Don't let the rush of everyday life stop you from enjoying a good read. You can find these great short stories online.
Sometimes in the rush of everyday life we end up forgetting and neglecting those simple pleasures that take a bit of time. Reading a good book is one of these pleasures. Getting lost in a wonderful story involves either giving yourself some “me” time to fully appreciate the story and dive into its world, or finding a story that's short enough to read in the breaks you have throughout the day. The internet is a great place to find a good read that won’t take more than 30 minutes of your day. So, take a look at these short stories that will make your short reading break an exciting experience.
1. “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner
This story is about a mystery surrounding a woman named Emily and her manor at the end of the street. When she dies, her neighbors enter the house, eager to learn about all her secrets. What they discover, however, will be more shocking and sinister than they were expecting.
2. “The Terrible Screaming,” Janet Frame
Imagine that, out of the blue, a blood-curdling scream is heard all over the city you live in. You don’t know where it's coming from, why someone is screaming, or if it will ever stop. What would you do in such a maddening situation? New Zealander author Janet Frame explore the mysterious workings of the human mind in this short and compelling story that I bet you’ll read in less than five minutes.
3. “In the Penal Colony,” Franz Kafka
Kafka is the master of weird stories that take sanity and logic to their limits. This story revolves around a decaying penal colony on a remote island and the sadistic officer that directs it. An explorer who visits the colony is about to witness the cruel execution of one of the inmates with a bizarre machine that carves the prisoner’s sentence all over his skin until he bleeds to death. How will the struggle between the explorer's humanitarian views and the officer's depraved morals end?
4. “The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury knows how to tell captivating stories and this one is no exception. In this story, a mother and father start to realize that their robot house is the one raising the children, which makes them worry that the kids will be more connected to the house than to their parents. This is not your typical “machines turn against humans” story. Instead, it makes us question whether technology can take over our lives and replace us, affecting even our relationship with our family.
5. “The Picture in the House,” H.P. Lovecraft
You won’t miss the twisted world of H.P. Lovecraft in this short story. Although it doesn’t have his popular monsters and ancient deities, it proves the darkest and most horrifying monsters can actually be found in human beings. A genealogist finds shelter from a storm at a seemingly abandoned house, but later he realizes there's an odd man living there, and they start talking about an old book about cannibal tribes. The longer they talk, the more disturbing the conversation gets… I won’t say anything else, so you find out how it all ends.
6. “The Monkey,” Isak Dinesen
Isak Dinesen is the pen name of Baroness Karen Blixen, well-known for her Gothic tales. The story is set at an old cloister, far away from civilization. However, this is not your typical convent. Here, all women live a pretty unrestricted life, except for the strong-willed prioress, who has a monkey that is seen from time to time with his owner. When the prioress’s single nephew visits her and asks her to help him find a wife, a bizarre turn of events will end up revealing that there any things hiding behind the prioress’s severe façade.
7. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” Ursula K. LeGuin
One of the greatest minds in modern science fiction and winner of the Hugo Award for the best short story, Ursula K. LeGuin knows how to create mind-blowing stories with strong social commentary. This story is set in the utopic city of Omelas, where everyone’s happiness depends on the suffering of a child who remains locked in a dark basement, enduring miserable conditions. If you were a citizen of Omelas, what would you do?
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