The Talisman by Peter Straub & Stephen King

The Talisman by Peter Straub & Stephen King

Author:Peter Straub & Stephen King
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Pocket
Published: 2012-09-24T16:00:00+00:00


2

When it happened, it happened fast. At one moment Jack was listening to Ferd Janklow’s usual line of cynical, amusing bullshit. At the next, Ferd was pelting north across the murky field toward the stone wall. Until Ferd went for it, the day had seemed as drearily ordinary as any other at the Sunlight Home. It was cold and overcast; there was a smell of rain, possibly even snow in the air. Jack looked up to ease his aching back, and also to see if Sonny Singer was around. Sonny enjoyed harassing Jack. Most of the harassment was of the nuisance variety. Jack had his feet stepped on, he was pushed on the stairs, his plate had been knocked out of his hands for three meals running—until he had learned to simultaneously cradle it on the inner side of his body and hold it in a death-grip.

Jack wasn’t completely sure why Sonny hadn’t organized a mass stomping. Jack thought maybe it was because Sunlight Gardener was interested in the new boy. He didn’t want to think that, it scared him to think that, but it made sense. Sonny Singer was holding off because Sunlight Gardener had told him to, and that was another reason to get out of here in a hurry.

He looked to his right. Wolf was about twenty yards away, grubbing rocks with his hair in his face. Closer by was a gantry-thin boy with buck teeth—Donald Keegan, his name was. Donny grinned at him worshipfully, baring those amazing buck teeth. Spit dribbled from the end of his lolling tongue. Jack looked away quickly.

Ferd Janklow was on his left—the boy with the narrow Delftware hands and the deep widow’s peak. In the week since Jack and Wolf had been incarcerated in the Sunlight Home, he and Ferd had become good friends.

Ferd was grinning cynically.

“Donny’s in love with you,” he said.

“Blow it out,” Jack said uncomfortably, feeling a flush rise in his cheeks.

“I bet Donny’d blow it out if you let him,” Ferd said. “Wouldn’t you, Donny?”

Donny Keegan laughed his big, rusty yuck-yuck, not having the slightest idea of what they were talking about.

“I wish you’d quit it,” Jack said. He felt more uncomfortable than ever.

Donny’s in love with you.

The bloody hell of it was, he thought that maybe poor, retarded Donny Keegan really was in love with him . . . and Donny was maybe not the only one. Oddly, Jack found himself thinking of the nice man who had offered to take him home and who had then settled for dropping him off at the mall exit near Zanesville. He saw it first, Jack thought. Whatever’s new about me, that man saw it first.

Ferd said, “You’ve gotten very popular around here, Jack. Why, I think even old Heck Bast would blow it out for you, if you asked him.”

“Man, that’s sick,” Jack said, flushing. “I mean—”

Abruptly, Ferd dropped the rock he had been working at and stood up. He looked swiftly around, saw none of the white turtlenecks were looking at him, and then turned back to Jack.



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