PSHIRE UFO SIGHTINGS
PRAISE FOR STEPHEN KING AND DREAMCATCHER
"Big, dynamic. . . . In this craftily phantasmagoric story about dreams, telepathy, and extraterrestrials, the emphasis is less on fear than on the shared will and capacity to survive. . . . [DREAMCATCHER is] a busy, vigorously told, increasingly trippy story . . . [with] some very neat tricks . . . [and written] with imaginative gusto. . . . King writes more fluently than ever, and at times with simple, unexpected grace."
--The New York Times
"Engrossing . . . exquisitely detailed. . . . Don't start this one on a school night, kids. You'll be up till dawn."
"A horrifying thrill ride."
--The Times Picayune (New Orleans) "A book that evokes King at his harrowing best. . . . [He] infuses a standard 'aliens are among us' story line with his own brew of terror."
--Daily News (New York)
"King knows how to weave a story. . . . DREAMCATCHER displays his talents and drive."
"DREAMCATCHER has a little something for everyone: aliens, scary dreams, boyhood friends . . . but most of all, it tells a compelling story. . . . [It] reaches into the reader's gut, grabs those deep-down hide-under-the-pillow fears and yanks them out into the open."
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A breathless race leading up to a denouement designed to induce nail-biting. . . . His plotting is as expert and enjoyable as ever."
"King remains the master of fright. . . . Arguably, John le Carre does the best and truest spies; Anne Rice, the most spectacular vampires. But Stephen King owns the things that go bump in the night. . . . This novel is King at his storytelling best. . . . He's at the top of his really big-game game."
--The Tampa Tribune
"There's a raw and authentic psychological underpinning to King's best novels. . . . [DREAMCATCHER has a] rough and authentic narrative power."
--National Public Radio
"King keeps the story moving on a kinetic level . . . [and] perfectly fleshes out [the] characters and their middle-age fatigue and confusion, making them real even as he subtly insinuates the supernatural."
--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "An eclectic tale . . . DREAMCATCHER pounds home the truth of our mortality."
"King's characters are as wonderfully woven as ever. . . . The action grips the readers' attention to the full."
--Birmingham Evening Mail
"You'll take a shining to Stephen King's DREAMCATCHER.. . . Enjoyably escapist. . . . An engrossing long-past-midnight page-turner. . . . King continues to scare up those goosebumps and take you by surprise."
--The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Mr. King's writing is more self-assured, his main characters are solid creations, and his dry Maine humor is ever-present."
--The Dallas Morning News
"King is still King."
--The Sunday Gazette Mail (Charleston, SC) "A terrifying piece of fiction. King is a storyteller without literary peer. Every gruesome horror is illuminated in graphic detail, and just turning the pages evokes visceral reactions from palpitations to palm sweat. . . . King remains a wonderfully inventive wordsmith whose imagination continues to haunt us."
--Dayton Daily News (OH) "DREAMCATCHER marks his bracing return to all-out horror, complete with trademark grisly gross-outs, a panoramic cast of deftly drawn characters, and a climactic race against time."
--The Miami Herald
"A fabulously spooky tale. . . . An ace read. . . . King's dialogue delights. DREAMCATCHER is a reassuring sign that more great fiction is on the way."
--The Providence Journal-Bulletin "King's writing is faultless. His characters and story line are complex and thoroughly intertwined. . . . [DREAMCATCHER is] definitely a good read."
--The Evening Standard (N.Z.)
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First, the News
Part 1: Cancer
Chapter One: McCarthy
Chapter Two: The Beav
Chapter Three: Henry's Scout
Chapter Four: McCarthy Goes to the John
Chapter Five: Duddits, Part One
Chapter Six: Duddits, Part Two
Chapter Seven: Jonesy and the Beav
Chapter Eight: Roberta
Chapter Nine: Pete and Becky
Part 2: Grayboys
Chapter Ten: Kurtz and Underhill
Chapter Eleven: The Eggman's Journey
Chapter Twelve: Jonesy in the Hospital
Chapter Thirteen: At Gosselin's
Chapter Fourteen: Going South
Chapter Fifteen: Henry and Owen
Chapter Sixteen: Derry
Chapter Seventeen: Heroes
Part 3: Quabbin
Chapter Eighteen: The Chase Begins
Chapter Nineteen: The Chase Continues
Chapter Twenty: The Chase Ends
Chapter Twenty-One: Shaft 12
Epilogue: Labor Day
Mr. Mercedes Excerpt
About Stephen King
This is for Susan Moldow and Nan Graham.
FIRST, THE NEWS
From the East Oregonian, June 25th, 1947
FIRE CONTROL OFFICER SPOTS
Kenneth Arnold Reports 9 Disc-Shaped Objects
"Shiny, Silvery, Moved Incredibly Fast"
From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 8th, 1947
AIR FORCE CAPTURES "FLYING SAUCER"
ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION
Intelligence Officers Recover Crashed Disc From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, July 9th, 1947
AIR FORCE DECLARES "SAUCER"
From the Chicago Daily Tribune, August 1st, 1947
USAF SAYS "CANNOT EXPLAIN"
850 Additional Sightings Since Original Report From the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, October 19th, 1947
SO-CALLED SPACE WHEAT A HOAX,
ANGRY FARMER DECLARES
Andrew Hoxon Denies "Saucer Connection"
Red-Tinged Wheat "Nothing but a Prank,"
From the (Ky.) Courier Journal, January 8th, 1948
AIR FORCE CAPTAIN KILLED
Mantell's Final Transmission:
"Metallic, Tremendous in Size"
Air Force Mum
From the Brazilian Nacional, March 8th, 1957
STRANGE RINGED CRAFT CRASHES
IN MATO GROSSO!
2 WOMEN MENACED NEAR
"We Heard Squealing Sounds from Within,"
They Declare From the Brazilian Nacional, March 12th, 1957
MATO GROSSO HORROR!
Reports of Gray Men with Huge Black Eyes
Scientists Scoff! Reports Persist!
VILLAGES IN TERROR!
From the Oklahoman, May 12th, 1965
STATE POLICEMAN FIRES AT UFO
Claims Saucer Was 40 Feet Above Highway 9
Tinker AFB Radar Confirms Sightings From the Oklahoman, June 2nd, 1965
"ALIEN GROWTH" A HOAX,
FARM BUREAU REP DECLARES
"Red Weeds" Said to Be Work
of Spray-Gun, Teenagers From the Portland (Me.) Press-Herald, September 14th, 1965
Most Sightings in Exeter Area
Some Residents Express Fear of Alien Invasion From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 19th, 1965
ENORMOUS OBJECT SIGHTED NEAR
EXETER WAS OPTICAL ILLUSION
Air Force Investigators Refute
State Police Sighting
Officer Cleland Adamant: "I Know What I Saw"
From the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader, September 30th, 1965
FOOD POISONING EPIDEMIC IN
PLAISTOW STILL UNEXPLAINED
Over 300 Affected, Most Recovering FDA Officer Says May Have Been
From the Michigan Journal, October 9th, 1965
GERALD FORD CALLS
FOR UFO INVESTIGATION
Republican House Leader Says "Michigan
Lights" May Be Extraterrestrial in Origin From the Los Angeles Times, November 19th, 1978
CALTECH SCIENTISTS REPORT SIGHTING
HUGE DISC-SHAPED OBJECT IN MOJAVE
Tickman: "Was Surrounded by Small Bright
Morales: "Saw Red Growth Like Angel Hair"
From the Los Angeles Times, November 24th, 1978
STATE POLICE, USAF INVESTIGATORS
FIND NO "ANGEL HAIR" AT MOJAVE SITE
Tickman and Morales Take, Pass, Lie Tests Possibility of Hoax Discounted
From the New York Times, August 16th, 1980
"ALIEN ABDUCTEES" REMAIN CONVINCED
Psychologists Question Drawings of So-Called Gray Men
From the Wall Street Journal, February 9th, 1985
CARL SAGAN: "NO, WE ARE NOT ALONE"
Prominent Scientist Reaffirms Belief in ETs
Says, "Odds of Intelligent Life Are Enormous"
From the Phoenix Sun, March 14th, 1997
HUGE UFO SIGHTED NEAR PRESCOTT
Switchboard at Luke AFB Deluged
From the Phoenix Sun, March 20th, 1997
"PHOENIX LIGHTS" REMAIN
Photos Not Doctored, Expert Says Air Force Investigators Mum
From the Paulden (Ariz.) Weekly, April 9th, 1997
FOOD POISONING OUTBREAK
REPORTS OF "RED GRASS" DISCOUNTED
From the Derry (Me.) Daily News, May 15th, 2000
MYSTERY LIGHTS ONCE AGAIN
REPORTED IN JEFFERSON TRACT
Kineo Town Manager: "I Don't Know What
They Are, but They Keep Coming Back"
It became their motto, and Jonesy couldn't for the life of him remember which of them started saying it first. Payback's a bitch, that was his. Fuck me Freddy and half a dozen even more colorful obscenities originated with Beaver. Henry was the one who taught them to say What goes around comes around, it was the kind of Zen shit Henry liked, even when they were kids. SSDD, though; what about SSDD? Whose brainstorm had that been?
Didn't matter. What mattered was that they believed the first half of it when they were a quartet and all of it when they were five and then the second half of it when they were a quartet again.
When it was just the four of them again, the days got darker. There were more fuck-me-Freddy days. They knew it, but not why. They knew something was wrong with them--different, at least--but not what. They knew they were caught, but not exactly how. And all this long before the lights in the sky. Before McCarthy and Becky Shue.
SSDD: Sometimes it's just what you say. And sometimes you believe in nothing but the darkness. And then how do you go along?
1988: Even Beaver Gets the Blues
To say that Beaver's marriage didn't work would be like saying that the launch of the Challenger space shuttle went a little bit wrong. Joe "Beaver" Clarendon and Laurie Sue Kenopensky make it through eight months and then kapow, there goes my baby, somebody help me pick up the fuckin pieces.
The Beav is basically a happy guy, any of his hangout buddies would tell you that, but this is his dark time. He doesn't see any of his old friends (the ones he thinks of as his real friends) except for the one week in November when they are together every year, and last November he and Laurie Sue had still been hanging on. By a thread, granted, but still hanging on. Now he spends a lot of his time--too much, he knows--in the bars of Portland's Old Port district, The Porthole and The Seaman's Club and The Free Street Pub. He is drinking too much and smoking too much of the old rope-a-dope and come most mornings he doesn't like to look at himself in the bathroom mirror; his red-rimmed eyes skitter away from his reflection and he thinks I ought to quit the clubs. Pretty soon I'm gonna have a problem the way Pete's got one. Jesus-Christ-bananas.
Quit the clubs, quit the partying, good fuckin idea, and then he's back again, kiss my bender and how ya doin. This Thursday it's The Free Street, and damned if there isn't a beer in his hand, a joint in his pocket, and some old instrumental, sounds a little bit like The Ventures, pouring from the juke. He can't quite remember the name of this one, which was popular before his time. Still, he knows it; he listens a lot to the Portland oldies station since he got divorced. Oldies are soothing. A lot of the new stuff . . . Laurie Sue knew and liked a lot of it, but Beaver doesn't get it.
The Free Street is mostly empty, maybe half a dozen guys at the bar and another half a dozen shooting eightball in the back, Beaver and three of his hangout buddies in one of the booths, drinking draft Millers and cutting a greasy deck of cards to see who pays for each round. What is that instrumental with all the burbling guitars? "Out of Limits"? "Telstar"? Nah, there's a synthesizer in "Telstar" and no synth in this. And who gives a shit? The other guys are talking about Jackson Browne, who played the Civic Center last night and put on a kick-ass show, according to George Pelsen, who was there.
"I'll tell you something else that was kick-ass," George says, looking at them impressively. He raises his undershot chin, showing them all a red mark on the side of his neck. "You know what that is?"
"Hickey, ain't it?" Kent Astor asks, a bit timidly.
"You're fuckin-A," George says. "I was hangin around the stage door after the show, me and a bunch of other guys, hopin to get Jackson's autograph. Or maybe, I don't know, David Lindley. He's cool."
Kent and Sean Robideau agree that Lindley is cool--not a guitar god, by any means (Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is a guitar god; and Angus Young of AC/DC; and--of course--Clapton), but very cool just the same. Lindley has great licks; he has awesome dreads, as well. All down to his shoulders.
Beaver doesn't join in the talk. All at once he wants to get out of here, out of this stale going-nowhere bar, and cop some fresh air. He knows where George is going with this, and it's all a lie.
Her name wasn't Chantay, you don't know what her name was, she blew right past you like you weren't there, what would you be to a girl like her anyway, just another working-class longhair in another working-class New England town, into the band bus she went and out of your life. Your fuckin uninteresting life. The Chantays is the name of the group we're listening to, not the Mar-Kets or the Bar-Kays but the Chantays, it's "Pipeline" by the Chantays and that thing on your neck isn't a hickey it's a razor burn.
He thinks this, then he hears crying. Not in The Free Street but in his mind. Long-gone crying. It goes right into your head, that crying, goes in like splinters of glass, and oh fuck, fuck me Freddy, somebody make him stop crying.
I was the one who made him stop, Beaver thinks. That was me. I was the one who made him stop. I took him in my arms and sang to him.
Meanwhile George Pelsen is telling them about how the stage door finally opened, but it wasn't Jackson Browne who came out, not David Lindley, either; it was the trio of chick singers, one named Randi, one named Susi, and one named Chantay. Yummy ladies, oh so tall and tasty.
"Man," Sean says, rolling his eyes.
He's a chubby little fellow whose sexual exploits consist of occasional field-trips to Boston, where he eyes the strippers at the Foxy Lady and the waitresses at Hooters. "Oh man, fuckin Chantay." He makes jacking-off gestures in the air. At that, at least, Beav thinks, he looks like a pro.
"So I started talkin to them . . . to her, mostly, Chantay, and I ast her if she'd like to see some of the Portland night-life. So we . . ."
The Beav takes a toothpick from his pocket and slides it into his mouth, tuning the rest out. All at once the toothpick is just what he wants. Not the beer in front of him, not the joint in his pocket, certainly not George Pelsen's empty kahoot about how he and the mythical Chantay got it on in the back of his pickup, thank God for that camper cap, when George's Ram is rockin, don't come knockin.
It's all puff and blow, Beaver thinks, and suddenly he is desperately depressed, more depressed than he has been since Laurie Sue packed her stuff and moved back to her mother's. This is utterly unlike him, and suddenly the only thing he wants is to get the fuck out of here, fill his lungs with the cool, salt-tanged seaside air, and find a phone. He wants to do that and then to call Jonesy or Henry, it doesn't matter which, either one will do; he wants to say Hey man, what's going on and have one of them say back Oh, you know, Beav, SSDD. No bounce, no play.
He gets up.
"Hey, man," George says. Beaver went to Westbrook Junior College with George, and then he seemed cool enough, but juco was many long beers ago. "Where you goin?"
"Take a leak," Beaver says, rolling his toothpick from one side of his mouth to the other.
"Well, you want to hurry your bad ass back, I'm just getting to the good part," George says, and Beaver thinks crotchless panties. Oh boy, today that old weird vibe is strong, maybe it's the barometer or something.
Lowering his voice, George says, "When I got her skirt up--"
"I know, she was wearin crotchless panties," Beaver says. He registers the look of surprise--almost shock--in George's eyes but pays no attention. "I sure want to hear that part."
He walks away, walks toward the men's room with its yellow-pink smell of piss and disinfectant, walks past it, walks past the women's, walks past the door with OFFICE on it, and escapes into the alley. The sky overhead is white and rainy, but the air is good. So good. He breathes it in deep and thinks again. No bounce, no play. He grins a little.
He walks for ten minutes, just chewing toothpicks and clearing his head. At some point, he can't remember exactly when, he tosses away the joint that has been in his pocket. And then he calls Henry from the pay phone in Joe's Smoke Shop, up by Monument Square. He's expecting the answering machine--Henry is still in school--but Henry is actually there, he picks up on the second ring.