say the least, I’m more of a fan of Stephen King’s
short stories than his usual slate of full-length novels.
I always find the former more thought-provoking, terrifying
and shocking to the senses. And the break neck speed of the
stories does help accelerate the reading experience.
published as part of the “Skeleton Crew” compilation,
“The Mist” is a good example of King’s traits.
With only 230 pages long and sub-divided into ten chapters,
“The Mist” is told entirely from David’s
point of view. David Drayton the main protagonist in the story
is a budding artist who lives by the lake with his five year
old son Billy and wife, Steff. King devoted the first few
chapters introducing the family, talking about the dry spell
that is hitting the country and a sudden wave of storm that
nearly crushed the Drayton’s house.
a captivating setup, underneath you know King is slowly concocting
the atmosphere and tension to follow. The rest of the story
took place in a local supermarket as this is where we follow
David, Billy and their neighbour Norton to pick up some groceries
after the storm. At the same time, there’s this huge
mist brewing outside.
ensues when a man dashed into the supermart with a bleeding
nose exclaiming “Something in the fog!”
of dwelling on the causes, origins of the mysterious fog or
mist if you prefer, King introduces various characters in
the supermart to the readers. Trapped with no where else to
turn to, there’s Mrs Carmody the religiously-mouthing
weird woman, Mr McVey the mild-mannered butcher, Dan Miller
the leader, Ollie Weeks the supermart keeper turns shooter
a good character study on how different human beings behave
under such bewildering circumstances. To his credit, King
brought a certain soul, realism to each of the various headcounts
without comprising on the terror brought on by the mist. The
tentacles attack at the storage area is one chapter where
only one “King” can pull off.
the only misgiving is the ending, I’m sure there are
some readers who thought the prolific horror writer just botched
it. But to me, there’s no better way to end the story.
“The Mist” is an excellent read not so much on
the scale of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”
or his own “Dark Towers” series, nevertheless
a great thrilling drama that will keep you occupied throughout
“A tentacle came over the far lip of the concrete loading
platform and grabbed Norm around the calf. My mouth dropped
wide open. Ollie made a very short glottal sound of surprise
– uk! The tentacle tampered from a thickness
of a foot – the size of a grass snake – at the
point where it had wrapped itself around Norm’s lower
leg to a thickness of maybe four or five feet where it disappeared
into the mist. It was slate gray on top, shading to a fleshy
pink underneath. And there were rows of suckers on the underside.
They were moving and writhing like hundreds of small, puckering
One of King's best short stories you shouldn't miss.
by Linus Tee