Stones

Stones by Timothy Findley

Book: Stones by Timothy Findley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Timothy Findley
others.
    “Run,” he said out loud. And then again. “Run!”
    The music all but drowned his cry and only a few heads turned.
    “I beg your pardon,” said the usher, who had been watching him suspiciously, wondering what to do about this man who seemed so nervous and unsure of himself. “If you speak again, I shall have to ask you to leave,” he said.
    But the usher need not have worried. Morrison relieved him of all responsibility by leaving of his own accord.
    Out through the doors and along the corridor and down the multiple flights of stairs he fled—only praying he could reach the street before the applause began. God knew, if he could do this—run this race and win—Morrison might be able to save a thousand lives. And one. Not his own, but a toss-up between the lives of a red-haired violinist and his wife.

    Later that night—much later—Morrison explained to Cynthia that some people’s nervous breakdowns are best left alone, allowed to expand until the meaning of the crisis has announced itself in some definitive act.
    “You mean that yelling run! and racing out of Roy Thomson Hall in the middle of Beethoven isn’t definitive?” Cynthia shouted at him, hoarsely. She had been shouting at him ever since she had found him standing in the street. “I’ve never been so mortified in all my life!” she shouted. “Surely you could have waited until the piece was over!”
    “No,” he said. “I couldn’t wait. I’m sorry.” How could he explain this?
    “Well, if it hadn’t been for that nice, considerate man behind us, I might not have survived my walk up those stairs in the dark. He came with me all the way. And you didn’t even wait in the lobby. How could you embarrass me like that? How could you do that? Why?”
    “I can’t explain,” said Morrison. “But I will explain, if I find the answer.”
    “Where will you find the answer? Where? You expect to find it lying in the street?”
    “Well…yes, as a matter of fact. Or, maybe.”
    “You’re not even talking sense,” said Cynthia. “And if you don’t start talking sense by morning, I’m going to call Doctor Pollard. After all, we have the children to think of.”
    “Yes,” said Morrison—weary of it all. “We have the children to think about.”
    Then, just as Cynthia was leaving the living-room, taking with her a tall glass of iced brandy and a box of du Maurier cigarettes, Morrison stopped her in her tracks by saying: “Who says the sky is falling?”
    “What?” said Cynthia. “What did you say?” And she turned. The expression on her face was one of genuine bewilderment—as if she could not fathom his vocabulary.
    “I said,” said Morrison, “who says the sky is falling?”
    “Nobody,” said Cynthia.
    “Yes, they do,” said Morrison. “Somebody says that, somewhere.”
    Cynthia looked at him sideways and carefully. The wording of his question had begun to make some sense—although what kind of sense she could not yet tell.
    “Somebody says it,” Morrison continued, pouring himself a glass of scotch. He was just beginning to realize she thought he was crazy. In order to survive, he would have to take on the appearance and the tone of someone sane. And so he poured himself a drink and smiled and said to her: “I thought you might remember who it was.”
    “Why do you want to know?” said Cynthia—gravely suspicious.
    Morrison widened his smile and said: “because the sky is falling, that’s why.”
    “Chicken Little says it.”
    Cynthia’s face was a mask of sobriety.
    “Ah, yes. Chicken Little. Thank you,” said Morrison.
    “What do you mean the sky is falling?
    “Just that,” said Morrison. “Boom.” He dropped an ice cube onto the carpet.
    Cynthia watched the cube begin to melt.
    “Are you trying to tell me something?” she said.
    “No,” said Morrison.
    “Good,” said Cynthia. “I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” She went and stood at the bottom of the staircase—paused for a moment and

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