And in time it will be as though men had never come to this perfect corner of the worldnever called it paradise on earth, never despoiled it with their dream factories; and in the golden hush of the afternoon all that will be heard will be the flittering of dragonflies, and the murmur of hummingbirds as they pass from bower to bower, looking for a place to sup sweetness.
Arnie had always called her a dreamer, and maybe he was right about that.
but she felt as though whatever shed been given in the Devils Country it was affecting her mind, not her body, and it was not doing anything remotely healing. Quite the reverse.
Can you hear me, Todd? Theres an ambulance on its way. For a moment his eyes opened a little wider, and he seemed to be making an effort to concentrate on the face in front of him. Its Maxine, she said. Remember me?
First, my love and thanks to Ben Smith, my Hollywood agent, who has been a true visionary in a job that is often maligned (in this book, for instance)
He gave a moments consideration to the possibility of lingering to wash his face and hands (maybe even to changing his puke-splattered shirt), but he decided to forgo cleanliness in favor of making a fast exit.
He got to his feet and stumbled away from the stench of his vomit, making his way through this graveyard of old glories, heading for the darkest place he could find in which to hide his giddy head.
Itd just be another opinion, Maxine said, poking at the fire with the stick shed picked up. People would go on believing their favorite versions. You think? For sure. You cant change peoples opinion about stuff like that. Its embedded. They believe what they believe.
I want an explanation! Ill give you one, Maxine said: Youre crazy.
Men and your hunts, Lilith went on, addressing, it seemed, some larger error in the Dukes sex. If you hadnt been out killing healthy stags and boars in the first place, you could have married and lived and loved. Butshe shruggedwe do as our instincts dictate, yes? And yours brought you here. To the very edge of your own grave.
Only when they have outrun the all-too-eager shadows of the Canyon and they are back in the glare of the billboards on Sunset Boulevard, do they wipe their clammy palms, and wonder to themselves how it was that in such a harmless
Sooner or later even the most ambitious glutton must crawl away and seek the solace of the vomitorium.
So quickly? Todd cleared away another wave of tears and looked down at the body on the table. Dempseys eye was still half-open, but it didnt look back at him any longer. Where thered been a sliver of bright life, where thered been mischief and shared ritualswhere, in short, thered been Dempseythere was nothing.
Theres nothing heroic about sacrificing yourself for him, Zeffer pointed out. He wouldnt do it for you. I know that.
Was that the point about scattering ashes: that in the end they looked the same? Not just the snout and the tail, but a dogs ashes and a mans ashes. All reducible, with the addition of a little flame, to this mottled dust?
Well, I am denying it. You think the world revolves around sex. Its pathetic.
Well, shes lucky. She still has her little dominion here in Coldheart Canyon.
You could sometimes guide peoples opinions, but if they didnt want to buy what you had to sell you could shout yourself hoarse trying to make them do it and it would never work.
You dont think that room downstairs was made by the Devil, or his wife? I dont want to know who made it, Tammy said. But I know who fed it; who made it important. People. Just like you and me. Addicted to the place.
You only saw the darkness, Tammy. There was another side to her. I think there always is, dont you? Theres always some light in the darkness, somewhere.
You think Im finished, so youre leaving me to be crucified by every piece of shit journalist in the fucking country.