Short Story Examples Online

Updated on June 21, 2019
Howard Allen profile image

Howard is an avid short story reader who likes to help others find and understand stories.

Here are some excellent examples of short stories from a few different categories, including:

  • contemporary,
  • classic,
  • middle school,
  • high school,
  • and college.

These aren't strict divisions. There's overlap between the categories, but they're useful as a general guide. I hope you find a great story here!

Examples of Contemporary Short Stories

The Edge of the Shoal by Cynan Jones

A man is out fishing in his kayak. He's been thinking of his deceased father lately, and has his ashes with him. He goes to the bay they used to visit together. It's too crowded so he pulls away for a while. He sees a lightning strike in the distance.

Read "The Edge of the Shoal"

Tenth of December by George Saunders

A boy gets his coat, boots, and pellet gun. He's going to a nearby pond to look for Nethers, an alien species he suspects is planning a kidnapping. Sometimes he shoots the Nethers; sometimes they capture him. While on his quest, he sees something that causes a change in him mission.

Read "Tenth of December"

Passage by Kevin Jared Hosein

On Saturday nights, the narrator drinks at a grimy pub, The Tricky Jester. On one visit, he gets agitated over a story told by a fellow patron, Stew. A hiker who likes to go off the beaten path, Stew claims he came across a lone house in the middle of a local mountain. The narrator is a forester and knows the wilderness well. He thinks Stew is spinning a tall tale.

Read "Passage"

A man is so small in the wilderness, believe me. The way how people is now, we ain’t tailored to live there. So when Stew say he stumble across a house in the middle of the mountain, my ears prick up.

— Kevin Jared Hosein

Examples of Classic Short Stories

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

The narrator vows revenge on Fortunato, a man he claims has injured and insulted him. They meet one evening at a carnival. He says he's purchased a pipe of Amontillado but is uncertain of its quality. Fortunato, who prides himself on his knowledge of wine, insists on inspecting it immediately.

Read "The Cask of Amontillado"

Araby by James Joyce

A boy is infatuated with the older girl who lives across the street. He watches for her and thinks of her often. She finally speaks to him one day, asking if he's going to the bazaar. She won't be able to go. He says he will bring her something if he goes. He can't think of anything else.

Read "Araby"

To Build a Fire by Jack London

A man travels a Yukon trail, headed for a cabin of acquaintances where there'll be a fire and a hot meal. For now, it's seventy-five degrees below zero. He's accompanied by a husky. The dog, while suited to the environment, knows instinctively that it's too cold to be traveling. The man, though new to the area, is competent and alert.

Read "To Build a Fire"

The animal was depressed by the tremendous cold. It knew that it was no time for traveling. Its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man’s judgment.

— Jack London

Examples of Short Stories for Middle School

The Doll's House by Katherine Mansfield

A family friend gives the Burnell girls a doll house. It's large, beautiful and detailed. They can't wait to tell everyone at school about it. They're also allowed to invite their classmates to come see it. The order of the visits highlights the social standing of the other students. Among the classmates are the Kelvey girls, daughters of a washerwoman and an absent father.

Read "The Doll's House"

Miss Awful by Arthur Cavanaugh

Roger, a third grade student, is concerned that his regular teacher, Miss Wilson, will be away for a while on personal business. She's fun and doesn't demand much of the students. When the class gathers on Monday morning, they notice things aren't as casual as they usually are.

Read "Miss Awful"

The Scholarship Jacket by Martha Salinas

Every year at the narrator's school, a special jacket was awarded to the eighth grade valedictorian. Her older sister had already won it, and now she's in line to receive it. When she has to go back to her desk one day for a forgotten item, she overhears an argument between two of her teachers. It seems a complication has arisen over this year's jacket.

Read "The Scholarship Jacket"

I had been a straight A student since the first grade, and the last year I had looked forward to owning that jacket.

— Martha Salinas

Examples of Short Stories for High School

The Bet by Anton Chekhov

A banker paces in his study, thinking about the party he hosted 15 years ago. The conversation turned to capital punishment and life imprisonment. A lively debate broke out over the morality of each and which was preferable. When a young lawyer said he would take life in prison over the death penalty, the banker wagered that the young man couldn't take it.

Read "The Bet"

Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

A man and woman wait at a train station for the express to Madrid. It's very hot so they sit in the shade outside the cafe and order drinks. The conversation turns to an operation that the woman could possibly undergo.

Read "Hills Like White Elephants"

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

Phoenix Jackson, an elderly African American woman, is walking through the forest on a frozen December morning. She's small and slow and carries a cane. It's a long and difficult journey. She keeps up a commentary as she travels.

Read "A Worn Path"

She looked straight ahead. Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead . . .

— Eudora Welty

Examples of Short Stories for College

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

A family, including the grandmother who lives with them, is planning a road trip to Florida. She would rather go to Tennessee instead, and tries to convince her son, Bailey, to change the family's plans. She points out a story in the paper about an escaped convict, The Misfit, who is said to be headed for Florida. The trip goes ahead as planned.

Read "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason

Leroy, a truck driver, is on temporary disability since injuring his leg when his truck jackknifed. He's afraid to go back to work. He has taken up model building as a hobby. His wife, Norma Jean, works at a drugstore and has started exercising. They're around each other a lot now, but they aren't as close as they could be.

Read "Shiloh"

A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka

A man puts on public displays of fasting. Locals take turns watching him to assure the crowd that nothing has been eaten. He fasts, not just for the onlookers, but for himself. He keeps up his performances for years. Eventually, the public appreciation for the spectacle wanes.

Read "A Hunger Artist"

This was nothing but a formality, instituted to reassure the masses, for the initiates knew well enough that during his fast the artist would never in any circumstances, not even under forcible compulsion, swallow the smallest morsel of food; the honor of his profession forbade it.

— Franz Kafka

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)