Oh, how I wish this one had been longer. Not that the length of this Short Story wasn't perfect-- I just didn't want it to end, you know?
This is King at his best. Short, quick sketches of characters, a terrifying phenomenon (a strange mist starts creeping over a small New England town, weird things happen), tense and scary action sequences and a look at what happens to normal human beings when confronted by the supernatural.
It's something every King fan has read before, and it's totally satisfying. We have the usual roster of characters: the Rational Family Man, the cute little kid (who, blessedly, isn't incredibly annoying this time), the Guy Who Goes Nuts, the Religious Nut (King just loooves his crazy Bible-thumpers, doesn't he?), the drunken rednecks. They're all familiar and we feel like we know them But as usual with King, it's not what the characters start out as but what they become that's so much fun to read.
How would you react if you were caught inside a crowded supermarket while something really horrifying happens outside? Sure, everyone would want to be the rational guy trying to keep things from falling apart, but who says we wouldn't be the one sitting by the beer cooler trying to drink away the crazy? King has always been great at this, and this isn't an exception. This is one of his best short stories--fast-paced, bizarre, and completely terrifying in parts.
But I do wish it had been longer, because it's one of those stories that you just want to see continue out into the larger world and--but I'll shut up and not spoil it. I'll just say that I was sad to find out it was so short. And that's a damn good thing in my book. I missed Old School King, and this was a good one to go back to.