As further evidence of Stephen King of being not just one of the world’s greatest storytellers but also one of the hardest working, the acclaimed author has just published a new short story for The New Yorker.
Here’s the first part, click the link below to read it in it’s entirety…
by Stephen King
Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light.
Looking at it, anyway.
Sheriff Barclay stood in the doorway, almost filling it up. He was holding his own lantern. “Come out of there, Jim, and do it with your hands up. I ain’t drawn my pistol and don’t want to.”
Trusdale came out. He still had the newspaper in one of his raised hands. He stood there looking at the sheriff with his flat gray eyes. The sheriff looked back. So did the others, four on horseback and two on the seat of an old buckboard with “Hines Mortuary” printed on the side in faded yellow letters.
“I notice you ain’t asked why we’re here,” Sheriff Barclay said.
“Why are you here, Sheriff?”
“Where is your hat, Jim?”
Trusdale put the hand not holding the newspaper to his head as if to feel for his hat, which was a brown plainsman and not there.
“In your place, is it?” the sheriff asked. A cold breeze kicked up, blowing the horses’ manes and flattening the grass in a wave that ran south.
“No,” Trusdale said. “I don’t believe it is.”
“I might have lost it.”
“You need to get in the back of the wagon,” the sheriff said.
“I don’t want to ride in no funeral hack,” Trusdale said. “That’s bad luck.”
“You got bad luck all over,” one of the men said. “You’re painted in it. Get in.”
Trusdale went to the back of the buckboard and climbed up. The breeze kicked again, harder, and he turned up the collar of his barn coat.
The two men on the seat of the buckboard got down and stood either side of it. One drew his gun; the other did not. Trusdale knew their faces but not their names. They were town men. The sheriff and the other four went into his shack. One of them was Hines, the undertaker. They were in there for some time. They even opened the stove and dug through the ashes. At last they came out…
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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