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With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, MILE 81 is Stephen King unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs . . .
At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It's the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother heads off to the gravel pit to play 'paratroopers over the side'.
Pete, armed with only the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out. That's why he doesn't notice a freshly mud-spattered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn't been any rain in New England for over a week) which veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that reads 'closed, no services'.
The driver's door opens but nobody gets out . . .