Home > Under the Dome(4)

Under the Dome(4)
Author: Stephen King

Preferably in the middle of his father's car dealership.

Another sickish throb of pain twisted through his head, but he went up the steps to the McCains' door anyway. This had to be done. This was over-fucking-due. Angie needed a lesson.

But just a little one. Don't let yourself get out of control.

As if summoned, his mother's voice replied. Her maddeningly complacent voice. Junior was always a bad-tempered boy, hut he keeps it under much better control now. Don't you, Junior?

Well. Gee. He had, anyway. Football had helped. But now there was no football. Now there wasn't even college. Instead, there were the headaches. And they made him feel like one mean motherfucker.

Don't let yourself get out of control.

No. But he would talk to her, headache or no headache.

And, as the old saying was, he just might have to talk to her by hand. Who knew? Making Angie feel worse might make him feel better.

Junior rang the bell.


Angie McCain was just out of the shower. She slipped on a robe, belted it, then wrapped a towel around her wet hair. 'Coming!' she called as she not-quite-trotted down the stairs to the first floor. There was a little smile on her face. It was Frankie, she was quite sure it must be Frankie.Things were finally coming rightside up. The bastardly short-order cook (good-looking but still a bastard) had either left town or was leaving, and her parents were out. Combine the two and you got a sign from God that things were corning rightside up. She and Frankie could put all the crap in the rearview and get back together.

She knew exactly how to handle it: open the door and then open her robe. Right there in the Saturday-morning daylight, where anybody passing might see her. She'd make sure it was Frankie first, of course - she had no intention of flashing fat old Mr Wicker if he'd rung the bell with a package or a registered mail - but it was at least half an hour too early for the mail.

No, it was Frankie. She was sure.

She opened the door, the little smile widening to a welcoming grin - perhaps not fortunate, since her teeth were rather crammed together and the size of jumbo Chiclets. One hand was on the tie of her robe. But she didn't pull it. Because it wasn't Frankie. It was Junior, and he looked so angry -

She had seen his black look before - many times, in fact - but never this black since eighth grade, when Junior broke the Dupree kid's arm. The little fag had dared to swish his bubble-butt onto the town common basketball court and ask to play. And she supposed Junior must have had the same thunderstorm on his face that night in Dipper's parking lot, but of course she hadn't been there, she had only heard about it. Everybody in The Mill had heard about it. She'd been called in to talk to Chief Perkins, that damn Barbie had been there, and eventually that had gotten out, too.

'Junior? Junior, what - '

Then he slapped her, and thinking pretty much ceased.


He didn't get much into that first one, because he was still in the doorway and there wasn't much room to swing; he could only draw his arm back to half-cock. He might not have hit her at all (at least not to start with) had she not been flashing a grin - God, those teeth, they'd given him the creeps even in grammar school - and if she hadn't called him Junior.

Of course everyone in town called him Junior, he thought of himself us Junior, but he hadn't realized how much he hated it, how much he hoped-to-die-in-a-maggot-pie hated it until he heard it come bolting out from between the spooky tombstone teeth of the bitch who had caused him so much trouble. The sound cf it went through his head like the sunglare when he'd looked up to see the plane.

But as slaps from half-cock go, this one wasn't bad. She went stumbling backward against the newel post of the stairway and the towel flew off her hair. Wet brown snaggles hung around her cheeks, making her look like Medusa. The smile had been replaced by a look of stunned surprise, and Junior saw a trickle of blood running from the corner of her mouth. That was good. That was fine. The bitch deserved to bleed for what she had done. So much trouble, not just for him but for Frankie and Mel and Carter, too.

His mother's voice in his head: Don't let yourself get out of control, honey. She was dead and still wouldn't stop giving advice. Teach her a lesson, but make it a little one.

And he really might have managed to do that, but then her robe came open and she was naked underneath it. He could see the dark patch of hair over her breeding-farm, her goddam itchy breeding-farm that was all the f**king trouble, when you got right down to it those farms were all the f**king trouble in the world, and his head was throbbing, thudding, whamming, smashing, splitting. It: felt like it was going to go thermonuclear at any moment. A perfect little mushroom cloud would shoot out of each ear just before everything exploded above the neck, and Junior Rennie (who didn't know he had a brain tumor - wheezy old Dr Haskell had never even considered the possibility, not in an otherwise healthy young man hardly out of his teens) went crazy. It wasn't a lucky morning for Claudette Sanders or Chuck Thompson; in point of fact, it wasn't a lucky morning for anyone in Chester's Mill.

But few were as unlucky as the ex-girlfriend of Frank DeLesseps.


She did have two more semi-coherent thoughts as she leaned against the newel post and looked at his bulging eyes and the way he was biting his tongue - biting it so hard his teeth sunk into it.

He's crazy. I have to call the police before he really hurts me.

She turned to run down the front hall to the kitchen, where she would pull the handset off the wall phone, punch 911, and then just start screaming. She got two steps, then stumbled on the towel she'd wrapped around her hair. She regained her balance quickly - she had been a cheerleader in high school and those skills hadn't left her - but it was still too late. Her head snapped back and her feet flew out in front of her. He had grabbed her by her hair.

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