These stories are dark, "harsh" - King himself admits they were hard to write. However, they are not without hope. There are - please excuse the awful pun - a few stars left in the dark at the end of the last three stories at least - I will admit I found none in the first. For example, Tess's life may be irrevocably changed after not only being raped, but committing three somewhat brutal murders. However the end of the story indicates that she will recover, in time. Same with Darcy (who I felt the most sorry for, in the end. Her story came across as the most believable, maybe that's why).
On the (ever so slightly) bright side, Fair Extension is darkly humorous in its portrayal of a man who sells not his own soul, but another man's life to the devil (or "Elvid").
I have so far only ever enjoyed or appreciated King's writing, and this book is no exception. I will definitely keep an eye out for more of his short stories.