Being a Stephen King fan, I'm always jumping to be among the first to read his latest works, and in some cases like this to listen. "The Gingerbread Girl" is a short story by Stephen King that was originally published in the July issue of Esquire magazine on June 15 of 2007. It will be included as the second entry in King's 2008 short-fiction collection "Just After Sunset." I missed the story when it came out in the magazine, but that doesn't mean I have to wait (or you either) until the release of the collection this November (2008). That's because, as King has done in the past, the story is released as an audiobook. So I jumped and got the audiobook and let me tell you it was worth it. Mare Winningham is the voice talent for the audiobook and she delivers the story with a punch.
I think that not only is Stephen King the "Master of Horror" but he's also pretty high in royalty in the "What if..." scenario. His books can be pure horror like vampires in "'Salem's Lot" to werewolves in "Cycle of the Werewolf." But some of his stories also take the ordinary everyday situations and ask "What if...(it went in this direction)?" I think "Cujo" is a prime example of that. An average dog gets rabies...but what if he trapped a family in their car. Well, this story is one of those what ifs. What if you wanted a peek at your neighbor's and found a dead body?
After her baby's sudden death, Emily starts running. Soon, she runs away from her husband, to the airport, down to the Florida Gulf and out to the loneliest stretch of Vermillion Key, where her father has a conch shack he has kept there for years. Emily keeps up her running. She always runs everywhere, running on the beach and on the roads, and she sees virtually no one anywhere. This is doing her all kinds of good, until one day she makes the mistake of looking into the driveway of a man named Jim Pickering. Pickering also enjoys the privacy of Vermillion Key, but the young women he brings to his home (referred to as his neices) are never seen leaving. And when Emily finds herself in the den of a madman, she will do anything she must to escape.
The story is relatively short but full of tension, from the moment Emily looks into that driveway to the chase. I won't give too much away, but this is one book that gets the blood pressure up.