Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Mute

This short story is taken from the compilation of Stephen King's `Just After Sunset'. It is about a salesman from Baltimore, Monette, who gets into a confession booth and starts talking to a priest. He mentions about an incident when he picked up a hitchhiker on the Maine Turnpike. The hitchhiker turns out to be mute. To while away the time during the ride with the hitchhiker, Monette starts talking and discovers that the person is a mute who cannot speak nor hear. "He was deaf, he was mute, hell, I thought he was probably asleep and I could say any fucking thing I wanted to!"

Monette is fifty five and his wife fifty four. Monette starts complaining about how his wife cheated on him and ran away with another guy who was sixty years old and after swindling her office funds, blows all the money on lotteries and lingerie and finally is being hunted by investigators.
Just before reaching his destination, Monette stops at a gas station for a leak and when he returns, he finds the mute gone, stealing the St. Christopher's medal hanging to the rear view mirror.
Two days later, Monette gets a call from the Maine State Police that his wife and her lover had been beaten to death in a motel. Monette realizes that he had told everything to the mute including the name of the motel where she and her lover were meeting and where Monette himself lived.
Monette confesses to the priest that he found his St. Christopher's medal on his dressing table one day with a note saying "Thank you for the ride."
The priest asks Monette, "Do you want the police to catch this man?". Though Monette is very happy about what the supposed mute has done, he says to the priest, "Of course, I do."
On his way back home from the confessional, Monette adds two extra Hail Marys and two extra Our Fathers.
The story has a good touch to it but for the crafting, it gets a B.

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