I didn’t use to believe that the past could reach cold hands out towards the living…

Funnily enough, I used this for a post title nearly two years ago, too.  It’s a line from Stephen King’s Christine, which I have been thinking about rereading lately.

Anyway.  I’ve been thinking about Kyle Murchison Booth, a character from an interlinked series of stories written by Sarah Monette (many of which were collected in The Bone Key.  I love the stories very much–they remind me of MR James–and I am just quietly amused that two fairly significant things didn’t occur to me on the first read-through.

(This may be a side-effect of going through them with great enthusiasm, and therefore great speed.)

First, the past is never kind to Booth (I think he may have actually been called Cousin Kyle in one of the stories, and I still can’t imagine doing it; he is Booth, to me, or Kyle Murchison Booth, but not Kyle).  No-one who knew him from before, or who knew of him from before, ever seeks him out to do him good.  There is Radcliffe, who is specifically a break with the patterns of the past, and did not go looking for Booth, and is very nearly still cruel to him anyway.

Second–and this is one the light of my life pointed out to me–the Samuel Mather Parrington Museum is not a safe place.  It is haunted.  But it is safe from other haunts.  They may chase Booth, and they may press against the outside of his window, and they may wait for him at the bottom of its stairs… but they do not go into the Parrington.

Whatever walks there, walks alone.

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