Storm of the Century, Stephen King

Pocket, 1999, 376 pages, C$22.00 tpb, ISBN 0-671-03264-X

EXT. ROCKLAND, ONTARIO: MIDDLE-CLASS SUBURBAN NEIGHBOURHOOD—NIGHT

A lone Saturn car makes it through the streets of Rockland. It is snowing heavily, and only the excellent driving skills of THE REVIEWER, plus the front-wheel drive of the Saturn, manage to overcome the blizzard. The town is blacked-out: Only the headlights of the car illuminate the streets.

The Saturn finally turns in a driveway and stops besides a modest home. The REVIEWER gets out of the car and enters the house. Behind him, his footsteps in the snow are erased by the howling wind.

INT. HOUSE, HOME OFFICE

The REVIEWER tries to open the light, but the power is obviously out. Ever-prepared, he opens a drawer and takes out candles and dry food.

He settles down in his favourite reading chair. Looking on his coffee table, he notices that the next book on his reading stack is Stephen King’s screenplay for the TV movie Storm of the Century, published in book form by a publisher eager to make a few extra dollars.

The REVIEWER takes the book, looks at the white blackness outside and smiles. How appropriate. He sits down and starts to read.

There is a battery-operated alarm clock besides him. Five minutes pass.

REVIEWER (VO)

Wow, King surely loves to spoil things in his introduction. Should have been an afterword. I’m worried about his comparison with Needful Things, because so far the plot of both stories seem identical. Let’s read on.

Five minutes pass.

REVIEWER (VO)

No small surprise that King loves the script format. It’s as descriptive as his usual writing style, and he can’t help but comment on the action.

Twenty minutes pass.

REVIEWER (VO)

Nothing much has happened so far, but I’m intrigued. Who’s that Limoges fellow who kills and then asks for something? What’s that something? If it wouldn’t be for that question, the rest of the setup would be unbearably slow.

Another twenty minutes pass.

REVIEWER (VO)

You know, King, it might be time to start the action. Halfway through, and half the dialogue’s so far is Limoges saying “Gimme whatta want and I’ll go away.”

Five minutes later.

REVIEWER (VO)

Ah! More people die!

Ten minutes later.

REVIEWER (VO)

Okay, stop the body count, I think I get the point.

Five minutes…

REVIEWER (VO)

No, but really!

Ten minutes.

REVIEWER (VO)

So that is what he wants. Is that it?

Thirty seconds.

REVIEWER (VO)

Apparently so. I can see where this is going.

Ten minutes. The reviewer snaps the book shut.

REVIEWER (VO)

Pretty much of a downer. Doesn’t deliver much, but that’s okay since we weren’t expecting much. Not one of his best, obviously.

The REVIEWER gets up, shaking his head. At least he’ll be able to read something more interesting right away. He glances at his reading table and sees that all the books are more copies of Storm of the Century

He gets up, shocked. He runs to his library and looks at the shelves. More copies of Storm of the Century. In all formats: paperback, hardcover, audiobook, videocassette, DVD…

STEPHEN KING (VO)

Give me the review that I want, and I’ll go away.

The REVIEWER hyperventilates and screams.

REVIEWER

NOOO!!!

Outside, the storm continues, unabated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *