Short Horror Stories by Stephen King

Terror as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “a very strong feeling of fear” (Terror, 2014, para. 2). Likewise Merriam-Webster dictionary defines horror as, “the quality of something that causes feelings of fear, dread, and shock: the horrible or shocking quality or character of something” (Horror, 2014, para. 2). Without question, Stephen King is a master at designing short stories and novels, which instill sheer horror in the reader. In the fictional worlds Mr. King creates, terror and horror lurk everywhere. From simple closets to an unassuming lake, King is able to turn the ordinary into something that causes fear and panic. With pounding hearts, readers of King’s fictions delight in the terror he constructs. Nevertheless, an author can only write so many stories, before they all begun to sound the same. For example, “The Boogeyman”, “The Raft”, “Strawberry Spring”, and “Sometimes They Come Back” all have the same basic theme. While the plot, setting, and character development may vary, the conflict, literary devices, style, and form are similar.
“The Boogeyman” and “Sometime They Come Back” are short stories written around the same timeframe. Both stories are very similar in theme. “The Boogeyman” is about a man coming face to face with his worst fear. Lester Billings’ fear mounts as his children are killed one by one. With the first child’s death, Lester refuses to acknowledge what he knows is true. However, with the second child’s death, Lester is certain he is dealing with something otherworldly. Though he does not admit it, he knows the children are not dying by natural means. Lester sacrifices his third child’s life, even though he admits this child is his favorite, to save his own life. Consumed...

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... of view. Likewise, the tone is also the same for both tales: supernatural/demonic action that moves at a fast pace. Here differences begin to occur. The setting, plot, and characterization in the stories are not consistent with one another.

Works Cited

Horror. (2014). In Merriam-Webster online. Retrieved from
King, S. "The Boogeyman." Night Shift. New York, NY: First Anchor Books. 2012. 100-112. Print.
King, S. "The Raft." Skeleton Crew. New York, NY: Signet. 1986. 278-306. Print.
King, S. "Sometime They Come Back." Night Shift. New York, NY: First Anchor Books. 2012. 152-181. Print.
King, S. "Strawberry Spring." Night Shift. New York, NY: First Anchor Books. 2012. 182-191. Print.
Terror. (2014). In Merriam-Webster online. Retrieved from
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