The Blue Air Compressor

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"The Blue Air Compressor"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Short story
Published in Onan Magazine (1st release),
Heavy Metal
Publication type Magazine
Media type Print (Magazine only)
Publication date January 1971

The Blue Air Compressor is a short story by Stephen King, first published in January 1971 in Onan Magazine (University of Maine). It was revised and reprinted in the magazine Heavy Metal in July 1981. King himself narrates this story (and is mentioned by name in it). This story is difficult to find, since it has never been published in an anthology.

Plot summary[edit]

Gerald Nately is a young writer who writes a short story about his friend's wife, Mrs. Leighton (no first names for the couple are given). Mrs. Leighton is an enormously obese woman, so Gerald calls his short story "The Hog." Mrs. Leighton finds the story and mocks it, saying that she was too big for him to write about her, so he shoves the nozzle of an air compressor into her mouth and overinflates her, causing her to explode. Her remains are buried under the tool shed, and Gerald flees to the Near East after retitling his story "the Blue Air Compressor." Gerald's crime is never discovered, and eventually he cuts off his own head with a guillotine (after writing several dark and misunderstood novels, essays, short stories and poems).


In the Heavy Metal reprint of the story, Gerald shoots Mrs. Leighton before overinflating her.

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