- The Last Rung on the Ladder
Infobox short story |
name = The Last Rung On The Ladder
language = English
Tragedy short story
published_in = "Night Shift"
publisher = Doubleday
media_type = Print (
pub_date = 1978
The Last Rung On The Ladder is a short story by
Stephen King, first published in 1978 in the compilation "Night Shift".
It is written from the perspective of a man burdened with deep guilt and regret after discovering that his estranged sister has committed
suicide. He recounts one fateful day long ago when the two were children, playing in their family's barn. They had a game where they would take turns climbing to the top of a very tall ladder in their barn, and leap off into a huge haystack. On one of his sister's turns, the old, rickety ladder suddenly gave way, leaving her dangling desperately to the titular ladder's last rung. He managed to pile enough hay under her to break her fall and save her life, but is later astonished at her complete trust and faith in him to save her. He tells of how the intervening years were not kind to her, and how he was too wrapped up in his own affairs to come to her when she needed him. The story ends as he reads the final letter she had written to him a couple weeks before she jumped off a building to her death; one that would have made him realize how desperately she needed him to save her again.
*imdb title|id=0414213|title=The Last Rung On the Ladder
* [http://www.stephenkingshortmovies.com/goto.php?movies/last_rung_on_the_ladder.php Stephen King Short Movies]
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