Stephen King: The Long Walk: Repeating

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Things that are repeated

This page is dedicated to YouTuber and author Edward Lorn for this review on The Long Walk where he mentioned there is a lot of repetition.
After hearing that, I would listen for, and even search for things that repeated, and this list grew far bigger than expected.

Pick them up, put them down
picking them up and putting them down
"All I'm focusing on is pickin''em up and layin''em down." Olson said.
Garraty concentrated on picking them up and putting them down. He still felt good. He felt strong.
Olson didn't say anything. He just kept picking them up and laying them down.
"I hear you," Garraty snapped crossly, and picked up his feet.
His feet were slowing again and he forced himself to pick them up.
Garraty picked his own feet up, his two-second margin like a stone in his head.
Not even time for someone to say, you better pick it up, Garraty, you're going to draw one.
"Come on, then. Let's pick it up while I've still got the sack for it."
Just pick'em up and put'em down.
"Pick'em up, put'em down, shut your mouth," McVries chanted.
"I keep telling myself," Abraham said, "that all I got to do is to continue putting one foot in front of the other."
"Happens?" Garraty shrugged. "Keep on walking down the road, I guess. Unless you are all considerate enough to buy out by then."
Just pick'em up and put'em down. Just keep on walking down the road.
He made his feet rise and fall to the steady cadence in his head.

Walk all the way, walk forever
But Garraty's good humor was solid. "I feel like I could walk forever," he said blandly.
Scramm smiled gently. "Not me. I feel like I could walk forever.
He felt like he could walk all the way to Florida.
I may get it, but right now I feel like I could walk all the way to New Orleans before I fell down on my knees for those wet ends in their kiddy car."
"If I have to walk to Virginia," he repeated. "If I have to walk all the way to Virginia."
Stebbins stretched up on his toes and grinned sleepily. "I feel like I could walk all the way to Florida, Garraty."

The guns roared
The guns roared. Rank's body was thrown into the air by the force of the bullets. Then it lay still and sprawled, one arm on the road.
The guns roared. There was a rending crash as a dead weight fell through the juniper bushes and underbrush to the ground.
Not long after, the guns roared.
The guns roared once more before the last of the night was finally banished, but Garraty barely heard.
From around the next curve the guns roared again
The guns roared behind them.
The guns roared, and a covey of high school boys sitting in the scant shade of a Scout camper applauded briefly.
The guns roared again and another figure collapsed gracelessly
As if on cue, the guns roared.
All at once the guns roared
The guns roared. A boy named Charlie Field bowed out of the Walk.
The guns roared, the crowd cheered

drop back / dropped back / dropping back
Barkovitch curled his lip in contempt and dropped back.
Then he dropped back slowly to avoid getting warned himself.
Davidson, 8, dropped back with them.
The three or four eager beavers who were still ahead of the pack had dropped back until they were less than fifty yards ahead of the main group.
Stebbins had dropped back to his usual position and Garraty was alone again.
And he dropped back to his usual position.
Collie Parker dropped back between Garraty and McVries.
He had dropped back almost to the tail of the column and reluctantly realized he was angling toward Stebbins again.
Stebbins dropped back quickly. "Warning! Warning 88!"
He dropped back too fast, got a warning
They dropped back a little at a time
He clapped Garraty's shoulder and dropped back.
So he began to drop back, very carefully, just a little at a time (very mindful of his three warnings), until he was in step with Stebbins.
Garraty began to drop back, feeling like a coward, still hating Barkovitch but somehow feeling sorry for him at the same time.
Garraty felt a sudden urge to drop back and look at Barkovitch.
Barkovitch kept up the same jerky pace, now ahead of the main group as if to catch up with the vanguard Walkers, now dropping back toward Stebbins's position on drag.
"Let's start dropping back," McVries said. "We'll do it slow. Get together with Baker. We'll walk into Augusta together. The original Three Musketeers. What do you say, Garraty?"
Without a word-words were almost unnecessary now-Garraty began dropping back.

McVries laughed
"You're a lot of fun, Garraty," Pearson said. "You know that? You're really a lot of fun. Gee, I'm glad I met you." McVries laughed.
"Now why'd he wanna do that?" Scramm cried. "Just a rotten old sport!" McVries laughed. "That's the first honest citizen we've seen since this clambake got started, Scramm. Man, do I love him!"
Maybe I should have read her Swinburne when the wind was wrong." McVries laughed.
McVries laughed a little hysterically. Garraty had no idea what McVries was talking about.
McVries laughed wildly. "Here we are, here we are and you want to know what's eating me!
McVries laughed. "I got the time if you got the money, honey."
"For saving your life again?" McVries laughed merrily.
McVries laughed. "I'm supposed to feel like a heel because you owe me something and I'm taking advantage? Is that it?"
McVries laughed again. "You're all right, Ray. Never doubt it."
That's entertainment, Garraty. It's nothing new." He laughed again.
McVries burst out laughing. "If you win, you won't need a book to make you a rich man, will you?"

Garraty nodded
McVries shrugged. "I feel jumpy. That's the worst." Garraty nodded.
McVries said abruptly. "I'm going to stick to the shoulder." Garraty nodded.
"Enjoy your shower, Garraty?" Garraty nodded.
"I got a loose lip sometimes. I didn't mean nothing by it. Okay?" Garraty nodded wearily
"But suppose you told the housewife: today you must walk sixteen miles before you can have your supper." Garraty nodded.
"He's got pneumonia," McVries said. Garraty nodded.
"Ray Garraty," Stebbins said. "Happy May 3rd, Garraty." Garraty nodded cautiously.
Christ, he looks almost the same now as when we started." Garraty nodded as if expecting this.
"Don't watch'em do it," Baker said. "Promise me that, too." Garraty nodded, beyond speech.

Scramm looked
Scramm looked up at the early morning sun with real pleasure.
Scramm looked sternly at Garraty.
Scramm looked troubled. "Aw, hell ..."
Scramm looked down at the road and rubbed his hands together.
Scramm looked at him almost scornfully.
Scramm looked around blearily at Barkovitch
Scramm looked at them dumbly
Scramm looked puzzled.

Word came back
The word came back that a second pacer halftrack had been dispatched
The word came back that it looked good for breaking the record.
Then the word came back, and this time the word was about a boy named Curley, number 7.
The word came back that they had made almost nine miles before Curley bought his ticket.
At just before two, the word came back again. Garraty was getting a firsthand lesson in the psychology of the grapevine.
And when the word came back that someone was slowing up, that someone was in trouble, the grapevine was always right.
The word came back that this boy had died of slowing down.
At quarter of six the word came back on a boy named Travin, one of the early leaders who was now falling slowly back through the main group.
The word came back that the Major would be by in his jeep to review them and make a short speech when they actually got to the fifty-mile point.
The word came back, but before it got to Garraty he could read the sign for himself: STEEP GRADE TRUCKS USE LOW GEAR
The word came back that a small plank bridge up ahead had been washed out by a heavy afternoon thunderstorm
A few minutes later the word came back, and this time the word was a knock-knock joke.
The word came back. Harkness had burnt out.
It got to be quarter to eight, and the word came back that they were just six miles short of one hundred miles.
The word came back through the thinned ranks that there was a boy near the front who believed he had appendicitis.

Holler
"Thanks!" he hollered to McVries, holding the bent and twisted tube aloft.
somebody was hollering at him
"I want m'boy!" she hollered. "I want m'boy!"
if he wants another one, he'll have to holler for it himself.
Jimmy hollering ... hollering.
Someone had hollered.
Abraham hollered.
Parker hollered.

Thumbed noses
They saluted each Walker, and a couple of the boys, secure in their immunity, thumbed their noses.
Olson lit one of the Mellows with practiced ease, cupping the match, and thumbed his nose at one of the soldiers watching him from the halftrack.
Barkovitch thumbed his nose.
Pearson, Abraham, and Jensen all clutched their crotches with their left hand and thumbed their noses with their right.

Shambling
It was a queer, shambling, limping run.
Gribble took a second warning, then a third, and then, with perhaps fifteen seconds of grace left, he stumbled away and broke into a frantic, shambling run.
Olson walked on. He was a shambling haunted house on legs.
He burst into a shambling, pigeon-toed run.
He was tall and disjointed-looking; he walked in a perpetual shamble.
He shambled along, bulge-eyed, jaw hanging agape, rain swishing in.

Garraty looked at his watch
Garraty looked at his watch. It was five after eight.
Garraty looked at his watch again. It said 8:16
Garraty looked at his watch and was surprised to find it was quarter of five.
Garraty looked at his watch. The second hand swung around once, twice, three times.
Garraty looked at his watch. It was twenty past eight.
Garraty looked at his watch, but it was stopped at 10:16.
Garraty looked at his watch. It was 3:02.
Garraty looked at his watch. It was 3:20.

They screamed
Every time he put his foot down he had screamed
Suddenly Curley screamed.
"It isn't fair!" he screamed.
"Where's the Major?" someone screamed.
The aim was bad, and the unlucky ticket-holder screamed
"Come on!" McVries screamed.
"Hell! Hell!" Olson screamed.
"Just shut up!" Gribble screamed.
"I ain't no killer!" Barkovitch screamed.
"You rotten sonsabitches!" somebody screamed.
"Don't hurt me!" someone screamed.
He screamed again,
"Shove it up your ass!" Barkovitch screamed
"You bastards!" Garraty screamed
"Put him out of it!" a shocked voice screamed
The crowd screamed
"WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING, NUMBNUTS, PLAYING GIN RUMMY?" he screamed
"My leg, my leg, my leg!" he screamed,
A mother screamed
Suddenly he screamed at the crowd: "Pigs! You pigs!"
"There!" Barkovitch screamed shrewishly.
Jimmy screamed
Leave him alone, Garraty screamed
"Get off my back!" Garraty screamed.
"Man, you must really hate her!" McVries screamed
"Parker!" McVries screamed.
Someone in the crowd screamed in pain.
"No!" Garraty screamed.
"No!" Garraty screamed again. "Me! Me! Shoot me!"
The crowd screamed its anger
"GARRATY!" the crowd screamed deliriously.

Garraty Wondered
  1. He, like some of the other boys, was wearing a light packsack. Garraty wondered if he hadn't been a little stupid not to bring one himself.
  2. Garraty wondered if the skinny ones would last or burn out quickly.
  3. Garraty wondered if his own legs would freeze.
  4. "Pretty good," McVries said, and then winked at Garraty. Garraty wondered what McVries had meant, winking like that. Was he making fun of Olson?
  5. He swigged from his canteen, washing down the chocolate, and Garraty wondered if Olson was just fronting, or if he knew something Garraty did not.
  6. He checked back on Stebbins. He was still at the rear, and eating another jelly sandwich. There was a third sandwich jutting from the pocket of his ragged green sweater.
    Garraty wondered if his mother had made them, and he thought of the cookies his own mother had given him-pressed on him, as if warding off evil spirits.
  7. Someone told them authoritatively that a guy up ahead was flagging and had been warned twice. Garraty wondered why they weren't catching up to him if that was true.
  8. The Major was said to be as pleased as punch. Garraty wondered how anyone could know where the hell the Major was.
  9. Garraty wondered if it was embarrassing, being shot in front of people, and guessed by the time you got to that you probably didn't give a tin whistle.
  10. Garraty wondered what the record was for miles walked with only one Walker punched out.
  11. There was some subdued talk, and Garraty wondered again what they did with the bodies.
  12. Garraty wondered if the word would go back on Olson pretty quick, and couldn't repress a shudder.
  13. Every time he squatted he picked up a warning, and Garraty wondered sickly why Travin didn't just let it roll down his legs. Better to be dirty than dead.
  14. Garraty wondered if she was a virgin, like he was.
  15. Garraty wondered morbidly if the little more Olson had found was his last legs.
  16. Garraty wondered if twenty-six down was an unusually high or an unusually low number for seventy-five miles into a Long Walk.
  17. How long can you walk without your shoes? Garraty wondered.
  18. Up ahead, Harkness had formed a new one-man vanguard, walking very rapidly, almost running. He looked neither right nor left. Garraty wondered what he was thinking.
  19. The high school girls and boys (did I once go to high school? Garraty wondered, was that a dream?) were behind them now, still cheering rapturously.
  20. Garraty wondered if anyone had told Abraham he didn't stand a dog's chance of lasting the night with his shirt off.
  21. Garraty wondered how it would be, to lie in the biggest, dustiest library silence of all, dreaming endless, thoughtless dreams behind gummed-down eyelids,
    dressed forever in your Sunday suit.
  22. At quarter past the hour, Bobby Sledge tried to scutter quietly into the crowd under the cover of the dark and the driving rain. He was holed quickly and efficiently.
    Garraty wondered if the blond soldier who had almost sold him his ticket had done it.
  23. For a chilling moment Garraty wondered if maybe they were all there still, walking ghosts that Baker could now see in his moment of extremis.
Flapping He had pulled almost even with them, his head still bent forward, his blond hair flapping around his ears like a sickly halo. One of his shoe soles had come unglued or unstitched or whatever, and it was flapping. This time it was a short boy in a flapping red and white football jersey. Baker was up ahead-he could tell it was him by the flapping red-striped shirt Garraty noticed that the tongue of Wyman's left shoe had worked out from beneath the lacings and was flapping obscenely. What would they do if a tornado just came tearing ass down the road and carried them all off to Oz in a whirling cloud of dirt, flapping shoeleather, and whirling watermelon seeds? The comforting sough of the wind in the pines had become a hundred mad ghosts, flapping and hooting. But Olson was still there, his flapping clothes revealing how amazingly fast the weight had melted off him. Fire siren blasting, Crowd screaming, Klingerman shrieking, rain falling, and his own little tortured soul, flapping through his head and crashing blindly off its walls. About fifteen minutes ago they had passed under a wet and flapping banner that proclaimed that the New Hampshire border was only 44 miles away. George Fielder whirled around in a huge, rambling circle, his arms flapping madly. Stretch "No," McVries replied. "He's just stretching. Guys like him have an awful lot of stretch." They had all pretty much agreed that there was little emotional stretch or recoil left in them. Wooden faced He was staring with an odd fixity at the wooden-faced soldiers atop the halftrack. They were staring back impassively. The soldiers stared over Olson, through him, around him, wooden-faced, deaf and dumb. The rest of them alternately cheered those who had managed to get some of it, or cursed the wooden-faced soldiers, whose expressions were now satisfyingly interpreted to hold subtle chagrin. The wooden faces of their color guard did not change, but seemed all the same to indicate a subtle reproach. Balls Garraty had decided he liked Olson in spite of Olson's brass-balls outer face. "If we was home, I'd twist your balls for that." "Blue balls," Pearson said. "That's what he's got." "Oh my aching balls," Abraham said, and then laughed a little. "Abraham, how did you get into a balls-up like this?" 'Hey, Abe, you really tweaked the Major's balls Everybody thought I was just gonna go on tweaking the Major's balls to the very end. So I guess it turned out the Major was tweaking my balls." Related: "Come on, then. Let's pick it up while I've still got the sack for it." Related: "Ray, I don't think I'd do it again if the Major put his pistol up against my nates. McVries asks "You don't know?" "Why do you hate him so much? Why not Collie Parker? Or Olson? Or all of us?" "Because Barkovitch knows what he's doing." "He plays to win, do you mean?" "You don't know what I mean, Ray." "I wonder if you do yourself," Garraty said. "Sure he's a bastard. Maybe it takes a bastard to win." "Good guys finish last?" "How the hell should I know?" "He wanted us all up there with him, Garraty. And I think we could have done it." "What are you talking about?" Garraty asked, suddenly terrified. "You don't know?" McVries asked. "You don't know?" "Up there with him? ... What? ..." "Forget it. Just forget it." "Why are you here, Garraty?" "I don't know." "You don't know," McVries said. "You're dying and you don't know why." "It's not important after you're dead." "Yeah, maybe," McVries said, "but there's one thing you ought to know, Ray, so it won't be all so pointless." "What's that?" "Why, that you've been had. You mean you really didn't know that, Ray? You really didn't?" Creamed my jeans I damn near creamed my jeans. cream in their silks He felt himself go. That warm, shooting flow of sensation, warming him. Wetting him. Oh Christ, it would soak through his pants and someone would notice. The guy next to me either pissed himself or jacked off in his pants, you couldn't tell which. Related: wet-crotched children Related: he had wet his pants Twinge He thought about Jan, his girl, and felt a twinge of guilt about the girl he had kissed earlier. He wondered if he couldn't feel the first faint twinges of a charley horse in the arch of his left foot. A sharp twinge of pain went through the arch of his right foot. Garraty discovered fresh twinges of pain in his left calf to go with the steady, wooden throbbing that lived in both of his legs, and the low-key agony that was his feet. In fact, he thought with a painful twinge, McVries was the one who looked bushed. Jerked a thumb / cocked his thumb Olson jerked his thumb at a skinny, gangling boy in bluejeans. He jerked a thumb at Stebbins. And he cocked his thumb at Olson. He jerked a thumb at Olson's silhouette. "That's exhausted. Licked his lips Garraty licked his lips, wanting to express himself and not knowing just how. He licked his lips and drank some water. "I'm in bad shape," Pearson said, and licked his lips. He licked his lips and put a shaky hand to his face. Abraham licked his lips. "Yeah." Did Barkovitch buy his ticket? "Barkovitch," Baker said hoarsely. "That was Barkovitch, I'm sure it was." "Wrong, redneck!" Barkovitch yelled out of the darkness. "One hundred per cent dead wrong!" "It was Barkovitch or Quince," Pearson said. "I can't tell ... one of them's still walking ... it's-" Barkovitch laughed out of the darkness, a high, gobbling sound, thin and terrifying. "Not yet, you whores! I ain't gone yet! Not yeeeeeetttttt ..." "I couldn't tell all the guys that bought it. Could you?" "No." "Barkovitch?" "No. Up ahead. In front of Scramm. See him?" All at once the guns roared, and there were two of them falling down dead at once and one of them had to be Barkovitch, had to be. And this time it was his fault, he was the murderer. Then Barkovitch was laughing. Barkovitch was cackling, higher and madder and even more audible than the madness of the crowd. "Garraty! Gaaarrratee! I'll dance on your grave, Garraty! I'll daaaance-" Hail Mary Olson was saying a Hail Mary. Olson had gone back to Hail Mary, full of grace. Hail Mary full of grace, let us blow this goddam place." "Hail Mary," McVries muttered. "Full of grace," Stebbins said from behind them. Slapping Garraty was suddenly aware that he felt quite giddy, as if he might faint himself. He brought one hand up and slapped himself across the face, backward and forward, hard. At quarter to four he was given first warning, and he slapped himself twice smartly across the face, trying to make himself wake up. McVries slapped him twice quickly, forehand on the right cheek, backhand on the left. Smartly Do this smartly, please. he slapped himself twice smartly across the face they about-faced smartly and faced the oncoming halftrack. Name, Number Scramm, 85, did not fascinate Garraty because of his flashing intelligence Aaronson, I, cramped up in both feet It was Abraham, 2. A boy named Tressler, 92, had a sunstroke and was shot as he lay unconscious. Davidson, 8 baleful His eyes peered out of the dark cave of his sockets like baleful animals. "That's gruesome!" Olson said. His haunted eyes stared balefully at Pearson. "I know the type," Baker said balefully. Stone in my ... "I've got a stone in my shoe!" Barkovitch said waspishly. Garraty picked his own feet up, his two-second margin like a stone in his head. It was like there was a stone caught in my throat. Bottles of Beer "99 now, Garraty thought sickly. 99 bottles of beer on the wall and if one of those bottles should happen to fall ... oh Jesus ... oh Jesus ..." ""Ninety-three bottles of beer left on the shelf," McVries said softly." Glittering eyes He grinned, brown eyes glittering. "See? I just got myself a rest. It's all in my Plan." He turned his blank, fever-glittering eyes on Garraty. His face was a furry skull. His eyes were glittering feverishly. "Good morning," McVries croaked. "We live to fight another day." McVries grabs Garraty "Garraty! Garraty for God's sake!" McVries was yelling. He got an arm around Garraty's back and hooked a hand into his armpit. Somehow he yanked him to his feet and Garraty stumbled on. McVries ripped him to his feet once more. Garraty's collar tore. McVries was pulling at him. It was McVries again. An arm brought him up short. It was McVries. It was done until McVries's arm came down around his shoulder again, cruel McVries. A hand, still strong, clamped on his arm. It was McVries. Of course it would have to be McVries. (Garraty remembered the clamp of McVries's fingers on his lower arm when Baker had fallen) McVries says its pointless and trivial "I have no idea what I'll want if I do win this," McVries said. "There's nothing that I really need. I mean, I don't have a sick old mother sitting home or a father on a kidney machine, or anything. I don't even have a little brother dying gamely of leukemia." He laughed and unstrapped his canteen. "You've got a point there," Garraty agreed. "You mean I don't have a point there. The whole thing is pointless." It was all hopeless and stupid and pointless, most of all that, so goddam pointless it was really pitiful. "but there's one thing you ought to know, Ray, so it won't be all so pointless." "What's that?" "Why, that you've been had. You mean you really didn't know that, Ray? You really didn't?" God Mammon They all grinned, and Garraty reflected how strange it was about the Major, who had gone from God to Mammon in just ten hours. Crowd was nothing but a Voice and an Eye, and it was not surprising that Crowd was both God and Mammon. Trivial "The reason all of this is so horrible," McVries said, "is because it's just trivial. You know? We've sold ourselves and traded our souls on trivialities. Olson, he was trivial. He was magnificent, too, but those things aren't mutually exclusive. He was magnificent and trivial. Either way, or both, he died like a bug under a microscope." "You're as bad as Stebbins," Garraty said resentfully. "I wish Priscilla had killed me," McVries said. "At least that wouldn't have been-" "Trivial," Garraty finished. "Yes. I think-" "Look, I want to doze a little if I can. You mind?" "No. I'm sorry." McVries sounded stiff and offended. I'm sorry," Garraty said. "Look, don't take it to heart. It's really-" "Trivial," McVries finished. They didn't expect you to walk on the grass. Another joke on you, Garraty old sport. Nothing vital, just another little disappointment. Trivial, really. Putting the whammy on me / put the hex on him / jinxed "Putting the whammy on me?" Parker put the hex on him, I guess. I think your uncle jinxed her. Save your ... Garraty thought of Hint 10: Save your wind. "If you understood it, you wouldn't have gone into hysterics back there and needed your friend to save your ass. But you will." Pearson joined them. "I've been thinking." "Save your strength," McVries said. "Feeble, man. That is feeble." "Save your breath for a minute," Garraty said. "You'll need it." Count on it "Yeah? Don't count on it." "I wouldn't count on it," Collie Parker said, and now he sounded worn and tired-subdued at last. No fair / not fair "It ain't no fair if you've got a charley horse!" "Its not fair!" Garraty wept. There was a sticky smear of Olson's blood on his cheekbone. "It's just not fair!" At some places they almost had to fight their way through. It's not fair, Garraty thought self-pityingly. At the sky Travin rolled over and grimaced at the sky, ugly and pitiful. He looked up at the sky. "That sun isn't going to set for a long time." Baker looked up at the sky. One of the soldiers had fallen off and lay staring up at the sky with empty, expressionless eyes. Shut up, killer - to Barkovitch "Shut up, killer," McVries answered absently. He shook his head. "Ol' Harkness, sonofabitch." "Shut up, killer," McVries said absently. "She pretty, Ray? Your girl?" "Shut up, killer," McVries said. "I'm not dumping on you, Ray. Come on, let's get away from the killer, here." He could hear McVries's response clearly: "Shut up, killer." Barkovitch told McVries to go to hell, and now he seemed quite upset by the whole thing. Garraty smiled wanly in the darkness. "Shut up and keep walking, killer," McVries said immediately. Shit Pearson, meanwhile, abruptly asked Garraty: "Ever have an enema?" If I don't crap once a day, I take a laxative." "Fastest crap I evah took!" he said, badly out of breath. The shit of a man with his life laid straight out in the line! see who could light the biggest fart Angled He had dropped back almost to the tail of the column and reluctantly realized he was angling toward Stebbins again. Garraty angled to the median quickly, and walked in the close-cropped grass, feeling the dew seep through his cracked shoes and paint his ankles. Garraty began angling toward the small, slumped figure of Barkovitch. Panting like a dog They breasted another rise. The breath came shorter and shorter in Garraty's lungs until he was panting like a dog. Garraty leaned into the slope, feeling his grip on his respiration start to trickle away almost at once. Be panting like a dog at the top, he thought ... and then thought, if I get to the top. Tea "I guess so, yeah," Garraty said. "I myself have passed the point where I'd want to invite him home for tea." "I'm not the caterpillar, anyway," Stebbins said with a small, somehow secretive smile. "I'm more the white rabbit type, don't you think? Except I left my gold watch at home and no one has invited me to tea. At least, to the best of my knowledge, no one has. Maybe that's what I'll ask for when I win. When they ask me what I want for my prize, I'll say, 'Why, I want to be invited home for tea.' " Mailsack thud, sack of mail, limp laundry sack, grain bag The guns crashed in the darkness, and there was the unmistakable mailsack thud of a body falling on the concrete. The guns again, startling him awake, and there was the familiar mailsack thud of another boy going home to Jesus. "Bragged my way in," Abraham said promptly. He started to go on and the guns interrupted him. There was the familiar mailsack thud. The rest of him fell forward on the white line like a sack of mail. Related: They fired in neat unison, and the small, nearly portly figure was thrown across two lanes like a limp laundry sack. Related: Harkness was being dragged off the road someplace up ahead like a grain bag or was being tossed into a truck Wind soughed throug the pines The comforting sough of the wind in the pines light wind soughed through the pines. A little breeze soughed through the pines. sounding like a lost soul as it soughed through the trees. Loudhailer and bullhorn (aka megaphone) loudhailer: He came past them on the shoulder opposite the pacing halftrack and raised a battery-powered loudhailer to his lips. loudhailer: The Major raised the battery-powered loudhailer to his lips. "I'm proud of you, boys. Proud!" loudhailer: Second warning, blared from the loudhailer like the voice of God. bullhorn: A man with an electric bullhorn who alternately praised Garraty and advertised his own candidacy to represent the second district bullhorn: A soldier speaking through a sexless bullhorn was giving them both first warning. Too goddam much You wonder too goddam much! he shouted at himself suddenly. "You talk too goddam much," Olson said suddenly. Dumbo Barkovitch's unmistakable voice came back quickly and nastily: "What do you think, Dumbo?" "The reporter, Dumbo. Did he ask you how you felt?" "Make me, Dumbo!" Barkovitch shrilled. "Come on up here and make me!" "Come on, you sonofabitch! I'll dance on your goddam grave! Come on, Dumbo, pick up your feet! Don't make it too easy for me!" "Come on, Dumbo!" Barkovitch goaded. "Get up!" Feel like a heel McVries laughed. "I'm supposed to feel like a heel because you owe me something and I'm taking advantage? I told her that would make me feel like an opportunist and a heel Kidneys His kidneys contracted. His kidneys dragged at him, but at the same time he felt that he didn't quite have to pee yet. My neck is stiff and my kidneys ache. He wanted to break into a run, bruised kidneys and aching spine and screaming feet and all, run and tell McVries he was going to be able to keep his promise. Gobble / Gobbling / Gobbled Up ahead someone uttered a high, gobbling scream, and then the rifles crashed in unison. The holed Walker made a high, gobbling sound, like a turkey grabbed suddenly by a silent-stepping farmer. He's like a starving man gobbling up laxatives. Barkovitch laughed out of the darkness, a high, gobbling sound, thin and terrifying. "Not yet, you whores! I ain't gone yet! Not yeeeeeetttttt ..." They fled from him, fled and scattered ahead and behind, and Barkovitch went on screaming and gobbling and clawing and walking, his feral face turned up to the sky, his mouth a twisted curve of darkness. He drove his face into the watermelon, gobbled hungrily Far ahead, police sirens howled and gobbled in the night. Turkey "He's the one that's forgetting. This turkey here." "Come on, you turkey, I can't lug you!" McVries hissed. "That's a dollar forty you owe me, turkey." I don't want to die "Maybe it's like you say. Maybe it's not enough. But ... I don't want to die." "I don't want to die any more than you do. What do you want? Do you want me to be sorry? I'll be sorry! I ... I ..." "Ah, I don't want to die this way," Abraham said. Half (does not include the 50+ mentions of halftrack) He was walking half-asleep. He had been half-asleep again. He hemorrhaged in one eye and finished the Walk half-blind. McVries with his head slumped, hands half-clenched It looked to be a perfect day, and Garraty greeted it only half-coherently His half-dozing mind began to slip away from him. He was wearing a Randy the Robot T-shirt and goggling around a half-eaten jam sandwich. He was still saving his last half-sandwich. Finally Travin half-squatted, half-fell The sun was half-gone When they start half-hoping Pointing fingers, half-seen and half-imagined Just go down in a dreamy, slow-motion half-knowingness His eyes were half-lidded They walked, they half-listened It was a half-lunatic sort of gaze. his eyes half-open My dad has a half-ownership Maybe he's even half-right. His head made half-rolls of the final frozen half-second Pointing fingers, half-seen an insomniac's half-sleeping wakemare. Then, with a grunting half-sob Garraty looked up, half-stupefied rolled through a half-turn He made an almost military half-turn Garraty noted with amusement that his fly was half-unzipped. He could feel, actually feel in the half-waking dream he rose to his feet and stumbled into a half-walk, half-run three teenaged children who all looked half-witted. He supposed the farmer and his wife and the three half-witted children Or even some half-witted millworker There were mutters and half-yelps his head half-cocked along the barrel. The ribbing was halfhearted Garraty waved back halfheartedly. Olson was still back there; halfhearted bets had gone round A few halfhearted cheers went up and then raised his hand in a halfhearted wave. We must be halfway The only one who sounded halfway serious Barkovitch was insulted "All I'm focusing on is pickin''em up and layin''em down." Olson said. 5 looked insulted. "All I see that you got is three warnings. For your lousy minute and a half you got to walk three ... fucking ... hours. And why in hell did you need a rest? We just started, for Chrissake!" Barkovitch looked insulted. "It's about seventeen miles," McVries told him. "Now go peddle your papers, little man." Barkovitch put on his insulted look and moved away. "Go away," McVries said. "You give me a headache." Insulted once more, Barkovitch moved on up the line Whore He made it sound like Ewing's mother was a whore. "Stinking sonsofbitches!" Garraty shrieked at them. "I wish your mothers had miscarried you stinking whoresons!" That word "whoresons," he hadn't thought anybody ever used a word like that outside of books. Whore's hair he thought it for some reason. "Not yet, you whores! I ain't gone yet! Not yeeeeeetttttt ..." "WHORE!" Tubbins babbled to the rain. He had turned his face up into it, and the rain dripped off his specs onto his cheeks and over his lips and down off the end of his blunted chin. "THE WHORE OF BABYLON HAS COME AMONG US! SHE LIES IN THE STREETS AND SPREADS HER LEGS ON THE FILTH OF COBBLESTONES! VILE! VILE! BEWARE THE WHORE OF BABYLON! HER LIPS DRIP HONEY BUT HER HEART IS GALL AND WORMWOOD-" "And she's got the clap," Collie Parker added tiredly. "Jeezus, he's worse than Klingerman." He raised his voice. "Drop down dead, Tubby!" "WHOREMONGER AND WHOREMASTER!" shrieked Tubbins. "VILE! UNCLEAN!" Time to stop being rabbits and grunting pigs and sheep and to be people ... even if we can only rise to the level of whoremasters and the perverts in the balconies of the theaters on 42nd Street." Garraty is fascinated "I wonder why he's here, why he doesn't say anything. And whether he'll live or die." Garraty was somehow fascinated with the boy. It was the most fascinating thing he had ever seen. Garraty and McVries watched him in fascinated silence for perhaps ten minutes They stared at the road with a kind of horrid fascination Something about Stebbins fascinated him. The pavement fascinated him. Garraty stared at this strange phenomenon, fascinated. He fascinated Garraty because he was married. Garraty asked, more fascinated than ever. Garraty stared at him, fascinated. Garraty watched Olson, fascinated Garraty felt the death-fascination coming over him again Garraty looked at him, fascinated in spite of himself. 42nd street "Your mother sucks cock on 42nd Street, Rank!" "Your mother sucks cock on 42nd Street too, scarface," Barkovitch said hoarsely. Time to stop being rabbits and grunting pigs and sheep and to be people ... even if we can only rise to the level of whoremasters and the perverts in the balconies of the theaters on 42nd Street." Rube "There ya go, hicksville!" Collie shouted. "Don't say I never gave ya nothin', ya goddam rube!" "My God you must think I'm dumb!" Abraham hollered. "You think I'm some kind of idiot, right? Go on and admit it! Just taking the rube to the cleaners, right?" "Now that you put it to me," Baker said, "whether or not you're a rube never entered my mind. That you're an ijit is pretty well established. As far as taking you to the cleaners"-he put a hand on Abraham's shoulder-"that, my friend, is a certainty." Abraham's Oxfords and Stebbins He thought that Abraham's Oxfords were like Stebbins Stebbins was Stebbins. He went on and on, like Abraham's shoes. Infinitesimal The odds infinitesimally adjusted in favor of those remaining. The guns roared, the crowd cheered, and Garraty felt the stubborn cranny of hope in the back of his brain open an infinitesimal bit more. Hole Ewing bought a hole about ten minutes later. At 11:40 Marty Wyman bought his hole. At quarter past the hour, Bobby Sledge tried to scutter quietly into the crowd under the cover of the dark and the driving rain. He was holed quickly and efficiently. We all are, None of us do "Yeah, but he don't look so good." "At this point, none of us do," McVries said. He's easing up on the lung-power and going to leg-power." "We all are." "I'm about done in," Baker said simply. "We all are." "I'm as hot as a poker." "We're all hot," Garraty said. What time is it? "What time is it?" Garraty asked thickly. "Eight thirty-five." "What time is it?" Garraty had rewound and reset his watch earlier. God knew why. "It's quarter of nine." "What time is it?" "Dammit!" Garraty shouted at him. "What time is it?" Scramm asked suddenly, and Garraty was eerily reminded of Olson. "What time is it?" McVries glanced at his watch. "2:20, Look, Ray, if you're going to-" "God, is that all? I thought-" What time is it, McVries?" "What time is it?" Garraty asked, and before McVries could answer he remembered that he was wearing a watch of his own. It was 2:38. Christ. His two-second margin was like an iron dumbbell on his back. "What time is it?" Stebbins asked. His face seemed to have melted in the rain. What's-her-face, What's-His-Name Think about your girl. Jan, what's-her-face. Percy What's-His-Name Percy What'shisname? Pronounce that Huff Bill Hough ("pronounce that Huff," he had told Garraty much earlier on) Bill Hough ("you pronounce that Huff") bought a ticket at quarter of eleven Getting pleasure at seeing other people die Look at that Barkovitch. He ain't in it to get no Prize. He's just walkin' to see other people die. He lives on it. The crowd made a low sound that might have been a sigh or a groan or an almost sexual outletting of pleasure. "She looks just like my Aunt Hattie. She used to like to go to funerals, listen to the weeping and wailing and carrying-ons with just that same smile. Some folks like to see other folks die. Blond hair (All people mentioned who had blond hair, not all references) He was skinny and blond, wearing purple pants and a blue chambray shirt under an old green zip sweater with holes in the elbows. There had been one blond lady with a piece of blue silk draped across her hips and they had stared at it for a long, long time. They walked right past me. One of them was a big blond with his shirt open. Parker was a big-muscled blond in a polo shirt. He was thinking about Jan, who had come up from Connecticut, who had seemed so smooth and self-confident, with her long blond hair and her flat shoes. His sun-bleached blond hair ruffled just a little in a light puff of breeze. All gone except one soldier, young and blond and handsome in a remote sort of way. Unison then the rifles crashed in unison They fired in neat unison The other two guns roared in unison Red hair Number 100 was a red-headed fellow with a volcanic complexion. It was a redhead with a plaid shirt tied around his waist. No wonder the redheaded kid was screaming about his feet. A moment later the redheaded boy's face was blown away. Concentration-camp He smiled a hollow, concentration-camp smile that made Garraty's belly crawl. Several Walkers were nothing but flesh-covered skeletons-concentration-camp horrors. Silk Her skin was like old silk. There had been one blond lady with a piece of blue silk draped across her hips and they had stared at it for a long, long time. The water rippled below them like black silk. The boy in the green silk vest had bought a ticket, and he was staring up at the sun. His hair flew aimlessly on his skull like wind-driven cornsilk. The shadows got longer. Jackets appeared in the crowd as if a magician had conjured them out of a silk hat. "I got girls everywhere, you dumb hump," Parker said. "They take one look at this face and cream in their silks." She was waving the blue silk scarf he had gotten her for her birthday "Git me a lead-lined one with pink silk insides and a white satin headpillow." "They take one look at this face and cream in their silks." Sticky Ball of Mucus There was something in Garraty's belly that felt like a sticky ball of mucus. Garraty felt a sticky dryness in his throat. The mucus ball was in his throat again, making it hard to swallow. He felt panic rising in his throat, greasy and thick. He swallowed dryly. Click in his throat His adam's apple bobbed, and something clicked in his throat. He swallowed, and there was a click in his throat. Sough A light wind soughed through the pines. A little breeze soughed through the pines. sounding like a lost soul as it soughed through the trees. The comforting sough of the wind in the pines Stack the deck / Tip the game "Yeah, they like to stack the deck their way." It's one of the ways they tip the game Piss and Shit on ... "Piss on you, Jack," "Piss on you," McVries said calmly. "So I can piss on him," Baker said. "Piss on the Major," Garraty said. "Everybody wants to piss on the Major. "Piss on him," Parker muttered. "Shit on you." "So do you, don't shit me, Garraty. But don't shit me. Ask ... "You want to know why I don't?" Olson said. He looked up at Garraty and grinned a scary, furtive grin. "Ask Fenter. Ask Zuck. They know." Scramm laughed. "Ain't it fun?" "Not for Harkness," Garraty said sourly. "Go ask him if he thinks it's fun." Flashbulbs popped Flashbulbs popped and dazzled. Flashbulbs popped and Garraty turned his head away miserably. Dropped back Barkovitch curled his lip in contempt and dropped back. Then he dropped back slowly to avoid getting warned himself. The rainbow was gone by four o'clock. Davidson, 8, dropped back with them. The three or four eager beavers who were still ahead of the pack had dropped back until they were less than fifty yards ahead of the main group. but Stebbins had dropped back to his usual position and Garraty was alone again. "Yes," Stebbins said calmly. "I'm quite sure of it." And he dropped back to his usual position. Collie Parker dropped back between Garraty and McVries. He had dropped back almost to the tail of the column and reluctantly realized he was angling toward Stebbins again. Stebbins dropped back quickly. He dropped back too fast, got a warning, and spent the next ten minutes working back to where Stebbins was ambling along. They dropped back a little at a time, eventually leaving the sinister-faced Harold Quince to lead the parade. McVries laughed again. "You're all right, Ray. Never doubt it." He clapped Garraty's shoulder and dropped back. Reproach but seemed all the same to indicate a subtle reproach. "It's further than you said," Pearson told him reproachfully. "Now you did it," Collie Parker said reproachfully. Get off my back! Barkovitch looked around at him. "Why don't you get off my back, McVries? Go walk somewhere else." "Get off my back!" Garraty screamed. "Just get off me." Throwing hands up right before death And Barkovitch's hands suddenly went up like startled doves taking flight and Barkovitch ripped out his own throat. He threw both of his arms up, like he was Superman. <-- walker that Stebbins saw when he was young He raised both hands up into the sky. The crowd sighed softly. "I DID IT WRONG!" Olson shouted tremblingly, and then fell flat and dead. Go a little longer I'm going to live a little longer, Garraty told them. I'm going to live. I'm going to live a little longer. Like a heartbeat. Live a little longer. Live a little longer. Live a little longer. "Walk a little bit longer," Garraty said through his tears. "Walk a little longer, Art." Swallowed tongue Another boy suffered a convulsion and got a ticket as he crawdaddied on the road, making ugly noises around his swallowed tongue. This has about as much dignity as a mongoloid idiot strangling on his own tongue Pneumonia Scramm was not so flushed, but he was coughing steadily-a deep, thundering cough that reminded Garraty of himself, long ago. He had had pneumonia when he was five. "He's got pneumonia," McVries said. "He's got pneumonia. He probably won't last until noon." I had a brother, Jeff. He died of pneumonia when he was six Talking to Stebbins is like ... I don't even know why I bother talking to you. It's like talking to smoke." "Jesus, you remind me of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, sometimes," Garraty said. "Don't you ever just talk?" Garraty didn't want to walk with Stebbins anymore, not right now. Stebbins made him uneasy. He could only take Stebbins in small doses. Arc-sodium and Mercury lights Night was turned into glaring, shadowless day by flaring arc-sodium lamps that threw a strange orange light. In such a light even the most friendly face looked like something from a crypt. Garraty could see the steep embankment to his right, and the fuzzy glow of more arc-sodiums-bone-white this time-above. The turnpike stretched ahead, flat and monotonous, stretches of concrete tubing divided by this green inset, all of it banded together by strips of white light from the arc-sodiums above. They passed under a short string of mercury streetlights They walked past him, out of the bright circle of light thrown by the single mercury lamp. Life in a line / Life on the line "What did he say?" Garraty asked. It seemed to him that with the question he had laid his whole life on the line. The shit of a man with his life laid straight out in the line! Bulwark against mortality Everyone wants a bulwark against mortality, Garraty. He laughed, and Garraty thought of what Stebbins had said, about bulwarks against mortality. Felt the air / tug air The guns were shooting again, God, they were shooting at him now, he felt the air from that one, it was over, all over- The slugs snapped and whined, and Garraty felt one of them tug air in front of his face. Raring to rip Said he liked to see someone who was raring to rip. The Major likes to see someone who's raring to rip, wasn't that what Olson had said when he came back from getting his number? Olson didn't look quite so raring to rip anymore. "I don't want to do it anymore," Olson said hollowly, "I'm sick of it." "Raring to rip," McVries said, turning on him. "Isn't that what you said? Fuck it, then. Why don't you just fall down and die then?" Fall down and die "Raring to rip," McVries said, turning on him. "Isn't that what you said? Fuck it, then. Why don't you just fall down and die then?" "Roll over and die now!" Barkovitch yelled back. "Save some energy!" Nigger "What the hell can you expect from a dumb nigger? Now I ask you." WE GAVE AWAY THE PANAMA CANAL TO THE COMMUNIST NIGGERS. I'm not a walking roadmap "What comes after Oldtown, Ray?" McVries asked. "I'm not a walking roadmap," Garraty said irritably. "Bangor, I guess. Then Augusta. Then Kit tery and the state line, about three hundred and thirty miles from here. Give or take. Okay? I'm picked clean." "It's further than you said," Pearson told him reproachfully. He was horribly haggard, his hair hanging lifelessly about his cheeks. "I'm not a walking roadmap," Garraty said. Popped and half-unzipped his fly Garraty noted with amusement that his fly was half-unzipped. A man in the first rank waving a sloppily lettered sign with Scramm's name on it had popped his fly. Garraty does not assume: Is that right? Is that so? How would you know? How the hell should I know? "Is that right?" Garraty asked crossly. "How come everybody else around here knows so much more about it than me?" "Is that so?" Garraty cried. "How much planning are you doing?" "How would you know?" Garraty asked. "How would any of us know?" "Good guys finish last?" "How the hell should I know?" "Jesus! Is that so?" "Man, I'm not sure of anything," Garraty said. "I didn't know much when I started, and I know less now." "Thanks," he said. "For saving your life again?" McVries laughed merrily. "Yes, that's just right." "Are you sure that would be any kind of a favor?" "I don't know." then I'd be part of that rat. Ain't that right?" "I don't know," Garraty said sickly. "Besides," Pearson added, "what's getting Squaded? It beats the hell out of getting dead, am I right?" "How would you know?" Garraty asked. "How would any of us know?" Man "Man, I'm not sure of anything," Garraty said. "I didn't know much when I started, and I know less now." "Man, I'm glad to be alive." Man, do I love him! "Goodbye, man," he said hoarsely. Man, they were so ugly they could have stopped clocks. "Man, you must really hate her!" "Maybe I'll see you, man," I got a cramp in my foot, man. We're square, man. "Feeble, man. That is feeble." Sorry, man. Maine's Own GO-GO-GARRATY NUMBER 47 We Love You Ray "Maine's Own." He was, after all, "Maine's Own." He wondered if their sign was for Go-Go Garraty, "Maine's Own." Her voice cut through the crowd and heads turned, necks craned, so that they could get a better look at Maine's Own. GARRATY DEAD; "MAINE'S OWN" BECOMES 61ST TO FALL! I am Maine's Own. Euphemisms for death * buy out * bought a ticket to see the farm * bought a bullet * bought his hole * see that fabled farm * was holed * bowed out He took his three warnings and then at 9:02 AM they gave him his ticket. He wondered if he might freeze and get his ticket on the starting line. Suddenly he was sure Stebbins was going to get his ticket right here The word that one of the Walkers had been ticketed out "Ol' Harkness bought a ticket to see the farm." I'm on my way to see that fabled farm. He knows a lot of us'll be glad to see him buy a ticket to see the farm. "I hope Barkovitch buys out soon," And then you buy out. That would be a hell of a way to buy out. Unless you are all considerate enough to buy out by then." The word came back that they had made almost nine miles before Curley bought his ticket. At 5:25 Yannick bought his ticket. Olson had finally bought his bullet I am quite sure that the Olson who sat on the grass and joked and told about the kid who froze on the starting line and bought his ticket right there They would have gone on walking even if he had bought his ticket. At 11:40 Marty Wyman bought his hole. The holed Walker made a high, gobbling sound He was holed quickly and efficiently. Ewing bought a hole about ten minutes later. The guns roared. A boy named Charlie Field bowed out of the Walk. Go to hell! "Go to hell," McVries said in a dead, washed-out voice. He began to walk again. "Go to hell," Olson muttered. "Hell! Hell!" Olson screamed. "Go to hell!" Barkovitch told McVries to go to hell "Go to hell," Abraham muttered. Soft-pedeled / Soft sell My mother and Jan and Dr. Patterson-they just kind of soft-pedaled it at first. I guess you could say he gave me the soft sell. Walk or Ride? "Now all I need is a Sleeping Beauty. I could awake her with a biggy sloppy soul kiss and the two of us would ride away into the sunset. "Walk," Olson said listlessly. "Walk into the sunset." He left his castle and walked through the Enchanted Forest-" "Knights ride," Stebbins objected. "Rode through the Enchanted Forest, then. Rode. Freaky D'Allessio It had been Freaky D'Allessio's funeral. Eddie Klipstein did, telling them about how the car hit Freaky D'Allessio's bike and Freaky went up over the handlebars he'll fly through the air just like Freaky D'Allessio. He wondered if Freaky D'Allessio had known he was going to buy a ticket before he did. Freaky D'Allessio hadn't been able to see the ball coming When he blinked his eyes he seemed to see the out-of-kilter eyes of Freaky D'Allessio looking back at him from the darkness. ... not even about Freaky D'Allessio, who had spread his head on a stone wall beside U.S. 1 like a dollop of glue. Freaky D'Allessio was crouched beneath the rocking chair of Baker's aunt, curled in a tiny coffin. Dun-colored A dun-colored jeep drove up to the stone marker and stopped. Percy transformed into a bright, sunlit Adonis counterpointed by the savage, dun-colored huntsman. A moment later a large, dun-colored sun umbrella popped up. Report Then there was a single sharp report, a pause, then a second. There was one sharp, clean report, Contracted His kidneys contracted. His dozing body contracted His pupils were contracted His bowels contracted Intoned "Another boy has gone ober to dat Silver City, lawd, lawd," Barkovitch intoned. "Fourscore and seven years ago," Abraham intoned Trapped in a cage "All we are is mice in a trap." "Who's in the cage. Us or them." Garraty laughed with genuine pleasure. "All of us. And the cage is in the Major's monkey house." Sheep caught in a barbed wire fence They were the eyes of a sheep caught in a barbed wire fence. "Like a sheep caught on barbed wire. That's what I thought." Half-eating jam sandwich Then he saw Stebbins was only protecting the last half of his jelly sandwich He was wearing a Randy the Robot T-shirt and goggling around a half-eaten jam sandwich. Harder to push "It's getting harder to work me up," Garraty admitted. "Sorry, you're not pushing the right button anymore." Touching the scar without thinking His hand went to the scar on his cheek and touched it. His hand had gone to the scar and was rubbing, rubbing, rubbing. McVries's hand went involuntarily to his cheek and the scar. His hand went to the scar. His hand crept up to the scar.
Date Created November 8, 2018
Last Updated August 16, 2020
Contact: patcoston@gmail.com