Monday, November 16, 2009
The Gingerbread Girl
I keep reading obscure Stephen King novels. I just picked up The Gingerbread Girl, a very short novel; perhaps it can be considered a novella. King continues to fascinate me with everything I read of his. Short story, film, or novel, he really is a talented writer. I can't believe he has created so many interesting stories.
Apparently, as I just researched, this story was first published in Esquire magazine. I can see how it could be so short to publish. It is REALLY interesting. I'd be hooked to read it in a magazine.
The Gingerbread Girl is about a woman who loses her child from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). She is absolutely distraught, and her and her husband get a divorce because they can't face the past or the present. The woman, Emily, decides to get away to her father's little vacation house in Florida to escape the death and divorce.
However, Emily stumbles upon a murder victim, a woman, in the house of a creepy man known as Pickering. Now she is the target of this murderer. He ties her up, tortures her a little, and then decides if he will kill her or not. Emily discloses that only the boat man knows where she is, so Pickering sets off to kill this man. Once he is gone, Emily does everything she can to break free from the chair she is duct-taped to.
Once Pickering returns, they have an all-out brawl to the death. They wrestle, stab each other, bite each other, wound each other with kitchen objects, run up the stairs, jump out of windows, chase down the beach, and eventually run into a Hispanic man who barely speaks English. Emily thought she was saved until Pickering tried to talk him into her being "loco." Pickering eventually kills this man.
Emily then runs into the water, in her last attempt to survive, luring him in. Pickering can't swim though. This is his demise. Even though he tried to kill her over and over again, he still screamed for help. Odd. Why the hell would she save him?
Emily's obsession with running was persistent throughout the novel/story, and it came in handy throughout the book. It contributed to her survival.
I think it's an interesting title, as she did have to "run, run as fast as [she could]." It was her savior. And hopefully this new encounter will help her value her life instead of dwelling on the negative.
This novel/story is said to be an allusion to "The Gingerbread Man" story. I don't actually know what the story is; I only know the song. I wonder if that would shed more light on this piece.
King does a fabulous job of invoking emotions in the reader. He makes me cringe and visualize in ways that other authors can't. He's so talented. I am so envious of his glorious gift!
Last interesting piece of information: Pickering appears as a minor antagonist in the novel Insomnia. Hm.
So what do you think of The Ginerbread Girl?