Master story teller Stephen King can tell a good, stick-in-your-head story no matter what form he picks. A thousand page monster like 11/22/63 or The Stand, a regular novel, or his latest short work of fiction, “A Death,” Mr. King just has a way with words. The story was published in the most recent issue of The New Yorker, and can be read for free on their website, which is where I found it.
“A Death” takes place somewhere in the West, probably in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. A slow, poor man is convicted of the murder of a ten year old girl (on her birthday, no less) allegedly to steal her silver dollar.
The story definitely has an old-timey feel to it, and actually reminded me a lot of The Scarlet Letter the way the community reacts and the fact that so much attention was given to the gallows. It’s perfectly wintry with a snow storm taking place through most of the story, and the town being called Black Hills, and just everything.
It’s quick, it’s gruesome and kind of gritty in that Stephen King way, and is definitely worth a read, especially since it can be found so easily on The New Yorker’s website. Plus, it’s right in time for King’s March! So go, go!