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Chapter Nineteen

He smiled. 'Maybe.' But he wouldn't. Not any more. 'Come on. We're going to town.'

They went downstairs and through the empty dance hall, where chairs were still pushed back and beers were standing flat on the tables.

As they went out through the fire door Billy said: 'This place sucks. anyway.'

They got into his car, and he started it up. When he popped on the headlights, Chris began to scream, hands in fists up to her cheeks.

Billy felt it at the same time: Something in his mind.

(came came came came)

a presence.

Carrie was standing in front of them, perhaps seventy feet away.

The high beams picked her out in ghastly horror-movie blacks and whites, dripping and clotted with blood. Now much of it was her own. The hilt of the butcher knife still protruded from her shoulder, and her gown was covered with dirt and grass stain. She had crawled much of the distance from Carlin Street, half fainting, to destroy this roadhouse - perhaps the very one where the doom of her creation had begun.

She stood swaying, her arms thrown out like the arms of a stage hypnotist, and she began to totter toward them.

It happened in the blink of a second. Chris had not had time to expend her first scream. Billy's reflexes were good and his reaction was instantaneous. He shifted into low, popped the clutch, and floored it.

The Chevrolet's tyres screamed against the asphalt, and the car sprang forward like some old and terrible mancater. The figure swelled in the windshield and as it did the presence became louder


and louder


like a radio being turned up to full volume. Time seemed to close around them in a frame and for a moment they were frozen even in motion: Billy

(CARRIE just like the dogs CARRIE jut like the goddam dogs CARRIE brucie i wish i could CARRIE be CARRIE you)

and Chris

(CARRIE Jesus not to kill her CARRIE didn't mean to kill her CARRIE billy i dont CARRIE want to CARRIE see it CA)

and Carrie herself

(see the wheel car wheel gas pedal i see the WHEEL o god my heart my heart my heart)

And Billy suddenly felt his car turn traitor, come alive, slither in his hands, The Chevvy dug around in a smoking half-circle, straight pipes racketing, and suddenly the clapboard side of The Cavalier was swelling, swelling, swelling and

(this is)

they slammed into it at forty, still accelerating, and wood sprayed up in a neon-tinted detonation. Billy was thrown forward and the steering column speared him. Chris was thrown into the dashboard.

The gas tank split open, and fuel began to puddle around the rear of the car. Part of one straight pipe fell into it, and the gas bloomed into flame.

Carrie lay on her side, eyes closed, panting thickly. Her chest was on fire.

She began to drag herself across the parking lot, going nowhere.

(momma i'm sorry it all went wrong o momma o please o please i hurt so bad momma what do i do)

And suddenly it didn't seem to matter any more, nothing would matter if she could turn over, turn over and see the stars, turn over and look once and die.

And that was how Sue found her at two o'clock.

When Sheriff Doyle left her, Sue walked down the Street and sat on the steps of the Chamberlain U-Wash-It. She stared at the burning sky without swing it. Tommy was dead. She knew it was true and accepted it with an case that was dreadful.

And Carrie had done it.

She had no idea how she knew it, but the conviction was as pure and right as arithmetic.

Time passed. It didn't matter. Macbeth, hath murdered sleep and Carrie hath murdered time. Pretty good. A bon mot Sue smiled dolefully. Can this be the end of our heroine, Miss Sweet Little Sixteen? No worries about the country club and Kleen Korners now. Not ever. Gone. Burned out. Someone ran past, blabbering that Carlin Street was on fire. Good for Carlin Street. Tommy was gone. And Carrie had gone home to murder her mother.


She sat bolt upright, staring into the darkness.


She didn't know how she knew. It bore no relationship to anything she had ever read about telepathy. There were no pictures in her head, no great white flashes of revelation, only prosaic knowledge; the way you know summer follows spring, that cancer can kill you, that Carrie's mother was dead already, that


Her heart row thickly in her chest. Dead? She examined in her knowledge of the incident, trying to disregard the insistent weirdness of knowing from nothing.

Yes, Margaret White was dead, something to do with her heart. But she had stabbed Carrie. Carrie was badly hurt. She was

There was nothing more.

She got up and ran back to her mother's car. Ten minutes later she parked on the corner of Branch and Carlin Street, which was on fire. No trucks were available to fight the blaze yet, but saw-horses had been put across both ends of the street, and greasily smoking roads pots lit a sign which said;


Sue cut through two back yards and forced her way through a budding hedge that scraped at her, white short, stiff bristles. She came out one yard from the White's house and crossed over.

The house was in flames, the roof blazing. It was impossible to even think about getting close enough to look in. But in the strong firelight she saw something better. the splashed trail of Carrie's blood. She followed it with her head down, past the larger spots where Carrie had rested, through another hedge, across a Willow Street back yard, and then through an undeveloped tangle of scrub pine and oak. Beyond that, a short, unpaved spur - little more than a footpath - wound up the rise of land to the right, angling away from Route 6.

She stopped suddenly as doubt struck her with vicious and corrosive force. Suppose she could find her? What then? Heart failure? Set on fire? Controlled and forced to walk in front of an oncoming car or fire engine? Her peculiar knowledge told her Carrie would be capable of all things.

(find a policeman)

She giggled a little at that one and sat down in the grass, which was silked with dew. She had already found a policeman. And even supposing Otis Doyle had believed her, what then? A mental picture came to her of a hundred desperate manhunters surrounding Came, demanding her to hand over her weapons and give up. Carrie obediently raises her hands and plucks her head from her shoulders. Hands it to Sheriff Doyle, who solemnly puts it in a wicker basket marked People's Exhibit A.

(and tommy's dead)

Well, well. She began to cry. She put her hands over her face and sobbed into them. A soft breeze snuffled through the juniper bushes on top of the hill. More fire engines screamed by on Route 6 like huge red hounds in the night.

(the town's burning down o well)

She had no idea how long she sat there, crying in a grainy half-doze. She was not even aware that she was following Carrie's progress toward The Cavalier, no more than she was aware of the process of respiration unless she thought about it. Carrie was hurt very badly, was going on brute determination alone at this point. It was three miles out to The Cavalier, even across-country, as Carrie was going. Sue

(watched? thought? doesn't matter)

as Carrie fell in a brook and dragged herself out, icy and shivering. It was really amazing that she kept going. But of course it was for Momma. Momma wanted her to be the Angel's Fiery Sword, to destroy-

(she's going to destroy that too)

She got up and began to run clumsily, not bothering to follow the trail of blood. She didn't need to follow it any more.

From The Shadow Exploded (pp. 164-165):

Whatever any of us may think of the Carrie White affair, it is over. It's time to turn to the future. As Dean McGuffin points out, in his excellent Science Yearbook article, if we refuse to do this, we will almost certainly have to pay the piper - and the price is apt to be a high one.

A thorny moral question is raised here. Progress is already being made toward complete isolation of the TK gene. It is more or less assumed in the scientific community (see, for instance, Bourke and Hannegan's 'A View Toward Isolation of the TK Gene with Specific Recommendations for Control Parameters' in Mocrobiology Annual, Berkeley: 1982) that when a testing procedure is established, all school-age children will undergo the test as routinely as they now undergo the TB skin-patch. Yet TK is not a germ; it is as much a part of the afflicted person as the colour of his eyes.

If overt TK ability occurs as a part of puberty, and if this hypothetical TK test is performed on children entering the first grade, we shall certainly be forewarned. But in this case, is forewarned forearmed? If the TB test shows positive a child can be treated or isolated. If the TK test shows positive, we have no treatment except a bullet in the head. And how is it possible to isolate a person who will eventually have the power to knock down all walls?

And even if isolation could be made successful, would the American people allow a small, pretty girl-child to be ripped away from her parents at the first sign of puberty to be locked in a bank vault for the rest of her life? I doubt it. Especially when The White Commission has worked so hard to convince the public that the nightmare in Chamberlain was a complete fluke.

Indeed, we seem to have returned to Square One.

From the sworn testimony of Susan Snell, taken before The State Investigatory Board of Maine (from The White Commission Report), pp. 306-472:

Q. Now, Miss Snell, the Board would like to go through your testimony concerning your alleged meeting with Carrie White in The Cavalier parking lot

A. Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over? I've told you twice already.

Q. We want to make sure the record is correct in every

A. You want to catch me in a lie, isn't that what you really mean? You don't think I'm telling the truth, do YOU?

Q. You say you came upon Carrie at

A. Will you answer me?

Q. -at 2:00 on the morning of May 28th. Is that correct?

A I'm not going to answer any more questions until you answer the one I just asked.

Q. Miss Snell, this body is empowered to cite you for contempt if you refuse to answer on any other grounds than Constitutional ones.

A. I don't care what you're empowered to do. I've lost someone I love. Go and throw me in jail. I don't care. I - go to hell. All of you, go to hell. You're trying to ... to ... I don't know, crucify me or something. Just lay off me!

(A short recess)

Q. Miss Snell, are you willing to continue your testimony at this time?

A. Yes. But I won't be badgered. Mr Chairman.

Q. Of course not, young lady. No one wants to badger you. Now you claim to have come upon Carrie in the parking lot of this tavern at 2:00. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. You knew it was 2:00?

A. I was wearing the watch you see on my wrist right now.

Q. To be sure. Isn't The Cavalier better than six miles from where you left your mother's car?

A. It is by the road. It's close to three as the crow flies.

Q. You walked this distance?

X Yes.

Q. Now you testified earlier that you 'knew' you were getting close to Carrie. Can you explain this?

A. No.

Q. Could you smell her?

A. What?

Q. Did you follow your nose?

(Laughter in the galleries)

A. Are you playing games with me?

Q. Answer the question, please.

A. No. I didn't follow my nose.

Q. Could you see her?

A. No.

Q. Hear her?

A. No.

Q. Then how could you possibly know she was there? A. How did Tom Quillan know? Or Cora Simard? Or poor Vic Mooney? How did any of them know?

Q. Answer the question, miss. This is hardly the place or the time for impertinence.

A. But they did say they 'just knew,' didn't they? I read Mrs Simard's testimony in the paper! And what about the fire hydrants that opened themselves? And the gas pumps that broke their own locks and turned themselves on? The power lines that climbed down off their poles! And

Q. Miss Snell, please

A. Those things are in the record of this Commission's proceedings!

Q. This is not an issue here.

A. Then what is? Are you looking for the truth or just a scapegoat?

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