The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Carrie: The True Story, Not What Stephen King Wrote
by William Kitcher

Carrie White, as we all know, was an unusual girl, but she wasn’t as she’s been portrayed. For one thing, her ability to move things with her mind was exaggerated. She was able to do that only when she’d had a good breakfast.

Her mother was not a religious fanatic. She truly loved Jesus, but he was one of the janitors at the high school where Carrie was to go to the prom.

I told Carrie that proms, like cheerleaders, were archaic institutions, so when she asked me to go to the prom with her, I refused. I said I’d rather go to a movie and, as this was the 1970s when movies were good, I figured I’d have a better chance of having a good time.

Carrie was then asked to the prom by Tommy, or Bobby, or Jimmy, or one of those names teenagers had before they became Tom and Bob and Jim. No one was named Seth or Carson or Kyle in those days.

Stephen, I hope you’re happy with yourself. The novel, OK. The first movie, with Sissy Spacek, very good. The latest movie version, well, I hope you donated your check to the Home For Wayward Telekinetic Girls.

I was worried about Carrie so, after I had a few chuckles watching “Taxi Driver”, I rolled by the high school to check out the prom. I snuck in the back door of the gym with the help of Judy Greer, who didn’t have much to do after the early scenes.

Carrie and Tommy/Bobby/Jimmy had just been voted Queen and King of the Prom, an accolade on a par with Minister of the Environment. Carrie should have known the election was rigged. But she was a 16-year-old girl, and there aren’t many 16-year-old girls who can compose themselves well enough to understand what’s really happening, with the exception of my neighbour Alice who taught me a lot.

They went up on stage, and Darrell the MC (who was there only because he was President of the AV Club) crowned them with papier-mache crowns, and gave them unwanted flowers and gift certificates from the local franchise of Rats-Disguised-As-Chicken.

I think it was Amy Irving who gave it away for me. She was looking up above the stage as Carrie and Dougie/Johnny/Teddy accepted the crowd’s applause. I looked up and saw a bucket hanging from the rafters. It was completely beyond me how a bunch of morons failing science could rig up a bucket designed to tip over, but there you are.

It wasn’t pig’s blood that fell on Carrie but instead red-dyed goop. Carrie wasn’t happy and didn’t react well. She stretched her arms out in front of her, which didn’t seem to me to be a particularly logical response considering she was telekinetic.

The results, though, were what she wanted. The place went up in flames, the floor collapsed, and the roof fell in, killing 800 kids, teachers, and chaperones, most of whom liked Carrie.

Brucie/Mikey/Paulie got a concussion from a falling disco ball, but he was OK.

Carrie walked home and I followed her. She passed several garden hoses but didn’t bother to wash herself off.

When she got home, Mama was sitting on the porch. “Carrie,” she said, “did you know your father is coming home next week?”

“Mama! I’m covered in goop!”

“That’s what you get for going to a prom,” said Mama.

They went into the house so I couldn’t hear what they said after that, but I could see through the window that they were screaming at each other, probably about the best detergent to get goop out of chiffon, but possibly about the differences between Methodism and Presbyterianism.

Mama put her hands around Carrie’s throat, which struck me as a really stupid thing to do to someone who’s telekinetic.

Carrie was pissed off, and there’s nothing scarier than a pissed-off 16-year-old girl.

Knives flew off the kitchen counter at Mama, and a couple of them caught Mama in her hands as she stretched her arms out, thus capturing her in a crucifixion-like pose. I told Carrie later that was kind of cliched but she said she didn’t really have any control over art direction.

Carrie was distraught as you can imagine when you’ve just killed your mother. She staggered out the front door and saw me. She was crying, she grabbed me, and wrapped herself around me. She didn’t let go.

At this point, I didn’t know if I was in an Ernest Hemingway novel or a Stephen King novel. Both possibilities scared me.

I told Carrie she had to think really carefully about what she should do now. I suggested she get some clothes and money, but her decision was to burn the house down.

That wouldn’t have been my choice, but what can you do? At least I convinced her to not go back inside. I mean, who did she think she was? Camille? Madame Bovary? Anna Karenina? No, she was just Carrie from small-town America, not a European tragic heroine, let alone Garbo, Jones, or Leigh.

Carrie and I walked away from the blazing inferno. I tried to take her hand and she slapped me. At one point, she went into the woods to have a pee. I never saw her again but I’ve heard stories about a waitress in the next town down the road who does some amazing tricks with flaming knives.