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Willa ***spoilers***

Discussion in 'Just After Sunset' started by Christine62, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Christine62

    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    In the movie, The Sixth Sense (one of the few movies I wasn't able to second guess) the little boy discovers with the help of a psychologist that he can talk to dead people--and that's okay--because nine times out of ten the dead are just like the living-- trying to figure things out. The neat little twist to this story is the psychologist is dead but he just doesn't know it. These dead people the little boy sees "don't know they are dead." "They see only what they want to see."

    Stephen King takes this idea of the oblivious dead and explores it in his short story, WILLA, the first tale in the Just After Sunset collection. What King does so well here is not describe flesh-eating zombies, or demon-possessed trains but regular people's reactions to unusual events--like realizing you're dead.

    The story opens with a group of folks waiting for a train except David soon realizes that his fiance, Willa is missing. Against the advice of every well-drawn character in the station, David ventures out in the dark, among the wolves, to find Willa.

    So at this point the story I'm thinking this is a tale is about demon-possessed wolves or that maybe Willa will turn into a She-Wolf and eat David. But none of that happens. David discovers Willa at a bar with a loud band whose singer reminds him of Buck Owens.

    The terror here is understated but still very real. WILLA is an exploration of fear of the unknown, denial of reality and acceptance of what can't be changed. This is everyday experience set in an afterlife backdrop. There are those who wait for something to happen and those who make something happen.

    Maybe hell's waiting for a train that will never come and just maybe heaven's dancing for eternity to band with a Buck Owens twang. I'm kinda hoping for the latter, truth be told, I've had a crush on ole Buck since I was twelve.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  2. gniknehpets

    gniknehpets Backwards Sister Member

    Wow, that's deep and I love it!
    blunthead, kingricefan, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  3. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    Excellent post. Thankee kindly!!
    blunthead, kingricefan, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  4. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    Never looked that deep, but I love your take. I just saw people that didn't know it was time to move on.
    blunthead, kingricefan, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  5. rudiroo

    rudiroo Well-Known Member

    You got it.
    & mentioning The Sixth Sense reminded me that I couldn't (wouldn't) watch that film until I'd gone into hospital & had an operation.
    I felt I'd be tempting fate.

    Fast forward 14 years and now I'm more frightened of hanging around too long, in too much pain.

    SK = lessons in living well and dying better.
    (OK, most of us knoweth not the hour, but some of us do, approximately. . )
    blunthead, Neesy and kingricefan like this.
  6. booklover72

    booklover72 very strange person

    This is my Favourite story out of the whole collection.
    blunthead and Neesy like this.
  7. Kurben

    Kurben The Fool on the Hill

    Willa was my fave in the collection. Really liked the, i don't know, perhaps atmosphere describes it, that hung over the whole story.
    blunthead and Neesy like this.
  8. SutterKane

    SutterKane Well-Known Member

    I just started reading this collection. So far, "Willa" is the only story I have read but I liked it very much. I keep wondering what those ghosts in denial are gonna do when the demolition crew smashes down their train station.
    blunthead and Neesy like this.
  9. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I just started reading the collection too. Nice analysis of this one, Christine. It's a good story, done in a relatable and very nice buildup.

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