Today the Skeleton Crew is joining Marfi at Marfi-topia to celebrate Stephen King's birthday!
Oh look! Stephen King has a Skeleton Crew, too!
I have to admit to being at a loss for what to do for Marfi's Stephen King's Birthday Blog Party this year. Ever since the election of 2016, if I was looking for a really scary story all I had to do was turn on the news. The other day, in order to distract myself from the latest horrors coming out of the White House, I picked up the Skeleton Crew, one of his books of short stories and started reading "The Mist". Not to give too much away, it's about a government experiment that goes awry creating a mist full of hidden monsters that terrorize a small town and trap shoppers in the grocery store.
By anyone's standards it's not really a short story, although maybe not for Stephen King, considering the average length of his novels, ha! The one thing that always seems to make his books so frightening is how he sets them in totally ordinary surroundings. For some strange reason his stories always bring up memories of places from my childhood, no matter where they take place. Hidden by the mist in the photo above is the road that leads from my parents farm where I grew up to a small town where I went to high school. After reading The Mist, will I ever nonchalantly drive through this fog - which is a common occurrence - to pick up milk at the grocery store again?
"Children of the Corn" is another short story that's gotten a second read lately. Again, the peace of the countryside is shattered, though in this case it's done by a bunch of homicidal children under the control of a supernatural entity. I think I went to school with those kids.
This field on my parent's farm overlooks the woods. It seems harmless but the leaves on those corn stalks are sharp enough to draw blood and ticks the size of your fist live in the trees. Of course that never stopped us from playing hide and seek in all that lethal vegetation and we did come out with some spectacularly bloody arms and legs. Maybe my childhood really was a Stephen King novel!
Another place I spent a good deal of time playing around was the graveyard next to our church. We had a game where we used to ride the tombstones as if they were horses. You had to progress from one to another and the winner was the one who got to the church first. Apparently, all the adults were in the church basement drinking coffee. There's those corn fields again. This is totally irrelevant but it's very creepy how agribusiness has managed to stuff corn products into nearly everything we eat. The overproduction of corn is not only harmful to people and the environment but it's also killing off the bees and butterflies along the way. Just saying.
After a few more short stories I'm looking forward to Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. There's also a movie in the works, let's hope it's better than it's predecessor. The Shining was the first movie adaptation of a Stephen King novel I ever saw. Although it was frightening and looked really great, it didn't make a lot of sense. I nearly passed on reading the book for that reason. Recently, I ran into an interview with Stephen King where he said he hadn't been happy with the movie and since then has made a point of being in control of the productions. Sounds like a good move. Finally, there's a paperback of Roadwork floating around the house. Burt liked the skull in the hardhat on the cover.
Stephen King has always been great at leading his readers to assume they know what's coming next before leading them right off a cliff into total darkness. So with that in mind it seemed like a good idea to craft a dark chocolate cake with a bumpy road of walnuts, Whoppers and broken up pirouettes decorating the top. Just like his books, there are parts that are hard to get through but it's definitely worth it in the end.
His Madness decided to wish Mr. King a happy birthday via his corn phone.
Burt and Ivy dressed up as Children of the Corn but remain ridiculously cheerful because there is no way they can master a menacing look.
That's never a problem for Kibitz, apparently he expected a bigger piece of cake.
Have a very Happy Birthday, Mr. King. Thanks for scaring us half to death!
Thank you for stopping by our party! What have you been reading lately?