Home > Carrie(12)

Author: Stephen King

She thought herself suddenly loathsome.

She found she could not bear that and so she twisted it at him. 'When did you start making all these big moral decisions? After you started f**king me?'

She saw the good humour fade from his face and was sorry.

'Guess I should have kept quiet,' he said, and pulled up his pants.

'It's not you, it's me.' She put a hand on his arm. 'I'm ashamed, see?'

'I know,' he said. 'But I shouldn't be giving advice. I'm not very good at it.'

'Tommy, do you ever hate being so ... well, popular?'

'Me?' The question wrote surprise on his face. 'Do you mean like football and class president and that stuff?'


'No. Ifs not very important. High school isn't a very important place. When you're going you think it's a big deal, but when it's over nobody really think. it was great unless they're beered up. That's how my brother and his buddies are, anyway.'

It did not soothe her; it made her fears worse. Little Susie mix 'n match from Ewen High School, Head Cupcake of the entire Cupcake Brigade. Prom gown kept forever in the closet, wrapped in protective plastic.

The night pressed dark against the slightly steamed car windows.

'I'll probably end up working at my dad's car lot,' he said. 'I'll spend my Friday and Saturday nights down at Uncle Billy's or out at The Cavalier drinking beer and talking about the Saturday afternoon I got that fat pitch from Saunders and we upset Dorchester. Get married to some nagging broad and always own last years model, vote Democrat-'

'Don't,' she said, her mouth suddenly full of a dark, sweet horror. She pulled him to her. 'Love me. My head is so bad tonight. Love me. Love me.'

So he loved her and this time it was different, this time there finally seemed to be room and there was no rubbing but a delicious friction that went up and up: Twice he had to stop, panting, and held himself back, and then he went

(he was a virgin before me and admitted it I would have believed a lie)

and went hard and her breath came in short, digging gasps and then she began to yell and hold at his back, helpless to stop, sweating, the bad taste washed away, every cell seeming to have its own climax, body filled with sunlight, musical notes in her mind, butterflies behind her skull in the cage of her mind.

Later, on the way home, he asked her formally if she would go to the Spring Ball with him. She said she would. He asked her if she had decided what to do about Carrie.

She said she hadn't. He said that it made no difference. but she thought that it did. It had begun to seem that it meant all the difference.

From Telekinesis: Analysis and Aftermath (Science Yearbook 1982), by Dean K. L. McGuffin:

There are, of course, still these scientists today - regretfully, the Duke University people are in their forefront - who reject the terrific underlying implications of the Carrie White affair. Like the Flatlands Society, the Rosicrucians, or the Corlies of Arizona, who are positive that the atomic bomb does not work, these unfortunates are flying in the face of logic with their heads in the sand, and beg your pardon for the mixed metaphor.

Of course one is able to understand the consternation, the raised voices, the angry letters and arguments at scientific convocations. The idea of telekinesis itself has been a bitter pill for the scientific community to swallow, with its horror-movie trappings of ouija boards and mediums and table rappings and floating coronets; but understanding will still not excuse scientific irresponsibility.

The outcome of the White affair raises grave and difficult questions. An earthquake has struck our order notions of the way the natural world is supposed to act and react. Can you blame even such a renowned physicist as Gerald Luponet for claiming the whole thing is a hoax and a fraud, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence as the White Commission presented? For if Carrie White is the truth, then what of Newton? ...

They sat in the living room, Carrie and Momma, listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford singing 'Let the Lower Lights Be Burning' on a Webcor phonograph (which Momma called the victrola, or, if in a particularly good mood, the vic). Carrie sat at the sewing machine, pumping with her feet as she sewed the sleeves on a new dress. Momma sat beneath the plaster crucifix, tatting doilies and bumping her feet in time to the song, which was one of her favourites. Mr P. P. Bliss, who had written this hymn and others seemingly without number, was one of Momma's shining examples of God at work upon the face of the earth. He had been a sailor and a sinner (two terms that were synonymous in Momma's lexicon), a great blasphemer, a laugher in the face of the Almighty. Then a great storm had come up at sea, the boat had threatened to capsize, and Mr P. P. Bliss had gotten down on his sinsickly knees with a vision of Hell yawning beneath the ocean floor to receive him, and he had prayed to God. Mr P. P. Bliss promised God that if He saved him, he would dedicate the rest of his life to Him. The storm, of course, had cleared immediately.

Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From his lighthouse evermore,

But to us he gives the keeping

Of the lights along the shore ...

All of Mr P. P. Bliss's hymns had a seagoing flavour to them.

The dress she was sewing was actually quite pretty, a dark wine colour-the closest Momma would allow her to red-and the sleeves were puffed. She tried to keep her mind strictly on her sewing, but of course it wandered.

The overhead fight was strong and harsh and yellow, the small dusty plush sofa was of course deserted (Carrie had never had a boy in To Sit), and on the far wall was a twin shadow: the crucified Jesus, and beneath Him, Momma.

The school had called Momma at the laundry and she had come home at noon. Carrie had watched her come up the walk, and her belly trembled.

Momma was a very big woman, and she always wore a hat. Lately her legs had begun to swell, and her feet always seemed on the point of overflowing her shoes. She wore a black cloth coat with a black fur collar. Her eyes were blue and magnified behind rimless bifocals. She always carried a large black satchel purse and in it was her change purse, her billfold (both black), a large King James Bible (also black) with her name stamped on the front in gold, and a stack of tracts secured with a rubber band. The Tracts were usually orange, and smearily printed.

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