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"Premium Harmony" is a 3,720-word short story originally published in the November 2009 issue of The New Yorker on 9 November 2009. The story is set in Castle Rock, and is the first to take place there since the 1995 short story "The Man in the Black Suit"; the city is said to be run-down and almost ghost-like, implying that the town never recovered from Leland Gaunt's evil campaign in the 1991 novel Needful Things.

The story is set to appear in the forthcoming collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

Summary

After one of their almost common fights, Ray Burkett sends his wife Mary out to buy a present for her niece. While he and their dog are waiting in the air-conditioned car (it's a very hot day), Mary dies of a heart attack in the store. Ray's reaction to this is deeply disturbing: while the paramedics see to his wife, Ray muses about his chances to have sex with the attractive saleswoman and is disgusted at the idea that the manager tried to use mouth to mouth resuscitation on Mary. When Ray realizes that he has forgotten the dog in the car, it is already too late: it died in the hot car. Ray finds it quite amusing that the dog has already joined his owner, and is glad about the fact that now that Mary is dead, he, Ray, is free to smoke whenever and wherever he wants.

Story

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