Skeleton Crew: Stories
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The #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection, Skeleton Crew is “Stephen King at his best” (The Denver Post)—a terrifying, mesmerizing collection of stories from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time.
“Wildly imaginative, delightfully diabolical…King once again proves to be the consummate storyteller” (The Associated Press).
A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against destruction. A trip to the attic becomes a journey to hell. A woman driving a Jaguar finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged. This “wonderfully gruesome” collection (The New York Times Book Review) includes: “The Mist”; “Here There Be Tygers”; “The Monkey”; “Cain Rose Up”; “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”; “The Jaunt”; “The Wedding Gig”; “Paranoid: A Chant”; “The Raft”; “Word Processor of the Gods”; “The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands”; “Beachworld”; “The Reaper’s Image”; “Nona”; “For Owen”; “Survivor Type”; “Uncle Otto’s Truck”; “Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)”; “Big Wheels: a Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman No. 2)”; “Gramma”; “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet”; and “The Reach.”
King is best known for his iconic, immersive long novels, but he is also a master of the short story, and this is a magnificent collection.
walked a little way and then stood, helmets beneath their arms, and looked at where they had finished up. It was a beach in no need of an ocean—it was its own ocean, a sculpted sea of sand, a black-and-white-snapshot sea frozen forever in troughs and crests and more troughs and crests. Dunes. Shallow ones, steep ones, smooth ones, corrugated ones. Knifecrested dunes, plane-crested dunes, irregularly crested dunes that resembled dunes piled on dunes—dune-dominoes. Dunes. But no ocean. The
left hand. I pulled him up hard. His head connected with the top of the door and made a hollow thock! He went limp in my arms. I could have stopped then. He hadn’t gotten a good look at Nona, hadn’t seen me at all. I could have stopped. But he was a busybody, a meddler, somebody else in our way, trying to hurt us. I was tired of being hurt. I strangled him. When it was done I looked up and saw Nona spotlighted in the conflicting lights of the car and the truck, her face a grotesque rictus of
the fog, and none of us who stayed ever saw them again. There was a faint, acrid smell drifting in through the open door. People began to jam up there. Some pushing and shoving started. I was getting an ache in my shoulders from holding Billy. He was good-sized; Steff sometimes called him her young heifer. Norton started to wander off, his face preoccupied and rather bemused. He was heading for the door. I switched Billy to the other arm so I could grab Norton’s arm before he drifted out of
Fortifications. What Happened to the Flat-Earth Society. The next four hours passed in a kind of dream. There was a long and semihysterical discussion following Brown’s confirmation, or maybe the discussion wasn’t as long as it seemed; maybe it was just the grim necessity of people chewing over the same information, trying to see it from every possible point of view, working it the way a dog works a bone, trying to get at the marrow. It was a slow coming to belief. You can see the same thing at
large, sunny grin. “She says, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute,’ like a little girl, and I hear her through the wall rummaging through her desk, and then she comes back with a little notebook that looked like she’d had it a good long time. Cover was all rumpled, don’t you know, and some of the pages had pulled loose from those little wire rings on one side. “ ‘The way Worth goes—the way most people go-is Route 97 to Mechanic Falls, then Route 11 to Lewiston, and then the Interstate to Bangor. 156.4