Home > Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower #6)(15)

Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower #6)(15)
Author: Stephen King

Not that the apparition looked particularly healthy. Not even with her legs on and her fancy white feet.

Trudy walked. She walked down Second Avenue. She tried to tell herself (with no success at all) that she hadnot seen a woman appear out of thin air in front of 2 Hammarskj?ld, the building the folks who worked there jokingly called the Black Tower. She tried to tell herself (also with no success at all) that this was what she got for eating roast beef and fried potatoes. She should have stuck to her usual waffle-and-egg, you went to Dennis's forwaffles, not for roast beef and potatoes, and if you didn't believe that, look what had just happened to her. Seeing African-American apparitions, and -

And her bag! Her canvas Borders bag! She must have dropped it!

Knowing better. All the time expecting the woman to come after her, shrieking like a headhunter from the deepest, darkest jungles of Papua. There was a ningly-tumb place on her back (she meanta tingly-numb place, but ningly-tumb was how it actually felt, kind of loose and cool and distant) where she knew the crazy woman's plate would bite into her, drinking her blood and then eating one of her kidneys before coming to rest, still quivering, in the live chalk of her spine. She would hear it coming, somehow she knew that, it would make a whistling sound like a child's top before it chunked into her and warm blood went splashing down over her bu**ocks and the backs of her legs -

She couldn't help it. Her bladder let go, her urine gushed, and the front of her slacks, part of atrès expensive Norma Kamali suit, went distressingly dark. She was almost at the corner of Second and Forty-fifth by then. Trudy - never again to be the hard-headed woman she'd once fancied herself - was finally able to stop and turn around. She no longer felt quite so ningly-tumb. Only warm at the crotch.

And the woman, the mad apparition, was gone.


Trudy kept some softball-practice clothes - tee-shirts and two old pairs of jeans - inside her office storage cabinet. When she got back to Guttenberg, Furth, and Patel, she made changing her first priority. Her second was a call to the police. The cop who took her report turned out to be Officer Paul Antassi.

"My name is Trudy Damascus," she said, "and I was just mugged on Second Avenue."

Officer Antassi was extremely sympathetic on the phone, and Trudy found herself imagining an Italian George Clooney. Not a big stretch, considering Antassi's name and Clooney's dark hair and eyes. Antassi didn't look a bit like Clooney in person, but hey, who expected miracles and movie stars, it was a real world they were living in. Although...considering what had happened to her on the corner of Second and Forty-sixth at 1:19 P.M., EDT...

Officer Antassi arrived at about three-thirty, and she found herself telling him exactly what had happened to her,everything, even the part about feeling ningly-tumb instead of tingly-numb and her weird certainty that the woman was getting ready to throw that dish at her -

"Dish had a sharpened edge, you say?" Antassi asked, jotting on his pad, and when she said yes, he nodded sympathetically. Something about that nod had struck her as familiar, but right then she'd been too involved in telling her tale to chase down the association. Later, though, she wondered how she could possibly have been so dumb. It was every sympathetic nod she'd ever seen in one of those lady-gone-crazy films, fromGirl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder all the way back toThe Snake Pit, with Olivia de Havilland.

But right then she'd been too involved. Too busy telling the nice Officer Antassi about how the apparition's jeans had been dragging on the sidewalk from the knees down. And when she was done, she for the first time heard the one about how the black woman had probably come out from behind a bus shelter. Also the one - this'll killya - about how the black woman had probably just stepped out of some little store, there were billions of them in that neighborhood. As for Trudy, she premiered her bit about how therewere no bus shelters on that corner, not on the downtown side of Forty-sixth, not on the uptown side, either. Also the one about how all the shops were gone on the downtown side since 2 Hammarskj?ld went up, that would prove to be one of her most popular routines, would probably get her onstage at Radio Goddam City someday.

She was asked for the first time what she'd had for lunch just before seeing this woman, and realized for the first time that she'd had a twentieth-century version of what Ebenezer Scrooge had eaten shortly before seeing his old (and long-dead) business partner: potatoes and roast beef. Not to mentionseveral blots of mustard.

She forgot all about asking Officer Antassi if he'd like to go out to dinner with her.

In fact, she threw him out of her office.

Mitch Guttenberg poked his head in shortly thereafter. "Do they think they'll be able to get your bag back, Tru - "

"Get lost," Trudy said without looking up. "Right now."

Guttenberg assessed her pallid cheeks and set jaw. Then he retired without saying another word.


Trudy left work at four-forty-five, which was early for her. She walked back to the corner of Second and Forty-sixth, and although that ningly-tumb feeling began to work its way up her legs and into the pit of her stomach again as she approached Hammarskj?ld Plaza, she never hesitated. She stood on the corner, ignoring both white WALK and red DON ' T WALK. She turned in a tight little circle, almost like a ballet dancer, also ignoring her fellow Second Avenue-ites and being ignored in turn.

"Right here," she said. "It happened right here. I know it did. She asked me what size I was, and before I could answer - Iwould have answered, I would have told her what color my underwear was if she asked, I was in shock - before I could answer, she said..."

Ne'mine, Susannah says you look like about a seven. These'll do.

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