These are the two words that floated around in my head while I was reading Stephen King’s The Mist. Those two words continued to stay with me days after I had read it. Stephen King’s uncanny knack to evoke feelings of horror is very much alive throughout this novella. For a story that was inspired by an ordinary trip that King made to the supermarket with his son after a thunderstorm, this book is anything but ordinary.
The story unfolds in David Dryton’s backyard where his family comes together to clean up following a night of thunderstorm. A little while later, a suspicious mist slowly engulfs the small town of Bridgton in Maine, and the lives of everyone in it. It certainly turns David Dryton’s life around when he takes a trip to the local supermarket. Shortly after, the mist begins to reveal creatures that the townspeople (and even some squeamish readers like me) could have very well gone all their lives, and then some, without ever encountering. Here begins the horror from which Dryton has to save not just his son Ollie, but himself too. Because if he doesn’t, then his son has no hope of surviving.
And the horrors are not just the creatures are tearing the townsfolk apart (literally), but also a few people in the supermarket – especially a religious fanatic who is ready to go to war against her own kind to save her own skin. The Mist shows what happens when fear gets the better of us and that we are really not any better than the creatures we fear.
That said, what makes this story even more dreadfully scary is the book’s Kafkaesque ending that Stephen King has left us all with.