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The Path to Stephen King's The Dark Tower

The Path to Stephen King's The Dark Tower

The Mist

The Mist. This novella by Stephen King was first published in the horror anthology “Dark Forces” and then in edited form in his collected works “Skeleton Crew.” A film by Frank Darabount was adapted from the story and the story was re-released as a stand alone book.

In the small town of Bridgton, Maine; a not-so-secret military research facility called “Arrowhead” rips open a hole between our world and another causing a damaging thunderstorm. The next morning David Drayton and his son travel into town with their neighbor Norton to get supplies.

The power has been knocked out and the residents seem skittish. Sirens are going off and emergency vehicles are rushing off to some unknown emergency. While in the grocery store, a mist envelops the town and the people become alarmed when someone comes screaming into the grocery store saying there is something in the mist.

Soon, large insects begin flying from the mist and into the front windows and a large dinosaur like bird picks them off the window and breaks through and kills one of the patrons. In back, a small group of men investigate a clog in the exhaust of the stores generator when a swarm of tentacles with mouths for suckers engulf one of them and drag him out into the mist.

The group reports back to the rest and they think David is lying about it trying to cause panic. Led by his neighbor Norton, a faction goes out into the mist to get to their cars. They are killed by an unseen creature. Another group goes to the pharmacy next door and they are attacked by spider –like creatures that shoot acidic webs killing 3 of the group.

When the survivors get back to the grocery, town religious zealot Mrs. Carmody has pulled together a makeshift cult believing it is the end times and they will survive if they sacrifice David Draytons son to God to appease Him. As her followers surround him, someone shoots Mrs. Carmody and the cult disbands. David, his son, and a few others make a break for an SUV out in the parking lot. Something like a giant “lobstrocity” kills one of them before they reach the vehicle.

As they drive away they encounter a creature so large they cannot see the top of it, only its legs. David Drayton scans the radio as they drive through mist covered Maine until he hears a single word: “Hartford.”

The film ends differently and more horribly than the book, but has received the Stephen King stamp of approval.

While not meant as a direct link to “The Dark Tower” series, it is mentioned in the Dark Tower about “thin spots” or “Thinnies” that are occurring because of the breaking of the “Beams” holding the Tower up. These thin spots are said to release a mist followed by the unleashing of creatures/monsters who inhabit the “todash” spaces. These creatures and thinnies are mentioned throughout “The Dark Tower” series as well as “From A Buick 8”, “Black House”, “Ur”, and “Jerusalem’s Lot”. The character of Mrs. Carmody is very similar to Sylvia Pittston who is also a religious zealot who was impreganated by the man in black and turns the townspeople of Tull against Roland mentioned in the book “The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger”.