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A man convinces his son to help him in murdering his wife after she proposes moving off the family homestead. The story is distilled, pure, It Gets Worse.
- Apocalyptic Log - The entire story is the written confession of its protagonist.
- Darker and Edgier - Probably one of King's bleakest works. It starts off grim and only gets worse.
- Diabolus Ex Machina - Everything that can go wrong does.
- Glasgow Grin - Wilfred accidentally gives this to his wife when he kills her.
- Insane Troll Logic: Wilfred uses this to explain how murdering someone is an act of good. To elaborate, they're murdering the wife because, in his eyes, she's a terrible person and a sinner. Thus, by killing her before she can redeem herself, it gets her into Heaven automatically because she was never given the chance.
- Swarm of Rats - And how.
- Shout-Out - To H.P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls".
- Teen Pregnancy - Wilfred's son gets the neighbor's daughter pregnant. It doesn't go well. For anyone.
- Trauma Conga Line
- Unreliable Narrator - Perhaps.
After being violated and left for dead, a mystery writer uses her detective skills and plots her revenge.
- Animate Inanimate Object - Tess imagines many of her appliances helping her and giving her advice.
- Most Writers Are Writers - Par for the course with a Stephen King story.
- My God, What Have I Done? - Tess initially has one of these after accidentally killing her rapist's brother and believing him to be innocent. It turns out he was in on it with his brother.
- Rape and Revenge
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Scary Librarian - Ramona, who deliberately sent Tess off the beaten path so she would get raped and murdered by her son.
A man makes a Deal with the Devil to exchange his misery with his friend's good luck.
- Asshole Victim - Played with. The reader is made to hate Tom Goodhugh, (he stole Dave's girlfriend, got rich off an idea that Dave helped implement, etc) but it's hard not to feel sorry for him when his life turns to shit.
- Comedic Sociopathy - Of the darkest sort.
- Equivalent Exchange - Dave Streeter's life finally turns around at the expense of his friend's.
- Karma Houdini - Dave Streeter.
- Louis Cypher - George Elvid.
- Trauma Conga Line - Tom Goodhugh's life after Dave's deal.
A Good Marriage
A middle-aged wife discovers that her husband is hiding a dark secret.
- Axes At School - Bob planned a school shooting when he was younger with his friend Brian.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Faux Affably Evil - Bob is rather charming and a pillar of the community.
- Nightmare Fetishist - Darcy discovers a collection of some extremely dark sadomasochistic magazines from Bob.
- Significant Monogram - Bob's serial killer alias 'Beadie' was derived from his childhood friend Brian Delahanty's initials. Bob believes that Brian 'infected' him.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story - King was in part inspired by the BTK killer, particularly after the killer's wife received backlash for claiming to have no knowledge of her husband's crimes.
- Would Hurt a Child - While Bob usually just killed women, he also at one point killed one of their children. He later tells his wife that it was an accident, although that's put into doubt when it's revealed that he had bitten off the boy's penis.