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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.
In epic works like his Dark Tower series, The Stand and his recent Under the Dome, legendary author Stephen King has proven that he’s a master at working on a large canvas. His grand story arcs are, quite simply, breathtaking. But there’s something special about his shorter works. More intimate, immediate and intense, they’re beautifully crafted gems, and the thrills—and chills—hit you with surgical precision.
Full Dark, No Stars is a perfect example. A dark quartet of never-before-published novellas, it features:
• 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, only to run into a nightmare more terrifying than her stories.
• Fair Extension—In this darkly funny tale, cancer patient Harry Streeter decides to make a deal with the devil, but as always, 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.
Tautly plotted and beautifully told, this is Stephen King at the top of his game.
Hardcover Book : 384 pages
Publisher: Scribner/Simon & Schuster ( November 09, 2010 )
Item #: 13-152046
Product Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25 x 0.86inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
He is the King for a reason..He proved it once again..
Everyone, please read this book.
Reviewer: Rita S
I enjoyed all four short stories in this book. This is classic King!
I really have been disappointed in King's work over the last decade and haven't read any of his books. But my daughter bought me this one for Christmas and I must say I enjoyed all four "short" stories. They were just long enough and enough detailed to keep me hanging on. I thought some of the endings could have used a little more work but overall - all four stories were entertaining and kept me going.
Reviewer: william A