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Carrie
Author: Stephen King

Part One Blood Sport

Chapter One

News item from the Westover (Me.) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966:

RAIN OF STONES REPORTED

It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th. The stones fell principally on the home of Mrs Margaret White, damaging the roof extensively and ruining two gutters and a downspout valued at approximately $25. Mrs White, a widow, lives with her three-year-old daughter, Carietta.

Mrs White could not be reached for comment.

Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow. On the surface, all the girls in the shower room were shocked, thrilled, ashamed, or simply glad that the White bitch had taken it in the mouth again. Some of them might also have claimed surprise, but of course their claim was untrue. Carrie had been going to school with some of them since the first grade, and this had been building since that time, building slowly and immutably, in accordance with all the laws that govern human nature, building with all the steadiness of a chain reaction approaching critical mass.

What none of them knew, of course, was that Carrie White was telekinetic.

Graffiti scratched on a desk of the Barker Street Grammar school in Chamberlain:

Carrie White eats shit.

The locker room was filled with shouts, echoes, and the subterranean sound of showers splashing on tile. The girls had been playing volleyball in Period One, and their morning sweat was light and eager.

Girls stretched and writhed under the hot water, squalling, flicking water, squirting white bars of soap from hand to hand. Carrie stood among them stolidly a frog among swans. She was a chunky girl with pimples on her neck and back and bu**ocks, her wet hair completely without colour. It rested against her face with dispirited sogginess and she simply stood, head slightly bent, letting the water splat against her flesh and roll off. She looked the part of the sacrificial goat, the constant butt, believer in left-handed monkey wrenches, perpetual foul-up, and she was. She wished forlornly and constantly that Ewen High had individual-and thus private-showers, like the high schools at Andover or Boxford. They stared. They always stared.

Showers turning off one by one, girls stepping out, removing pastel bathing caps, towelling, spraying deodorant, checking the clock over the door. Bras were hooked, underpants stepped into. Steam hung in the air; the place might have been an Egyptian bathhouse except for the constant rumble of the Jacuzzi whirlpool bath in the corner. Calls and catcalls rebounded with all the snap and flicker of billiard balls after a hard break.

'-so Tommy said he hated it on me and I-'

'-I'm going with my sister and her husband. He picks his nose but so does she, so they're very-'

'-shower after school and-'

'-too cheap to spend a goddam penny so Cindi and I-'

Miss Desjardin, their slim, nonbreasted gym teacher, stepped in, craned her-neck around briefly, and slapped her hands together once, smartly. 'What are you waiting for, Carrie? Doom? Bell in five minutes.' Her shorts were blinding white, her legs not too curved but striking in their unobtrusive muscularity. A silver whistle, won in college archery competition, hung around her neck.

The girls giggled and Carrie looked up, her eyes slow and dazed from the heat and the steady, pounding roar of the water. 'Ohuh?'

It was a strangely froggy sound, grotesquely apt, and the girls giggled again. Sue Snell had whipped a towel from her hair with the speed of a magician embarking on a wondrous feat and began to comb rapidly. Miss Desjardin made an irritated cranking gesture at Carrie and stepped out.

Carrie turned off the shower. It died in a drip and a gurgle.

It wasn't until she stepped out that they all saw the blood running down her leg.

From The Shadow Exploded. Documented Facts and Specific Conclusions Derived from the Case of Carietta White, by David R. Congress (Tulane University Press: 1981), p. 34:

It can hardly be disputed that failure to note specific instances of telekinesis during the White girl's earlier years must be attributed to the conclusions offered by White and Steams in their paper Telekinesis: A Wild Talent Revisited-that the ability to move objects by effort of the will alone comes to the fore only in moments of extreme personal stress. The talent is well hidden indeed; how else could it have remained submerged for centuries with only the tip of the iceberg showing above a sea of quackery?

We have only skimpy hearsay evidence upon which to lay our foundation in this case, but even this is enough to indicate that a 'TK' potential of immense magnitude existed within Carrie White. The great tragedy is that we are now all Monday-morning quarterbacks ...

'Per-iod!'

The catcall came first from Chris Hargensen. It struck the tiled walls, rebounded, and struck again. Sue Snell gasped laughter from her nose and felt an odd, vexing mixture of hate, revulsion, exasperation, and pity. She just looked so dumb, standing there, not knowing what was going on. God, you'd think she never

'PER-iod!'

It was becoming a chant, an incantation. Someone in the back-ground (perhaps Hargensen again, Sue couldn't tell in the jungle of echoes) was yelling 'Plug it up!' with hoarse, uninhibited abandon.

'PER-iod, PER-iod, PER-iod!'

Carrie stood dumbly in the centre of a forming circle, water rolling from her skin in beads. She stood like a patient ox, aware that the joke was on her (as always), dumbly embarrassed but unsurprised.

Sue felt welling disgust as the first dark drops of menstrual blood struck the tile in dime-sized drops. 'For God's sake Carrie, you got your period!' Sue cried. 'Clean yourself up!'

'Ohuh?'

She looked around bovinely. Her hair stuck to her cheeks in a curving helmet shape. There was a cluster of acne on one shoulder. At sixteen, the elusive stamp of hurt was already marked clearly in her eyes.

 

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