Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Short Story Wednesday: "Kiss Me Again, Stranger" Daphne DuMaurier





The link above is to a filmed version that played on SUSPENSE in 1953.

Our narrator tells us that he has never had much interest in women, preferring a quiet regular life. He has found a job in a garage and has a bedroom with an elderly couple, which suits him fine. He eats with them and even visits friends along with them. He likes his boss and sends money to his mother. But one night at a movie theater, he meets an usherette who changes all that. His immediate attraction seems reciprocated and he finds himself on a bus trip to the end of the line. Walking back, she notices a cemetery and encourages him to come sit on a gravestone with her. He tells her about his life: he spend the war in the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and she tells him how her parents were killed by the German flyers. She sends him home eventually and the next day he buys a piece of jewelry for her and goes back to the cinema. Of course, she is gone.

This seemed like a ghost story until the end. I won't tell you anymore in case you decide to read it. It was a very absorbing story and the two characters were well fleshed out. 

Kevin Tipple

Jerry House


Frank Babics 

George Kelley 


Margot Kinberg said...

I do like du Mauarier's work, Patti. Her characters are really interesting, aren't they? And she builds tension very well. I need to read more of her short stories, I think...

Jeff Meyerson said...

But today is Tuesday, right?

Sounds like an interesting story. I've been reading Tom Hanks's collection UNCOMMON TYPE, some (but not all) of which have a typewriter connection. One that does is "These Are the Meditations of My Heart." A woman buys an old typewriter at a flea market for $5, after seeing a paper in it with the title words typed on it, then takes it to a repair place to get it serviced. The owner tells her it is a "toy" - a piece of junk not worth fixing. But if she is serious, he can show her real typewriters. Interesting character study.

Another that has a superficial connection to the story you discussed is "THe Past is Important to Us," a time travel story. Sometime in the future, a billionaire is shelling out $6 million a time to time travel back to the one available day - a June day in 1939. While there, he visits (obsessively) the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, and inevitably, meets a woman he wants to spend more time with (his third wife didn't come with him). But he only has 22 hours each trip and there are only so many times his body can take it. It has a disappointing end but otherwise Hanks does a nice job with the 1939 scenes. He can write.

George said...

My WEDNESDAY'S SHORT STORIES will be up tomorrow on my blog. Today, I'm dealing with THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH. Your observation that Denzel and Frances are too old for their roles is right on the money!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sorry, guys. Incorrectly posted. I will add yours tomorrow.

Todd Mason said...

I've enjoyed du Maurier's shorter work long before I picked up any of her novels. Definitely a nice twist on the graveyard date folk-riff, as I recall this one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

She seldom disappoints.

TracyK said...

I don't remember reading any of du Maurier's short stories, but I would like to someday.