Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Broken News: Maine town finally included in Stephen King story

LINNEUS—Celebration rang out in the streets today, as the small town of Linneus, Maine learned that it’s decades-long literary exodus had come to an end. In a note posted on his website, author Stephen King announced he had decided to set a short story in Linneus, officially making it the final town in Maine to be featured in one of King’s tales.

“I am proud to announce that today, Linneus will be the last area of Maine to be menaced by my particular brand of contemporary horror fiction,” the writer announced via his website.

“I’m sure the 892 residents spread out over the town’s 45.8 square miles will scarcely believe what I have in store for their little hamlet. But I am certain they’ll enjoy my latest tale of Gothic terror scraped together from concepts I had long ago discarded as unworthy of the printed word, but have since revived in an effort to avoid my wife through writing. I’m sure the good people of Linneus will appreciate what a writing legend will be able to do with facts gleaned from their town’s meager Wikipedia page.”

Adding, “A 0.67% Hispanic population? You won’t believe how that fits in. The rest will be standard New England pastoral generic small town bullshit filler but, hey, at least you're on the map!”

Noting that he would name-check the town’s Hodgdon Mill Road and Red Roof Road, King noted that he hoped this level of detail would gain him somewhere in the neighborhood of 892 new readers. King took the time to remind people that in this economy, and given the putrid state of the publishing industry, “every extra person counts”, before lamenting that he had overused Bangor in earlier stories and was regretting that it wasn’t a reliable sales generator anymore.

The news was of great relief to many within Linneaus, who had long suffered the indignity and mockery of surrounding towns as being the only place in the state unworthy of being mentioned in yet another King story the author had set in Maine.

“I thought this day would never come,” a relieved Mayor John Swithen said. “After he set Duma Key in Florida of all places, I wondered if we’d ever get our shot.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Swithen shouted, beaming with pride. “I’ve taken shit at the Maine Mayor’s Conference for the last time! No longer am I going to have to sit around as other mayors leaf through King’s books, point to their town’s name and knowingly nod at each other. No more having to listen to ‘I can’t find Linneus in my book, is it in yours?’ comments. Next year, I’ll be able to slap down a book, point to my town and yell ‘There! It’s right fucking there!’”

Some are worried that King’s placement of the town within his pages will rob the small borough of its unique status and the requisite tourist dollars Linneus previously generated among King fans as the one place in the state that Mr. King had yet to hit on the giant dartboard of Maine he keeps in his office.

But city officials assured those who are wary that the municipality can function without the $150 dollars it raised last year from an eBay auction after one King fan left their iPod behind during a brief stopover on the way to Derry.

With the future publication of this story a certainty, focus now shifts to the nearby Juniper Knee Pond which, unless it also merits a mention in the as yet untitled story, will be the only remaining Maine landmark or structure yet to be immortalized in King’s work. But those who live nearby are hopeful that the author can find it in his heart to grace the small body of water with at least one supernaturally dismembered corpse or perhaps even a psychic struggle between a shy boy and an ancient evil.

In any event, King is glad to finally complete his longstanding goal of cataloging the entirety of the Pine Tree State through offhand references in his horror novels.

As for what’s next, King isn’t sure, but he noted that he is curious to see “what kind of flavor the state of New Hampshire brings to his stories.”

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