A Misery Fanfiction by Sassy Lil Scorpio
Disclaimer: Annie Wilkes, Paul Sheldon, and all other names and occurrences are the property of Stephen King. The author makes no claim of ownership. No monetary gain is being made from this work.
Summary: The cops found Annie Wilkes in her barn, dead, her hand gripping a chainsaw. She was a bloody mess with blisters coating her exposed belly, and her skull was fractured. Her mind, however, had been broken for quite some time…
Author's Notes: Misery the movie is faithful to Stephen King's novel. This story contains many references to the book that weren't mentioned in the movie. I figured this was worth mentioning in case there is any confusion. If you loved the movie, then I highly recommend the book, and vice-versa. I also used some quotes from the movie and the book. Any direct quotes from the novel are Stephen King's and I inserted them in the story, not to plagiarize from Stephen King, but to paint the characters as accurately as possible to the way they were originally written. I have respect for Stephen King as a writer, and this fanfic is a tribute to one of my favorite novels by him: Misery.
Dedication: For Adam, a wonderful artist. Just remember: once an artist, always an artist. Dry spells don't last forever, and you'll be inspired to continue with your art, sooner than you know.
Why did he come into her life, if all he planned to do was break her heart?
He had fooled her.
He had lied to her.
(you lying cocksucker)
Annie Wilkes' chest heaved up and down; her breath torn and ragged as she struggled to suck in air. It was difficult to breathe normally—he had shoved charred pages of her book down her throat, trying to choke her. She had tried to cough them up, but the burnt paper stuck to her throat like a lump of blood. Now she lay on her back, staring at the sky. Swallowing thickly, she felt as if she had drunk a liter of bone ashes.
A halo of shattered glass surrounded her prone form. She had managed to throw herself out of the window. Sheer determination, or more so, sheer insanity gave her the energy and the will to keep going. She didn't know that her life would expire in less than an hour, but she did know Paul Sheldon would never fool her again. This was an absolute and undisputed fact in her mind.
Never fool or lie to anyone ever again.
She rolled over and glass shards wedged themselves in her fleshy arms. She was immune to the stabbing pain as she had always been. Pain never stopped her, it only motivated her. Nothing would deter her from carrying out her final plans. After all, someone very special needed tending to...
Now she would commit the ultimate sacrifice of love and devotion: she would kill him and then kill herself. They would be together forever. Paul Sheldon was hers and no one else's. It didn't matter that he had millions of fans worldwide. He belonged to her and she belonged to him. They belonged together. She knew she was meant to find Paul Sheldon that day of the snowstorm. Before that day, she had treasured reading all of his Misery books, down to the last word. She had fallen in love with the man, who had given her so much literary pleasure.
A pity that Paul didn't reciprocate Annie's feelings.
A pity that Paul had killed off Misery Chastain.
(a pity for that cockadoodie brat)
She took wonderful care of him. She nursed him back to health after she found him barely conscious in his overturned car off the side of the road and half-buried in snow. She had mended his broken legs (that were shattered beyond recognition), bathed him, dressed him, cleaned him, fed him, and met all his daily needs. She breathed life into him when he would've frozen to death in the bitter cold. Most of all, she encouraged him to write his best novel yet—Misery's Return—after urging him to rid the world of that other book; that utter piece of filth, full of swearwords.
(now tony, give me a bag of that effing pig-feed and a bag of that bitchly cow-corn and some of that christing ear-mite medicine)
And still, he didn't love her back. She loved him very much, more than he would ever know.
(i love you paul…your mind…your creativity…that is all i meant)
She loved him as much as she loved his brilliant literary creation, Misery Chastain. She loved him enough to share her home…and her life with him. At the thought of home, Annie glanced back at her house. He was still in there somewhere. A wave of rage swept over her—he had burnt her book! Misery's Return. Just as quickly, the rage went away and was replaced by sadness. She had lost her book...she had lost him. A brief wetness slid down Annie's cheek and she clawed at her face, not wanting to feel that solitary tear.
She reached down to her body. Pressing her hands on her belly, she felt…an interesting sensation. Blisters. They were like beads of hot melted rubber crazy-glued to her fried skin. Hot pain wrapped her midsection and tightened like a scarf of fire where her skin was exposed to the cool Colorado air. She got to her feet and started hobbling towards her barn.
She taught Paul a lesson that cost him his left foot. She had to do it because he was being a dirty-bird. Yet, she did it out of compassion and love for him…and yes, for herself. That was the sincere truth of the matter, according to Annie Wilkes, formerly a registered nurse. All she wanted was for him to stay with her. She wanted him to live forever and write more Misery novels just for her. It wasn't a lot to ask for; after all, she had saved his life. If not for her, he would have froze in the snow and—
She shook her head, the thoughts bouncing around in her upside-down mind. It never did her good to over-think situations or decisions. She acted as she felt and went on. She said what she meant, and meant what she said.
Now onto that hobbling business…
She hobbled him because he had gotten out of his room. One time she had come in his room to get him ready for his daily writing and found him already seated in the wheelchair. Right away, she knew he was getting around without her help. If he could get into that wheelchair by himself, then he definitely could walk in her house, up to her bedroom, down to the basement, and outside to the barn. He had probably wandered all over her house when she went to her Laughing Place, an area further north that she visited whenever she needed to escape. So she placed strands of her hair around the house, knowing he would never see them. When she found that the hairs had disappeared, her suspicions were confirmed: Paul was up and about behind her back, but pretending that his legs were still broken in front of her face. Oh, his legs were very broken when she first brought him home; there was no doubt about that.
(your legs must be singing grand opera)
As an experienced registered nurse, she saw how they were healing—and she knew with a panicky heart and a paranoid mind that he planned to leave her. So she chopped off his left foot, despite his begging, pleading, swearing, and screaming that he was going to be good and never leave his room again. What she really wanted to hear him shout was that he loved her and would do anything for her.
No such luck.
Annie Wilkes was the Queen of Hearts and Paul Sheldon was Alice doomed to stay trapped in Wonderland.
(off with your foot, paulie!)
She wouldn't allow him to escape or—worse yet—kill her. There was that missing knife she found under the mattress and he had the nerve to say he had never been out of his room! That and the ceramic penguin he had knocked over had been put back the wrong way, facing north.
(paul, my little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south)
Annie's bitter laugh came out as a choked sob. Despite his brilliance, he was very stupid for thinking she was stupid. She'd seen the marks on the doorway…the marks left by the wheelchair. She noticed a few packages of Novril missing. And she knew he had been out of his room seven times and not twice. Annie had extraordinarily sharp eyes. She missed nothing and noticed everything.
(you may think you can fool me or trick me; i know i look slow and stupid. but i am not stupid, paul, and i am not slow)
She was closer to the barn now; she squinted, trying to see past the blood streaming into her left eye. It made the whole world appear to be a glowing red snow-globe. In just a little while, she would take care of him for good. She would free him just as she freed that squealing rat she had caught in her basement and brought to his room.
(we think we know so much, but we really don't know any more than a rat in a trap)
She hobbled forward in the direction of the barn, as a tornado stormed in her mind. She remembered telling Paul about the rat, while squeezing it to death, punching her fingers through its fur and flesh. The tips of her knuckles were drenched in thick, slimy body fluids and the rat's blood. She heard the crack and crunch of its bones breaking loud and clear, as if she were holding the rat in front of her right now. She had tossed the dead rat into a corner of the room, the body making a froomp sound when it hit the floor.
Trapped like a rat.
In the end, everyone was trapped in the world. Annie felt trapped wherever she went. Her neighbors, the Roydmans, lived several miles away, but in her mind, they were closing in on her like the heavy thick walls of a solitary confinement prison cell. Her everyday life grew more claustrophobic and more stifling whenever she lived near anyone. She cherished her seclusion and rather than live in the world, she found it best to isolate herself.
(…they hate me, they're out to get me, they laugh at me behind my back, they hate me, they're out to get me, they laugh behind my back, they…)
Trapped in the quicksand of her broken mind and always sinking deeper into nightmarish insanity, Annie didn't realize that she had lost touch with any semblance of a "normal" life or "normality"—if there was ever such a thing for her. With Paul's novels, she could escape to a world of melodrama where a beautiful woman named Misery had adventures on top of misadventures; and two handsome men, Ian and Geoffrey, always rescued their damsel in distress.
But with Misery gone…she could no longer escape the real world and invite herself in to a fantasy world so wonderfully crafted by Paul Sheldon. She couldn't allow him to leave her. If he couldn't let her escape, she wouldn't let him escape. They had to be like two rats trapped in the cage of her home and die together, since it was obvious they wouldn't live together forever like in the Misery novels or other hackneyed romance stories.
Just as she got to the barn, Annie's legs wrapped around each other and she stumbled forward, hitting the ground. She threw out her arms to prevent crashing face first and was hardly successful. Her jaw slammed into the ground and her teeth stabbed down on her tongue. A metallic-salty taste flooded her mouth. She had bitten down on her tongue and tasted her own blood. Saliva dribbled from her mouth mixed with blood. It looked blackish-red from the charred paper that Paul had forced down her throat. She gagged and coughed. Wet lumps of blackened paper hit the ground. She groaned and let out a half-cry when she realized what the paper was.
( NOT MY MISERY—YOU CAN'T BURN MISERY!)
The moment she came into the room and saw Paul with the lit match, she knew what he intended to do before he did it. In a split-second, he tossed the lit match onto the manuscript and the fire devoured it. She felt like he had ripped her heart from her chest and stabbed it with a hot spike. Burning her novel wasn't enough for Paul. She should've known Paul would fight to get away. Obviously, hobbling didn't have the desired effect that she had hoped it would. Now she remembered hitting her head on the mantle when she tripped over the typewriter. She touched her head and pulled back quickly. Her head, or rather, her skull yelped in pain. The incredible sensation of lightning bolts striking the left side of her head intensified with every passing minute. As she got to her feet, the barn and house appeared to spin around as if she were on a merry-go-round on high speed.
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Opening her eyes, everything was still and she saw that she was standing outside by the barn. She was also aware that she had a nasty head injury. The wound was a fat lump of puffy flesh sitting on the left side of her head. Whatever it was, it was swelling and getting worse. Had she been able to see herself in the mirror, Annie Wilkes wouldn't have recognized her face—it had become blackish-purple like an eggplant. She would've diagnosed herself, if she weren't so focused on the pet writer still locked in her house.
Although her mind was certain about what to do about Paul, now that he betrayed her by burning her novel, it would be more correct to say that Annie's mind had been shattered for a long time now. Her mind was like a room filled with tiny jigsaw puzzle pieces from many different puzzle games, mixed in a huge jumble, none of the pieces fitting together. The pieces were named after those she knew in her life, phrases she used in her everyday conversation with Paul, and blurry memories that she had stored away.
Some pieces like "Andrea Saint James," "Peter Gunn," "Ralph Dugan," "maternity ward," "Boulder Hospital," "Dragon Lady," "Denver," "Carl Wilkes," "Paul Wilkes," "chapter-plays," "Rocket-Man," and "Andrew Pomeroy" were associated in what she called her Pre-PS days. Pre-Paul Sheldon days before she brought him to her house. Her before-life when she was a registered nurse, when she had seen the Rocket-Man chapter-plays with her brother, Paul Wilkes, her father, Carl Wilkes who died of a heart attack (or did he trip over a bundle of clothes left on a staircase—Annie could never remember.) Her before-life had also been when she had married and divorced Ralph Dugan—or rather, he divorced her. Andrea Saint James was a former roommate and studying to be a registered nurse and Andrew Pomeroy was a so-called artist, who wanted to cash in on the burned down Overlook Hotel. And of course, being brought to court in Denver and asked to take the stand because of the rash of infant deaths in the maternity ward at Boulder Hospital. Someone had called her the "Dragon Lady" and the name stuck throughout the trial—which she was acquitted.
(haha on those cockadoodie brats!)
Then there were other pieces of her after-life—her life after Paul became a welcome and honored guest (prisoner) in her home. Some of these pieces made her laugh: "fooler," "oogy," "dirty bird," "cockadoodie brat," "MEMORY LANE," "Bossie," and "My Laughing Place." Others made her frown and grin at the same time, "hobbled," "Paul Sheldon," and "pre-op shot." Some of them she didn't like to think about. Especially, "MEMORY LANE." Paul had been nosy and looked through the album. Annie wasn't sure if she left out deliberately hoping he'd read it, but when she found her strands of hair missing and she knew he had read it, she began to wonder if it was a mistake to leave it lying around the house.
(i can only imagine what you must think of me now)
At first, Annie was horrified that he had read her album. Now that she gave it some thought, it wasn't a bad thing. After all, everyone had memories they liked to keep with them. The album was a detailed record of her life from when she was younger up until now. Annie was meticulous about MEMORY LANE. She made sure it was up-to-date and had every newspaper clipping that mentioned her name, alluded to her in some form, or talked about someone she knew. The last article to be posted in the album was none other than Paul Sheldon. The public thought they were making her miserable by printing her name on the front page, but really, she thrived on the attention.
And realistically, the album served as a reminder that she had killed and moved around for years—and how the cops never caught on to her. The hospital administrations she worked under never caught on…until Denver. Annie liked to believe that she was brighter than the rest. They were stupid and laughed at her behind her back, but in the end, they were the slow ones. Most of the newspaper articles noted infant deaths that occurred—coincidence or not—when she worked in the maternity ward as the head nurse. Other articles mentioned the elderly dying or car-crash victims.
If you were to ask Annie about the newspaper articles or what her role in the infant deaths were, she'd tell you in her best motherly tone that people suffered and had to be put out of their misery. They were poor, poor dears. It wasn't cold-blooded murder, but "mercy endings" as she liked to call them. In Annie's dark mind this applied to babies and the elderly. Babies just sat there crying and crying—there was no pleasing or coddling them—better to just end their pain right then. The End. No more crying. No more whining and fussing. No more misery. On the subject of older people: their time was up. They were suffering from God knows what diseases. They were taxing on themselves and their families. Their time was set to expire, so why not hurry them along? Why not…put them out of their misery…?
Babies and the elderly weren't her only targets. There were others who had died….
The names of Andrew Pomeroy, Carl Wilkes, and Andrea Saint James flashed through her mind. Now Annie limped with all her strength towards the strong odor that was pulling at her nostrils. A rotten smell filled the barn; it smelled like a sewer overflowing with dead rats. Annie still hadn't found the source of the stench, but she would in just a little while. She was still focused on Paul Sheldon.
(put that cockadoodie brat out of his misery)
Intentional or not, the "misery" pun made Annie laugh. Her amusement came out as a hoarse croaking sound that would have caused Paul to writhe in his bed, but made Annie's lips curl into a twisted grin.
Just as there were names floating around in her warped brain, jigsaw pieces of images flashed in and out of her mind's eye. A ceramic penguin sitting on an ice cube that read: NOW MY TALE IS TOLD. A rat caught in a trap, struggling to free itself. A paperback novel with a beautiful woman on the cover, her hair a bright auburn color, the title reading: Misery's Child. A floating axe coated with blood (most likely Paul Sheldon's). A dead cat named Peter Gunn sprawled out on a staircase where student nurse, Andrea Saint James, could conveniently trip over it and plunge to her death. Shards of a broken water pitcher. A Royal typewriter missing the letter n. Packets of orange Novril pills. A dead gray thumb sitting atop a birthday cake at the center surrounded by too many brightly lit candles. A package of Corrasable paper. Blood streaming down a severed left foot; its toes twitching. A prepared syringe. Two bottles: one Betadine, the other Dom Pérignon. Steel rods used as splints for Paul's fractured legs. Paul lying on a bed, pale and helpless. An empty wheelchair. A wooden cross. Skin ripped away from a face, exposing mushy muscle with the left eyeball hanging from the socket by a thread of pink flesh. A bloated dead cow. A riding lawnmower. A Cherokee jeep. An electric knife. A broken soup bowl.
One last image remained in her mind, taking up space. It was of a burnt manuscript lying in a charcoal grill, the pages blackened. The dead manuscript's title page kept changing titles. The author's name always remained the same: Paul Sheldon. The title kept blurring: one moment it'd read Fast Cars, the manuscript she forced him to burn because of that horrible profanity. Then the letters would become fuzzy, then sharpen so she could read it clearly as Misery's Return, the book he had wrote, dedicated to her. The fog in Annie's mind lifted so that the destroyed manuscript vanished. This time she saw a new object—only it wasn't in her mind, but right in front of her. The blades were the color of untainted silver. Annie couldn't recall the last time she had used it, if she had ever took it out of the barn.
(there's a first time for everything)
Better than the axe. Efficient and deadlier. There would be no mistakes this time. Paul Sheldon wouldn't have a second chance. He would never see light again, and that was okay for Annie. They could share the darkness together. After all this time, they could finally be as one entity. It wasn't just a matter of morbid romance. Now he would pay for lying to her about the novel he wrote just for her. She would punish and love him all at once. It would be final…it was meant to be this way.
Power rushed through Annie. The chainsaw was at home in her hands just as the axe had been. She passed by a stall and stopped halfway, letting out a small gasp of fright. Misery the pig lay on her side—dead. Flies buzzed above the bluish-purple swollen body. A tear sting her eye. Then her hand clenched the chainsaw and she glared at the dead sow.
(you abandoned me)
Or so she believed. The reality was that Annie had abandoned Misery. She had starved the sow, just as she had done to her cow, Bossie. She had become too involved in the writing of her new book, so involved that she forgot about life itself. Just like Bossie, Misery had died. Now the pig lay on her side, eyes glazed and staring blankly. Accusing Annie of choosing the book over her.
(he's going to pay, Misery. i should've known he was a lying dirty birdie…)
Annie bit down on her tongue, ignoring the roaring in her head. It sounded like two subway trains rushing into a station in New York City at the same time. She stepped away from the stall and started towards the doors, only they appeared further than before. It seemed every time she took a step forward, the doors moved further away. Annie closed her eyes. The roaring was louder now and when she opened her eyes; everything appeared blurry and distorted as if she were underwater seeing the barn.
(have to get to paul, oh paul, we'll be together, just as i've always wanted, you're going to go down and you're going to enjoy it, i love you, paul, even if you are lying dirty birdie, i love you, we must be together, it's meant for us, god would want it to be this way…)
Annie hobbled another two steps. They were the longest steps she ever took in her life. Her vision blackened before she hit the ground face first. The chainsaw clattered as her body thumped down. The roaring was the loudest it would ever be and then it was abruptly cut off and silence followed. Long empty silence. The fingers and hand gripping the chainsaw stiffened. Several feet away, flies buzzed over Misery's corpse, the only sound in the still barn.
The police found her lying face down in her barn with a chainsaw in her hand. They reminisced about the Dragon Lady. There weren't many kind words to say about her—after all, by the time she took the stand in Denver, she had gotten away with (countless) murder(s). They followed protocol and wrapped her corpse in a body bag and took it to the county coroner.
The coroner's only concern was to state the time, the cause, and the manner of her death. The conclusion was simple, and the police had already figured it out before the coroner. Annie had died of a fractured skull. In a week's time, Paul Sheldon was rescued and sent to a hospital to heal and Annie was laid to rest in a cemetery outside of Denver. Her grave was lonely and gray, situated in a new burial plot away from the other tombstones, so that Annie was alone, even in death.
The coroner documented on her death certificate that she died of a linear skull fracture, the most common type. He didn't know that what couldn't be seen was far worse than a broken skull. For her mind had been fractured for a longer time. The moment she collapsed in her barn and died, the insanity wracking Annie Wilke's brain went out like a blown candle, never to be relit again.