In my attempt to become a writer, I’ve taken to writing short stories. One of them was recently published. In an effort to improve my craft, I try to read as many short stories as I can. I’m…rather picky when it comes to short stories, much pickier than when it comes to novels (which is rather contrary, but what can I say), so it’s not often that I find a short story that truly speaks to me. I’ve realized that I would like to keep track of those stories that touch me or teach me something, and so that birthed a new idea: Short Story Friday.
On certain Fridays, I will share with you three short stories I have read that engaged me in some way. This will also be a great way for me to encourage myself to read more short stories! I definitely don’t read enough. And so, without further ado, I present my choices for this Friday:
Postcards from Natalie by Carrie Laban (The Dark, July 2016): I’m not too sure I entirely “got” this story (I mean, I think I did, but I’m not sure) because it’s one of those that ends with a twisty bang, but a very subtle twisty bang. It doesn’t tell you outright what’s going on, but if what I think happened happened, then it’s a pretty cool story! Plus, it got me hooked from the start and built up the suspense so well I couldn’t stop reading, which for me is a difficult thing with short stories.
Queen Aster Who Dances by Tina Connolly (Fireside Fiction, July 2017): Can you tell just from the title how cool this short little piece is? It’s a high fantasy and it’s written kind of like a soliloquy. It’s about royalty and power and sacrifice and sisterly bonds. It gives you delicious hints of a much broader, richer world that I would love to read more about. I’m definitely going to check out this author’s novels!
Don’t Turn On The Lights by Cassandra Khaw (Nightmare Magazine, October 2017): This is a delightfully creepy little tale – or is it several tales? Khaw begins by informing you that stories are mongrels, that many different versions of tales will always exists, and then proceeds to tell the same story several different ways. Each version is creepier than the last. The line “the air was the stink of piss and flayed meat” will haunt my nightmares for a very long time.