I used to read Stephen King a lot. I thought he was a really good writer of the horror genre. I also thought he was too profane, too graphic, and a bit too vulgar at times, but I took it in stride as being a necessary part of his horror writing. I realized something one day that changed my perspective and I haven't read any of his books since.
On June 21,2001, I remember reading about Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children ranging from 6 months to 7 years of age on the previous day. Now the oldest, a boy, was only a little older than my oldest son at the time. I read that he slipped away from her when he got wet, and she had to chase him around the house before she was able to successfully kill him in the tub, as she had already done with the other four. It is unimaginable, the horror he must have felt. The horror of knowing the person who he should most be able to trust was the one holding him under the water. I cried every time I thought of him for a couple of weeks. The horrors that occurred in that house that day are unspeakable.
What I realized that day was things happen in real life that are a lot more horrible than anything Stephen King can come up with.
My supervisor was talking to me last night. "Were you here for the peds patient?" [pediatrics] "No, why did we get it?" "PICU [Pediatric Intensive Care Unit] didn't have the nurses. It was a little Hispanic boy. He was only 7 and he was bolted." [This means he had a severe head injury and had a hole drilled in his skull with a hollow bolt threaded into it that has a transducer which reads the intracranial pressure (ICP)] "He was already dead when he got up here really. His ICP was 92." [Normal ICP is less than 20] "But anyway, we were okay. And he had a lot of family, and they just kept coming in, and they were all crying. It was awful, but we were still okay. They were going to withdraw care, but there was a bunch of family on the way so we had to wait forever. So they all came and said goodbye. And we were okay, and then his little brother climbed up on the bed to kiss him goodbye..."
This isn't a story, this is real life.
As a horror writer, Stephen King sucks.