The short story is one of my favorite formats. The writer has to be skilled enough to create a scene or a moment that is encapsulated in words. My absolute favorite short stories end in uncertainty.
The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith by Patricia Highsmith, is one such collection. This book is enormous, but each story is only about two or three pages long. There are some super creepy stories in here. Patricia Highsmith wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley and all of the other Ripley books, so she knows how to evoke atmosphere and psychotic characters.
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson, is a great collection because the stories are kind of intertwined. There’s one character, or character’s name, who shows up in every single story. Is it the same person every time? Is it a metaphor for something bigger? I don’t know. However, I know that these are entertaining, depressing, strange little stories that are about more than what they seem.
Button, Button: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson (also published as The Box: Uncanny Stories), is another cluster of weird stories. A wife loses her husband in a truck stop bathroom; a man appears at a woman’s doorstep with a magic box that can change her life; Los Angeles culture takes over the nation; and more.
Yep. I love horror and creepy stuff.