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By Douglas Coupland Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, Part One Cheryl. My parents had already gone to work, and my brother, Chris, had left for swim team hours before. Douglas Coupland - Hey Nostradamus! Read more · Hey Nostradamus!: A Novel (Coupland, Douglas). Hey Nostradamus!: A Novel (Coupland, Douglas). Narrated by one of the murdered victims, the first part of Hey Nostradamus! is affecting and emotional enough to almost make you forget you're reading a book .

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Hey Nostradamus!: A Novel [Douglas Coupland] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles. free download hey nostradamus douglas coupland free download ford edge service manuals pdf the seven sisters trilogy dse hi manual family community and . Read Hey Nostradamus Douglas Coupland writer by hey nostradamus!: a novel (coupland, douglas) - pdf free fri, 15 mar

Cheryl narrates between her former life, and oblivion. She informs Jason that she is pregnant with his child, just a few hours before the massacre occurs. Jason A quiet and rebellious child from a very religious family. Jason is the narrator of the second section of the novel.

His father, Reg, is self-righteous, zealous, and unapologetic, and seems to favour his older brother Kent. Reg Reg is the narrator of the fourth part of the novel. Born to a strict father, Reg turned to belief as his salvation. Creating a very strict religious code for himself, Reg married and became the father to two children, Kent and Jason.

Throughout the novel, Reg undergoes a transformation from narrow fundamentalist to a more open and loving human being.

She eventually succumbs to Alcohol-Induced Dementia. He is a leader in the Youth Alive!

Kent is married to Barb, and has two twin sons with her. He dies in the beginning of the second part from a car accident. She and Kent tried to have kids but it didn't work. Since she was desperate to have kids, and Kent dies, she forces Jason to have kids with her. Since, she wanted her kids to look like they're Kent's and her child, so she has sex with Jason so that there are chances of her child looking like Kent. After a fallout with Reg, she remains close to Jason until his disappearance.

She is a different person from Kent in many ways, and is very different after the death of Kent. She is a woman who feels distant and is brought back into the world, just as she brings out Jason from his emotional seclusion.

She creates characters and stories with Jason, which are later provided back to her by a psychic, who Heather believes will bring her back to the missing Jason.

Inspiration[ edit ] Coupland began to write the novel in December , after a "nightmarish city tour that began on 10 September". Some people say, how come you never explored the motives of the ones who did the shooting. To my mind, that was all people talked about. I'm very much a fan of JG Ballard, where you have people in this fantastically quotidian situation that goes suddenly wrong, and how people deal with that.

Killers get too much press already. I remember growing up, the stories in which they live happily ever after, and the only part that I was interested was, like, after that.

Well it was fun for a while then they broke up and she got into crystal meth, found religion and turned into a lesbian. Then it began trickling off the laminated tabletops and dripping onto my jeans and forearms.

It was cold and I shivered and Lauren was shivering, too. I put my arm around her and held her to me, her teeth chattering like maracas. Then there were more shots - at us, I assumed, but Mitchell Van Waters blew out some of the sprinkler nozzles, shattering a large pipe, and the water came down on us in buckets. There was a noise from outside the building and Martin Boyle shouted, "Windows!

Then Duncan asked, "Was that a cop I saw out there? The school was now like a jewel case encrusted with snipers and cops.

Their time with their victims was drawing to an end. Lord, I know that faith is not the natural condition of the human heart, but why do You make it so hard to have faith? Were we so far gone here in boring North Van that we needed a shock treatment? There are thousands of suburbs as average as us. Why us then? And why now? You raise the cost of faith and You dilute its plausibility. Is that smart? Dear God, I keep on imagining what those kids under the tables must have been feeling and it only makes me angrier and crazier at You.

It just does. Dear God, I'm prayed out, and yet here I am, still knocking on Your door, but I think this could be the last time.

Dear Lord, This is the first time I've ever prayed because I didn't grow up with this stuff, but here I am, praying away, so maybe there's something to it. Maybe I'm wasting my time. You tell me. Send me a sign. You must get a lot of that. Proof proof proof. Because to my mind, the school massacre could mean that You don't exist just as much - if not more than - it could mean that You do. If I was trying to recruit followers, a school massacre isn't the way I'd go about doing it.

But then it got me here right now, praying, didn't it? Just so you know, I'm having my first drink here as I pray my first prayer - apricot liqueur, I skimmed off the top inch of my dad's bottle. It tastes like penicillin and I like it. I've never told anyone about the moment of my conversion in eleventh grade. I was by myself, out in the backyard in fall, sitting between two huckleberry shrubs that had survived the mountainside's suburban development.

I closed my eyes and faced the sun and that was that ping! I never expected angels and trumpets, nor did any appear. The moment made me feel special, and yet, of course, nothing makes a person less special than conversion - it But then how special can any person really be?

I mean, you have a name and some ancestors. You have medical, educational and work histories, as well as immediate living family and friends. And after that there's not much more. At least in my case. My death was the only remarkable aspect of my life. I'm rummaging through my memories trying to find even a few things to distinguish me from all others.

And yet I was Cheryl Anway: that has to count for something. And I did have questions and uneasy moments after my conversion. I wondered why it is that going to heaven is the only goal of religion, because it's such a selfish thing. The Out to Lunch Bunch talked about going to heaven in the same breath as they discussed hair color. Leading a holy life inside a burgundy-colored VW Cabrio seems like a spiritual contradiction.

Jason once joked that if you read Revelations closely, you could see where it says that Dee Carswell counting the calories in a packet of Italian dressing is a sign of imminent apocalypse. And yet we all possessed the capacity for slipping at any moment into great sin and eternal darkness.

I suppose it's what made me a bit withdrawn from the world - maybe I just didn't trust anybody fully, knowing how close we all were to the edge.

That's not true: I trusted Jason. Whenever I felt doubts I overcompensated by trying to witness to whoever was nearby, usually my family. And when they even remotely sensed religion coming up, they either nodded politely or they bolted.

I can't imagine what they said about me when I wasn't there. In any event, I think in the end it's maybe best to keep your doubts private. Saying them aloud cheapens them - makes them a bunch of words just like everybody else's bunch of words. It stank of American cigarettes, smoky blue and tarlike, and of liquor. A woman dressed up like a centurion with balloon boobs and stage makeup asked us for our drink order. She reminded me of a novelty cocktail shaker. The thing is, we said yes, and Jason ordered two gin fizzes - where did that come from?

They arrived within moments and there we stood, dumb as planks, while the most desperate sort of gamblers - I mean, this was August in the middle of the desert - slunk past us, serenaded by the endless rattling and dinging of the slot machines.

I don't think I'd ever seen so many souls teetering so precariously on the brink of colossal sin. Hypocritical me. We're all equally on the brink of all sins. We went up to our room: shabby and yellowing.

I couldn't figure out why such a splashy place would have such dumpy rooms, but Jason said it was to drive people down into the casinos. Once the door was closed, it was a bit awkward. Until then, it had all felt like a field trip. We sat on the edge of the bed and Jason asked if I still wanted to get married, and I said yes - I'd caught a sliver of his naked behind through the bathroom door's hinge crack as he changed into his other pair of pants.

As we sat there, we realized our clothes, even in the air-conditioned room, were far too hot for the climate. Jason shed his tie, and I replaced my all-concealing "skin is sin" dress with a jacket and skirt, the only other garments I'd brought - something like you'd wear to work on a Wednesday morning. We were alone in the elevator and kissed briefly, and then we staggered through the lobby bombarded again by a wash of noise and sleaze. Outside it was nearing sunset.

An ashtray on wheels picked us up. The cabbie was a fat guy with an East Coast accent and exactly one hair on his forehead, just like Charlie Brown. He slapped the steering wheel when we asked him to take us to a chapel. He told us his name, Evan, and we asked him if he'd be our witness.

He said sure, he'd stand up for us, and for the first time that day I felt not just as if I was getting married, but also like a bride. The chapels were itty-bitty things, and we tried to find one in which celebrities had never been married, as if a celebrity aura could somehow crush the holy dimension of a Las Vegas wedding. I don't know what we were thinking. Evan ended up choosing a chapel for us, mostly because it included a snack platter and sparkling wine in the price of the service. There was paperwork; our fake IDs aroused no suspicion.

Out the little stained-glass window up front the sun was like a juicy tangerine on the horizon. Quickly, a dramatically tanned man in white rayon, who might just as easily have been offering us a deal on a condominium time-share, declared us legally wed. Nearing the front door, Jason said, "Well, it's not quite two hundred and fifty of our nearest and dearest, is it? What would your dad say?

Instead, they began to fight among themselves.

Mitchell was furious with Jeremy for wasting ammunition that could be more effectively used "killing those stuck-up pigs who feed on taunting anybody who doesn't have a numbered sweater.

I also didn't know whether the gunshots scattered or formed a concentrated beam, but I clearly remember blood from the huddle mixing with the streams of sprinkler water that trickled along the linoleum's slight slant, down to behind the bank of vending machines. The machines made a quick electrical fizz noise and went dead. From the huddle came a few screams, some moans and then silence.

Mitchell shouted, "We know that most of you aren't dead or even wounded, so don't think we're stupid. Duncan, should we go over and see who's fibbing and who isn't? Mitchell said, "What's the matter deciding to convert into a jock all of a sudden?

Gee, won't that make the Out to Lunch Bunch hot for you. A killer with a heart of gold. Like we haven't noticed that all your shots are missing their mark? The only reason you shot out the windows was because it's impossible to miss them. I think you're jamming out, and you're jamming out a little bit too late into the game, I think. Killing is fun. Jam out now, and you're next. Duncan, what would you guess Jeremy's tally up to this moment has been?

Douglas Coupland - Hey Nostradamus!

And you expect mercy from the world? Mitchell said, "Execution time. It was worth all the delays and pleas and postponement of pleasure, and you know, this isn't some guidance-class hygiene film speaking to you - it's me. I was me. We were us. It was all real, and wild, and it is my most cherished memory of having been alive - a night of abandon on the sixteenth floor of Caesars Palace. I doubt we said even three words to each other all night; Jason's dewy antler-soft skin made words feel stupid.

By six in the morning we were in a cab headed back to the airport. On the flight north, we didn't speak much, either. And I felt married. I loved the sensation, and it's why I remained silent - trying to pinpoint the exact nature of this new buzz: sex, certainly, but more than that, too. Of course, the Out to Lunch Bunch and all of the Alive! We simply didn't care as much for the group as before, and it showed. The corny little lunchtime confessions over french fries were so dull as to be unlistenable; Pastor Fields's team sports metaphors and chastity pleas seemed equally juvenile to Jason.

We knew what we had, and we knew what we wanted, and we knew that we wanted more.

Then there was the issue of how we were going to go about telling our families. Jason imagined a formal dinner at a good restaurant during which to break the news - between the main course and the dessert - but I said I didn't want our marriage to be treated like a chorus girl jumping out of a cake. I'm not clear if Jason's desire for a formal dinner was his concept of maturity, or if he wanted to shock a crowd like an evil criminal mastermind.

He did have his exhibitionist streak: I mean, in Las Vegas he'd refused to close the curtains and he was always trying to sneak me into the change room at the Bootlegger jeans store. No go. So yes, we'd had a fight on the phone about this matter the night before my pregnancy test. Jason was angry with me for dragging my heels about announcing the marriage, and I was angry with him for wanting to be a - I don't know - a show-off.

And that's as far as I got in my life, my baby as well. I don't think I've concealed anything here, and there's not much left to explain. God owns everything. I was not replaceable, but nor was I indispensable. It was my time. Dear God, I am so full of hate that I'm scaring myself. Is there a word to describe wanting to kill people who are already dead? Because that's what's in my heart. I remember last year being in the backyard with my father.

We lifted up this sheet of plywood that had been lying on the grass all winter. Underneath were thousands of worms, millipedes, beetles and a snake, all either eating or being eaten, and that is my heart, and the hate and the insects grow and grow blacker by the hour. I want to kill the killers, and I just can't believe that this would be a sin.

Lord, My son described the blood and water pooling on the cafeteria floor, coating it like Varathane. He told me about the track marks left in blood by running shoes, by bare feet and by bodies either dragging themselves or being dragged away by friends. There's something else he's not telling me - a father knows that - but what could be more horrible than - Oh God, this is not a prayer. I can't help but wonder if the other girls thought I used God as an excuse to hook up with Jason, or that I confused one with the other.

Maybe I wasn't truly in love with Jason; maybe it was just an infatuation, or maybe it was only some sort of animal need like any teenager feels. Listen to me, practical Cheryl, covering my bases, even after death.

I kept them separate. As well, Duncan was egging Mitchell on to kill Jeremy, too, and my hopes had flip-flopped - now I thought I might survive. Then Jeremy said, "Go ahead, Mitchell, shoot me - like I care. He hadn't anticipated this scenario. He turned a bit to his left, looked down at me and the Bunch, then took his rifle and shot me on my left side.

He really wasn't a good shot, because he was five paces away, and I should have been dead instantly.

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And quite honestly, it didn't hurt, the shooting, and I didn't die immediately, either. Lauren, bless her, lunged away from me, leaving me there on the floor on top of my binder, which the water had sloshed off the tabletop. At my new angle, I could see much better what was transpiring. Mitchell said, "Well, Jeremy, you stud, that's one less girl for you to impress," and Jeremy said, "Dear God, I repent for my sins.

Forgive me for all I have done. Then I heard Jason's voice from the cafeteria doors - something along the lines of "Put those guns down now. At this point, the boys in the camera club lifted up their table and used it as a shield as they charged against the sole surviving gunman, Duncan Boyle.

It was covered with paper bags and some cookies that had been glued in place by blood. They charged into Duncan, pressing him against a blank spot of cinder-block wall. I saw the rifle fall to the ground, and then I saw the boys from the camera club laying the table flat on the ground on top of Duncan and begin jumping up and down on it like a grape press. They were making hooting noises, and people from the other tables came and joined in and the table became a killing game as all of these children, boys and girls, who fifteen minutes earlier had been peacefully eating peanut butter sandwiches and oranges, became savages, killing without pause.

Duncan's blood dribbled out from under the table. Lauren called out, and Jason came over and lifted the table off me like a hurricane lifting off a roof. I know he said something to me, but my hearing was gone. He tried holding me up, but my neck was limp, and all I could see was across the room, children crushing other children.

And that was that. And I believe I accepted God, and I fully accepted this sorrow, even though until the events in the cafeteria, there hadn't been too much of it in my life. I may have looked like just another stupid teenage girl, but it was all in there - God, and sorrow and its acceptance. And now I'm neither dead nor alive, neither awake nor asleep, and soon I'm headed off to the Next Place, but my Jason will continue amid the living.

Oh, Jason. In his heart, he knows I'll at least be trying to watch him from beyond, whatever beyond may be. And in his heart, I think, he's now learned what I came to believe, which is, as I've said all along, that the sun may burn brightly, and the faces of children may be plump and achingly sweet, but in the air we breathe, in the water we drink and in the food we share, there will always be darkness in this world.

Part Two Jason You won't see me in any of the photographs after the massacre - you know the ones I mean: the wire service shots of the funerals, students felt-penning teenage poetry on Cheryl's casket; teenage prayer groups in sweats and scrun-chies huddled on the school's slippery gym floor; A.

I'm in none of them, and if you had seen me, I sure wouldn't have been praying. I want to say that right from the start.

Just one hour ago, I was a good little citizen in a Toronto-Dominion bank branch over in North Van, standing in line, and none of this was even on my mind. I was there to deposit a check from my potbellied contractor boss, Les, and I was wondering if I should blow off the afternoon's work. My hand reached down into my pocket, and instead of a check, my sunburnt fingers removed the invitation to my brother's memorial service.

I felt as if I'd just opened all the windows of a hot muggy car. I folded it away and wrote down today's date on the deposit slip. I checked the wall calendar August 19, -and What the heck, I wrote a whole row of zeroes before the year, so that the date read: August 19, Even if you hated math, which I certainly do, you'd know that this is still mathematically the same thing as When I gave the slip and the check to the teller, Dean, his eyes widened, and he looked up at me as if I'd handed him a holdup note.

What makes you think it isn't? Casey and Dean had a hushed talk, and then she spoke to me. Klaasen, may I ask you why you've written this on your slip? It's not as if I'd walked into the bank planning all those extra zeroes. They just happened, and now I had to defend them.

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But maybe what the zeroes do point out is that in a billion years - and there will be a billion years - we'll all be dust. Not even dust: we'll be molecules. I said, "Just think, there are still a few billion years of time out there, just waiting to happen. Billions of years, and we're not going to be here to see them. Casey said, "Mr.

Klaasen, if this is some sort of joke, I can try to understand its abstract humor, but I don't think this slip meets the requirements of a legal banking document. I said, "But doesn't it make you think? Or want to think? Dean telegraphed Casey a savvy little glance, and in a flash I knew that they knew about me, about Cheryl, about and about my reputation as a borderline nutcase - He never really got over it, you know. I'm used to this. I was furious but kept my cool.

I said, "I think I'd like to close my account - convert to cash, if I could. Dean, could you help Mr. Klaasen close out his account? No questions? Klaasen, I have two daughters and I can barely think past next month's mortgage, let alone the year two billion one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine.

My hunch is that you'd be happier elsewhere. I'm not trying to get rid of you, but I think you know where I'm coming from.

Klaasen's account. Klaasen, I have to go. I decided to leave the serene, heavily bylawed streets of North Vancouver and drive to West Vancouver, down near the ocean. I asked if it was possible to rent a safety deposit box, which took all of three minutes to do. That box is where I'm going to place all of this, once it's finished. And here's the deal: if I get walloped by a bus next year, this letter is going to be placed in storage until May 30, , when you, my two nephews, turn twenty-one.

If I hang around long enough, I might hand it to you in person. But for now, that's where this letter is headed. Just so you know, I've been writing all of this in the cab of my truck, parked on Bellevue, down by Ambleside Beach, near the pier with all its bratty kids on rollerblades and the Vietnamese guys with their crab traps pursuing E. I'm using a pen embossed with "Travelodge" and I'm writing on the back of Les's pink invoice forms.

The wind is heating up - God, it feels nice on my face - and I feel, in the most SUV-commercial sense of the word, free. First off, Cheryl and I were married. No one knows that but me, and now you. It was insane, really.

So when I suggested to Cheryl that we fly to Las Vegas and get hitched, she floored me when she said yes. It was an impulsive request I made after our math class saw an educational 16mm film about gambling.

Hey Nostradamus!

The movie was supposed to make high school students more enthusiastic about statistics. I mean, what were these filmmakers thinking?

And what was I thinking? Las Vegas? We flew down there one weekend and - I mean, we weren't even people then, we were so young and out of it. We were like baby chicks. We were like zygotes, little zygotes cabbing from the airport to Caesars Palace, and all I could think about was how hot and dry the air was.

In any event, it seems like a billion years ago. Around sunset, we got married, using our fake IDs. Our witness was a slob of a cabbie who drove us down the Strip. For the next six weeks my grades evaporated, sports became a nuisance, and my friends became ghosts. The only thing that counted was Cheryl, and because we kept the marriage secret, it was way better and more forbidden feeling than if we'd waited and done all the sensible stuff.

There were some problems when we got home. This churchy group Cheryl and I were in, Youth Alive! When I was in twelfth grade, Kent was in second year at the University of Alberta, but he was still a honcho, and I can only imagine the phone conversations he must have been having with the local Alive!

Which lights? Did they order in pizza? What time did they leave? Separately or together? As if we hadn't noticed we were being spied on. Yet in fairness, the Alive! We all were. Seventeen is nothing. You're still in the womb. Such a man may or may not be employed, but regardless, there is mystery there. If this man is with a dog, then that's good, because it means he's capable of forming relationships. But if the dog is a male dog, that's probably a bad sign, because it means the guy is likely a dog, too.

A girl dog is much better, but if the guy is over thirty, any kind of dog is a bad sign regardless, because it means he's stopped trusting humans altogether. In general, if nothing else, guys my age with dogs are going to be work. Then there's stubble: stubble indicates a possible drinker, but if he's driving a van or a pickup truck, he hasn't hit bottom yet, so watch out, honey.

A guy writing something on a clipboard while facing the ocean at P. But if he's writing real words, not just a job estimate or something business-y, then more likely than not this guy has something emotional going on, which could mean he has a soul. Maybe you're generous and maybe you assume that everybody has a soul. I'm not so sure. I know that I have one, even though I'd like to reject my father's every tenet, and say I don't. But I do. It feels like a small glowing ember buried deep inside my guts.

I also believe people can be born without souls; my father believes this, too, possibly the sole issue we agree upon. I've never found a technical term for such a person - "monster" doesn't quite nail it - but I believe it to be true. That aside, I think you can safely say that a guy in West Vancouver facing the ocean writing stuff on a clipboard in the midafternoon has troubles.

If I've learned anything in twenty-nine years, it's that every human being you see in the course of a day has a problem that's sucking up at least 70 percent of his or her radar.

My gift - bad choice of words - is that I can look at you, him, her, them, whoever, and tell right away what is keeping them awake at night: money; feelings of insignificance; overwhelming boredom; evil children; job troubles; or perhaps death, in one of its many costumes, perched in the wings. What surprises me about humanity is that in the end such a narrow range of plights defines our moral lives.

Joyce, my faithful white Lab, just bolted upright. What's up, girl, huh? Up is a Border collie with an orange tennis ball in his mouth: Brodie, Joyce's best friend. Time for an interruption - she's giving me that look. It's as good a definition as any.

And I have to Wait: Joyce, beside me on the bench seat, having chewed her tennis ball into fragments, is obviously wondering why we should be parked so close to a beach yet not be throwing sticks into the ocean. Joyce never runs out of energy. Joyce, honey, hang in there. Papa's a social blank with a liver like the Hindenburg, and he's embarrassed by how damaged he is and by how mediocre he turned out.

And yes, your moisteyed stare is a Ginsu knife slicing my heart in two like a beefsteak tomato - but I won't stop writing for a little while just yet. As you can see, I talk to dogs. All animals, really. They're much more direct than people. I knew that even before the massacre. Most people think I'm a near mute. Cheryl did. I wish I were a dog. I wish I were any animal other than a human being, even a bug.

Joyce, by the way, was rejected by the Seeing Eye program because she's too small. Should reincarnation exist, I'd very much like to come back as a Seeing Eye dog. No finer calling exists. Joyce joined my life nearly a year ago, at the age of four months. I met her via this crone of a Lab breeder on Bowen Island whose dream kitchen I helped install.

The dream kitchen was bait to tempt her Filipina housekeeper from fleeing to the big city. Joyce was the last of the litter, the gravest, saddest pup I'd ever seen. She slept on my leather coat during the days and then spelunked into my armpits for warmth during breaks. That breeder was no dummy. After a few weeks she said, "Look, you two are in love. You do know that, don't you?

She said, "I think you were meant for each other. Come in on the weekend and put the double-pane windows in the TV room, and she's yours. Narrated by one of the murdered victims, the first part of Hey Nostradamus! As Cheryl Anway tells her story, the facts of the Delbrook Senior Secondary student's life--particularly her secret marriage to classmate Jason--provide a very human dimension to the bloody denouement that will change hundreds of lives forever.

Rather than moving on to explore the conditions that led to the killings, though, Coupland shifts focus to nearly a dozen years after the event: first to Jason, still shattered by the death of his teenage bride, then to Jason's new girlfriend Heather, and finally to Reg, Jason's narrow-minded, religious father. Hey Nostradamus!

It's among Coupland's most serious efforts, yet his intent is not entirely clear. Certainly there is no attempt at psychological insight into the killers' motives, and the most developed relationships--those between Jason and Cheryl, and Jason and Reg--seem to have little to do with each other.TV stinks. Are they lost?

What would your dad say? Carol Schraeger passed the note my way; it was a plea from Lauren to talk during homeroom break. The world is pulling away from me, losing its capacity to hurt. I was surprised when Jason did propose - in his dad's Buick on a rainy August afternoon in the White Spot parking lot over a cheeseburger and an orange float.