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The one thing nobody asked in casual conversation, Darcy thought in the days after she found what she found in the garage, was this: How’s your marriage? They asked how was your weekend and how was your trip to Florida and how’s your health and how are the kids; they even asked how’s life been treatin you, hon? But nobody asked how’s your marriage?
Good, she would have answered the question before that night. Everything’s fine.
She had been born Darcellen Madsen (Darcellen, a name only parents besotted with a freshly purchased book of baby names could love), in the year John F. Kennedy was elected President. She was raised in Freeport, Maine, back when it was a town instead of an adjunct to L.L.Bean, America’s first superstore, and half a dozen other oversized retail operations of the sort that are called “outlets” (as if they were sewer drains rather than shopping locations). She went to Freeport High School, and then to Addison Business School, where she learned secretarial skills. She was hired by Joe Ransome Chevrolet, which by 1984, when she left the company, was the largest car dealership in Portland. She was plain, but with the help of two marginally more sophisticated girlfriends, learned enough makeup skills to make herself pretty on workdays and downright eye-catching on Friday and Saturday nights, when a bunch of them liked to go out for margaritas at The Lighthouse or Mexican Mike’s (where there was live music).
In 1982, Joe Ransome hired a Portland accounting firm to help him figure out his tax situation, which had become complicated (“The kind of problem you want to have,” Darcy overheard him tell one of the senior salesmen). A pair of briefcase-toting men came out, one old and one young. Both wore glasses and conservative suits; both combed their short hair neatly away from their foreheads in a way that made Darcy think of the photographs in her mother’s MEMORIES OF ’54 senior yearbook, the one with the image of a boy cheerleader holding a megaphone to his mouth stamped on its faux-leather cover.
The younger accountant was Bob Anderson. She got talking with him on their second day at the dealership, and in the course of their conversation, asked him if he had any hobbies. Yes, he said, he was a numismatist.
He started to tell her what that was and she said, “I know. My father collects Lady Liberty dimes and buffalo-head nickels. He says they’re his numismatical hobby-horse. Do you have a hobby-horse, Mr. Anderson?”
He did: wheat pennies. His greatest hope was to some day come across a 1955 double-date, which was—
But she knew that, too. The ’55 double-date was a mistake. A valuable mistake.
From the story “A Good Marriage”, to be published in FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King. Copyright c 2010 by Stephen King. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Stephen King ratchets up the thrills—and chills—in this dark quartet of never-before-published novellas. Stories include:
• 1922—When Wilfred and his wife move onto land willed to her by her father, it sets in motion a gruesome sequence of events that leads to madness…and murder.
• Big Driver—Tess, a mystery writer, takes a shortcut home after a speaking engagement, only to run into a nightmare more terrifying than her stories.
• Fair Extension—In this dark, funny tale, cancer patient Harry Streeter decides to make a deal with the devil, but there’s a price to pay.
• A Good Marriage—Darcy learns more about her husband of 20 years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles across a mysterious box in their garage.
Large Print Hardcover Book : 768 pages
Publisher: Scribner/Simon & Schuster ( November 09, 2010 )
Item #: 13-193800
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.23inches
Product Weight: 26.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Leaves a mark on the Psyche. He is a master storyteller, though, this lot of stories may be a bit much for those with weak stomaches.
This was another typical Stephen King. I especially love his short stories. The master storyteller does it again!!
Reviewer: Jeff R
This was another great book by a the master.....I couldn't put it down. I love how all of his books are such different storys, but they get you hooked right away, and keep you up late reading to see what happens next. Of course he is way ahead of us, and we can never foresee the twists and turns coming. It was great!!!! I recently read an early book by SK writing as Richard Bachman called Blaze, it was great and I could not read it fast enough to see what would happen next. He is my all time favorite writer, and I have been reading for pleasure for almost 50 years now, I guess I will never outgrow Stephen King.
I've read em all and love this one. SK short stories books are the best
This is my first Stephen King book. He is a great storyteller and handles horrors of the psyche and imagination with a deft hand. Only one story was a bit too gruesome for me, but overall, these stories deal with terror as it works on the mind and personality of characters who seam quite real. I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing is rich but easy to grasp, and the humor within the horror is entertaining.