I've been absent from short story Monday for the last month but am now back into my routine of reading short stories on the weekends. This time I am reading Night Shift by Stephen King. This is King's first collection of stories and the next book up in my chronological Stephen King project. (Well, actually, The Shining is next and I'll be reading that very soon.)
First we start off with a rather boring Introduction by John D. MacDonald then we have a Foreword by Stephen King and this is the very first book in which he wrote a foreword. It was a very interesting essay on why he writes scary stories and why people read them.
#1. Jerusalem's Lot - This is somewhat of a prequel to 'salem's Lot. It is the 1850s and a man and his man-servant come to live in a relative's old home after he dies from an accident. The home has been in the family since the days of the Puritans. The residents of the nearby village are wary of the newcomers and eventually start to shun them, then stone them if they come near. This, of course, is very strange but not as strange as the noises they hear in walls. Nor as strange as what they see in the basement. Or especially as strange as what they find in the nearby deserted town of Jerusalem's Lot. What they find there is pure evil.
#2. Graveyard Shift - A drifter is working in a rundown, rat-infested textile factory. The foreman is overbearing and a regular tyrant. On the week of the 4th of July, the factory closes down for vacation but a crew of men sign-up to work on cleaning out the ancient basement with powerful water hoses on the night shift when it will be cooler. Each night the men work and have various run-ins with rats until the final night when they find that there is actually another sub-basement underneath them. It must be from here that the rats are originating. Down they go ... This was made into a movie, which I saw but barely remember.