Advertising

30 of the Best Short Stories You Can Read for Free

30 of the Best Short Stories You Can Read for Free
Advertising

These are some of the best short stories around, and what makes them even more delightful is the fact that every one is absolutely free. If you love to read this article is just right for you.

1. “The Zero Meter Diving Team,” by Jim Shepard

“Mikhail lived a large portion of his life in that state of mind in which you take a risk and deny the risk at the same time, out of rage.”

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat.

    This story is about three brothers caught up in the horrific disaster that happened at Chernobyl on April 26, 1986. The startling consequences of the disaster make for a dramatic backdrop, as the brothers deal with the aftermath of the nuclear meltdown. “The Zero Meter Diving Team” is available for free, from BOMB magazine.

    2. “A Tiny Feast,”  by Chris Adrian

    “Titania was the only one among them ever to have ridden on a roller coaster, but she didn’t offer up the experience as an analogy, because it seemed insufficient to describe a process that to her felt less like a violent unpredictable ride than like someone ripping your heart out one day and then stuffing it back in your chest the next.”

    newyourker

      “A Tiny Feast” is for those who love fairy folk. In the story, a toddler is exchanged for a hobgoblin, but the tiny child has a very serious illness. The story is available for free from The New Yorker.

      3. “Lorry Raja,” by Madhuri Vijay

      “He taunted me about playing in the mud, as he called it, breaking chunks of iron ore with my hammer.”

      pix

        “Lorry Raja” is a short story about children and families in India. These families were coerced into forced labor to mine for iron to build the Olympic stadium in China. It is available to read from The Narrative Magazine. You will be required to submit an email address to access the full story.

        4. “Bluebell Meadow,” by Benedict Kiely

        “She spread the bullets on the table and moved them about, making designs and shapes and patterns with them, playing with them as if they were draughts or dominoes or precious stones.”

        pix

          The “Bluebell Meadow” is set during the Troubles in Ireland. It is about two teenagers that although in love have the chasm of religious ideals between them. It is available for free from Google Books.

           5. “A Beneficiary,” Nadine Gordimer

          “That Saturday: it landed in the apartment looted by the present and filled it with blasting amazement, the presence of the past.”

          nyorkere

            A woman discovers a shocking secret about her mother in “The Beneficiary.” The story is available for free from The New Yorker.

            6. “The Man On The Stairs,” by Miranda July

            “That is my problem with life, I just rush through it, like I’m being chased.”

            Advertising

            pix

              This is a creepy and very short tale. It is available for free from Scribd.

              7. “Bullet in the Brain,” by Tobias Wolff

              “He was never in the best of tempers anyway, Anders—a book critic known for the weary, elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed.”

              grid-cell-13422-1407857327-20

                A normal day in a bank turns to terror very quickly. You can find “Bullet In The Brain” at no cost here.

                8. “Safari,” Jennifer Egan

                “Lou is a man who cannot tolerate defeat—can’t perceive it as anything but a spur to his own inevitable victory.”

                grid-cell-11938-1407857294-31

                  “Safari” is about a dysfunctional group of people who go on an African safari. The story is quite poignant in its telling. It is available from The New Yorker.

                   9. “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway

                  “I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.”

                  ehemigway

                    This story is set in Spain and is a conversation between a man and a woman waiting for a train. Ernest Hemingway liked to couch his stories with analogies. This story is no different. It is available to read for free here.

                    10. “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,” by ZZ Packer

                    “She continued to cry, but it seemed to have grown so silent in my room I wondered if I could hear the numbers change on my digital clock.”

                    grid-cell-19429-1407874747-5

                      This is a coming of age story. A girl entering college questions her culture, her sexuality, and more. The story is available for free from The New Yorker.

                      11. “Hollow,” by Breece D’J Pancake

                      “On a knoll in the ridge, run there by the dogs, the bobcat watched, waiting for the man to leave.”

                      atlantic

                        This story is available through The Atlantic for free. The story is about a group of coal miners and the way they deal with the dangers of coal mining.

                        12. “Eveline,” by James Joyce

                        “She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue.”

                        Advertising

                        grid-cell-32707-1407856492-11

                          The story is one of several short stories from Joyce’s The Dubliners and is available for free. The story is about a young woman having second thoughts about leaving her homeland of Ireland.

                          13. “Interpreter Of Maladies,” Jhumpa Lahiri

                          “In its own way this correspondence would fulfill his dream, of serving as an interpreter between nations.”

                          grid-cell-2013-1407857218-5

                            .

                            Ms. Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for this story in 2000. The story is about a family visiting India and their tour guide. The story is available for free  here.

                            14. “All Summer in a Day,” by Ray Bradbury

                            “The children pressed to each other like so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed, peering out for a look at the hidden sun. ”

                            pix

                              A great read by one of the most brilliant science fiction authors ever, Ray Bradbury. The story is set on Venus and centers on the children of those who have settled there. It can be downloaded at no cost here.

                              15. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” by J.D. Salinger

                              “With her little lacquer brush, while the phone was ringing, she went over the nail of her little finger, accentuating the line of the moon. She then replaced the cap on the bottle of lacquer and, standing up, passed her left—the wet—hand back and forth through the air.”

                              sa;

                                This is a story about an atypical day at the beach. The entire book can be downloaded for free here.

                                16. “Tiny Smiling Daddy,” by Mary Gaitskill

                                “Unless it was Kitty’s coldness, her always turning away, her sarcastic voice. But she was a teenager, and that’s what teenagers did.”

                                grid-cell-2552-1407857191-5

                                  The story revolves around the tumultuous teen years, although the child in the story is in her late twenties. The father reminisces about his daughter’s adolescent years. The story can be read for free here.

                                  17. “They’re Made Out Of Meat,” Terry Bisson

                                  “And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone …”

                                  grid-cell-19503-1407857260-5

                                    Aliens make a hilarious discovery. The story was nominated for the Nebula award in 1991. The story can be read for free here.

                                    18. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

                                    “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?”

                                    Advertising

                                    grid-cell-1465-1407873388-29

                                      A story of a young woman’s descent into madness after the birth of her child. The user can choose which format to download. Available for free here.

                                      19. “All at One Point,” by Italo Calvino

                                      “We say hello—at times somebody recognizes me, at other times I recognize somebody—and we promptly start asking about this one and that one (even if each remembers only a few of those remembered by the others), and so we start in again on the old disputes, the slanders, the denigrations.”

                                      grid-cell-9365-1407881996-7

                                        This is a very short story that revolves around the very beginning of the universe. The story is available for free.

                                        20. “Italy,”by Antonio Elefano

                                        “I could only focus on you: your syncopated step, your forward lean, the way your legs seemed to disappear amidst the tables as you glided across the room.”

                                        grid-cell-13915-1407857133-18

                                          “Italy” is a bittersweet tale about a couple during many years of marriage. The story can be read for free here.

                                          21. “The School,” by Donald Barthelme

                                          “Well, we had all these children out planting trees, see, because we figured that … that was part of their education, to see how, you know, the root systems … and also the sense of responsibility, taking care of things, being individually responsible.”

                                          pix

                                            A story about an unusual school dealing with a rather mundane subject. The story can be read for free.

                                            22. “In the Penal Colony” by Franz Kafka

                                            “The Condemned Man, incidentally, had an expression of such dog-like resignation that it looked as if one could set him free to roam around the slopes and would only have to whistle at the start of the execution for him to return.”

                                            pix

                                              A man is condemned to die in a most unusual manner. Read the story for free.

                                              23. “Symbols and Signs,” by Vladimir Nabokov

                                              “After eliminating a number of articles that might offend him or frighten him (anything in the gadget line, for instance, was taboo), his parents chose a dainty and innocent trifle—a basket with ten different fruit jellies in ten little jars.”

                                              pix

                                                A couple goes to visit their son in a mental institution only to be turned away. The story is available from The New Yorker.

                                                24. “Gooseberries,” by Anton Chekhov

                                                “But surely a corpse wants that, not a man. And I hear that our intellectuals have a longing for the land and want to acquire farms. But it all comes down to the six feet of land.”

                                                Advertising

                                                pix

                                                  A story about two brothers reestablishing themselves after their father’s death. The story is available here.

                                                  25. “Sea Oak,” by George Saunders

                                                  But she’s not bitter. Sometimes she’s so nonbitter it gets on my nerves.”

                                                  rock

                                                    A story about an aunt who refuses to stay dead. The story is available for free.

                                                    26. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” by Ursula K. Le Guin

                                                    “But we do not say the words of cheer much any more. All smiles have become archaic.”

                                                    pix

                                                      A story about the price of utopia. The story is available for free here.

                                                      27. “The Veldt,” by Ray Bradbury

                                                      " A shadow flickered over Mr. McClean's hot face."
                                                      
                                                      pix

                                                        The story is about a murderous room. You can read it for free here.

                                                        28. “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” by Alice Munro

                                                        “Her hair that was as light as milkweed fluff had gone from pale blond to white somehow without Grant’s noticing exactly when, and she still wore it down to her shoulders, as her mother had done”

                                                        The-New-Yorker-Magazine-for-iPad-1

                                                          The story is about a professor’s wife losing her memory. It was later adapted into a film, Away From Her. The story can be found in The New Yorker.

                                                          29. “The Nose,” by Nikolai Gogol

                                                          “Ivan Yakovlevitch donned a jacket over his shirt for politeness’ sake, and, seating himself at the table, poured out salt, got a couple of onions ready, took a knife into his hand, assumed an air of importance, and cut the roll open. Then he glanced into the roll’s middle. To his intense surprise he saw something glimmering there. He probed it cautiously with the knife — then poked at it with a finger.”

                                                          book

                                                            Two men awake to a very distressing morning. The story can be found here.

                                                            30. “Drown,” by Junot Diaz

                                                            “Days we spent in the mall or out in the parking lot playing stickball, but nights were what we waited for.”

                                                            grid-cell-31299-1407857373-32

                                                              A young man returns home from college only to find many things have changed. Read for free.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              More by this author

                                                              16 Homemade Energy Drink Recipes That Will Fuel Your Day 20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency 25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up 25 Bathroom Hacks You’ll Want to Share With Everyone The Best Answers to the 7 Worst Interview Questions

                                                              Trending in Leisure

                                                              1 What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today 2 Enjoy Crafting With This App, It Offers 1000+ All Level Crafting Lessons Online 3 How to Have a Great Dining Experience the Budget-Friendly Way (From a Restaurant Insider) 4 Let This “5 Minute Journal” be Your Kids’ First Ever Mindfulness Journal 5 Walking 2 Dogs or More has Never Been Easier With This Smart Leash

                                                              Read Next

                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising

                                                              Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                                              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                                              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
                                                              Advertising

                                                              Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                                              By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                                              Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                                              83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                                                84 write random letter

                                                                  85 use a rubberband

                                                                    86 dorm smell bad

                                                                      87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                                                        89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                                                          90 take a picture of the name card

                                                                            91 iron inside out

                                                                              92 old newspaper

                                                                                93 tumble try shoes

                                                                                  keep a card like this

                                                                                    SONY DSC

                                                                                      94 soap bar

                                                                                        95 make a hole

                                                                                          96 drop the battery

                                                                                            97 use a coozie

                                                                                              98 when taking a picture

                                                                                                use a clean dust pan

                                                                                                  try a pants hanger

                                                                                                    use your cellphone light

                                                                                                      use a spring from an old pen

                                                                                                        quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                                                          user binder clips

                                                                                                            wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                                              put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                                                clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                                                  use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                                                    doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                                                      use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                                                        use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                                                          freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                                                            use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                                              almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                                                sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                                                  unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                                                    cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                                                      remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                                                        turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                                                          for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                                                            how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                                              tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                                                place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                                                  ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                                                    use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                                                      take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                                                        how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                                                          put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                                                            How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                                              user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                                                good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                                                  turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                                                    50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                                                      the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                                                        add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                                                          38

                                                                                                                                                                            hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                                              stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                                                the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                                                  how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                                                    the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                                                      use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                                                        to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                                                          user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                                                            a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                                              rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                                                use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                                                  50

                                                                                                                                                                                                    51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                          kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                                                            use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                                              58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      More Amazing Life Hacks for An Easier Life

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      50 Top Parenting Tricks and Hacks That Will Make Life Easier And More Fun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Read Next