Stephen King has a knack for writing books that scare the bejeezers out of you. Not all of his books have translated to the big screen easily, but The Mist by Stephen King looks to have made the cut. I just watched the trailers and now I know I have to see it. I have not read the book as carpal tunnel syndrome prevents me from lifting it, but it is easy to see Mr. King's handiwork in this movie.
Rather than the danger in the mist, The Mist is a story of the danger in the heart of humankind. Most of the townspeople are trapped in a grocery store when the mist (fog) closes in. The people in the store represent a cross section of America. We have the people who do not believe anything supernatural is happening, we have a woman that sees the end times in the mist, we have a man trying to protect his son as the crowd grows unruly, we have the screamers and the criers, the over reactors and the heroes. Who lives and who dies is up to whatever it is that lives in the mist.
There is something about a crisis that strips us bare, leaving only our character, or lack thereof, exposed. I have been blessed not to be involved in any real life catastrophes except for a few flash floods and being first to arrive at multi-car pileups. Usually I am the voice of reason, which is not my usual persona, but one that slides easily into place when needed.
The first time I found this persona was after a wreck on the Katy Freeway (I-10) in Houston. A car that was several cars in front of us hit the middle divider after crossing two lanes of traffic and being hit at least twice by cars desperately trying to miss her. Several cars spun out after hitting or avoiding the first car. We were faced with cars coming head on or slewed sideways in our path. Our driver kept his head, dodged several cars and pulled to the side of the highway.
Several people got out of their cars and everyone was yelling. I was a 17-year girl who weighed 120 pounds soaking wet, but I knew that someone had to get control of the situation. There were no cell phones back then, so I dispatched one car to call the Sheriff. I directed others to place flares directing traffic to the center lane only. I asked if anyone had medical background and we had two Viet Nam veterans in the mix, thank God. They saw to the injured parties in the cars on the side of the highway.
Then came the hardest part. The woman in the first car, the one that hit the middle divider and stayed there, was not moving. She had been hit by two other cars and there was not much left of her car. I knew if she had a chance of surviving, we had to get her out of that car before it caught fire or was hit again. I gathered my friends and asked what they thought our chances were of getting to the car and back again. These were teenagers, but they were courageous that night. Roy said, "You stop the traffic and Robert and I will get her out and bring her back here.”
To make a long story short, we got the woman out of the car and back to the side of the highway. We elevated her legs and covered her with a blanket for shock. Her face was completely gone, but she was breathing through her mouth. I folded up my coat and put it under her head and started praying. It was perhaps two minutes after we got her settled that a car came zooming down the far left lane, ran over the flares and hit her car. Both cars exploded.
Luckily, the EMS and a fire truck arrived then. The Sheriff arrived soon after. I was happy to turn the whole mess over to professionals. I waited while they closed the freeway, directed traffic around the mess in the middle of the highway and rendered emergency aid to the woman. She was put in an ambulance and that was the last I saw of her. The Sheriff wanted to know why were there and I said, "I just need to get my coat from under her head and we will be gone.” After all, we were just teenagers and could be no help in a crisis.
I will see the movie. What scares you most is in yourself.
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