by Stephen King

Billy Halleck, a successful, arrogant, and morbidly obese lawyer, is distracted while driving across town by his wife Heidi giving him a handjob, and he runs over an elderly Gypsy woman as a result. Billy uses his connections within the police and the courtroom to get himself acquitted and avoid punishment. The Gypsy's father, Taduz Lemke, exacts vengeance by imposing a curse upon Billy outside the courthouse, and Billy begins to lose weight rapidly. Worried, Billy consults a series of doctors, suspecting cancer, but the doctors are unable to determine the cause of his weight loss. Later, Billy discovers that the judge who passed his acquittal is covered in scales, and the policeman who committed perjury on Billy's behalf has been struck with severe acne. Both men commit suicide.

With the help of private detectives and Richie "The Hammer" Ginelli, a former client with ties to organized crime, an emaciated Billy tracks the Gypsy band north along the seacoast of New England to Maine. He confronts Lemke at their camp and tries to persuade him to lift the curse, but Lemke refuses to do so, insisting that justice must be done upon Billy. The Gypsies throw Billy out of their camp, but not before Lemke's great-granddaughter Gina shoots him through the hand with a ball bearing. Billy calls for help from Richie, who sends a mob doctor to treat Billy's hand and then arrives in person to terrorize the Gypsy camp.

After Richie finishes with the Gypsies, Lemke agrees to meet with Billy. Lemke brings a strawberry pie with him and adds blood from Billy's wounded hand to it. The weight loss will stop for a short time, but then resume unless Billy passes the curse to someone else by getting them to eat the pie. Lemke implores Billy to eat the pie himself so that he may die with dignity. After finding Richie's severed hand in his car and learning that Richie has been murdered, Billy returns home and intends to give the pie to Heidi, whom he has come to blame for his predicament. The next morning, though, he finds that both she and their daughter Linda have eaten from the pie. Realizing that they are both doomed, he cuts a slice for himself so that he can join them in death.