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I'm looking for a short story about a town where people are afraid of upsetting a boy. The town is surrounded by mist, residents cannot leave, and the boy is imagining the town and thus controls it.

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I believe you're looking for the story It's a Good Life, by Jerome Bixby.

a short story about a town where people are afraid of upsetting a boy.

As Anthony can read minds, the town's population must not only act content with the situation when near him, but also think they are happy at all times.

The town is surrounded by mist, residents cannot leave

Nobody knows whether Anthony transported Peaksville somewhere or whether the rest of the world (or for that matter, the universe) was destroyed and only the town remains.

the boy is imagining the town and thus controls it.

The boy isn't imagining the town, but he does control it with his godlike powers.

Anthony Fremont is a three-year-old boy with near-godlike powers: he can transform other people or objects into anything he wishes, think new things into being, teleport himself and others where he wishes, read the minds of people and animals and even revive the dead.

It was later remade into an episode of The Twilight Zone, and subsequently re-remade in the The Twilight Zone movie.

  • And also parodied in The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror II - Bart's Nightmare" – DisturbedNeo Aug 3 '16 at 16:38
  • And remade for the Twilight Zone movie, and the most recent Twilight Zone revival series had a sequel, "It's Still A Good Life", where the boy's now grown up and is daughter has inherited his powers. – starpilotsix Aug 3 '16 at 17:07
  • @starpilotsix which completely negated the haunting original and gave it all a happy conclusion. And they wondered why The Zone did so poorly. Although it was nice that they brought back Will Robinson to reprise his role. – Broklynite Aug 4 '16 at 7:16
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    @Broklynite I dunno if I'd consider "two nearly amoral godlings travel to New York city ready to use their powers on anyone who isn't nice to them them" a "happy ending." – starpilotsix Aug 4 '16 at 11:45

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