by Stephen King
The Shining Chapter 38 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Halloran is wearing his chef's uniform and shopping at a vegetable market, at around 4:40 Eastern Time (two hours earlier than the Overlook, which is on Mountain Time).
- Halloran has been smelling oranges for a while now. (In case you forgot, he smells oranges before he has "shining" episodes.)
- It's a balmy 79 degrees, and Halloran's has a small load of vegetables in his Cadillac. He'd volunteered to pick up the little order. He wanted to see his friend at the vegetable market, but he also wanted to stop off at an attorney's office and have a will made. He doesn't have much, but what he has he's leaving to his sister.
- He isn't sure why he's picked today for the task.
- He's driving fast on the highway now; he rolls down the windows to try to get relief from the smell of oranges.
- Then, suddenly, he can't hear the music from the radio, or see the road, all he's aware of is: "(!!! OH DICK OH PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COME !!!)" (38.36).
- He almost hits a truck and realizes his pants are wet with his own urine.
- Halloran pulls off the road at a drive up fast food place and orders a root beer float.
- Danny's psychic scream was serious.
- Halloran speeds back to the resort where he works and asks for some days off. He says his son has been shot and is in the hospital.
- Danny's psychic shouts keep coming.
- Halloran wonders if his own end is near. He has a good life, after years of struggle. Why is he risking his life for some people he doesn't know?
- Because of Danny. He and Danny are connected by the shining. If he doesn't go and try to help, "the boy was going to die right inside his head" (38.135).
- As he's trying to pack, Halloran thinks about Dolores Vickery, though the incident with her is something he tries not to think about.
- Ullman fires Dolores for telling other maids and guests that she'd seen something bad in 217. Afterwards, she approaches Halloran with her story.
- She's seen the dead and bloated body of Mrs. Massey in the bathtub in 217.
- Halloran knows Mrs. Massey's body was taken to the morgue yesterday. Her body couldn't still be in the room.
- He doesn't care for Dolores, though she does shine a little. She's lazy and uses her shine to make things easier for herself, but she's happy to be fired from the Overlook after her experience in 217.
- Even though he knows he could get fired for it, he takes the passkey that night and goes to 217.
- Before he pulls the shower curtain back, he knows what will be there: "Mrs. Massey, swollen and purple, lay[ing] soggily in the tub, which was half full of water" (38.148).
- This isn't the first strange thing he's seen at the hotel.
- He has a recurring nightmare about catering for some kind of fancy party in the ballroom.
- When the masked ballers heed "the shout to unmask, everybody exposed faces that were those of rotting insects […]" (38.148).
- He's also seen hedge animals move, and has noticed a pattern of guests booked in the Presidential Suite leaving quickly.
- He's also noticed that children won't play in the playground. A child had died of some kind of "convulsion" (38.148) while playing in one of the concrete tunnels. Rumor has it the little girl was epileptic, but Halloran isn't sure.
- After Halloran looks at the corpse of Mrs. Massey in the bathtub of 217, she gets up and chases him.
- (End flashback.)
- As he finishes packing, Halloran thinks that after what happened in 217, "he had never felt safe anywhere in the Overlook again" (38.148).
- It's about 5:30. Halloran gets his coat. Before leaving, he places the will where it can be easily seen if he doesn't come back.
- On his way to the airport, Halloran pulls off the road to make a plane reservation. The next plane leaves in about half an hour. He makes the reservation.
- He almost makes the flight, but gets pulled over for speeding and misses the plane by nine minutes. He smells oranges.
- When he goes into the bathroom, Danny is psychically screaming for him again.
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