Since his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he awakens a little earlier until he's barely sleeping at all. During his late night vigils and walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people's heads. He witnesses two strange little men wandering the city under cover of night. He begins to suspect that these visions are something more than hallucinations brought about by sleep deprivation. Ralph and his friend, widow Lois Chasse, become enmeshed in events of cosmic significance.
Mike Hanlon works at the library and, among other things, directs Ralph Roberts to books on the subject of insomnia.
But was that true? He didn’t really know, that was the devil of it, and the books on the subject Mike Hanlon steered him to down at the Derry Public Library weren’t much help. There were several on sleep disorders, but they seemed to contradict one another.
When Ed McGovern goes crazy, he says something (unintelligible, mostly) to Ralph about The Crimson King.
‘Finding out that she signed the petition was fate! Simple fate! Do you mean to tell me you don’t see that? Don’t insult my intelligence, Ralph! You may be getting on in years, but you’re far from stupid. The thing is, I go down to the supermarket to buy baby-food, how’s that for irony – and find out she’s signed on with the baby-killers! The Centurions! With the Crimson King himself! And do you know what? I . . . just . . . saw . . . red!’
Gage's shoe is discovered in Atropos' lair.
Here was the buck knife of a man who had been killed in a hunting accident in 1937. Here was the compass of a Boy Scout who had fallen and broken his neck while hiking on Mount Katahdin. The sneaker of a little boy named Gage Creed, run down by a speeding tanker-truck on Route 15 in Ludlow.
Takes place in Derry.
No one – least of all Dr Litchfield – came right out and told Ralph Roberts that his wife was going to die, but there came a time when Ralph understood without needing to be told. The months between March and June were a jangling, screaming time inside his head – a time of conferences with doctors, of evening runs to the hospital with Carolyn, of trips to other hospitals in other states for special tests (Ralph spent much of his travel time on these trips thanking God for Carolyn’s Blue Cross/Major Medical coverage), of personal research in the Derry Public Library, at first looking for answers the specialists might have overlooked, later on just looking for hope and grasping at straws.
References will be here!