Posted: March 16, 2007
Graduation Afternoon is a very strong story. It’s also a very hard story to review without giving away the ending…but I’ll try.
Graduation Afternoon tells the story of Janice who is a not so wealthy girl who is dating Buddy who is a very wealthy boy. His parents do not approve of their relationship and Janice also suspects that it will end pretty soon. What she doesn’t know is how soon.
King doesn’t give us that much background about the characters so we really don’t know much about these people. What King does in this story though is that he builds it up to the climax beautifully and then just executes it. Personally I think it’s one of the best short stories he has done. And yes, it’s very short. It’s only five pages long but it’s very effective.
King actually sums the story up best himself in the introduction to it. Here he talks about when he got the idea for it in London 2006:
“When I woke, I slid to the floor, glad to be awake and amazed that any human brain could hold such a powerful image. I know I had to write about it, I know the story had to be short – no more then a vignette – and I know I would never be able to do the image (God, don’t let it be a vision) justice.”
Graduation Afternoon can be found in Postscripts Magazine, issue #10 and besides King’s story you also get stories from Joe Hill (Thumbprint), Peter Atkins (Between the Cold Moon and the Earth), Graham Joyce (The Last Testament of Seamus Todd) and many, many more.
Lilja's final words about Graduation Afternoon
Make sure you read Graduation Afternoon. It’s very short but it’s among the best King has written when it comes to short stories!