GAS is a (very) short story written by Alfred Hitchcock when he was 20 years-old.
During Hitchcock's formative years as a young man, before he embarked on a career in motion pictures, he was a voracious reader of crime fiction and true-crime tales. One of his favorite authors was Edgar Allan Poe.
In a magazine article in the 1960s, Hitchcock recounted how Poe's proto-detective story Murders in the Rue Morgue made a deep impression. Hitchcock was particularly struck by the simplicity of Poe's short stories, how they provoked emotion in the reader and made their effects simply and directly, with just enough plausibility and character to allow the reader to enter the writer's world and be immersed in the drama and suspense.
Hitchcock, in his late teens during World War One, worked for a telegraph cable company called Henley's. While employed there as a draftsman and advertising designer, making illustrations and cartoons, he contributed several pieces of creative writing to the in-house company publication, called The Henley Telegraph. His very first pieces of fiction ever, Gas, was included in the premiere issue of The Henley Telegraph. He would contribute many more pieces of short fiction before leaving Henley's and going to work in the nascent British film industry.
LISTEN TO GAS HERE.
By Alfred Hitchcock
Performed by Mark Redfield
Announcer: Mary Anne Perry
Music: Lee David
Recording Engineer/Technical Director is Bill Dickson of Drat Productions.
Running time: 4m10sec
Copyright Mark Redfield & Damfino Media.