Posted: Fri, Jul 3 2009 - 09:27 AM

Stephen King's short story Morality, released in the July 2009 issue of Esquire, the one featuring supermodel Bar Refaeli on the cover buck naked but for King's prose writ upon her, is now available online.
Esquire July 2009
I stumbled on this a few days ago and, as I was in a hurry to get somewhere and didn't have time to read it, I merely glanced at the first paragraph. But King, damn him, sucked me in and I had to finish the story right then.

The story regards a married couple struggling in these economic times to make ends meet. Chad is a substitute teacher trying to get his first novel published. Nora is a nurse doing in home care for a retired pastor who's had a stroke. It's when said pastor George Winston, nicknamed Winnie, makes Nora a money making proposition that this tale takes off. Winnie wants to commit a major sin before he dies -- he's committed small ones in his life, of course, but has never joined the big leagues. And, since he cannot do much in his stricken state, he offers Nora $200,000 to sin for him by proxy.

That's all I can tell you without major spoilers, but if you think this brief synopsis sounds a bit like the movie Indecent Proposal, you are correct. But while Winnie's proposal is certainly indecent, the similarities end there. This isn't King's best short story (how could it be after 35 years of prolificacy?), but it did keep me entertained, surprised and riveted throughout. When I finished it, I realized I'd been reading a morality tale ... you'd think I'd have guessed that from the title.

You can read the entire story here.


Add Your Comment!