Short Story--"The Woman In The Room"--Night Shift

Discussion in 'Newbies Start Here' started by Bud Allen, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Bud Allen
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    Bud Allen New Member

    Relating to “The Woman”



    I’ve been a fan of Steven King’s work since the early eighties.

    I wouldn’t presume to declare that I’m the number one fan, though…

    There are millions of us… each believing that they are the number one. Hopefully, not the Annie Wilkes- kind of number one fan… She was as crazy as a run-over dog.

    I’m just a fan… One of many…

    Just one other face in that huge crowd…

    The ugly one… nobody would dispute that.

    I own that number one ranking outright.


    I’ve noticed a few polls on social media relating to Mr. King’s works…

    Favorite quotes… top ten books… things like that.

    I must say, I was sad to see that ‘The Talisman’ did not make the “Top-Ten Books” list. Written in conjunction with Peter Straub; I found the characters, story-line, and plot twists sheer perfection in the art of tale-crafting.

    Those two literary titans created an absolute gem. Two stand-alone authors; who presented one constant, seamless story… oftentimes; each, purposefully mimicking the others style of writing… The book is an impressive feat of storytelling; with one voice, from two separate heads.

    Who could forget Wolf (RIGHT HERE AND NOW!!), Osmond, Speedy Parker, or Lily Cavanaugh and Jack Sawyer?

    Well… that was a brainless question.

    Many people have forgotten.

    ‘The Talisman’ didn’t make the cut.

    It is a masterful work; and a wonderful read, that I recommend, highly. I’m also very fond of “Eyes of the Dragon”; which Mr. King wrote in dedication to his daughter, Naomi. Some fans may not get as excited by a story written in a land of fairy tale make-believe; maybe they felt that the boogey-man let them down, by not scaring the living **** out of them… like they yearn for.

    Some of the best writing is done; with- and in some cases, for- someone else…

    Writing in collaboration with someone is a thrill ride. A fellow author who is adept at their craft causes you to up your own game. They inspire you to reach for more, which makes you a better author in your own right. You know; the raising of the bar and all of that…

    Plus… you don’t want to look like a dumba**.

    Writing for someone specifically; is a labor of love and gratitude, a testament of how something can be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about you, or your aspirations… it’s about them…

    And what they mean to you.

    How the struggle to find the words… to substitute for the feelings and emotions, is soo hard. Emotions that you are trying to convey into something tangible; something visible… With equipment that is limited, by your ability to wield it. The words are supposedly there, somewhere.

    It is YOU, who cannot seem to find them… Your vocabulary is lacking. YOU have made it harder than it had to be…

    Applying more effort in your studies at school or college might have been the key; but that ship has left the corral…That horse has sailed. No use crossing the road, now.

    That came out stupid, didn’t it?

    Words on paper seem soo infinitesimal, sometimes… so very small. Feeble little things that may collapse under the weight of the feelings they are intended to communicate.

    You write; knowing you may not be able to complete the work.

    Love and gratitude is what beckons you to try, anyway.

    Even if trying brings back the pain you had wished you could forget…

    It is that notion; that brings me to Mr. King’s short story, ‘The woman in the room.’


    ‘The woman in the room’ was the closing story in the book ‘Night Shift’; a collection of short-stories penned by a much younger boogey-man, at that time.

    At first read; it was good, but not what I expected from the mind of Stevie. I was expecting to be up most of the night; thinking of unimaginable things, which were responsible for the creaks and pops and groans that I thought I heard outside of my bedroom, deeper in the depths of the house…

    Not the settling of that old structure…

    Or the wind; blowing and whistling a haunting note, rustling the bushes and trees around my house.

    No; it was Things…

    INSIDE of my home…

    Searching for me…

    While I lay in my bed; the blanket pulled up to my nose in a white-knuckle death-grip, and my ass clenched soo tight, it may pinch a plug out of the sheet beneath me.

    THAT’S what I expected from the Scare-Meister.


    I wondered why he chose that story to be the closer in “Night Shift.

    Make-believe scary is one thing… real-life scary is something else.

    “The woman in the room” is real-life scary; it took a few decades for me to realize just how terrifying that story actually was…

    When I experienced my own “Woman in the room…”


    Though the situation and circumstances differed; many parallels could be drawn between Mr. King’s story and my own. The most heart-breaking similarity; is how familiar you become with the lay-out of a hospital that just weeks before, you could get totally lost in… like a stranger in a strange land. Familiarity breeds contempt; and I hated how familiar I had become with St. Luke’s Hospital, in Houston, Texas…

    You spend your time either there at the hospital; or in transit, to or from that horrible place… that becomes your life at the moment…

    Doctors inform you that the patient; the person dear to you, is terminal… and her time is short. You will have to steel yourself; prepare yourself, for the day when you will leave that hospital and go home…

    And your loved one will go home, as well…

    Without ever setting a foot outside of that despicable room…


    My loved one was diagnosed with metastasized small cell lung cancer; that had spread like wildfire, devouring her spine and other vital organs, and taking away her ability to walk.

    She asked me one day if her legs were together; she couldn’t feel them, and a cold chill ran up my back.

    That reminded me of a phrase from Mr. King’s story. An echo from decades past…


    If I could speak to Mr. King; I would tell him that I know how difficult that story was to write.

    I would thank him, for having the perseverance to write it. I know how hard that was.

    Love and gratitude gave him the strength to author those words.

    A moving tribute to his “woman in the room…”

    You are not the boogey-man, Mr. King…

    You are Hu-man…

    Bud Allen
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  2. Dana Jean
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    Dana Jean Beta Tester/Moderator Moderator

    Hi Bud, welcome to the board. I put your story behind a spoiler due to the length. I am sorry about your loved one. Been there, wish I didn't have to "been there."

    And, just so you know, The Talisman and Eyes of the Dragon are in my Top 10 list of Stephen King stories.
    GNTLGNT and Neesy like this.
  3. Neesy
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    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    Hi Bud! (I am not sure what it is about your name - I just like saying "HI BUD!"
    and yes, I would like to thank him, too, for many hours of reading pleasure. :reading:
    GNTLGNT likes this.
  4. Bryan James
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    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    Both in my Top 10 as well.
    GNTLGNT and Neesy like this.
  5. king family fan
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    king family fan Prolific member

    Welcome!
    GNTLGNT and Neesy like this.
  6. GNTLGNT
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    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

  7. Bryan James
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    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    I want some mashed 'taters now.
    Neesy and GNTLGNT like this.
  8. GNTLGNT
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    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

    ...my version of a "spoiler" joke...yeah, I know....*heads off down well worn path to door*...
    Neesy likes this.
  9. GNTLGNT
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    GNTLGNT Idiot in Situ and Unholy Devourer of Cookies

    ...allow me to provide the tater chompin' accompaniment...with REAL static!...

    Neesy likes this.
  10. Walter Oobleck
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    Walter Oobleck keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going

    I'm a full day late....but I got it. Wish I could remember what I'd thunk when I read that...something to do with the car.
    Neesy and GNTLGNT like this.

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