Книга The Dead Zone. Содержание - PART THREE Notes from the Dead Zone

(behind the filter. yes, he's behind the filter, but what does it mean? does it mean it's safe or just that he's beyond my reach? what does it)

Warm fire flashed somewhere below and was gone. Some dim part of Johnny's mind registered it as a flashbulb.

Stilison shoved the woman away and backed toward the door, eyes squeezed into calculating pirate's slits. He held the squirming boy firmly by the neck and the crotch.

Can't. Oh dear God forgive me, I can't.

Two more bullets struck him then, one high in the chest, driving him back against the wall and bouncing him off it, the second into the left side of his midsection, spinning him around into the gallery railing. He was dimly aware that he had lost the rifle. It struck the gallery floor and discharged point-blank into the wall. Then his upper thighs crashed into the ballustrade and he was falling. The town hall turned over twice before his eyes and then there was a splintering crash as he struck two of the benches, breaking his back and both legs.

He opened his mouth to scream, but what came out was a great gush of blood. He lay in the splintered remains of the benches he had struck and thought: It's over. I punked out. Blew it.

Hands were on him, not gentle. They were turning him over. Elliman, Moochie, and the other guy were there. Elliman was the one who had turned him over.

Stillson came, shoving Moochie aside.

“Never mind this guy,” he said harshly. “Find the son of a bitch that took that picture. Smash his camera.

Moochie and the other guy left. Somewhere close by the woman with the dark hair was crying out:

behind a kid, hiding behind a kid and I'll tell every-body…”

“Shut her up, Sonny,” Stillson said.

“Sure,” Sonny said, and left Stillson's side.

Stillson got down on his knees above Johnny. “Do we know each other, fella? No sense lying. You've had the course.”

Johnny whispered, “We knew each other.”

“It was that Trimbull rally, wasn't it?”

Johnny nodded.

Stillson got up abruptly, and with the last bit of his strength Johnny reached out and grasped his ankle. It was only for a second; Stillson pulled free easily. But it was long enough.

Everything had changed.

People were drawing near him now, but he saw only feet and legs, no faces. It didn't matter. Everything had changed.

He began to cry a little. Touching Stillson this time had been like touching a blank. Dead battery. Fallen tree. Empty house. Bare bookshelves. Wine bottles ready for candles.

Fading. Going away. The feet and legs around him were becoming misty and indistinct. He heard their voices, the excited gabble of speculation, but not the words. Only the sound of the words, and even that was fading, blurring into a high, sweet humming sound.

He looked over his shoulder and there was the corridor he had emerged from so long ago. He had come out of that corridor and into this bright placental place. Only then his mother had been alive and his father had been there, calling him by name, until he broke through to them. Now it was only time to go back. Now it was right to go back.

I did it. Somehow I did it. I don't understand how, but I have.

He let himself drift toward that corridor with the dark chrome walls, not knowing if there might be something at the far end of it or not, content to let time show him that. The sweet hum of the voices faded. The misty brightness faded. But he was still he-Johnny Smith-intact.

Get into the corridor, he thought. All right.

He thought that if he could get into that corridor, he would be able to walk.


Notes from the Dead Zone


Dear Dad,

Portsmouth, N. H. January 23, 1979

This is a terrible letter to have to write, and I will try to keep it short. When you get it, I guess I will probably be dead. An awful thing has happened to me, and I think now that it may have started a long time before the car accident and the coma. You know about the psychic business, of course, and you may remember Mom swearing on her deathbed that God had meant for it to be this way, that God had something for me to do. She asked me not to run from it, and I promised her that I wouldn't-not meaning it seriously, but wanting her mind to be easy. Now it looks as if she was right, in a funny sort of way. I still don't really believe in God, not in a real Being who plans for us and gives us all little jobs to do, like Boy Scouts winning merit badges on The Great Hike of Life. But neither do I believe that all the things that have happened to me are blind chance.

In the summer of 1976, Dad, I went to a Greg Stillson rally in Trim bull, which is in New Hampshire's third district. He was running for the first time then, you may recall. When he was on his way to the speaker's rostrum he shook a lot of hands, and one of them was mine. This is the part you may find hard to believe, even though you have seen the ability in action. l had one of my “flashes”, only this one was no flash, Dad. It was a vision, either in the biblical sense or in something very near it. Oddly enough, it wasn't as clear as some of my other “insights” have been-there was a Puzzling blue glow over every-thing that has never been there before-but it was incredibly powerful. I saw Greg Stillson as president of the United States. How far in the future I can't say, except that he had lost most of his hair. I would say fourteen years, or perhaps eighteen at the most. Now, my ability is to see and not to interpret, and in this case my ability to see was impeded by that funny blue filter, but l saw enough. If Stillson becomes president, he's going to worsen an international situation that is going to be pretty awful to begin with. If Stillson becomes president, he is going to end up precipitating a full-scale nuclear war. I believe that the initial flash point for this war is going to be in South Africa. And I also believe that in the short, bloody course of this war, it's not going to be just two or three nations throwing warheads, but maybe as many as twenty-plus terrorist groups.

Daddy, I know how crazy this must look. It looks crazy to me. But I have no doubts, no urge to look back over my shoulder and try to second-guess this thing into something less real and urgent than it is. You never knew -no one did-but l didn't run away from the Chatsworths because of that restaurant fire. I guess I was running away from Greg Stillson and the thing I am supposed to do. Like Elijah hiding in his cave or Jonah, who ended up in the fish's belly. I thought I would just wait and see, you know. Wait and see if the preconditions for such a horrible future began to come into place. I would probably be waiting still, but in the fall of last year the headaches began to get worse, and there was an incident on the roadcrew I was working with. l guess Keith Strang, the foreman, would remember that…

Excerpt from testimony given before the so-called “Stillson Committee”, chaired by Senator William Cohen of Maine. The questioner is Mr. Norman D. Verizer, the Committee's Chief Counsel. The witness is Mr. Keith Strang, of 1421 Desert Boulevard, Phoenix, Arizona. Date of testimony: August 17, 1979.

Verizer: And at this time, John Smith was in the employ of the Phoenix Public Works Department, was he not?

Strang: Yes, Sir, he was.

V: This was early December of 1978.

S: Yes, Sir.

V: And did something happen on December 7 that you particularly remember? Something concerning John Smith?

S: Yes, Sir. It sure did.

V: Tell the Committee about that, if you would.

S: Well, I had to go back to the central motor pool to get two forty-gallon drums of orange paint. We were lining roads, you understand. Johnny-that's Johnny Smith -was out on Rosemont Avenue on the day you're talking about, putting down new lane markings. Well, I got back out there at approximately four-fifteen-about forty-five minutes before knocking-off time-and this fellow Herman Joellyn that you've already talked to, he comes up to me and says, “You better check on Johnny, Keith. Something's wrong with Johnny. I tried to talk to him and he acted like he didn't hear. He almost run me down. You better get him straight. “That's what he said. So I said, “What's wrong with him, Hermie?” And Hermie says, “Check it out for yourself, there's something offwhack with that dude. “So I drove on up the road, and at first everything was all right, and then-wow!

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