Cujo by Stephen King

Cujo by Stephen King

Author:Stephen King
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub, azw3
Publisher: Penguin USA, Inc.
Published: 2010-08-04T04:00:00+00:00

“Can we go home now, Mommy?” Tad asked apathetically.

“Pretty soon, honey.”

She looked at the key in the ignition switch. Three other keys on the ring: house key, garage key, and the key that opened the Pinto’s hatchback. There was a piece of leather attached to the ring with a mushroom branded on it. She had bought the keyring in Swanson’s, a Bridgton department store, back in April. Back in April when she had been so disillusioned and scared, never knowing what real fear was, real fear was trying to crank your kid’s window shut while a rabid dog drooled on the back of your hands.

She reached out. She touched the leather tab. She pulled her hand back again.

The truth was this: She was afraid to try.

It was quarter past seven. The day was still bright, although the Pinto’s shadow trailed out long, almost to the garage door. Although she did not know it, her husband and his partner were still watching kinescopes of the Sharp Cereal Professor at Image-Eye in Cambridge. She didn’t know why no one had answered the SOS she had been beeping out. In a book, someone would have come. It was the heroine’s reward for having thought up such a clever idea. But no one had come.

Surely the sound had carried down to the ramshackle house at the foot of the hill. Maybe they were drunk down there. Or maybe the owners of the two cars in the driveway (dooryard, her mind corrected automatically, up here they call it a dooryard) had both gone off somewhere in a third car. She wished she could see that house from here, but it was out of sight beyond the descending flank of the hill.

Finally she had given the SOS up. She was afraid that if she kept tooting the horn it would drain the Pinto’s battery, which had been in since they got the car. She still believed the Pinto would start when the engine was cool enough. It always had before.

But you’re afraid to try, because if it doesn’t start . . . what then?

She was reaching for the ignition again when the dog stumbled back into view. It had been lying out of sight in front of the Pinto. Now it moved slowly toward the barn, its head down and its tail drooping. It was staggering and weaving like a drunk near the bitter end of a long toot. Without looking back, Cujo slipped into the shadows of the building and disappeared.

She drew her hand away from the key again.

“Mommy? Aren’t we going?”

“Let me think, hon,” she said.

She looked to her left, out the driver’s side window. Eight running steps would take her to the back door of the Camber house. In high school she had been the star of her high school’s girls’ track team, and she still jogged regularly. She could beat the dog to the door and inside, she was sure of that. There would be a telephone. One call to Sheriff Bannerman’s office and this horror would end.


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