The Mist – Stephen King
(Originally published in 1980, republished in 1985 then again as a stand-alone in 2007)
So yes, first let me get this out of the way – I know this is technically a novella, but the impact this single tale has had on my life can’t be thrown aside because it is only 130ish pages long. And yes, it was originally released within a collection of stories by Mr. King, (Skeleton Crew) but again, too bad. When I first read this tale, it harkened to everything that petrified me as a young kid; the fear of the unknown, something lurking that you can’t see, and horrible scary beasts. This had all of those and much more.
The tale is simple enough; a small town set in Maine is covered by a thick mist one day. Within that mysterious covering are massive beasts. What they are or where they came from is unknown. All the townspeople know, is that if you go outside, you will be killed. Of course there is a conspiracy theory involved, after all there is a secret military base just outside of town, and no one appears to know what they do there.
As with most King stories, this one has relatable characters as well as those that quickly go off the tracks when confronted with the unknown. In this case, because of the mist, the characters are forced into an enclosed space (the supermarket) and causes frayed nerves and tempers to raise.
Now this book has had some cinematic controversy. Namely the ending. I love the ending of the novella, and similarly love the absolutely bleak, heart-breaking ending of the movie. To me the original ending in the novella fits it great, and the movie was a really great adaptation.
I haven’t read this book in sometime, and I suppose I will need to do a re-read soon. I don’t believe it will change my original opinion. The original story has influenced the way I write my tales, having a love of mysterious things in dark places. As well, the original story is the reason I am so afraid of fog. The denser the fog the worse it is for me. Driving through thick fog is a sure fire way for a panic attack to start! My wife frequently makes fun of this fear when we are driving together. I laugh at her attempts but inside, I am always uncomfortable. Who knows what lurks just beyond what we can see?
If you haven’t read this book, I would highly recommend you give it a go. I have read many unnerving, scary books, but this one always jumps to the top of the list for me.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
Please pre-order Dim The Sun. All proceeds will be going to charity (For more information please read the Official Announcement)
Dim The Sun is a collection of 14 dark poems and one bleak horror short story. Focusing on pain, fear, anger, depression and anxiety Steve Stred brings you deep into his mind to share some truly unnerving moments. This is Steve Stred’s first collection of poetry he has released.
Table of Contents:
- (I’m Not) Ready to Die
- Ashes of Redemption
- Dim the Sun
- The Light, The Dark
- Devil’s Dance
- Peeping Tom
- Fair Trade
- The Harpy
- Exit Plan
- Under Moon, the Huntress
- Eaten (Short Story)
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