If you are a creative person, good fiction is great for expanding your imagination. So, I checked my bookmark and notes and came up with 10 short stories to read and boost in your imagination.
For more insights, check my post on the importance of reading fiction.
10 Short Stories to Give An Exciting Sense of Adventure
These are good short stories to read:
#1. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
I have read a story so descriptive and captures so much about life. So I wrote a blog post explaining the five life lessons from the story.
The story is about the town of Omelas — prosperous and growing, but there is more than meets the eyes when you go around scouting.
It’s an insane story. Despite reading hundreds of short stories in the past, I was expecting such an ending. This one left a big print on my mind and so many questions. Are humans cruel? Do we play stupid games that lead to the death of people?
The story moves gradually and casually. At first, nothing grand is happening (something I learned about stories written in the last ages. Writers aren’t burdened with holding attention in the first line or first paragraphs.
Brace yourself here. You are about to witness human cruelty as subtly as you will come across a helpless cat on your way to work.
#3. Patient Zero
A boy is receiving treatment in a hospital. His door is locked, and no one goes in without being quarantined. This looks normal since we have heard or read about contagious diseases. However, this boy is more than we think, and his illness is bigger than the world.
Are you looking for good short stories to read? This one is an excellent apocalyptic story, and it’s a good start.
It’s a universal story. The story fits perfectly into any country or nation if you change a few things in the plot. Before you start reading, imagine two warring towns. One is bigger than the other. The smaller one (town B) has been conquered and learned to do what the bigger town demands. Now, imagine Two men from town A entering the smaller village. What will they do? The men were not around. They meet the women, children, and young maidens.
As Zadie Smith said, a good story makes us feel something. This is one of such good short stories to read.
This is an interesting story. It is unique and doesn’t follow the conventional storytelling style we are used to.
It’s like reading a list of instructions for girls, which is interesting. We think of the innocence of the teachings, and then we know there is undermining of a girl child’s potential.
…this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming….
…this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming….Girl, Jamaica Kincaid
Raymond Carver has this style of a gentleman with a bomb in his pocket. He is smiling at you, but you can feel something isn’t right. You are surprised when he eventually brings out the bomb and sets it on the table, but not too surprised because you can feel something is off. But you were not expecting a bomb of all things, though.
You can read it here. (Beware, the link is a pdf file.)
#7. Cat Person
I must admit that this is one of the stories I am shocked about its popularity. After reading, I felt it was real; two, someone out there has this same experience, like someone has shared something similar.
It’s one of the short stories to read that blends fiction and reality uniquely.
What should the president do differently?
Well, not often do you see a writer telling a story of what the president should have done differently. Not as an essay but as a short story. Chimamanda did that in a short story. The president then was Goodluck Jonathan (Oga Jonah).
#9. Who like God by Akwaeke Emezi
In one short story, Emezi put a few themes on our hands — religion, gender roles as a child, and African culture.
#10. Looking Glass By Antov Chekhov
As a writer, I read some principles about the craft, such as Show, don’t tell, 3D characters, and pacing. This story used all that, like it was specifically written for beginners who want to see those at work.
The story is about a girl sitting behind a glass. At a point, reality and dream merge. Good luck in finding when and how Antov Chekov did it.
Enjoy Your Time and Widen Your Imagination
These stories in this list aren’t bedtime stories, but who gets to decide when to read them? There are great, wild, revealing, and moving. I am running out of adjectives, but you will get my point when you start reading them.
Want to read something else? Check my short story, My Protector, on Medium.