Posted: June 16, 2009
Category: Short stories
Mortality is about a happy but financially strained couple. Chad and Nora aren’t so poor that they are starving but still, they could definitely use more money and even more the stability that more money would mean. Chad is working as a temp and on his time of (which isn’t much) on a book about the life of a temp. An agent has told him that he could probably get him a deal that would give him about 100,000 dollars but for that to happen the book would need to be finished.

Nora is working as a home nurse for Winnie who is rehabilitating after a stroke and it is he that gives them a chance to turn things around. A chance for Chad to finish his book, a chance for them to move out of New York, a chance to change their life around completely. It comes with a price though…

Winnie who’s lived his entire life without any major sins want to commit one before he meets his maker. And since he is to week to do the evil deed himself he asks Nora to do it for him. She will be generously paid for what she would do but the big question is if she and Chad can live with the consequences of what it is she would have to do?

I like Mortality a lot. The story lacks a proper beginning and it lacks a proper ending. We get to visit Chad and Nora for a short time and we don’t know everything about them when we enter the story and we don’t know how it all ends when we leave. And that is a very good technique to tell a story. King masters it perfectly and tells us the story he wants to tell us but at the same time makes us wanting to know more about Chad and Nora. Very good!

Lilja's final words about Morality:

I read Mortality in one sitting and King do a great job of not telling the reader what the deal Nora is offered is until the last moment…and it drives you nuts. In a goof way that is.

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