This is the last Novella in Different Seasons by Stephen King. This novella is something I like to consider as SO STEPHEN KING! The kind of story that can come out of SK’s imaginative brain. It has elements of scary and yet feels so sweet.
Breathing Method is a story inside a story.
David Norman (I think that was his name, not so sure because he was never mentioned in his full name) was asked to come to a man club where men could tell story, read a book and drink alcohol beverages…just like any other men-club in the world. However, he started sensing something peculiar about the club. The books in the club library were impossible to be found outside the club and to make it more unusual, even the publishers of the books were not in any publisher’s list. Stevens, the club butler, didn’t look like he aged even a day. Every time he wanted to ask Stevens about the peculiar air around the club, he could always sense a threat behind Stevens’s eyes.
A couple of days before Christmas, the men would gather to hear someone’s tale, but the tales were not happy Christmas stories, they were often disturbing tales. David didn’t feel like sharing most of the story, some even made him had nightmare. However, he shared the story of Breathing Method, a tale told by Emlyn McCarron.
When McCarron was still young, he had an amazing woman as his patient. At that time, somewhere in 1930s, being pregnant without a husband was such a big scandal. A woman by the name of Sandra Stansfield came to Dr. McCarron. He was fascinated with Ms. Stansfield because she was a strong woman. McCarron advised her to do some of his tricks during her pregnancy, including his breathing method (which known as Lamaze, but at that time Lamaze hasn’t been proposed yet). Ms. Stansfield trusted McCarron so much and found that his breathing method was very relaxing.
Somewhere along the way, McCarron had a bad foreboding about Ms. Stansfield. He saw her died before the baby was delivered.
FROM NOW ON, WHAT I’M GOING TO WRITE IS FULL OF SPOILER, I have to write this to be able to share why I think this story is a sweet story.
McCarron’s foreboding came true. At her delivery day, just few more meters from the hospital, the taxi that carried Ms. Stansfield had a terrible accident. Ms. Stansfield was decapitated. McCarron was standing near the accident and had totally lost his hope in saving both mother and child. But…to his surprise, he heard and saw something beyond believe. He heard Sandra’s ‘locomotive’ breathing and felt that the body was still warm. It was impossible but by then he knew he can save the baby. The breathing continued regularly while McCarron helped the baby out of the mother’s womb. No paramedic, but an old nurse, wanted to get closer to this unexplained phenomena.
McCarron safely delivered the baby. When he picked Sandra’s head, he swore that the mouth moved and said ‘thank you’
I know how impossible it was, a person while die instantly when his/her head was decapitated from his/her neck…but isn’t it a marvelous idea if someone can manage to live longer so that the one she loves so much can keep on living?
Sandra Stansfield loved her baby so much in spite of the hate she received from everyone who knew she had no husband. Her loved made her did the most impossible thing in this world, and I find that as the sweetest thing in the world.
“It is the tale not he who tells the tale”
Title : The Breathing Method (Novella) from Different Seasons
Other Novella : Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption; Apt Pupil, The Body
Author : Stephen King
Language : English
Page : from 439 to 499 (in Different Seasons)
Publisher : Penguin Group