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Friday, July 22, 2016

Stephen King: The Shining pp. 47-78


By the time Part One of The Shining has reached its conclusion, we have firmly established the pattern of behaviour that the Torrance family has been operating under for the past few years, and where the mindset of each family member is at as they prepare to head for the Overlook Hotel for the winter season.

Jack is still dealing in secrecy, having made a special trip to the store in order to use the payphone to call his old friend Al Shockley, who not only got him the caretakers job at the Overlook, but was his partner in crime in going sober at the drop of a hat. It is during this section that we finally discover the reasons why their drinking stopped cold turkey, and that it coincided almost perfectly with Wendy's desire to talk about their future, or lack thereof.

“Danny said he dreamed you had a car accident,” she said abruptly. “He has funny dreams sometimes. He said it this morning, when I got him dressed. Did you, Jack? Did you have an accident?”

“Something had changed him. She didn’t believe it was just her getting ready to ask for a divorce that had done it. Something had happened before that morning. Something that had happened while she slept uneasily. Al Shockley said that nothing had happened, nothing at all, but he had averted his eyes when he said it, and if you believed faculty gossip, Al had also climbed aboard the fabled wagon.
"Did Daddy have an accident?"

That Jack had stayed sober is how the glue held firm on the marriage, and the relationship between husband and wife appeared healed for the moment. But Danny and his strange powers could still feel something below the surface, something that wasn't quite right.
More than this though was the dreams he was having, dreams of a house with large hallways, and of him being chased down those hallways by a madman, someone who wanted to hurt him. His were the final thoughts of Part One, and set up what is yet to occur.

"Danny… Danneee… 

"He started at the sound of that familiar voice and craned out the window, his small hands on the sill. With the sound of Tony’s voice the whole night seemed to have come silently and secretly alive, whispering even when the wind quieted again and the leaves were still and the shadows had stopped moving. He thought he saw a darker shadow standing by the bus stop a block down, but it was hard to tell if it was a real thing or an eye-trick. 

"Don’t go, Danny.."

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