[Boulder Free Zone] A Season of Rest

After a year (and some change) of updates, we come to the end of things.

Chapter 77

It’s been a long road since Charlie Campion first fled the Nevada barracks where Project Blue was housed, and for now, things are finally over. Well, probably not finally as in “dead and done forever,” but over insofar as that the current danger is over. A season of rest, if you will.

Finally back home at Boulder, Stu relates the news of what happened in Vegas and subsequently, the deaths of Glen, Ralph and Larry. And while there’ll be more mourning in time, it’s best to feel relieved that Flagg is gone and most likely no one will be bothering the citizens of Boulder for a long, long time. And life, metaphorically, goes on. There’s apparently sixty-one pregnancies in the Free Zone at this time, and Frannie’s been the first to give birth. And while baby Peter’s been fighting with the last traces of the superflu, he’s going to make it.

Everything, for a time will be okay.

Chapter 78

It’s interesting to see that in Stu and the others’ absence from Boulder, that some of the same things have started up all over again. Crime is rising once more, and the new sheriff in charge wants to start arming his men. Brad Kitchner’s gotten the television stations working once more, and more and more people are flowing into the Boulder Free Zone every day.

And while it might make the most sense for the original members of the Free Zone to stay and help guide the community into the future, Frannie and Stu don’t necessarily want that. They’re happy with their friends, but in all fairness, they’d rather light out for the new wilderness. Frannie wants her kid (s) to see where she grew up; Stu doesn’t really care where they go as long they’re together. They’ll come back one day. See Lucy’s new twins grow up and see what Tom Cullen’s gotten up to with his house and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the creation of the new world.

And maybe Stu and Fran will come across other straggling communities. Maybe some trying to live in solidarity, maybe some that will run out every outsider unlucky to come across the compound. Maybe there’s others, in the East, in Canada, halfway across the world. Maybe there’s a second chance to do humanity right this time.

A season of rest.

“Do you think…do you think people ever learn everything?”

She opened her mouth to speak, hesitated, fell silent. The kerosene lamp flickered. Her eyes seemed very blue.

“I don’t know,” she said at last….

*

Two and a half years ago, I started embarked on the project of rereading my entire library alphabetically. It started as a means to revisit old books I haven’t touched in years, to clean out a few of the books I’ve never even opened, and rediscover some gems I’d either forgotten about or don’t read that often because of the size/the book was falling apart. And looming in the middle of the list was The Stand. I hadn’t picked it up in nearly six years. I remembered the plot points, and all the major players, and would flip to certain pages from time to time when we had the book in at work, but I hadn’t sat down to actually read it in ages.

So I thought I’d do something different with reading it. And that’s when I got the idea to embark on doing a reread blog—I’d seen others tackle their own personal favorite books and thought, “Well, I can do that.”

Well, over a year later, here we are.

I’ve always counted The Stand as being my absolute favorite Stephen King book ever. And it’s still up there as one of my favorites. But breaking it down to chunks does show that it’s not a perfect book as I once thought. And I do think it’s got some really interesting things to say, mainly about America during the time King was writing the novel, but there’s still a worrying reflection as to how some things are today. It’s not a perfect examination of good versus evil, and the lines are still too clear cut of who the good and bad guys are, but our heroes aren’t perfect, and even the bad guys are capable of mercy and goodness at times. I don’t hold this book up as a warning of what could be, but even still, those last few paragraphs…

One day. Maybe it’ll be the hands of a major disaster, a plague or we finally blow up each other, and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. And then we’ll start over. And move on. Maybe we’ll get it right. Maybe we’ll just blow each other up again.

We don’t know.

*


Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long.

And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.

It’s been a great run, rereading one of my favorite books with everyone here. Thanks to everyone who’s read along and commented (please don’t get mad with me, I do read comments, I just don’t reply all of the time) and reblogged and retweeted the new posts. Thanks to Kevin for letting me chew up space a handful of weeks whenever I got the chance to update the posts. Thanks to my mom for getting me into Stephen King in the first place.

I don’t know what my next project will be, but in the meantime, you can find my original writing on Smashwords, or follow me on Twitter and Tumblr. (Warning, I fangirl a lot.) You can also follow my library reread progress/general word-vomiting about books on Goodreads (and there will be a forthcoming general review of The Stand). Additionally, watch this space. (Depending on how my schedule works out because this was supposed to be up a lot earlier…)

Thanks again, everyone!

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