A resonant novella set in one of King's signature locales: the small town of Castle Rock, Maine' Washington Post
The small town of Castle Rock, Maine, has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson takes the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.
One day, while Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground and the chink of an aluminium bat hitting a baseball, a stranger calls out to her.
On a bench in the shade sits a man in a small, neat black hat. He offers Gwendy a mahogany box with coloured buttons. The buttons will produce gifts, such as chocolate which can make you slimmer. But he warns her that the gifts will be 'small recompense for the responsibility.'