A Stephen King ghost story in the grand tradition, Riding the Bullet is the ultimate warning about the dangers of hitchhiking. A college student's mother is dying in a Maine hospital. When he hitches a ride to see her, the driver is not who he appears to be. Soon the journey veers off into a... read more
Alan Parker is a student at the University of Maine, Orono who is trying to find himself. He gets a call from a neighbor in his hometown, Lewiston, telling him that his mother has been taken to the hospital after having a stroke. Lacking a functioning car, Parker decides to hitchhike the... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Alan Parker is a student at the University of Maine, Orono who is trying to find himself. He gets a call from a neighbor in his hometown, Lewiston, telling him that his mother has been taken to the hospital after having a stroke. Lacking a functioning car, Parker decides to hitchhike the 120-miles south to visit his mother.
His first ride is with an old man who continually tugs at his crotch in a car that stinks of urine. Happy to escape this ride, Alan starts walking, thumbing his next ride. Coming upon a graveyard, Alan notices a headstone for a stranger named George Staub: "Well Begun, Too Soon Done." Sure enough, the next car to pick him up is George Staub, complete with black stitches around his neck where his head had been sewn on after being severed and wearing a button saying "I rode The Bullet at Thrill Village, Laconia."
During the ride, George talks to Alan about the amusement park ride he was too scared to ride as a kid: The Bullet in Thrill Village, Laconia, New Hampshire. George tells Alan that before they reach the lights of town, Alan must choose who goes on the death ride with George: Alan or his mother. In a moment of fright, Alan saves himself and tells him to "Take her. Take my Mother."
George shoves Alan out of the car, where he reappears alone at the graveyard, wearing the "I Rode the Bullet at Thrill Village" button. Alan eventually reaches the hospital, despite his guilt and the impending feeling that his mother is dead or will die any moment, his mother is fine.
Alan take the button and treasure it as a good (or bad) luck charm, his mother returned to work and to smoking, he graduated and took care of his mother for several years and another stroke.
One day he lost the button and knew what the phone call was about...., he found the button underneath his mother's bed and after a final moment of sadness, guilt, and meditation, decides to carry on.
“"I didn't want to let him know I knew he was dead. He didn't want to let me know that he knew I knew he was dead. And so I couldn't let him know that I knew that he knew that..."”Alan Parker
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