Close Reading:

(1.) “Except it wasn’t,” this sadist pushed on.  “It was really a measly $855 [you made for that story in Playboy].”  ¶  “What?”  ¶  “You want to tell me you’re not in a fifty-percent tax bracket, Steve-O?”  ¶  I was silent.  He knew I was.  […]  “So you made $769.50 that week,” he said.  “You know how much a plumber makes per week in New York, Steve-O?”  ¶  “No,” I said.  I hate people who call me Steve-O.

-Stephen King, in the “Introduction” to his 1985 collection of short stories, Skeleton Crew
(2.) “You want another egg, Todd-O?”  ¶  “No thanks, Dad.”  Dick Bowden ate them fried.  How could anyone stand to eat a fried egg?  […]  He pushed his scrambled egg away.  He had barely touched it.  ¶  Outside, the morning paper slapped the step.  ¶  His father finished cooking, turned off the grill, and came to the table.  “Not hungry this morning, Todd-O?”  ¶  You call me that one more time and I’m going to stick my knife right up your fucking nose . . . Dad-O.

-from Stephen King’s novella Apt Pupil (collected in Different Seasons, 1982)


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