One for the Road (short story)

One for the Road (short story)
"One for the Road"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror short story
Published in Night Shift
Publisher Doubleday
Media type Print (Paperback)
Publication date 1978
Preceded by "'Salem's Lot"

"One for the Road" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the March/April 1977 issue of Maine, and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.

Plot summary

This tale is narrated in the first person by Booth, an elderly resident of a small town that neighbors Jerusalem's Lot, Maine. The main part of the story is set a couple of years after the events of 'Salem's Lot. Booth describes a winter's night years ago, when he and his friend, a bar owner named Herb Tooklander (Tookey), attempted to rescue the family of a motorist named Gerard Lumley, whose vehicle had become stranded in a ferocious blizzard. At first mildly contemptuous of Lumley for driving in such weather, both men are horrified when they realize that Lumley's vehicle is stranded in Jerusalem's Lot. It is widely known that "the Lot" has gone bad, but they still decide to drive out in a snow plough and attempt to save Lumley's family, as he himself cannot due to being afflicted with frostbite. Instead, they barely manage to save themselves from the man's wife and daughter, who have been turned into vampires. The story ends with Booth warning the reader that if they ever find themselves on the road through 'Salem's Lot, they should keep on driving and not stop for any reason.

Connection to King's other works

This story acts as a sequel to 'Salem's Lot, and is also connected to the story of "Jerusalem's Lot" which is a prequel to both, and also appears in Night Shift. Both stories were later collected in the 2005 'Salem's Lot Illustrated Edition.

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