background preloader

Short stories

Facebook Twitter

Www.economist. In which something old and powerful is encountered in a vault FINGERS stroke vellum; the calfskin pages are smooth, like paper, but richer, almost oily.

www.economist

The black print is crisp, and every Latin sentence starts with a lush red letter. One of the book’s early owners has drawn a hand and index finger which points, like an arrow, to passages worth remembering. 14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch. Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan. This short story was the basis for the movie, Memento.

Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan

I added the part numbers because I found myself reading it incrementally; they are not part of the original story. The italics, type, emphases, and so on are original. This was copied from the Esquire feature on it, and is also available on the DVD version of Memento. I archived both here to avoid link-rot. The Madman. In the silent hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven selves sat together and thus conversed in whispers: First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years, with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow by night.

The Madman

I can bear my fate no longer, and now I must rebel. Second Self: Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is given me to be this madman's joyous self. Short Story Prize: Morgan and Jeff's Divorce Party Invitation. How Chris McCandless Died. Twenty-one years ago this month, on September 6, 1992, the decomposed body of Christopher McCandless was discovered by moose hunters just outside the northern boundary of Denali National Park.

How Chris McCandless Died

He had died inside a rusting bus that served as a makeshift shelter for trappers, dog mushers, and other backcountry visitors. Taped to the door was a note scrawled on a page torn from a novel by Nikolai Gogol: From a cryptic diary found among his possessions, it appeared that McCandless had been dead for nineteen days. A driver’s license issued eight months before he perished indicated that he was twenty-four years old and weighed a hundred and forty pounds. After his body was flown out of the wilderness, an autopsy determined that it weighed sixty-seven pounds and lacked discernible subcutaneous fat. Negative Reinforcement.

By Chuck Palahniuk Printed in Modern Short Stories August 1990 Audrey is a sexual outlaw, slave to a Latin rhythm, a C-section child of the seventies.

Negative Reinforcement

She's a rabid panther trapped in the fetid, jungle heat of the Number 14, Bonnedale bus. And she's sitting right behind you for the third time this month. This can't be chance. She's not just another white girl with damaged hair. Winter's most beautiful secret: The astonishing, complex science of snowflakes. Outside it is cold, cold—ten degrees below, give or take.

Winter's most beautiful secret: The astonishing, complex science of snowflakes

I step out with my coat zipped up to my chin and my feet encased in heavy rubber boots. The glittering street is empty; the wool-gray sky is low. Under my scarf and gloves and thermals I can feel my pulse begin to make a racket. I do not care. I observe my breath. A week before, not even a whole week, the roads showed black tire tracks and the trees’ bare branches stood clean against blue sky. The sight of falling flakes makes me shiver; it fills the space in my head that is devoted to wonder.

The neighbors have not seen its like in a generation, they tell me. Quebec Writing Competition. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Tomato Can Blues. Short Stories. Neil Gaiman's The Price. Tramps and vagabonds have marks they make on gateposts and trees and doors, letting others of their kind know a little about the people who live at the houses and farms they pass on their travels.

Neil Gaiman's The Price

I think cats must leave similar signs; how else to explain the cats who turn up at our door through the year, hungry and flea-ridden and abandoned? Rikki-tikki-tavi. At the hole where he went in Red-Eye called to Wrinkle-Skin.

Rikki-tikki-tavi

Hear what little Red-Eye saith: ``Nag, come up and dance with death! '' Eye to eye and head to head, (Keep the measure, Nag.) The longest joke in the world. A man in the desert. So, there’s a man crawling through the desert.

The longest joke in the world. A man in the desert.

He’d decided to try his SUV in a little bit of cross-country travel, had great fun zooming over the badlands and through the sand, got lost, hit a big rock, and then he couldn’t get it started again. There were no cell phone towers anywhere near, so his cell phone was useless. Short stories at east of the web. Small Beer Press. By Ray Vukcevich Sun 1 Jul 2001 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories | 18 Comments And then she fired her parting shot.

Small Beer Press

Never Date a Writer by xstephens. Never date a writer because she’ll fictionalize everything. She’ll write about things you have done to her, or things you never did for her.