His old pal.
His old pal.
His old pal.
Jamie's mind played the phrase like a broken record, yet the image it tried to conjure failed to appear.
His mind was such a spook house these days, he never knew what screaming fright would leap out to send him reeling.
Grenville was getting worse—each time he tried and failed to control his... need, his temper worsened.
Its family here in Hawkes Harbor still remained aloof.
And Grenville was becoming paranoid, afraid the deputy sheriff was suspicious.
You can't just kill Mitch Morgan, Jamie told It. People would notice if he disappeared. They'd turn the town upside down, looking for the deputy....
Not like— Not like—
Jamie's mind balked like a weary beast of burden. Refused to go that road.
And the little kids, Ricky Hawkes, Trisha Pivens—Ricky knew something was wrong, evil, Trisha far too curious and brave for her own good.
Surely Grenville wouldn't hurt kids, Jamie said, little kids, not twelve years old.... He'd be sorry, after....
Sometimes Jamie thought It listened to him....
Jamie rocked, remembering the good times he and Ricky and Trisha had had, sitting on the upper outside landing of the boardinghouse, looking across the bay at Hawkes Island, talking of legends ... the island was riddled with caves, they told him, and the caves rumored full of pirate loot....
He never, ever, meant to hurt those kids....
Jamie sobbed, then wiped his face with his hand.
He couldn't stop It.
He had to stop It.
But if there was a cure...
"It will be a great step for our understanding of the human pysche, of mankind's history and power of mind, if I succeed in helping here." Her voice broke into his thoughts.
Jamie stopped rocking, his mind jerked back into the present. He looked at her. And realized the truth.
Step for human psyche, hell, he thought.
He'd seen that look on a woman's face before. That goofy, besotted look.
Going to help him. Going to change him. Going to give him a reason to reform.
Jamie had been through that with a couple of women himself.
All It needed was the love of the right woman, this walking dead thing.
Yeah, Dr. Kahne was going to make ol' Grenville settle down and stop killing people. Quit all this lusting for blood.
No use trying to talk sense to her. When women got like that, doctor or shop clerk, you could get right in their face and yell, "Hey, look, I'm just after a quick dip in the ol' panties, then I'm outta here." And they'd twist it into words of love.
Except Grenville had no interest in Dr. Kahne's panties at all—but was fascinated by the possibility of reversion.... Maybe It'd be more human then, Jamie thought, not so deadly— sometimes Jamie thought It might want to be more human.
Sometimes he was almost sorry for It. It'd been so long in that cave—all It had to think about was the life It'd missed, the love It'd lost—no wonder It seemed insane sometimes, locked up like that, so long—once It had even told him, "I was not always such a monster. The human Grenville Hawkes was very different, Jamie."
Jamie wondered what It would be like as a human.... He had a feeling, though, one way or another, Jamie Sommers wouldn't be around to find out. He was at the top of a tall mast, and his grip was slipping. Once in a while he'd drop a few inches, then catch himself—but there was a long free fall coming. He could feel it.
"It's lonely," Jamie said suddenly.
"What do you mean?
"It's—He's lonely. Scared. He has to hide so much. His family don't seem to care. He thought at first he could control everything, but he can't. He can't even control himself."
Jamie thought if she wanted It cured, maybe she would help It when he was gone. Strange, how that instinct to protect It, guard It was so deeply imbedded now ... "And he hates himself, hates the way he is. He says he don't but—"
Sometimes Jamie thought this was too much for anything to bear, this kind of loneliness....
They both started as the wind shook the outside shutters like a fierce beast demanding entry.
"He hates me, too," Jamie said.
His eyes were feverish, and Louisa reached out to feel his head.
She was frightened by how violently he flinched. "Why would he hate you?"
"I turned him loose."
Louisa tried to think of words of comfort. Dear God, what comfort was there, in a life like this? Once more she shivered. They both fell silent.
"It's after Katie."
Louisa was confused, uncertain of his whisper. "Jamie is very fond of Katie Roddendem." Grenville stood in the doorway.
Jamie's eyes closed and for a moment Louisa Kahne thought he would faint.
"I must insist on your departure, Dr. Kahne. I have plans for this evening and my servant needs his rest."
Jamie resumed his rocking, staring straight ahead, humming, and Dr. Kahne looked at him, helpless.
Now she saw the deep lines of despair, the dark hollows under his eyes, the nervous tic in a facial muscle.
This boy is going mad, she thought suddenly.
"Let him go!" she cried. "For God's sake, let him leave!"
"Of course," said Grenville. "Jamie, would you like to leave?"
"No," Jamie said.
"See, Dr. Kahne? It's his own choice, entirely. It's of his own free will."
Terrace View Asylum, Delaware August 1967
"You have a lot of nightmares, Jamie," Dr. McDevitt said. Jamie was progressing almost daily now, only an occasional setback. "Yes."
"Do you ever remember any of them?"
I remember the good dream, Jamie thought, but then, the doctor hadn't asked about the good dream, and Jamie wouldn't have told him anyway—but he remembered it quite well.
I'll never forget you Jamie—
In a way it was worse than the nightmares; it hurt so much to wake from, to know it was a dream.
But then there was always the hope of having it again.
Jamie didn't want to think about the bad ones. The ones that left him screaming; sometimes he had to be sedated, and sometimes that got rough.
Probably half of them are about being in a hospital, Jamie thought.
Dr. McDevitt noticed his faint smile but didn't question further.
"Yeah," Jamie said, frowning slightly now in concentration, rubbing his jaw. "I can remember one, I have it a lot. It's always the same. It's bad, it bothers me a lot, because I keep thinking about it."
Jamie sighed. "But it's probably not as bad as the others."
"Why would you say that?"
"Well, because I can remember it."
The doctor received a look he often got from patients, the one that said, "I'm crazy, not stupid."
"What happens in this dream?"
"Well, me and Kell are on this boat, it's a small boat—not a ship—like the one we had in the Andamans, and we're in a storm, a North Atlantic storm, but I can't figure out why the hell we'd be in the North Atlantic in a boat that small.... I don't much like the North Atlantic, it ain't my favorite sea."
Jamie stared off.
"Me and Kell ran that transatlantic route four times with those goddamn guns. He kept telling me we were going to New Orleans, and we kept taking guns to Ireland."
"In your dream?"
"No. No. We really were smuggling guns—out of Boston, Gloucester, really—but we always got paid in Boston—the Irish mob was sending guns to the IRA and Kell got gung-ho into it."
"I've understood Northern Ireland has been quite peaceful in the last few years."
"Yeah, but it ain't gonna last much longer, they're getting organized—I never paid too much attention, really. It was just a j
"I hated it. Those Irish gangsters scared the shit outta me, anyway, the way they could be all smiling and friendly one minute and blow your head off the next—I saw one—
"Anyway, Kell got just like them when he was around them, made me nervous.
"'One more run, Jamie,' he kept saying. 'Just one more. Then it's off to a fun kind of place—maybe New Orleans.'"
Jamie paused. "The money was good, though. The money was real good. And I finally did get to New Orleans."
"In your dream, you're in the North Atlantic in a small boat with Kell."
The doctor looked at his notes.
"Oh yeah, the dream ... and it's cold, real cold, that ocean always seems cold to me—some places on it really give me the creeps—and we're in this mother of a storm, thirty-foot waves, the ocean just dropping out from under us, the sea and the rain getting all mixed up together in the wind, like it gets sometimes— makes you feel like you're upside down or something—everything is just wet gray haze and the wind howling like a wild thing....
"I'm behind the wheel, trying to keep us headed, but I can't believe we're going to make it, me and Kell yelling at each other, and a wave hits and Kell's gone, just washed out to sea.
"I'm yelling, 'Kell! Kellen!' because I think he's still close somewhere, I'm even thinking maybe I should try to get out and save him—I can swim in pretty rough water, have lots of time, but then, I hear him yelling, 'Go on, Jamie' or 'Keep going, Jamie!' something like that, and then he yells 'Steer by—'"
Jamie stopped. He wiped the tears from his face, and for a minute didn't speak.
"I never hear what it is I'm supposed to steer by," he said. "There's no instruments, no stars, a boat like that, a storm that big—there's nothing.
"But Kell's telling me to go on...."
Dr. McDevitt still looked down at his notes. He'd been in practice many years; Jamie had no idea how disturbed he was by the dream.
They both sat silent for many minutes.
"Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to ol' Kell after he got run outta Hawkes Harbor."