Originally published 29 January 2001
Genre Short story
Media type Magazine (1st release)
Country United States of America
|Published in The New Yorker (1st release),Everything's Eventual|
Similar The Death of Jack Hamilton, Luckey Quarter, In the Deathroom
"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.
All that you love will be carried away
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 can't "go on living the way he had been living." Alfie has a hobby of recording strange bathroom graffiti which he has discovered on his many long, lonely travels. He starts noting down scrawls on the walls that attracted his attention, gradually becoming fascinated with them. During his solitary travels, he has come to regard these "voices on the walls" as 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, thus leaving the ending to the imagination (though the ending was changed due to the request of the magazine publisher; no one knows the true ending except for them and King).
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
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.