31 Days Of King – Day 19: Graveyard Shift

Image courtesy of Penguin Random House

‘Graveyard Shift’ is gross. It’s good, but it’s gross. It’s the type of story you read if you get your kicks from trying to find the perfect piece of fiction to make your skin crawl.

A textile mill in Maine is closed for the 4th of July, but a small group of employees has been drafted to stay behind and clean out the mill’s basement – a damp, dark cavern filled with garbage, old machinery, and rats. The job is rough, painful, and thankless. Even worse, the foreman in charge of the cleanup seems to revel in his employees’ misery.

One night, one of the workers finds a door to a long-forgotten sub-basement, and he forces his foreman down into the darkness with him.

Image courtesy of StephenKing.com

I’ll let you find out what happens in the sub-basement on your own. What you’ll see down there are some of Stephen King’s most gruesome creations – horrors you won’t see anywhere else in King’s canon. The foul side of his imagination is certainly working in overdrive here.

I suppose you could take solace in the fact that this is another short tale, one that moves quickly through its terror, pulling its misanthropic characters through a gauntlet of misfortune. You may also be comforted by the fact that none of the characters in ‘Graveyard Shift’ are very likable. It makes the gruesome and foreboding conclusion a bit easier to stomach.

Don’t read this this one right after you eat.

Trey Wydysh is The Geekiverse’s resident Stephen King superfan. You can find all of our 31 Days Of Stephen King posts here. Got a King question? Looking for a recommendation? Feel free to ask Trey on Twitter.

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