Night Shift

Night Shift is an early collection of short stories by Stephen King.  Some are pretty good and others kind of dragged on while reading.  A few of the stories have either been the title of movies which were totally unrelated, some of them are very related, and others were stories within Stephen King movies.

Jerusalem's Lot

This story is read through various journal entries of two men, and also letters between one of those men and someone outside of Jerusalem's Lot.  While this town has the same name as the town in 'Salem's Lot, it is not quite the same town.  This story seems to happen in a slightly alternate dimension, as the town is already deserted and the story is written to have taken place in the mid-19th Century.  I suppose this could point to corruption of the town _way_ before the 'Salem's Lot story, and I guess the town could have been rebuilt sometime after this story takes place, it feels like the town is pretty much dead and isn't going to come back alive.

Graveyard Shift

I'm not sure if this story was made into a movie or not, though it wouldn't surprise me.  The visuals that can be felt through the reading of this story can be fairly scary if you're afraid of rats and bats.  The story isn't a bad read overall.

Night Surf

This story is about a few kids that are hanging around after Captain Trips has wiped out a good portion of the planet's population.  It starts out with them essentially sacrificing someone else who has the superflu by burning him alive, and follows them (specifically one male) through the evening following the sacrifice.  One of the "gang" informs this guy that he's gotten the virus now, after all this time of being exposed to it and not having gotten it before.  This raises the issue to him that just because they've lived so far doesn't mean that they aren't still susceptible to the bug.  It is essentially a spin-off story from The Stand.

I Am the Doorway

An astronaut that went on a mission near Mercury, returns back to Earth.  After a few years he finds that he's developed itches all over his body.  Then after the itches pop out as eyes of aliens almost within another dimension that can pull strings within his body.  The aliens peering out through their own eyes within his body are homicidal though and they take their feelings out on various people that they see until the doorway man can take it no longer.

The Mangler

A machine within a laundry business, through very strange coincidences, becomes possessed accidentally.  A policeman and a friend of his become convinced of the possession and believe they can take care of it themselves, but unfortunately for them, this demon is more powerful than they imagine and in the end, the mangler machine runs them both down.

The Boogeyman

A man shares his belief with a psychiatrist that he has helped kill his own kids, by allowing them to be grabbed up by "The Boogeyman".  He explains how he didn't believe the stories about the Boogeyman that his first son was telling him, and then his daughter and finally his second son even though the family had moved.  He also explains how these deaths of the children strained his marriage into breaking and when he is about to leave, he gets a great surprise.

Gray Matter

A father, after losing his job, ends up staying at home, watching TV and drinking beers.  One of the beers must have gone bad though, and after he drank whatever was in the can, the guy starts turning into a mass of gray junk slowly.  His son finally can't stand being the errand boy and informs the people at the convenience store of his problem.   They go over to confront the man, taking him his supply of beer and a shotgun.


An assassin gets attacked by little green army men and their supplies after killing the head of a toy company for a price.  He attempts to get out of his apartment alive, but he doesn't realize the amount of weaponry available to the Army men.


This is what the movie Maximum Overdrive is based upon.  It is about a group of people that get stuck in a gas station, surrounded by trucks that have started driving on their own.  I also heard that there was a movie called Trucks around as well that may be more like this story specifically, but I haven't verified or seen that.

Sometimes They Come Back

Another story that was made into a movie.  A teacher at a school finds that his past is coming back to haunt him, as some bullies that had picked on himself and his older brother (and even killed his older brother) have come back to the High School that he's now teaching.  They're slowly replacing other students until the full gang is assembled, and a final showdown occurs between them.

Strawberry Spring

A man encounters this strange, somewhat rare, weather occurrence and with it, bad memories of the past and the present collide as he retells of murders that occurred while he was in college.  The story presents the murders as the rememberance of a haunting time long before, and ends with a surprising twist in the present. (Gee, can you guess what's happened during this Strawberry Spring?)

The Ledge

This is a story that it seems I've read before.  A man is forced to take a wager of walking around a building on a ledge just below the 43rd floor.  After accomplishing that, he finds that his purpose for sliding around the building has been lost and the table is turned as his anger puts the same punishment on the crime overlord, although he has no intentions of letting the overlord make it.

The Lawnmower Man

This is _NOT_ the story that the movie The Lawnmower Man is based on.  It simply has the same title!  This story is about a man who lets his yard grow uncontrollably, and finally decides to do something about it near the middle of the summer.  He ends up hiring a service to come and mow his lawn, but finds the method that they employ to be slightly off-skew.  Much to the companies unliking, he reports them to the the police and the owner of the house is dead before they are able to arrive.

Quitters, Inc.

A man decides that it's time to quit smoking after his life starts going kind of weird and having ran into an old friend who had luck quitting through the company Quitters, Inc..  He doesn't realize just how they are able to get such a good success rate until it's too late for the man to back out and keep his family safe irregardless of his smoking.  This story was one of the sub-stories of Cat's Eye that was made up of Stephen King stories.

I Know What You Need

A young man, who has had a crush on a girl since they were in first grade together, discovers his psychic abilities and through that and some magic ends up seducing the now young woman.  The young woman finds out about how he has seduced her through his weird understanding of just what it was she has needed each time he has encountered her, and the spell is broken, the woman now able to live her own life, free of his charms.

Children of the Corn

A couple find themselves lost in Nebraska, and end up running over a kid while driving down the road.  To the relief of the man, the kid was already dead (or just about to croak) by a sliced throat.  They drive to the nearest town to turn the kid over to the authorities and find that the town is deserted except for apparently kids, and it has been this way for twelve years.  The kids find the couple and proceed to take the wife from the car and the husband runs into the corn, only to later find his wife strung up in sacrifice to "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" and that he is about to be taken himself by this demon.  The movie by the same name is based on this story.

The Last Rung on the Ladder

A couple of kids play a dangerous game of climbing up to the loft of the family barn and falling down into a pile of hay.  Then one day, the ladder gives way under the kid sister and the older brother saves the day by creating a pile of hay for her to fall down into from her position still holding the last rung of the ladder near the top of the barn.  To their luck, she survives with nothing more than a broken ankle and he survives with many spankings (they weren't supposed to be climbing the ladder, nor jumping off from 70 feet in the air into the hay).  Fast forward to the future and we find the boy is now a very successful man and his sister has just died across the country in LA.  After arriving home from going to her funeral with their dad, he finds a letter that has been bounced through two previous addresses to arrive on his doorstep too late to have been able to pile the hay beneath her to catch her fall.  This story is rather sad though a good one all the same.

The Man Who Loved Flowers

Another story about a serial killer, whom everyone believes is strictly a man in love walking in the springtime around New York City.  There just really isn't much more to this story.  It was fairly short and not so sweet.

One for the Road

A post 'Salem's Lot story which has a couple and their daughter getting stuck out near Jerusalem's Lot during a blizzard while traveling through.  The husband walks back to a town that has people around to try to get help, telling his family to stay in the car while gone.  He doesn't realize the danger of the area though, and after getting back to a small town near Jerusalem's Lot, gets two older men to help go out and get his family under their condition that if the wife and daughter are not in the car, they aren't going to stick around because they know about the Vampires that lurk around there.

The Woman in the Room

A son, driven by desperation of his mother's paralyzed condition faces thoughts of helping to end her life by overdose.  He suggests the idea to his brother who wants to keep their mother alive even though she's lost the ability to feel anything, and has cancer eating away at her insides.  After enough visits to see her though, he sneaks her some of her old medication, feeding it to her so that she may pass away without much pain.