Monday, May 25, 2009

The Tears of Teresa (Tales of Terror #2)


The Tears of Teresa

from

In Christopher Pike's introduction to this story he says that his greatest fear is becoming paralyzed, and that Christopher Reeve's memoir Still Me was partially the inspiration for The Tears of Teresa.

A man and woman come home from a late movie. Their 18 year old daughter is sleeping, and they sit in the kitchen talking for a little while. Suddenly, a figure rises out of the pile of dirty darks in the adjoining laundry room. The guy comes into the kitchen and forces the couple outside to their car at gunpoint.

Next, we meet Max, a 20 year old reformed high school nerd who recently avoided a life crisis using "gentle persistence and an occasional flash of anger" to convince his pregnant girlfriend, Teresa, to get an abortion.

Since the abortion, Teresa has been traumatized and unable to sleep. She hears a baby boy crying all night long. Max wants to give her money so she won't be so stressed out from college and her job, but he works for his father and good ol' Dad keeps hardcore control of all Max's money.

Max decides that he'll take Teresa on a trip to Las Vegas to help her unwind. He invites along his BFF David and his girlfriend Sandy to be buffers between Max & scary, cry-y, nightmarey Teresa, but Dave declines.

Meanwhile, the woman and man are still being held at gunpoint by the unknown man in their car. The woman drives, while the kidnapper sits in back. She tries the "I have to pee" routine, but does it half-assed. She didn't go for the gold with "I have my period"/"Do you like blood and piss?" I guess that wouldn't work because she's driving her own car and he's, like, sitting in the back, and hence wouldn't really be affected.

Teresa & Max have a great time in Vegas, until Teresa decides she wants to get married. Like, now. Max eventually agrees, and a drunken preacher performs the ceremony. Back in their room, Teresa wants to shower before consummating the marriage. Max stands on the balcony to clear his head in the night air. Suddenly, a hammer attacks his back, and some mystery being gives him the big boot over the balcony railing!!

Back to unknown woman, man, and kidnapper: the guy viciously ties up and beats his captives. He takes out a knife. He has the right to harm them... because of Max.

Max is semi-conscious in the hospital. A crying baby is hanging out next to him. He hears Teresa and his BFF Dave, and, man, are they plotting. 1! No abortion. Teresa's still pregnant. 2! Dave and Teresa planned this fakeass marriage/murder to get at Max's money when Max's dad realizes that Teresa is having Max's baby. 3! Max is awake enough to hear everything, and let them know he heard, but then he dies. 4! The crying baby grows up to take revenge on Dave and Teresa by kidnapping them as they get home from a movie 20 years later. Oh yeeeeah, this thing is going full circle.

So, even though Max dies, he WOULDA been a cripple if he'd lived, and that is the fate that Teresa and Dave have earned for themselves. But I have a question for the 20 year old baby man: Max's dad didn't give them any money, AND Dave raised Max's kid as his own... does that not count for anything? Past Baby/Future Crippler totally doesn't wanna hear it. He knifes both their spinal cords, and leaves Teresa and Dave to rot.


Anyweegie, still working on Last Vampire sextiligy. Sextology? That doesn't sound right... the rest of the Last Vampires. Those books don't read themselves. Uh, I read them. Right. So, those are coming up later in the week, along with some Pike short stories starring the fabulous Marvin Summers! Ok, he's not that fab. He was kind of a dumbass, but whatev.

18 comments:

Whitney G said...

Oh, joy, another abortion-is-evil fable from Pike. At least Pike obviously thinks that killing somebody for money is even more evil.

I'm really confused, though. Why does the baby-man hate Teresa and Dave so much? Sure, he heard their plot about killing Max, but so what? Why does the baby-man care about Max? And why did he wait 20 years to cripple Dave and Teresa? Wouldn't it have been better to do it when he was, like, 15 - so if he got caught, he would be tried as a minor? Why not just report them to the police? So many questions. So few answers from Pike.

Sadako said...

Wait, shouldn't baby-man also hate Max because Max wanted to abort him originally? Ahh. Bring back fiftieth trimester abortions!

Karmyn said...

More and more I am convinced that Pike is just batshit insane. More so than Stine.
And that's scary.

Deathycat said...

I'm still confused... and I've read this before too...

Anonymous said...

Names that he has used at least a couple of times: Ann, Mike, Clyde, Sharon, Teresa...

sundae_mourning said...

i haven't read this story in some time, but i remember thinking that the baby wasn't really Max's son, but Dave's and they just planned the fake marriage to pass off the kid as Max's?

Sadako said...

Will you hate me if I request another Tale of Terror even though you're still doing the Last Vampire? That last story was so...mind-bendingly weird. I need more. And of course, I prefer reading recaps to reading Pike himself.

Erica Leigh said...

i'm so glad i discovered your blog! your re-caps are hilarious and dead-on. i started reading christopher pike books in middle school and re-read a few recently. i didn't realize how absurd and contrived everything was (and how shallow the characters were most of the time!). haha, but i still love them anyway. it makes me wonder about christopher pike's personal life. like, how much baggage he has and what kind of stuff he's been through to make him write BOOKS LIKE THESE. <3 erica

88Keys said...

So, Pike is against abortion. Fine. So am I. But good grief, he has a weird way of showing it. Don't kill your baby, because it will come back from the dead and kill you? Or cripple you? That was one confusing story. Even your fine recap couldn't make it make sense.

Sub said...

What a wonderful way to bring back the old memories! I haven't read this one, and I think I'll head down to the bookstore to get it.
Anyone knows if Pike still writes these days?

Sadako said...

Hey, will you update again? Miss your recaps.

LongWinter said...

I should update again. I haven't even read your Ghostwriter blog since the first post! Been too busy... OMG, if I'm too busy to read Ghostwriter mockery, maybe I need - I don't even know - an assistant, or something.

Sarah said...

pleease update again soon, i have been eagerly waiting for "see you later"! it's one of my favorites, along w/ "last act" and "scavenger hunt."

Sadako said...

Aw, thanks, LongWinter.

Anyway, hope you are able to post again. Your blog's one of my faves!

oldschoolpopculture said...

I hope you come back too! There is an award for you on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly relevant to this post, but interestingly in a recent Q&A Pike said of his books, his least favorite are 4 of his final 5 YA novels. I notice that you hate his later books, so your tastes seem to correspond a bit.

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines...the 20-year-old is a reincarnation of Max?

tariq said...

@ anonymous who is reading between the lines: that is exactly whats happened. The story mentions Max floating accross a corridor which ended with an unlocked door, beyong which the pain would stop. He then looks at the baby crying at his side, tells teresa he will have his revenge, and then dies. At the end when teresa tells him that she made the story about hearing her and maxs baby crying, he says it was real for him.
Remember, max dint have a son, he had a baby GIRL, but he teresa lied to him and told him she had an abortion, so the imaginary baby was painful for him, and now this baby after having grown up says its was real for him.
Max somehow transfers himself into the baby in the hospital, and would probably take care of his own baby now