Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King Read Online (FREE)
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THE AULD TRIANGLE
In the female prison
There are seventy women
I wish it was with them that I did dwell,
Then that old triangle
Could jingle jangle
Along the banks of the Royal Canal.
Ree asked Jeanette if she ever watched the square of light from the window. Jeanette said she didn’t. Ree was in the top bunk, Jeanette in the bottom. They were both waiting for the cells to unlock for breakfast. It was another morning.
It seemed that Jeanette’s cellmate had made a study of the square. Ree explained that the square started on the wall opposite the window, slid down, down, down, then slopped over the surface of their desk, and finally made it out onto the floor. As Jeanette could now see, it was right there in the middle of the floor, bright as anything.
“Ree,” Jeanette said. “I just can’t be bothered with a square of light.”
“I say you can’t not be bothered by a square of light!” Ree made the honking noise that was how she expressed amusement.
Jeanette said, “Okay. Whatever the fuck that means,” and her cellmate just honked some more.
Ree was okay, but she was like a toddler, how silence made her anxious. Ree was in for credit fraud, forgery, and drug possession with intent to sell. She hadn’t been much good at any of them, which had brought her here.
Jeanette was in for manslaughter; on a winter night in 2005 she had stabbed her husband, Damian, in the groin with a clutchhead screwdriver and because he was high he’d just sat in an armchair and let himself bleed to death. She had been high, too, of course.
“I was watching the clock,” Ree said. “Timed it. Twenty-two minutes for the light to move from the window to there on the floor.”
“You should call Guinness,” said Jeanette.
“Last night I had a dream about eating chocolate cake with Michelle Obama and she was pissed: ‘That’s going to make you fat, Ree!’ But she was eating the cake, too.” Ree honked. “Nah. I didn’t. Made that up. Actually I dreamed about this teacher I had. She kept telling me I wasn’t in the right classroom, and I kept telling her I was in the right classroom, and she’d say okay, and then teach some, and tell me I wasn’t in the right room, and I’d say no, I was in the right room, and we went around like that. It was more exasperating than anything. What’d you dream, Jeanette?”
“Ah . . .” Jeanette tried to remember, but she couldn’t. Her new medication seemed to have thickened her sleep. Before, sometimes she had nightmares about Damian. He’d usually look the way he did the morning after, when he was dead, his skin that streaky blue, like wet ink.
Jeanette had asked Dr. Norcross if he thought the dreams had to do with guilt. The doctor squinted at her in that are-you-fucking-serious way that used to drive her nuts but that she had come around on, and then he had asked her if she was of the opinion that bunnies had floppy ears. Yeah, okay. Got it. Anyhow, Jeanette didn’t miss those dreams.