The falling action of a story typically involves a character's resolving the central conflict or crisis that has driven the story. Sometimes it's helpful to think of the falling action as a way for the author to tie up loose ends in the narrative, such as subplots or unresolved questions....
The falling action of a story typically involves a character's resolving the central conflict or crisis that has driven the story. Sometimes it's helpful to think of the falling action as a way for the author to tie up loose ends in the narrative, such as subplots or unresolved questions. In essence, falling action helps a reader gain "closure" before the conclusion.
At the end of "The Demon Lover," Elizabeth Bowen condenses the climax, falling action, and conclusion into one paragraph: the final paragraph of the story.
The driver braked to what was almost a stop, turned round, and slid the glass panel back: The jolt of this flung Mrs. Drover forward till her face was almost into the glass. Through the aperture driver and passenger, not six inches between them, remained for an eternity eye to eye. Mrs. Drover's mouth hung open for some seconds before she could issue her first scream. After that, she continued to scream freely and beat with her gloved hands on the glass all around as the taxi, accelerating without mercy, made off with her into the hinterland of deserted streets.
Arguably, it is the eye contact between Mrs. Drover and the taxi drover, and Mrs. Drover's resulting scream, that mark the climax of the story. It is that final sentence where Bowen bucks conventional short story structure; rather than tying up loose ends, she creates even more of them, and the conclusion doesn't answer questions but rather raises more. We are left wondering if the taxi driver (as the demon lover) is a ghost, or a figment of Mrs. Drover's imagination, or never really died in the war, or some other explanation.
In fact, one could make an argument that there isn't any falling action in this story: at no point does the story "wrap up" or bring us toward a sense of closure. This abrupt ending contributes to the eeriness of the story, as Mrs. Drover's fate remains a mystery to us.