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The Shining

The Shining

by Stephen King

The Shining Chapter 37 Summary

How It All Goes Down

The Ballroom

  • It is now December 1, and Danny is in the ballroom, "looking at a clock under glass" (37.2).
  • Danny has been very careful lately to stay away from places he knows are "'unsafe'" (37.2). The places he deems "safe" are "their quarters, the lobby, the porch, [and] apparently the ballroom" (37.2).
  • He knows the clock is something he's not allowed to mess with. He takes the glass off the clock, and lifts the "silver key" (37.10) to the keyhole. He turns it as far as he can. The clock starts ticking and Danny can see that in forty five minutes it the hands will show that it's midnight.
  • A thought enters his mind: "(The Red Death held sway over all.)" (37.12). He doesn't see any significance to it.
  • Waltz music begins, and the figures of a boy and a girl come out of the clock and start to dance. Soon they are "lying prone, the boy's head buried beneath the girl's […] skirt, the girls face pressed against the center of the boy's leotard.
  • The clock begins to chiming and some thoughts enter Danny's mind: "(Midnight! Stroke of midnight! Unmask! Unmask!)" (37.18) and, "(Hooray for masks!)"(37.18).
  • Danny spins around but finds the room empty. Yet, he knows it really isn't, because "here in the Overlook things just went on and on. Here in the Overlook all times were one" (37.22).
  • Danny had hoped that some miracle would occur, that someone would come and save them so he wouldn't have to try to get Tony to show him things again.
  • But now he must.
  • He calls Tony, knowing that if Tony does come, he'll be showing him those same things, "Redrum" (37.33) and the drunken, yelling thing with the roque mallet.
  • Danny stares at the clock. Its face disappears and is now "a round black hole" (37.38) that is getting bigger and bigger. Danny falls into it.
  • Danny is in the hallway, and he's gone the wrong way. The only place he can run is the Presidential Suite. Behind him is the drunken, yelling thing with the mallet.
  • Behind the drunken, yelling thing, Danny sees a figure in white – Halloran (!) wearing his chef clothes.
  • Halloran says for Danny to call him if he needs him, and he'll come right away from Florida.
  • So Danny does, he calls him as hard as he can.
  • Now Halloran is retreating saying he has to leave.
  • Now the drunken thing sees Danny and comes at him with a mallet.
  • Danny shrieks, runs, and falls back into the black hole.
  • He sees Tony falling, too.
  • Tony tells Danny that "he" (37.59) won't let Tony come any more, and that Danny needs to "get Dick" (37.59).
  • Danny screams and Tony is gone. Now Danny's in a room he's been in before. The room is all torn up. Wendy's records and record player are smashed.
  • The door to the bathroom is open part way; there's a light on in there. A hand, dripping blood, hangs out of the tub.
  • In the bathroom mirror Danny sees "REDRUM flashing off and on" (37.62).
  • Then, in front of the mirror, Danny sees "a huge clock in a glass bowl" (37.63). In red, the date, "DECEMBER 2" (37.63) is written.
  • He sees the word REDRUM reflected in the class bowl housing the clock. He reads "MURDER" (37.63), and then screams.
  • The black hole reappears, and Danny is on the floor of the ballroom. He wonders what will happen at the unmasking, when he sees the face behind the mask, the face of the thing that's been chasing him.
  • He screams for Dick Halloran over and over, and the clock ticks on.

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