What Stephen King Did to Me
Do you want to call it a true story? You are welcome.
Skeleton Crew was on my table when I woke up a week before, on a Sunday morning. I took it for the weakened reading. I read Mist, the novella that was made into a movie, by Dimension films. I could not finish it that weekend, so the novella took a serial treatment. Every night, I took down a few pages, just before going to sleep. Let me confess, Skeleton Crew is not for you, just before sleeping, if you do not entertain nightmares. It will give you lots of them.
When the painting job commenced in the upstairs section, recently added to our one storey house, the most dreaded fact was that the painters would move downstairs. That is where we lived, the family. When the painters come downstairs, we are expected to move upstairs, with the cots, beds and sofa set. Moving all those goods upstairs is a terrible task for an international shirker like me. But, hey, I could do it, couldn’t I? I have only one thing else to worry about now—the bookshelf.
I have a special bookshelf. A glass sliding door and a dusty floor made it ‘different’ from any other elegant looking home libraries anywhere in the world. The ideal home library I had ever seen is at Dean Koontz’s house, in a video. Carved out polished shelves.
My bookshelf was physically different from that one, or with any other elegant ones, for that matter. I, at the same time, was not at all grumpy at the ‘dusty’ fate I received and the way I was forced to keep my bookshelf, the reason to which, I should say is the dirt road near to my house and the maintenance works that have been going on for the past one year.
Changing the bookshelf was a necessity. They said I should take my books upstairs and keep them there. The task demanded a lot of energy. For me, the bookshelf was the lives I lived and still wish to go back to when I so wished; the nest of every fairy that visited me, the visiting room for all my dreams, before they entered my mind’s screen behind the closed eyes, and the temptation to do the ultimate good to my soul, reading.
“Do not take any of the books downstairs, until the painting works are done and over with.” They instructed me. We still lived downstairs as there was still some work to be done upstairs, before the painters moved down. The books were the first of the goods to be shifted up there. So finally, I ended up taking all my book upstairs, while living downstairs. Let’s get to the point. Here is where Stephen King comes in. I took all the books, including the ones I currently read and my notebooks, which I kept for different tasks. This means, I took Skeleton Crew as well.
The novella, Mist was still an unfinished stub of the serialized reading endeavor. Every day, after college and other academic work, whatever little time I got was being used to woo the muse Stephen King has sent my way, in this book, just before sleep. After the day when all the books went upstairs, I spent one night in my room, down stairs, like an alien. I could not sleep in that place, which was strange now with no books, and an empty shelf.
They were very particular about the books, tables and other stuff to be removed from the rooms on the ground floor, before starting the painting work. Very good, I thought. The workers were very diligent. They saw things are done the way they wanted it to be. Was I happy? Hell no. I was restless.
The next morning, as I was about to leave for college, I heard someone shout at me, from behind. I stopped for the person to catch me and explain the cause of his needing me. It was one of the painters. Great, I thought. “Didn’t you hear me saying it, the day before yesterday?” he asked. I did not know why he asked that very particular question, at the first place. I said, still, “Yes, sure, I do.”
He raised his hand. His right hand was dirty from work and had spots of paint on it; it rose. He had a book in it—Skeleton Crew.
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“I found it on your table, dude. Wassup? Ain’t you concerned about what we say? There should be some respect for words.” He went on. “Don’t you wannus to finnish the work in time, for ya? Your momma would be angry if she sees it.”
Although the way he questioned me and teased me, gave high frequency signals to my temper coils and infuriated me, I smiled a guilty smile at him. I took the book in my hand, hid it in my office bag, and walked out.
I was helpless. The one who hooked me was no less than Stephen King himself.
PS: If you are reading this, please do not get disturbed at some of the offensive stuff I pulled off here.