroat."Wecantalkaboutthatlater.Yougoon
andpack.I'll
talktoBaedecker.Wantmetomakeyouaplanereservation?"
"No,sir,I'lldoit."
"Allright."Queemsstoodup,leanedsincerelyforward,and
inhaledaraftof
ascendingsmokefromhisKent.Hecoughedheartily,histhin
whitefaceturning
red.Hallorannstruggledhardtokeephissomberexpression."I
hopeeverything
turnsout,Dick.Callwhenyougetword."
"I'lldothat."
Theyshookhandsoverthedesk.
Hallorannmadehimselfgetdowntothegroundfloorandacross
tothehired
help'scompoundbeforeburstingintorich,beadshakinglaughter.
Hewasstill
grinningandmoppinghisstreamingeyeswithhishandkerchief
whenthesmellof
orangescame,thickandgagging,andtheboltfollowedit,
strikinghiminthe
head,sendinghimbackagainstthepinkstuccowallinadrunken
stagger.

(!!!PLEASECOMEDICKPLEASECOMECOME
QUICK!!!)

Herecoveredalittleatatimeandatlastfeltcapableof
climbingthe
outsidestairstohisapartment.Hekeptthelatchkeyunderthe
rushplaited
doormat,andwhenhereacheddowntogetit,somethingfellout
ofhisinner
pocketandfelltothesecondfloordeckingwithaflatthump.
Hismindwas
stillsomuchonthevoicethathadshiveredthroughhishead
thatforamoment
hecouldonlylookattheblueenvelopeblankly,notknowingwhat
itwas.
ThenheturneditoverandthewordWILLstaredupathimin
theblackspidery
letters.
(OhmyGodisitlikethat?)
Hedidn'tknow.Butitcouldbe.Allweeklongthethoughtof
hisownending
hadbeenonhismindlikea...well,likea
(Goon,sayit)
likeapremonition,.
Death?Foramomenthiswholelifeseemedtoflashbeforehim,
notina
historicalsense,notopographyoftheupsanddownsthatMrs.
Hallorann'sthird
son,Dick,hadlivedthrough,buthislifeasitwasnow.Martin
LutherKinghad
toldthemnotlongbeforethebullettookhimdowntohis
martyr'sgravethathe
hadbeentothemountain.Dickcouldnotclaimthat.Nomountain,
buthehad
reachedasunnyplateauafteryearsofstruggle.Hehadgood
friends.Hehadall
thereferenceshewouldeverneedtogetajobanywhere.Whenhe
wantedfuck,
why,hecouldfindafriendlyonewithnoquestionsaskedandno
bigshitty
struggleaboutwhatitallmeant.Hehadcometotermswithhis
blacknesshappy
terms.HewasuppastsixtyandthankGod,hewascruising.
Washegoingtochancetheendofthattheendofhimfor
threewhitepeople
hedidn'tevenknow?
Butthatwasalie,wasn'tit?
Heknewtheboy.Theyhadsharedeachotherthewaygood
friendscan'teven
afterfortyyearsofit.Heknewtheboyandtheboyknewhim,
becausetheyeach
hadakindofsearchlightintheirheads,somethingtheyhadn't
askedfor,
somethingthathadjustbeengiven.
(Naw,yougotaflashlight,hetheonewiththesearchlight.)
Andsometimesthatlight,thatshine,seemedlikeaprettynice
thing.You
couldpickthehorses,orliketheboyhadsaid,youcouldtell
yourdaddywhere
histrunkwaswhenitturnedupmissing.Butthatwasonly
dressing,thesauce
onthesalad,anddownbelowtherewasasmuchbittervetchin
thatsaladas
therewascoolcucumber.Youcouldtastepainanddeathand
tears.Andnowthe
boywasstuckinthatplace,andhewouldgo.Fortheboy.
Because,speakingto
theboy,theyhadonlybeendifferentcolorswhentheyusedtheir
mouths.Sohe
wouldgo.Hewoulddowhathecould,becauseifhedidn't,the
boywasgoingto
dierightinsidehishead.
Butbecausehewashumanhecouldnothelpabitterwishthat
thecuphad
neverbeenpassedhisway.

***

(Shehadstartedtogetoutandcomeafterhim.)
Hehadbeendumpingachangeofclothesintoanovernightbag
whenthethought
cametohim,freezinghimwiththepowerofthememoryasit
alwaysdidwhenhe
thoughtofit.Hetriedtothinkofitasseldomaspossible.
Themaid,DeloresVickeryhernamewas,hadbeenhysterical.
Hadsaidsome
thingstotheotherchambermaids,andworsestill,tosomeofthe
guests.When
thewordgotbacktoUllman,asthesillyquiffshouldhaveknown
itwoulddo,
hehadfiredheroutofhand.ShehadcometoHallorannintears,
notabout
beingfired,butaboutthethingshehadseeninthatsecond
floorroom.Shehad
goneinto217tochangethetowels,shesaid,andtherehadbeen
thatMrs.
Massey,lyingdeadinthetub.That,ofcourse,wasimpossible.
Mrs.Masseyhad
beendiscreetlytakenawaythedaybeforeandwaseventhen
wingingherwayback
toNewYorkintheshippingholdinsteadofthefirstclassshe'd
been
accustomedto.
Hallorannhadn'tlikedDeloresmuch,buthehadgoneuptolook
thatevening.
Themaidwasanolivecomplectedgirloftwentythreewhowaited
tablenearthe
endoftheseasonwhenthingssloweddown.Shehadasmall
shining,Hallorann
judged,reallynotmorethanatwinkle;amousylookingmanand
hisescort,
wearingafadedclothcoat,wouldcomeinfordinnerandDelores
wouldtradeone
ofhertablesfortheirs.Themousylittlemanwouldleavea
pictureof
AlexanderHamiltonunderhisplate,badenoughforthegirlwho
hadmadethe
trade,butworse,Deloreswouldcrowoverit.Shewaslazy,a
goofoffinan
operationrunbyamanwhoallowednogoofoffs.Shewouldsitin
alinen
closet,readingaconfessionmagazineandsmoking,butwhenever
Ullmanwenton
oneofhisunscheduledprowls(andwoetothegirlhecaught
restingherfeet)
hefoundherworkingindustriously,hermagazinehiddenunderthe
sheetsona
highshelf,herashtraytuckedsafelyintoheruniformpocket.
Yeah,Hallorann
thought,she'dbeenagoofoffandaslovenandtheothergirls
hadresented
her,butDeloreshadhadthatlittletwinkle.Ithadalways
greasedtheskids
forher.Butwhatshehadseenin217hadscaredherbadlyenough
soshewas
morethangladtopickupthewalkingpapersUllmanhadissued
herandgo.
Whyhadshecometohim?Ashineknowsashine,Hallorann
thought,grinningat
thepun.
Sohehadgoneupthatnightandbadlethimselfintotheroom,
whichwasto
bereoccupiedthenextday.Hehadusedtheofficepasskeytoget
in,andif
Ullmanhadcaughthimwiththatkey,hewouldhavejoinedDelores
Vickeryonthe
unemploymentline.
Theshowercurtainaroundthetubhadbeendrawn.Hehadpushed
itback,but
evenbeforehedidhe'dhadapremonitionofwhathewasgoingto
see.Mrs.
Massey,swollenandpurple,laysoggilyinthetub,whichwas
halffullof
water.Hehadstoodlooking.downather,apulsebeatingthickly
inhisthroat.
TherehadbeenotherthingsattheOverlook:abaddreamthat
recurredat
irregularintervalssomesortofcostumepartyandhewas
cateringitinthe
Overlook'sballroomandattheshouttounmask,everybodyexposed
facesthat
werethoseofrottinginsectsandtherehadbeenthehedge
animals.Twice,
maybethreetimes,hehad(orthoughthehad)seenthemmove,
eversoslightly.
Thatdogwouldseemtochangefromhissittingupposturetoa
slightlycrouched
one,andthelionsseemedtomoveforward,asifmenacingthe
littletykeson
theplayground.LastyearinMayUllmanhadsenthimuptothe
attictolookfor
theornatesetoffiretoolsthatnowstoodbesidethelobby
fireplace.Whilehe
hadbeenuptherethethreelightbulbsstrungoverheadhadgone
outandhehad
losthiswaybacktothetrapdoor.Hehadstumbledaroundforan
unknownlength
oftime,closerandclosertopanic,barkinghisshinsonboxes
andbumpinginto
things,withastrongerandstrongerfeelingthatsomethingwas
stalkinghimin
thedark.Somegreatandfrighteningcreaturethathadjustoozed
outofthe
woodworkwhenthelightswentout.Andwhenhehadliterally
stumbledoverthe
trapdoor'sringbolthehadhurrieddownasfastashecould,
leavingthetrap
open,sootyanddisheveled,withafeelingofdisasterbarely
averted.Later
Ullmanhadcomedowntothekitchenpersonally,toinformhimhe
hadleftthe
attictrapdooropenandthelightsburningupthere.Did
Hallorannthinkthe
guestswantedtogoupthereandplaytreasurehunt?Didhethink
electricity
wasfree?
Andhesuspectedno,wasnearlypositivethatseveralofthe
guestshadseen
orheardthings.too.Inthethreeyearshehadbeenthere,the
Presidential
Suitehadbeenbookednineteentimes.Sixoftheguestswhohad
putuptherehad
leftthehotelearly,someofthemlookingmarkedlyill.Other
guestshadleft
otherroomswiththesameabruptness.OnenightinAugustof
1974,neardusk,a
manwhohadwontheBronzeandSilverStarsinKorea(thatman
nowsatonthe
boardsofthreemajorcorporationsandwassaidtohave
personallypinkslipped
afamousTVnewsanchorman)unaccountablywentintoafitof
screaminghysterics
ontheputtinggreen.Andtherehadbeendozensofchildren
duringHallorann's
associationwiththeOverlookwhosimplyrefusedtogointothe
playground.One
childhadhadaconvulsionwhileplayingintheconcreterings,
butHallorann
didn'tknowifthatcouldbeattributedtotheOverlook'sdeadly
sirensongor
notwordhadgonearoundamongthehelpthatthechild,theonly
daughterofa
handsomemovieactor,wasamedicallycontrolledepilepticwho
hadsimply
forgottenhermedicinethatday.
Andso,staringdownatthecorpseofMrs.Massey,hehadbeen
frightenedbut
notcompletelyterrified.Itwasnotcompletelyunexpected.
Terrorcamewhenshe
openedhereyestodiscloseblanksilverpupilsandbegantogrin
athim.Horror
camewhen
(shehadstartedtogetoutandcomeafterhim.)
Hehadfled,heartracing,andhadnotfeltsafeevenwiththe
doorshutand
lockedbehindhim.Infact,headmittedtohimselfnowashe
zippedthe
fiightbagshut,hehadneverfeltsafeanywhereintheOverlook
again.
Andnowtheboycalling,screamingforhelp.
Helookedathiswatch.Itwas5:30P.m.Hewenttothe
apartment'sdoor,
remembereditwouldbeheavywinternowinColorado,especially
upinthe
mountains,andwentbacktohiscloset.Hepulledhislong,
sheepskinlined
overcoatoutofitspolyurethanedrycleaningbagandputitover
hisarm.It
wastheonlywintergarmentheowned.Heturnedoffallthe
lightsandlooked
around.Hadheforgottenanything?Yes.Onething.Hetookthe
willoutofhis
breastpocketandslippeditintothemarginofthedressing
tablemirror.With
luckhewouldbebacktogetit.
Sure,withluck.
Helefttheapartment,lockedthedoorbehindhim,putthekey
undertherush
mat,andrandowntheoutsidestepstohisconvertedCadillac.

***

HalfwaytoMiamiInternational,comfortablyawayfromthe
switchboardwhere
QueemsorQueems'stoadieswereknowntolistenin,Hallorann
stoppedata
shoppingcenterLaundromatandcalledUnitedAirLines.Flights
toDenver?
Therewasonedueoutat6:36P.m.Couldthegentlemanmake
that?
Hallorannlookedathiswatch,whichshowed6:02,andsaidhe
could.What
aboutvacanciesontheflight?
Justletmecheck.
AclunkingsoundinhisearfollowedbysaccharineMontavani,
whichwas
supposedtomakebeingonboldmorepleasant.Itdidn't.
Halloranndancedfrom
onefoottotheother,alternatingglancesbetweenhiswatchand
ayounggirl
withasleepingbaby,inahammockonherbackunloadingacoin
opMaytag.She
wasafraidshewasgoingtogethomelaterthansheplannedand
theroastwould
burnandherhusbandMark?Mike?Matt?wouldbemad.
Aminutepassed.Two.Hehadjustaboutmadeuphismindto
driveaheadand
takehischanceswhenthecannedsoundingvoiceoftheflight
reservationsclerk
camebackon.Therewasanemptyseat,acancellation.Itwasin
firstclass.
Didthatmakeanydifference?
No.Hewantedit.
Wouldthatbecashorcreditcard?
Cash,baby,cash.I'vegottofly.
Andthenamewas?
Hallorann,twol's,twon's.Catchyoulater.
Hehungupandhurriedtowardthedoor.Thegirl'ssimple
thought,worryfor
theroast,broadcastathimoverandoveruntilbethoughthe
wouldgomad.
Sometimesitwaslikethat,fornoreasonatallyouwouldcatch
athought,
completelyisolated,completelypureandclear...andusually
completely
useless.

***
Healmostmadeit.
Hehadthelimocrankeduptoeightyandtheairportwas
actuallyinsight
whenoneofFlorida'sFinestpulledhimover.
Hallorannunrolledtheelectricwindowandopenedhismouthat
thecop,who
wasflippinguppagesinhiscitationbook.
"Iknow,"thecopsaidcomfortingly."It'safuneralin
Cleveland.Your
father.It'saweddinginSeattle.Yoursister.
AfireinSanJosethatwipedoutyourgramp'scandystore.
Somereallyfine
CambodianRedjustwaitinginaterminallockerinNewYorkCity.
Ilovethis
pieceofroadjustoutsidetheairport.Evenasakid,storyhour
wasmy
favoritepartofschool."
"Listen,officer,mysonis"
"TheonlypartofthestoryIcanneverfigureoutuntilthe
end,"theofficer
said,findingtherightpageinhiscitationbook,"isthe
driver'slicense
numberoftheoffendingmotorist/storytellerandhisregistration
information
Sobeaniceguy.Letmepeek."
Hallorannlookedintothecop'scalmblueeyes,debatedtelling
hismysonis
incriticalconditionstoryanyway,anddecidedthatwouldmake
thingsworse.
ThisSmokeywasnoQueems.Hedugouthiswallet.
"Wonderful,"thecopsaid."Wouldyoutakethemoutforme,
please?Ijust
havetoseehowit'sallgoingtocomeoutintheend."
Silently,Halloranntookouthisdriver'slicenseandhis
Floridaregistration
andgavethemtothetrafficcop.
"That'sverygood.That'ssogoodyouwinapresent."
"What?"Hallorannaskedhopefully.
"WhenIfinishwritingdownthesenumbers,I'mgoingtoletyou
blowupa
littleballoonforme."
"Oh,Jeeeesus!"Hallorannmoaned."Officer,myflight"
"Shhhh,"thetrafficcopsaid."Don'tbenaughty."
Hallorannclosedhiseyes.
***

HegottotheUniteddeskat6:49,hopingagainsthopethatthe
flighthad
beendelayed.Hedidn'tevenhavetoask.Thedeparturemonitor
overthe
incomingpassengersdesktoldthestory.Flight901forDenver,
dueoutat6:36
EST,hadleftat6:40.Nineminutesbefore.
"Ohshit,"DickHallorannsaid.
Andsuddenlythesmelloforanges,heavyandcloying,hehad
justtimeto
reachthemen'sroombeforeitcame,deafening,terrified:
(!!!COMEPLEASECOMEDICKPLEASEPLEASE
COME!!!)

<<39>>

ONTHESTAIRS

Oneofthethingstheyhadsoldtoswelltheirliquidassetsa
littlebefore
movingfromVermonttoColoradowasJack'scollectionoftwo
hundredoldrock
'n'rollandr&balbums;theyhadgoneattheyardsalefora
dollarapiece.
Oneofthesealbums,Danny'spersonalfavorite,hadbeenanEddie
Cochran
doublerecordsetwithfourpagesofboundinlinernotesby
LennyKaye.Wendy
hadoftenbeenstruckbyDanny'sfascinationforthisone
particularalbumbya
manboywhohadlivedfastanddiedyoung...haddied,infact,
whenshe
herselfhadonlybeentenyearsold.
Now,atquarterpastseven(mountaintime),asDickHallorann
wastelling
Queemsabouthisexwife'swhiteboyfriend,shecameuponDanny
sittinghalfway
upthestairsbetweenthelobbyandthefirstfloor,tossinga
redrubberball
fromhandtobandandsingingoneofthesongsfromthatalbum.
Hisvoicewas
lowandtuneless.
"SoIclimbonetwoflightthreeflightfour,"Dannysang,
"fiveflightsix
flightsevenflightmore...whenIgettothetop,I'mtoo
tiredtorock..
."
Shecamearoundhim,satdownononeofthestairrisers,and
sawthathis
lowerliphadswelledtotwiceitssizeandthattherewasdried
bloodonhis
chin.Herhearttookafrightenedleapinherchest,butshe
managedtospeak
neutrally.
"Whathappened,doc?"sheasked,althoughshewassureshe
knew.Jackhadhit
him.Well,ofcourse.Thatcamenext,didn'tit?Thewheelsof
progress;sooner
orlatertheytookyoubacktowhereyoustartedfrom.
"IcalledTony,"Dannysaid."Intheballroom.IguessIfell
offthechair.
Itdoesn'thurtanymore.Justfeels...likemylip'stoobig."
"Isthatwhatreallyhappened?"sheasked,lookingathim,
troubled.
"Daddydidn'tdoit,"heanswered."Nottoday."
Shegazedathim,feelingeerie.Theballtraveledfromone
bandtotheother.
Hehadreadhermind.Hersonhadreadhermind.
"What...whatdidTonytellyou,Danny?"
"Itdoesn'tmatter."Hisfacewascalm,hisvoicechillingly
indifferent.
"Danny"Shegrippedhisshoulder,harderthanshehad
intended.Buthe
didn'twince,oreventrytoshakeheroff.
(Ohwearewreckingthisboy.It'snotjustJack,it'smetoo,
andmaybeit's
notevenjustus,Jack'sfather,mymother,aretheyheretoo?
Sure,whynot?
Theplaceislousywithghostsanyway,whynotacouplemore?Oh
Lordinheaven
he'slikeoneofthosesuitcasestheyshowonTV,runover,
droppedfromplanes,
goingthroughfactorycrushers.OraTimexwatch.Takesalicking
andkeepson
ticking.OhDannyI'msosorry)
"Itdoesn'tmatter,"hesaidagain.Theballwentfromhandto
hand."Tony
can'tcomeanymore.Theywon'tlethim.He'slicked."
"Whowon't?"
"Thepeopleinthehotel,"hesaid.Helookedatherthen,and
hiseyes
weren'tindifferentatall.Theyweredeepandscared."Andthe.
..thethings
inthehotel.There'sallkindsofthem.Thehotelisstuffed
withthem."
"Youcansee"
"Idon'twanttosee,"hesaidlow,andthenlookedbackatthe
rubberball,
arcingfromhandtohand."ButIcanhearthemsometimes,lateat
night.They're
likethewind,allsighingtogether.Intheattic.Thebasement.
Therooms.All
over.Ithoughtitwasmyfault,becauseofthewayIam.The
key.Thelittle
silverkey."
"Danny,don't...don'tupsetyourselfthisway."
"Butit'shimtoo,"Dannysaid."It'sDaddy.Andit'syou.It
wantsallofus.
It'strickingDaddy,it'sfoolinghim,tryingtomakehimthink
itwantshimthe
most.Itwantsmethemost,butitwilltakeallofus."
"Ifonlythatsnowmobile"
"Theywouldn'tlethim,"Dannysaidinthatsamelowvoice.
"Theymadehim
throwpartofitawayintothesnow.Faraway.Idreamedit.And
heknowsthat
womanreallyisin217."Helookedatherwithhisdark,
frightenedeyes."It
doesn'tmatterwhetheryoubelievemeornot."
Sheslippedanarmaroundhim.
"Ibelieveyou,Danny,tellmethetruth.IsJack...ishe
goingtotryto
hurtus?"
"They'lltrytomakehim,"Dannysaid."I'vebeencallingfor
Mr.Hallorann.
HesaidifIeverneededhimtojustcall.AndIhavebeen.But
it'sawfulhard.
Itmakesmetired.AndtheworstpartisIdon'tknowifhe's
hearingmeornot.
Idon'tthinkhecancallbackbecauseit'stoofarforhim.And
Idon'tknowif
it'stoofarformeornot.Tomorrow"
"Whatabouttomorrow?"
Heshookhishead."Nothing."
"Whereishenow?"sheasked."'Fourdaddy?"
"He'sinthebasement.Idon'tthinkhe'llbeuptonight."
Shestoodupsuddenly."Waitrighthereforme.Fiveminutes."

***

Thekitchenwascoldanddesertedundertheoverhead
fluorescentbars.She
wenttotherackwherethecarvingkniveshungfromtheir
magnetizedstrips.She
tookthelongestandsharpest,wrappeditinadishtowel,and
leftthekitchen,
turningoffthelightsasshewent.

***

Dannysatonthestairs,hiseyesfollowingthecourseofhis
redrubberball
fromhandtohand.Hesang:"Shelivesonthetwentiethfloor
uptown,the
elevatorisbrokendown.SoIwalkonetwoflightthreeflight
four..:'
(Lou,Lou,skiptom'Lou)
Hissingingbrokeoff.Helistened.
(Skiptom'Loumydarlin')
Thevoicewasinhishead,somuchapartofhim,so
frighteninglyclosethat
itmighthavebeenapartofhisownthoughts.Itwassoftand
infinitelysly.
Mockinghim.Seemingtosay:
(Ohyes,you'lllikeithere.Tryit,you'lllikeit.Tryit,
you'llliiiiike
it)
Nowhisearswereopenandhecouldhearthemagain,the
gathering,ghostsor
spiritsormaybethehotelitself,adreadfulfunhousewhereall
thesideshows
endedindeath,whereallthespeciallypaintedboogieswere
reallyalive,where
hedgeswalked,whereasmallsilverkeycouldstartthe
obscenity.Softand
sighing,rustlingliketheendlesswinterwindthatplayedunder
theeavesat
night,thedeadlylullingwindthesummertouristsneverheard.
Itwaslikethe
somnolenthumofsummerwaspsinagroundnest,sleepy,deadly,
beginningto
wakeup.Theyweretenthousandfeethigh.
(Whyisaravenlikeawritingdesk?Thehigherthefewer,of
course!Have
anothercupoftea!)
Itwasalivingsound,butnotvoices,notbreath.Amanofa
philosophical
bentmighthavecalleditthesoundofsouls.DickHallorann's
Nana,whohad
grownuponsouthernroadsintheyearsbeforetheturnofthe
century,would
havecalleditha'ants.Apsychicinvestigatormighthavehada
longnamefor
itpsychicecho,psychokinesis,atelesmicsport.ButtoDanny
itwasonlythe
soundofthehotel,theoldmonster,creakingsteadilyandever
moreclosely
aroundthem:hallsthatnowstretchedbackthroughtimeaswell
asdistance,
hungryshadows,unquietguestswhodidnotresteasy.
Inthedarkenedballroomtheclockunderglassstruckseven
thirtywitha
singlemusicalnote.
Ahoarsevoice,madebrutalwithdrink,shouted:"Unmaskand
let'sfuck!"
Wendy,halfwayacrossthelobby,jerkedtoastandstill.
ShelookedatDannyonthestairs,stilltossingtheballfrom
handtohand.
"Didyoubearsomething?"
Dannyonlylookedatherandcontinuedtotosstheballfrom
handtohand.
Therewouldbelittlesleepforthemthatnight,althoughthey
slepttogether
behindalockeddoor.
Andinthedark,hiseyesopen,Dannythought:
(Hewantstobeoneofthemandliveforever.That'swhathe
wants.)
Wendythought:
(IfIhaveto,I'lltakehimfurtherup.Ifwe'regoingtodie
I'dratherdo
itinthemountains.)
Shehadleftthebutcherknife,stillwrappedinthetowel,
underthebed.She
keptherhandclosetoit.Theydozedoffandon.Thehotel
creakedaroundthem.
Outsidesnowhadbeguntospitdownfromaskylikelead.

<<40>>

INTHEBASEMENT

(!!!Theboilerthegoddamboiler!!!)
ThethoughtcameintoJackTorrance'smindfullblown,edgedin
bright,
warningred.Onitsheels,thevoiceofWatson:
(Ifyouforgetit'lljustcreepancreepandlikeasnotyouan
yourfambly
wiltenduponthefuckinmoon...she'sratedfortwofifty
butshe'dblow
longbeforethatnow...I'dbescaredtocomedownandstand
nexttoherata
hundredandeighty.)
He'dbeendownhereallnight,poringovertheboxesofold
records,possessed
byafranticfeelingthattimewasgettingshortandhewould
havetohurry.
Stillthevitalclues,theconnectionsthatwouldmakeeverything
clear,eluded
him.Hisfingerswereyellowandgrimywithcrumblingoldpaper.
Andhe'dbecome
soabsorbedhehadn'tcheckedtheboileronce.He'ddumpeditthe
previous
eveningaroundsixo'clock,whenhefirstcamedown.Itwas
now...
Helookedathiswatchandjumpedup,kickingoverestackof
oldinvoices.
Christ,itwasquarteroffiveinthemorning.
Behindhim,thefurnacekickedon.Theboilerwasmakinga
groaning,whistling
sound.
Herantoit.Hisface,whichhadbecomethinnerinthelast
monthorso,was
nowheavilyshadowedwithbeardstubbleandhehadahollow
concentrationcamp
look.
Theboilerpressuregaugestoodattwohundredandtenpounds
persquareinch.
Hefanciedhecouldalmostseethesidesoftheoldpatchedand
weldedboiler
heavingoutwiththelethalstrain.
(Shecreeps...I'dbescaredtocomedownandstandnextto
herata
hundredandeighty...)
Suddenlyacoldandtemptinginnervoicespoketohim.
(Letitgo.GogetWendyandDannyandgetthefuckoutof
here.Letitblow
skyhigh.)
Hecouldvisualizetheexplosion.Adoublethunderclapthat
wouldfirstrip
theheartfromthisplace,thenthesoul.Theboilerwouldgo
withanorange
violetflashthatwouldrainhotandburningshrapnelallover
thecellar.In
hismindhecouldseetheredhottrinketsofmetalcareeningfrom
floortowalls
toceilinglikestrangebilliardballs,whistlingjaggeddeath
throughtheair.
Someofthem,surely,wouldwhizzrightthroughthatstonearch,
lightonthe
oldpapersontheotherside,andtheywouldburnmerryhell.
Destroythe
secrets,burntheclues,it'samysterynolivinghandwillever
solve.Thenthe
gasexplosion,agreatrumblingcrackleofflame,agiantpilot
lightthatwould
turnthewholecenterofthehotelintoabroiler.Stairsand
hallwaysand
ceilingsandroomsaflamelikethecastleinthelastreelofa
Frankenstein
movie.Theflamespreadingintothewings,hurryinguptheblack
andbluetwined
carpetslikeeagerguests.Thesilkwallpapercharringand
curling.Therewere
nosprinklers,onlythoseoutmodedhosesandnoonetousethem.
Andthere
wasn'tafireengineintheworldthatcouldgetherebeforelate
March.Burn,
baby,burn.Intwelvehourstherewouldbenothingleftbutthe
barebones.
Theneedleonthegaugehadmoveduptotwotwelve.Theboiler
wascreaking
andgroaninglikeanoldwomantryingtogetoutofbed.Hissing
jetsofsteam
hadbeguntoplayaroundtheedgesofoldpatches;beadsof
solderhadbegunto
sizzle.
Hedidn'tsee,hedidn'thear.Frozenwithhishandonthe
valvethatwould
dumpoffthepressureanddampthefire,Jack'seyesglittered
fromtheir
socketslikesapphires.
(It'smylastchance.)
Theonlythingnotcashedinnowwasthelifeinsurancepolicy
hehadtaken
outjointlywithWendyinthesummerbetweenhisfirstandsecond
yearsat
Stovington.Fortythousanddollardeathbenefit,doubleindemnity
ifheorshe
diedinatraincrash,aplanecrash,orafire.Sevencome
eleven,diethe
secretdeathandwinahundreddollars.
(Afire...eightythousanddollars.)
Theywouldhavetimetogetout.Eveniftheyweresleeping,
theywouldhave
timetogetout.Hebelievedthat.Andhedidn'tthinkthehedges
oranything
elsewouldtrytoholdthembackiftheOverlookwasgoingupin
flames.
(Flames.)
Theneedleinsidethegreasy,almostopaquedialbaddancedup
totwohundred
andfifteenpoundspersquareinch.
Anothermemoryoccurredtohim,achildhoodmemory.Therehad
beenawasps'
nestinthelowerbranchesoftheirappletreebehindthehouse.
Oneofhis
olderbrothershecouldn'trememberwhichonenowhadbeen
stungwhile
swingingintheoldtireDaddyhadhungfromoneofthetree's
lowerbranches.
Ithadbeenlatesummer,whenwaspstendtobeattheirugliest.
Theirfather,justhomefromwork,dressedinhiswhites,the
smellofbeer
hangingaroundhisfaceinafinemist,hadgatheredallthree
boys,Brett,
Mike,andlittleJacky,andtoldthemhewasgoingtogetridof
thewasps.
"Nowwatch,"hehadsaid,smilingandstaggeringalittle(he
hadn'tbeen
usingthecanethen,thecollisionwiththemilktruckwasyears
inthefuture).
"Maybeyou'lllearnsomething.Myfathershowedmethis."
Hehadrakedabigpileofraindampenedleavesunderthe
branchwherethe
wasps'nestrested,adeadlierfruitthantheshrunkenbuttasty
applestheir
treeusuallyproducedinlateSeptember,whichwasthenstill
halfamonthaway.
Helittheleaves.Thedaywasclearandwindless.Theleaves
smolderedbut
didn'treallyburn,andtheymadeasmellafragrancethathad
echoedbacktohim
eachfallwhenmeninSaturdaypantsandlightWindbreakersraked
leaves
togetherandburnedthem.Asweetsmellwithabitterundertone,
richand
evocative.Thesmolderingleavesproducedgreatraftsofsmoke
thatdriftedup
toobscurethenest.
Theirfatherhadlettheleavessmolderallthatafternoon,
drinkingbeeron
theporchanddroppingtheemptyBlackLabelcansintohiswife's
plastic
floorbucketwhilehistwooldersonsflankedhimandlittleJacky
satonthe
stepsathisfeet,playingwithhisBoloBouncerandsinging
monotonouslyover
andover:"Yourcheatingheart...willmakeyouweep...
yourcheating
heart...isgonnatellonyou."
Atquarterofsix,justbeforesupper,Daddyhadgoneoutto
theappletree
withhissonsgroupedcarefullybehindhim.Inonehandhehada
gardenhoe.He
knockedtheleavesapart,leavinglittleclotsspreadaroundto
smolderanddie.
Thenhereachedthehoehandleup,weavingandblinking,and
aftertwoorthree
triesheknockedthenesttotheground.
Theboysfledforthesafetyoftheporch,butDaddyonlystood
overthenest,
swayingandblinkingdownatit.Jackycreptbacktosee.Afew
waspswere
crawlingsluggishlyoverthepaperterrainoftheirproperty,but
theywerenot
tryingtofly.Fromtheinsideofthenest,theblackandalien
place,camea
nevertobeforgottensound:alow,somnolentbuzz,likethe
soundofhigh
tensionwires.
"Whydon'ttheytrytostingyou,Daddy?"hehadasked.
"Thesmokemakesemdrunk,Jacky.Gogetmygascan."
Herantofetchit.Daddydousedthenestwithambergasoline.
"Nowstepaway,Jacky,unlessyouwanttoloseyoureyebrows."
Hehadsteppedaway.Fromsomewhereinthevoluminousfoldsof
hiswhite
overblouse,Daddyhadproducedawoodenkitchenmatch.Helitit
withhis
thumbnailandflungitontothenest.Therehadbeenawhite
orangeexplosion,
almostsoundlessinitsferocity.Daddyhadsteppedaway,
cacklingwildly.The
wasps'nesthadgoneupinnotime.
"Fire,"Daddyhadsaid,turningtoJackywithasmile."Fire
willkill
anything."
Aftersuppertheboyshadcomeoutintheday'swaninglightto
standsolemnly
aroundthecharredandblackenednest.Fromthehotinteriorhad
comethesound
ofwaspbodiespoppinglikecorn.
Thepressuregaugestoodattwotwenty.Alowironwailing
soundwasbuilding
upinthegutsofthething.Jetsofsteamstoodouterectina
hundredplaces
likeporcupinequills.
(Firewillkillanything.)
Jacksuddenlystarted.Hehadbeendozingoff...andhehad
almostdozed
himselfrightintokingdomcone.WhatinGod'snamehadhebeen
thinkingof?
Protectingthehotelwashisjob.Hewasthecaretaker.
Asweatofterrorsprangtohishandssoquicklythatatfirst
hemissedhis
griponthelargevalve.Thenhecurledhisfingersaroundits
spokes.He
whirleditoneturn,two,three.Therewasagianthissofsteam,
dragon's
breath.Awarmtropicalmistrosefrombeneaththeboilerand
veiledhim.Fora
momenthecouldnolongerseethedialbutthoughthemusthave
waitedtoolong;
thegroaning,clankingsoundinsidetheboilerincreased,
followedbyaseries
ofheavyrattlingsoundsandthewrenchingscreechofmetal.
Whensomeofthesteamblewawayhesawthatthepressuregauge
haddropped
backtotwohundredandwasstillsinking.Thejetsofsteam
escapingaroundthe
solderedpatchesbegantolosetheirforce.Thewrenching,
grindingsoundsbegan
todiminish.
Oneninety...oneeighty...oneseventyfive...
(Hewasgoingdownhill,goingninetymilesanhour,whenthe
whistlebroke
intoascream)
Buthedidn'tthinkitwouldblownow.Thepresswasdownto
onesixty.
(theyfoundhiminthewreckwithhishandonthethrottle,
hewasscalded
todeathbythesteam.)
Hesteppedawayfromtheboiler,breathinghard,trembling.He
lookedathis
handsandsawthatblisterswerealreadyrisingonhispalms.
Hellwiththe
blisters,hethought,andlaughedshakily.Hehadalmostdied
withhishandon
thethrottle,likeCaseytheengineerin"TheWreckoftheOld
97."Worsestill,
hewouldhavekilledtheOverlook.Thefinalcrashingfailure.He
hadfailedas
ateacher,awriter,ahusband,andafather.Hehadevenfailed
asadrunk.But
youcouldn'tdomuchbetterintheoldfailurecategorythanto
blowupthe
buildingyouweresupposedtobetakingcareof.Andthiswasno
ordinary
building.
Bynomeans.
Christ,butheneededadrink.
Thepresshaddroppeddowntoeightypsi.Cautiously,wincinga
littleatthe
paininhishands,heclosedthedumpvalveagain.Butfromnow
ontheboiler
wouldhavetobewatchedmorecloselythanever.Itmighthave
beenseriously
weakened.Hewouldn'ttrustitatmorethanonehundredpsifor
therestofthe
winter.Andiftheywerealittlechilly,theywouldjusthaveto
grinandbear
it.
Hehadbrokentwooftheblisters.Hishandsthrobbedlike
rottenteeth.
Adrink.Adrinkwouldfixhimup,andtherewasn'tathingin
thegoddamn
housebesidescookingsherry.Atthispointadrinkwouldbe
medicinal.Thatwas
justit,byGod.Ananesthetic.Hehaddonehisdutyandnowhe
couldusea
littleanestheticsomethingstrongerthanExcedrin.Buttherewas
nothing.
Herememberedbottlesglitteringintheshadows.
Hehadsavedthehotel.Thehotelwouldwanttorewardhim.He
feltsureof
it.Hetookhishandkerchiefoutofhisbackpocketandwentto
thestairs.He
rubbedathismouth.Justalittledrink.Justone.Toeasethe
pain.
HehadservedtheOverlook,andnowtheOverlookwouldserve
him.Hewassure
ofit.Hisfeetonthestairriserswerequickandeager,the
hurryingstepsof
amanwhohascomehomefromalongandbitterwar.Itwas5:20
A.M.,MST.
<<41>>

DAYLIGHT

Dannyawokewithamuffledgaspfromaterribledream.There
hadbeenan
explosion.Afire.TheOverlookwasburningup.Heandhismommy
werewatching
itfromthefrontlawn.
Mommyhadsaid:"Look,Danny,lookatthehedges."
Helookedatthemandtheywerealldead.Theirleaveshad
turnedasuffocant
brown.Thetightlypackedbranchesshowedthroughlikethe
skeletonsofhalf
dismemberedcorpses.Andthenhisdaddyhadburstoutofthe
Overlooksbig
doubledoors,andhewasburninglikeatorch.Hisclotheswere
inflames,his
skinhadacquiredadarkandsinistertanthatwasgrowingdarker
bythemoment,
hishairwasaburningbush.
Thatwaswhenhewokeup,histhroattightwithfear,hishands
clutchingat
thesheetandblankets.Hadhescreamed?Helookedoverathis
mother.Wendylay
onherside,theblanketsuptoherchin,asheafofstraw
coloredhairlying
againsthercheek.Shelookedlikeachildherself.No,hehadn't
screamed.
Lyinginbed,lookingupward,thenightmarebegantodrain
away.Hehada
curiousfeelingthatsomegreattragedy
(fire?explosion?)
hadbeenavertedbyinches.Helethisminddriftout,
searchingforhis
daddy,andfoundhimstandingsomewherebelow.Inthelobby.
Dannypusheda
littleharder,tryingtogetinsidehisfather.Itwasnotgood.
BecauseDaddy
wasthinkingabouttheBadThing.Hewasthinkinghow
(goodjustoneortwowouldbeidon'tcaresun'soverthe
yardarmsomewhere
intheworldrememberhowweusedtosaythatal?ginandtonic
bourbonwith
justadashofbittersscotchandsodarumandcoketweedledum
andtweedledeea
drinkformeandadrinkfortheethemartianshavelanded
somewhereinthe
worldprincetonorhoustonorstokelyoncarmichaelsomefucking
placeafterall
tistheseasonandnoneofusare)
(GETOUTOFHISMIND,YOULITTLESHIT!)
Herecoiledinterrorfromthatmentalvoice,hiseyes
widening,hishands
tighteningintoclawsonthecounterpane.Ithadn'tbeenthe
voiceofhisfather
butaclevermimic.Avoiceheknew.Hoarse,brutal,yet
underpointedwitha
vacuoussortofhumor.
Wasitsonear,then?
Hethrewthecoversbackandswunghisfeetoutontothefloor.
Hekickedhis
slippersoutfromunderthebedandputthemon.Hewenttothe
doorandpulled
itopenandhurrieduptothemaincorridor,hisslipperedfeet
whisperingon
thenapofthecarpetrunner.Heturnedthecorner.
Therewasamanonallfourshalfwaydownthecorridor,between
himandthe
stairs.
Dannyfroze.
Themanlookedupathim.Hiseyesweretinyandred.Hewas
dressedinsome
sortofsilvery,spangledcostume.Adogcostume,Dannyrealized.
Protruding
fromtherumpofthisstrangecreationwasalongandfloppytail
withapuffon
theend.Azipperranupthebackofthecostumetotheneck.To
theleftofhim
wasadog'sorwolf'shead,blankeyesocketsabovethemuzzle,
themouthopenin
ameaninglesssnarlthatshowedtherug'sblackandbluepattern
betweenfangs
thatappearedtobepapiermache.
Theman'smouthandchinandcheeksweresmearedwithblood.
HebegantogrowlatDanny.Hewasgrinning,butthegrowlwas
real.Itwas
deepinhisthroat,achillingprimitivesound.Thenhebeganto
bark.Histeeth
werealsostainedred.HebegantocrawltowardDanny,dragging
hisboneless
tailbehindhim.Thecostumedog'sheadlayunheededonthe
carpet,glaring
vacantlyoverDanny'sshoulder.
"Letmeby,"Dannysaid.
"I'mgoingtoeatyou,littleboy,"thedogmananswered,and
suddenlya
fusilladeofbarkscamefromhisgrinningmouth.Theywerehuman
imitations,but
thesavageryinthemwasreal.Theman'shairwasdark,greased
withsweatfrom
hisconfiningcostume.Therewasamixtureofscotchand
champagneonhis
breath.
Dannyflinchedbackbutdidn'trun."Letmeby."
"Notbythehairofmychinnychinchin,"thedogmanreplied.
Hissmallred
eyeswerefixedattentivelyonDanny'sface.Hecontinuedto
grin."I'mgoingto
eatyouup,littleboy.AndIthinkI'llstartwithyourplump
littlecock."
Hebegantopranceskittishlyforward,makinglittleleapsand
snarling.
Danny'snervebroke.Hefledbackintotheshorthallwaythat
ledtotheir
quarters,lookingbackoverhisshoulder.Therewasaseriesof
mixedhowlsand
barksandgrowls,brokenbyslurredmutteringsandgiggles.
Dannystoodinthehallway,trembling.
"Getitup!"thedrunkendogmancriedoutfromaroundthe
corner.Hisvoice
wasbothviolentanddespairing."Getitup,Harryyoubitch
bastard!Idon't
carehowmanycasinosandairlinesandmoviecompaniesyouown!I
knowwhatyou
likeintheprivacyofyourownhhome!Getitup!I'llhuff...
andI'llpuff
...untilHarryDerwent'sallbloowwwwndown!"Heendedwitha
long,chilling
howlthatseemedtoturnintoascreamofrageandpainjust
beforeitdwindled
off.
Dannyturnedapprehensivelytotheclosedbedroomdooratthe
endofthe
hallwayandwalkedquietlydowntoit.Heopeneditandpokedhis
headthrough.
Hismommywassleepinginexactlythesameposition.Noonewas
hearingthisbut
him.
Heclosedthedoorsoftlyandwentbackuptotheintersection
oftheir
corridorandthemainhall,hopingthedogmanwouldbegone,the
waytheblood
onthewallsofthePresidentialSuitehadbeengone.Hepeeked
aroundthe
cornercarefully.
Themaninthedogcostumewasstillthere.Hehadputhishead
backonand
wasnowprancingonallfoursbythestairwell,chasinghistail.
He
occasionallyleapedofftherugandcamedownmakingdoggrunts
inhisthroat.
"Woof!Woof!Bowwowwow!Grrrrrr!"
Thesesoundscamehollowlyoutofthemask'sstylizedsnarling
mouth,and
amongthemweresoundsthatmighthavebeensobsorlaughter.
Dannywentbacktothebedroomandsatdownonhiscot,
coveringhiseyeswith
hishands.Thehotelwasrunningthingsnow.Maybeatfirstthe
thingsthathad
happenedhadonlybeenaccidents.Maybeatfirstthethingshe
hadseenreally
werelikescarypicturesthatcouldn'thurthim.Butnowthe
hotelwas
controllingthosethingsandtheycouldhurt.TheOverlookhadn't
wantedhimto
gotohisfather.Thatmightspoilallthefun.Soithadputthe
dogmaninhis
way,justasithadputthehedgeanimalsbetweenthemandthe
road.
Buthisdaddycouldcomehere.Andsoonerorlaterhisdaddy
would.
Hebegantocry,thetearsrollingsilentlydownhischeeks.It
wastoolate.
Theyweregoingtodie,allthreeofthem,andwhentheOverlook
openednext
latespring,theywouldberightheretogreettheguestsalong
withtherestof
thespooks.Thewomaninthetub.Thedogman.Thehorribledark
thingthathad
beeninthecementtunnel.Theywouldbe
(Stop!Stopthatnow!)
Heknuckledthetearsfuriouslyfromhiseyes.Hewouldtryas
hardashe
couldtokeepthatfromhappening.Nottohimself,nottohis
daddyandmommy.
Hewouldtryashardashecould.
Heclosedhiseyesandsenthismindoutinahigh,hard
crystalbolt.
(!!!DICKPLEASECOMEQUICKWE'REINBAD
TROUBLEDICKWENEED)
Andsuddenly,inthedarknessbehindhiseyesthethingthat
chasedhimdown
theOverlook'sdarkhallsinhisdreamswasthere,rightthere,a
hugecreature
dressedinwhite,itsprehistoricclubraisedoveritshead:
"I'llmakeyoustopit!Yougoddampuppy!I'llmakeyoustopit
becauseIam
yourFATHER!"
"No!"Hejerkedbacktotherealityofthebedroom,hiseyes
wideandstaring,
thescreamstumblinghelplesslyfromhismouthashismother
boltedawake,
clutchingthesheettoherbreasts.
"NoDaddynonono"
Andtheybothheardthevicious,descendingswingofthe
invisibleclub,
cuttingtheairsomewhereveryclose,thenfadingawaytosilence
asheranto
hismotherandhuggedher,tremblinglikearabbitinasnare.
TheOverlookwasnotgoingtolethimcallDick.Thatmight
spoilthefun,
too.
Theywerealone.
Outsidethesnowcameharder,curtainingthemofffromthe
world.

<<42>>
MIDAIR

DickHallorann'sflightwascalledat6:45A.M.,EST,andthe
boardingclerk
heldhimbyGate31,shiftinghisflightbagnervouslyfromhand
tohand,until
thelastcallat6:55.Theywerebothlookingforamannamed
CarltonVecker,
theonlypassengeronTWA'sflight196fromMiamitoDenverwho
hadn'tchecked
in.
"Okay,"theclerksaid,andissuedHallorannabluefirstclass
boardingpass.
"Youluckedout.Youcanboard,sir."
Hallorannhurrieduptheenclosedboardingrampandletthe
mechanically
grinningstewardesstearhispassoffandgivehimthestub.
"We'reservingbreakfastontheflight,"thestewsaid."If
you'dlike"
"Justcoffee,babe,"hesaid,andwentdowntheaisletoaseat
inthesmoking
section.HekeptexpectingthenoshowVeckertopopthroughthe
doorlikea
jackintheboxatthelastsecond.Thewomanintheseatbythe
windowwas
readingYouCanBeYourOwnBestFriendwithasour,unbelieving
expressionon
herface.Hallorannbuckledhisseatbeltandthenwrappedhis
largeblackhands
aroundtheseat'sarmrestsandpromisedtheabsentCarltonVecker
thatitwould
takehimandfivestrongTWAflightattendantstodraghimoutof
hisseat.He
kepthiseyeonhiswatch.Itdraggedofftheminutestothe7:00
takeofftime
withmaddeningslowness.
At7:05thestewardessinformedthemthattherewouldbea
slightdelaywhile
thegroundcrewrecheckedoneofthelatchesonthecargodoor.
"Shitforbrains,"DickHallorannmuttered.
Thesharpfacedwomanturnedhersour,unbelievingexpression
onhimandthen
wentbacktoherbook.
Hehadspentthenightattheairport,goingfromcounterto
counterUnited,
American,TWA,Continental,Braniffhauntingtheticketclerks.
Sometimeafter
midnight,drinkinghiseighthorninthcupofcoffeeinthe
canteen,hehad
decidedhewasbeinganassholetohavetakenthiswholethingon
hisown
shoulders.Therewereauthorities.Hehadgonedowntothe
nearestbankof
telephones,andaftertalkingtothreedifferentoperators,he
hadgottenthe
emergencynumberoftheRockyMountainNationalParkAuthority.
Themanwhoansweredthetelephonesoundedutterlywornout.
Hallorannhad
givenafalsenameandsaidtherewastroubleattheOverlook
Hotel,westof
Sidewinder.Badtrouble.
Hewasputonhold.
Theranger(Hallorannassumedhewasaranger)camebackonin
aboutfive
minutes.
"They'vegotaCB,"therangersaid.
"Surethey'vegotaCB,"Hallorannsaid.
"Wehaven'thadaMaydaycallfromthem."
"Man,thatdon'tmatter.They"
"Exactlywhatkindoftroublearetheyin,Mr.Hall?"
"Well,there'safamily.Thecaretakerandhisfamily.Ithink
maybehe'sgone
alittlenuts,youknow.Ithinkmaybehemighthurthiswifeand
hislittle
boy."
"MayIaskhowyou'vecomebythisinformation,sir?"
Hallorannclosedhiseyes."What'syourname,fellow?"
"TomStaunton,sir."
"Well,Tom,Iknow.NowI'llbejustasstraightwithyouasI
canbe.There's
badtroubleupthere.Maybekillinbad,doyoudigwhatI'm
sayin?"
"Mr.Hall,Ireallyhavetoknowhowyou"
"Look,"Hallorannhadsaid."I'mtellingyouIknow.Afew
yearsbackthere
wasafellowuptherenameofGrady.Hekilledhiswifeandhis
twodaughters
andthenpulledthestringonhimself.I'mtellingyouit'sgoing
tohappen
againifyouguysdon'thaulyourassesoutthereandstopid"
"Mr.Hall,you'renotcallingfromColorado."
"No.Butwhatdifference"
"Ifyou'renotinColorado,you'renotinCBrangeofthe
OverlookHotel.If
you'renotinCBrangeyoucan'tpossiblyhavebeenincontact
withthe,uh..
."Faintrattleofpapers."TheTorrancefamily.WhileIhadyou
onholdItried
totelephone.It'sout,whichisnothingunusual.Therearestill
twentyfive
milesofabovegroundtelephonelinesbetweenthehotelandthe
Sidewinder
switchingstation.Myconclusionisthatyoumustbesomesortof
crank."
"Ohman,youstupid..."Buthisdespairwastoogreatto
findanountogo
withtheadjective.Suddenly,illumination."Callthem!"he
cried.
"Sir?"
"YougottheCB,theygottheCB.Socallthem!Callthemand
askthemwhat's
up!"
Therewasabriefsilence,andthehummingoflongdistance
wires.
"Youtriedthattoo,didn'tyou?"Hallorannasked."That'swhy
youhadmeon
holdsolong.YoutriedthephoneandthenyoutriedtheCBand
youdidn'tget
nothingbutyoudon'tthinknothing'swrong...whatareyou
guysdoingup
there?Sittingonyourassesandplayingginrummy?"
"No,wearenot,"Stauntonsaidangrily.Hallorannwasrelieved
atthesound
ofangerinthevoice.Forthefirsttimehefelthewasspeaking
toamanand
nottoarecording."I'mtheonlymanhere,sir.Everyother
rangerinthepark,
plusgamewardens,plusvolunteers,areupinHastyNotch,
riskingtheirlives
becausethreestupidassholeswithsixmonths'experiencedecided
totrythe
northfaceofKing'sRam.They'restuckhalfwayupthereand
maybethey'llget
downandmaybetheywon't.Therearetwochoppersupthereand
themenwhoare
flyingthemareriskingtheirlivesbecauseit'snighthereand
it'sstartingto
snow.Soifyou'restillhavingtroubleputtingitalltogether,
I'llgiveyoua
handwithit.Numberone,Idon'thaveanybodytosendtothe
Overlook.Number
two,theOverlookisn'tapriorityherewhathappensinthepark
isapriority.
Numberthree,bydaybreakneitheroneofthosechopperswillbe
abletofly
becauseit'sgoingtosnowlikecrazy,accordingtotheNational
Weather
Service.Doyouunderstandthesituation?"
"Yeah,"Hallorannhadsaidsoftly."Iunderstand."
"NowmyguessastowhyIcouldn'traisethemontheCBisvery
simple.I
don'tknowwhattimeitiswhereyouare,butouthereit'snine
thirty.Ithink
theymayhaveturneditoffandgonetobed.Nowifyou"
"Goodluckwithyourclimbers,man,"Hallorannsaid."ButI
wantyoutoknow
thattheyarenottheonlyoneswhoarestuckuphighbecause
theydidn'tknow
whattheyweregettinginto."
Hehadhungupthephone.

***

At7:20A.M.theTWA747backedlumberinglyoutofitsstall,
turned,and
rolledouttowardtherunway.Hallorannletoutalong,soundless
exhale.
CarltonVecker,whereveryouare,eatyourheartout.
Flight196partedcompanywiththegroundat7:28,andat7:31,
asitgained
altitude,thethoughtpistolwentoffinDickHallorann'shead
again.His
shouldershuncheduselesslyagainstthesmelloforangesandthen
jerked
spasmodically.Hisforeheadwrinkled,hismouthdrewdownina
grimaceofpain.
(!!!DICKPLEASECOMEQUICKWE'REINBAD
TROUBLEDICKWENEED)
Andthatwasall.Itwassuddenlygone.Nofadingoutthis
time.The
communicationhadbeenchoppedoffcleanly,asifwithaknife.
Itscaredhim.
Hishands,stillclutchingtheseatrests,hadgonealmostwhite.
Hismouthwas
dry.Somethingbadhappenedtotheboy.Hewascureofit.If
anyonehadhurt
thatlittlechild
"Doyoualwaysreactsoviolentlytotakeoffs?"
Helookedaround.Itwasthewomaninthehornrimmedglasses.
"Itwasn'tthat,"Hallorannsaid."I'vegotasteelplateinmy
head.From
Korea.Everynowandthenitgivesmeatwinge.Vibrates,don't
youknow.
Scramblesthesignal."
"Isthatso?"
"Yes,ma'am."
"Itisthelinesoldierwhoultimatelypaysforanyforeign
intervention,"the
sharpfacedwomansaidgrimly.
"Isthatso?"
"Itis.Thiscountrymustswearoffitsdirtylittlewars.The
CIAhasbeenat
therootofeverydirtylittlewarAmericahasfoughtinthis
century.TheCIA
anddollardiplomacy."
Sheopenedherbookandbegantoread.TheNoSMOKINGsignwent
off.Hallorann
watchedtherecedinglandandwonderediftheboywasallright.
Hehad
developedanaffectionatefeelingforthatboy,althoughhis
folkshadn'tseemed
allthatmuch.
HehopedtoGodtheywerewatchingoutforDanny.

<<43>>

DRINKSONTHEHOUSE
Jackstoodinthediningroomjustoutsidethebatwingdoors
leadingintothe
ColoradoLounge,hisheadcocked,listening.Hewassmiling
faintly.
Aroundhim,hecouldheartheOverlookHotelcomingtolife.
Itwashardtosayjusthowheknew,butheguesseditwasn't
greatly
differentfromtheperceptionsDannyhadfromtimetotime...
likefather,
likeson.Wasn'tthathowitwaspopularlyexpressed?
Itwasn'taperceptionofsightorsound,althoughitwasvery
neartothose
things,separatedfromthosesensesbythefilmiestofperceptual
curtains.It
wasasifanotherOverlooknowlayscantinchesbeyondthisone,
separatedfrom
therealworld(ifthereissuchathingasa"realworld,"Jack
thought)but
graduallycomingintobalancewithit.Hewasremindedofthe3D
movieshe'd
seenasakid.Ifyoulookedatthescreenwithoutthespecial
glasses,yousaw
adoubleimagethesortofthinghewasfeelingnow.Butwhenyou
putthe
glasseson,itmadesense.
Allthehotel'serasweretogethernow,allbutthiscurrent
one,theTorrance
Era.Andthiswouldbetogetherwiththerestverysoonnow.That
wasgood.That
wasverygood.
Hecouldalmostheartheselfimportantding!ding!ofthe
silverplatedbell
ontheregistrationdesk,summoningbellboystothefrontasmen
inthe
fashionableflannelsofthe1920scheckedinandmenin
fashionable1940s
doublebreastedpinstripescheckedout.Therewouldbethreenuns
sittingin
frontofthefireplaceastheywaitedforthecheckoutlineto
thin,and
standingbehindthem,nattilydressedwithdiamondstickpins
holdingtheirblue
andwhitefiguredties,CharlesGrondinandVitoGienelli
discussedprofitand
loss,lifeanddeath.Therewereadozentrucksintheloading
baysoutback,
somelaidoneovertheotherlikebadtimeexposures.Inthe
eastwingballroom,
adozendifferentbusinessconventionsweregoingonatthesame
timewithin
temporalcentimetersofeachother.Therewasacostumeball
goingon.There
weresoirees,weddingreceptions,birthdayandanniversary
parties.Mentalking
aboutNevilleChamberlainandtheArchdukeofAustria.Music.
Laughter.
Drunkenness.Hysteria.Littlelove,nothere,butasteady
undercurrentof
sensuousness.Andhecouldalmosthearallofthemtogether,
driftingthrough
thehotelandmakingagracefulcacophony.Inthediningroom
wherehestood,
breakfast,lunch,anddinnerforseventyyearswereallbeing
served
simultaneouslyjustbehindhim.Hecouldalmost...no,strike
thealmost.He
couldhearthem,faintlyasyet,butclearlythewayonecanhear
thundermiles
offonahotsummer'sday.Hecouldhearallofthem,the
beautifulstrangers.
Hewasbecomingawareofthemastheymusthavebeenawareofhim
fromthevery
start.
AlltheroomsoftheOverlookwereoccupiedthismorning.
Afullhouse.
Andbeyondthebatwings,alowmurmurofconversationdrifted
andswirledlike
lazycigarettesmoke.Moresophisticated,moreprivate.Low,
throatyfemale
laughter,thekindthatseemstovibrateinafairyringaround
thevisceraand
thegenitals.Thesoundofacashregister,itswindowsoftly
lightedinthe
warmhalfdark,ringingupthepriceofaginrickey,aManhattan,
adepression
bomber,asloeginfizz,azombie.Thejukebox,pouringoutits
drinkers'
melodies,eachoneoverlappingtheotherintime.
Hepushedthebatwingsopenandsteppedthrough
"Hello,boys,"JackTorrancesaidsoftly."I'vebeenawaybut
nowI'mback."
"Goodevening,Mr.Torrance,"Lloydsaid,genuinelypleased.
"It'sgoodtosee
you."
"It'sgoodtobeback,Lloyd,"hesaidgravely,andhookedhis
legovera
stoolbetweenamaninasharpbluesuitandablearyeyedwoman
inablack
dresswhowaspeeringintothedepthsofasingaporesling.
"Whatwillitbe,Mr.Torrance?"
"Martini,"hesaidwithgreatpleasure.Helookedatthe
backbarwithitsrows
ofdimlygleamingbottles,cappedwiththeirsilversiphons.Jim
Beam.Wild
Turkey.Gilby's.Sharrod'sPrivateLabel.Toro.Seagram's.And
homeagain.
"Onelargemartian,ifyouplease,"hesaid."They'velanded
somewhereinthe
world,Lloyd."Hetookhiswalletoutandlaidatwentycarefully
onthebar.
AsLloydmadehisdrink,Jacklookedoverhisshoulder.Every
boothwas
occupied.Someoftheoccupantsweredressedincostumes...a
womaningauzy
harempantsandarhinestonesparkledbrassiere,amanwitha
foxheadrising
slylyoutofhiseveningdress,amaninasilverydogoutfitwho
wastickling
thenoseofawomaninasarongwiththepuffontheendofhis
longtail,to
thegeneralamusementofall.
"Nochargetoyou,Mr.Torrance,"Lloydsaid,puttingthedrink
downonJack's
twenty."Yourmoneyisnogoodhere.Ordersfromthemanager."
"Manager?"
Afaintuneasecameoverhim;neverthelesshepickedupthe
martiniglassand
swirledit,watchingtheoliveatthebottombobslightlyinthe
drink'schilly
depths.
"Ofcourse.Themanager."Lloyd'ssmilebroadened,buthiseyes
weresocketed
inshadowandhisskinwashorriblywhite,liketheskinofa
corpse."Laterhe
expectstoseetoyourson'swellbeinghimself.Heisvery
interestedinyour
son.Dannyisatalentedboy."
Thejuniperfumesoftheginwerepleasantlymaddening,but
theyalsoseemed
tobeblurringhisreason.Danny?Whatwasallofthisabout
Danny?Andwhatwas
hedoinginabarwithadrinkinhishand?
HehadTAKENTHEPLEDGE.HehadGONEONTHEWAGON.HehadSWORN
OFF.
Whatcouldtheywantwithhisson?Whatcouldtheywantwith
Danny?Wendyand
Dannyweren'tinit.HetriedtoseeintoLloyd'sshadowedeyes,
butitwastoo
dark,toodark,itwasliketryingtoreademotionintotheempty
orbsofa
skull.
(It'smetheymustwant...isn'tit?Iamtheone.Not
Danny,notWendy.
I'mtheonewholovesithere.Theywantedtoleave.I'mtheone
whotookcare
ofthesnowmobile...wentthroughtheoldrecords...dumped
thepresson
theboiler...lied...practicallysoldmysoul...what
cantheywant
withham?)
"Whereisthemanager?"Hetriedtoaskitcasuallybuthis
wordsseemedto
comeoutbetweenlipsalreadynumbedbythefirstdrink,like
wordsfroma
nightmareratherthanthoseinasweetdream.
Lloydonlysmiled.
"Whatdoyouwantwithmyson?Danny'snotinthis.,.is
he?"Heheardthe
nakedpleainhisownvoice.
Lloyd'sfaceseemedtoberunning,changing,becomingsomething
pestilent.The
whiteskinbecomingahepatiticyellow,cracking.Redsores
eruptingonthe
skin,bleedingfoulsmellingliquid.Dropletsofbloodsprangout
onLloyd's
foreheadlikesweatandsomewhereasilverchimewasstrikingthe
quarterhour.
(Unmask,unmask!)
"Drinkyourdrink,Mr.Torrance,"Lloydsaidsoftly."Itisn't
amatterthat
concernsyou.Notatthispoint."
Hepickedhisdrinkupagain,raisedittohislips,and
hesitated.Heheard
thehard,horriblesnapasDanny'sarmbroke.Hesawthebicycle
flyingbrokenly
upoverthehoodofAl'scar,starringthewindshield.Hesawa
singlewheel
lyingintheroad,twistedspokespointingintotheskylikejags
ofpianowire.
Hebecameawarethatallconversationhadstopped.
Helookedbackoverhisshoulder.Theywerealllookingathim
expectantly,
silently.Themanbesidethewomaninthesaronghadremovedhis
foxheadand
JacksawthatitwasHoraceDerwent,hispallidblondhair
spillingacrosshis
forehead.Everyoneatthebarwaswatching,too.Thewomanbeside
himwas
lookingathimclosely,asiftryingtofocus.Herdresshad
slippedoffone
shoulderandlookingdownhecouldseealooselypuckerednipple
cappingone
saggingbreast.Lookingbackatherfacehebegantothinkthat
thismightbe
thewomanfrom217,theonewhohadtriedtostrangleDanny.On
hisotherhand,
themaninthesharpbluesuithadremovedasmallpearl
handled.32fromhis
jacketpocketandwasidlyspinningitonthebar,likeaman
withRussian
rouletteonhismind.
(Iwant)
Herealizedthewordswerenotpassingthroughhisfrozenvocal
cordsand
triedagain.
"Iwanttoseethemanager.I...Idon'tthinkhe
understands.Mysonis
notapartofthis.He..._"
"Mr.Torrance,"Lloydsaid,hisvoicecomingwithhideous
gentlenessfrom
insidehisplagueraddledface,"youwillmeetthemanagerindue
time.Hehas,
infact,decidedtomakeyouhisagentinthismatter.Nowdrink
yourdrink."
"Drinkyourdrink,"theyallechoed.
Hepickeditupwithabadlytremblinghand.Itwasrawgin.He
lookedinto
it,andlookingwaslikedrowning.
Thewomanbesidehimbegantosinginaflat,deadvoice:"Roll
...out..
.thebarrel...andwe'llhave,..abarrel...of
fun..."
Lloydpickeditup.Thenthemaninthebluesuit.Thedogman
joinedin,
thumpingonepawagainstthetable
"Now'sthetimetorollthebarrel"
Derwentaddedhisvoicetotherest.Acigarettewascockedin
onecornerof
hismouthatajauntyangle.Hisrightarmwasaroundthe
shouldersofthewoman
inthesarong,andhisrightbandwasgentlyandabsently
strokingherright
breast.Hewaslookingatthedogmanwithamusedcontemptashe
sang.
"becausethegang's...all...here!"
Jackbroughtthedrinktohismouthanddowneditinthreelong
gulps,thegin
highballingdownhisthroatlikeamovingvaninatunnel,
explodinginhis
stomach,reboundinguptohisbraininoneleapwhereitseized
holdofhimwith
afinalconvulsingfitoftheshakes.
Whenthatpassedoff,hefeltfine.
"Doitagain,please,"hesaid,andpushedtheemptyglass
towardLloyd.
"Yes,sir,"Lloydsaid,takingtheglass.Lloydlooked
perfectlynormalagain.
Theoliveskinnedmanhadputhis.32away.Thewomanonhis
rightwasstaring
intohersingaporeslingagain.Onebreastwaswhollyexposed
now,leaningon
thebar'sleatherbuffer.Avacuouscrooningnoisecamefromher
slackmouth.
Theloomofconversationhadbegunagain,weavingandweaving.
Hisnewdrinkappearedinfrontofhim.
"Muchasgracias,Lloyd,"hesaid,pickingitup.
"Alwaysapleasuretoserveyou,Mr.Torrance."Lloydsmiled.
"Youwerealwaysthebestofthem,Lloyd."
"Why,thankyou,sir."
Hedrankslowlythistime,lettingittrickledownhisthroat,
tossingafew
peanutsdownthechuteforgoodluck.
Thedrinkwasgoneinnotime,andheorderedanother.Mr.
President,Ihave
metthemartiansandampleasedtoreporttheyarefriendly.
WhileLloydfixed
another,hebegansearchinghispocketsforaquartertoputin
thejukebox.He
thoughtofDannyagain,butDanny'sfacewaspleasantlyfuzzed
andnondescript
now.HehadhurtDannyonce,butthathadbeenbeforehehad
learnedhowto
handlehisliquor.Thosedayswerebehindhimnow.Hewouldnever
hurtDanny
again.
Notfortheworld.

<<44>>

CONVERSATIONSATTHEPARTY

Hewasdancingwithabeautifulwoman.
Hehadnoideawhattimeitwas,howlonghehadspentinthe
ColoradoLounge
orhowlonghehadbeenhereintheballroom.Timehadceasedto
matter.
Hehadvaguememories:listeningtoamanwhohadoncebeena
successfulradio
comicandthenavarietystarinTV',infantdaystellingavery
longandvery
hilariousjokeaboutincestbetweenSiamesetwins;seeingthe
womanintheharem
pantsandthesequinedbradoaslowandsinuousstripteaseto
somebumpingand
grindingmusicfromthejukebox(itseemedithadbeenDavid
Rose'sthememusic
fromTheStripper);crossingthelobbyasoneofthree,theother
twomenin
eveningdressthatpredatedthetwenties,allofthemsinging
aboutthestiff
patchonRosieO'Grady'sknickers.Heseemedtorememberlooking
outthebig
doubledoorsandseeingJapaneselanternsstrungingraceful,
curvingarcsthat
followedthesweepofthedrivewaytheygleamedinsoftpastel
colorslike
duskyjewels.Thebigglassglobeontheporchceilingwason,
andnightinsects
bumpedandflitteredagainstit,andapartofhim,perhapsthe
lasttinyspark
ofsobriety,triedtotellhimthatitwas6A.M.onamorningin
December.But
timehadbeencanceled.
(Theargumentsagainstinsanityfallthroughwithasoft
shurringsound/layer
onlayer...)
Whowasthat?Somepoethehadreadasanundergraduate?Some
undergraduate
poetwhowasnowsellingwashersinWausauorinsurancein
Indianapolis?Perhaps
anoriginalthought?Didn'tmatter.
(Thenightisdark/thestarsarehigh/adisembodiedcustard
pielisfloating
inthesky...)
Hegiggledhelplessly.
"What'sfunny,honey?"
Andherehewasagain,intheballroom.Thechandelierwaslit
andcouples
werecirclingallaroundthem,someincostumeandsomenot,to
thesmooth
soundsofsomepostwarbandbutwhichwar?Canyoubecertain?
No,ofcoursenot.Hewascertainofonlyonething:hewas
dancingwitha
beautifulwoman.
Shewastallandauburnhaired,dressedinclingingwhite
satin,andshewas
dancingclosetohim,herbreastspressedsoftlyandsweetly
againsthischest.
Herwhitehandwasentwinedinhis.Shewaswearingasmalland
sparklycat's
eyemaskandherhairhadbeenbrushedovertoonesideinasoft
andgleaming
fallthatseemedtopoolinthevalleybetweentheirtouching
shoulders.Her
dresswasfullskirtedbutbecouldfeelherthighsagainsthis
legsfromtime
totimeandhadbecomemoreandmoresurethatshewassmoothand
powderednaked
underherdress,
(thebettertofeetyourerectionwith,mydear)
andhewassportingaregularrailspike.Ifitoffendedhershe
concealedit
well;shesnuggledevenclosertohim.
"Nothingfunny,honey,"hesaid,andgiggledagain.
"Ilikeyou,"shewhispered,andhethoughtthatherscentwas
likelilies,
secretandhiddenincracksfurredwithgreenmossplaceswhere
sunshineis
shortandshadowslong.
"Ilikeyou,too."
"Wecouldgoupstairs,ifyouwant.I'msupposedtobewith
Harry,buthe'll
nevernotice.He'stoobusyteasingpoorRoger."
Thenumberended.Therewasaspatterofapplauseandthenthe
bandswunginto
"MoodIndigo"withscarcelyapause.
JacklookedoverherbareshoulderandsawDerwentstandingby
therefreshment
table.Thegirlinthesarongwaswithhim.Therewerebottlesof
champagnein
icebucketsrangedalongthewhitelawncoveringthetable,and
Derwenthelda
foamingbottleinhishand.Aknotofpeoplehadgathered,
laughing.Infrontof
Derwentandthegirlinthesarong,Rogercaperedgrotesquelyon
allfours,his
taildragginglimplybehindhim.Hewasbarking.
"Speak,boy,speak!"HarryDerwentcried.
"Rowf!Rowf!"Rogerresponded.Everyoneclapped;afewofthe
menwhistled.
"Nowsitup.Situp,doggy!"
Rogerclambereduponhishaunches.Themuzzleofhismaskwas
frozeninits
eternalsnarl.Insidetheeyeholes,Roger'seyesrolledwith
frantic,sweaty
hilarity.Heheldhisarmsout,danglingthepaws.
"Rowf!Rowf!"
Derwentupendedthebottleofchampagneanditfellinafoamy
Niagaraonto
theupturnedmask.Rogermadefranticslurpingsounds,and
everyoneapplauded
again.Someofthewomenscreamedwithlaughter.
"Isn'tHarryacard?"hispartneraskedhim,pressingclose
again."Everyone
saysso.He'sAC/DC,youknow.PoorRoger'sonlyDC.Hespenta
weekendwith
HarryinCubaonce...oh,monthsago.NowhefollowsHarry
everywhere,
wagginghislittletailbehindhim."
Shegiggled.Theshyscentofliliesdriftedup.
"ButofcourseHarrynevergoesbackforseconds...noton
hisDCside,
anyway...andRogerisjustwild.Harrytoldhimifhecameto
themasked
ballasadoggy,acutelittledoggy,hemightreconsider,and
Rogerissucha
sillythathe..."
Thenumberended.Therewasmoreapplause.Thebandmembers
werefilingdown
forabreak.
"Excuseme,sweetness,"shesaid."There'ssomeoneIjustroust
...Darla!
Darla,youdeargirl,wherehaveyoubeen?"
Shewoveherwayintotheeating,drinkingthrongandhegazed
afterher
stupidly,wonderinghowtheyhadhappenedtobedancingtogether
inthefirst
place.Hedidn'tremember.Incidentsseemedtohaveoccurredwith
no
connections.Firsthere,thenthere,theneverywhere.Hishead
wasspinning.He
smelledliliesandjuniperberries.Upbytherefreshmenttable
Derwentwasnow
holdingatinytriangularsandwichoverRoger'sheadandurging
him,tothe
generalmerrimentoftheonlookers,todoasomersault.The
dogmaskwasturned
upward.Thesilversidesofthedogcostumebellowsedinandout.
Rogersuddenly
leaped,tuckinghisheadunder,andtriedtorollinmidair.His
leapwastoo
lowandtooexhausted;helandedawkwardlyonhisback,rapping
hisheadsmartly
onthetiles.Ahollowgroandriftedoutofthedogmask.
Derwentledtheapplause."Tryagain,doggy!Tryagain!"The
onlookerstookup
thechanttryagain,tryagainandJackstaggeredoffthe
otherway,feeling
vaguelyill.
Healmostfelloverthedrinkscartthatwasbeingwheeled
alongbyalow
browedmaninawhitemessjacket.Hisfootrappedthelower
chromedshelfof
thecart;thebottlesandsiphonsontopchatteredtogether
musically.
"Sorry,"Jacksaidthickly.Hesuddenlyfeltclosedinand
claustrophobic;he
wantedtogetout.HewantedtheOverlookbackthewayithad
been...freeof
theseunwantedguests.Hisplacewasnothonored,asthetrue
openeroftheway;
hewasonlyanotherofthetenthousandcheeringextras,adoggy
rollingover
andsittinguponcommand.
"Quiteallright,"themaninthewhitemessjacketsaid.The
polite,clipped
Englishcomingfromthatthug'sfacewassurreal."Adrink?"
"Martini."
Frombehindhim,anothercomberoflaughterbroke;Rogerwas
howlingtothe
tuneof"HomeontheRange."Someonewaspickingout
accompanimentonthe
Steinwaybabygrand.
"Hereyouare."
Thefrostycoldglasswaspressedintohishand.Jackdrank
gratefully,
feelingtheginhitandcrumbleawaythefirstinroadsof
sobriety.
"Isitallright,sir?"
"Fine."
"Thankyou,sir."Thecartbegantorollagain.
Jacksuddenlyreachedoutandtouchedtheman'sshoulder.
"Yes,sir?"
"Pardonme,but...what'syourname?"
Theothershowednosurprise."Grady,sir.DelbertGrady."
"Butyou...Imeanthat..."
Thebartenderwaslookingathimpolitely.Jacktriedagain,
althoughhis
mouthwasmushedbyginandunreality;eachwordfeltaslargeas
anicecube.
"Weren'tyouoncethecaretakerhere?Whenyou..,when..."
Buthe
couldn'tfinish.Hecouldn'tsayit.
"Whyno,sir.Idon'tbelieveso."
"Butyourwife...yourdaughters..
"Mywifeishelpinginthekitchen,sir.Thegirlsareasleep,
ofcourse.It's
muchtoolateforthem."
"Youwerethecaretaker.You"Ohsayit!"Youkilledthem."
Grady'sfaceremainedblanklypolite."Idon'thaveany
recollectionofthat
atall,sir."Hisglasswasempty.GradypluckeditfromJack's
unresisting
fingersandsetaboutmakinganotherdrinkforhim.Therewasa
smallwhite
plasticbucketonhiscartthatwasfilledwitholives.Forsoave
reason
theyremindedJackoftinyseveredheads.Gradyspearedone
deftly,droppedit
intotheglass,andhandedittohim.
"Butyou"
"You'rethecaretaker,sir,"Gradysaidmildly."You'vealways
beenthe
caretaker.Ishouldknow,sir.I'vealwaysbeenhere.Thesame
managerhiredus
both,atthesametime.Isitallright,sir?"
Jackgulpedathisdrink.Hisheadwasswirling."Mr.Ullman
"
"Iknownoonebythatname,sir."
"Buthe"
"Themanager,"Gradysaid."Thehotel,sir.Surelyyourealize
whohiredyou,
sir."
"No,"hesaidthickly."No,I"
"Ibelieveyoumusttakeitupfurtherwithyourson,Mr.
Torrance,sir.He
understandseverything,althoughhehasn'tenlightenedyou.
Rathernaughtyof
him,ifImaybesobold,sir.Infact,he'scrossedyouat
almosteveryturn,
hasn'the?Andhimnotyetsix."
"Yes,"Jacksaid."Hehas."Therewasanotherwaveoflaughter
frombehind
them.
"Heneedstobecorrected,ifyoudon'tmindmesayingso.He
needsagood
talkingto,andperhapsabitmore.Myowngirls,sir,didn't
careforthe
Overlookatfirst.Oneofthemactuallystoleapackofmy
matchesandtriedto
burnitdown.Icorrectedthem.Icorrectedthemmostharshly.
Andwhenmywife
triedtostopmefromdoingmyduty,Icorrectedher."Heoffered
Jackabland,
meaninglesssmile."Ifinditasadbuttruefactthatwomen
rarelyunderstanda
father'sresponsibilitytohischildren.Husbandsandfathersdo
havecertain
responsibilities,don'tthey,sir?"
"Yes,"Jacksaid.
"Theydidn'tlovetheOverlookasIdid,"Gradysaid,beginning
tomakehim
anotherdrink.Silverbubblesroseintheupendedginbottle.
"Justasyourson
andwifedon'tloveit.notatpresent,anyway.Buttheywill
cometoloveit.
Youmustshowthemtheerroroftheirways,Mr.Torrance.Doyou
agree?"
"Yes.Ido."
Hedidsee.Hehadbeentooeasywiththem.Husbandsand
fathersdidhave
certainresponsibilities.FatherKnowsBest.Theydidnot
understand.Thatin
itselfwasnocrime,buttheywerewillfullynotunderstanding.
Hewasnot
ordinarilyaharshman.Buthedidbelieveinpunishment.Andif
hissonandhis
wifehadwillfullysetthemselvesagainsthiswishes,againstthe
thingsheknew
werebestforthem,thendidn'thehaveacertainduty?
"Athanklesschildissharperthanaserpent'stooth,"Grady
said,handinghim
hisdrink."Idobelievethatthemanagercouldbringyourson
intoline.And
yourwifewouldshortlyfollow.Doyouagree,sir?"
Hewassuddenlyuncertain."I...but...iftheycould
justleave...I
mean,afterall,it'smethemanagerwants,isn'tit?Itmustbe.
Because"
Becausewhy?Heshouldknowbutsuddenlyhedidn't.Oh,hispoor
brainwas
swimming.
"Baddog!"Derwentwassayingloudly,toacounterpointof
laughter."Baddog
topiddleonthefloor."
"Ofcourseyouknow,"Gradysaid,leaningconfidentiallyover
thecart,"your
sonisattemptingtobringanoutsidepartyintoit.Yoursonhas
averygreat
talent,onethatthemanagercouldusetoevenfurtherimprove
theOverlook,to
further..._.enrichit,shallwesay?Butyoursonis
attemptingtousethat
verytalentagainstus.Heiswillful,Mr.Torrance,Sir.
Willful."
"Outsideparty?"Jackaskedstupidly.
Gradynodded.
"Who?"
"Anigger,"Gradysaid."Aniggercook."
"Hallorann?"
"Ibelievethatishisname,sir,yes."
Anotherburstoflaughterfrombehindthemwasfollowedby
Rogersaying
somethinginawhining,protestingvoice.
"Yes!Yes!Yes!"Derwentbegantochant.Theothersaroundhim
tookitup,but
beforeJackcouldhearwhattheywantedRogertodonow,theband
begantoplay
againthetunewas"TuxedoJunction,"withalotofmellowsaxin
itbutnot
muchsoul.
(Soul?Soulhasn'tevenbeeninventedyet.Orhasit?)
(Anigger...aniggercook.)
Heopenedhismouthtospeak,notknowingwhatmightcomeout.
Whatdidwas:
"Iwastoldyouhadn'tfinishedhighschool.Butyoudon'ttalk
likean
uneducatedman."
"It'struethatIleftorganizededucationveryearly,sir.But
themanager
takescareofhishelp.Hefindsthatitpays.Educationalways
pays,don'tyou
agree,sir?"
"Yes,"Jacksaiddazedly.
"Forinstance,youshowagreatinterestinlearningmoreabout
theOverlook
Hotel.Verywiseofyou,sir.Verynoble.Acertainscrapbookwas
leftinthe
basementforyoutofind"
"Bywhom?"Jackaskedeagerly.
"Bythemanager,ofcourse.Certainothermaterialscouldbe
putatyour
disposal,ifyouwishedthem..."
"Ido.Verymuch."Hetriedtocontroltheeagernessinhis
voiceandfailed
miserably.
"You'reatruescholar,"Gradysaid."Pursuethetopictothe
end.Exhaustall
sources."Hedippedhislowbrowedhead,pulledoutthelapelof
hiswhitemess
jacket,andbuffedhisknucklesataspotofdirtthatwas
invisibletoJack.
"Andthemanagerputsnostringsonhislargess,"Gradywent
on."Notatall.
Lookatme,atenthgradedropoutThinkhowmuchfurtheryou
yourselfcouldgo
intheOverlooksorganizationalstructure.Perhaps...in
time...tothe
verytop."
"Really?"Jackwhispered.
"Butthat'sreallyuptoyoursontodecide,isn'tit?"Grady
asked,raising
hiseyebrows.Thedelicategesturewentoddlywiththebrows
themselves,which
werebushyandsomehowsavage.
"UptoDanny?"JackfrownedatGrady."No,ofcoursenot.I
wouldn'tallowmy
sontomakedecisionsconcerningmycareer.Notatall.Whatdo
youtakemefor?
"
"Adedicatedman,"Gradysaidwarmly."PerhapsIputitbadly,
sir.Letussay
thatyourfuturehereiscontingentuponhowyoudecidetodeal
withyourson's
waywardness."
"Imakemyowndecisions,"Jackwhispered.
"Butyoumustdealwithhim."
"Iwill."
"Firmly"
"Iwill."
"Amanwhocannotcontrolhisownfamilyholdsverylittle
interestforour
manager.Amanwhocannotguidethecoursesofhisownwifeand
soncanhardly
beexpectedtoguidehimself,letaloneassumeapositionof
responsibilityin
anoperationofthismagnitude.He"
"IsaidI'llhandlehim!"Jackshoutedsuddenly,enraged.
"TuxedoJunction"hadjustconcludedandanewtunehadn't
begun.Hisshout
fellperfectlyintothegap,andconversationsuddenlyceased
behindhim.His
skinsuddenlyfelthotallover.Hebecamefixedlypositivethat
everyonewas
staringathim.TheyhadfinishedwithRogerandwouldnow
commencewithhim.
Rollover.Situp.Playdead.Ifyouplaythegamewithus,we'll
playthegame
withyou.Positionofresponsibility.Theywantedhimto
sacrificehisson.
(NowhefollowsHarryeverywhere,wagginghislittletail
behindhim)
(Rollover.Playdead.Chastiseyourson.)
"Rightthisway,sir,"Gradywassaying."Somethingthatmight
interestyou."
Theconversationhadbegunagain,liftinganddroppinginits
ownrhythm,
weavinginandoutofthebandmusic,nowdoingaswingversion
ofLennonand
McCartney's"TickettoRide."
(I'veheardbetteroversupermarketloudspeakers.)
Hegiggledfoolishly.Helookeddownathislefthandandsaw
therewas
anotherdrinkinit,halffull.Heemptieditatagulp.
Nowhewasstandinginfrontofthemantelpiece,theheatfrom
thecrackling
firethatbadbeenlaidinthehearthwarminghislegs.
(afire?...inAugust?...yes...andno...all
timesareone)
Therewasaclockunderaglassdome,flankedbytwocarved
ivoryelephants.
Itshandsstoodataminutetomidnight.Hegazedatitblearily.
Hadthisbeen
whatGradywantedhimtosee?Heturnedaroundtoask,butGrady
hadlefthim.
Halfwaythrough"TickettoRide,"thebandwoundupinabrassy
flourish.
"Thehourisathand!"HoraceDerwentproclaimed."Midnight!
Unmask!Unmask!"
Hetriedtoturnagain,toseewhatfamousfaceswerehidden
beneaththe
glitterandpaintandmasks,buthewasfrozennow,unableto
lookawayfromthe
clockitshandshadcometogetherandpointedstraightup.
"Unmask!Unmask!"thechantwentup.
Theclockbegantochimedelicately.Alongthesteelrunner
belowthe
clockface,fromtheleftandright,twofiguresadvanced.Jack
watched,
fascinated,theunmaskingforgotten.Clockworkwhirred.Cogs
turnedandmeshed,
brasswarmlyglowing.Thebalancewheelrockedbackandforth
precisely.
Oneofthefigureswasamanstandingontiptoe,withwhat
lookedlikeatiny
clubclaspedinhishands.Theotherwasasmallboywearinga
duncecap.The
clockworkfiguresglittered,fantasticallyprecise.Acrossthe
frontofthe
boy'sduncecaphecouldreadtheengravedwordFOOLE.
Thetwofiguresslippedontotheopposingendsofasteelaxis
bar.Somewhere,
tinklingonandon,werethestrainsofaStrausswaltz.An
insanecommercial
jinglebegantorunthroughhismindtothetune:Buydogfood,
rowfrowf,rowf
rowf,buydogfood...
Thesteelmalletintheclockworkdaddy'shandscamedownon
theboy'shead.
Theclockworksoncrumpledforward.Themalletroseandfell,
roseandfell.The
boy'supstretched,protestinghandsbegantofalter.Theboy
saggedfromhis
crouchtoaproneposition.Andstillthehammerroseandfellto
thelight,
tinklingairoftheStraussmelody,anditseemedthathecould
seetheman's
face,workingandknottingandconstricting,couldseethe
clockworkdaddy's
mouthopeningandclosingasheberatedtheunconscious,
bludgeonedfigureof
theson.
Aspotofredflewupagainsttheinsideoftheglassdome.
Anotherfollowed.Twomoresplatteredbesideit.
Nowtheredliquidwassprayinguplikeanobscenerainshower,
strikingthe
glasssidesofthedomeandrunning,obscuringwhatwasgoingon
inside,and
fleckedthroughthescarletweretinygrayribbonsoftissue,
fragmentsofbone
andbrain.Andstillhecouldseethehammerrisingandfalling
astheclockwork
continuedtoturnandthecogscontinuedtomeshthegearsand
teethofthis
cunninglymademachine.
"Unmask!Unmask!"Derwentwasshriekingbehindhim,and
somewhereadogwas
howlinginhumantones.
(Butclockworkcan'tbleedclockworkcan'tbleed)
Theentiredomewassplashedwithblood,hecouldseeclotted
bitsofhairbut
nothingelsethankGodhecouldseenothingelse,andstillhe
thoughthewould
besickbecausehecouldhearthehammerblowsstillfalling,
couldhearthem
throughtheglassjustashecouldhearthephrasesof"TheBlue
Danube."But
thesoundswerenolongerthemechanicaltinktinktinknoisesof
amechanical
hammerstrikingamechanicalhead,butthesoftandsquashy
thuddingsoundsofa
realhammerslicingdownandwhackingintoaspongy,muddyruin.
Aruinthat
oncehadbeen
"UNMASK!"
(theRedDeathheldswayoverall!)
Withamiserable,risingscream,heturnedawayfromtheclock,
hishands
outstretched,hisfeetstumblingagainstoneanotherlikewooden
blocksashe
beggedthemtostop,totakehim,Danny,Wendy,totakethewhole
worldifthey
wantedit,butonlytostopandleavehimalittlesanity,a
littlelight.
Theballroomwasempty.
Thechairswiththeirspindlylegswereupendedontables
coveredwithplastic
dustdrops.Theredrugwithitsgoldentracingswasbackonthe
dancefloor,
protectingthepolishedhardwoodsurface.Thebandstandwas
desertedexceptfor
adisassembledmicrophonestandandadustyguitarleaning
stringlessagainst
thewall.Coldmorninglight,winterlight,felllanguidlythrough
thehigh
windows.
Hisheadwasstillreeling,hestillfeltdrunk,butwhenhe
turnedbackto
themantelpiece,hisdrinkwasgone.Therewereonlytheivory
elephants...
andtheclock.
Hestumbledbackacrossthecold,shadowylobbyandthroughthe
diningroom.
Hisfoothookedaroundatablelegandhefellfulllength,
upsettingthetable
withaclatter.Hestruckhisnosehardontheflooranditbegan
tobleed.He
gotup,snufingbackbloodandwipinghisnosewiththebackof
hishand.He
crossedtotheColoradoLoungeandshovedthroughthebatwing
doors,makingthem
flybackandbangintothewalls.
Theplacewasempty...butthebarwasfullystocked:.God
bepraised!
Glassandthesilveredgingonlabelsglowedwarmlyinthedark.
Once,heremembered,averylongtimeago,hehadbeenangry
thattherewasno
backbarmirror.Nowhewasglad.Lookingintoithewouldhave
seenjustanother
drunkfreshoffthewagon:bloodynose,untuckedshirt,hair
rumpled,cheeks
stubbly.
(Thisiswhatit'sliketostickyourwholehandintothe
nest.)
Lonelinesssurgedoverhimsuddenlyandcompletely.Hecried
outwithsudden
wretchednessandhonestlywishedheweredead.Hiswifeandson
wereupstairs
withthedoorlockedagainsthim.Theothersbadallleft.The
partywasover.
Helurchedforwardagain,reachingthebar.
"Lloyd,wherethefuckareyou?"hescreamed.
Therewasnoanswer.Inthiswellpadded
(cell)
room,hiswordsdidnotevenechobacktogivetheillusionof
company.
"Grady!"
Noanswer.Onlythebottles,standingstifflyatattention.
(Rollover.Playdead.Fetch.Playdead.Situp.Playdead.)
"Nevermind,I'lldoitmyself,goddammit."
Halfwayoverthebarhelosthisbalanceandpitchedforward,
hittinghishead
amuffledblowonthefloor.Hegotuponhishandsandknees,
hiseyeballs
movingdisjointedfromsidetoside,fuzzymutteringsounds
comingfromhis
mouth.Thenhecollapsed,hisfaceturnedtooneside,breathing
inharsh
snores.
Outside,thewindwhoopedlouder,drivingthethickeningsnow
beforeit.It
was8:30A.M.

<<45>>

STAPLETONAIRPORT,
DENVER

At8:31A.M.,MST,awomanonTWA'sFlight196burstintotears
andbeganto
bugleherownopinion,whichwasperhapsnotunsharedamongsome
oftheother
passengers(oreventhecrew,forthatmatter),thattheplane
wasgoingto
crash.
ThesharpfacedwomannexttoHallorannlookedupfromherbook
andoffereda
briefcharacteranalysis:"Ninny,"andwentbacktoherbook.She
haddownedtwo
screwdriversduringtheflight,buttheyseemednottohave
thawedheratall.
"It'sgoingtocrash!"thewomanwascryingoutshrilly."Oh,I
justknowit
is!"
Astewardesshurriedtoherseatandsquattedbesideher.
Hallorannthoughtto
himselfthatonlystewardessesandveryyounghousewivesseemed
abletosquat
withanydegreeofgrace;itwasarareandwonderfultalent.He
thoughtabout
thiswhilethestewardesstalkedsoftlyandsoothinglytothe
woman,quieting
herbitbybit.
Halloranndidn'tknowaboutanyoneelseon196,buthe
personallywasalmost
scaredenoughtoshitpeachpits.Outsidethewindowtherewas
nothingtobeseen
butabuffetingcurtainofwhite.Theplanerockedsickeningly
fromsidetoside
withguststhatseemedtocomefromeverywhere.Theengineswere
crankedupto
providepartialcompensationandasaresultthefloorwas
vibratingundertheir
feet.TherewereseveralpeoplemoaninginTouristbehindthem,
onestewhad
gonebackwithahandfuloffreshairsickbags,andamanthree
rowsinfrontof
HallorannhadwhoopsedintohisNationalObserverandhadgrinned
apologetically
atthestewardesswhocametohelphimcleanup."That'sall
right,"she
comfortedhim,"that'showIfeelabouttheReader'sDigest."
Hallorannhadflownenoughtobeabletosurmisewhathad
happened.Theyhad
beenflyingagainstbadheadwindsmostoftheway,theweather
overDenverhad
worsenedsuddenlyandunexpectedly,andnowitwasjustalittle
latetodivert
forsomeplacewheretheweatherwasbetter.Feetsdon'tfailme
now.
(Buddyboy,thisissomefuckedupcavalrycharge.)
Thestewardessseemedtohavesucceededincurbingtheworstof
thewoman's
hysterics.Shewassnufflingandhonkingintoalace
handkerchief,buthad
ceasedbroadcastingheropinionsabouttheflight'spossible
conclusiontothe
cabinatlarge.Thestewgaveherafinalpatontheshoulderand
stoodupjust
asthe747gaveitsworstlurchyet.Thestewardessstumbled
backwardandlanded
inthelapofthemanwhohadwhoopsedintohispaper,exposinga
lovelylength
ofnylonedthigh.Themanblinkedandthenpattedherkindlyon
theshoulder.
Shesmiledback,butHallorannthoughtthestrainwasshowing.It
hadbeenone
hellofahardflightthismorning.
TherewasalittlepingastheNoSMOKINGlightreappeared.
"Thisisthecaptainspeaking,"asoft,slightlysouthernvoice
informedthem.
"We'rereadytobeginourdescenttoStapletonInternational
Airport.It'sbeen
aroughflight,forwhichIapologize.Thelandingmaybeabit
roughalso,but
weanticipatenorealdifficulty.PleaseobservetheFASTENSEAT
BELTSandNO
SMOKINGsigns,andwehopeyouenjoyyourstayintheDenver
metroarea.Andwe
alsohope"
Anotherhardbumprockedtheplaneandthendroppedherwitha
sickening
elevatorplunge.Hallorann'sstomachdidaqueasyhornpipe.
Severalpeoplenot
allwomenbyanymeansscreamed.
"thatwe'llseeyouagainonanotherTWAflightrealsoon."
"Notbloodylikely,"someonebehindHallorannsaid.
"Sosilly,"thesharpfacedwomannexttoHallorannremarked,
puttinga
matchbookcoverintoherbookandshuttingitastheplanebegan
todescend.
"Whenonehasseenthehorrorsofadirtylittlewar...asyou
have...or
sensedthedegradingimmoralityofCIAdollardiplomacy
intervention...asI
have...aroughlandingpalesintoinsignificance.AmIright,
Mr.Hallorann?
"
"Asrain,ma'am,"hesaid,andlookedbleaklyoutintothe
wildlyblowing
snow.
"Howisyoursteelplatereactingtoallofthis,ifImight
inquire?"
"Oh,myhead'sfine,"Hallorannsaid."It'sjustmystomach
that'samite
queasy."
"Ashame."Shereopenedherbook.
Astheydescendedthroughtheimpenetrablecloudsofsnow,
Hallorannthought
ofacrashthathadoccurredatBoston'sLoganAirportafew
yearsago.The
conditionshadbeensimilar,onlyfoginsteadofsnowhadreduced
visibilityto
zero.Theplanehadcaughtitsundercarriageonaretainingwall
neartheendof
thelandingstrip.Whathadbeenleftoftheeightyninepeople
aboardhadn't
lookedmuchdifferentfromaHamburgerHelpercasserole.
Hewouldn'tmindsomuchifitwasjusthimself.Hewaspretty
muchalonein
theworldnow,andattendanceathisfuneralwouldbemostlyheld
downtothe
peoplehehadworkedwithandthatoldrenegadeMasterton,who
wouldatleast
drinktohim.Buttheboy...theboywasdependingonhim.He
wasmaybeall
thehelpthatchildcouldexpect,andhedidn'tlikethewaythe
boy'slastcall
hadbeensnappedoff.Hekeptthinkingofthewaythosehedge
animalshadseemed
tomove...
Athinwhitehandappearedoverhis.
Thewomanwiththesharpfacehadtakenoffherglasses.
Withoutthemher
featuresseemedmuchsofter.
"Itwillbeallright,"shesaid.
Hallorannmadeasmileandnodded.
Asadvertisedtheplanecamedownhard,reunitingwiththe
earthforcefully
enoughtoknockmostofthemagazinesoutoftherackatthe
frontandtosend
plastictrayscascadingoutofthegalleylikeoversizedplaying
cards.Noone
screamed,butHallorannheardseveralsetsofteethclicking
violentlytogether
likegypsycastanets.
Thentheturbineenginesrosetoahowl,brakingtheplane,and
asthey
droppedinvolumethepilot'ssoftsouthernvoice,perhapsnot
completely
steady,cameovertheintercomsystem."Ladiesandgentlemen,we
havelandedat
StapletonAirport.Pleaseremaininyourseatsuntiltheplane
hascometoa
completestopattheterminal.Thankyou."
ThewomanbesideHallorannclosedherbookandutteredalong
sigh."Welive
tofightanotherday,Mr.Hallorann."
"Ma'am,wearen'tdonewiththisone,yet."
"True.Verytrue.Wouldyoucaretohaveadrinkinthelounge
withme?"
"Iwould,butIhaveanappointmenttokeep."
"Pressing?"
"Verypressing,"Hallorannsaidgravely.
"Somethingthatwillimprovethegeneralsituationinsome
smallway,Ihope."
"Ihopesotoo,"Hallorannsaid,andsmiled.Shesmiledbackat
him,tenyears
droppingsilentlyfromherfaceasshedidso.

***

Becausehehadonlytheflightbaghe'dcarriedforluggage,
Hallorannbeat
thecrowdtotheHertzdeskonthelowerlevel.Outsidethe
smokedglasswindows
hecouldseethesnowstillfallingsteadily.Thegustingwind
drovewhite
cloudsofitbackandforth,andthepeoplewalkingacrosstothe
parkingarea
werestrugglingagainstit.OnemanlosthishatandHallorann
couldcommiserate
withhimasitwhirledhigh,wide,andhandsome.Themanstared
afteritand
Hallorannthought:
(Aw,justforgetit,man.Thathomburgain'tcomindownuntil
itgetsto
Arizona.)
Ontheheelsofthatthought:
(Ifit'sthisbadinDenver,what'sitgoingtobelikewestof
Boulder?)
Bestnottothinkaboutthat,maybe.
"CanIhelpyou,sir?"agirlinHertzyellowaskedhim.
"Ifyougotacar,youcanhelpme,"hesaidwithabiggrin.
Foraheavierthanaveragechargehewasabletogetaheavier
thanaverage
car,asilverandblackBuickElectra.Hewasthinkingofthe
windingmountain
roadsratherthanstyle;hewouldstillhavetostopsomewhere
alongthewayand
getchainsputon.Hewouldn'tgetfarwithoutthem.
"Howbadisit?"heaskedasshehandedhimtherental
agreementtosign.
"Theysayit'stheworststormsince1969,"sheanswered
brightly."Doyou
havefartodrive,sir?"
"FartherthanI'dlike."
"Ifyou'dlike,sir,IcanphoneaheadtotheTexacostationat
theRoute270
junction.They'llputchainsonforyou.'
"Thatwouldbeagreatblessing,dear."
Shepickedupthephoneandmadethecall."They'llbe
expectingyou."
"Thankyoumuch."
Leavingthedesk,hesawthesharpfacedwomanstandingonone
ofthequeues
thathadformedinfrontoftheluggagecarousel.Shewasstill
readingher
book.Hallorannwinkedatherashewentby.Shelookedup,
smiledathim,and
gavehimapeacesign.
(shine)
Heturneduphisovercoatcollar,smiling,andshiftedhis
flightbagtothe
otherhand.Onlyalittleone,butitmadehimfeelbetter.He
wassorryhe'd
toldherthatfishstoryabouthavingasteelplateinhishead.
Hementally
wishedherwellandashewentoutintothehowlingwindand
snow,hethought
shewishedhimthesameinreturn

***

Thechargeforputtingonthechainsattheservicestationwas
amodestone,
butHallorannslippedthemanatworkinthegaragebayanextra
tentoget
movedupalittlewayonthewaitinglist.Itwasstillquarter
oftenbeforehe
wasactuallyontheroad,thewindshieldwipersclickingandthe
chainsclinking
withtunelessmonotonyontheBuick'sbigwheels.
Theturnpikewasamess.Evenwiththechainshecouldgono
fasterthan
thirty.Carshadgoneofftheroadatcrazyangles,andon
severalofthegrades
trafficwasbarelystrugglingalong,summertiresspinning
helplesslyinthe
driftingpowder.Itwasthefirstbigstormofthewinterdown
hereinthe
lowlands(ifyoucouldcallamileabovesealevel"low"),andit
wasamother.
Manyofthemwereunprepared,commonenough,butHallorannstill
foundhimself
cursingthemasheinchedaroundthem,peeringintohissnow
cloggedoutside
mirrortobesurenothingwas
(Dashingthroughthesnow...)
comingupinthelefthandlanetocreamhisblackass.
TherewasmorebadluckwaitingforhimattheRoute36
entranceramp.Route
36,theDenverBoulderturnpike,alsogoeswesttoEstesPark,
whereitconnects
withRoute7.Thatroad,alsoknownastheUplandHighway,goes
through
Sidewinder,passestheOverlookHotel,andfinallywindsdownthe
WesternSlope
andintoUtah.
Theentranceramphadbeenblockedbyanoverturnedsemi.
Brightburning
flareshadbeenscatteredarounditlikebirthdaycandlesonsome
idiotchild's
cake.
Hecametoastopandrolledhiswindowdown.Acopwithafur
Cossackhat
jammeddownoverhisearsgesturedwithoneglovedhandtoward
theflowof
trafficmovingnorthonI25.
"Youcan'tgetupherel"hebawledtoHallorannoverthewind.
"Godowntwo
exits,geton91,andconnectwith36atBroomfield!"
"IthinkIcouldgetaroundhimontheleft!"Hallorannshouted
back."That's
twentymilesoutofmyway,whatyou'rerappin!"
"I'llrapyourfrigginhead!"thecopshoutedback."This
ramp'sclosed!"
Hallorannbackedup,waitedforabreakintraffic,and
continuedonhisway
upRoute25.Thesignsinformedhimitwasonlyahundredmiles
toCheyenne,
Wyoming.Ifhedidn'tlookoutforhisramp,he'dwindupthere.
Heinchedhisspeeduptothirtyfivebutdarednomore;
alreadysnowwas
threateningtocloghiswiperbladesandthetrafficpatterns
weredecidedly
crazy.Twentymiledetour.Hecursed,andthefeelingthattime
wasgrowing
shorterfortheboywelledupinhimagain,nearlysuffocating
withitsurgency.
Andatthesametimehefeltafatalisticcertaintythathewould
notbecoming
backfromthistrip.
Heturnedontheradio,dialedpastChristmasads,andfounda
weather
forecast.
"sixinchesalready,andanotherfootisexpectedinthe
Denvermetroarea
bynightfall.Localandstatepoliceurgeyounottotakeyour
caroutofthe
garageunlessit'sabsolutelynecessary,andwarnthatmost
mountainpasseshave
alreadybeenclosed.Sostayhomeandwaxupyourboardsandkeep
tunedto"
"Thanks,mother,"Hallorannsaid,andturnedtheradiooff
savagely.

<<46>>

WENDY
Aroundnoon,afterDannyhadgoneintothebathroomtousethe
toilet,Wendy
tookthetowelwrappedknifefromunderherpillow,putitinthe
pocketofher
bathrobe,andwentovertothebathroomdoor.
"Danny?"
"What?"
"I'mgoingdowntomakeussomelunch.'Kay?"
"Okay.Doyouwantmetocomedown?"
"No,I'llbringitup.Howaboutacheeseomeletandsome
soup?"
"Sure."
Shehesitatedoutsidethecloseddooramomentlonger,"Danny,
areyousure
it'sokay?"
"Yeah,"hesaid."Justbecareful."
"Where'syourfather?Doyouknow?"
Hisvoicecameback,curiouslyflat:"No.Butit'sokay."She
stifledanurge
tokeepasking,tokeeppickingaroundtheedgesofthething.
Thethingwas
there,theyknewwhatitwas,pickingatitwasonlygoingto
frightenDanny
more...andherself.Jackhadlosthismind.Theyhadsat
togetheronDanny's
cotasthestormbegantopickupcloutandmeannessaroundeight
o'clockthis
morningandhadlistenedtohimdownstairs,bellowingand
stumblingfromone
placetoanother.Mostofithadseemedtocomefromthe
ballroom.Jacksinging
tunelessbitsofsong,Jackholdinguponesideofanargument,
Jackscreaming
loudlyatonepoint,freezingbothoftheirfacesastheystared
intoone
another'seyes.Finallytheyhadheardhimstumblingbackacross
thelobby,and
Wendythoughtshehadheardaloudbangingnoise,asifhehad
fallendownor
pushedadoorviolentlyopen.Sinceeightthirtyorsothreeanda
halfhours
nowtherehadbeenonlysilence.
Shewentdowntheshorthall,turnedintothemainfirstfloor
corridor,and
wenttothestairs.Shestoodonthefirstfloorlandinglooking
downintothe
lobby.Itappeareddeserted,butthegrayandsnowydayhadleft
muchofthe
longroominshadow.Dannycouldbewrong.Jackcouldbebehinda
chairorcouch
...maybebehindtheregistrationdesk...waitingforherto
comedown,..
Shewetherlips."Jack?"
Noanswer.
Herhandfoundthehandleoftheknifeandshebegantogo
down.Shehadseen
theendofhermarriagemanytimes,indivorce,inJack'sdeath
atthesceneof
adrunkencaraccident(aregularvisioninthedarktwoo'clock
ofStovington
mornings),andoccasionallyindaydreamsofbeingdiscoveredby
anotherman,a
soapoperaGalahadwhowouldsweepDannyandherontothesaddle
ofhissnow
whitechargerandtakethemaway.Butshehadneverenvisioned
herselfprowling
hallsandstaircaseslikeanervousfelon,withaknifeclasped
inonehandto
useagainstJack.
Awaveofdespairstruckthroughheratthethoughtandshehad
tostop
halfwaydownthestairsandholdtherailing,afraidherknees
wouldbuckle.
(Admitit.Itisn'tjustJack,he'sjusttheonesolidthingin
allofthis
youcanhangtheotherthingson,thethingsyoucan'tbelieve
andyetarebeing
forcedtobelieve,thatthingaboutthehedges,thepartyfavor
intheelevator,
themask)
Shetriedtostopthethoughtbutitwastoolate.
(andthevoices.)
Becausefromtimetotimeithadnotseemedthattherewasa
solitarycrazy
manbelowthem,shoutingatandholdingconversationswiththe
phantomsinhis
owncrumblingmind.Fromtimetotime,likearadiosignalfading
inandout,
shehadheardorthoughtshehadothervoices,andmusic,and
laughter.Atone
momentshewouldhearJackholdingaconversationwithsomeone
namedGrady(the
namewasvaguelyfamiliartoherbutshemadenoactual
connection),making
statementsandaskingquestionsintosilence,yetspeaking
loudly,asiftomake
himselfheardoverasteadybackgroundracket.Andthen,eerily,
othersounds
wouldbethere,seemingtoslipintoplacesadanceband,people
clapping,aman
withanamusedyetauthoritativevoicewhoseemedtobetryingto
persuade
somebodytomakeaspeech.Foraperiodofthirtysecondstoa
minuteshewould
hearthis,longenoughtogrowfaintwithterror,andthenit
wouldbegone
againandshewouldonlyhearJack,talkinginthatcommanding
yetslightly
slurredwaysherememberedashisdrunkspeakvoice.Butthere
wasnothingin
thehoteltodrinkexceptcookingsherry.Wasn'tthatright?Yes,
butifshe
couldimaginethatthehotelwasfullofvoicesandmusic,
couldn'tJackimagine
thathewasdrunk?
Shedidn'tlikethatthought.Notatall.
Wendyreachedthelobbyandlookedaround.Thevelvetropethat
hadcordoned
offtheballroomhadbeentakendown;thesteelpostithadbeen
clippedtohad
beenknockedover,asifsomeonehadcarelesslybumpeditgoing
by.Mellowwhite
lightfellthroughtheopendoorontothelobbyrugfromthe
ballroom'shigh,
narrowwindows.Heartthumping,shewenttotheopenballroom
doorsandlooked
in.Itwasemptyandsilent,theonlysoundthatcurioussubaural
echothat
seemstolingerinalllargerooms,fromthelargestcathedralto
thesmallest
hometownbingoparlor.
Shewentbacktotheregistrationdeskandstoodundecidedfor
amoment,
listeningtothewindhowloutside.Itwastheworststormso
far,anditwas
stillbuildingupforce.Somewhereonthewestsideashutter
latchhadbroken
andtheshutterbangedbackandforthwithasteadyflatcracking
sound,likea
shootinggallerywithonlyonecustomer.
(Jack,youreallyshouldtakecareofthat.Beforesomething
getsin.)
Whatwouldshedoifhecameatherrightnow,shewondered.If
heshouldpop
upfrombehindthedark,varnishedregistrationdeskwithits
pileoftriplicate
formsanditslittlesilverplatedbell,likesomemurderous
jackinthebox,
punintended,agrinningjackintheboxwithacleaverinone
handandnosense
atallleftbehindhiseyes.Wouldshestandfrozenwithterror,
orwasthere
enoughoftheprimalmotherinhertofighthimforhersonuntil
oneofthem
wasdead?Shedidn'tknow.Theverythoughtmadehersickmadeher
feelthather
wholelifehadbeenalongandeasydreamtolullherhelplessly
intothis
wakingnightmare.Shewassoft.Whentroublecame,sheslept.Her
pastwas
unremarkable.Shehadneverbeentriedinfire.Nowthetrialwas
uponher,not
firebutice,andshewouldnotbeallowedtosleepthroughthis.
Hersonwas
waitingforherupstairs.
Clutchingthehaftoftheknifetighter,shepeeredoverthe
desk.
Nothingthere.
Herrelievedbreathescapedherinalong,hitchingsigh.
Sheputthegateupandwentthrough,pausingtoglanceinto
theinneroffice
beforegoinginherself.Shefumbledthroughthenextdoorfor
thebankof
kitchenlightswitches,coldlyexpectingahandtocloseover
hersatany
second.Thenthefluorescentswerecomingonwithminuscule
tickingandhumming
soundsandshecouldseeMr.Hallorann'skitchenherkitchen
now,forbetteror
worsepalegreentiles,gleamingFormica,spotlessporcelain,
glowingchrome
edgings.Shehadpromisedhimshewouldkeephiskitchenclean,
andshehad.She
feltasifitwasoneofDanny'ssafeplaces.DickHallorann's
presenceseemed
toenfoldandcomforther.DannyhadcalledforMr.Hallorann,
andupstairs,
sittingnexttoDannyinfearasherhusbandrantedandraved
below,thathad
seemedlikethefaintestofallhopes.Butstandinghere,inMr.
Hallorann's
place,itseemedalmostpossible.Perhapshewasonhiswaynow,
intenton
gettingtothemregardlessofthestorm.Perhapsitwasso.
Shewentacrosstothepantry,shottheboltback,andstepped
inside.Shegot
acanoftomatosoupandclosedthepantrydooragain,andbolted
it.Thedoor
wastightagainstthefloor.Ifyoukeptitbolted,youdidn't
havetoworry
aboutratormousedroppingsinthericeorflourorsugar.
Sheopenedthecananddroppedtheslightlyjelliedcontents
intoasaucepan
plop.Shewenttotherefrigeratorandgotmilkandeggsforthe
omelet.Thento
thewalkinfreezerforcheese.Alloftheseactions,socommon
andsomucha
partofherlifebeforetheOverlookhadbeenapartofherlife,
helpedtocalm
her.
Shemeltedbutterinthefryingpan,dilutedthesoupwith
milk,andthen
pouredthebeateneggsintothepan.
Asuddenfeelingthatsomeonewasstandingbehindher,reaching
forher
throat.
Shewheeledaround,clutchingtheknife.Noonethere.
(!Getaholdofyourself,girl!)
Shegratedabowlofcheesefromtheblock,addedittothe
omelet,flipped
it,andturnedthegasringdowntoabareblueflame.Thesoup
washot.Sheput
thepotonalargetraywithsilverware,twobowls,twoplates,
thesaltand
peppershakers.Whentheomelethadpuffedslightly,Wendyslid
itoffontoone
oftheplatesandcoveredit.
(Nowbackthewayyoucame.Turnoffthekitchenlights.Go
throughtheinner
office.Throughthedeskgate,collecttwohundreddollars.)
Shestoppedonthelobbysideoftheregistrationdeskandset
thetraydown
besidethesilverbell.Unrealitywouldstretchonlysofar;this
waslikesome
surrealgameofhideandseek.
Shestoodintheshadowylobby,frowninginthought.
(Don'tpushthefactsawaythistime,girl.Therearecertain
realities,as
lunaticasthissituationmayseem.Oneofthemisthatyoumay
betheonly
responsiblepersonleftinthisgrotesquepile.Youhaveafive
goingonsixson
tolookoutfor.Andyourhusband,whateverhashappenedtohim
andnomatter
howdangeroushemaybe...maybehe'spartofyour
responsibility,too.And
evenifheisn'tconsiderthis:TodayisDecembersecond.You
couldbestuckup
hereanotherfourmonthsifarangerdoesn'thappenby.Evenif
theydostartto
wonderwhytheyhaven'theardfromusontheCB,nooneisgoing
tocometoday.
..ortomorrow...maybenotforweeks.Areyougoingtospend
amonth
sneakingdowntogetmealswithaknifeinyourpocketand
jumpingatevery
shadow?DoyoureallythinkyoucanavoidJackforamonth?Do
youthinkyoucan
keepJackoutoftheupstairsquartersifhewantstogetin?He
hasthepasskey
andonehardkickwouldsnapthebolt.)
Leavingthetrayonthedesk,shewalkedslowlydowntothe
diningroomand
lookedin.Itwasdeserted.Therewasonetablewiththechairs
setuparound
it,thetabletheyhadtriedeatingatuntilthediningroom's
emptinessbegan
tofreakthemout.
"Jack?"shecalledhesitantly.
Atthatmomentthewindroseinagust,drivingsnowagainst
theshutters,but
itseemedtoherthattherehadbeensomething.Amuffledsortof
groan.
"Jack?"
Noreturningsoundthistime,buthereyesfellonsomething
beneaththe
batwingdoorsoftheColoradoLounge,somethingthatgleamed
faintlyinthe
subduedlight.Jack'scigarettelighter.
Pluckinguphercourage,shecrossedtothebatwingsandpushed
themopen.The
smellofginwassostrongthatherbreathsnaggedinherthroat.
Itwasn'teven
righttocallitasmell;itwasapositivereek.Buttheshelves
wereempty.
WhereinGod'snamehadhefoundit?Abottlehiddenattheback
ofoneofthe
cupboards?Where?
Therewasanothergroan,lowandfuzzy,butperfectlyaudible
thistime.Wendy
walkedslowlytothebar.
"Jack?"
Noanswer.
Shelookedoverthebarandtherehewas,sprawledoutonthe
floorina
stupor.Drunkasalord,bythesmell.Hemusthavetriedtogo
rightoverthe
topandlosthisbalance.Awonderhehadn'tbrokenhisneck.An
oldproverb
recurredtoher:Godlooksafterdrunksandlittlechildren.
Amen.
Yetshewasnotangrywithhim;lookingdownathimshethought
belookedlike
ahorriblyovertiredlittleboywhobadtriedtodotoomuchand
hadfallen
asleepinthemiddleofthelivingroomfloor.Hehadstopped
drinkingandit
wasnotJackwhohadmadethedecisiontostartagain;therehad
beennoliquor
forhimtostartwith...sowherehaditcomefrom?
Restingateveryfiveorsixfeetalongthehorseshoeshaped
bartherewere
winebottleswrappedinstraw,theirmouthspluggedwithcandles.
Supposedto
lookbohemian,shesupposed.Shepickedoneupandshookit,
halfexpectingto
hearthesloshofgininsideit
(newwineinoldbottles)
buttherewasnothing.Shesetitbackdown.
Jackwasstirring.Shewentaroundthebar,foundthegate,and
walkedbackon
theinsidetowhereJacklay,pausingonlytolookatthe
gleamingchromium
taps.Theyweredry,butwhenshepassedclosetothemshecould
smellbeer,wet
andnew,likeafinemist.
AsshereachedJackherolledover,openedhiseyes,andlooked
upather.For
amomenthisgazewasutterlyblank,andthenitcleared.
"Wendy?"heasked."Thatyou?"
"Yes,"shesaid."Doyouthinkyoucanmakeitupstairs?Ifyou
putyourarms
aroundme?Jack,wheredidyou"
Hishandclosedbrutallyaroundherankle.
"Jack!Whatareyou"
"Gotcha!"hesaid,andbegantogrin.Therewasastaleodorof
ginandolives
abouthimthatseemedtosetoffanoldterrorinher,aworse
terrorthanany
hotelcouldprovidebyitself.Adistantpartofherthoughtthat
theworst
thingwasthatithadallcomebacktothis,sheandherdrunken
husband.
"Jack,Iwanttohelp."
"Ohyeah.YouandDannyonlywanttohelp."Thegriponher
anklewascrushing
now.Stillholdingontoher,Jackwasgettingshakilytohis
knees."Youwanted
tohelpusallrightoutofhere.Butnow...I...gotcha!"
"Jack,you'rehurtingmyankle"
"I'llhurtmorethanyourankle,youbitch."
Thewordstunnedhersocompletelythatshemadenoeffortto
movewhenhelet
goofherankleandstumbledfromhiskneestohisfeet,wherehe
stoodswaying
infrontofher.
"Youneverlovedme,"hesaid."Youwantustoleavebecause
youknowthat'll
betheendofme.Didyoueverthinkaboutmyre...res...
respons'bilities?No,Iguesstofuckyoudidn't.Allyouever
thinkaboutis
waystodragmedown.You'rejustlikemymother,youmilksop
bitch!"
"Stopit,"shesaid,crying."Youdon'tknowwhatyou're
saying.You'redrunk.
Idon'tknowhow,butyou'redrunk."
"Oh,Iknow.Iknownow.Youandhim.Thatlittlepupupstairs.
Thetwoof
you,planningtogether.Isn'tthatright?"
"No,no!Weneverplannedanything!Whatareyou"
"Youliarl"hescreamed."Oh,Iknowhowyoudoit!IguessI
knowthat!When
Isay,`We'regoingtostayhereandI'mgoingtodomyjob,'you
say,`Yes,
dear,'andhesays,`Yes,Daddy,'andthenyoulayyourplans.
Youplannedto
usethesnowmobile.Youplannedthat.ButIknew.Ifiguredit
out.Didyou
thinkIwouldn'tfigureitout?DidyouthinkIwasstupid?"
Shestaredathim,unabletospeaknow.Hewasgoingtokill
her,andthenhe
wasgoingtokillDanny.Thenmaybethehotelwouldbesatisfied
andallowhim
tokillhimself.Justlikethatothercaretaker.Justlike
(Grady.)
Withalmostswooninghorror,sherealizedatlastwhoitwas
thatJackhad
beenconversingwithintheballroom.
"Youturnedmysonagainstme.Thatwastheworst."Hisface
saggedintolines
ofselfpity."Mylittleboy.Nowhehatesme,too.Yousawto
that.Thatwas
yourplanallalong,wasn'tit?You'vealwaysbeenjealous,
haven'tyou?Just
likeyourmother.Youcouldn'tbesatisfiedunlessyouhadall
thecake,could
you?Couldyou?"
Shecouldn'ttalk.
"Well,I'llfixyou,"hesaid,andtriedtoputhishands
aroundherthroat.
Shetookastepbackward,thenanother,andhestumbledagainst
her.She
rememberedtheknifeinthepocketofherrobeandgropedforit,
butnowhis
leftarmhadsweptaroundher,pinningherarmagainstherside.
Shecouldsmell
sharpginandthesourodorofhissweat.
"Havetobepunished,"hewasgrunting."Chastised.Chastised.
..harshly."
Hisrighthandfoundherthroat.
Asherbreathstopped,purepanictookover.Hislefthand
joinedhisright
andnowtheknifewasfreetoherownhand,butsheforgotabout
it.Bothofher
handscameupandbegantoyankhelplesslyathislarger,
strongerones.
"Mommy!"Dannyshriekedfromsomewhere."Daddy,stop!You're
hurtingMommyl"
Hescreamedpiercingly,ahighandcrystalsoundthatsheheard
fromfaroff.
Redflashesoflightleapedinfrontofhereyeslikeballet
dancers.Theroom
grewdarker.Shesawhersonclamberuponthebarandthrow
himselfatJack's
shoulders.Suddenlyoneofthehandsthathadbeencrushingher
throatwasgone
asJackcuffedDannyawaywithasnarl.Theboyfellbackagainst
theempty
shelvesanddroppedtothefloor,dazed.Thehandwasonher
throatagain.The
redflashesbegantoturnblack.
Dannywascryingweakly.Herchestwasburning.Jackwas
shoutingintoher
face:"I'llfixyou!Goddamyou,I'llshowyouwhoisbossaround
here!I'll
showyou"
Butallsoundswerefadingdownalongdarkcorridor.Her
strugglesbeganto
weaken.Oneofherhandsfellawayfromhisanddroppedslowly
untilthearmwas
stretchedoutatrightanglestoherbody,thehanddangling
limplyfromthe
wristlikethehandofadrowningwoman.
Ittouchedabottleoneofthestrawwrappedwinebottlesthat
servedas
decorativecandleholders.
Sightlessly,withthelastofherstrength,shegropedforthe
bottle'sneck
andfoundit,feelingthegreasybeadsofwaxagainstherhand.
(andUGodifitslips)
Shebroughtitupandthendown,prayingforaim,knowingthat
ifitonly
struckhisshoulderorupperarmshewasdead.
ButthebottlecamedownsquarelyonJackTorrance'shead,the
glass
shatteringviolentlyinsidethestraw.Thebaseofitwasthick
andheavy,and
itmadeasoundagainsthisskulllikeamedicineballdroppedon
ahardwood
floor.Herockedbackonhisheels,hiseyesrollingupintheir
sockets.The
pressureonherthroatloosened,thengavewayentirely.Heput
hishandsout,
asiftosteadyhimself,andthencrashedoveronhisback.
Wendydrewalong,sobbingbreath.Shealmostfellherself,
clutchedtheedge
ofthebar,andmanagedtoholdherselfup.Consciousnesswavered
inandout.
ShecouldhearDannycrying,butshehadnoideawherehewas.It
soundedlike
cryinginanechochamber.Dimlyshesawdimesizeddropsof
bloodfallingto
thedarksurfaceofthebarfromhernose,shethought.She
clearedherthroat
andspatonthefloor.Itsentawaveofagonyupthecolumnof
herthroat,but
theagonysubsidedtoasteadydullpressofpain..,just
bearable.
Littlebylittle,shemanagedtogetcontrolofherself.
Sheletgoofthebar,turnedaround,andsawJacklyingfull
length,the
shatteredbottlebesidehim.Helookedlikeafelledgiant.Danny
wascrouched
belowthelounge'scashregister,bothhandsinhismouth,
staringathis
unconsciousfather.
Wendywenttohimunsteadilyandtouchedhisshoulder.Danny
cringedawayfrom
her.
"Danny,listentome"
"No,no,"hemutteredinahuskyoldman'svoice."Daddyhurt
you...you
hurtDaddy...Daddyhurtyou,..Iwanttogotosleep.
Dannywantstogo
tosleep."
"Danny"
"Sleep,sleep.Nightynight."
"No!"
Painrippingupherthroatagain.Shewincedagainstit.Buthe
openedhis
eyes.Theylookedatherwarilyfrombluish,shadowedsockets.
Shemadeherselfspeakcalmly,hereyesneverleavinghis.Her
voicewaslow
andhusky,almostawhisper.Ithurttotalk."Listentome,
Danny.Itwasn't
yourdaddytryingtohurtme.AndIdidn'twanttohurthim.The
hotelhas
gottenintohim,Danny.TheOverlookhasgottenintoyourdaddy.
Doyou
understandme?"
SomekindofknowledgecameslowlybackintoDanny'seyes.
"TheBadStuff,"hewhispered."Therewasnoneofithere
before,wasthere?"
"No.Thehotelputithere.The..:'Shebrokeoffinafit
ofcoughingand
spatoutmoreblood.Herthroatalreadyfeltpuffedtotwiceits
size."The
hotelmadehimdrinkit.Didyouhearthosepeoplehewastalking
tothis
morning?"
"Yes...thehotelpeople..."
"Iheardthemtoo.Andthatmeansthehotelisgetting
stronger.Itwantsto
hurtallofus.ButIthink..,Ihope..,thatitcanonly
dothatthrough
yourdaddy.Hewastheonlyoneitcouldcatch.Areyou
understandingme,Danny?
It'sdesperatelyimportantthatyouunderstand."
"ThehotelcaughtDaddy,"HelookedatJackandgroaned
helplessly.
"Iknowyouloveyourdaddy.Idotoo.Wehavetorememberthat
thehotelis
tryingtohurthimasmuchasitisus."Andshewasconvinced
thatwastrue.
More,shethoughtthatDannymightbetheonethehotelreally
wanted,the
reasonitwasgoingsofar...maybethereasonitwasableto
gosofar.It
mightevenbethatinsomeunknownfashionitwasDanny'sshine
thatwas
poweringit,thewayabatterypowerstheelectricalequipmentin
acar...
thewayabatterygetsacartostart.Iftheygotoutofhere,
theOverlook
mightsubsidetoitsoldsemisentientstate,abletodonomore
thanpresent
pennydreadfulhorrorslidestothemorepsychicallyawareguests
whoentered
it.WithoutDannyitwasnotmuchmorethananamusementpark
hauntedhouse,
whereaguestortwomighthearrappingsorthephantomsoundsof
amasquerade
party,orseeanoccasionaldisturbingthing.Butifitabsorbed
Danny.,.
Danny'sshineorIifeforceorspirit...whateveryouwantedto
callit...
intoitselfwhatwoulditbethen?
Thethoughtmadehercoldallover.
"IwishDaddywasallbetter,"Dannysaid,andthetearsbegan
toflowagain.
"Metoo,"shesaid,andhuggedDannytightly."Andhoney,
that'swhyyou've
gottohelpmeputyourdaddysomewhere.Somewherethatthehotel
can'tmakehim
hurtusandwherehecan'thurthimself.Then...ifyour
friendDickcomes,
oraparkranger,wecantakehimaway.AndIthinkhemightbe
allrightagain.
Allofusmightbeallright.Ithinkthere'sstillachancefor
that,ifwe're
strongandbrave,likeyouwerewhenyoujumpedonhisback.Do
youunderstand?"
Shelookedathimpleadinglyandthoughthowstrangeitwas;she
hadneverseen
himwhenhelookedsomuchlikeJack.
"Yes,"hesaid,andnodded."Ithink...ifwecangetaway
fromhere...
everythingwillbelikeitwas.Wherecouldweputhim?"
"Thepantry.There'sfoodinthere,andagoodstrongbolton
theoutside.
It'swarm.Andwecaneatupthethingsfromtherefrigeratorand
thefreezer.
Therewillbeplentyforallthreeofusuntilhelpcomes."
"Dowedoitnow?"
"Yes,rightnow.Beforehewakesup.,"
DannyputthebargateupwhileshefoldedJack'shandsonhis
chestand
listenedtohisbreathingforamoment.Itwasslowbutregular.
Fromthesmell
ofhimshethoughthemusthavedrunkagreatdeal...andhe
wasoutofthe
habit.Shethoughtitmightbeliquorasmuchasthecrackonthe
headwiththe
bottlethathadputhimout.
Shepickeduphislegsandbegantodraghimalongthefloor.
Shehadbeen
marriedtohimfornearlysevenyears,hehadlainontopofher
countless
timesinthethousandsbutshehadneverrealizedhowheavyhe
was.Herbreath
whistledpainfullyinandoutofherhurtthroat.Nevertheless,
shefeltbetter
thanshehadindays.Shewasalive.Havingjustbrushedsoclose
todeath,that
wasprecious.AndJackwasalive,too.Byblindluckratherthan
plan,theyhad
perhapsfoundtheonlywaythatwouldbringthemallsafelyout.
Pantingharshly,shepausedamoment,holdingJack'sfeet
againstherhips.
Thesurroundingsremindedheroftheoldseafaringcaptain'scry
inTreasure
IslandafteroldblindPewhadpassedhimtheBlackSpot:h'e'll
doemyeti
Andthensheremembered,uncomfortably,thattheoldseadoghad
droppeddead
meresecondslater.
"Areyouallright,Mommy?Ishe...ishetooheavy?"
"I'llmanage."Shebegantodraghimagain.Dannywasbeside
Jack.Oneofhis
handshadfallenoffhischest,andDannyreplaceditgently,
withlove.
"Areyousure,Mommy?"
"Yes.It'sthebestthing,Danny."
"It'slikeputtinghiminjail."
"Onlyforawhile."
"Okay,then.Areyousureyoucandoit?"
"Yes."
Butitwasanearthing,atthat.Dannyhadbeencradlinghis
father'shead
whentheywentoverthedoorsills,buthishandsslippedin
Jack'sgreasyhair
astheywentintothekitchen.Thebackofhisheadstruckthe
tiles,andJack
begantomoanandstir.
"Yougottousesmoke,"Jackmutteredquickly."Nowrunandget
methat
gascan."
WendyandDannyexchangedtight,fearfulglances.
"Helpme,"shesaidinalowvoice.
ForamomentDannystoodasifparalyzedbyhisfather'sface,
andthenhe
movedjerkilytohersideandhelpedherholdtheleftleg.They
draggedhim
acrossthekitchenfloorinanightmarekindofslowmotion,the
onlysoundsthe
faint,insectilebuzzofthefluorescentlightsandtheirown
laboredbreathing.
Whentheyreachedthepantry,WendyputJack'sfeetdownand
turnedtofumble
withthebolt.DannylookeddownatJack,whowaslyinglimpand
relaxedagain.
Theshirttailhadpulledoutofthebackofhispantsasthey
draggedhimand
DannywonderedifDaddywastoodrunktobecold.Itseemedwrong
tolockhimin
thepantrylikeawildanimal,buthehadseenwhathetriedto
dotoMommy.
EvenupstairshehadknownDaddywasgoingtodothat.Hehad
heardthemarguing
inhishead.
(Ifonlywecouldallbeoutofhere.OrifitwasadreamI
washaving,back
inStovington.Ifonly.)
Theboltwasstuck.
Wendypulledatitashardasshecould,butitwouldn'tmove.
Shecouldn't
retractthegoddambolt.Itwasstupidandunfair...shehad
openeditwith
notroubleatallwhenshehadgoneintogetthecanofsoup.
Nowitwouldn't
move,andwhatwasshegoingtodo?Theycouldn'tputhiminthe
walkin
refrigerator;hewouldfreezeorsmothertodeath.Butifthey
lefthimoutand
hewokeup...
Jackstirredagainonthefloor.
"I'lltakecareofit,"hemuttered."Iunderstand"
"He'swakingup,Mommyl"Dannywarned.
Sobbingnow,sheyankedattheboltwithbothhands.
"Danny?"Therewassomethingsoftlymenacing,ifstillblurry,
inJack's
voice."Thatyou,oledoc?"
"Justgotosleep,Daddy,"Dannysaidnervously."It'sbedtime,
youknow."
Helookedupathismother,stillstrugglingwiththebolt,and
sawwhatwas
wrongimmediately.Shehadforgottentorotatetheboltbefore
tryingto
withdrawit.Thelittlecatchwasstuckinitsnotch.
"Here,"hesaidlow,andbrushedhertremblinghandsaside;his
ownwere
shakingalmostasbadly.Heknockedthecatchloosewiththeheel
ofhishand
andtheboltdrewbackeasily.
"Quick,"hesaid.Helookeddown.Jack'seyesbadfluttered
openagainand
thistimeDaddywaslookingdirectlyathim,hisgazestrangely
flatand
speculative.
"Youcopiedit,"Daddytoldhim."Iknowyoudid,Butit'shere
somewhere.And
I'llfindit.ThatIpromiseyou.ITfindit..."Hiswords
slurredoffagain.
Wendypushedthepantrydooropenwithherknee,hardly
noticingthepungent
odorofdriedfruitthatwaftedout.ShepickedupJack'sfeet
againanddragged
himin.Shewasgaspingharshlynow,atthelimitofher
strength.Assheyanked
thechainpullthatturnedonthelight,Jack'seyesfluttered
openagain.
"Whatareyoudoing?Wendy?Whatareyoudoing?"
Shesteppedoverhim.
Hewasquick;amazinglyquick.Onehandlashedoutandshehad
tosidestepand
nearlyfalloutthedoortoavoidhisgrasp.Still,hehadcaught
ahandfulof
herbathrobeandtherewasaheavypurringnoiseasitripped.,
Hewasuponhis
handsandkneesnow,hishairhanginginhiseyes,likesome
heavyanimal.A
largedog...oralion.
"Damnyouboth,Iknowwhatyouwant.Butyou'renotgoingto
getit.This
hotel...it'smine.It'smetheywant.MelMel"
"Thedoor,Dannyl"shescreamed."Shutthedoor!"
Hepushedtheheavywoodendoorshutwithaslam,justaslack
leaped.The
doorlatchedandJackthuddeduselesslyagainstit.
Danny'ssmallhandsgropedatthebolt.Wendywastoofaraway
tohelp;the
issueofwhetherhewouldbelockedinorfreewasgoingtobe
decidedintwo
seconds.Dannymissedhisgrip,founditagain,andshotthebolt
acrossjustas
thelatchbegantojigglemadlyupanddownbelowit.Thenit
stayedupand
therewasaseriesofthudsasJackslammedhisshoulderagainst
thedoor.The
bolt,aquarterinchofsteelindiameter,showednosignsof
loosening.Wendy
letherbreathoutslowly.
"Letmeoutofhere!"Jackraged."Letmeout!Danny,doggone
it,thisisyour
fatherandIwanttogetout!NowdowhatItellyoul"
Danny'shandmovedautomaticallytowardthebolt.Wendycaught
itandpressed
itbetweenherbreasts.
"Youmindyourdaddy,DannylYoudowhatIsaylYoudoitor
I'llgiveyoua
hidingyou'llneverforget.OpenthisdoororFUbashyour
fuckingbrainsin!"
Dannylookedather,paleaswindowglass.
Theycouldhearhisbreathtearinginandoutbehindthehalf
inchofsolid
oak.
"Wendy,youletmeoutlLetmeoutrightnow!Youcheappickle
platedcold
cuntbitch!Youletmeout!Imeanit!Letmeoutofhereand
I'llletitgo!If
youdon't,I'llmessyouup!Imeanit!I'llmessyouupsobad
yourownmother
wouldpassyouonthestreet!Nowopenthisdoor!"
Dannymoaned.Wendylookedathimandsawhewasgoingtofaint
inamoment.
"Comeon,doc,"shesaid,surprisedatthecalmnessofherown
voices"It's
notyourdaddytalking,remember.It'sthehotel."
"ComehackhereandletmeoutrightNOW!"Jackscreamed.There
wasa
scraping,breakingsoundasheattackedtheinsideofthedoor
withhis
fingernails.
"It'sthehotel,"Dannysaid."It'sthehotel.Iremember."But
helookedback
overhisshoulderandhisfacewascrumpledandterrified.

<<47>>

DANNY

Itwasthreeintheafternoonofalong,longday.
Theyweresittingonthebigbedintheirquarters.Dannywas
turningthe
purpleVWmodelwiththemonsterstickingoutofthesunroof
overandoverin
hishands,compulsively.
TheyhadheardDaddy'sbatteringsatthedooralltheway
acrossthelobby,
thebatteringsandhisvoice,hoarseandpetulantlyangryina
weakkingsortof
away,vomitingpromisesofpunishment,vomitingprofanity,
promisingbothof
themthattheywouldlivetoregretbetrayinghimafterhehad
slavedhisguts
outforthemovertheyears.
Dannythoughttheywouldnolongerbeabletohearitupstairs,
butthesounds
ofhisragecarriedperfectlyupthedumbwaitershaft:Mommy's
facewaspale,
andtherewerehorriblebrownishbruisesonherneckwhereDaddy
hadtriedto...
Heturnedthemodeloverandoverinhishands,Daddy'sprize
forhaving
learnedhisreadinglessons.
(...whereDaddyhadtriedtohughertootight.)
Mommyputsomeofhermusiconthelittlerecordplayer,
scratchyandfullof
hornsandflutes.Shesmiledathimtiredly.Hetriedtosmile
backandfailed.
Evenwiththevolumeturneduploudhethoughthecouldstill
hearDaddy
screamingatthemandbatteringthepantrydoorlikeananimalin
azoocage:
WhatifDaddyhadtogotothebathroom?Whatwouldhedothen?
Dannybegantocry.
Wendyturnedthevolumedownontherecordplayeratonce,held
him,rocked
himonherlap.
"Danny,love,itwillbeallright.Itwill.IfMr.Hallorann
didn'tgetyour
message,someoneelsewill.Assoonasthestormisover.Noone
couldgetup
hereuntilthenanyway.Mr.Hallorannoranyoneelse.Butwhen
thestormis
over,everythingwillbefineagain.We'llleavehere.Anddoyou
knowwhat
we'lldonextspring?Thethreeofus?"
Dannyshookhisheadagainstherbreasts.Hedidn'tknow.It
seemedthere
couldneverbespringagain.
"We'llgofishing.We'llrentaboatandgofishing,justlike
wedidlast
yearonChattertonLake.Youandmeandyourdaddy.Andmaybe
you'llcatcha
bassforoursupper.Andmaybewewon'tcatchanything,butwe're
suretohavea
goodtime."
"Iloveyou,Mommy,"hesaid,andhuggedher.
"Oh,Danny,Iloveyou,too."
Outside,thewindwhoopedandscreamed,

***

Aroundfourthirty,justasthedaylightbegantofail,the
screamsceased.
Theyhadbothbeendozinguneasily,WendystillholdingDanny
inherarms,and
shedidn'twake.ButDannydid.Somehowthesilencewasworse,
moreominousthan
thescreamsandtheblowsagainstthestrongpantrydoor.Was
Daddyasleep
again?Ordead?Orwhat?
(Didhegetout?)
Fifteenminuteslaterthesilencewasbrokenbyahard,
grating,metallic
rattle.Therewasaheavygrinding,thenamechanicalhumming.
Wendycameawake
withacry.
Theelevatorwasrunningagain.
Theylistenedtoit,wideeyed,huggingeachother.Itwent
fromfloorto
floor,thegraterattlingback,thebrassdoorslammingopen.
Therewas
laughter,drunkenshouts,occasionalscreams,andthesoundsof
breakage.
TheOverlookwascomingtolifearoundthem,

<<48>>

JACK

Hesatonthefloorofthepantrywithhislegsoutinfrontof
him,aboxof
Triscuitcrackersbetweenthem,lookingatthedoor.Hewas
eatingthecrackers
onebyone,nottastingthem,onlyeatingthembecausehehadto
eatsomething.
Whenhegotoutofhere,hewasgoingtoneedhisstrength.All
ofit.
Atthispreciseinstant,hethoughthehadneverfeltquiteso
miserablein
hisentirelife.Hismindandbodytogethermadeupalargewrit
scriptureof
pain.Hisheadachedterribly,thesickthrobofahangover.The
attendant
symptomswerethere,too:hismouthtastedlikeamanurerakehad
takenaswing
throughit,hisearsrung,hishearthadanextraheavy,thudding
beat,likea
tomtom.Inaddition,bothshouldersachedfiercelyfromthrowing
himself
againstthedoorandhisthroatfeltrawandpeeledfromuseless
shouting.He
hadcuthisrighthandonthedoorlatch.
Andwhenhegotoutofhere,hewasgoingtokicksomeass.
HemunchedtheTriscuitsonebyone,refusingtogiveintohis
wretched
stomach,whichwantedtovomitupeverything.Hethoughtofthe
Excedrinsinhis
pocketanddecidedtowaituntilhisstomachhadquietedabit.
Nosense
swallowingapainkillerifyouweregoingtothrowitrightback
up.Havetouse
yourbrain.ThecelebratedJackTorrancebrain.Aren'tyouthe
fellowwhoonce
wasgoingtolivebyhiswits?JackTorrance,bestselling
author.Jack
Torrance,acclaimedplaywrightandwinneroftheNewYorkCritics
CircleAward.
JohnTorrance,manofletters,esteemedthinker,winnerofthe
PulitzerPrizeat
seventyforhistrenchantbookofmemoirs,MyLifeinthe
TwentiethCentury.All
anyofthatshitboileddowntowaslivingbyyourwits.
Livingbyyourwitsisalwaysknowingwherethewaspsare.
HeputanotherTriscuitintohismouthandcruncheditup.
Whatitreallycamedownto,hesupposed,wastheirlackof
trustinhim.
Theirfailuretobelievethatheknewwhatwasbestforthemand
howtogetit.
Hiswifehadtriedtousurphim,firstbyfair
(sortof)
means,thenbyfoul.Whenherlittlehintsandwhining
objectionshadbeen
overturnedbyhisownwellreasonedarguments,shehadturnedhis
boyagainst
him,triedtokillhimwithabottle,andthenhadlockedhim,of
allplaces,in
thegoddamnedfuckingpantry.
Still,asmallinteriorvoicenaggedhim.
(Yesbutwheredidtheliquorcomefrom?Isn'tthatreallythe
centralpoint?
Youknowwhathappenswhenyoudrink,youknowitfrombitter
experience.When
youdrink,youloseyourwits.)
HehurledtheboxofTriscuitsacrossthesmallroom.They
struckashelfof
cannedgoodsandfelltothefloor.Helookedatthebox,wiped
hislipswith
hishand,andthenlookedathiswatch.Itwasalmostsixthirty.
Hehadbeenin
hereforhours.Hiswifehadlockedhiminhereandhe'dbeen
hereforfucking
hours.
Hecouldbegintosympathizewithhisfather
Thethinghe'dneveraskedhimself,Jackrealizednow,was
exactlywhathad
drivenhisdaddytodrinkinthefirstplace.Andreally...
whenyoucame
rightdowntowhathisoldstudentshadbeenpleasedtocallthe
niftygritty.
..hadn'titbeenthewomanhewasmarriedto?Amilksopsponge
ofawoman,
alwaysdraggingsilentlyaroundthehousewithanexpressionof
doomedmartyrdom
onherface?AballandchainaroundDaddy'sankle?No,notball
andchain.She
hadneveractivelytriedtomakeDaddyaprisoner,thewayWendy
haddoneto
him.ForJack'sfatheritmusthavebeenmorelikethefateof
McTeaguethe
dentistattheendofFrankNorris'sgreatnovel:handcuffedtoa
deadmanin
thewasteland.Yes,thatwasbetter.Mentallyandspiritually
dead,hismother
hadbeenhandcuffedtohisfatherbymatrimony.Still,Daddyhad
triedtodo
rightashedraggedherrottingcorpsethroughlife.Hehadtried
tobringthe
fourchildrenuptoknowrightfromwrong,tounderstand
discipline,andabove
all,torespecttheirfather.
Well,theyhadbeeningrates,allofthem,himselfincluded.
Andnowhewas
payingtheprice;hisownsonhadturnedouttobeaningrate,
too.Butthere
washope.Hewouldgetoutofheresomehow.Hewouldchastise
themboth,and
harshly.HewouldsetDannyanexample,sothatthedaymight
comewhenDanny
wasgrown,adaywhenDannywouldknowwhattodobetterthanhe
himselfhad
known.
HerememberedtheSundaydinnerwhenhisfatherhadcanedhis
motheratthe
table...howhorrifiedheandtheothershadbeen.Nowhe
couldseehow
necessarythatbadbeen,howhisfatherhadonlybeenfeigning
drunkenness,how
hiswitshadbeensharpandaliveunderneathallalong,watching
forthe
slightestsignofdisrespect.
JackcrawledaftertheTriscuitsandbegantoeatthemagain,
sittingbythe
doorshehadsotreacherouslybolted.Hewonderedexactlywhat
hisfatherhad
seen,andhowhehadcaughtheroutbyhisplayacting.Hadshe
beensneeringat
himbehindherhand?Stickinghertongueout?Makingobscene
fingergestures?Or
onlylookingathiminsolentlyandarrogantly,convincedthathe
wastoo
stupidlydrunktosee?Whateverithadbeen,hehadcaughtherat
it,andhehad
chastisedhersharply.Andnow,twentyyearslater,hecould
finallyappreciate
Daddy'swisdom.
OfcourseyoucouldsayDaddyhadbeenfoolishtomarrysucha
woman,tohave
handcuffedhimselftothatcorpseinthefirstplace...anda
disrespectful
corpseatthat.Butwhentheyoungmarryinhastetheymust
repentinleisure,
andperhapsDaddy'sdaddyhadmarriedthesametypeofwoman,so
that
unconsciouslyJack'sdaddyhadalsomarriedone,asJackhimself
had.Except
thathiswife,insteadofbeingsatisfiedwiththepassiverole
ofhaving
wreckedonecareerandcrippledanother,hadoptedforthe
poisonouslyactive
taskoftryingtodestroyhislastandbestchance:tobecomea
memberofthe
Overlook'sstaff,andpossiblytorise...allthewaytothe
positionof
manager,intime.ShewastryingtodenyhimDanny,andDannywas
histicketof
admission.Thatwasfoolish,ofcoursewhywouldtheywantthe
sonwhenthey
couldhavethefather?butemployersoftenhadfoolishideasand
thatwasthe
conditionthathadbeenmade.
Hewasn'tgoingtobeabletoreasonwithher,hecouldsee
thatnow.Hehad
triedtoreasonwithherintheColoradoLounge,andshehad
refusedtolisten,
hadhithimovertheheadwithabottleforhispains.Butthere
wouldbe
anothertime,andsoon.Hewouldgetoutofhere.
Hesuddenlyheldhisbreathandcockedhishead.Somewherea
pianowasplaying
boogiewoogieandpeoplewerelaughingandclappingalong.The
soundwasmuffled
throughtheheavywoodendoor,butaudible.Thesongwas
"There'llBeaHotTime
intheOldTownTonight."
Hishandscurledhelplesslyintofists;hehadtorestrain
himselffrom
batteringatthedoorwiththem.Thepartyhadbegunagain.The
liquorwouldbe
flowingfreely.Somewhere,dancingwithsomeoneelse,wouldbe
thegirlwhohad
feltsomaddeninglynudeunderherwhitesilkgown.
"You'llpayforthis!"hehowled."Goddamyoutwo,you'llpay!
You'lltake
yourgoddammedicineforthis,Ipromiseyou!You"
"Here,here,now,"amildvoicesaidjustoutsidethedoor,"No
needtoshout,
oldfellow.Icanhearyouperfectlywell."
Jacklurchedtohisfeet
"Grady?Isthatyou?"
"Yes,sir.Indeeditis.Youappeartohavebeenlockedin."
"Letmeout,Grady.Quickly."
"Iseeyoucanhardlyhavetakencareofthebusinesswe
discussed,sir.The
correctionofyourwifeandson."
"They'retheoneswholockedmein.Pullthebolt,forGod's
sake!"
"Youletthemlockyouin?"Grady'svoiceregisteredwellbred
surprise."Oh,
dear.Awomanhalfyoursizeandalittleboy?Hardlysetsyou
offasbeingof
topmanagerialtimber,doesit?"
ApulsebegantobeatintheclockspringofveinsatJack's
righttemple."Let
meout,Grady.I'lltakecareofthem."
"Willyouindeed,sir?Iwonder."Wellbredsurprisewas
replacedbywellbred
regret."I'mpainedtosaythatIdoubtit.Iandothershave
reallycometo
believethatyourheartisnotinthis,sir.Thatyouhaven'tthe
...the
bellyforit"
"Ido!"Jackshouted."Ido,Iswearit!"
"Youwouldbringusyourson?"
"Yes!Yes!"
"Yourwifewouldobjecttothatverystrongly,Mr.Torrance.
Andsheappears
tobe...somewhatstrongerthanwehadimagined.Somewhatmore
resourceful.
Shecertainlyseemstohavegottenthebetterofyou."
Gradytittered.
"Perhaps,Mr.Torrance,weshouldhavebeendealingwithher
allalong."
"I'llbringhim,Iswearit,"Jacksaid.Hisfacewasagainst
thedoornow.He
wassweating."Shewon'tobject.Iswearshewon't.Shewon'tbe
ableto."
"Youwouldhavetokillher,Ifear,"Gradysaidcoldly.
"I'lldowhatIhavetodo.Justletmeout."
"You'llgiveyourwordonit,sir?"Gradypersisted.
"Myword,mypromise,mysacredvow,whateverinhellyouwant.
Ifyou"
Therewasaflatsnapastheboltwasdrawnback.Thedoor
shiveredopena
quarterofaninch.Jack'swordsandbreathhalted.Foramoment
hefeltthat
deathitselfwasoutsidethatdoor.
Thefeelingpassed.
Hewhispered:"Thankyou,Grady.Iswearyouwon'tregretit.I
swearyou
won't."
Therewasnoanswer.Hebecameawarethatallsoundshad
stoppedexceptfor
thecoldswoopingofthewindoutside.
Hepushedthepantrydooropen;thehingessquealedfaintly.
Thekitchenwasempty.Gradywasgone.Everythingwasstilland
frozenbeneath
thecoldwhiteglareofthefluorescentbars.Hiseyescaughton
thelarge
choppingblockwherethethreeofthemhadeatentheirmeals.
Standingontopofitwasamartiniglass,afifthofgin,and
aplasticdish
filledwitholives.
Leaningagainstitwasoneoftheroquemalletsfromthe
equipmentshed.
Helookedatitforalongtime.
ThenavoicemuchdeeperandmuchmorepowerfulthanGrady's,
spokefrom
somewhere,everywhere...frominsidehim.
(Keepyourpromise,Mr.Torrance.)
"Iwill,"hesaid.Heheardthefawningservilityinhisown
voicebutwas
unabletocontrolit."Iwill."
Hewalkedtothechoppingblockandputhishandonthehandle
ofthemallet.
Heheftedit.
Swungit.
Ithissedviciouslythroughtheair.
JackTorrancebegantosmile.

<<49>>

HALLORANN,
GOINGUPTHECOUNTRY

Itwasquarteroftwointheafternoonandaccordingtothe
snowclottedsigns
andtheHertzBuick'sodometer,hewaslessthanthreemilesfrom
EstesPark
whenhefinallywentofftheroad.
Inthehills,thesnowwasfallingfasterandmorefuriously
thanHallorann
hadeverseen(whichwas,perhaps,nottosayagreatdeal,since
Hallorannhad
seenaslittlesnowashecouldmanageinhislifetime),andthe
windwas
blowingacapriciousgalenowfromthewest,nowbackingaround
tothenorth,
sendingcloudsofpowderysnowacrosshisfieldofvision,making
himcoldly
awareagainandagainthatifhemissedaturnhemightwell
plungetwohundred
feetofftheroad,theElectracartwheelingassoverteapotasit
wentdown.
Makingitworsewashisownamateurstatusasawinterdriver.It
scaredhimto
havetheyellowcenterlineburiedunderswirling,driftingsnow,
anditscared
himwhentheheavygustsofwindcameunimpededthroughthe
notchesinthehills
andactuallymadetheheavyBuickslewaround.Itscaredhimthat
theroad
informationsignsweremostlymaskedwithsnowandyoucouldflip
acoinasto
whethertheroadwasgoingtobreakrightorleftupaheadinthe
whitedrivein
moviescreenheseemedtobedrivingthrough.Hewasscared,all
right.Hehad
driveninacoldsweatsinceclimbingintothehillswestof
BoulderandLyons,
handlingtheacceleratorandbrakeasiftheywereMingvases.
Betweenrock'n'
rolltunesontheradio,thediscjockeyconstantlyadjured
motoriststostay
offthemainhighwaysandundernoconditionstogointothe
mountains,because
manyroadswereimpassableandallofthemweredangerous.Scores
ofminor
accidentshadbeenreported,andtwoseriousones:apartyof
skiersinaVW
microbusandafamilythathadbeenboundforAlbuquerquethrough
theSangrede
CristoMountains.Thecombinedscoreonbothwasfourdeadand
fivewounded."So
stayoffthoseroadsandgetintothegoodmusichereatKTLK,"
thejock
concludedcheerily,andthencompoundedHallorann'smiseryby
playing"Seasons
intheSun.""Wehadjoy,wehadfun,wehad"TerryJacks
gibberedhappily,and
Hallorannsnappedtheradiooffviciously,knowinghewouldhave
itbackonin
fiveminutes.Nomatterhowbaditwas,itwasbetterthanriding
alonethrough
thiswhitemadness.
(Admitit.Disheapblackboyhasgotatleastonelongstripe
ofyaller...
anditrunsrantuphisebberlubbinback!)
Itwasn'tevenfunny.Hewouldhavebackedoffbeforeheeven
clearedBoulder
ifithadn'tbeenforhiscompulsionthattheboywasinterrible
trouble.Even
nowasmallvoiceinthebackofhisskullmorethevoiceof
reasonthanof
cowardice,hethoughtwastellinghimtoholeupinanEstes
Parkmotelforthe
nightandwaitfortheplowstoatleastexposethecenterstripe
again.That
voicekeptremindinghimofthejet'sshakylandingatStapleton,
ofthat
sinkingfeelingthatitwasgoingtocomeinnosefirst,
deliveringits
passengerstothegatesofhellratherthanatGate39,Concourse
B.Butreason
wouldnotstandagainstthecompulsion.Ithadtobetoday.The
snowstormwas
hisownbadluck.Hewouldhavetocopewithit.Hewasafraid
thatifhe
didn't,hemighthavesomethingmuchworsetocopewithinhis
dreams.
Thewindgustedagain,thistimefromthenortheast,alittle
Englishonthe
ballifyouplease,andhewasagaincutofffromthevague
shapesofthehills
andevenfromtheembankmentsoneithersideoftheroad.Hewas
drivingthrough
whitenull.
Andthenthehighsodiumlightsofthesnowplowloomedoutof
thesoup,
bearingdown,andtohishorrorhesawthatinsteadofbeingto
oneside,the
Buick'snosewaspointeddirectlybetweenthoseheadlamps.The
plowwasbeing
nonetoochoosyaboutkeepingitsownsideoftheroad,and
Hallorannhad
allowedtheBuicktodrift.
Thegrindingroaroftheplow'sdieselengineintrudedoverthe
bellowofthe
wind,andthenthesoundofitsairhorn,hard,long,almost
deafening.
Hallorann'stesticlesturnedintotwosmallwrinkledsacs
filledwithshaved
ice.Hisgutsseemedtohavebeentransformedintoalargemass
ofSillyPutty.
Colorwasmaterializingoutofthewhitenow,snowclotted
orange.Hecould
seethehighcab,eventhegesticulatingfigureofthedriver
behindthesingle
longwiperblade.HecouldseetheVshapeoftheplow'swing
blades,spewing
moresnowupontotheroad'slefthandembankmentlikepallid,
smokingexhaust.
WHAAAAAAAAA!theairhornbellowedindignantly.
Hesqueezedtheacceleratorlikethebreastofamuchloved
womanandtheBuick
scootedforwardandtowardtheright.Therewasnoembankment
overhere;the
plowsheadedupinsteadofdownhadonlytopushthesnow
directlyoverthe
drop.
(Thedrop,ahyes,thedrop)
ThewingbladesonHallorann'sleft,fullyfourfeethigherthan
theElectra's
roof,flirtedbywithnomorethananinchortwotospare.Until
theplowhad
actuallyclearedhim,Hallorannhadthoughtacrashinevitable.A
prayerwhich
washalfaninarticulateapologytotheboyflittedthroughhis
mindlikeatorn
rag.
Thentheplowwaspast,itsrevolvingbluelightsglintingand
flashingin
Hallorann'srearviewmirror.
HejockeyedtheBuick'ssteeringwheelbacktotheleft,but
nothingdoing.
Thescoothadturnedintoaskid,andtheBuickwasfloating
dreamilytowardthe
lipofthedrop,spurningsnowfromunderitsmudguards.
Heflickedthewheelbacktheotherway,intheskid's
direction,andthe
car'sfrontandrearbegantoswapplaces.Panickednow,he
pumpedthebrake
hard,andthenfeltahardbump.Infrontofhimtheroadwas
gone...hewas
lookingintoabottomlesschasmofswirlingsnowandvague
greenishgraypines
farawayandfarbelow.
(I'mgoingholymotherofJesusI'mgoingoff)
Andthatwaswherethecarstopped,cantingforwardata
thirtydegreeangle,
theleftfenderjammedagainstaguardrail,therearwheels
nearlyoffthe
ground.WhenHalloranntriedreverse,thewheelsonlyspun
helplessly.Hisheart
wasdoingaGeneKrupadrumroll.
Hegotoutverycarefullyhegotoutandwentaroundtothe
Buick'sback
deck.
Hewasstandingthere,lookingatthebackwheelshelplessly,
whenacheerful
voicebehindhimsaid:"Hellothere.fella.Youmustbeshit
rightoutofyour
mind."
Heturnedaroundandsawtheplowfortyyardsfurtherdownthe
road,obscured
intheblowingsnowexceptfortheraftereddarkbrownstreakof
itsexhaustand
therevolvingbluelightsontop.Thedriverwasstandingjust
behindhim,
dressedinalongsheepskincoatandaslickeroverit.Ablue
andwhite
pinstripedengineer'scapwasperchedonhishead,andHallorann
couldhardly
believeitwasstayingonintheteethofthewind.
(Glue.ItsureGodmustbeglue.)
"Hi,"hesaid."Canyoupullmebackontotheroad?"
"Oh,IguessIcould,"theplowdriversaid."Whatthehellyou
doingwayup
here,mister?Goodwaytokillyourass."
"Urgentbusiness."
"Nothinisthaturgent,"theplowdriversaidslowlyand
kindly,asif
speakingtoamentaldefective."Ifyou'd'ahitthatposta
leetlemiteharder,
nobodywouldagotyououttillAllFools'Day.Don'tcomefrom
theseparts,do
you?"
"No.AndIwouldn'tbehereunlessmybusinesswasasurgentas
Isay."
"Thatso?"Thedrivershiftedhisstancecompanionablyasif
theywerehaving
adesultorychatonthebackstepsinsteadofstandingina
blizzardhalfway
betweenhootandholler,withHallorann'scarbalancedthree
hundredfeetabove
thetopsofthetreesbelow.
"Whereyouheaded?Estes?"
"No,aplacecalledtheOverlookHotel,"Hallorannsaid."It's
alittleway
aboveSidewinder"
Butthedriverwasshakinghisheaddolefully.
"IguessIknowwellenoughwherethatis,"hesaid."Mister,
you'llneverget
uptotheoldOverlook.RoadsbetweenEstesParkandSidewinder
isbloodydamn
hell.It'sdriftininrightbehindusnomatterhowhardwepush.
Icomethrough
driftsafewmilesbackthatwasdamnnearsixfeetthroughthe
middle.Andeven
ifyoucouldmakeSidewinder,why,theroad'sclosedfromthere
alltheway
acrosstoBuckland,Utah.Nope."Heshookhishead."Nevermake
it,mister.
Nevermakeitatall."
"Ihavetotry,"Hallorannsaid,callingonhislastreserves
ofpatienceto
keephisvoicenormal."There'saboyupthere"
"Boy?Naw.TheOverlookclosesdownatthelastendof
September.No
percentagekeepinitopenlonger.Toomanyshitstormslike
this."
"He'sthesonofthecaretaker.He'sintrouble."
"Howwouldyouknowthat?"
Hispatiencesnapped.
"ForChrist'ssakeareyougoingtostandthereandflapy'jaw
atmetherest
oftheday?Iknow,Iknow!Nowareyougoingtopullmebackon
theroador
not?"
"Kindoftesty,aren'tyou?"thedriverobserved,not
particularlyperturbed.
"Sure,getbackinthere.Igotachainbehindtheseat."
Halloranngotbackbehindthewheel,beginningtoshakewith
delayedreaction
now.Hishandswerenumbedalmostclearthrough.Hehadforgotten
tobring
gloves.
TheplowbackeduptotherearoftheBuick,andhesawthe
drivergetout
withalongcoilofchain.Hallorannopenedthedoorandshouted:
"WhatcanIdo
tohelp?"
"Stayoutoftheway,isall,"thedrivershoutedback."This
ain'tgonnatake
ablink,"
Whichwastrue.AshudderranthroughtheBuick'sframeasthe
chainpulled
tight,andasecondlateritwasbackontheroad,pointedmore
orlesstoward
EstesPark.Theplowdriverwalkedupbesidethewindowand
knockedonthe
safetyglass.Hallorannrolleddownthewindow.
"Thanks,"hesaid."I'msorryIshoutedatyou."
"Ibeenshoutedatbefore,"thedriversaidwithagrin."I
guessyou'resorta
strungup.Youtakethese."Apairofbulkybluemittensdropped
into
Hallorann'slap."You'llneedemwhenyougoofftheroadagain,
Iguess.Cold
out.Youwearemunlessyouwanttospendtherestofyourlife
pickinyournose
withacrochetinhook.Andyousendemback.Mywifeknittedem
andI'mpartial
toem.Nameandaddressissewedrightintothelinin.I'mHoward
Cottrell,by
theway.Youjustsendembackwhenyoudon'tneedemanymore.
AndIdon'twant
tohavetogopayinnopostagedue,mind."
"Allright,"Hallorannsaid."Thanks.Onehellofalot."
"Youbecareful.I'dtakeyoumyself,butI'mbusyasacatin
amessof
guitarstrings."
"That'sokay.Thanksagain."
Hestartedtorollupthewindow,butCottrellstoppedhim.
"WhenyougettoSidewinderifyougettoSidewinderyougo
toDurkin's
Conoco.It'srightnexttotheli'brey.Can'tmissit.Youask
forLarryDurkin.
TellhimHowieCottrellsentyouandyouwanttorentoneofhis
snowmobiles.
Youmentionmynameandshowthosemittens,you'llgetthecut
rate."
"Thanksagain,"Hallorannsaid.
Cottrellnodded."It'sfunny.Ain'tnowayyoucouldknow
someone'sintrouble
upthereattheOverlook...thephone'sout,sureashell.But
Ibelieveyou.
SometimesIgetfeelins."
Hallorannnodded."SometimesIdo,too."
"Yeah.Iknowyoudo.Butyoutakecare."
"Iwill."
Cottrelldisappearedintotheblowingdimnesswithafinal
wave,hisengineer
capstillmountedperkilyonhishead.Halloranngotgoingagain,
thechains
flailingatthesnowcoverontheroad,finallydigginginenough
tostartthe
Buickmoving.Behindhim,HowardCottrellgaveafinalgoodluck
blastonhis
plow'sairhorn,althoughitwasreallyunnecessary;Hallorann
couldfeelhim
wishinghimgoodluck.
That'stwoshinesinoneday,hethought,andthatoughttobe
somekindof
goodomen.Buthedistrustedomens,goodorbad.Andmeetingtwo
peoplewiththe
shineinoneday(whenheusuallydidn'trunacrossmorethan
fourorfivein
thecourseofayear)mightnotmeananything.Thatfeelingof
finality,a
feeling
(likethingsareallwrappedup)
hecouldnotcompletelydefinewasstillverymuchwithhim.It
was
TheBuickwantedtoskidsidewaysaroundatightcurveand
Hallorannjockeyed
itcarefully,hardlydaringtobreathe.Heturnedontheradio
againanditwas
Aretha,andArethawasjustfine.He'dsharehisHertzBuickwith
heranyday.
Anothergustofwindstruckthecar,makingitrockandslip
around.Hallorann
curseditandhunchedmorecloselyoverthewheel.Aretha
finishedhersongand
thenthejockwasonagain,tellinghimthatdrivingtodaywasa
goodwaytoget
killed.
Hallorannsnappedtheradiooff.

***

HedidmakeittoSidewinder,althoughhewasfourandahalf
hoursonthe
roadbetweenEstesParkandthere.Bythetimehegottothe
UplandHighwayit
wasfulldark,butthesnowstormshowednosignofabating.Twice
he'dhadto
stopinfrontofdriftsthatwereashighashiscar'shoodand
waitforthe
plowstocomealongandknockholesinthem.Atoneofthedrifts
theplowhad
comeuponhissideoftheroadandtherehadbeenanotherclose
call.The
driverhadmerelyswungaroundhiscar,notgettingouttochew
thefat,buthe
diddeliveroneofthetwofingergesturesthatallAmericans
abovetheageof
tenrecognize,anditwasnotthepeacesign.
ItseemedthatashedrewclosertotheOverlook,hisneedto
hurrybecame
moreandmorecompulsive.Hefoundhimselfglancingathis
wristwatchalmost
constantly.Thehandsseemedtobeflyingalong.
TenminutesafterhehadturnedontotheUpland,hepassedtwo
signs.The
whoopingwindhadclearedbothoftheirsnowpacksohewasable
toreadthem.
SIDEWINDER10,thefirstsaid.Thesecond:ROADCLOSED12MILES
AHEADDURING
WINTERMONTHS.
"LarryDurkin,"Hallorannmutteredtohimself.Hisdarkface
wasstrainedand
tenseinthemutedgreenglowofthedashboardinstruments.It
wastenafter
six."TheConocobythelibrary.Larry"
Andthatwaswhenitstruckhimfullforce,thesmellof
orangesandthe
thoughtforce,heavyandhateful,murderous:
(GETOUTOFHEREYOUDIRTYNIGGERTHISISNONEOFYOURBUSINESS
YOUNIGGER
TURNAROUNDTURNAROUNDORWE'LLKILLYOUHANGYOUUPFROMATREE
LIMBYOU
FUCKINGJUNGLEBUNNYCOONANDTHENBURNTHEBODYTHAT'SWHATWE
DOWITHNIGGERS
SOTURNAROUNDNOW)
Hallorannscreamedinthecloseconfinesofthecar.The
messagedidnotcome
tohiminwordsbutinaseriesofrebuslikeimagesthatwere
slammedintohis
headwithterrificforce.Hetookhishandsfromthesteering
wheeltoblotthe
picturesout.
Thenthecarsmashedbroadsideintooneoftheembankments,
rebounded,slewed
halfwayaround,andcametoastop.Therearwheelsspun
uselessly.
Hallorannsnappedthegearshiftintopark,andthencoveredhis
facewithhis
hands.Hedidnotpreciselycry;whatescapedhimwasanuneven
huhhuhhuh
sound.Hischestheaved.Heknewthatifthatblasthadtakenhim
onastretch
ofroadwithadropoffononesideortheother,hemightwellbe
deadnow.
Maybethathadbeentheidea.Anditmighthithimagain,atany
time.Hewould
havetoprotectagainstit.Hewassurroundedbyaredforceof
immensepower
thatmighthavebeenmemory.Hewasdrowningininstinct.
Hetookhishandsawayfromhisfaceandopenedhiseyes
cautiously.Nothing.
Iftherewassomethingtryingtoscarehimagain,itwasn't
gettingthrough.He
wasclosedoff.
Hadthathappenedtotheboy?DearGod,hadthathappenedto
thelittleboy?
Andofalltheimages,theonethatbotheredhimtheroostwas
thatdull
whackingsound,likeahammersplattingintothickcheese.What
didthatmean?.
(Jesus,notthatlittleboy.Jesus,please.)
Hedroppedthegearshiftleverintolowrangeandfedthe
enginegasalittle
atatime.Thewheelsspun,caught,spun,andcaughtagain.The
Buickbeganto
move,itsheadlightscuttingweaklythroughtheswirlingsnow.He
lookedathis
watch.Almostsixthirtynow.Andhewasbeginningtofeelthat
wasverylate
indeed.

<<50>>

REDRUM

WendyTorrancestoodindecisiveinthemiddleofthebedroom,
lookingather
son,whohadfallenfastasleep.
Halfanhouragothesoundshadceased.Allofthem,allat
once.The
elevator,theparty,thesoundofroomdoorsopeningandclosing.
Insteadof
easingherminditmadethetensionthathadbeenbuildinginher
evenworse;it
waslikeamalefichushbeforethestorm'sfinalbrutalpush.But
Dannyhad
dozedoffalmostatonce;firstintoalight,twitchingdoze,and
inthelast
tenminutesorsoaheaviersleep.Evenlookingdirectlyathim
shecouldbarely
seetheslowriseandfallofhisnarrowchest.
Shewonderedwhenhehadlastgottenafullnight'ssleep,one
without
tormentingdreamsorlongperiodsofdarkwakefulness,listening
torevelsthat
hadonlybecomeaudibleandvisibletoherinthelastcoupleof
days,asthe
Overlook'sgriponthethreeofthemtightened.
(Realpsychicphenomenaorgrouphypnosis?)
Shedidn'tknow,anddidn'tthinkitmattered.Whathadbeen
happeningwas
justasdeadlyeitherway.ShelookedatDannyandthought
(Godgrantheliestill)
thatifhewasundisturbed,hemightsleeptherestofthe
nightthrough.
Whatevertalenthehad,hewasstillasmallboyandheneeded
hisrest.
ItwasJackshehadbeguntoworryabout.,
Shegrimacedwithsuddenpain,tookherhandawayfromher
mouth,andsawshe
hadtornoffoneofherfingernails.Andhernailswereonething
she'dalways
triedtokeepnice.Theyweren'tlongenoughtobecalledhooks,
butstill
nicelyshapedand
(andwhatareyouworryingaboutyourfingernailsfor?)
Shelaughedalittle,butitwasashakysound,without
amusement.
FirstJackhadstoppedhowlingandbatteringatthedoor.Then
thepartyhad
begunagain
(ordiditeverstop?diditsometimesjustdriftintoa
slightlydifferent
angleoftimewheretheyweren'tmeanttohearit?)
counterpointedbythecrashing,bangingelevator.Thenthathad
stopped.In
thatnewsilence,asDannyhadbeenfallingasleep,shehad
fanciedsheheard
low,conspiratorialvoicescomingfromthekitchenalmost
directlybelowthem.
Atfirstshehaddismisseditasthewind,whichcouldmimicmany
different
humanvocalranges,fromapaperydeathbedwhisperaroundthe
doorsandwindow
framestoafulloutscreamaroundtheeaves...thesoundofa
womanfleeing
amurdererinacheapmelodrama.Yet,sittingstifflybeside
Danny,theidea
thatitwasindeedvoicesbecamemoreandmoreconvincing.,
Jackandsomeoneelse,discussinghisescapefromthepan
try.
Discussingthemurderofhiswifeandson.
Itwouldbenothingnewinsidethesewalls;murderhadbeen
doneherebefore.
Shehadgonetotheheatingventandhadplacedherearagainst
it,butat
thatexactmomentthefurnacehadcomeon,andanysoundwaslost
intherushof
warmaircomingupfromthebasement.Whenthefurnacehadkicked
offagain,
fiveminutesago,theplacewascompletelysilentexceptforthe
wind,the
grittyspatterofsnowagainstthebuilding,andtheoccasional
groanofa
board.
Shelookeddownatherrippedfingernail.Smallbeadsofblood
wereoozingup
frombeneathit.
(lack'sgottenout.)
(Don'ttalknonsense.)
(Yes,he'sout.He'sgottenaknifefromthekitchenormaybe
themeat
cleaver.He'sonhiswayuphererightnow,walkingalongthe
sidesofthe
riserssothestairswon'tcreak.)
(!You'reinsane!)
Herlipsweretrembling,andforamomentitseemedthatshe
musthavecried
thewordsoutloud.Butthesilenceheld.
Shefeltwatched.
Shewhirledaroundandstaredatthenightblackenedwindow,
andahideous
whitefacewithcirclesofdarknessforeyeswasgibberinginat
her,theface
ofamonstrouslunaticthathadbeenhidinginthesegroaning
wallsallalong
Itwasonlyapatternoffrostontheoutsideoftheglass.
Sheletherbreathoutinalong,susurratingwhisperoffear,
anditseemed
toherthatsheheard,quiteclearlythistime,amusedtitters
fromsomewhere.
(You'rejumpingatshadows.It'sbadenoughwithoutthat.By
tomorrowmorning,
you'llbereadyfortherubberroom.)
Therewasonlyonewaytoallaythosefearsandsheknewwhat
itwas.
ShewouldhavetogodownandmakesureJackwasstillinthe
pantry.
Verysimple.Godownstairs.Haveapeek.Comebackup.Oh,by
theway,stop
andgrabthetrayontheregistrationcounter.Theomeletwould
beawashout,
butthesoupcouldbereheatedonthehotplatebyJack's
typewriter.
(Ohyesanddon'tgetkilledifhe'sdowntherewithaknife.)
Shewalkedtothedresser,tryingtoshakeoffthemantleof
fearthatlayon
her.Scatteredacrossthedresser'stopwasapileofchange,a
stackof
gasolinechitsforthehoteltruck,thetwopipesJackbrought
withhim
everywherebutrarelysmoked...andhiskeyring.
Shepickeditup,helditinherhandforamoment,andthen
putitbackdown.
Theideaoflockingthebedroomdoorbehindherhadoccurred,but
itjustdidn't
appeal.Dannywasasleep.Vaguethoughtsoffirepassedthrough
hermind,and
somethingelsenibbledmorestrongly,butsheletitgo:
Wendycrossedtheroom,stoodindecisivelybythedoorfora
moment,thentook
theknifefromthepocketofherrobeandcurledherrighthand
aroundthe
woodenhaft,:
Shepulledthedooropen.
Theshortcorridorleadingtotheirquarterswasbare.The
electricwall
flambeauxallshonebrightlyattheirregularintervals,showing
offtherug's
bluebackgroundandsinuous,weavingpattern.
(See?Noboogieshere.)
(No,ofcoursenot.Theywantyouout.Theywantyoutodo
somethingsillyand
womanish,andthatisexactlywhatyouaredoing.)
Shehesitatedagain,miserablycaught,notwantingtoleave
Dannyandthe
safetyoftheapartmentandatthesametimeneedingbadlyto
reassureherself
thatJackwasstill.
safelypackedaway.
(Ofcourseheis.)
(Butthevoices)
(Therewerenovoices.Itwasyourimagination.Itwasthe
wind.)
"Itwasn'tthewind."
Thesoundofherownvoicemadeherjump.Butthedeadly
certaintyinitmade
hergoforward.Theknifeswungbyherside,catchinganglesof
lightand
throwingthemonthesilkwallpaper.Herslipperswhispered
againstthecarpet's
nap.Hernervesweresinginglikewires.
Shereachedthecornerofthemaincorridorandpeeredaround,
hermind
stiffenedforwhatevershemightseethere.
Therewasnothingtosee.
Afteramoment'shesitationsheroundedthecornerandbegan
downthemain
corridor.Eachsteptowardtheshadowystairwellincreasedher
dreadandmade
herawarethatshewasleavinghersleepingsonbehind,aloneand
unprotected.
Thesoundofherslippersagainstthecarpetseemedlouderand
louderinher
ears;twiceshelookedbackoverhershouldertoconvinceherself
thatsomeone
wasn'tcreepingupbehindher.
Shereachedthestairwellandputherhandonthecoldnewel
postatthetop
oftherailing.Therewerenineteenwidestepsdowntothelobby.
Shehad
countedthemenoughtimestoknow.Nineteencarpetedstair
risers,andnarya
Jackcrouchingonanyoneofthem.Ofcoursenot.Jackwaslocked
inthepantry
behindaheftysteelboltandathickwoodendoor.
Butthelobbywasdarkandohsofullofshadows.
Herpulsethuddedsteadilyanddeeplyinherthroat.
Aheadandslightlytotheleft,thebrassyawoftheelevator
stoodmockingly
open,invitinghertostepinandtaketherideofherlife.
(Nothankyou)
Theinsideofthecarhadbeendrapedwithpinkandwhitecrepe
streamers.
Confettihadburstfromtwotubularpartyfavors.Lyinginthe
rearleftcorner
wasanemptybottleofchampagne.
Shesensedmovementaboveherandwheeledtolookupthe
nineteensteps
leadingtothedarksecondfloorlandingandsawnothing;yet
therewasa
disturbingcorneroftheeyesensationthatthings
(things)
hadleapedbackintothedeeperdarknessofthehallwayup
therejustbefore
hereyescouldregisterthem.
Shelookeddownthestairsagain.
Herrighthandwassweatingagainstthewoodenhandleofthe
knife;she
switchedittoherleft,wipedherrightpalmagainstthepink
terryclothofher
robe,andswitchedtheknifeback.Almostunawarethathermind
hadgivenher
bodythecommandtogoforward,shebegandownthestairs,left
footthenright,
leftfootthenright,herfreehandtrailinglightlyonthe
banister.
(Where'stheparty?Don'tletmescareyouaway,youbunchof
moldysheets!
Notonescaredwomanwithaknife!Let'shavealittlemusic
aroundhere!Let's
havealittlelife!)
Tenstepsdown,adozen,abaker'sdozen.
Thelightfromthefirstfloorhallfilteredadullyellowdown
here,andshe
rememberedthatshewouldhavetoturnonthelobbylightseither
besidethe
entrancetothediningroomorinsidethemanager'soffice.
Yettherewaslightcomingfromsomewhereelse,whiteand
muted.
Thefluorescents,ofcourse.Inthekitchen.
Shepausedonthethirteenthstep,tryingtorememberifshe
hadturnedthem
offorleftthemonwhensheandDannyleft.Shesimplycouldn't
remember.
Belowher,inthelobby,highbackedchairshulkedinpoolsof
shadow.The
glassinthelobbydoorswaspressedwhitewithauniformblanket
ofdrifted
snow.Brassstudsinthesofacushionsgleamedfaintlylikecat's
eyes.There
wereahundredplacestohide.
Herlegsstiltedwithfear,shecontinueddown.
Nowseventeen,noweighteen,nownineteen.
(Lobbylevel,madam.Stepoutcarefully.)
Theballroomdoorswerethrownwide,onlyblacknessspilling
out.Fromwithin
cameasteadyticking,likeabomb.Shestiffened,then
rememberedtheclockon
themantel,theclockunderglass.JackorDannymusthavewound
it...or
maybeithadwounditselfup,likeeverythingelseinthe
Overlook.
Sheturnedtowardthereceptiondeskmeaningtogothroughthe
gateandthe
manager'sofficeandintothekitchen.Gleamingdullsilver,she
couldseethe
intendedlunchtray.
Thentheclockbegantostrike,littletinklingnotes.
Wendystiffened,hertonguerisingtotheroofofhermouth.
Thensherelaxed.
Itwasstrikingeight,thatwasall.Eighto'clock
...five,six,seven...
Shecountedthestrokes.Itsuddenlyseemedwrongtomoveagain
untilthe
clockhadstilled.
...eight...nine...
(??Nine??)
...ten...eleven...
Suddenly,belatedly,itcametoher.Sheturnedbackclumsily
forthestairs,
knowingalreadyshewastoolate.Buthowcouldshehaveknown?
Twelve.
Allthelightsintheballroomwenton.Therewasahuge,
shriekingflourish
ofbrass.Wendyscreamedaloud,thesoundofhercry
insignificantagainstthe
blareissuingfromthosebrazenlungs.
"Unmask!"thecryechoed."Unmask!Unmask!"
Thentheyfaded,asifdownalongcorridoroftime,leaving
heraloneagain.
No,notalone.
Sheturnedandhewascomingforher.
ItwasJackandyetnotJack.Hiseyeswerelitwithavacant,
murderousglow;
hisfamiliarmouthnowworeaquivering,joylessgrin.
HehadtheToquemalletinonehand.
"Thoughtyou'dlockmein?Isthatwhatyouthoughtyou'ddo?"
Themalletwhistledthroughtheair.Shesteppedbackward,
trippedovera
hassock,felltothelobbyrug.
"Jack"
"Youbitch,"hewhispered."Iknowwhatyouare."
Themalletcamedownagainwithwhistling,deadlyvelocityand
burieditself
inhersoftstomach.Shescreamed,suddenlysubmergedinanocean
ofpain.Dimly
shesawthemalletrebound.Itcametoherwithsuddennumbing
realitythathe
meanttobeathertodeathwiththemalletheheldinhishands.
Shetriedtocryouttohimagain,tobeghimtostopfor
Danny'ssake,but
herbreathhadbeenknockedloose.Shecouldonlyforceouta
weakwhimper,
hardlyasoundatall.
"Now.Now,byChrist,"hesaid,grinning.Hekickedthehassock
outofhis
way."Iguessyou'lltakeyourmedicinenow."
Themalletwhickereddown.Wendyrolledtoherleft,herrobe
tanglingabove
herknees.Jack'sholdonthemalletwasjarredloosewhenithit
thefloor.He
hadtostoopandpickitup,andwhilehedidsheranforthe
stairs,thebreath
atlastsobbingbackintoher.Herstomachwasabruiseof
throbbingpain.
"Bitch,"hesaidthroughhisgrin,andbegantocomeafterher.
"Youstinking
bitch,Iguessyou'llgetwhat'scomingtoyou.Iguessyou
will."
Sheheardthemalletwhistlethroughtheairandthenagony
explodedonher
rightsideasthemalletheadtookherjustbelowthelineofher
breasts,
breakingtworibs.Shefellforwardonthestepsandnewagony
rippedherasshe
struckonthewoundedside.Yetinstinctmadeherrollover,roll
away,andthe
malletwhizzedpastthesideofherface,missingbyanaked
inch.Itstruckthe
deeppileofthestaircarpetingwithamuffledthud.Thatwas
whenshesawthe
knife,whichhadbeenjarredoutofherhandbyherfall.Itlay
glitteringon
thefourthstairriser.
"Bitch,"herepeated.Themalletcamedown.Sheshovedherself
upwardandit
landedjustbelowherkneecap.Herlowerlegwassuddenlyon
fire.Bloodbegan
totrickledownhercalf.Andthenthemalletwascomingdown
again.Shejerked
herheadawayfromitanditsmashedintothestairriserinthe
hollowbetween
herneckandshoulder,scrapingawaythefleshfromherear.
Hebroughtthemalletdownagainandthistimesherolled
towardhim,downthe
stairs,insidethearcofhisswing.Ashriekescapedherasher
brokenribs
thumpedandgrated.Shestruckhisshinswithherbodywhilehe
wasoffbalance
andhefellbackwardwithayellofangerandsurprise,hisfeet
jiggingtokeep
theirpurchaseonthestairriser.Thenhethumpedtothefloor,
themallet
flyingfromhishand.Hesatup,staringatherforamomentwith
shockedeyes.
"I'llkillyouforthat,"hesaid.
Herolledoverandstretchedoutforthehandleofthemallet.
Wendyforced
herselftoherfeet.Herleftlegsentboltafterboltofpain
allthewayupto
herhip.Herfacewasashypalebutset.Sheleapedontohisback
ashishand
closedovertheshaftoftheToquemallet.
"OhdearGod!"shescreamedtotheOverlook'sshadowylobby,
andburiedthe
kitchenknifeinhislowerbackuptothehandle.
Hestiffenedbeneathherandthenshrieked.Shethoughtshehad
neverheard
suchanawfulsoundinherwholelife;itwasasifthevery
boardsandwindows
anddoorsofthehotelhadscreamed.Itseemedtogoonandon
whileheremained
boardstiffbeneathherweight.Theywerelikeaparlorcharade
ofhorseand
rider.Exceptthatthebackofhisredandblackcheckedflannel
shirtwas
growingdarker,sodden,withspreadingblood.
Thenhecollapsedforwardonhisface,buckingheroffonher
hurtside,
makinghergroan.
Shelaybreathingharshlyforatime,unabletomove.Shewas
anexcruciating
throbofpainfromoneendtotheother.Everytimesheinhaled,
something
stabbedviciouslyather,andherneckwaswetwithbloodfrom
hergrazedear.
Therewasonlythesoundofherstruggletobreathe,thewind,
andtheticking
clockintheballroom.
Atlastsheforcedherselftoherfeetandhobbledacrossto
thestairway.
Whenshegottheresheclungtothenewelpost,headdown,waves
offaintness
washingoverher.Whenithadpassedalittle,shebeganto
climb,usingher
unhurtlegandpullingwithherarmsonthebanister.Onceshe
lookedup,
expectingtoseeDannythere,butthestairwaywasempty.
(ThankGodhesleptthroughitthankGodthankGod)
Sixstepsupshehadtorest,herheaddown,herblondhair
coiledonandover
thebanister.Airwhistledpainfullythroughherthroat,asifit
hadgrown
barbs.Herrightsidewasaswollen,hotmass.
(ComeonWendycomeonoldgirlgetalockeddoorbehindyou
andthenlookat
thedamagethirteenmoretogonotsobad.Andwhenyougetto
theupstairs
corridoryoucancrawl.Igivemypermission.)
Shedrewinasmuchbreathasherbrokenribswouldallowand
halfpulled,
halffellupanotherriser.Andanother.
Shewasontheninth,almosthalfwayup,whenJack'svoicecame
frombehind
andbelowher.Hesaidthickly:"Youbitch.Youkilledme."
Terrorasblackasmidnightsweptthroughher.Shelookedover
hershoulder
andsawJackgettingslowlytohisfeet.
Hisbackwasbowedover,andshecouldseethehandleofthe
kitchenknife
stickingoutofit.Hiseyesseemedtohavecontracted,almostto
havelost
themselvesinthepale,saggingfoldsoftheskinaroundthem.He
wasgrasping
theroquemalletlooselyinhislefthand.Theendofitwas
bloody.Ascrapof
herpinkterryclothrobestuckalmostinthecenter.
"I'llgiveyouyourmedicine,"hewhispered,andbeganto
staggertowardthe
stairs.
Whimperingwithfear,shebegantopullherselfupwardagain.
Tensteps,a
dozen,abaker'sdozen.Butstillthefirstfloorhallwaylooked
asfarabove
herasanunattainablemountainpeak.Shewaspantingnow,her
sideshriekingin
protest.Herhairswungwildlybackandforthinfrontofher
face.Sweatstung
hereyes.Thetickingofthedomedclockintheballroomseemed
tofillher
cars,andcounterpointingit,Jack'spanting,agonizedgaspsas
hebeganto
mountthestairs.

<<51>>

HALLORANNARRIVES

LarryDurkinwasatallandskinnymanwithamoroseface
overtoppedwitha
luxuriantmaneofredhair.Hallorannhadcaughthimjustashe
wasleavingthe
Conocostation,themorosefaceburieddeeplyinsideanarmy
issueparka.Hewas
reluctanttodoanymorebusinessthatstormydaynomatterhow
farHallorann
hadcome,andevenmorereluctanttorentoneofhistwo
snowmobilesouttothis
wildeyedblackmanwhoinsistedongoinguptotheoldOverlook.
Amongpeople
whohadspentmostoftheirlivesinthelittletownof
Sidewinder,thehotel
hadasmellyreputation.Murderhadbeendoneupthere.Abunch
ofhoodshadrun
theplaceforawhile,andcutthroatbusinessmenhadrunitfora
while,too.
AndthingshadbeendoneupattheoldOverlookthatnevermade
thepapers,
becausemoneyhasawayoftalking.ButthepeopleinSidewinder
hadapretty
goodidea.Mostofthehotel'schambermaidscamefromhere,and
chambermaidssee
alot.
ButwhenHallorannmentionedHowardCottrell'snameandshowed
Durkinthetag
insideoneofthebluemittens,thegasstationownerthawed.
"Sentyouhere,didhe?"Durkinasked,unlockingoneofthe
garagebaysand
leadingHalloranninside."Goodtoknowtheoldrip'sgotsome
senseleft.I
thoughthewasplumboutofit."Heflickedaswitchandabank
ofveryoldand
verydirtyfluorescentsbuzzedwearilyintolife."Nowwhatin
thetarnal
creationwouldyouwantupatthatplace,fella?"
Hallorann'snervehadbeguntocrack.Thelastfewmilesinto
Sidewinderhad
beenverybad.Onceagustofwindthatmusthavebeentooling
alongatbetter
thansixtymilesanhourhadfloatedtheBuickallthewayaround
ina360
turn.AndtherewerestillmilestotravelwithGodaloneknew
whatattheother
endofthem.Hewasterrifiedfortheboy.Nowitwasalmostten
minutesto
sevenandhehadthiswholesonganddancetogothroughagain.
"Somebodyisintroubleupthere,"hesaidverycarefully."The
sonofthe
caretaker."
"Who?Torrance'sboy?Nowwhatkindoftroublecouldhebein?"
"Idon'tknow,"Hallorannmuttered.Hefeltsickwiththetime
thiswas
taking.Hewasspeakingwithacountryman,andheknewthatall
countrymen
feelasimilarneedtoapproachtheirbusinessobliquely,to
smellaroundits
cornersandsidesbeforeplungingintothemiddleofdealing.But
therewasno
time,becausenowhewasonescaredniggerandifthiswenton
muchlongerhe
justmightdecidetocutandrun.
"Look,"hesaid."Please.IneedtogoupthereandIhaveto
havea
snowmobiletogetthere.I'llpayyourprice,butforGod'ssake
letmegeton
withmybusiness!"
"Allright,"Durkinsaid,unperturbed."IfHowardsentyou,
that'sgood
enough.YoutakethisArcticCat.I'llputfivegallonsofgasin
thecan.Tank's
full.She'llgetyouupandbackdown,Iguess."
"Thankyou,"Hallorannsaid,notquitesteadily.
"I'lltaketwentydollars.Thatincludestheethyl."
Hallorannfumbledatwentyoutofhiswalletandhandedit
over.Durkintucked
itintooneofhisshirtpocketswithhardlyalook.
"Guessmaybewebettertradejackets,too,"Durkinsaid,
pullingoffhis
parka."Thatovercoatofyoursain'tgonnabeworthnothin
tonight.Youtrademe
backwhenyoureturnthesnowsled."
"Oh,hey,Icouldn't"
"Don'tfusswithme,"Durkininterrupted,stillmildly."I
ain'tsendingyou
outtofreeze.IonlygottowalkdowntwoblocksandI'matmy
ownsupper
table.Giveitover."
Slightlydazed,HalloranntradedhisovercoatforDurkin'sfur
linedparka.
Overheadthefluorescentsbuzzedfaintly,remindinghimofthe
lightsinthe
Overlook'skitchen.
"Torrance'sboy,"Durkinsaid,andshookhishead."Goodlookin
littletyke,
ain'the?Henhisdadwasinherealotbeforethesnowreally
flew.Drivinthe
hoteltruck,mostly.Lookedtomelikethetwoofemwasjust
aboutastightas
theycouldget.That'sonelittleboythatloveshisdaddy.Hope
he'sall
right."
"SodoI."Hallorannzippedtheparkaandtiedthehood.
"Lemmehelpyoupushthatout,"Durkinsaid.Theyrolledthe
snowmobileacross
theoilstainedconcreteandtowardthegaragebay."Youever
droveoneofthese
before?"
"No.
"Well,there'snothingtoit.Theinstructionsarepastedthere
onthe
dashboard,butalltherereallyis,isstopandgo.Your
throttle'shere,just
likeamotorcyclethrottle.Brakeontheotherside.Leanwithit
ontheturns.
Thisbabywilldoseventyonhardpack,butonthispowderyou'll
getnomore
thanfiftyandthat'spushingit."
Nowtheywereintheservicestation'ssnowfilledfrontlot,
andDurkinhad
raisedhisvoicetomakehimselfheardoverthebatteringofthe
wind."Stayon
theroad!"heshoutedatHallorann'sear."Keepyoureyeonthe
guardrailposts
andthesignsandyou'llbeallright,Iguess.Ifyougetoff
theroad,you're
goingtobedead.Understand?"
Hallorannnodded.
"Waitaminute!"Durkintoldhim,andranbackintothegarage
bay.
Whilehewasgone,Hallorannturnedthekeyintheignitionand
pumpedthe
throttlealittle.Thesnowmobilecoughedintobrash,choppy
life.
Durkincamebackwitharedandblackskimask.
"Putthisonunderyourhood!"heshouted.
Halloranndraggediton.Itwasatightfit,butitcutthe
lastofthe
numbingwindofffromhischeeksandforeheadandchin.
Durkinleanedclosetomakehimselfheard.
"IguessyoumustknowaboutthingsthesamewayHowiedoes
sometimes,"he
said."Itdon'tmatter,exceptthatplacehasgotabad
reputationaroundhere.
I'llgiveyouarifleifyouwantit."
"Idon'tthinkitwoulddoanygood,"Hallorannshoutedback.
"You'retheboss.Butifyougetthatboy,youbringhimto
SixteenPeach
Lane.Thewife'llhavesomesoupon."
"Okay.Thanksforeverything."
"Youwatchout!"Durkinyelled."Stayontheroad!"
Hallorannnoddedandtwistedthethrottleslowly.The
snowmobilepurred
forward,theheadlampcuttingacleanconeoflightthroughthe
thicklyfalling
snow.HesawDurkin'supraisedhandintherearviewmirror,and
raisedhisown
inreturn.Thenhenudgedthehandlebarstotheleftandwas
travelingupMain
Street,thesnowmobilecoursingsmoothlythroughthewhitelight
thrownbythe
streetlamps.Thespeedometerstoodatthirtymilesanhour.It
wastenpast
seven.AttheOverlook,WendyandDannyweresleepingandJack
Torrancewas
discussingmattersoflifeanddeathwiththepreviouscaretaker.
FiveblocksupMain,thestreetlampsended.Forhalfamile
thereweresmall
houses,allbuttonedtightlyupagainstthestorm,andthenonly
windhowling
darkness..Intheblackagainwithnolightbutthethinspearof
the
snowmobile'sheadlamp,terrorclosedinonhimagain,achildlike
fear,dismal
anddisheartening.Hehadneverfeltsoalone.Forseveral
minutes,asthefew
lightsofSidewinderdwindledawayanddisappearedinthe
rearview,theurgeto
turnaroundandgobackwasalmostinsurmountable.Hereflected
thatforallof
Durkin'sconcernforJackTorrance'sboy,hehadnotofferedto
taketheother
snowmobileandcomewithhim.
(Thatplacehasgotabadreputationaroundhere.)
Clenchinghisteeth,heturnedthethrottlehigherandwatched
theneedleon
thespeedometerclimbpastfortyandsettleatfortyfive.He
seemedtobegoing
horriblyfastandyethewasafraiditwasn'tfastenough.At
thisspeedit
wouldtakehimalmostanhourtogettotheOverlook.Butata
higherspeedhe
mightnotgetthereatall.
Hekepthiseyesgluedtothepassingguardrailsandthedime
sizedreflectors
mountedontopofeachone.Manyofthemwereburiedunder
drifts.Twicehesaw
curvesignsdangerouslylateandfeltthesnowmobileridingup
thedriftsthat
maskedthedropoffbeforeturningbackontowheretheroadwasin
the
summertime.Theodometercountedoffthemilesatamaddeningly
slowclipfive,
ten,finallyfifteen.Evenbehindtheknittedskimaskhisface
wasbeginningto
stiffenupandhislegsweregrowingnumb.
(GuessI'dgiveahundredbucksforapairofskipants.)
Aseachmileturnedover,histerrorgrewasiftheplacehad
apoison
atmospherethatthickenedasyounearedit.Haditeverbeenlike
thisbefore?
HehadneverreallylikedtheOverlook,andtherehadbeenothers
whosharedhis
feeling,butithadneverbeenlikethis.
Hecouldfeelthevoicethathadalmostwreckedhimoutsideof
Sidewinder
stilltryingtogetin,togetpasthisdefensestothesoftmeat
inside.Ifit
hadbeenstrongtwentyfivemilesback,howmuchstrongerwould
itbenow?He
couldn'tkeepitoutentirely.Someofitwasslippingthrough,
floodinghis
brainwithsinistersubliminalimages.Moreandmorehegotthe
imageofabadly
hurtwomaninabathroom,holdingherhandsupuselesslytoward
offablow,and
hefeltmoreandmorethatthewomanmustbe
(Jesus,watchout!)
Theembankmentwasloomingupaheadofhimlikeafreight
train.Wool
gathering,hehadmissedaturnsign.Hejerkedthesnowmobile's
steeringgear
hardrightanditswungaround,tiltingasitdidso.From
underneathcamethe
harshgratingsoundofthesnowtreadonrock.Hethoughtthe
snowmobilewas
goingtodumphim,anditdidtotterontheknifeedgeofbalance
beforehalf
driving,halfskiddingbackdowntothemoreorlesslevel
surfaceofthesnow
buriedroad.Thenthedropoffwasaheadofhim,theheadlamp
showinganabrupt
endtothesnowcoveranddarknessbeyondthat.Heturnedthe
snowmobilethe
otherway,apulsebeatingsicklyinhisthroat.
(KeepitontheroadDickyoldchum.)
Heforcedhimselftoturnthethrottleupanothernotch.Now
thespeedometer
needlewaspeggedjustbelowfifty.Thewindhowledandroared.
Theheadlamp
probedthedark.
Anunknownlengthoftimelater,hecamearoundadriftbanked
curveandsawa
glimmeringflashoflightahead.Justaglimpse,andthenitwas
blottedoutby
arisingfoldofland.Theglimpsewassobriefhewaspersuading
himselfithad
beenwishfulthinkingwhenanotherturnbroughtitinviewagain,
slightly
closer,foranotherfewseconds.Therewasnoquestionofits
realitythistime;
hehadseenitfromjustthisangletoomanytimesbefore.Itwas
theOverlook.
Therewerelightsonthefirstfloorandlobbylevels,itlooked
like.
Someofhisterrorthepartthathadtodowithdrivingoff
theroador
wreckingthesnowmobileonanunseencurvemeltedentirelyaway.
Thesnowmobile
sweptsurelyintothefirsthalfofanScurvethathenow
remembered
confidentlyfootforfoot,andthatwaswhentheheadlamppicked
outthe
(ohdearJesusgodwhatisit)
intheroadaheadofhim.Limnedinstarkblacksandwhites,
Hallorannfirst
thoughtitwassomehideouslyhugetimberwolfthathadbeen
drivendownfromthe
highcountrybythestorm.Then,asheclosedonit,he
recognizeditandhorror
closedhisthroat.
Notawolfbutalion.Ahedgelion.
Itsfeatureswereamaskofblackshadowandpowderedsnow,its
hauncheswound
tighttospring.Anditdidspring,snowbillowingaroundits
pistoningrear
legsinasilentburstofcrystalglitter.
Hallorannscreamedandtwistedthehandlebarshardright,
duckinglowatthe
sametime.Scratching,rippingpainscrawleditselfacrosshis
face,hisneck,
hisshoulders.Theskimaskwastornopendowntheback.Hewas
hurledfromthe
snowmobile.Hehitthesnow,plowedthroughit,rolledover.
Hecouldfeelitcomingforhim.Inhisnostrilstherewasa
bittersmellof
greenleavesandholly.Ahugehedgepawbattedhiminthesmall
ofthebackand
heflewtenfeetthroughtheair,splayedoutlikearagdoll.He
sawthe
snowmobile,riderless,striketheembankmentandrearup,its
headlampsearching
thesky.Itfelloverwithathumpandstalled.
Thenthehedgelionwasonhim.Therewasacrackling,rustling
sound.
Somethingrakedacrossthefrontoftheparka,shreddingit.It
mighthavebeen
stifftwigs,butHallorannknewitwasclaws.
"You'renotthere!"Hallorannscreamedatthecircling,
snarlinghedgelion.
"You'renotthereatall!"Hestruggledtohisfeetandmadeit
halfwaytothe
snowmobilebeforethelionlunged,battinghimacrossthehead
withaneedle
tippedpaw.Hallorannsawsilent,explodinglights.
"Notthere,"hesaidagain,butitwasafadingmutter.His
kneesunhingedand
droppedhimintothesnow.Hecrawledforthesnowmobile,the
rightsideofhis
faceascarfofblood.Thelionstruckhimagain,rollinghim
ontohisbacklike
aturtle.Itroaredplayfully.
Hallorannstruggledtoreachthesnowmobile.Whatheneededwas
there.And
thenthelionwasonhimagain,rippingandclawing.
<<52>>

WENDYANDJACK

Wendyriskedanotherglanceoverhershoulder.Jackwasonthe
sixthriser,
clingingtothebanistermuchasshewasdoingherself.Hewas
stillgrinning,
anddarkbloodoozedslowlythroughthegrinandslippeddownthe
lineofhis
jaw.Hebaredhisteethather.
"I'mgoingtobashyourbrainsin.Bashthemrighttofuckin."
Hestruggled
upanotherriser.
Panicspurredher,andtheacheinhersidediminisheda
little.Shepulled
herselfupasfastasshecouldregardlessofthepain,yanking
convulsivelyat
thebanister.Shereachedthetopandthrewaglancebehindher.
Heseemedtobegainingstrengthratherthanlosingit.Hewas
onlyfour
risersfromthetop,measuringthedistancewiththeroguemallet
inhisleft
handashepulledhimselfupwithhisright.
"Rightbehindyou,"hepantedthroughhisbloodygrin,asif
readinghermind.
"Rightbehindyounow,bitch.Withyourmedicine."
Shefledstumblinglydownthemaincorridor,handspressedto
herside.
Thedoortooneoftheroomsjerkedopenandamanwithagreen
ghoulmaskon
poppedout."Greatparty,isn'tit?"Hescreamedintoherface,
andpulledthe
waxedstringofapartyfavor.Therewasanechoingbangand
suddenlycrepe
streamersweredriftingallaroundher.Themanintheghoulmask
cackledand
slammedbackintohisroom.Shefellforwardontothecarpet,
fulllength.Her
rightsideseemedtoexplodewithpain,andshefoughtoffthe
blacknessof
unconsciousnessdesperately.Dimlyshecouldheartheelevator
runningagain,
andbeneathhersplayedfingersshecouldseethatthecarpet
patternappeared
tomove,swayingandtwiningsinuously.
Themalletslammeddownbehindherandshethrewherself
forward,sobbing.
OverhershouldershesawJackstumbleforward,overbalance,and
bringthe
malletdownjustbeforehecrashedtothecarpet,expellinga
brightsplashof
bloodontothenap.
Themalletheadstruckhersquarelybetweentheshoulderblades
andfora
momenttheagonywassogreatthatshecouldonlywrithe,hands
openingand
clenching.Somethinginsideherhadsnappedshehadheardit
clearly,andfora
fewmomentsshewasawareonlyinamuted,muffledway,asifshe
weremerely
observingthesethingsthroughacloudywrappingofgauze.
Thenfullconsciousnesscameback,terrorandpainwithit.
Jackwastryingtogetupsohecouldfinishthejob.
Wendytriedtostandandfounditwasimpossible.Electric
boltsseemedto
courseupanddownherbackattheeffort.Shebegantocrawl
alongina
sidestrokemotion.Jackwascrawlingafterher,usingtheroque
malletasa
crutchoracane.
Shereachedthecomerandpulledherselfaroundit,usingher
handstoyankat
theangleofthewall.Herterrordeepenedshewouldnothave
believedthat
possible,butitwas.Itwasahundredtimesworsenottobeable
toseehimor
knowhowclosehewasgetting.Shetoreoutfistfulsofthe
carpetnapping
pullingherselfalong,andshewashalfwaydownthisshorthall
beforeshe
noticedthebedroomdoorwasstandingwideopen.
(Danny!OJesus)
Sheforcedherselftoherkneesandthenclawedherwaytoher
feet,fingers
slippingoverthesilkwallpaper.Hernailspulledlittlestrips
ofitloose.
Sheignoredthepainandhalfwalked,halfshambledthroughthe
doorwayasJack
camearoundthefarcornerandbegantolungehiswaydowntoward
theopendoor,
leaningontheroquemallet.
Shecaughttheedgeofthedresser,heldherselfupagainstit,
andgrabbed
thedoorframe.
Jackshoutedather:"Don'tyoushutthatdoor!Goddamyou,
don'tyoudare
shutit!"
Sheslammeditclosedandshotthebolt.Herlefthandpawed
wildlyatthe
junkonthedresser,knockingloosecoinsontothefloorwhere
theyrolledin
everydirection.Herhandseizedthekeyringjustasthemallet
whistleddown
againstthedoor,makingittrembleinitsframe.Shegotthekey
intothelock
onthesecondstabandtwistedittotheright.Atthesoundof
thetumblers
falling,Jackscreamed.Themalletcamedownagainstthedoorin
avolleyof
boomingblowsthatmadeherflinchandstepback.Howcouldhebe
doingthat
withaknifeinhisback?Wherewashefindingthestrength?She
wantedto
shriekWhyaren'tyoudead?atthelockeddoor.
Insteadsheturnedaround.SheandDannywouldhavetogointo
theattached
bathroomandlockthatdoor,too,incaseJackactuallycould
breakthroughthe
bedroomdoor.Thethoughtofescapingdownthedumbwaitershaft
crossedher
mindinawildburst,andthensherejectedit.Dannywassmall
enoughtofit
intoit,butshewouldbeunabletocontroltheropepull.He
mightgocrashing
allthewaytothebottom.
Thebathroomitwouldhavetobe.AndifJackbrokethrough
intothere
Butshewouldn'tallowherselftothinkofit.
"Danny,honey,you'llhavetowakeupn"
Butthebedwasempty.
Whenhehadbeguntosleepmoresoundly,shehadthrownthe
blanketsandone
ofthequiltsoverhim.Nowtheywerethrownback.
"I'llgetyou!"Jackhowled."I'llget.bothofyou!"Every
otherwordwas
punctuatedwithablowfromtheroquehammer,yetWendyignored
both.Allofher
attentionwasfocusedonthatemptybed.
"Comeouthere!Unlockthisgoddamdoor!"
"Danny?"shewhispered.
Ofcourse...whenJackhadattackedher.Ithadcomethrough
tohim,as
violentemotionsalwaysseemedto.Perhapshe'devenseenthe
wholethingina
nightmare.Hewashiding.
Shefellclumsilytoherknees,enduringanotherboltofpain
fromherswollen
andbleedingleg,andlookedunderthebed.Nothingtherebut
dustballsand
Jack'sbedroomslippers.
Jackscreamedhername,andthistimewhenheswungthemallet,
along
splinterofwoodjumpedfromthedoorandclatteredoffthe
hardwoodplanking.
Thenextblowbroughtasickening,splinteringcrack,thesound
ofdrykindling
underahatchet.Thebloodymallethead,nowsplinteredand
gougedinitsown
right,bashedthroughthenewholeinthedoor,waswithdrawn,
andcamedown
again,sendingwoodenshrapnelflyingacrosstheroom.
Wendypulledherselftoherfeetagainusingthefootofthe
bed,andhobbled
acrosstheroomtothecloset.Herbrokenribsstabbedather,
makinghergroan.
"Danny?"
Shebrushedthehunggarmentsasidefrantically;someofthem
slippedtheir
hangersandballoonedgracelesslytothefloor.Hewasnotinthe
closet.
Shehobbledtowardthebathroomandasshereachedthedoorshe
glancedback
overhershoulder.Themalletcrashedthroughagain,wideningthe
hole,andthen
ahandappeared,gropingforthebolt.Shesawwithhorrorthat
shehadleft
Jack'skeyringdanglingfromthelock.
Thehandyankedtheboltback,andasitdidsoitstruckthe
bunchedkeys.
Theyjingledmerrily.Thehandclutchedthemvictoriously.
Withasob,shepushedherwayintothebathroomandslammed
thedoorjustas
thebedroomdoorburstopenandJackchargedthrough,bellowing.
Wendyrantheboltandtwistedthespringlock,lookingaround
desperately.
Thebathroomwasempty.Dannywasn'there,either.Andasshe
caughtsightof
herownbloodsmeared,horrifiedfaceinthemedicinecabinet
mirror,shewas
glad.Shehadneverbelievedthatchildrenshouldbewitnessto
thelittle
quarrelsoftheirparents.Andperhapsthethingthatwasnow
ravingthroughthe
bedroom,overturningthingsandsmashingthem,wouldfinally
collapsebeforeit
couldgoafterherson.Perhaps,shethought,itmightbe
possibleforherto
inflictevenmoredamageonit...killit,perhaps.
Hereyesskatedquicklyoverthebathroom'smachineproduced
porcelain
surfaces,lookingforanythingthatmightserveasaweapon.
Therewasabarof
soap,butevenwrappedinatowelshedidn'tthinkitwouldbe
lethalenough.
Everythingelsewasbolteddown.God,wastherenothingshecould
do?
Beyondthedoor,theanimalsoundsofdestructionwentonand
on,accompanied
bythickshoutsthattheywould"taketheirmedicine"and"pay
forwhatthey'd
donetohim."Hewould"showthemwho'sboss,"Theywere
"worthlesspuppies,"
thebothofthem.
Therewasathumpasherrecordplayerwasoverturned,ahollow
crashasthe
secondhandTV'spicturetubewassmashed,thetinkleof
windowglassfollowedby
acolddraftunderthebathroomdoor.Adullthudasthe
mattresseswereripped
fromthetwinbedswheretheyhadslepttogether,hiptohip.
BoomingsasJack
struckthewallsindiscriminatelywiththemallet.
TherewasnothingoftherealJackinthathowling,maundering,
petulant
voice,though.Italternatelywhinedintonesofselfpityand
roseinlurid
screams;itremindedherchillinglyofthescreamsthatsometimes
roseinthe
geriatricswardofthehospitalwhereshehadworkedsummersasa
highschool
kid.Seniledementia.Jackwasn'toutthereanymore.Shewas
hearingthe
lunatic,ravingvoiceoftheOverlookitself.
Themalletsmashedintothebathroomdoor,knockingoutahuge
chunkofthe
thinpaneling.Halfofacrazedandworkingfacestaredinat
her.Themouthand
cheeksandthroatwerelatheredinblood,thesingleeyeshe
couldseewastiny
andpiggishandglittering.
"Nowherelefttorun,youcunt,"itpantedatherthroughits
grin.Themallet
descendedagain,knockingwoodsplintersintothetubandagainst
thereflecting
surfaceofthemedicinecabinet
(!!Themedicinecabinet!!)
Adesperatewhiningnoisebegantoescapeherasshewhirled,
paintemporarily
forgotten,andthrewthemirrordoorofthecabinetback.She
begantopaw
throughitscontents.Behindherthathoarsevoicebellowed:
"HereIcomenow!
HereIcomenow,youpig!"Itwasdemolishingthedoorina
machinelikefrenzy.
Bottlesandjarsfellbeforehermadlysearchingfingerscough
syrup,Vaseline,
ClairolHerbalEssenceshampoo,hydrogenperoxide,benzocaine
theyfellinto
thesinkandshattered.
Herhandclosedoverthedispenserofdoubleedgedrazorblades
justasshe
heardthehandagain,fumblingfortheboltandthespringlock.
Sheslippedoneoftherazorbladesout,fumblingatit,her
breathcomingin
harshlittlegasps.Shehadcuttheballofherthumb.She
whirledaroundand
slashedatthehand,whichhadturnedthelockandwasnow
fumblingforthe
bolt.
Jackscreamed.Thehandwasjerkedback.
Panting,holdingtherazorbladebetweenherthumbandindex
finger,she
waitedforhimtotryagain.Hedid,andsheslashed.Hescreamed
again,trying
tograbherhand,andsheslashedathimagain.Therazorblade
turnedinher
hand,cuttingheragain,anddroppedtothetilefloorbythe
toilet.
Wendyslippedanotherbladeoutofthedispenserandwaited.
Movementintheotherroom
(??goingaway??)
Andasoundcomingthroughthebedroomwindow.Amotor.Ahigh,
insectile
buzzingsound.
AroarofangerfromJackandthenyes,yes,shewassureof
ithewasleaving
thecaretaker'sapartment,plowingthroughthewreckageandout
intothehall.
(??SomeonecomingarangerDickHallorann??)
"OhGod,"shemutteredbrokenlythroughamouththatseemed
filledwithbroken
sticksandoldsawdust."OhGod,ohplease."
Shehadtoleavenow,hadtogofindhersonsotheycouldface
therestof
thisnightmaresidebyside.Shereachedoutandfumbledatthe
bolt.Herarm
seemedtostretchformiles.Atlastshegotittocomefree.She
pushedthe
dooropen,staggeredout,andwassuddenlyovercomebythe
horriblecertainty
thatJackhadonlypretendedtoleave,thathewaslyinginwait
forher:
Wendylookedaround.Theroomwasempty,thelivingroomtoo.
Jumbled,broken
stuffeverywhere.
Thecloset?Empty.
Thenthesoftshadesofgraybegantowashoverherandshe
felldownonthe
mattressJackhadrippedfromthebed,semiconscious.
<<53>>

HALLORANNLAIDLOW

Hallorannreachedtheoverturnedsnowmobilejustas,amileand
ahalfaway,
Wendywaspullingherselfaroundthecornerandintotheshort
hallwayleading
tothecaretaker'sapartment.
Itwasn'tthesnowmobilehewantedbutthegascanheldontothe
backbyapair
ofelasticstraps.Hishands,stillcladinHowardCottrell's
bluemittens,
seizedthetopstrapandpulleditfreeasthehedgelionroared
behindhima
soundthatseemedtobemoreinhisheadthanoutsideofit.A
hard,brambly
slaptohisleftleg,makingthekneesingwithpainasitwas
driveninaway
thejointhadneverbeenexpectedtobend.Agroanescaped
Hallorann'sclenched
teeth.Itwouldcomeforthekillanytimenow,tiredofplaying
withhim.
Hefumbledforthesecondstrap.Stickybloodraninhiseyes.
(Roar!Slap!)
Thatonerakedacrosshisbuttocks,almosttumblinghimover
andawayfromthe
snowmobileagain.Heheldonnoexaggerationfordearlife.
Thenhehadfreedthesecondstrap.Heclutchedthegascanto
himasthelion
struckagain,rollinghimoveronhisback.Hesawitagain,only
ashadowin
thedarknessandfallingsnow,asnightmarishasamoving
gargoyle.Hallorann
twistedatthecan'scapasthemovingshadowstalkedhim,
kickingupsnowpuffs.
Asitmovedinagainthecapspunfree,releasingthepungent
smellofthe
gasoline.
Halloranngainedhiskneesandasitcameathim,lowslungand
incredibly
quick,hesplasheditwiththegas.
Therewasahissing,spittingsoundanditdrewback.
"Gas!"Halloranncried,hisvoiceshrillandbreaking."Gonna
burnyou,baby!
Digonitawhile!"
Thelioncameathimagain,stillspittingangrily.Hallorann
splashedit
againbutthistimetheliondidn'tgive.Itchargedahead.
Hallorannsensed
ratherthansawitsheadanglingathisfaceandhethrewhimself
backward,
partiallyavoidingit.Yetthelionstillhithisupperribcage
aglancing
blow,andaflareofpainstruckthere.Gasgurgledoutofthe
can,whichhe
stillheld,anddousedhisrighthandandarm,coldasdeath.
Nowhelayonhisbackinasnowangel,totherightofthe
snowmobileby
abouttenpaces.Thehissinglionwasabulkingpresencetohis
left,closingin
again.Hallorannthoughthecouldseeitstailtwitching.
HeyankedCottrell'smittenoffhisrighthand,tastingsodden
wooland
gasoline.Herippedupthehemoftheparkaandjammedhishand
intohispants
pocket.Downinthere,alongwithhiskeysandhischange,wasa
verybattered
oldZippolighter.HehadboughtitinGermanyin1954.Oncethe
hingehad
brokenandhehadreturnedittotheZippofactoryandtheyhad
repairedit
withoutcharge,justasadvertised.
Anightmarefloodofthoughtsfloodingthroughhismindina
splitsecond.
(DearZippomylighterwasswallowedbyacrocodiledropped
frontanairplane
lostinthePacifictrenchsavedmefromaKrautbulletinthe
Battleofthe
BulgedearZippoifthisfuckerdoesn'tgothatlionisgoingto
ripmyhead
off)
Thelighterwasout.Heclickedthehoodback.Thelion,
rushingathim,a
growllikerippingcloth,hisfingerflickingthestrikerwheel,
spark,flame,
(myhand)
hisgasolinesoakedhandsuddenlyablaze,theflamesrunningup
thesleeveof
theparka,nopain,nopainyet,thelionshyingfromthetorch
suddenlyblazing
infrontofit,ahideousflickeringhedgesculpturewitheyes
andamouth,
shyingaway,toolate.
Wincingatthepain,Halloranndrovehisblazingarmintoits
stiffand
scratchyside.
Inaninstantthewholecreaturewasinflames,aprancing,
writhingpyreon
thesnow.Itbellowedinrageandpain,seemingtochaseits
flamingtailasit
zigzaggedawayfromHallorann.
Hethrusthisownarmdeepintothesnow,killingtheflames,
unabletotake
hiseyesfromthehedgelion'sdeathagoniesforamoment.Then,
gasping,hegot
tohisfeet.ThearmofDurkin'sparkawassootybutunburned,
andthatalso
describedhishand.Thirtyyardsdownhillfromwherehestood,
thehedgelion
hadturnedintoafireball.Sparksflewattheskyandwere
viciouslysnatched
awaybythewind.Foramomentitsribsandskullwereetchedin
orangeflame
andthenitseemedtocollapse,disintegrate,andfallinto
separateburning
piles.
(Nevermindit.Getmoving.)
Hepickedupthegascanandstruggledovertothesnowmobile.
His
consciousnessseemedtobeflickeringinandout,offeringhim
cuttingsand
snippetsofhomemoviesbutneverthewholepicture.Inoneof
thesehewas
awareofyankingthesnowmobilebackontoitstreadandthen
sittingonit,out
ofbreathandincapableofmovingforafewmoments.Inanother,
hewas
reattachingthegascan,whichwasstillhalffull.Hisbeadwas
thumping
horriblyfromthegasfumes(andinreactiontohisbattlewith
thehedgelion,
hesupposed),andhesawbythesteamingholeinthesnowbeside
himthathehad
vomited,buthewasunabletorememberwhen.
Thesnowmobile,theenginestillwarm,firedimmediately.He
twistedthe
throttleunevenlyandstartedforwardwithaseriesofneck
snappingjerksthat
madehisheadacheevenmorefiercely.Atfirstthesnowmobile
wovedrunkenly
fromsidetoside,butbyhalfstandingtogethisfaceabovethe
windscreenand
intothesharp,needlingblastofthewind,hedrovesomeofthe
stuporoutof
himself.Heopenedthethrottlewider.
(Wherearetherestofthehedgeanimals?)
Hedidn'tknow,butatleasthewouldn'tbecaughtunaware
again.
TheOverlookloomedinfrontofhim,thelightedfirstfloor
windowsthrowing
longyellowrectanglesontothesnow.Thegateatthefootofthe
drivewas
lockedandhedismountedafterawarylookaround,prayinghe
hadn'tlosthis
keyswhenhepulledhislighteroutofhispocket...no,they
werethere.He
pickedthroughtheminthebrightlightthrownbythesnowmobile
headlamp.He
foundtherightoneandunsnappedthepadlock,lettingitdrop
intothesnow.At
firsthedidn'tthinkhewasgoingtobeabletomovethegate
anyway;hepawed
franticallyatthesnowsurroundingit,disregardingthe
throbbingagonyinhis
headandthefearthatoneoftheotherlionsmightbecreeping
upbehindhim.
Hemanagedtopullitafootandahalfawayfromthegatepost,
squeezedinto
thegap,andpushed.Hegotittomoveanothertwofeet,enough
roomforthe
snowmobile,andthreadeditthrough.
Hebecameawareofmovementaheadofhiminthedark.Thehedge
animals,all
ofthem,wereclusteredatthebaseoftheOverlook'ssteps,
guardingtheway
in,thewayout.Thelionsprowled.Thedogstoodwithitsfront
pawsonthe
firststep.
Hallorannopenedthethrottlewideandthesnowmobileleaped
forward,puffing
snowupbehindit.Inthecaretaker'sapartment,JackTorrance's
headjerked
aroundatthehigh,wasplikebuzzoftheapproachingengine,and
suddenlybegan
tomovelaboriouslytowardthehallwayagain.Thebitchwasn't
importantnow.
Thebitchcouldwait.Nowitwasthisdirtynigger'sturn.This
dirty,
interferingniggerwithhisnoseinwhereitdidn'tbelong.First
himandthen
hisson.Hewouldshowthem.Hewouldshowthemthat...that
he...thathe
wasofmanagerialtimber!
Outside,thesnowmobilerocketedalongfasterandfaster.The
hotelseemedto
surgetowardit.SnowflewinHallorann'sface.Theheadlamp's
oncomingglare
spotlightedthehedgeshepherd'sface,itsblankandsocketless
eyes.
Thenitshrankaway,leavinganopening.Hallorannyankedat
thesnowmobile's
steeringgearwithallhisremainingstrength,anditkicked
aroundinasharp
semicircle,throwingupcloudsofsnow,threateningtotipover.
Therearend
struckthefootoftheporchstepsandrebounded.Hallorannwas
offinaflash
andrunningupthesteps.Hestumbled,fell,pickedhimselfup.
Thedogwas
growlingagaininhisheadclosebehindhim.Somethingripped
attheshoulder
oftheparkaandthenhewasontheporch,standinginthenarrow
corridorJack
hadshoveledthroughthesnow,andsafe.Theyweretoobigtofit
inhere.
Hereachedthebigdoubledoorswhichgaveonthelobbyanddug
forhiskeys
again.Whilehewasgettingthemhetriedtheknobanditturned
freely.He
pushedhiswayin.
"Danny!"hecriedhoarsely."Danny,whereareyou?"
Silencecameback.
Hiseyestraveledacrossthelobbytothefootofthewide
stairsandaharsh
gaspescapedhim.Therugwassplashedandmattedwithblood.
Therewasascrap
ofpinkterryclothrobe.Thetrailofbloodledupthestairs.
Thebanisterwas
alsosplashedwithit.
"OhJesus,"hemuttered,andraisedhisvoiceagain.
"Danny!DANNY!"
Thehotel'ssilenceseemedtomockhimwithechoeswhichwere
almostthere,
slyandoblique.
(Danny?Who'sDanny?AnybodyhereknowaDanny?Danny,Danny,
who'sgotthe
Danny?AnybodyforagameofspintheDanny?Pinthetailonthe
Danny?Getout
ofhere,blackboy.NoonehereknowsDannyfromAdam.)
Jesus,hadhecomethrougheverythingjusttobetoolate?Had
itbeendone?
Heranupthestairstwoatatimeandstoodatthetopofthe
firstfloor.
Thebloodleddowntowardthecaretaker'sapartment.Horrorcrept
softlyinto
hisveinsandintohisbrainashebegantowalktowardtheshort
hall.The
hedgeanimalshadbeenbad,butthiswasworse.Inhishearthe
wasalreadysure
ofwhathewasgoingtofindwhenhegotdownthere.
Hewasinnohurrytoseeit.
JackhadbeenhidingintheelevatorwhenHalloranncameupthe
stairs.Nowhe
creptupbehindthefigureinthesnowcoatedparka,abloodand
gorestreaked
phantomwithasmileuponitsface.Theroquemalletwaslifted
ashighasthe
ugly,rippingpaininhisback
(??didthebitchstickmecan'tremember??)
wouldallow.
"Blackboy,"hewhispered."I'llteachyoutogostickingyour
noseinother
people'sbusiness."
Hallorannheardthewhisperandbegantoturn,toduck,andthe
roquemallet
whistleddown.Thehoodoftheparkamattedtheblow,butnot
enough.Arocket
explodedinhishead,leavingacontrailofstars...andthen
nothing.
HestaggeredagainstthesilkwallpaperandJackhithimagain,
theroque
malletslicingsidewaysthistime,shatteringHallorann's
cheekboneandmostof
theteethontheleftsideofhisjaw.Hewentdownlimply.
"Now,"Jackwhispered."Now,byChrist"WherewasDanny?Hehad
businesswith
histrespassingson.
Threeminuteslatertheelevatordoorbangedopenonthe
shadowedthirdfloor.
JackTorrancewasinitalone.Thecarhadstoppedonlyhalfway
intothedoorway
andhehadtoboosthimselfupontothehallfloor,wriggling
painfullylikea
crippledthing.Hedraggedthesplinteredroquemalletafterhim.
Outsidethe
eaves,thewindhowledandroared.Jack'seyesrolledwildlyin
theirsockets.
Therewasbloodandconfettiinhishair.
Hissonwasuphere,upheresomewhere.Hecouldfeelit.Left
tohisown
devices,hemightdoanything:scribbleontheexpensivesilk
wallpaperwithhis
crayons,defacethefurnishings,breakthewindows.Hewasaliar
andacheat
andhewouldhavetobechastised...harshly.
JackTorrancestruggledtohisfeet.
"Danny?"hecalled."Danny,comehereaminute,willyou?
You'vedone
somethingwrongandIwantyoutocomefandtakeyourmedicine
likeaman.
Danny?Danny!"

<<54>>

TONY
(Danny...)
(Dannneee...)
Darknessandhallways.Hewaswanderingthroughdarknessand
hallwaysthat
werelikethosewhichlaywithinthebodyofthehotelbutwere
somehow
different.Thesilkpaperedwallsstretchedupandup,andeven
whenhecraned
hisneck,Dannycouldnotseetheceiling.Itwaslostin
dimness.Allthedoors
werelocked,andtheyalsoroseuptodimness.Belowthe
peepholes(inthese
giantdoorstheywerethesizeofgunsights),tinyskullsand
crossboneshad
beenboltedtoeachdoorinsteadofroomnumbers.
Andsomewhere,Tonywascallinghim.
(Dannneee...)
Therewasapoundingnoise,onebeknewwell,andhoarse
shouts,faintwith
distance.Hecouldnotmakeoutwordforword,butheknewthe
textwellenough
bynow.Hehadhearditbefore,indreamsandawake.
Hepaused,alittleboynotyetthreeyearsoutofdiapers,and
triedto
decidewherehewas,wherehemightbe.Therewasfear,butit
wasafearhe
couldlivewith.Hehadbeenafraideverydayfortwomonthsnow,
toadegree
thatrangedfromdulldisquiettooutright,mindbendingterror.
Thishecould
livewith.ButhewantedtoknowwhyTonyhadcome,whyhewas
makingthesound
ofhisnameinthishallthatwasneitherapartofrealthings
norofthe
dreamlandwhereTonysometimesshowedhimthings.Why,where
"Danny."
Fardownthegianthallway,almostastinyasDannyhimself,
wasadark
figure.Tony.
"WhereamI?"hecalledsoftlytoTony.
"Sleeping,"Tonysaid."Sleepinginyourmommyanddaddy's
bedroom."Therewas
sadnessinTony'svoice.
"Danny,"Tonysaid."Yourmotherisgoingtobebadlyhurt.
Perhapskilled.
Mr.Hallorann,too,"
"No!"
Hecrieditoutinadistantgrief,aterrorthatseemeddamped
bythese
dreamy,drearysurroundings.Nonetheless,deathimagescameto
him:deadfrog
plasteredtotheturnpikelikeagrislystamp;Daddy'sbroken
watchlyingontop
ofaboxofjunktobethrownout;gravestoneswithadeadperson
underevery
one;deadjaybythetelephonepole;thecoldjunkMommyscraped
offtheplates
anddownthedarkmawofthegarbagedisposal.
Yethecouldnotequatethesesimplesymbolswiththeshifting
complexreality
ofhismother;shesatisfiedhischildishdefinitionofeternity.
Shehadbeen
whenhewasnot.Shewouldcontinuetobewhenhewasnotagain.
Hecouldaccept
thepossibilityofhisowndeath,hehaddealtwiththatsince
theencounterin
Room217.
Butnothers.
NotDaddy's.
Notever.
Hebegantostruggle,andthedarknessandthehallwaybeganto
waver.Tony's
formbecamechimerical,indistinct.
"Don't!"Tonycalled."Don't,Danny,don'tdothat!"
"She'snotgoingtobedead!She'snot!"
"Thenyouhavetohelpher.Danny...you'reinaplacedeep
downinyour
ownmind.TheplacewhereIam.I'mapartofyou,Danny."
"You'reTony.You'renotme.Iwantmymommy*..Iwantmy
mommy..."
"Ididn'tbringyouhere,Danny.Youbroughtyourself.Because
youknew."
"No"
"You'vealwaysknown,"Tonycontinued,andhebegantowalk
closer.Forthe
firsttime,Tonybegantowalkcloser."You'redeepdownin
yourselfinaplace
wherenothingcomesthrough.We'realonehereforalittlewhile,
Danny.Thisis
anOverlookwherenoonecanevercome.Noclocksworkhere.None
ofthekeys
fitthemandtheycanneverbewoundup.Thedoorshavenever
beenopenedandno
onehaseverstayedintherooms.Butyoucan'tstaylong.
Becauseit'scoming."
"It..."Dannywhisperedfearfully,andashedidsothe
irregularpounding
noiseseemedtogrowcloser,louder.Histerror,coolanddistant
amomentago,
becameamoreimmediatething.Nowthewordscouldbemadeout.
Hoarse,
huckstering;theywereutteredinacoarseimitationofhis
father'svoice,but
itwasn'tDaddy.Heknewthatnow.Heknew
(Youbroughtyourself.Becauseyouknew.)
"OhTony,isitmydaddy?"Dannyscreamed."Isitmydaddy
that'scomingto
getme?"
Tonydidn'tanswer.ButDannydidn'tneedananswer.Heknew.A
longand
nightmarishmasqueradepartywentonhere,andhadgoneonfor
years.Littleby
littleaforcebadaccrued,assecretandsilentasinterestina
bankaccount.
Force,presence,shape,theywereallonlywordsandnoneofthem
mattered.It
woremanymasks,butitwasallone.Now,somewhere,itwas
comingforhim.It
washidingbehindDaddy'sface,itwasimitatingDaddy'svoice,
itwaswearing
Daddy'sclothes.
Butitwasnothisdaddy.
Itwasnothisdaddy.
"I'vegottohelpthem!"hecried.
AndnowTonystooddirectlyinfrontofhim,andlookingat
Tonywaslike
lookingintoamagicmirrorandseeinghimselfintenyears,the
eyeswidely
spacedandverydark,thechinfirm,themouthhandsomelymolded.
Thehairwas
lightblondlikehismother's,andyetthestamponhisfeatures
wasthatofhis
father,asifTonyasiftheDanielAnthonyTorrancethatwould
somedaybewasa
halflingcaughtbetweenfatherandson,aghostofboth,a
fusion.
"Youhavetotrytohelp,"Tonysaid."Butyourfather...
be'swiththe
hotelnow,Danny.It'swherehewantstobe.Itwantsyoutoo,
becauseit'svery
greedy."
Tonywalkedpasthim,intotheshadows,
"Wait!"Dannycried."WhatcanI"
"He'sclosenow,"Tonysaid,stillwalkingaway."You'llhave
torun...
hide...keepawayfromhim.Keepaway."
"Tony,Ican'tl"
"Butyou'vealreadystarted,"Tonysaid."Youwillremember
whatyourfather
forgot."
Hewasgone.
Andfromsomewherenearhisfather'svoicecame,coldly
wheedling:"Danny?You
cancomeout,doc.Justalittlespanking,that'sall.Takeit
likeamanandit
willbeallover.Wedon'tneedher,doc.Justyouandme,right?
Whenweget
thislittle...spanking...behindus,itwillbejustyou
andme."
Dannyran.
Behindhim,thething'stemperbrokethroughtheshambling
charadeof
normality.
"Comehere,youlittleshitlRightnowl"
Downalonghall,pantingandgasping.Aroundacorner.Upa
flightofstairs.
Andashewent,thewallsthathadbeensohighandremotebegan
tocomedown;
therugwhichhadonlybeenablurbeneathhisfeettookonthe
familiarblack
andbluepattern,sinuouslywoventogether;thedoorsbecame
numberedagainand
behindthemthepartiesthatwereallonewentonandon,
populatedby
generationsofguests.Theairseemedtobeshimmeringaround
him,theblowsof
themalletagainstthewallsechoingandreechoing.Heseemedto
bebursting
throughsomethinplacentalwombfromsleepto

***

therugoutsidethePresidentialSuiteonthethirdfloor;
lyingnearhimina
bloodyheapwerethebodiesoftwomendressedinsuitsand
narrowties.They
hadbeentakenoutbyshotgunblastsandnowtheybegantostir
infrontofhim
andgetup.
Hedrewinbreathtoscreambutdidn't.
(!!FALSEFACES!!NOTREAL!!)
Theyfadedbeforehisgazelikeoldphotographsandwere
gone.
Butbelowhim,thefaintsoundofthemalletagainstthewalls
wentonandon,
driftingupthroughtheelevatorshaftandthestairwell.The
controllingforce
oftheOverlook,intheshapeofhisfather,blunderingaroundon
thefirst
floor.
Adooropenedwithathinscreeingsoundbehindhim.
Adecayedwomaninarottensilkgownprancedout,heryellowed
andsplitting
fingersdressedwithverdigriscakedrings.Heavybodiedwasps
crawled
sluggishlyoverherface.
"Comein,"shewhisperedtohim,grinningwithblacklips.
"Comeinandwe
willdaancethetaaaango..."
"Falseface!"hehissed."Notreal!"Shedrewbackfromhimin
alarm,andin
theactofdrawingbackshefadedandwasgone.
"Whereareyou?"itscreamed,butthevoicewasstillonlyin
hishead.He
couldstillhearthethingthatwaswearingJack'sfacedownon
thefirstfloor
...andsomethingelse.
Thehigh,whiningsoundofanapproachingmotor.
Danny'sbreathstoppedinhisthroatwithalittlegasp.Wasit
justanother
faceofthehotel,anotherillusion?OrwasitDick?Hewanted
wanted
desperatelytobelieveitwasDick,buthedidn'tdaretakethe
chance.
Heretreateddownthemaincorridor,andthentookoneofthe
offshoots,his
feetwhisperingonthenapofthecarpet.Lockeddoorsfrowned
downathimas
theyhaddoneinthedreams,thevisions,onlynowhewasinthe
worldofreal
things,wherethegamewasplayedforkeeps.
Heturnedtotherightandcametoahalt,hisheartthudding
heavilyinhis
chest.Heatwasblowingaroundhisankles.Fromtheregisters,of
course.This
musthavebeenDaddy'sdaytoheatthewestwingand
(Youwillrememberwhatyourfatherforgot.)
Whatwasit?Healmostknew.Somethingthatmightsavehimand
Mommy?ButTony
hadsaidhewouldhavetodoithimself.Whatwasit?
Hesankdownagainstthewall,tryingdesperatelytothink.It
wassohard..
.thehotelkepttryingtogetintohishead...theimageof
thatdarkand
slumpedformswingingthemalletfromsidetoside,gougingthe
wallpaper...
sendingoutpuffsofplasterdust.
"Helpme,"hemuttered."Tony,helpme."
Andsuddenlyhebecameawarethatthehotelhadgrowndeathly
silent.The
whiningsoundofthemotorhadstopped
(mustnothavebeenreal)
andthesoundsofthepartyhadstoppedandtherewasonlythe
wind,howling
andwhoopingendlessly.
Theelevatorwhirredintosuddenlife.
Itwascomingup.
AndDannyknewwhowhatwasinit.
Heboltedtohisfeet,eyesstaringwildly.Panicclutched
aroundhisheart.
WhyhadTonysenthimtothethirdfloor?Hewastrappeduphere.
Allthedoors
werelocked.
Theattic!
Therewasanattic,heknew.Hehadcomeupherewithdaddythe
dayhehad
saltedtherattrapsaroundupthere.Hehadn'tallowedDannyto
comeupwithhim
becauseoftherats.HewasafraidDannymightbebitten.Butthe
trapdoorwhich
ledtotheatticwassetintotheceilingofthelastshort
corridorinthis
wing.Therewasapoleleaningagainstthewall.Daddyhadpushed
thetrapdoor
openwiththepole,therehadbeenaratchetingwhirof
counterweightsasthe
doorwentupandaladderhadswungdown.Ifhecouldgetup
thereandpullthe
ladderafterhim...
Somewhereinthemazeofcorridorsbehindhim,theelevator
cametoastop.
Therewasametallic,rattlingcrashasthegatewasthrownback.
Andthena
voicenotinhisheadnowbutterriblyrealcalledout:"Danny?
Danny,comehere
aminute,willyou?You'vedonesomethingwrongandIwantyouto
comeandtake
yourmedicinelikeaman.Danny?Danny!"
Obediencewassostronglyingrainedinhimthatheactually
tooktwoautomatic
stepstowardthesoundofthatvoicebeforestopping.Hishands
curledinto
fistsathissides.
(Notreal!Falseface!Iknowwhatyouare!Takeoffyour
mask!)
"Danny!"itroared."Comehere,youpup!Comehereandtakeit
likeaman!"A
loud,hollowboomasthemalletstruckthewall.Whenthevoice
roaredouthis
nameagainithadchangedlocation.Ithadcomecloser.
Intheworldofrealthings,thehuntwasbeginning.
Dannyran.Feetsilentontheheavycarpet,heranpastthe
closeddoors,past
thesilkfiguredwallpaper,pastthefireextinguisherboltedto
thecornerof
thewall.Hehesitated,andthenplungeddownthefinalcorridor.
Nothingatthe
endbutabolteddoor,andnowherelefttorun.
Butthepolewasstillthere,stillleaningagainstthewall
whereDaddyhad
leftit.
Dannysnatcheditup.Hecranedhisnecktostareupatthe
trapdoor.There
wasahookontheendofthepoleandyouhadtocatchitona
ringsetintothe
trapdoor.Youbadto
TherewasabrandnewYalepadlockdanglingfromthetrapdoor.
ThelockJack
Torrancehadclippedaroundthehaspafterlayinghistraps,just
incasehis
sonshouldtakethenotionintohisheadtogoexploringupthere
someday.
Locked.Terrorswepthim.
Behindhimitwascoming,blunderingandstaggeringpastthe
Presidential
Suite,themalletwhistlingviciouslythroughtheair.
Dannybackedupagainstthelastcloseddoorandwaitedforit.

<<55>>

THATWHICHWAS
FORGOTTEN

Wendycametoalittleatatime,thegraynessdrainingaway,
painreplacing
it:herback,herleg,herside...shedidn'tthinkshewould
beableto
move.Evenherfingershurt,andatfirstshedidn'tknowwhy.
(Therazorblade,that'swhy.)
Herblondhair,nowdankandmatted,hunginhereyes.She
brusheditawayand
herribsstabbedinside,makinghergroan.Nowshesawafieldof
blueandwhite
mattress,spottedwithblood.Herblood,ormaybeJack's.Either
wayitwas
stillfresh.Shehadn'tbeenoutlong.Andthatwasimportant
because
(?Why?)
Because
Itwastheinsectile,buzzingsoundofthemotorthatshe
rememberedfirst.
Foramomentshefixedstupidlyonthememory,andthenina
singlevertiginous
andnauseatingswoop,hermindseemedtopanback,showingher
everythingat
once.
Hallorann.ItmusthavebeenHallorann.WhyelsewouldJack
haveleftso
suddenly,withoutfinishingit..,withoutfinishingher?
Becausehewasnolongeratleisure.HehadtofindDanny
quicklyand...
anddoitbeforeHalloranncouldputastoptoit.
Orhadithappenedalready?
Shecouldhearthewhineoftheelevatorrisinguptheshaft.
(NoGodpleasenothebloodtheblood'sstillfreshdon'tlet
ithavehappened
already)
Somehowshewasabletofindherfeetandstaggerthroughthe
bedroomand
acrosstheruinsofthelivingroomtotheshatteredfrontdoor.
Shepushedit
openandmadeitoutintothehall.
"Danny!"shecried,wincingatthepaininherchest."Mr.
Hallorann!Is
anybodythere?Anybody?"
Theelevatorhadbeenrunningagainandnowitcametoastop.
Sheheardthe
metalliccrashofthegatebeingthrownbackandthenthoughtshe
hearda
speakingvoice.Itmighthavebeenherimagination.Thewindwas
tooloudto
reallybeabletotell.
Leaningagainstthewall,shemadeherwayuptothecornerof
theshort
hallway.Shewasabouttoturnthecornerwhenthescreamfroze
her,floating
downthestairwellandtheelevatorshaft:
"Danny!Comehere,youpup!Comehereacedtakeitlikeaman!"
Jack.Onthesecondorthirdfloor.LookingforDanny.
Shegotaroundthecorner,stumbled,almostfell.Herbreath
caughtinher
throat.Something
(someone?)
huddledagainstthewallaboutaquarterofthewaydownfrom
thestairwell.
Shebegantohurryfaster,wincingeverytimeherweightcame
downonherhurt
leg.Itwasaman,shesaw,andasshedrewcloser,she
understoodthemeaning
ofthatbuzzingmotor.
ItwasMr.Hallorann.Hehadcomeafterall.
Sheeasedtoherkneesbesidehim,offeringupanincoherent
prayerthathe
wasnotdead.Hisnosewasbleeding,andaterriblegoutofblood
hadspilled
outofhismouth.Thesideofhisfacewasapuffedpurple
bruise.Buthewas
breathing,thankGodforthat.Itwascominginlong,harshdraws
thatshookhis
wholeframe.
Lookingathimmoreclosely,Wendy'seyeswidened.Onearmof
theparkahewas
wearingwasblackenedandsinged.Onesideofithadbeenripped
open.Therewas
bloodinhishairandashallowbutuglyscratchdownthebackof
hisneck.
(MyGod,what'shappenedtohim?)
"Danny!"thehoarse,petulantvoiceroaredfromabovethem.
"Getouthere,
goddammit!"
Therewasnotimetowonderaboutitnow.Shebegantoshake
him,herface
twistingattheflareofagonyinherribs.Hersidefelthotand
massiveand
swollen.
(Whatifthey'repokingmylungwheneverImove?)
Therewasnohelpforthat,either.IfJackfoundDanny,he
wouldkillhim,
beathimtodeathwiththatmalletashehadtriedtodotoher.
SosheshookHallorann,andthenbegantoslaptheunbruised
sideofhisface
lightly.
"Wakeup,"shesaid."Mr.Hallorann,you'vegottowakeup.
Please...
please..."
Fromoverhead,therestlessboomingsoundsofthemalletas
JackTorrance
lookedforhisson.

***

Dannystoodwithhisbackagainstthedoor,lookingatthe
rightanglewhere
thehallwaysjoined.Thesteady,irregularboomingsoundofthe
malletagainst
thewallsgrewlouder.Thethingthatwasafterhimscreamedand
howledand
cursed.Dreamandrealityhadjoinedtogetherwithoutaseam.
Itcamearoundthecorner.
Inaway,whatDannyfeltwasrelief.Itwasnothisfather.
Themaskofface
andbodyhadbeenrippedandshreddedandmadeintoabadjoke.
Itwasnothis
daddy,notthisSaturdayNightShockShowhorrorwithitsrolling
eyesand
hunchedandhulkingshouldersandblooddrenchedshirt.Itwas
nothisdaddy.
"Now,byGod,"itbreathed.Itwipeditslipswithashaking
hand."Nowyou'll
findoutwhoisthebossaroundhere.You'llsee.It'snotyou
theywant.It's
me.Me.Me!"
Itslashedoutwiththescarredhammer,itsdoubleheadnow
shapelessand
splinteredwithcountlessimpacts.Itstruckthewall,cuttinga
circleinthe
silkpaper.Plasterdustpuffedout.Itbegantogrin.
"Let'sseeyoupullanyofyourfancytricksnow,"itmuttered.
"Iwasn'tborn
yesterday,youknow.Didn'tjustfalloffthehaytruck,byGod.
I'mgoingtodo
myfatherlydutybyyou,boy."
Dannysaid:"You'renotmydaddy."
Itstopped.Foramomentitactuallylookeduncertain,asif
notsurewhoor
whatitwas.Thenitbegantowalkagain.Thehammerwhistled
out,struckadoor
panelandmadeitboomhollowly.
"You'realiar,"itsaid."WhoelsewouldIbe?Ihavethetwo
birthmarks,I
havethecuppednavel,eventhepecker,myboy.Askyourmother."
"You'reamask,"Dannysaid."Justafalseface.Theonly
reasonthehotel
needstouseyouisthatyouaren'tasdeadastheothers.But
whenit'sdone
withyou,youwon'tbeanythingatall.Youdon'tscareme."
"I'llscareyou!"ithowled.Themalletwhistledfiercelydown,
smashinginto
therugbetweenDanny'sfeet.Dannydidn'tflinch."Youlied
aboutme!You
connivedwithher!Youplottedagainstme!Andyoucheated!You
copiedthat
finalexam!"Theeyesglaredoutathimfrombeneaththefurred
brows.Therewas
anexpressionoflunaticcunninginthem."I'llfindit,too.
It'sdowninthe
basementsomewhere.I'llfindit.TheypromisedmeIcouldlook
allIwant."It
raisedthemalletagain.
"Yes,theypromise,"Dannysaid,"buttheylie."Themallet
hesitatedatthe
topofitsswing.

***

Hallorannhadbeguntocomearound,butWendyhadstopped
pattinghischeeks.
AmomentagothewordsYoucheated!Youcopiedthatfinalexam!
hadfloateddown
throughtheelevatorshaft,dim,barelyaudibleoverthewind.
Fromsomewhere
deepinthewestwing.Shewasnearlyconvincedtheywereonthe
thirdfloorand
thatJackwhateverhadtakenpossessionofJackhadfoundDanny.
Therewas
nothingsheorHalloranncoulddonow.
"Ohdoc,"shemurmured.Tearsblurredhereyes.
"Sonofabitchbrokemyjaw,"Hallorannmutteredthickly,"and
myhead..."
Heworkedtositup.Hisrighteyewaspurplingrapidlyand
swellingshut.
Still,hesawWendy.
"MissusTorrance"
"Shhhh,"shesaid.
"Whereistheboy,MissusTorrance?"
"Onthethirdfloor,"shesaid."Withhisfather."

***

"Theylie,"Dannysaidagain.Somethinghadgonethroughhis
mind,flashing
likeameteor,tooquick,toobrighttocatchandhold.Onlythe
tailofthe
thoughtremained.
(it'sdowninthebasementsomewhere)
(youwillrememberwhatyourfatherforgot)
"You...youshouldn'tspeakthatwaytoyourfather,"it
saidhoarsely.The
mallettrembled,camedown."You'llonlymakethingsworsefor
yourself.Your.
..yourpunishment.Worse."Itstaggereddrunkenlyandstaredat
himwith
maudlinselfpitythatbegantoturntohate.Themalletbeganto
riseagain.
"You'renotmydaddy,"Dannytolditagain."Andifthere'sa
littlebitofmy
daddyleftinsideyou,heknowstheyliehere.Everythingisa
lieandacheat.
LiketheloadeddicemydaddygotformyChristmasstockinglast
Christmas,like
thepresentstheyputinthestorewindowsandmydaddysays
there'snothingin
them,nopresents,they'rejustemptyboxes.Justforshow,my
daddysays.
You'reit,notmydaddy.You'rethehotel.Andwhenyougetwhat
youwant,you
won'tgivemydaddyanythingbecauseyou'reselfish.Andmydaddy
knowsthat.
YouhadtomakehimdrinktheBadStuff.That'stheonlywayyou
couldgethim,
youlyingfalseface."
"Liar!Liar!"Thewordscameinathinshriek.Themallet
waveredwildlyin
theair.
"Goonandhitme.Butyou'llnevergetwhatyouwantfromme."
Thefaceinfrontofhimchanged.Itwashardtosayhow;there
wasnomelting
ormergingofthefeatures.Thebodytrembledslightly,andthen
thebloody
handsopenedlikebrokenclaws.Themalletfellfromthemand
thumpedtothe
rug.Thatwasall.Butsuddenlyhisdaddywasthere,lookingat
himinmortal
agony,andasorrowsogreatthatDanny'sheartflamedwithinhis
chest.The
mouthdrewdowninaquiveringbow.
"Doc,"JackTorrancesaid."Runaway.Quick.Andrememberhow
muchIlove
you."
"No,"Dannysaid.
"OhDanny,forGod'ssake"
"No,"Dannysaid.Hetookoneofhisfather'sbloodyhandsand
kissedit.
"It'salmostover."

***

Halloranngottohisfeetbyproppinghisbackagainstthewall
andpushing
himselfup.HeandWendystaredateachotherlikenightmare
survivorsfroma
bombedhospital.
"Wegottogetupthere,"hesaid."Wehavetohelphim."
Herhauntedeyesstaredintohisfromherchalkpaleface.,
"It'stoolate,"
Wendysaid."Nowhecanonlyhelphimself."
Aminutepassed,thentwo.Three.Andtheyhearditabovethem,
screaming,not
inangerortriumphnow,butinmortalterror.
"DearGod,"Hallorannwhispered."What'shappening?"
"Idon'tknow,"shesaid.
"Hasitkilledhim?"
"Idon'tknow."
Theelevatorclashedintolifeandbegantodescendwiththe
screaming,raving
thingpennedupinside.

***

Dannystoodwithoutmoving.Therewasnoplacehecouldrun
wheretheOverlook
wasnot.Herecognizeditsuddenly,fully,painlessly.Forthe
firsttimeinhis
lifehehadanadultthought,anadultfeeling,theessenceof
hisexperiencein
thisbadplaceasorrowfuldistillation:
(MommyandDaddycan'thelpmeandI'malone.)
"Goaway,"hesaidtothebloodystrangerinfrontofhim."Go
on.Getoutof
here."
Itbentover,exposingtheknifehandleinitsback.Itshands
closedaround
themalletagain,butinsteadofaimingatDanny,itreversedthe
handle,aiming
thehardsideoftheroquemalletatitsownface.
UnderstandingrushedthroughDanny.
Thenthemalletbegantoriseanddescend,destroyingthelast
ofJack
Torrance'simage.Thethinginthehalldancedaneerie,
shufflingpolka,the
beatcounterpointedbythehideoussoundofthemallethead
strikingagainand
again.Bloodsplatteredacrossthewallpaper.Shardsofbone
leapedintotheair
likebrokenpianokeys.Itwasimpossibletosayjusthowlongit
wenton.But
whenitturneditsattentionbacktoDanny,hisfatherwasgone
forever.What
remainedofthefacebecameastrange,shiftingcomposite,many
facesmixed
imperfectlyintoone.Dannysawthewomanin217;thedogman;the
hungryboy
thingthathadbeenintheconcretering.
"Masksoff,then,"itwhispered."Nomoreinterruptions."
Themalletroseforthefinaltime.Atickingsoundfilled
Danny'sears.
"Anythingelsetosay?"itinquired."Areyousureyouwouldn't
liketorun?A
gameoftag,perhaps?Allwehaveistime,youknow.Aneternity
oftime.Or
shallweendit?Mightaswell.Afterall,we'remissingthe
party."
Itgrinnedwithbrokentoothedgreed.
Anditcametohim.Whathisfatherhadforgotten.
Suddentriumphfilledhisface;thethingsawitandhesitated,
puzzled.
"Theboiler!"Dannyscreamed."Ithasn'tbeendumpedsincethis
morning!It's
goingup!It'sgoingtoexplode!"
Anexpressionofgrotesqueterroranddawningrealizationswept
acrossthe
brokenfeaturesofthethinginfrontofhim.Themalletdropped
fromitsfisted
handsandbouncedharmlesslyontheblackandbluerug.
"Theboiler!"itcried."Ohno!Thatcan'tbeallowed!
Certainlynot!No!You
goddamnedlittlepup!Certainlynot!Oh,oh,oh"
"Itis!"Dannycriedbackatitfiercely.Hebegantoshufeand
shakehis
fistsattheruinedthingbeforehim."Anyminutenow!Iknowit!
Theboiler,
Daddyforgottheboiler!Andyouforgotit,tool"
"No,ohno,itmustn't,itcan't,youdirtylittleboy,I'll
makeyoutake
yourmedicine,I'llmakeyoutakeeverydrop,ohno,ohno"
Itsuddenlyturnedtailandbegantoshambleaway.Foramoment
itsshadow
bobbedonthewall,waxingandwaning.Ittrailedcriesbehind
itselflike
wornoutpartystreamers.
Momentslatertheelevatorcrashedintolife.
Suddenlytheshiningwasonhim
(mommymr.halloranndicktomyfriendstogetheralivethey're
alivegotto
getoutit'sgoingtoblowgoingtoblowskyhigh)
likeafierceandglaringsunriseandheran.Onefootkicked
thebloody,
misshapenroquemalletaside.Hedidn'tnotice.
Crying,heranforthestairs.
Theybadtogetout.

<<57>>

THEEXPLOSION

Halloranncouldneverbesureoftheprogressionofthings
afterthat.He
rememberedthattheelevatorhadgonedownandpastthemwithout
stopping,and
somethinghadbeeninside.Buthemadenoattempttotrytosee
inthroughthe
smalldiamondshapedwindow,becausewhatwasintheredidnot
soundhuman.A
momentlatertherewererunningfootstepsonthestairs.Wendy
Torranceatfirst
shrankbackagainsthimandthenbegantostumbledownthemain
corridortothe
stairsasfastasshecould.
"Danny!Danny!Oh,thankGod!ThankGod!"
Sheswepthimintoahug,groaningwithjoyaswellasher
pain.
(Danny.)
Dannylookedathimfromhismother'sarms,andHallorannsaw
howtheboyhad
changed.Hisfacewaspaleandpinched,hiseyesdarkand
fathomless.Helooked
asifhehadlostweight.Lookingatthetwoofthemtogether,
Hallorannthought
itwasthemotherwholookedyounger,inspiteoftheterrible
beatingshehad
taken.
(Dickwehavetogoruntheplaceit'sgoingto)
PictureoftheOverlook,flamesleapingoutofitsroof.Bricks
rainingdown
onthesnow.Clangoffirebells...notthatanyfiretruck
wouldbeableto
getupheremuchbeforetheendofMarch.Mostofallwhatcame
throughin
Danny'sthoughtwasasenseofurgentimmediacy,afeelingthat
itwasgoingto
happenatanytime.
"Allright,"Hallorannsaid.Hebegantomovetowardthetwoof
themandat
firstitwaslikeswimmingthroughdeepwater.Hissenseof
balancewasscrewed,
andtheeyeontherightsideofhisfacedidn'twanttofocus.
Hisjawwas
sendinggiantthrobbingburstsofpainuptohistempleanddown
hisneck,and
hischeekfeltaslargeasacabbage.Buttheboy'surgencyhad
gottenhim
going,anditgotalittleeasier.
"Allright?"Wendyasked.ShelookedfromHalloranntoherson
andbackto
Hallorann."Whatdoyoumean,allright?"
"Wehavetogo,"Hallorannsaid.
"I'mnotdressed...myclothes..."
Dannydartedoutofherarmsthenandraceddownthecorridor.
Shelooked
afterhim,andashevanishedaroundthecorner,backat
Hallorann."Whatifhe
comesback?"
"Yourhusband?"
"He'snotJack,"shemuttered."Jack'sdead.Thisplacekilled
hire.This
damnedplace."Shestruckatthewallwithherfistandcriedout
atthepainin
hercutfingers."It'stheboiler,isn'tit?"
"Yes,ma'am.Dannysaysit'sgoingtoexplode."
"Good."Thewordwasutteredwithdeadfinality."Idon'tknow
ifIcanget
downthosestairsagain.Myribs...hebrokemyribs.And
somethinginmy
back.Ithurts."
"You'llmakeit,"Hallorannsaid."We'llallmakeit."But
suddenlyhe
rememberedthehedgeanimals,andwonderedwhattheywoulddoif
theywere
guardingthewayout..
ThenDannywascomingback.HehadWendy'sbootsandcoatand
gloves,alsohis
owncoatandgloves.
"Danny,"shesaid."Yourboots."
"It'stoolate,"hesaid.Hiseyesstaredatthemwitha
desperatekindof
madness.HelookedatDickandsuddenlyHallorann'smindwas
fixedwithanimage
ofaclockunderaglassdome,theclockintheballroomthathad
beendonated
byaSwissdiplomatin1949.Thehandsoftheclockwerestanding
ataminuteto
midnight.
"OhmyGod,"Hallorannsaid."OhmydearGod."
HeclappedanarmaroundWendyandpickedherup.Heclapped
hisotherarm
aroundDanny.Heranforthestairs.
Wendyshriekedinpainashesqueezedthebadribs,as
somethinginherback
groundtogether,butHalloranndidnotslow.Heplungeddownthe
stairswith
theminhisarms.Oneeyewideanddesperate,theotherpuffed
shuttoaslit.
Helookedlikeaoneeyedpirateabductinghostagestobe
ransomedlater.
Suddenlytheshinewasonhim,andheunderstoodwhatDannyhad
meantwhenhe
saiditwastoolate.Hecouldfeeltheexplosiongettingready
torumbleup
fromthebasementandtearthegutsoutofthishorridplace.
Heranfaster,boltingheadlongacrossthelobbytowardthe
doubledoors.

***

Ithurriedacrossthebasementandintothefeebleyellowglow
ofthefurnace
room'sonlylight.Itwasslobberingwithfear.Ithadbeenso
close,soclose
tohavingtheboyandtheboy'sremarkablepower.Itcouldnot
losenow.Itmust
nothappen.Itwoulddumptheboilerandthenchastisetheboy
harshly.
"Mustn'thappen!"itcried."Ohno,mustn'thappen!"
Itstumbledacrossthefloortotheboiler,whichglowedadull
redhalfwayup
itslongtubularbody.Itwashuffingandrattlingandhissing
offplumesof
steaminahundreddirections,likeamonstercalliope.The
pressureneedle
stoodatthefarendofthedial.
"No,itwon'tbeallowed!"themanager/caretakercried.
ItlaiditsJackTorrancehandsonthevalve,unmindfulofthe
burningsmell
whicharoseorthesearingofthefleshastheredhotwheelsank
in,asifinto
amudrut.
Thewheelgave,andwithatriumphantscream,thethingspunit
wideopen.A
giantroarofescapingsteambellowedoutoftheboiler,adozen
dragonshissing
inconcert.Butbeforethesteamobscuredthepressureneedle
entirely,the
needlehadvisiblybeguntoswingback.
"IWIN!"itcried.Itcaperedobscenelyinthehot,rising
mist,wavingits
flaminghandsoveritshead."NOTTOOLATE!IWIN!NOTTOOLATE!
NOTTOOLATE!
NOT"
Wordsturnedintoashriekoftriumph,andtheshriekwas
swallowedina
shatteringroarastheOverlook'sboilerexploded.

***
Hallorannburstoutthroughthedoubledoorsandcarriedthe
twoofthem
throughthetrenchinthebigsnowdriftontheporch.Hesawthe
hedgeanimals
clearly,moreclearlythanbefore,andevenasherealizedhis
worstfearswere
true,thattheywerebetweentheporchandthesnowmobile,the
hotelexploded.
Itseemedtohimthatithappenedallatonce,althoughlaterhe
knewthat
couldn'thavebeenthewayithappened.
Therewasaflatexplosion,asoundthatseemedtoexistonone
lowall
pervasivenote
(WHUMMMMMMMMM)
andthentherewasablastofwarmairattheirbacksthat
seemedtopush
gentlyatthem.Theywerethrownfromtheporchonitsbreath,
thethreeof
them,andaconfusedthought
(thisiswhatsupermanmustfeellike)
slippedthroughHallorann'smindastheyflewthroughtheair.
Helosthis
holdonthemandthenhestruckthesnowinasoftbillow.Itwas
downhisshirt
anduphisnoseandhewasdimlyawarethatitfeltgoodonhis
hurtcheek.
Thenhestruggledtothetopofit,forthatmomentnot
thinkingaboutthe
hedgeanimals,orWendyTorrance,oreventheboy.Herolledover
onhisbackso
hecouldwatchitdie.

***

TheOverlook'swindowsshattered.Intheballroom,thedome
overthe
mantelpiececlockcracked,splitintwopieces,andfelltothe
floor.Theclock
stoppedticking:cogsandgearsandbalancewheelallbecame
motionless.There
wasawhispered,sighingnoise,andagreatbillowofdust.In
217thebathtub
suddenlysplitintwo,lettingoutasmallfloodofgreenish,
noxioussmelling
water.InthePresidentialSuitethewallpapersuddenlyburst
intoflames.The
batwingdoorsoftheColoradoLoungesuddenlysnappedtheir
hingesandfellto
thediningroomfloor.Beyondthebasementarch,thegreatpiles
andstacksof
oldpaperscaughtfireandwentupwithablowtorchhiss.Boiling
waterrolled
overtheflamesbutdidnotquenchthem.Likeburningautumn
leavesbelowa
wasps'nest,theywhirledandblackened.Thefurnaceexploded,
shatteringthe
basement'sroofbeams,sendingthemcrashingdownlikethebones
ofadinosaur.
Thegasjetwhichhadfedthefurnace,unstopperednow,roseupin
abellowing
pylonofflamethroughtherivenfloorofthelobby.The
carpetingonthestair
riserscaught,racinguptothefirstfloorlevelasiftotell
dreadfulgood
news.Afusilladeofexplosionsrippedtheplace.Thechandelier
inthedining
room,atwohundredpoundcrystalbomb,fellwithasplintering
crash,knocking
tableseverywhichway.FlamebelchedoutoftheOverlook'sfive
chimneysatthe
breakingclouds.
(No!Mustn't!Mustn't!MUSTN'T!)
Itshrieked;itshriekedbutnowitwasvoicelessanditwas
onlyscreaming
panicanddoomanddamnationinitsownear,dissolving,losing
thoughtand
will,thewebbingfallingapart,searching,notfinding,going
out,goingout
to,fleeing,goingouttoemptiness,notness,crumbling.
Thepartywasover.

<<57>>

EXIT
Theroarshookthewholefacadeofthehotel.Glassbelchedout
ontothesnow
andtwinkledtherelikejaggeddiamonds.Thehedgedog,whichhad
been
approachingDannyandhismother,recoiledawayfromit,its
greenandshadow
marbledearsflattening,itstailcomingdownbetweenitslegsas
itshaunches
flattenedabjectly.Inhishead,Hallorannhearditwhine
fearfully,andmixed
withthatsoundwasthefearful,confusedyowlingofthebig
cats.Hestruggled
tohisfeettogototheothertwoandhelpthem,andashedid
sohesaw
somethingmorenightmarishthanalltherest:thehedgerabbit,
stillcoated
withsnow,wasbatteringitselfcrazilyatthechainlinkfenceat
thefarendof
theplayground,andthesteelmeshwasjinglingwithakindof
nightmaremusic,
likeaspectralzither.Evenfromherehecouldhearthesounds
ofthecloseset
twigsandbrancheswhichmadeupitsbodycrackingandcrunching
likebreaking
bones.
"Dick!Dick!"Dannycriedout.Hewastryingtosupporthis
mother,helpher
overtothesnowmobile.Theclotheshehadcarriedoutforthe
twoofthemwere
scatteredbetweenwheretheyhadfallenandwheretheynowstood.
Hallorannwas
suddenlyawarethatthewomanwasinhernightclothes,Danny
jacketless,andit
wasnomorethantenabovezero.
(mygadshe'sinherbarefeet)
Hestruggledbackthroughthesnow,pickinguphercoat,her
boots,Danny's
coat,oddgloves.Thenheranbacktothem,plunginghipdeepin
thesnowfrom
timetotime,havingtoflounderhiswayout.
Wendywashorriblypale,thesideofherneckcoatedwith
blood,bloodthat
wasnowfreezing.
"Ican't,"shemuttered.Shewasnomorethansemiconscious.
"No,I...
can't.Sorry."
DannylookedupatHallorannpleadingly.
"Gonnabeokay,"Hallorannsaid,andgrippedheragain."Come
on."
Thethreeofthemmadeittowherethesnowmobilehadslewed
aroundand
stalledout.Hallorannsatthewomandownonthepassengerseat
andputhercoat
on.Heliftedherfeetuptheywereverycoldbutnotfrozen
yetandrubbed
thembrisklywithDanny'sjacketbeforeputtingonherboots.
Wendy'sfacewas
alabasterpale,hereyeshalfliddedanddazed,butshehadbegun
toshiver.
Hallorannthoughtthatwasagoodsign.
Behindthem,aseriesofthreeexplosionsrockedthehotel.
Orangeflasheslit
thesnow.
DannyputhismouthclosetoHallorann'searandscreamed
something.
"What?"
"Isaiddoyouneedthat?"
Theboywaspointingattheredgascanthatleanedatanangle
inthesnow.
"Iguesswedo."
Hepickeditupandsloshedit.Stillgasinthere,hecouldn't
tellhowmuch.
Heattachedthecantothebackofthesnowmobile,fumblingthe
jobseveral
timesbeforegettingitrightbecausehisfingersweregoing
numb.Forthefirst
timehebecameawarethathe'dlostHowardCottrell'smittens.
(igetoutofthisigonnahavemysisterknityouadozen
pair,howie)
"Geton!"Hallorannshoutedattheboy.
Dannyshrankback."We'llfreeze!"
"Wehavetogoaroundtotheequipmentshed!There'sstuffin
there...
blankets...stufflikethat.Getonbehindyourmother!"
Dannygoton,andHalloranntwistedhisheadsohecouldshout
intoWendy's
face.
"MissusTorrance!Holdontome!Youunderstand?Holdon!"
Sheputherarmsaroundhimandrestedhercheekagainsthis
back.Hallorann
startedthesnowmobileandturnedthethrottledelicatelysothey
wouldstartup
withoutajerk.Thewomanhadtheweakestsortofgriponhim,
andifshe
shiftedbackward,herweightwouldtumblebothherandtheboy
off.
Theybegantomove.Hebroughtthesnowmobilearoundina
circleandthenthey
weretravelingwestparalleltothehotel.Halloranncutinmore
tocircle
aroundbehindittotheequipmentshed.
TheyhadamomentarilyclearviewintotheOverlook'slobby.
Thegasflame
comingupthroughtheshatteredfloorwaslikeagiantbirthday
candle,fierce
yellowatitsheartandbluearounditsflickeringedges.Inthat
momentit
seemedonlytobelighting,notdestroying.Theycouldseethe
registrationdesk
withitssilverbell,thecreditcarddecals,theoldfashioned,
scrolledcash
register,thesmallfiguredthrowrugs,thehighbackedchairs,
horsehair
hassocks.Dannycouldseethesmallsofabythefireplacewhere
thethreenuns
hadsatonthedaytheyhadcomeupclosingday.Butthiswasthe
realclosing
day.
Thenthedriftontheporchblottedtheviewout.Amoment
latertheywere
skirtingthewestsideofthehotel.Itwasstilllightenoughto
seewithout
thesnowmobile'sheadlight.Bothupperstorieswereflamingnow,
andpennantsof
flameshotoutthewindows.Thegleamingwhitepainthadbegunto
blackenand
peel.TheshutterswhichhadcoveredthePresidentialSuite's
picturewindow
shuttersJackhadcarefullyfastenedasperinstructionsinmid
Octobernowhung
inflamingbrands,exposingthewideandshattereddarkness
behindthem,likea
toothlessmouthyawinginafinal,silentdeathrattle.
WendyhadpressedherfaceagainstHallorann'sbacktocutout
thewind,and
Dannyhadlikewisepressedhisfaceagainsthismother'sback,
andsoitwas
onlyHallorannwhosawthefinalthing,andheneverspokeofit.
Fromthe
windowofthePresidentialSuitehethoughthesawahugedark
shapeissue,
blottingoutthesnowfieldbehindit.Foramomentitassumedthe
shapeofa
huge,obscenemanta,andthenthewindseemedtocatchit,to
tearitandshred
itlikeolddarkpaper.Itfragmented,wascaughtinawhirling
eddyofsmoke,
andamomentlateritwasgoneasifithadneverbeen.Butin
thosefewseconds
asitwhirledblackly,dancinglikenegativemotesoflight,he
remembered
somethingfromhischildhood...fiftyyearsago,orsnore.He
andhisbrother
hadcomeuponahugenestofgroundwaspsjustnorthoftheir
farm.Ithadbeen
tuckedintoahollowbetweentheearthandanoldlightning
blastedtree.His
brotherhadhadabigoldniggerchaserinthebandofhishat,
savedalltheway
fromtheFourthofJuly.Hehadlighteditandtosseditatthe
nest.Ithad
explodedwithaloudbang,andanangry,risinghumalmostalow
shriekhad
risenfromtheblastednest.Theyhadrunawayasifdemonshad
beenattheir
beels.Inaway,Hallorannsupposedthatdemonshadbeen.And
lookingbackover
hisshoulder,ashewasnow,hehadonthatdayseenalargedark
cloudof
hornetsrisinginthehotair,swirlingtogether,breakingapart,
lookingfor
whateverenemyhaddonethistotheirhomesothattheythe
singlegroup
intelligencecouldstingittodeath.
Thenthethingintheskywasgoneanditmightonlyhavebeen
smokeora
greatflappingswatchofwallpaperafterall,andtherewasonly
theOverlook,a
flamingpyreintheroaringthroatofthenight.

***

Therewasakeytotheequipmentshed'spadlockonhiskey
ring,butHallorann
sawtherewouldbenoneedtouseit.
Thedoorwasajar,thepadlockhangingopenonitshasp.
"Ican'tgointhere,"Dannywhispered.
"That'sokay.Youstaywithyourmom.Thereusedtobeapile
ofold
horseblankets.Probablyallmotheatenbynow,butbetterthan
freezintodeath.
MissusTorrance,youstillwithus?"
"Idon'tknow,"thewanvoiceanswered."Ithinkso."
"Good.I'llbejustasecond."
"Comebackasquickasyoucan,"Dannywhispered."Please."
Hallorannnodded.Hehadtrainedtheheadlamponthedoorand
nowhe
flounderedthroughthesnow,castingalongshadowinfrontof
himself.He
pushedtheequipmentsheddooropenandsteppedin.The
horseblanketswerestill
inthecorner,bytherogueset.Hepickedupfourofthemthey
smelledmustyand
oldandthemothscertainlyhadbeenhavingafreelunchand
thenhepaused.
Oneoftheroguemalletswasgone.
(Wasthatwhathehitmewith?)
Well,itdidn'tmatterwhathe'dbeenhitwith,didit?Still,
hisfingers
wenttothesideofhisfaceandbegantoexplorethehugelump
there.Six
hundreddollars'worthofdentalworkundoneatasingleblow.
Andafterall
(maybehedidn'thitmewithoneofthose.Maybeonegotlost.
Orstolen.Or
tookforasouvenir.Afterall)
itdidn'treallymatter.Noonewasgoingtobeplayingrogue
herenext
summer.Oranysummerintheforeseeablefuture.
No,itdidn'treallymatter,exceptthatlookingattheracked
malletswith
thesinglemissingmemberhadakindoffascination.Hefound
himselfthinking
ofthehardwoodenwhack!ofthemalletheadstrikingtheround
woodenball.A
nicesummerysound.Watchingitskitteracrossthe
(bone.blood.)
gravel.Itconjuredupimagesof
(bone.blood.)
icedtea,porchswings,ladiesinwhitestrawhats,thehumof
mosquitoes,and
(badlittleboyswhodon'tplaybytherules.)
allthatstuff.Sure.Nicegame.Outofstylenow,but...
nice.
"Dick?"Thevoicewasthin,frantic,and,hethought,rather
unpleasant."Are
youallright,Dick?Comeoutnow.Please!"
("Comeonoutnownigguhdemassacallinyouall.")
Hishandclosedtightlyaroundoneofthemallethandles,
likingitsfeel.
(paretherod,spoilthechild.)
Hiseyeswentblankintheflickering,fireshotdarkness.
Really,itwouldbe
doingthembothafavor.Shewasmessedup...inpain...and
mostofit
(allofit)
wasthatdamnboy'sfault.Sure.Hehadlefthisowndaddyin
theretoburn.
Whenyouthoughtofit,itwasdamnclosetomurder.Patricide
waswhatthey
calledit.Prettygoddamlow:
"Mr.Hallorann?"Hervoicewaslow,weak,querulous.Hedidn't
muchlikethe
soundofit.
"Dick!"Theboywassobbingnow,interror.
Halloranndrewthemalletfromtherackandturnedtowardthe
floodofwhite
lightfromthesnowmobileheadlamp.Hisfeetscratchedunevenly
overtheboards
oftheequipmentshed,likethefeetofaclockworktoythathas
beenwoundup
andsetinmotion.
Suddenlyhestopped,lookedwonderinglyatthemalletinhis
hands,andasked
himselfwithrisinghorrorwhatitwashehadbeenthinkingof
doing.Murder?
Hadhebeenthinkingofmurder?
Foramomenthisentiremindseemedfilledwithanangry,
weaklyhectoring
voice:
(Doit!Doit,youweakkneednoballsnigger!Killthem!KILL
THEMBOTH!)
Thenheflungthemalletbehindhimwithawhispered,terrified
cry.It
clatteredintothecornerwherethehorseblanketshadbeen,one
ofthetwoheads
pointedtowardhiminanunspeakableinvitation.
Hefled.
DannywassittingonthesnowmobileseatandWendywasholding
himweakly.His
facewasshinywithtears,andhewasshakingasifwithague.
Betweenhis
clickingteethhesaid:"Wherewereyou?Wewerescared!"
"It'sagoodplacetobescaredof,"Hallorannsaidslowly.
"Evenifthat
placeburnsflattothefoundation,you'llnevergetmewithina
hundredmiles
ofhereagain.Here,MissusTorrance,wrapthesearoundyou.I'll
help.Youtoo,
Danny.GetyourselflookinglikeanArab."
HeswirledtwooftheblanketsaroundWendy,fashioningoneof
themintoa
hoodtocoverherhead,andhelpedDannytiehissotheywouldn't
falloff.
"Nowholdonfordearlife,"hesaid."Wegotalongwaytogo,
buttheworst
isbehindusnow."
Hecircledtheequipmentshedandthenpointedthesnowmobile
backalongtheir
trail.TheOverlookwasatorchnow,flamingatthesky.Great
holeshadbeen
eatenintoitssides,andtherewasaredhellinside,waxingand
waning.
Snowmeltrandownthecharredguttersinsteamingwaterfalls.
Theypurreddownthefrontlawnstheirwaywelllit.The
snowdunesglowed
scarlet.
"Look!"DannyshoutedasHallorannslowedforthefrontgate.
Hewaspointing
towardtheplayground.
Thehedgecreatureswereallintheiroriginalpositions,but
theywere
denuded,blackened,seared.Theirdeadbrancheswereastark
interlacingnetwork
inthefireglow,theirsmallleavesscatteredaroundtheirfeet
likefallen
petals.
"They'redead!"Dannyscreamedinhystericaltriumph.
"Dead!They'redead!"
"Shhh,"Wendysaid."Allright,honey.It'sallright."
"Hey,doc,"Hallorannsaid."Let'sgettosomeplacewarm.You
ready?"
"Yes,"Dannywhispered."I'vebeenreadyforsolong"
Hallorannedgedthroughthegapbetweengateandpost.Amoment
laterthey
wereontheroad,pointedbacktowardSidewinder.Thesoundof
thesnowmobile's
enginedwindleduntilitwaslostintheceaselessroarofthe
wind.Itrattled
throughthedenudedbranchesofthehedgeanimalswithalow,
beating,desolate
sound.Thefirewaxedandwaned.Sometimeafterthesoundofthe
snowmobile's
enginehaddisappeared,theOverlooksroofcavedinfirstthe
westwing,then
theeast,andsecondslaterthecentralroof.Ahugespiraling
goutofsparks
andflamingdebrisrushedupintothehowlingwinternight.
Abundleofflamingshinglesandawadofhotflashingwere
waftedisthrough
theopenequipmentsheddoorbythewind.
Afterawhiletheshedbegantoburn,too.

***

TheywerestilltwentymilesfromSidewinderwhenHallorann
stoppedtopour
therestofthegasintothesnowmobile'stank.Hewasgetting
veryworried
aboutWendyTorrance,whoseemedtobedriftingawayfromthem.
Itwasstillso
fartogo.
"Dick!"Dannycried.Hewasstandingupontheseat,pointing.
"Dick,look!
Lookthere!"
Thesnowhadstoppedandasilverdollarmoonhadpeekedout
throughthe
rafteringclouds.Fardowntheroadbutcomingtowardthem,
comingupward
throughaseriesofSshapedswitchbacks,wasapearlychainof
lights.Thewind
droppedforamomentandHallorannheardthefarawaybuzzing
snarlofsnowmobile
engines.
HallorannandDannyandWendyreachedthemfifteenminutes
later.Theyhad
broughtextraclothesandbrandyandDr.Edmunds.
Andthelongdarknesswasover.

<<58>>

EPILOGUE/SUMMER

Afterhehadfinishedcheckingoverthesaladshisunderstudy
hadmadeand
peekedinonthehomebakedbeanstheywereusingasappetizers
thisweek,
Hallorannuntiedhisapron,hungitonahook,andslippedout
thebackdoor.He
hadmaybefortyfiveminutesbeforehehadtocrankupfordinner
inearnest.
ThenameofthisplacewastheRedArrowLodge,anditwas
buriedinthe
westernMainemountains,thirtymilesfromthetownofRangely.
Itwasagood
gig,Hallorannthought.Thetradewasn'ttooheavy,ittipped
well,andsofar
therehadn'tbeenasinglemealsentback.Notbadatall,
consideringthe
seasonwasnearlyhalfover.
Hethreadedhiswaybetweentheoutdoorbarandtheswimming
pool(although
whyanyonewouldwanttousethepoolwiththelakesohandyhe
wouldnever
know),crossedagreenswardwhereapartyoffourwasplaying
croquetand
laughing,andcrestedamildridge.Pinestookoverhere,andthe
windsoughed
pleasantlyinthem,carryingthearomaoffirandsweetresin.
Ontheotherside,anumberofcabinswithviewsofthelake
wereplaced
discreetlyamongthetrees.Thelastonewasthenicest,and
Hallorannhad
reserveditforapartyoftwobackinAprilwhenhehadgotten
thisgig.
Thewomanwassittingontheporchinarockingchair,abook
inherhands.
Hallorannwasstruckagainbythechangeinher.Partofitwas
thestiff,
almostformalwayshesat,inspiteofherinformalsurroundings
thatwasthe
backbrace,ofcourse.She'dhadashatteredvertebraaswellas
threebroken
ribsandsomeinternalinjuries.Thebackwastheslowest
healing,andshewas
stillinthebrace...hencetheformalposture.Butthechange
wasmorethan
that.Shelookedolder,andsomeofthelaughterhadgoneoutof
herface.Now,
asshesatreadingherbook,Hallorannsawagravesortofbeauty
therethathad
beenmissingonthedayhehadfirstmether,someninemonths
ago.Thenshehad
stillbeenmostlygirl.Nowshewasawoman,ahumanbeingwho
hadbeendragged
aroundtothedarksideofthemoonandhadcomebackabletoput
thepieces
backtogether.Butthosepieces,Hallorannthought,theynever
fitjustthesame
wayagain.Neverinthisworld.
Sheheardhisstepandlookedup,closingherbook."Dick!Hi!"
Shestartedto
rise,andalittlegrimaceofpaincrossedherface.
"hope,don'tgetup,"hesaid."Idon'tstandonnoceremony
unlessit'swhite
tieandtails."
Shesmiledashecameupthestepsandsatdownnexttoheron
theporch.
"Howisitgoing?"
"Prettyfair,"headmitted."Youtrytheshrimpcreoletonight.
Yougonnalike
it."
"That'sadeal."
"Where'sDanny?"
"Rightdownthere."Shepointed,andHallorannsawasmall
figuresittingat
theendofthedock.Hewaswearingjeansrolleduptotheknee
andared
stripedshirt.Furtheroutonthecalmwater,abobberfloated.
Everynowand
thenDannywouldreelitin,examinethesinkerandhookbelow
it,andthentoss
itoutagain.
"He'sgettinbrown,"Hallorannsaid.
"Yes.Verybrown."Shelookedathimfondly.
Hetookoutacigarette,tampedit,litit.Thesmokeraftered
awaylazilyin
thesunnyafternoon."Whataboutthosedreamshe'sbeenhavin?"
"Better,"Wendysaid."Onlyonethisweek.Itusedtobeevery
night,
sometimestwoandthreetimes.Theexplosions.Thehedges.And
mostofall...
youknow."
"Yeah.He'sgoingtobeokay,Wendy."
Shelookedathim."Willhe?Iwonder."
Hallorannnodded."Youandhim,you'recomingback.Different,
maybe,but
okay.Youain'twhatyouwere,youtwo,butthatisn't
necessarilybad."
Theyweresilentforawhile,Wendymovingtherockingchair
backandfortha
little,Hallorannwithhisfeetupontheporchrail,smoking.A
littlebreeze
cameup,pushingitssecretwaythroughthepinesbutbarely
rufflingWendy's
hair.Shehadcutitshort.
"I'vedecidedtotakeAlMr.Shockleyuponhisoffer,"she
said.
Hallorannnodded."Itsoundslikeagoodjob.Somethingyou
couldget
interestedin.Whendoyoustart?"
"RightafterLaborDay.WhenDannyandIleavehere,we'llbe
goingrighton
toMarylandtolookforaplace.ItwasreallytheChamberof
Commercebrochure
thatconvincedme,youknow.Itlookslikeanicetowntoraisea
kidin.And
I'dliketobeworkingagainbeforewedigtoodeeplyintothe
insurancemoney
Jackleft.There'sstilloverfortythousanddollars.Enoughto
sendDannyto
collegewithenoughleftovertogethimastart,ifit's
investedright."
Hallorannnodded."Yourmom?"
Shelookedathimandsmiledwanly."IthinkMarylandisfar
enough."
"Youwon'tforgetoldfriends,willyou?"
"Dannywouldn'tletme.Goondownandseehim,he'sbeen
waitingallday."
"Well,sohaveL"Hestoodupandhitchedhiscook'swhitesat
thehips."The
twoofyouaregoingtobeokay,"herepeated."Can'tyoufeel
it?"
Shelookedupathimandthistimehersmilewaswarmer."Yes,"
shesaid.She
tookhishandandkissedit."SometimesIthinkIcan."
"Theshrimpcreole,"hesaid,movingtothesteps."Don't
forget."
"Iwon't."
Hewalkeddownthesloping,graveledpaththatledtothedock
andthenout
alongtheweatherbeatenboardstotheend,whereDannysatwith
hisfeetinthe
clearwater.Beyond,thelakewidenedout,mirroringthepines
alongitsverge.
Theterrainwasmountainousaroundhere,butthemountainswere
old,roundedand
humbledbytime.Hallorannlikedthemjustfine.
"Catchinmuch?"Hallorannsaid,sittingdownnexttohim.He
tookoffone
shoe,thentheother.Withasigh,helethishotfeetdowninto
thecoolwater.
"No.ButIhadanibblealittlewhileago."
"We'lltakeaboatouttomorrowmorning.Gottogetoutinthe
middleifyou
wanttocatchaneatinfish,myboy.Outyonderiswherethebig
oneslay."
"Howbig?"
Hallorannshrugged."Oh...sharks,marlin,whales,thatsort
ofthing."
"Therearen'tanywhales!"
"Nobluewhales,no.Ofcoursenot.Theseoneshereruntono
morethaneighty
feet.Pinkwhales."
"Howcouldtheygetherefromtheocean?"
Hallorannputahandontheboy'sreddishgoldhairandrumpled
it."Theyswim
upstream,myboy.That'show."
"Really?"
"Really."
Theyweresilentforatime,lookingoutoverthestillnessof
thelake,
Hallorannjustthinking.WhenhelookedbackatDanny,hesaw
thathiseyeshad
filledwithtears.
Puttinganarmaroundhim,hesaid,"What'sthis?"
"Nothing,"Dannywhispered.
"You'remissinyourdad,aren'tyou?"
Dannynodded."Youalwaysknow."Oneofthetearsspilledfrom
thecornerof
hisrighteyeandtrickledslowlydownhischeek.
"Wecan'thaveanysecrets,"Hallorannagreed."That'sjusthow
itis."
Lookingathispole,Dannysaid:"SometimesIwishithadbeen
me.Itwasmy
fault.Allmyfault."
Hallorannsaid,"Youdon'tliketotalkaboutitaroundyour
mom,doyou?"
"No.Shewantstoforgetiteverhappened.SodoI,but"
"Butyoucan't."
"No..
"Doyouneedtocry?"
Theboytriedtoanswer,butthewordswereswallowedinasob.
Heleanedhis
headagainstHallorann'sshoulderandwept,thetearsnow
floodingdownhis
face.Hallorannheldhimandsaidnothing.Theboywouldhaveto
shedhistears
againandagain,heknew,anditwasDanny'sluckthathewas
stillyoungenough
tobeabletodothat.Thetearsthathealarealsothetears
thatscaldand
scourge.
Whenhehadquietedalittle,Hallorannsaid,"You'regonnaget
overthis.You
don'tthinkyouarerightnow,butyouwill.Yougottheshi"
"IwishIdidn't!"Dannychoked,hisvoicestillthickwith
tears."IwishI
didn'thaveit!"
"Butyoudo,"Hallorannsaidquietly."Forbetterorworse.You
didn'tgetno
say,littleboy.Buttheworstisover.Youcanuseittotalkto
mewhenthings
getrough.Andiftheygettoorough,youjustcallmeandI'll
come."
"EvenifI'mdowninMaryland?"
"Eventhere."
Theywerequiet,watchingDanny'sbobberdriftaroundthirty
feetoutfromthe
endofthedock.ThenDannysaid,almosttoolowtobeheard,
"You'llbemy
friend?"
"Aslongasyouwantme."
TheboyheldhimtightandHallorannhuggedhim.
"Danny?Youlistentome.I'mgoingtotalktoyouaboutit
thisonceand
neveragainthissameway.There'ssomethingsnosixyearold
boyintheworld
shouldhavetobetold,butthewaythingsshouldbeandtheway
thingsare
hardlyevergettogether.Theworld'sahardplace,Danny.It
don'tcare.It
don'thateyouandme,butitdon'tloveus,either.Terrible
thingshappenin
theworld,andthey'rethingsnoonecanexplain.Goodpeopledie
inbad,
painfulwaysandleavethefolksthatlovethemallalone.
Sometimesitseems
likeit'sonlythebadpeoplewhostayhealthyandprosper.The
worlddon'tlove
you,butyourmommadoesandsodoI.You'reagoodboy.You
grieveforyour
daddy,andwhenyoufeelyouhavetocryoverwhathappenedto
him,yougointo
aclosetorunderyourcoversandcryuntilit'salloutofyou
again.That's
whatagoodsonhastodo.Butseethatyougeton.That'syour
jobinthishard
world,tokeepyourlovealiveandseethatyougeton,nomatter
what.Pull
youracttogetherandjustgoon."
"Allright,"Dannywhispered."I'llcomeseeyouagainnext
summerifyouwant
...ifyoudon'tmind.NextsummerI'mgoingtobeseven."
"AndI'llbesixtytwo.AndI'mgonnahugyourbrainsoutyour
ears.Butlet's
finishonesummerbeforewegetontothenext."
"Okay."HelookedatHallorann."Dick?"
"Hmm?"
"Youwon'tdieforalongtime,willyou?"
"I'msurenotstudyinonit.Areyou?"
"No,sir.I"
"Yougotabite,sonny."Hepointed.Theredandwhitebobber
hadducked
under.Itcameupagainglistening,andthenwentunderagain.
"Hey!"Dannygulped.
Wendyhadcomedownandnowjoinedthem,standinginbackof
Danny."Whatis
it?"sheasked."Pickerel?"
"No,ma'am,"Hallorannsaid,"Ibelievethat'sapinkwhale."
Thetipofthefishingrodbent.Dannypulleditbackanda
longfish,
rainbowcolored,flashedupinasunny,winkingparabola,and
disappearedagain.
Dannyreeledfrantically,gulping.
"Helpme,Dick!Igothim!Igothim!Helpme!"
Hallorannlaughed."You'redoinfineallbyyourself,little
man.Idon'tknow
ifit'sapinkwhaleoratrout,butit'lldo.It'lldojust
fine."
HeputanarmaroundDanny'sshouldersandtheboyreeledthe
fishin,little
bylittle.WendysatdownonDanny'sothersideandthethreeof
themsatonthe
endofthedockintheafternoonsun.