Stephen King is synonymous with horror. He is the first one people go to for a horror story. He has built a reader’s bliss on the fact that he knows how to spin a tale with terrifying effects on its characters and readers. I would recommend anyone looking for horror, to bolt towards King for a short tale or novel to satisfy that urge. Which is why this Halloween special is begins with him!
Anyway, to the short story … Katherine MacDonald is a nurse for an exceedingly wealthy man Andrew Newsome who suffered in a plane crash and has been suffering in excruciating pain ever since. While Kat (as known in the story) believes he calls on charlatans to help him instead of doing therapy to work his muscles, Andrew continuously does so in order to find freedom from his pain: in the form of the minister simply known as Rideout.
Things to note about this short story are the elements of wealth and money and how everything seems tied to it. The name Rideout seems not only too obscure for a real healer of immense pain, but suggests an element of riding the pain out should be the only thing Andrew Newsome could do. The reader is also given great insight into Kat and her thoughts and as good authors who have been around forever in their field are able to do, King creates strong characterisation for readers to attach themselves to early on in the limited space a short story allows. Finally, the end leaves you thinking that whoever the enemy is (I’m not going to spoil it for you), they are going to win. Just like all classic horror tales, there is the idea that you can’t keep a true villain and its cause for evil towards humanity down.
Let’s be honest: for horror, read Stephen King.
Check out ‘A Book of Horrors’ edited by Stephen Jones for this story and others in the same field of horror, as he has attempted to collect tales that bring back what horror really is for audiences (and it will also be the only place to find this tale!).
Or if you are after other thrilling and heart-stopping tales by Stephen King, here's a short list ... and I do say short compared to his writing track record! : 'Carrie' (1974), 'The Shining' (1977), 'Misery' (1987), 'The Green Mile' (1996), 'Dr. Sleep'(2013 ... and the sequel to 'The Shining').