file:///F|/rah/New%20Folder/deotertuachartpep.cf WATCHERS Dean R. Koontz This book is dedicated to Lennart Sane who is not only. file:///F|/rah/New%20Folder/deotertuachartpep.cfCHERS Dean R. Koontz This book is dedicated to Lennart Sane who is not only. Watchers Dean Koontz - [Free] Watchers Dean Koontz [PDF] [EPUB] Title Year Type Pages. Notes Star Quest: novel: Fear That Man.
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GMT Watchers by Dean Koontz - PDF free download eBook Watchers: deotertuachartpep.cf: Dean Koontz: Books Dean. Watchers by Dean Ray Koontz, , Putnam edition, in English. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch of The Wolfen deotertuachartpep.cf: Watchers eBook: Dean Koontz: site Store.
Watchers Close. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove Watchers from your list? Written in English. O55 W38 The Physical Object Pagination p. You'll be next in line. Download ebook for print-disabled Other editions of this book may be available: Check nearby libraries with: WorldCat Library.
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Watchers by Dean Koontz
He looked startled. He closed the sightless left eye, then the right, although he knew that postmortem muscle reactions would pop them open again in a couple of minutes. Thank you, Doctor. The trunk was empty. He did not know why the timing was important, but he prided himself on doing flawless work. He turned out the garage lights, crossed the darkened space, and let himself out the side door, where he had entered during the night by quietly loiding the flimsy lock with a credit card.
The walk back to the van was very pleasant, invigorating. This was a fine neighborhood boasting a variety of architectural styles; expensive Spanish casas sat beside beautifully detailed Cape Cod homes with a harmony that had to be seen to be believed.
The landscaping was lush and well tended. Palms and ficus and olive trees shaded the sidewalks. Red, coral, yellow, and Orange bougainviflaeas blazed with thousands of flowers. The bottlebrush trees were in bloom.
The branches of jacarandas dripped lacy purple blossoms. The air was scented with star jasmine. Vincent Nasco felt wonderful.
So strong, so powerful, so alive. They went a long way before Travis realized that he had been completely jolted out of the despair and desperate loneliness that had brought him to the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains in the first place.
The big tattered dog stayed with him all the way to his pickup, which was parked along the dirt lane under the overhanging boughs of an enormous spruce. Stopping at the truck, the retriever looked back the way they had come. Behind them, black birds swooped through the cloudless sky, as if engaged in reconnaissance for some mountain sorcerer.
A dark wall of trees loomed like the ramparts of a sinister castle. Though the woods were gloomy, the dirt road onto which Travis had stepped was fully exposed to the sun, baked to a pale brown, mantled in fine, soft dust that plumed around his boots with each step he took.
He was surprised that such a bright day could have been abruptly filled with an overpowering, palpable sense of evil. Studying the forest out of which they had fled, the dog barked for the first time in half an hour. The dog glanced at him and mewled unhappily.
What the hell is it? Travis slammed the gate shut and went around the side of the truck. Not back toward the forest but at the far side of the dirt road. Over there, a narrow field was choked with waist-high brown grass as crisp as hay, a few bristly clumps of mesquite, and some sprawling oleander bushes with roots deep enough to keep them green.
When he stared directly at the field, he saw none of the movement he thought he had caught from the corner of his eye, but he suspected that he had not imagined it. With a renewed sense of urgency, he climbed into the truck and put the revolver on the seat beside him. He drove away from there as fast as the washboard lane permitted, and with constant consideration for the four-legged passenger in the cargo bed. Twenty minutes later, when he stopped along Santiago Canyon Road, back in the world of blacktop and civilization, he still felt weak and shaky.
His heart was no longer drumming. The cold sweat had dried on his hands and brow. The odd prickling of nape and scalp was gone—and the memory of it seemed unreal.
Now he was afraid not of some unknown creature but of his own strange behavior. Safely out of the woods, he could not quite recall the degree of terror that had gripped him; therefore, his actions seemed irrational. He pulled on the handbrake and switched off the engine.
Dean Koontz - (1987) - Watchers
He sat for a minute, trying to convince himself that he had acted on instincts that were good, right, and reliable. He had always taken pride in his unshakable equanimity and hardheaded pragmatism—in that if in nothing else.
He could stay cool in the middle of a bonfire. He could make hard decisions under pressure and accept the consequences. He got out of the truck and stepped back to the side of it, where he came face-to-face with the retriever, which stood in the cargo bed. It shoved its burly head toward him and licked his neck, his chin.
Though it had snapped and barked earlier, it was an affectionate dog, and for the first time its bedraggled condition struck him as having a comical aspect.
He tried to hold the dog back. But it strained forward, nearly clambering over the side of the cargo hold in its eagerness to lick his face. He laughed and ruffled its tangled coat. The dog stopped licking him, stopped wagging its matted tail.
Something in them was unusual, compelling. Travis was half-mesmerized, and the dog seemed equally captivated. As the seconds ticked past and as neither Travis nor the dog broke the encounter, he felt increasingly peculiar. A shiver rippled through him, occasioned not by fear but by a sense that something uncanny was happening, that he was teetering on the threshold of an awesome revelation. It turned to him and issued a soft woof, as if impatient with his dawdling. He got in behind the wheel, tucked the revolver under his seat.
Too much responsibility, fella. Sorry about that. But after that. The lid fell open. Travis blinked in surprise. Startled, he took the candy and peeled off the paper. The retriever watched, licking its lips. Breaking the bar into pieces, Travis paid out the chocolate in morsels. The dog took them gratefully and ate almost daintily. Travis watched in confusion, not certain if what had happened was truly extraordinary or had a reasonable explanation.
Had the dog actually understood him when he had said there was candy in the glove box? Or had it detected the scent of chocolate? Surely the latter. Roll over, play dead, sing for your supper, even walk on your hind feet a little ways. The retriever gazed longingly at the last morsel of chocolate, but Travis withheld the goody for a moment. Two seconds after Travis had referred to the chocolate, the dog had gone for it.
Did you understand?
Their eyes met. Again Travis sensed that something uncanny was happening; he shivered not unpleasantly, as before. He hesitated, cleared his throat. It chuffed once, as if with regret, then looked through the windshield.. The dog yawned. The dog rose onto all fours, standing on the seat, which brought its head almost to the ceiling. It looked through the back window of the cab and growled softly.
Travis glanced at the rearview mirror, then at the side-mounted mirror, but he saw nothing unusual behind them. Just the two-lane blacktop, the narrow berm, the weed-covered hillside sloping down on their right side. Is that it? Travis started the engine, put the truck in gear, pulled onto Santiago Canyon Road, and headed north. And if you are more than you appear to be. Two 1 Nora Devon was afraid of the television repairman.
Although he appeared to be about thirty her age , he had the offensive cockiness of a know-it-all teenager. He was tall and lean and well-scrubbed, dressed in white uniform slacks and shirt. He was clean-shaven. His darkish-blond hair was cut short and neatly combed.
She did not think she was overreacting. But she had called Wadlow TV, after all, and she could not turn Streck away without explanation. An explanation would probably lead to an argument, and she was not a confrontational person, so she let him inside. As she escorted him along the wide, cool hallway to the living-room arch, she had the uneasy feeling that his good grooming and big smile were elements of a carefully calculated disguise.
He had a keen animal watchfulness, a coiled tension, that further disquieted her with every step they took away from the front door. Very nice. I really like it. Yeah, a man could be very happy. Lush red bougainvillea climbed the north face of the structure, dripping bright blossoms. The place was beautiful. Nora hated it. She had lived there since she was only two years old, which now added up to twenty-eight years, and during all but one of them, she had been under the iron thumb of her Aunt Violet.
Hers had not been a happy childhood or, to date, a happy life.
The SFFaudio Podcast #283 – READALONG: Watchers by Dean Koontz
Violet Devon had died a year ago. But, in truth, Nora was still oppressed by her aunt, for the memory of that hateful old woman was formidable, stifling. In the living room, putting his repair kit beside the Magnavox, Streck paused to look around. He was clearly surprised by the decor. The flowered wallpaper was dark, funereal. The Persian carpet was singularly unattractive. Heavy English furniture from the mid-nineteenth century, trimmed with deeply carved molding, stood on clawed feet: massive armchairs, footstools, cabinets suitable for Dr.
Caligari, credenzas that looked as if they each weighed half a ton. Small tables were draped with weighty brocade. Some lamps were pewter with palegray shades, and others had maroon ceramic bases, but none threw much light. The drapes looked as heavy as lead; age-yellowed sheers hung between the side panels, permitting only a mustard-colored drizzle of sunlight to enter the room. None of it complemented the Spanish architecture; Violet had willfully imposed her ponderous bad taste upon the graceful house.
She stood by the marble fireplace, almost as far from him as she could get without leaving the room. Could be a bright, cheery room.
She was a maiden aunt, huh? Yeah, thought so. Might be all right for a dried-up maiden aunt, but definitely not for a pretty lady like yourself. Aunt Violet had preferred her meek, obedient. Streck was smiling at her. The right corner of his mouth curled in a most unpleasant way. It was almost a sneer. He plugged in a small portable lamp and hooked it to the back of the set. The grandfather clock in the hall marked the quarter-hour with a single chime that reverberated hollowly through the house.
Dallas, Dynasty, that stuff. Oh, now, come on, I bet you do. She was trembling. She despised herself for her weakness, for the ease with which she surrendered to fear, but she could not help being what she was. A mouse. Cats go where they want, do what they want, take what they want.
Cats are aggressive and self-sufficient by nature. You can be perfectly happy. She was not actually in the middle of cooking anything, as she had told Streck. For a moment she stood by the sink, one cold hand clasped in the other—her hands always seemed to be cold—wondering what to do until he finished his work and left.
She decided to bake a cake. A yellow cake with chocolate icing. She got bowls, utensils, an electric mixer, plus the cake mix and other ingredients out of the cupboards, and she set to work. Soon her frayed nerves were soothed by the mundane domestic activity. Somehow, she managed to hold on to them and—with only a little clatter to betray her tension—put them into the sink to be washed.
I like to cook. Do You sew, crochet, do embroidery, anything like that?
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So she left the full pans on the counter and tore open the box of icing mix instead. Streck came farther into the big kitchen, moving casually, very relaxed, looking around with an amiable smile, but coming straight toward her.
She took a glass from the cupboard, ran the cold water. When she turned to hand it to him, he was standing close behind her, having crept up with catlike quiet. She gave an involuntary start. Water slopped out of the glass and splattered on the floor. Really, I am. All I want is a drink of water. She wanted to slap his face, but she was afraid of what would happen after that. Slapping him—in any way acknowledging his insulting double entendres or other offenses—seemed sure to encourage rather than deter him.
His smile was that of a predator. She sensed the best way to handle Streck was to pretend innocence and monumental thick headedness, to ignore his nasty sexual innuendos as if she had not understood them. She must, in short, deal with him as a mouse might deal with any threat from which it was unable to flee.
Pretend you do not see the cat, pretend that it is not there, and perhaps the cat will be confused and disappointed by the lack of reaction and will seek more responsive prey elsewhere. To break away from his demanding gaze, Nora tore a couple of paper towels from the dispenser beside the sink and began to mop up the water she had spilled on the floor. The situation was full of erotic symbolism. When she realized the submissiveness implied by her position at his feet, she popped up again and saw that his smile had broadened.
Flushed and flustered, Nora threw the damp towels into the waste can under the sink. What other things do you like to do? Dull, even. He followed her, staying close. You tend the flowers? I like gardening. I mean everything a woman should do. However, the walls of the old house were thick, and the neighbors were some distance away.
No one would hear her or come to her rescue. Even if she did attempt to defend herself, he was bigger and stronger than she was.
Turning from the oven, she forced a laugh. My needlepoint's not half bad, but it takes me forever to get anything done. She was amazed to hear herself chattering on as she opened the box of icing mix. Desperation made her garrulous. She detected a note of hysteria in her voice that had to be evident to him.
But the mention of a husband had obviously given Art Streck second thoughts about pushing her further. As Nora poured the mix into a bowl and measured out the required butter, Streck drank the water she had given him. He went to the sink and put the empty glass in the dishpan with the dirty bowls and utensils. This time he did not press unnecessarily close to her. She gave him a calculatedly distracted smile, and nodded.
She began to hum softly as she returned to her own task, as if untroubled. This kitchen would be swell, too, if you brightened it up. In spite of his unasked-for opinion of the kitchen decor, Streck seemed to have pulled in his horns, and Nora was pleased with herself. Using a few white lies about her nonexistent husband, delivered with admirable equanimity, she had handled him after all. That was not exactly the way a cat would have dealt with an aggressor, but it was not the timid, frightened behavior of a mouse, either.
She looked around at the high-ceilinged kitchen and decided it was too dark. The walls were a muddy blue. The frosted globes of the overhead lights were opaque, shedding a drab, wintry glow. She considered having the kitchen repainted, the lights replaced. Now, wondering if she could follow through with extensive redecoration, she felt wildly daring and rebellious.
Maybe she could. Her upbeat self-congratulatory mood lasted just twenty minutes, which was long enough to put the cake pans in the oven and whip up the icing and wash some of the bowls and utensils.
Then Streck returned to tell her the TV set was repaired and to give her the bill. Though he had seemed subdued when he left the kitchen, he was as cocky as ever when he entered the second time. He looked her up and down as if undressing her in his imagination, and when he met her eyes he gave her a challenging look. She thought the bill was too high, but she did not question it because she wanted him out of the house quickly.
As she sat at the kitchen table to write the check, he pulled the now-familiar trick of standing too close to her, trying to cow her with his masculinity and superior size. When she stood and handed him the check, he contrived to take it in such a way that his hand touched hers suggestively. All the way along the hail, Nora was more than half-convinced that he would suddenly put down his tool kit and attack her from behind.
But she got to the door, and he stepped past her onto the veranda, and her racing heart began to slow to a more normal pace. He hesitated just outside the door. It was something he might have asked earlier, in the kitchen, when she had spoken of her husband, but now his curiosity seemed inappropriate. She should have told him it was none of his business, but she was still afraid of him. She sensed that he could be easily angered, that the pent-up violence in him could be triggered with minor effort.
Here in Santa Barbara? You told me. I sure am. A lady as pretty as you deserves a pretty house. She closed the door and watched him through a clear segment of the leaded, stained-glass oval window in the center of the door.
He glanced back, saw her, and waved. She stepped away from the window, into the gloomy hallway, and watched him from a point at which she could not be seen. He knew the husband was a lie. She should have said she was married to a plumber or doctor, anything but a cop.
Anyway, Art Streck was leaving. Though he knew she was lying, he was leaving. She did not feel safe until his van was out of sight. Actually, even then, she did not feel safe. In the public phone booth, he deposited coins and called a Los Angeles number that he had long ago committed to memory.
A man answered by repeating the number Vince had dialed. It was one of the usual three voices that responded to calls, the soft one with a deep timbre. Often, there was another man with a hard sharp voice that grated on Vince. Infrequently, a woman answered; she had a sexy voice, throaty and yet girlish. Vince had never seen her, but he had often tried to imagine what she looked like. He recited a seven-digit telephone number. Surprised, Vince repeated it. Can you be there in fifteen minutes?
Like all the rooms in the large house, it had been crammed with heavy furniture, as if the place served as a warehouse instead of a home. It had been dreary in all other details as well. Violet inevitably checked on her niece without warning, creeping soundlessly along the hall, suddenly throwing open the unlockable door, entering with the hope of catching Nora in a forbidden pastime or practice.
Because Violet had favored dark dresses, had worn her hair in a tight bun, and had gone without a trace of makeup on her pale, sharp-featured face, she had often looked less like a woman than like a man, a stern monk in coarse penitential robes, prowling the corridors of a bleak medieval retreat to police the behavior of fellow monastics.Though the woods were gloomy, the dirt road onto which Travis had stepped was fully exposed to the sun, baked to a pale brown, mantled in fine, soft dust that plumed around his boots with each step he took.
So my dad enrolled me in a place down near San Diego, a full month of intense instruction. As a boy, he had killed scores of rattlers in these hills. Sometimes, death could be savored like good food, fine wine, and glorious sunsets. Tragedy and heroism.
Within a hundred-mile radius, nearly ten million people lived in the interconnecting communities of Orange and Los Angeles counties, and growth was not abating.
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