something that had just been given.
(Naw, you got a flashlight, he the one with the searchlight.)
And sometimes that light, that shine, seemed like a pretty
nice thing. You could pick the horses, or like the boy had
said, you could tell your daddy where his trunk was when it
turned up missing. But that was only dressing, the sauce on
the salad, and down below there was as much bitter vetch in
that salad as there was cool cucumber. You could taste pain
and death and tears. And now the boy was stuck in that place,
and he would go. For the boy. Because, speaking to the boy,
they had only been different colors when they used their
mouths. So he would go. He would do what he could, because if
he didn't, the boy was going to die right inside his head.
But because he was human he could not help a bitter wish that
the cup had never been passed his way.
* * *
(She had started to get out and come after him.)
He had been dumping a change of clothes into an overnight bag
when the thought came to him, freezing him with the power of
the memory as it always did when he thought of it. He tried to
think of it as seldom as possible.
The maid, Delores Vickery her name was, had been hysterical.
Had said some things to the other chambermaids, and worse
still, to some of the guests. When the word got back to
Ullman, as the silly quiff should have known it would do, he
had fired her out of hand. She had come to Hallorann in tears,
not about being fired, but about the thing she had seen in
that second-floor room. She had gone into 217 to change the
towels, she said, and there had been that Mrs. Massey, lying
dead in the tub. That, of course, was impossible. Mrs. Massey
had been discreetly taken away the day before and was even
then winging her way back to New York-in the shipping hold
instead of the first class she'd been accustomed to.
Hallorann hadn't liked Delores much, but he had gone up to
look that evening. The maid was an olive-complected girl of
twenty-three who waited table near the end of the season when
things slowed down. She had a small shining, Hallorann judged,
really not more than a twinkle; a mousy-looking man and his
escort, wearing a faded cloth coat, would come in for dinner
and Delores would trade one of her tables for theirs. The
mousy little man would leave a picture of Alexander Hamilton
under his plate, bad enough for the girl who had made the
trade, but worse, Delores would crow over it. She was lazy, a
goof-off in an operation run by a man who allowed no goof-
offs. She would sit in a linen closet, reading a confession
magazine and smoking, but whenever Ullman went on one of his
unscheduled prowls (and woe to the girl he caught resting her
feet) he found her working industriously, her magazine hidden
under the sheets on a high shelf, her ashtray tucked safely
into her uniform pocket. Yeah, Hallorann thought, she'd been a
goof-off and a sloven and the other girls had resented her,
but Delores had had that little twinkle. It had always greased
the skids for her. But what she had seen in 217 had scared her
badly enough so she was more than glad to pick up the walking
papers Ullman had issued her and go.
Why had she come to him? A shine knows a shine, Hallorann
thought, grinning at the pun.
So he had gone up that night and bad let himself into the
room, which was to be reoccupied the next day. He had used the
office passkey to get in, and if Ullman had caught him with
that key, he would have joined Delores Vickery on the
The shower curtain around the tub had been drawn. He had
pushed it back, but even before he did he'd had a premonition
of what he was going to see. Mrs. Massey, swollen and purple,
lay soggily in the tub, which was half-full of water. He had
stood looking. down at her, a pulse beating thickly in his
throat. There had been other things at the Overlook: a bad
dream that recurred at irregular intervals-some sort of
costume party and he was catering it in the Overlook's
ballroom and at the shout to unmask, everybody exposed faces
that were those of rotting insects-and there had been the
hedge animals. Twice, maybe three times, he had (or thought he
had) seen them move, ever so slightly. That dog would seem to
change from his sitting-up posture to a slightly crouched one,
and the lions seemed to move forward, as if menacing the
little tykes on the playground. Last year in May Ullman had
sent him up to the attic to look for the ornate set of
firetools that now stood beside the lobby fireplace. While he
had been up there the three lightbulbs strung overhead had
gone out and he had lost his way back to the trapdoor. He had
stumbled around for an unknown length of time, closer and
closer to panic, barking his shins on boxes and bumping into
things, with a stronger and stronger feeling that something
was stalking him in the dark. Some great and frightening
creature that had just oozed out of the woodwork when the
lights went out. And when he had literally stumbled over the
trapdoor's ringbolt he had hurried down as fast as he could,
leaving the trap open, sooty and disheveled, with a feeling of
disaster barely averted. Later Ullman had come down to the
kitchen personally, to inform him he had left the attic
trapdoor open and the lights burning up there. Did Hallorann
think the guests wanted to go up there and play treasure hunt?
Did he think electricity was free?
And he suspected-no, was nearly positive-that several of the
guests had seen or heard things. too. In the three years he
had been there, the Presidential Suite had been booked
nineteen times. Six of the guests who had put up there had
left the hotel early, some of them looking markedly ill. Other
guests had left other rooms with the same abruptness. One
night in August of 1974, near dusk, a man who had won the
Bronze and Silver Stars in Korea (that man now sat on the
boards of three major corporations and was said to have
personally pink-slipped a famous TV news anchorman)
unaccountably went into a fit of screaming hysterics on the
putting green. And there had been dozens of children during
Hallorann's association with the Overlook who simply refused
to go into the playground. One child had had a convulsion
while playing in the concrete rings, but Hallorann didn't know
if that could be attributed to the Overlook's deadly siren
song or not-word had gone around among the help that the
child, the only daughter of a handsome movie actor, was a
medically controlled epileptic who had simply forgotten her
medicine that day.
And so, staring down at the corpse of Mrs. Massey, he had
been frightened but not completely terrified. It was not
completely unexpected. Terror came when she opened her eyes to
disclose blank silver pupils and began to grin at him. Horror
(she had started to get out and come after him.)
He had fled, heart racing, and had not felt safe even with
the door shut and locked behind him. In fact, he admitted to
himself now as he zipped the fiightbag shut, he had never felt
safe anywhere in the Overlook again.
And now the boy-calling, screaming for help.
He looked at his watch. It was 5:30 P. m. He went to the
apartment's door, remembered it would be heavy winter now in
Colorado, especially up in the mountains, and went back to his
closet. He pulled his long, sheepskin-lined overcoat out of
its polyurethane dry-cleaning bag and put it over his arm. It
was the only winter garment he owned. He turned off all the
lights and looked around. Had he forgotten anything? Yes. One
thing. He took the will out of his breast pocket and slipped
it into the margin of the dressing table mirror. With luck he
would be back to get it.
Sure, with luck.
He left the apartment, locked the door behind him, put the
key under the rush mat, and ran down the outside steps to his
* * *
Halfway to Miami International, comfortably away from the
switchboard where Queems or Queems's toadies were known to
listen in, Hallorann stopped at a shopping center Laundromat
and called United Air Lines. Flights to Denver?
There was one due out at 6:36 P. m. Could the gentleman make
Hallorann looked at his watch, which showed 6:02, and said he
could. What about vacancies on the flight?
Just let me check.
A clunking sound in his ear followed by saccharine Montavani,
which was supposed to make being on bold more pleasant. It
didn't. Hallorann danced from one foot to the other,
alternating glances between his watch and a young girl with a
sleeping baby, in a hammock on her back unloading a coin-op
Maytag. She was afraid she was going to get home later than
she planned and the roast would burn and her husband-Mark?
Mike? Matt?-would be mad.
A minute passed. Two. He had just about made up his mind to
drive ahead and take his chances when the cannedsounding voice
of the flight reservations clerk came back on. There was an
empty seat, a cancellation. It was in first class. Did that
make any difference?
No. He wanted it.
Would that be cash or credit card?
Cash, baby, cash. I've got to fly.
And the name was-?
Hallorann, two l's, two n's. Catch you later.
He hung up and hurried toward the door. The girl's simple
thought, worry for the roast, broadcast at him over and over
until be thought he would go mad. Sometimes it was like that,
for no reason at all you would catch a thought, completely
isolated, completely pure and clear... and usually completely
* * *
He almost made it.
He had the limo cranked up to eighty and the airport was
actually in sight when one of Florida's Finest pulled him
Hallorann unrolled the electric window and opened his mouth
at the cop, who was flipping up pages in his citation book.
"I know," the cop said comfortingly. "It's a funeral in
Cleveland. Your father. It's a wedding in Seattle. Your
A fire in San Jose that wiped out your gramp's candy store.
Some really fine Cambodian Red just waiting in a terminal
locker in New York City. I love this piece of road just
outside the airport. Even as a kid, story hour was my favorite
part of school."
"Listen, officer, my son is-"
"The only part of the story I can never figure out until the
end," the officer said, finding the right page in his citation
book, "is the driver's-license number of the offending
motorist/storyteller and his registration informationSo be a
nice guy. Let me peek."
Hallorann looked into the cop's calm blue eyes, debated
telling his my-son-isin-critical-condition story anyway, and
decided that would make things worse. This Smokey was no
Queems. He dug out his wallet.
"Wonderful," the cop said. "Would you take them out for me,
please? I just have to see how it's all going to come out in
Silently, Hallorann took out his driver's license and his
Florida registration and gave them to the traffic cop.
"That's very good. That's so good you win a present."
"What?" Hallorann asked hopefully.
"When I finish writing down these numbers, I'm going to let
you blow up a little balloon for me."
"Oh, Jeeeesus!" Hallorann moaned. "Officer, my flight-"
"Shhhh," the traffic cop said. "Don't be naughty."
Hallorann closed his eyes.
* * *
He got to the United desk at 6:49, hoping against hope that
the flight had been delayed. He didn't even have to ask. The
departure monitor over the incoming passengers desk told the
story. Flight 901 for Denver, due out at 6:36 EST, had left at
6:40. Nine minutes before.
"Oh shit," Dick Hallorann said.
And suddenly the smell of oranges, heavy and cloying, he had
just time to reach the men's room before it came, deafening,
(!!! COME PLEASE COME DICK PLEASE PLEASE
ON THE STAIRS
One of the things they had sold to swell their liquid assets
a little before moving from Vermont to Colorado was Jack's
collection of two hundred old rock 'n' roll and r & b albums;
they had gone at the yard sale for a dollar apiece. One of
these albums, Danny's personal favorite, had been an Eddie
Cochran double-record set with four pages of bound-in liner
notes by Lenny Kaye. Wendy had often been struck by Danny's
fascination for this one particular album by a manboy who had
lived fast and died young... had died, in fact, when she
herself had only been ten years old.
Now, at quarter past seven (mountain time), as Dick Hallorann
was telling Queems about his ex-wife's white boyfriend, she
came upon Danny sitting halfway up the stairs between the
lobby and the first floor, tossing a red rubber ball from hand
to band and singing one of the songs from that album. His
voice was low and tuneless.
"So I climb one-two flight three flight four," Danny sang,
"five flight six flight seven flight more... when I get to the
top, I'm too tired to rock..."
She came around him, sat down on one of the stair risers, and
saw that his lower lip had swelled to twice its size and that
there was dried blood on his chin. Her heart took a frightened
leap in her chest, but she managed to speak neutrally.
"What happened, doc?" she asked, although she was sure she
knew. Jack had hit him. Well, of course. That came next,
didn't it? The wheels of progress; sooner or later they took
you back to where you started from.
"I called Tony," Danny said. "In the ballroom. I guess I fell
off the chair. It doesn't hurt anymore. Just feels... like my
lip's too big."
"Is that what really happened?" she asked, looking at him,
"Daddy didn't do it," he answered. "Not today."
She gazed at him, feeling eerie. The ball traveled from one
band to the other. He had read her mind. Her son had read her
"What... what did Tony tell you, Danny?"
"It doesn't matter." His face was calm, his voice chillingly
"Danny-" She gripped his shoulder, harder than she had
intended. But he didn't wince, or even try to shake her off.
(Oh we are wrecking this boy. It's not just Jack, it's me
too, and maybe it's not even just us, Jack's father, my
mother, are they here too? Sure, why not? The place is lousy
with ghosts anyway, why not a couple more? Oh Lord in heaven
he's like one of those suitcases they show on TV, run over,
dropped from planes, going through factory crushers. Or a
Timex watch. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Oh Danny
I'm so sorry)
"It doesn't matter," he said again. The ball went from hand
to hand. "Tony can't come anymore. They won't let him. He's
"The people in the hotel," he said. He looked at her then,
and his eyes weren't indifferent at all. They were deep and
scared. "And the... the things in the hotel. There's all kinds
of them. The hotel is stuffed with them."
"You can see-"
"I don't want to see," he said low, and then looked back at
the rubber ball, arcing from hand to hand. "But I can hear
them sometimes, late at night. They're like the wind, all
sighing together. In the attic. The basement. The rooms. All
over. I thought it was my fault, because of the way I am. The
key. The little silver key."
"Danny, don't... don't upset yourself this way."
"But it's him too," Danny said. "It's Daddy. And it's you. It
wants all of us. It's tricking Daddy, it's fooling him, trying
to make him think it wants him the most. It wants me the most,
but it will take all of us."
"If only that snowmobile-"
"They wouldn't let him," Danny said in that same low voice.
"They made him throw part of it away into the snow. Far away.
I dreamed it. And he knows that woman really is in 217." He
looked at her with his dark, frightened eyes. "It doesn't
matter whether you believe me or not."
She slipped an arm around him.
"I believe you, Danny, tell me the truth. Is Jack... is he
going to try to hurt us?"
"They'll try to make him," Danny said. "I've been calling for
Mr. Hallorann. He said if I ever needed him to just call. And
I have been. But it's awful hard. It makes me tired. And the
worst part is I don't know if he's hearing me or not. I don't
think he can call back because it's too far for him. And I
don't know if it's too far for me or not. Tomorrow-"
"What about tomorrow?"
He shook his head. "Nothing."
"Where is he now?" she asked. "'Four daddy?"
"He's in the basement. I don't think he'll be up tonight."
She stood up suddenly. "Wait right here for me. Five
* * *
The kitchen was cold and deserted under the overhead
fluorescent bars. She went to the rack where the carving
knives hung from their magnetized strips. She took the longest
and sharpest, wrapped it in a dish towel, and left the
kitchen, turning off the lights as she went.
* * *
Danny sat on the stairs, his eyes following the course of his
red rubber ball from hand to hand. He sang: "She lives on the
twentieth floor uptown, the elevator is broken down. So I walk
one-two flight three flight four..:'
(-Lou, Lou, skip to m' Lou-)
His singing broke off. He listened.
(-Skip to m' Lou my darlin'-)
The voice was in his head, so much a part of him, so
frighteningly close that it might have been a part of his own
thoughts. It was soft and infinitely sly. Mocking him. Seeming
(Oh yes, you'll like it here. Try it, you'll like it. Try it,
you'll liiiiike it-)
Now his ears were open and he could hear them again, the
gathering, ghosts or spirits or maybe the hotel itself, a
dreadful funhouse where all the sideshows ended in death,
where all the specially painted boogies were really alive,
where hedges walked, where a small silver key could start the
obscenity. Soft and sighing, rustling like the endless winter
wind that played under the eaves at night, the deadly lulling
wind the summer tourists never heard. It was like the
somnolent hum of summer wasps in a ground nest, sleepy,
deadly, beginning to wake up. They were ten thousand feet
(Why is a raven like a writing desk? The higher the fewer, of
course! Have another cup of tea!)
It was a living sound, but not voices, not breath. A man of a
philosophical bent might have called it the sound of souls.
Dick Hallorann's Nana, who had grown up on southern roads in
the years before the turn of the century, would have called it
ha'ants. A psychic investigator might have had a long name for
it-psychic echo, psychokinesis, a telesmic sport. But to Danny
it was only the sound of the hotel, the old monster, creaking
steadily and ever more closely around them: halls that now
stretched back through time as well as distance, hungry
shadows, unquiet guests who did not rest easy.
In the darkened ballroom the clock under glass struck seven-
thirty with a single musical note.
A hoarse voice, made brutal with drink, shouted: "Unmask and
Wendy, halfway across the lobby, jerked to a standstill.
She looked at Danny on the stairs, still tossing the ball
from hand to hand. "Did you bear something?"
Danny only looked at her and continued to toss the ball from
hand to hand.
There would be little sleep for them that night, although
they slept together behind a locked door.
And in the dark, his eyes open, Danny thought:
(He wants to be one of them and live forever. That's what he
(If I have to, I'll take him further up. If we're going to
die I'd rather do it in the mountains.)
She had left the butcher knife, still wrapped in the towel,
under the bed. She kept her hand close to it. They dozed off
and on. The hotel creaked around them. Outside snow had begun
to spit down from a sky like lead.
IN THE BASEMENT
(!!! The boiler the goddam boiler!!!)
The thought came into Jack Torrance's mind full-blown, edged
in bright, warning red. On its heels, the voice of Watson:
(If you forget it'll just creep an creep and like as not you
an your fambly wilt end up on the fuckin moon... she's rated
for two-fifty but she'd blow long before that now... I'd be
scared to come down and stand next to her at a hundred and
He'd been down here all night, poring over the boxes of old
records, possessed by a frantic feeling that time was getting
short and he would have to hurry. Still the vital clues, the
connections that would make everything clear, eluded him. His
fingers were yellow and grimy with crumbling old paper. And
he'd become so absorbed he hadn't checked the boiler once.
He'd dumped it the previous evening around six o'clock, when
he first came down. It was now.. .
He looked at his watch and jumped up, kicking over e stack of
Christ, it was quarter of five in the morning.
Behind him, the furnace kicked on. The boiler was making a
groaning, whistling sound.
He ran to it. His face, which had become thinner in the last
month or so, was now heavily shadowed with beardstubble and he
had a hollow concentration-camp look.
The boiler pressure gauge stood at two hundred and ten pounds
per square inch. He fancied he could almost see the sides of
the old patched and welded boiler heaving out with the lethal
(She creeps... I'd be scared to come down and stand next to
her at a hundred and eighty...)
Suddenly a cold and tempting inner voice spoke to him.
(Let it go. Go get Wendy and Danny and get the fuck out of
here. Let it blow sky-high.)
He could visualize the explosion. A double thunderclap that
would first rip the heart from this place, then the soul. The
boiler would go with an orangeviolet flash that would rain hot
and burning shrapnel all over the cellar. In his mind he could
see the redhot trinkets of metal careening from floor to walls
to ceiling like strange billiard balls, whistling jagged death
through the air. Some of them, surely, would whizz right
through that stone arch, light on the old papers on the other
side, and they would burn merry hell. Destroy the secrets,
burn the clues, it's a mystery no living hand will ever solve.
Then the gas explosion, a great rumbling crackle of flame, a
giant pilot light that would turn the whole center of the
hotel into a broiler. Stairs and hallways and ceilings and
rooms aflame like the castle in the last reel of a
Frankenstein movie. The flame spreading into the wings,
hurrying up the black-and-blue-twined carpets like eager
guests. The silk wallpaper charring and curling. There were no
sprinklers, only those outmoded hoses and no one to use them.
And there wasn't a fire engine in the world that could get
here before late March. Burn, baby, burn. In twelve hours
there would be nothing left but the bare bones.
The needle on the gauge had moved up to two-twelve. The
boiler was creaking and groaning like an old woman trying to
get out of bed. Hissing jets of steam had begun to play around
the edges of old patches; beads of solder had begun to sizzle.
He didn't see, he didn't hear. Frozen with his hand on the
valve that would dump off the pressure and damp the fire,
Jack's eyes glittered from their sockets like sapphires.
(It's my last chance.)
The only thing not cashed in now was the life-insurance
policy he had taken out jointly with Wendy in the summer
between his first and second years at Stovington. Forty-
thousand-dollar death benefit, double indemnity if he or she
died in a train crash, a plane crash, or a fire. Seven-come-
eleven, die the secret death and win a hundred dollars.
(A fire... eighty thousand dollars.)
They would have time to get out. Even if they were sleeping,
they would have time to get out. He believed that. And he
didn't think the hedges or anything else would try to hold
them back if the Overlook was going up in flames.
The needle inside the greasy, almost opaque dial bad danced
up to two hundred and fifteen pounds per square inch.
Another memory occurred to him, a childhood memory. There had
been a wasps' nest in the lower branches of their apple tree
behind the house. One of his older brothers-he couldn't
remember which one now-had been stung while swinging in the
old tire Daddy had hung from one of the tree's lower branches.
It had been late summer, when wasps tend to be at their
Their father, just home from work, dressed in his whites, the
smell of beer hanging around his face in a fine mist, had
gathered all three boys, Brett, Mike, and little Jacky, and
told them he was going to get rid of the wasps.
"Now watch," he had said, smiling and staggering a little (he
hadn't been using the cane then, the collision with the milk
truck was years in the future). "Maybe you'll learn something.
My father showed me this."
He had raked a big pile of rain-dampened leaves under the
branch where the wasps' nest rested, a deadlier fruit than the
shrunken but tasty apples their tree usually produced in late
September, which was then still half a month away. He lit the
leaves. The day was clear and windless. The leaves smoldered
but didn't really burn, and they made a smell-a fragrancethat
had echoed back to him each fall when men in Saturday pants
and light Windbreakers raked leaves together and burned them.
A sweet smell with a bitter undertone, rich and evocative. The
smoldering leaves produced great rafts of smoke that drifted
up to obscure the nest.
Their father had let the leaves smolder all that afternoon,
drinking beer on the porch and dropping the empty Black Label
cans into his wife's plastic floorbucket while his two older
sons flanked him and little Jacky sat on the steps at his
feet, playing with his Bolo Bouncer and singing monotonously
over and over: "Your cheating heart... will make you weep...
your cheating heart... is gonna tell on you."
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