Thursday, March 7, 2019
Carrie Chapter Seventeen
That this was happening in Chamberlain, in Chamberlain, for perfections sake, where he drank iced tea on his mothers sun porch and refereed PAL basketball and do star last cruise erupt R discovere 6 knightly The Cavalier before gamboling in at 230 each morning. His town was animated UP.Tom Quillan came out of the police air and ran down the stancewalk to Doyles cruiser. His hair was standing up all which way, he was dressed in dirty green work fatigues and an undershirt and he had his loafers on the wrong feet, scarce Doyle thought he had neer been so glad to squ ar off incessantlyy single and only(a) in his life. Tom Quillan was as more than than Chamberlain as anything, and he was on that pointintact.Holy God, he panted. Did you see that?Whats been happening? Doyle asked curtly.I been monitorin the radio, Quillan said, Motton and westsidemostover complimentsed to admit if they should hop out ambulances and I said bell yes, s close ein truththing. Hearses to o. Did I do ripe?Yes. Doyle ran his hands by his hair. Have you seen nark Block? Block was the towns Commissioner of Public Utilities, and that included urine.Nope. save Chief Deighan says they got water in the old Rennet Block across town. Theyre laying hose at one time. I collared near kids, and theyre settin up a hospital in the police station. Theyre reliable boys, however theyre gonna get extraction on your floor, Otis.Otis Doyle felt irreality surge over him. Surely this conver sit downion couldnt be happening in Chamberlain. Couldnt.Thats all right, Tommy. You did right. You go back in that respect and start work every doctor in the phone book. Im going over to spend Street.Okay, Otis. If you see that crazy broad, be careful.Who? Doyle was non a barking man, only now he did.Tom Quillan flinched back. Carrie, Carrie pureness.Who? How do you know?Quillan blinked slowly. I dunno. It ripe sort of came to me.From the case AP ticker, 1146 PmCHAMBERLAIN, MAINE (AP )A DISASTER OF MAJOR PROPORTIONS HAS smitten THE TOWN OF CHAMBERLAIN, MAINE TONIGHT. A FIRE, BELIEVED TO HAVE BEGUN AT EWEN (U-WIN) HIGH SCHOOL DURING A SCHOOL DANCE, HAS SPREAD TO THE DOWNTOWN field of force, RESULTING IN MULTIPLE EXPLOSIONS THAT HAVE LEVELLED ofttimes OF THE DOWNTOWN AREA. A RESIDENTIAL AREA TO THE WEST OF THE DOWNTOWN AREA IS ALSO REPORTED TO BE BURNING. HOWEVER, MOST CONCERN AT THIS cadence IS all over THE HIGH SCHOOL WHERE A JUNIOR-SENIOR PROM WAS BEING HELD. IT IS BELIEVED THAT many an(prenominal) OF THE PROM-GOERS WERE TRAPPED INSIDE. AN ANDOVER FIRE OFFICIAL SUMMONED TO THE SCENE SAID THE KNOWN nitty-gritty OF DEAD STOOD AT SIXTY-SEVEN. MOST OF THEM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. ASKED HOW HIGH THE amount MIGHT GO HE SAID WE DONT KNOW. WERE AFRAID TO GUESS. THIS IS GOING TO BE WORSE THAN THE COCONUT GROVE. AT LAST REPORT THREE FIRES WERE angered OUT OF CONTROL IN THE TOWN. REPORTS OF POSSIBLE ARSON ARE UNCONFIRMED. ENDS.1156 PM MAY 27 8943F APThere were no mor e AP reports from Chamberlain. At 1206 AM., a Jackson Avenue go down on main was opened. At 1217, an ambulance attendant from Motton tossed out a cigarette objective as the rescue vehicle sped toward Summer Street.The gush destroyed roughly half a block at a stroke, including the offices of The Chamberlain Clarion. By 1218 A.M.. Chamberlain was cut off from the country that slept in reason beyond.At 1210, still s sluice minutes before the gas-main explosion, the telephone alter experienced a softer explosion a complete jam of every town phone line still in operation. The three harassed girls on duty stayed at their posts but were utterly unable to cope. They worked with expressions of wooden horror on their faces, trying to place unplaceable calls.And so Chamberlain drifted into the tracks.They came uniform an attack from the graveyard that lay in the elbow creek formed by the intersection of The Bellsqueeze Road and Route 6 they came in white nightgowns and in robes, as i f in winding shrouds. They came in pyjamas and curlers (Mrs Dawson, she of the now-deceased son who had been a very funny fellow, came in a mudpack as if dressed for a poet-singer show) they came to see what happened to their town, to see if it was indeed lie burnt and bleeding. Many of them too came to die.Carlin Street was thronged with them, a riptide of them, moving downtown through the hectic light in the sky, when Carrie came out of the Carlin Street Congregational Church, where she had been praying.She had asleep(p) in only five minutes before, later on opening the gas main (it had been easy as soon as she pictured it lying in that respect under the street it had been easy), but it seemed deal hours. She had prayed broad and deeply, one-time(prenominal)s aloud, sometimes wordlessly. Her heart thudded and laboured. The veins on her face and neck bulged. Her genius was modify with the huge knowledge of POWERS, and of an ABYSS. She prayed in cause of the altar, knee ling in her riled and torn and bloody gown, her feet bare and dirty and bleeding from a humbled bottle she had stepped on. Her breath sobbed in and out of her throat, and the church building was change with groanings and swayings and sunderings as psychic energy sprang from her. Pews fell, hymnals flew, and a silver Communion set cruised silently across the vaulted darkness of the nave to crash into the far wall. She prayed and there was no answering. No one was there or if there was, He/It was cowering from her. God had dark His face onward, and why not? This horror was as much His doing as hers. And so she left the church, left it to go home and surface her momma and make destruction complete.She pa manipulationd on the lower step, looking at the flocks of people streaming toward the centre of town. Animals. Let them burn, indeed. Let the streets be filled with the smell of their sacrifice. Let this place be called racca, ichabod, wormwood.FlexAnd power transformers atop lightpoles bloomed into nacreous purple light, spitting catherine-wheel sparks. High-tension wires fell into the streets in pick-up-sticks tangles and some of them ran, and that was bad for them because now the whole street was littered with wires and the reek began, the burning began. People began to scream and back away and touched the cables and went into jerky galvanic dances. Some had already slumped into the street, their robes and pyjamas smouldering.Carrie turned back and looked fixedly at the church she had just left. The heavy door suddenly swung shut, as if in a hurricane wind.Carrie turned towards home.From the sworn testimony of Mrs Cora Simard, taken before The State investigatory Board (from The White Commission Report). pp. 217-218Q. Mrs Simard, the Board, understands that you lost your daughter on stroll Night, and we sympathise with you deeply. We will make this as brief as possible.A. convey you. I want to help if I can, of course.Q. Were you on Carlin Stree t at approximately 12.12 when Carietta White came out of the First Congregational Church on that street?A. Yes.Q. Why were you there?A. My husband had to be in capital of Massachusetts over the weekend on business and Rhonda was at the Spring Ball. I was home alone watching TV and delay up for her. I was watching the Friday Night Movie when the town hall whistle went off, but I didnt connect that with the dance. But indeed the explosion I didnt know what to do. I tried to call the police but got a expeditious signal after the startle three numbers. I I wherefore Q. Take your time, Mrs Simard. All the time you need.A. I was getting frantic. There was a second explosion Teddys Amoco station, I know now And I unconquerable to go downtown and see what was happening. There was a glow in the sky, an awful glow. That was when Mrs Shyres pounded on the door.Q. Mrs Georgette Shyres?A. Yes, they recognise around the corner. 217 Willow. Thats just of Carlin Street. She. was pounding and calling Cora, are you in there? Are you in there? I went to the door. She was in her bath-robe and slippers. Her feet looked cold. She said they had called Auburn to see if they knew anything and they told her the school was on fire. I said Oh dear God, Rhondas at the dance.Q. Is this when you ascertaind to go downtown with Mrs Shyres?A. We didnt decide anything. We just went. I put on a pair of slippers Rhondas, I think. They had little white puffballs on them. I should have worn my shoes, but I wasnt view. I guess Im not thinking now. What do you want to hear about my shoes for?Q. You tell it in your own way, Mrs Simard.A. T-Thank you. I gave Mrs Shyres some old jacket that was around, and we went.Q. Were there many people walk down Carlin street?A. I dont know. I was too upset. maybe thirty. Maybe more.Q. What happened?A. Georgette and I were walking toward Main Street, holding hands just akin deuce little girls walking across a meadow after dark. Georgettes teeth were clicking. I remember that. I wanted to ask her to resign clicking her teeth, but I thought it would be impolite. A block and a half from the Congo Church, I saw the door open and I thought Someone has gone in to ask Gods help. But a second later I knew that wasnt true.Q. How did you know? It would be logical to pay just what you first assumed, wouldnt it?A. I just knew. Q. Did you know the person who came out of the church?A. Yes. It was Carrie White.Q. Had you ever seen Carrie White before?A. No. She was not one of my daughters friends.Q. Had you ever seen a picture of Carrie White?A. No.Q. And in any case, it was dark and you were a block and a half from the church.A. Yes, sir.Q. Mrs Simard, how did you know it was Carrie White?A. I just knew.Q. This knowing, Mrs Simard was it analogous a light going on in your head?A. No, sir.Q. What way itA. I cant tell you. It faded away the way a dream does. An hour after you get up you can only remember you had a dream. But I knew.Q. Was t here an emotional feeling that went with this knowledge?A. Yes. Horror.Q. What did you do then?A. I turned to Georgette and said There she is. Georgette said Yes, thats her. She started to say something else, and then the whole street was lit up by a bright glow and there were crackling noises and then the power lines started to fall into the street, some of them spitting live sparks. angiotensin converting enzyme of them hit a man in front of us and he b- crumble into flames. Another man started to lam and he stepped on one of them and his dust just arched backward, as if his back had turned into elastic. And then he fell down. Other people were screaming and path, just running blindly, and more and more cables fell. They were strung all over the place like snakes. And she was glad about it. Glad I could feel her being glad. I knew I had to keep my head. The people who were running were getting electrocuted. Georgette said Quick, Cora. Oh God, I dont want to get burned alive. I said, Stop that. We have to use our heads, Georgette, or well neer use them again. Something foolish like that. But she wouldnt listen. She let go of my hand and started to ran for the sidewalk. I screamed at her to stop there was one of those heavy main cables broken off right in front of us but she didnt listen. And she she oh, I could smell her when she started to burn. Smoke just seemed to burst out of her clothes and I thought thats what it must be like when someone gets electrocuted. The smell was sweet like pork. Have any of you ever smelled that? Sometimes I smell it in my dreams. I stood still, watching Georgette Shyres turn black. There was a big explosion over in the West End-the gas main, I suppose but I never even noticed it. I looked around and I was all alone. Everyone else had either run away or was burning. I saw maybe six bodies. They were like piles of old rags. wiz of the cables had fallen on to the porch of a star sign to the left, and it was catching on fire. I could hear the old-fashioned shake herpes zoster virus popping like Corn. it seemed like I stood there a long time, telling myself to keep my head. It seemed like hours. I began to be afraid that I would faint and fall on one of the cables, or that I would alarm and start to run. Like like Georgette. So then I started to walk. adept step at a time. Me street got even brighter, because of the burning house. I stepped over two live wires and went around a body that wasnt much more than a puddle. I-I-I had to look to see where I was going. There was a wedding ring on the bodys hand, but it was all black. All black. Jesus, I was Oh dear Lord. I stepped over another one and then there were three, all at once. I just stood there looking at them. I thought if I got over those Id be all right but I didnt dare. Do you know what I kept thinking of? That game you play when youre kids, Giant Step. A voice in my mind was saying, Cora, take one colossus step over the live wires in the street. And I was thinking May P May P One of them was still spitting a few sparks, but the other two looked dead. But you cant tell. The third rail looks dead too. So I stood there, waiting for someone to make it and nobody did. The house was still burning and the flames had mobilize to the lawn and the trees and the hedge beside it. But no fire trucks came. Of course they didnt. The whole west side was burning up by that time. And I felt so faint. And at last I knew it was take the giant step or faint and so I took it, as big a giant step as I could, and the heel of my slipper came down not an inch from the last wire. Then I got over and went around the end of one more wire and then I started to run. And thats all I remember. When morning came I was lying on a blanket in the police station with a lot of other people. Some of them a few-were kids in their prom get-ups and I started to ask them if they had seen Rhonda. And said they s-s-said (A short recess)Q. You are person ally sure that Carrie White did this? A. Yes.Q. Thank you, Mrs Simard.A. Id like to ask a question, if you please.Q. Of course.A. What happens if there are others like her? What happens to the world?From The Shadow Exploded (p. 15 1)By 1245 on the morning of May 28, the view in Chamberlain was critical. The school had burned itself out on a fair isolated piece of ground, but the entire downtown area was ablaze. nearly all the city water in that area had been tapped, but plentiful was available (at low pressure) from Deighan Street water mains to save the business buildings under the intersection of Main and Oak a.The explosion of Tonys Citgo on velocity Summer Street had resulted in a ferocious fire that was not to be adjudgeled until nearly ten oclock that morning. There was water on Summer Street, there simply were no firemen or fire-fighting equipment to utilize it. Equipment was then on its way from Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon and Brunswick, but nothing arrived until one ocl ock.On Carlin Street, an electrical fire, caused by downed power lines, had begun. It was eventually to gut the entire north side of the street, including the bungalow where Margaret White gave birth to her daughter.On the west end of town, just below what is commonly caned Brickyard Hill, the worst disaster had taken place. The explosion of a gas main and a resulting fire that raged out of control through most of the next day.And if we look at these flash points on a municipal map (see page facing), we can pick out Carries route a wandering, looping path of destruction through the town, but one with an almost certain destination home Something toppled over in the sustenance room, and Margaret White straightened up, cocking her head to one side. The butcher knife glittered dully in the light of the flames. The electric power had gone off sometime before, and the only fight in the house came from the fire up the street.One of the pictures fell from the wall with a thump. A moment l ater the obtuse Forest cuckoo clock fell. The mechanical bird gave a small, suppressed squawk and was still.From the town the sirens whooped endlessly, but she could still hear the footsteps when they turned up the walk.The door blew open. Steps in the hall.She heard the plaster plaques in the living room (CHRIST, THE UNSEEN GUEST, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO, THE HOUR DRAWETH NIGH IF TONIGHT BECAME JUDGMENT, WOULD YOU BE READY) explode one after the other, like plaster birds in a shooting gallery.(o ive been there and seen the harlots shimmy on wooden stages)She sat up on her stool like a very bright learner who has gone to the head of the class, but her eyes were deranged.The living-room windows blew outward.The kitchen door dammed and Carrie walked in.Her body seemed to have become twisted, shrunken, cronelike. The prom dress was in tatters and flaps, and the pig blood had began to clot and streak. There was a smudge of grease on her supercilium and both knees were scraped and raw-loo king.Momma, she whispered. Her eyes were preternaturally bright, hawklike, but her mouth was trembling. If someone had been them to watch, he would have been struck by the resemblance between them.Margaret White sat on her kitchen stool, the carving knife hidden among the folds of her dress in her lap.I should have killed myself when he put it in me, she said clearly. After the first time, before we were married, he promised. Never again. He said we just slipped. I believed him. I fell down and I lost the baby and that was Gods judgment. I felt that the sin had been expiated. By blood. But sin never dies. wrong never dies. Her eyes glittered.MommaAt first it was all right. We lived sinlessly. We slept in the equal bed, belly to belly sometimes, and O, I could feel the presence of the Serpent, but we never did until. She began to grin, and it was a hard, terrible grin. And that night I could see him looking at me That Way. We got down on our knees to pray for strength and he tou ched me. In that place. That woman place. And I sent him out of the house. He was gone for hours, and I prayed for him. I could see him in my minds eye, walking the midnight streets, wrestling with the devil as Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord. And when he came back, my heart was filled with thanksgiving.She paused, grinning her dry, spitless grin into the change shadows of the room.Momma, I dont want to hear itPlates began to explode in the cupboards like system pigeons.It wasnt until he came in that I smelled the whiskey on his breath. And he took me. Took me With the stink of filthy roadhouse whiskey still on him he took me and I wish it She screamed out the last words at the ceiling. I liked it o all that dirty fucking and his hands on me ALL OVER MEMOMMA(MOMMA)She broke off as if slapped and blinked at her daughter I almost killed myself, she said in a more normal tang of voice. And Ralph wept and talked about atonement and I didnt and then he was dead and then I t hought God had visited me with cancer that He was turning my feminine parts into something as black and rotten as my sinning soul. But that would have been too easy. The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. I see that now. When the pains began I went and got a knife this knife- she held it up -and waited for you to come so I could make my sacrifice. But I was weak and backsliding. I took this knife in hand again when you were three, and I backslid again. So now the devil has come home.She held the knife up, and her eyes fastened hypnotically on the seem hook of its blade.Carrie took a slow, blundering step forward.