All That You Love Will Be Carried Away

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"All That You Love Will Be Carried Away"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Short story
Published in The New Yorker (1st release),
Everything's Eventual
Media type Magazine (1st release)

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away is a short story by Stephen King. It was originally published in the January 29, 2001 issue of The New Yorker magazine. In 2002, it was collected in King's collection Everything's Eventual.

Plot summary[edit]

Alfie Zimmer, a traveling salesman peddling gourmet frozen foods, pulls into a Motel 6 in Nebraska for the night. He settles in, and pulls out a revolver, ready to commit suicide because he "couldn’t go on living the way he had been living."

He has a wife, a daughter, and a hobby: recording strange bathroom graffiti which he discovered on his many long, lonely travels. He first started noting down scrawls on the walls that attracted his attention without any reason but then became "fascinated with those messages". Alfie has filled a whole notebook with such gems as "Save Russian Jews, collect valuable prizes" and "Mammon is the king of New Jersey."

In his solitary life of a traveling salesman with only miles and miles of the empty road for his companion those "voices on the walls" became his friends; something to think about during the long drive, something precious and important, something that "spoke" to him.

Alfie decides that "a shot in the mouth is easier than any living change", but every time he puts the gun in his mouth, he worries that leaving the notebook filled with bizarre ramblings behind will make him seem insane to whoever finds his body. Alfie wants to write a book about the graffiti, even coming up with a great title, but knows "the telling would hurt." While standing in the freezing cold of the winter night, sobbing to himself, Alfie decides on a plan: if the lights of a farmhouse behind the motel reappear through the snow before he counts to 60, he will write the book. If not, he will toss the notebook into the snow, then go inside and shoot himself.

The story closes with Alfie standing near the field outside the motel, starting to count.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations[edit]

This story was made into six different Dollar Baby short films. The films were made by Scott Albanese, Brian Berkowitz, Mark Montalto, Chi Laughlin & Natalie Mooallem, James Renner, Anthony Kaneaster, and Robert Sterling.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]