|Highways and Byways|
|Part 1, Chapter 4|
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Junior and Angie
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Lotta Dead Birds
Highways and Byways is the fourth part of the novel, Under the Dome.
The chapter starts saying that there was a weekly newspaper in Chester's Mill called the Democrat. The title was however said to be mis-information as the owner and manager, Julia Shumway was a republican. It then goes on to tell you how the paper looked;
The Chester's Mill Democrat
Serving "The Little Town That Looks Like a Boot!"
The motto however was also said to be mis-information too, as Chester's Mill didn't look like a boot it looked like a kids athletic sock, so filthy it was able to stand up on its own. Chester's Mill is touched by the much larger and prosperous Castle Rock to the South West. The Mill was actually surrounded by four towns, all larger in area but smaller in population; Motton which is to the south and south east, Harlow to the east and north east, the unincorporated TR-90 to the north and finally Tarker's Mill to the west. Chester's Mill's population was seasonal, between memorial day and labor day it was close to fifteen thousand, over the rest of the year it is slightly over or under two thousand depending on the amount of births and deaths at Catherine Russell, which was considered to be the best hospital north of Lewiston. The novel then goes on to say if you asked the people who visited in the summer how many roads led in and out of the Mill they would say two; Route 117, which lead to Norway-South Paris, and Route 119 which went through down town Castle Rock on its way to Lewiston. Residents of ten years were said to be able to name atleast eight more, all twolane blacktop, from the Black Ridge and the Deep Cut Roads that went into Harlow, to the Pretty Valley Road, which the novel add is as pretty as its name suggests, which wound north into TR-90. Residents of thirty years of more could have named another dozen more, if given the time to mull it over, most likely at Brownie's Store which was said to still have a woodstove. They would've been able to name roads such as God Creek Road and Little Bitch Road (Which was noted on survey maps with nothing but a number) The oldest resident of Chester's Mill on Dome day was Clayton Brassey; he was also the oldest resident of Castle Country and thus the holder of the Boston Post Cane. It is then mentioned that unfortunately he no longer knew what the Boston Post Cane was, or even who he was. Clayton sometimes mistook his great-great granddaughter, Nell for his wife who was forty years dead. The Democrat had stopped doing its yearly 'oldest resident' interview with him three years previous, the last time they had when asked for the secret of longevity, Clayton had replied, "Where's my Christing dinner?" Senility had begun to creep up shortly after his hundredth birthday; on October twenty-first (Dome Day) Clayton was one hundred and five years old. He had once been a fine finish carpenter specializing in dressers, banisters and moldings. Now his specialties included eating Jell-O without getting it up his nose and occasionally making it to the toilet before releasing half a dozen blood-streaked pebbles into the commode. The novel then links back to the roads of Chester's Mill explaining that in Clayton's prime around the age of eighty five, he could have named almost all the roads leading in and out of Chester's Mill, the total being thirty four. Most of which were dirt, many were forgotten, and almost all the forgotten ones wound through deep tangles of second-growth forest owned by Diamond March, Continental Paper Company, and American Timber. Shortly before noon on Dome day, every one of them snapped closed.
On most of these roads, there was nothing so spectacular as the explosion of the Seneca V and the ensuing pulp-truck disaster, but there was trouble. At the exact same time the woodchuck fell in two pieces a scarecrow did the same in Eddie Chalmers's pumpkin field, not far from Pretty Valley Road. The scarecrow stood directly on the town line dividing The Mill from TR-90. Its divided stance had always amused Eddie, who called it the Scarecrow Without A Country or Mr SWAC for short. Half of the scarecrow fell in the Mill; the other half fell 'on the TR' as the locals would put it. Seconds later, a flight of crows bound for Eddie's pumpkins, the novel mentions that the crows had never been afraid of Scarecrow Without A Country. The birds struck the Dome, most broke their necks and fell in black clumps on Pretty Valley Road and the fields on both sides. Birds everywhere on both sides of the Dome crashed and fell dead. On God Creek Road, Bob Roux had been digging potatoes. He came in for lunch, driving his old Deere tractor and listening to his brand new iPod, a birthday gift from his wife. His house was only half a mile from the field he had been digging, but unfortunately for him, the field was in Motton and his house was in Chester's Mill. He hit the Dome at fifteen miles per hour, while listening to James Blunt singing 'You're Beautiful'. He had a very loose grip on the tractor's steering wheel as he could see the road was empty all the way from the field to his house. So when the tractor made contact Robert was flung forward over the engine block and straight into the Dome. His iPod exploded in the front pocket of his bib overalls, but he never felt it. He broke his neck and fractured his skull on the Dome and died in the dirt shortly thereafter.
The next part starts by explaining Motton Road never actually runs through Motton; It just ran inside the Chester's Mill town line. This is where new residential homes were, in an area called Eastchester since 1975. The owners were in their thirties or forties and commuted to Lewiston-Auburn, where they worked good wages, mostly in white-collar jobs. All of these homes were in The Mill but their backyards often crossed into Motton, this was the case with Jack and Myra Evan's home at 379 Motton Road. Myra had a vegetable garden behind their house, and although most of it had been harvested there were still a few remaining Blue Hubbard squashes beyond the left over, rotted, pumpkins. She had been reaching for one when the Dome came down, although her knees were in Chester's Mill, she happened to be reaching for a Blue Hubbard that was a foot or so across the Motton Line. The Dome had fell amputating her arm, she didn't cry out as at first there was no pain as the cut had been to sharp and clean for that. Her husband, Jack was in the kitchen, whipping eggs for a noontime frittata. LCD sound-system was playing 'North American Scum' and he was singing along when a small voice spoke his name from behind him. He didn't recognize the voice which belonged to his wife of fourteen years; it sounded like the voice of a child. But when he turned around he saw it was indeed Myra, she was standing in the doorway, holding her right arm across her middle. She had tracked mud onto the floor, which is said to be very unlike her as it says she usually took them off in the stoop. Her left hand, clad in a filthy gardening glove, was cradling the right hand, and blood was running through the muddy fingers. At first he thought it was Cranberry juice, but only for a second. Jack dropped the bowl he'd been holding, it shattered on the floor. Myra repeated his name again in the same child-like voice. "What happened to you? Myra, what happened to you?" Jack asked. "I had an accident" she said and showed him her right hand; All that remained was a spouting stump. She gave him a weak smile and said "Whoops", her then rolled up to whites. The crotch of her gardening jeans darkened as her urine let go. Then her knees also let go and she went down, the blood gushing from her raw wrist and mixing with the eggy batter splattered on the floor. When Jack dropped beside her a shard from the bowl jabbed deep into his knee, he hardly noticed at first but the novel mentions that he'll limp on that leg for the rest of his life. He held Myra's arm tightly and squeezed, The blood gushing out of her wrist slowed but didn't stop. He then took off his belt and tied it around her lower forearm. That stopped the bleeding but he couldn't notch the belt tight; the loop was far beyond the buckle. "Christ" Jack muttered to the empty kitchen. It was much darker than he realized, the power had gone out. He could hear the computer in the study chiming, LCD Soundsystem was okay, as it was battery powered however Jack did not care. The questions of how she had lost her hand left his mind, he had more immediate concerns. He couldn't let go of the belt to get the phone; she'd start to bleed again, and she might already be close to bleeding out, he thought. He then realized that she would have to go with him. Jack tried to pull her by her shirt, but first it yanked out of her pants and then the collar started to choke her. So he wrapped a hand in her long brown hair and hauled her to the phone like a caveman. The phone thankfully worked and Jack dialed 911. "It can't be!" he shouted when he realized that the 911 number had become busy, meaning he was unable to contact an ambulance. He punched re-dial, but it was still busy. He sat in the kitchen with his back propped up against the counter, holding the tourniquet as tightly as he could, periodically hitting redial on the phone, always getting the beeping noise to tell him it is busy. Jack had wanted to turn the music off, but in order to reach the boombox he would have to lift Myra, lift her or let go of the belt for two or three seconds; he didn't want to do either. So he sat there, listening to the entire CD named 'Sound of Silver', once it finally ended it was silent except for police sirens in the distance and the chiming of the computer. He then realized that his wife was no longer breathing. "But I was going to make lunch. A nice lunch, one you wouldn't be ashamed of inviting Martha Stewart to" Jack thought to himself. Sitting against the counter, he still held on to the belt around her missing hand. The lower right leg of his own pants was darkening with blood from his lacerated knee. He cradled his wife's head against his chest and began to weep.
Not far away from the Evan's home, on an abandoned woods road, which not even Clayton Brassey would remember, a deer was foraging tender shoots at the end of Prestile Marsh. Her neck happened to be streched across the Motton town line, and when the Dome dropped, her head tumbled off. The novel says that the head was severed so neatly that the deed might have been done with a guillotine blade.
The novel then cuts back to Dale and the man dubbed Sea Dog. It starts just after the man had bumped into the Dome and broke his nose, he's now sitting up and staring at Dale in utter bewilderment. A seagull then flew straight into the Dome, it dropped like a stone and landed not three feet from man's Sea Dog baseball cap which had fallen off; he picks it up, brushes it off and puts in back on. Both men then look up at where the bird had came from and see one more incomprehensible thing in a day that will turn out to be full of them.
Both Barbie and Sea Dog were then looking at the black smudge of smoke which had been left on the Dome from the plane crash. Sea Dog was looking up and rubbing his eyes. He seemed to have forgotten about his broken nose, swelling lips and bleeding forehead. He got to his feet, almost losing his balance because he was craning his neck so severly. "Is it...a cloud?" Sea Dog asked; his doubtful tone suggested he already knew it wasn't. Barbie then replied to the man that he believes that is where the plain had hit. "Say what?" Sea Dog had replied but before Barbie could reply, a good-sized grackle swooped fifty feet overhead. It to hit the Dome and dropped not to far from the other bird. Sea Dog asks Barbie if he saw that, to which Barbie nods and then points to the patch of burning hay to his left. It and the two or three patches to the right side of the road were sending up thick columns of black smoke to join the smoke rising from the dismembered Seneca, but the fire wasn't going far; the had been heavy rain the day before, and the hay was still damp. Barbie then asks Sea Dog if he sees that to which Sea Dog replies "I'll be dipped in shit". The fire had burned a patch of ground about sixty feet square, moving forward until it was almost opposite of the place where Barbie and Sea Dog were facing one another. The fire continued, as if on a straightedge, not once crossing over to Sea Dog's side. Another seagull came flying toward them, this one bounded for Motton rather than the Mill. Sea Dog warned Barbie, but he replied that it may be okay and that maybe it only stops things if they're coming from the south. "Judging by yonder busted plane, I doubt that" Sea Dog replied. The outbound bird struck the Dome and fell directly into the largest chunk of the burning plane. "Stops em both ways" Sea Dog said. He then added "It's some kind of force-field, like in a Star Trick movie" Barbie then says "Trek" correcting him, but he doesn't understand. "Oh shit" Barbie mutters when he spots a pulp-truck behind Sea Dog, heading toward the Dome. It was a big one and was well past the legal weight limit with huge logs. It was also rolling well above the legal weight limit. Sea Dog sprinted for his Toyota, which he'd parked askew on the highway's broken white line. The guy behind the wheel of the pulper, maybe high on pills or maybe smoked up on meth or maybe just young and in a bit of a hurry and feeling immortal saw him and honked the horn, he wasn't slowing. "Fuck me sideways!" Sea Dog cried as he threw himself behind the wheel. He keyed the engine and backed the Toyota out of the road with driver's door still open. The SUV thumped into the ditch , Sea Dog was out the next moment. He stumbled, landed on one knee, and then took off running into the field. Barbie, who was still thinking about the plane, birds and the large black stain also ran into the grazeland, at first sprinting through low, unenthusiastic flames and sending up puffs of black ash. He then saw a man's shoe, the foot was still inside. Pilot's he thought, he then thought that he should stop running around like he was. "YOU IDIOT! SLOW DOWN!" Sea Dog was shouting at the pulp truck in a thin, panicky voice. Barbie then looking over his shoulder, thought that the driver might try and break at the last minute would and see the plane's wreckage. This however was not the case, the truck struck the Motton side of the Dome at sixty, or a little more, carrying a log-load of almost forty thousand pounds. The cab disintegrated as it stopped cold, the overloaded carrier continued forward. The fuel tanks were driven under the logs, shredding and sparking. When they exploded the load was already airborne, flipping over where the cab had been. The logs sprayed forward and upward, struck the invisible Dome, and rebounded off in all directions. Fire and black smoke boiled upward in a thick plume. The logs were then raining down on the Motton side, landing on the road and surrounding fields. One struck the roof of Sea Dog's Toyota crushing it, spilling the windshield onto the hood in a spray of diamond crumbles. Another landed right in front of Sea Dog himself. Barbie had stopped running and just stared. Sea Dog got to his feet, fell back down, grasped the log that had almost killed him and got up again. He stood swaying and wide-eyed. Barbie started toward him and after twelves steps ran into something that felt like a brick wall. He staggered backward and felt warmth cascade from his nose and over his lips. He wiped away a palmload of blood, looked at it unbelievingly, and the smeared it on his shirt. Now cars were coming from both Motton and Chester's Mill. Three running figures, as yet still small, were cutting across the grazeland from a farm house at the other end. Several of the cars were honking their horns. The first car to arrive on the Motton side pulled over to the shoulder, well back from the burning truck. Two women got out and gawked at the column of smoke and fire, shading their eyes.
"Fuck" Sea Dog said. He spoke in a small, breathless voice. He approached Barbie through the field, cutting a prudent east-tending diagonal away from the blazing pyre. The trucker may have been overloaded and moving too fast, Barbie thought, but at least he was getting a viking funeral. Sea Dog then asks if Barbie saw that log, telling him that it almost killed him. "Do you have a cell phone?" Barbie asked, not responding to what Sea Dog had been saying about the log. "In my truck" Sea Dog said "I'll try for it if you want it" he added. Barbie told him to wait and then realized with sudden relief that it could all be a strange dream. The first person to arrive on his side was a chubby guy driving an old GMC pickup. Barbie recognized him from the Sweetbriar Rose: Ernie Calvert, the previous manager of food city, now retired. Ernie was staring at the burning rubble on the road with wide eyes, but he had his cell phone in his hand and and was ratchet-jawing into it. Barbie could hardly hear him over the roar of the burning pulp truck , but he made out "Looks like a bad one" and figured Ernie was talking to the police or the fire department. If it was the second , Barbie hoped it was the one in Castle Rock. There were two engines in the tidy little Chester's Mill firebarn, but Barbie had an idea that if they showed up here, the most they'd be able to do was douse a grassfire that was going to putter out on its own before much longer. The burning pulp truck was close, but Barbie didn't think they'd be able to get it. It's a dream he told himself. If you keep telling yourself that, you'll be able to operate" he thought. The two women on the Motton side had been joined by half a dozen men, also shading their eyes. Cars were now parked on both shoulders. More people were getting out and joining the crowd. The same thing was happening on Barbie's side. The trio from the farm arrived, a farmer and his two teenage sons. The boys were running easily, the father was red-faced and panting. "Holy shit!" the older boy said, and his father whapped him backside of his head, the boy didn't seem to notice, his eyes were bugging. The younger boy reached out for his brother's hand, when he took it the younger brother cried. "What happened here?" the farmer asked, Barbie ignored him. He advanced toward Sea Dog with his right hand held out in a stop gesture. Without speaking, Sea Dog did the same. As Barbie approached the place where he knew the dome to be he slowed down, he had already hit his face on the dome and he didn't want to do it again. Suddenly he was swept by horripilation. The goosebumps swept up from his ankles all the way to the nape of his neck, where the hairs stirred and tried to lift. His testicles tingled like tuning forks, and for a moment there was a sour, metallic taste in his mouth. Five feet away from him Sea Dog's already wide eyes widened some more. He asked Barbie if he felt that, Barbie agreed and then told him that it was gone now asking if Sea Dog's feeling was too, he then agreed too. Their outstretched hands did not quite meet, and Barbie again though of a pane of glass; putting your inside hand up against the hand of some outside friend, the fingers together but not touching. He pulled his hand back, it was the one he'd used to wipe his bloody nose, and he saw the red shapes of his own fingers hanging on thin air. As he watched the blood began to bead, just as it would on glass. "Holy God, what does it mean?" Sea Dog whispered. Barbie had no answer. Before he could say anything, Ernie Calvert tapped him on the back. He says that he had called the cops he goes on to say "They're coming, but no one answers at the Fire Department - I got a recording telling me to call Castle Rock" Barbie tells him to do that and another bird falls dead about twenty feet away, falling into the farmer's grazeland and disappearing. Seeing it brought a new idea to Barbie's mind, possibly sparked by the first time he'd spent toting a gun on the other side of the world. "But first, I think you better call the Air National Guard, up in Bangor". Ernie gaped at him asking if he meant the guard, Barbie replies "They're the only ones who can institute a no-fly zone over Chester's Mill" Barbie said "And I think they better do it right away"
- Dale "Barbie" Barbara
- Paul "Sea Dogs" Gendron
- Robert "Bob" Roux
- Myra Evans
- Jack Evans
- Ernie Calvert
- Alden Dinsmore
- Rory Dinsmore
- Ollie Dinsmore
- First appearance of Jack Evans.
- First appearance of Ernie Calvert.
- First appearance of Alden Dinsmore.
- First appearance of Rory Dinsmore.
- First appearance of Ollie Dinsmore.
- First mention of Julia Shumway.
- First mention of Clayton Brassey.
- First mention of Nell Brassey.
- First mention of Eddie Chalmers.
- First (and last) appearance of Robert "Bob" Roux.
- First (and last) appearance of Myra Evans.
|Chapters of Under the Dome|
| Part 1|
|"The Airplane and the Woodchuck" • "Barbie" • "Junior and Angie" • "Highways and Byways" • "Lotta Dead Birds" • "Clustermug" • "We All Support The Team" • "The Good of the Town, The Good of the People" • "Prayers" • "Madness, Blindness, Astonishment of the Heart" • "This is Not as Bad as it Gets" • "Nyuck-Nyuck-Nyuck" • "Missile Strike Imminent"|
| Part 2|
|"In The Frame" • "Pink Stars Falling" • "Feeling It" • "In The Jug" • "Salt" • "Ashes" • "Play that Dead Band Song" • "Busted" • "Blood Everywhere" • "Ants" • "Halloween Comes Early" • "Survivors" • "Wear it Home, it’ll Look Like a Dress"|