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Short Stories in english

Elena  Méndez The Dream of the Goal

The Dream of the Goal

by Elena Méndez

In a quiet town called San Juan Tepezontes, Gabo, a boy passionate about soccer, wakes up excited on a sunny morning. The reason for his enthusiasm is the grand final of his favorite team, which will be played that afternoon on the Costa del Sol. Gabo has been eagerly awaiting this day and knows it will be even more special because he will share it with his inseparable friends, Chino, Choco, and Poliducto.

Gustavo Vinocour The graft

by Gustavo Vinocour

A couple survives a crash an deals with a vital decision about their future.

Marjorie E Cole Wish

by Marjorie E Cole

Bo and Bae are two grey squirrels. They are a happy couple. The two of them share a cozy nest located in a hole inside of a tall oak tree. The hole is high above the ground. When you look out of it, you can see almost everything in the wooded area and across the lake. Bo and Bae go out to gather nuts and berries quite often. They also like to help others whenever possible.

EM Ariza Good Guys and Bad Guys

Good Guys and Bad Guys

by EM Ariza

Don’t ask me why, but I have to confess that it has always been a secret dream of mine to get to be the bad guy in a movie. I know it sounds weird, but what can I tell you? The truth is, however, that this would not be...

 Brothers Grimm The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

by Brothers Grimm

The first volumes of Grimm's Tales were much criticized because, although they were called "Children's Tales", they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter. Many changes through the editions were probably made with an eye to such suitability. But for almost two centuries, the stories of magic and myth gathered by the Brothers Grimm have been part of the way children — and adults — learn about the vagaries of the real world.


The Black Cat


"The Black Cat" is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most memorable stories. The tale centers around a black cat and the subsequent deterioration of a man. The story is often linked with "The Tell-Tale Heart" because of the profound psychological elements these two works share.

OSCAR WILDE The Devoted Friend

The Devoted Friend


The two main characters in "The Devoted Friend" are a poor man known as little Hans and a rich Miller. The Miller claims to be a devoted friend of little Hans. In truth, he selfishly takes advantage of little Hans at every opportunity. Little Hans' desire to remain the Miller's friend ultimately proves fatal for him.

EDGAR ALLAN POE The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum

The unnamed narrator is brought to trial before sinister judges of the Spanish Inquisition. He is condemned to death, whereupon he faints and later awakens to find himself in a totally dark room. He explores the cell and soon finds a pit. The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader because of its heavy focus on the senses, such as sound, emphasizing its reality, unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatural.

Jeanne-Marie Leprince  de Beaumont Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

In order to save her father's life, Belle has no choice but to go the Beast's palace and live with him. But will she learn there's more to this monster than first meets the eye? That charming 18th-century tale of the transforming power of love has enchanted generations of readers and listeners down to the present day.

 F. Scott Fitzgerald At Your Age

At Your Age

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

At Your Age, a 1929 short story published in the Saturday Evening Post, contains all the trademark elements that F. Scott Fitzgerald's readers had come to expect by the end of the Jazz Age. At fifty, Tom is attracted as much to Annie Lorry's age as to her beauty or social status. She is for him a veritable fountain of youth, revivifying memories of the warm sureties of his own adolescence and reintroducing him to the very terminology of young romance.

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Reluctant Reader Books

41 Short Stories for High School: Free PDF Downloads

a short story pdf

Below you will find the best short stories for high school across multiple genres: horror stories, mystery stories, humorous stories, classic stories, and more. Each story includes a link (READ IT) that will take you to a free copy you can read, copy, download or print.

We’ve also included a free PDF of our favorite short stories that you can download and print (see below) titled The Best Short Stories for High School . It includes stories by Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Flannery O’Connor, Madeline Yale Wynne, Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, McKnight Malmar and Frank O’Connor.

Want great stories for middle school? Go here.

Looking for scary stories for kids? Go here .

No Hassles. No Spam. Just Great Resources.

a short story pdf

Best Short Stories for High School: Free PDF

Here are the Best Short Stories for High School (at least according to us).

We’ve taught each of these stories to high school students. Kids of all reading levels (including reluctant readers ) found them engaging and suspenseful. They are thought-provoking with plenty of spectacular twists.

To preview, click the thumbnail image below. You can download a free PDF copy by clicking the download button.

Want lesson plans for these stories? We’ve got those too. See what’s in the lesson plans . Lesson plans include material for 16 stories (the 8 in our PDF plus 8 more!).

Click to download our Free PDF.

a short story pdf

Funny Short Stories For High School

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Lord Oakhurst’s Curse

By O. Henry Lord Oakhurst lay dying in the oak chamber in the eastern wing of Oakhurst Castle.

Machiavelli in Kindergarten

By Peter Schooff A hilarious story told as a series of letters from the kindergarten teachers of young Nicolo Machiavelli.

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By Anton Chekhov A young man rushes to his parent’s house to tell them the joyous news about how his name is in the newspaper and he has become famous.

Cannibalism in the Cars

By Mark Twain A train is snowbound and the passengers must find a way to survive. Twain turns the ghastly into the wickedly hilarious.

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Mystery Short Stories for High School

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Full Circle

By Sue Grafton Private detective Kinsey Millhone witnesses a tragic car accident in which a girl is also shot.

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

By Patricia Highsmith A man wants to purchase land from his neighbor, but the neighbor refuses. When the man’s daughter runs off with the neighbor’s son, bad goes to worse.

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By Bill Pronzini I had been in the backyard no more than two minutes when Roger Telford’s bald head popped up above the boundary fence.

Uncle Auguste

By Andrew Allen No one seemed to know exactly who Uncle Auguste was. There certainly hadn’t been any members of the family by that name. 

a short story pdf

Scary Short Stories For High School

Love horror? Check out our page on 40 Scary Stories to Read Online .

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Mars Will Have Blood

By Marc Laidlaw “Too much ichor,” said red-faced Jack Magnusson, scowling into a playbook. “The whole tragedy is sopping in it. Blood, blood, blood. 

By Robert Louis Stevenson Markheim enters an antique shop late one night to sell a rare item but ends up murdering the shop owner instead.

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The Great God Pan

By Arthur Machen An experiment designed to reveal the spirit world goes horribly wrong, leading to a series of disappearances and deaths.

The Armless Man

By WG Litt I had for some months been trying to find gold or diamonds by digging holes in the veldt.

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An Original Revenge

By WC Morrow A soldier intends to kill himself in order to return as a vengeful spirit and take his revenge upon his commanding officer.

The Little Room

By Madeline Yale Wynn A tiny room in a farm house holds a mysterious secret, appearing to be a different room to each person who enters it.

a short story pdf

The God of Dark Laughter

By Michael Chabon Thirteen days after the Entwhistle-Ealing Bros. circus left Ashtown two boys stumbled on a body that was dressed in a mad suit of purple and orange velour. 

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Literary Short Stories For High School

a short story pdf

The Other Woman

By Sherwood Anderson A man struggles with his final days before marriage as he falls for a young barista.

The Scarlet Ibis

By James Hurst The intense relationship between two brothers pushes one boy over the edge into death.

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Your Body is a Jewel Box

By Kay Boyle The rain was falling just as it did every day at this time of the year, and when Olive got out of bed she saw that Mildred was sitting on the roof again and crying in the rain.

The Love of My Life

By TC Boyle A haunting story of two high schoolers in love as they enter college, get pregnant and decide what to do about the baby and their future.

a short story pdf

A Father’s Story

By Andre Dubus A father frames himself for a potential crime to shield his daughter after she is in a car accident that may have killed someone.

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Adventure Short Stories for High School

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The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes

By Rudyard Kipling There is, as the conjurers say, no deception about this tale. Jukes by accident stumbled upon a village that is well known to exist, though he is the only Englishman who has been there.

A Descent Into the Maelstrom

By Edgar Allan Poe A seemingly old man recounts his horrific tale of being sucked into a massive whirlpool at sea and how he managed to survive.

a short story pdf

The Boar Hunt

By Jose Vasconcelos A group of hunters stalk wild boars through the jungle. When they begin shooting a herd from the trees, they mistakenly believe it’s their lucky day.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

By Ambrose Bierce A man set for execution escapes his fate when the noose breaks. He flees, desperate to escape from his executioners.

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Science Fiction Short Stories for High School

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Everything’s Eventual

By Stephen King A young man with very special powers is enlisted to quietly and mysteriously kill people around the country.

The Nine Billion Names of God

By Arthur C. Clarke A group of monks living atop the mountains purchase a supercomputer to help them identify all the names of God and bring an end to the universe.

a short story pdf

By Isaac Asimov The planet Lagash has known nothing but sunlight for over 2,000 years. Now they are preparing to experience their first nightfall in millenia.

By Frederic Brown Escalating conflict between Earth and the alien Outsiders must be resolved through single combat between an earthling and an Outsider.

a short story pdf

Microcosmic God

By Theodore Sturgeon A brilliant biochemist creates a synthetic lifeform in an attempt to improve mankind, but the results are not at all what he imagined.

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Classic Short Stories for High School

a short story pdf

By John Steinbeck A man finds his wife in the arms of another man, leading to a horrible murder and its aftermath.

The Tall Men

By William Faulkner Two men arrive at a house with a warrant for the McCallum brothers, but they must first deal with the McCallum relatives, one of whom has had a terrible accident and needs his leg amputated.

a short story pdf

The Blue Hotel

By Stephen Crane An intense card game leads to a brutal fight in a blizzard.

The Gambler, the Nun & the Radio

By Ernest Hemingway They brought them in around midnight and then, all night long, everyone along the corridor heard the Russian. ‘Where is he shot?’ Mr. Frazer asked the night nurse.

a short story pdf

A Good Man is Hard to Find

By Flannery O’Connor A family finds themselves in dire straits on the road when they run into the Misfit, an insane, murderous escaped convict. 

a short story pdf

41 Short Stories for Middle School

a short story pdf

8 Diverse Memoirs for the Classroom

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25 Best Short Stories of All Time (Reading Challenge)

best short stories all time

Short stories are such a wonderful medium for telling stories and exploring interesting ideas, and I love encouraging people to read more of them. So, to celebrate the amazingness of short stories, here’s my list of The Best Short Stories of All Time !

For anyone who wants to check these out, I’ve set it up as a shareable and printable reading challenge ! See it, pin it and print it below!

Scroll down for links to the full text of these stories, commentary, etc. For some of the stories, I’ve included a tiny bit of commentary, but it’s mostly meant as a jumping off point to think about the stories. There’s definitely much, much more to analyze and ponder over.

These are my favorites, but I would love to hear about your favorite short stories, too! There’s so many more I wanted to include, so I might do a Part II to this post later. Drop a message below if you have any ideas to share!

best short stories all time reading list challenge

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery is one of the most well known short stories of all time for good reason. It’s got an eeriness that creeps up on you, but isn’t clear entirely why until the very last paragraph. It received a ton of responses after its initial publication in The New Yorker , but Jackson declined to provide an explanation for the story.

The kids are out for the summer, so they gather stones in preparation. Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves , the postmaster, run the lottery. Each family stands together and a black box is brought out. The original box was lost a long time ago and now the town uses slips of paper instead of wood chips as was originally used.

They make a list of all the families in the village. Tessie Hutchinson joins late because she had forgotten today was the day of the lottery.

Mr. Summers reminds everyone of the rules. He’ll read the names and the head of each family will come up and draw. No one should look at the slips until all the names are drawn.

Mrs. Adams talks about towns who have given up the lottery, but Old Man Warner thinks that’ll lead to people living in caves and is nothing but trouble.

After the slips are drawn, the word gets around that Bill Hutchinson “got it,” though Tess argues that he didn’t have enough time to select a slip of paper. They confirm the number of children that Bill has, three, since his daughter draws with her husband’s family.

Mr. Graves produces five slips of paper for the Hutchinson family (parents and three kids). Their names are called out, they each draw slips and then they look at them. Tessie has drawn the slip with a black dot. Mr. Graves urges the crowd to hurry up.

Tessie stands in the middle of a clearing as the villages rush towards her, and she is hit in the head with a stone. The rest of the village follows, with everyone throwing stones at her as well.

We know from the description of the box and of how things have changed over time that it’s a ritual that they’ve always done. Old Man Warner represents the voice of the old generations, who seems to think that breaking from their tradition would be a descent into uncivilized behavior.

Jackson is questioning the ethics and the value of blindly following traditions.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

I’ve always loved Poe’s short stories, and The Tell-Tale Heart is probably my favorite. It’s about a tormented, paranoid man who is racked with guilt.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

The Necklace is a classic short story that’s been adapted to stage and film many times. It’s a story about vanity and honesty.

The Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

You may have seen or heard of the not-great movie adaptation of The Sound of Thunder that came out a while ago, but please don’t let that dissuade you from reading this classic science fiction short story which deals with some of the same themes as the concept of Chaos Theory (more popularly known as the Butterfly Effect).

Confido by Kurt Vonnegut

A lot of people love the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, but Confido is the one that has always stuck with me. Especially considering the way we consume news and information now and how easy it is to block out contrary opinions, I think this story is more relevant than ever.

If you think about all these people that go on toxic forums and feed their minds with garbage until they end up committing heinous crimes, you can see how Vonnegut saw it all coming way before his time. The ending of the story is especially relevant, too. For people who support platforms that allow toxic voices to proliferate for profit, I hope someone sends them this short story to read.

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

This is a survival story, of sorts.

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

The Monkey’s Paw is a story about the supernatural. It involves a monkey’s paw and three wishes. The uncertainty left over by the end is both unsettling and absolutely perfect for this story.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

This is kind of a sweet, maybe a bit saccharine Christmas story. A lot of the short stories on this list are a bit errm…depressing for lack of a better word, so I wanted to include something a little bit more positive.

They’re Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson

This is kind of a cute, fun short story that I’ve always really enjoyed. Once you start reading it, the title makes more sense.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper is a seminal work of Gothic and feminist literature. It’s about a woman, Jane, who is moved into a room with yellow wallpaper.

Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood

In terms of format, Happy Endings is a little unconventional. It’s a story with six possible endings. Or just one, depending on how you see it.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemmingway

This is probably one of the most “literary” stories on this list, meaning that at first glance the story’s meaning isn’t as easily apparent. If you just skim through it, it probably feels very forgettable.

With Hemingway’s short stories, a lot of the meaning is found in between the lines, in the things that are unsaid and the things that are implied.

Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy

This is a moral fable by Leo Tolstoy. There’s also a lovely and beautifully illustrated children’s book by Jon J. Muth based on this story.

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A beautiful, tragic, hopeful story.

The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

The Nightingale and the Rose is a fable-like story about true love and sometimes the lack thereof. It’s a story about sacrifice, materialism, love and lust.

The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf

This is not your typical Haunted House story, but that’s what makes it fun.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin

This is a relatively short but haunting story. It’s about a peaceful and idyllic city, but its near-perfect existence comes at a steep price. Definitely a must-read that makes you think.

To Build A Fire by Jack London

This is actually one of the few stories on this list I don’t personally love, but so many people list this as one of their favorite short stories that I felt compelled to include it. It’s about a man surviving in the extreme cold of the Yukon Territory along with his dog.

A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger

This is a story that’s sad and quietly tragic. Given that it’s Salinger, you can kind of anticipate the themes of alienation and focus on the innocence of children.

As the story starts, Muriel and her mother converse but neither seems to really hear what the other person is saying, and they each feel like the other person isn’t listening. Muriel’s mother is concerned about the behavior of Muriel’s husband, Seymore , but more with their possible effect on Muriel but Muriel is more focused on other things.

Meanwhile, Seymore is back from the war and it seems clear his odd behaviors are cries for help which aren’t being heard. Seymore has given Muriel a book that has some type of importance to him, but it is in German so she can’t understand it.

Sybil , a little girl, asks her mother about Seymore, but her mother thinks she is being silly by repeating “see more glass”. Sybil runs off to find Seymore, who knows her dad. The two chat, but given that Sybil is a toddler, it’s not exactly a meeting of minds.

Seymore explains whats going on with him to Sybil through a metaphor about bananafish, but she doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand. He explains that the fish go into a hole to eat bananas and eat too much and get fat. Due to their behavior, they no longer fit through the hole to get outside and die. (Seymore was at war, and it’s implied that due to the things he’s done, he no longer fits outside of war and he can’t get out of that place.)

It also seems like after the war the only things he really understands or trusts is simple things like to be kind to dogs and small children. He accosts a woman on the elevator and accuses her of staring at his feet.

Given the events of the story, it’s unsurprising and yet surprising at the end when he kills himself.

The Price by Neil Gaiman

I’ve loved this short story ever since I first came across it. It’s about a black cat. A must for cat lovers.

The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

The Veldt is a classic science fiction story as well as being a perfect blend of both horror and science fiction, two genres where Ray Bradbury shines. The Veldt is a cautionary tale about technology as well as the cruelty of children.

The Cask of Amontellado by Edgar Allen Poe

I included another creepy and fun Edgar Allen Poe tale on this list, but he has so many great ones I thought he was worth including twice. The Cask of Amontellado is a story of revenge.

The cellar of Il Buco restaurant in New York City is the location that people claim the story is based upon. I’ve been to the restaurant, and they allowed us to go down to the cellar, but it was more upscale and classy than scary, so who knows. I will say that the food at Il Buco is amazing, and the restaurant itself is gorgeous.

The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank Stockton

This is a great discussion story, as it’s open ended to an extent. It’s a story that presents a difficult, interesting question.

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

This is the response to every movie you’ve ever watched where a villain on the verge of death finally decides to do the right thing. One line in particular in A Good Man is Hard to Find is pure brilliance: “‘ She could have been a good woman,’ The Misfit said, ‘if it had been someone there to shoot her every minute of her life .'”

Lots to think about in this short story. Read it!

The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado

“ He is not a bad man, and that, I realize suddenly, is the root of my hurt .” This is a newer story, but it’s one that stuck in my mind long after reading it. Also be sure to read a great discussion of it on Electric Lit.

Those are my picks, but if you didn’t see your favorite short story, drop a comment below to share it with others! I’m contemplating doing a Part II since there are still so many great stories that I left off this list, so I’d love more ideas!

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Great choices here, thanks!

A great list, Jenn! Loved The Lottery! I’m not one for short stories but I love most written by Roald Dahl :)

Great list, Jenn! If you do a Part II, I’d nominate Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol. Thanks.

love this list thank you!

Finished reading The Lottery just now. Shocked by the end of the story. Wikipedia told me more about the story and why it is such a milestone piece. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery

Thank you very much for enriching us.

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Free Short Stories

We believe that the key to writing good short stories is reading good short stories.

Below, we have provided an ever-expanding selection of old and new short stories that are free to download.

Short story writers are listed alphabetically.

In 2020 we’ll be adding a wide range of new stories to read online.

Recently added stories will be fund at the top of the page.

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Aiken, Conrad ‘Silent Snow, Secret Snow’ (online read: c. 6000 words)

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That’s because we’re a very small, but passionate team who spend hundreds of hours curating resources such as these classic short stories. But we don’t just focus on the old. We’re also a paying market, publishing brilliant new work of fiction and non-fiction. Please do consider supporting us in whatever way you can, so we can maintain the work we do. Thank you.

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Anderson, Sherwood ‘The Dumb Man’ (c. 500 words)

Ade, George ‘The Collision’ (c. 1500 words)

Ade, George ‘The Divine Spark’ (c. 1000 words)

Ade, George ‘The Juvenile and Mankind’ (c. 500 words)

Antsey, F. ‘Marjory’ (c. 8500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Bruce and the Spider’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘The Bell of Atri’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Casablanca’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Antonio Canova’ (c. 1000 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Arnold Winkelried’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘Doctor Goldsmith’ (c. 500 words)

Baldwin, James ‘The Endless Tale’ (c. 1000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘The Conscript’ (c. 6000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘Innocence’ (c. 1000 words)

Balzac, Honore de ‘The Devil’s Heir’ (c. 6500 words)

Bierce, Ambrose ‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek’ (c. 3000 words)

Bierce, Ambrose ‘Oil of Dog’ (c. 1500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘Bankrupt’ (c. 7500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘Heartease’ (c. 3500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘The Advocate’ (c. 4500 words)

Brown, Alice ‘The End of All Living’ (c. 7000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘The Bet’ (c. 3000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘The Lottery Ticket’ (c. 2000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘About Love’ (c. 4000 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘An Actor’s End’ (c. 2500 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘Art’ (c. 2500 words)

Chekhov, Anton ‘An Avenger’ (c. 2000 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Blue Cross’ (c. 7500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Bottomless Well’ (c. 6500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Eye of Apollo’ (c. 6000 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The God of Gongs’ (c. 6000 words)

Chesterton, G. K.  ‘The Hammer of God’ (c. 6500 words)

Chesterton, G. K. ‘The Purple Wig’ (c. 5500 words)

Collins, Willie ‘A Fair Penitent’ (c. 4500 words)

Conrad, Joseph ‘An Anarchist’ (c. 8500 words)

Crane, Stephen ‘A Desertion’ (c. 1500 words)

Defoe, Daniel ‘The Apparition of Mrs Veal’ (c. 3500 words)

De Mille, James ‘The Artist of Florence’ (c. 7000 words)

De Quincey, Thomas ‘Love-Charm’ (c. 13,000 words)

De Quincey, Thomas ‘The Avenger’ (c. 19,000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Black Veil’ (c. 4500 words))

Dickens, Charles ‘Criminal Courts’ (c. 2000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘Down with the Taid’ (c. 4000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Ghost of Art’ (c. 2500 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Baron of Grogswig’ (c. 4000 words)

Dickens, Charles ‘The Child’s Story’ (c. 2000 words)

Dahl, Roald ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ (c. 3000 words)

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Hardy, Thomas ‘The Three Strangers’ c. 8500 words)

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Irving, Washington ‘Little Britain’ (c. 5000 words)

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Jacobs, W. W. ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ (c. 4000 words)

James, M. R. ‘Lost Hearts’ (c. 4000 words)

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18 Great Short Stories You Can Read Free Online

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Sarah Ullery

Sarah suffers from chronic sarcasm, and an unhealthy aversion to noise. She loves to read, and would like to do nothing else, but stupid real life makes her go to work. She lives in the middle of a cornfield and shares a house with two spoiled dogs and a ton of books.

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18 excellent short stories you can read for free online. Check 'em out! short stories | free short stories | short stories to read online | book lists | online writing

As to where to find great stories, The New Yorker stories are generally best, but require a subscription if you read too many in a month. I also like Narrative Magazine , which will ask you for an email, but their stories are free too. Tor of course has some great free stuff, and you can find most of the classics through Gutenberg . The stories on this list that are not from any of these publications, I found through simple Google searches. If I’m interested in an author, but don’t necessarily want to read a whole book, I look to see if they have any short fiction available that I can read first.

From this list, my favorites are Zadie Smith and Italo Calvino’s stories. I’d never read Zadie Smith, but after loving “The Embassy of Cambodia” I started On Beauty  (a 500 page book) and I absolutely love it. Both stories satisfied a reading itch I needed scratched.

Here are a few of my favorite free short stories you can read online right now.

“ The Library of Babel ” by Jorge Luis Borges

The world is a library that contains all the books that have ever been written, but most of them are indecipherable. Many people venture to the library to find the meaning of life. It reminded me of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld library.

“Perhaps my old age and fearfulness deceive me, but I suspect that the human species — the unique species — is about to be extinguished, but the Library will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret.”

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

This used to be my favorite short story, and I might only think that because I read it when I was a freshman in high school and I remember being shocked by the ending. It’s always stayed with me.

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Another story with an ending that you won’t forget anytime soon. O’Connor was a master. If you’ve never read any of her work I would start here.

“In the Penal Colony” by Franz Kafka

It’s a chilling story. A man known as the Traveller is visiting a foreign penal colony where he is shown a special machine used to execute prisoners. The machine inscribes the prisoner’s crime onto their body until they die. It takes 12 hours of torture before the prisoner dies. I told you it was chilling!

“The Devil in America ” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor)

Kai Ashante Wilson has quite a talent. This ties present day police brutality towards African Americans to post-emancipation America and a family of freed slaves that are living with the Devil that followed them from Africa.

“The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin (Tor)

Cities, once they are old enough, must be born. New York City is ready to be born, and must be led into the world by a reluctant midwife.

“Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor (Lightspeed Magazine)

Okorafor is a wonderful storyteller, and if you’ve never read her books, this would be a great place to start. And if you like this short story, check out Binti: The Complete Trilogy .

“Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Lightspeed Magazine)

Oh, you’ve never read Ted Chiang? Well, you must go out now and read this story and then read Stories of Your Life and Others  and his collection Exhalation: Stories . I was shocked by how good and complex his writing was. I had no idea that the movie The Arrival was based on one of his short stories.

“The Daughters of the Moon” by Italo Calvino (The New Yorker)

I don’t know. It’s either Zadie Smith’s “The Embassy of Cambodia” or this story that is my favorite on the list… I can’t decide. I think it’s this story. A story about the people of Earth deciding to throw away the Moon. It’s a story of consumerism. Luckily, I own The Complete Cosmicomics , so I can continue reading Calvino’s magnificent short story collection.

“The Embassy of Cambodia ” by Zadie Smith (The New Yorker)

After you read “The Devil in America” read this story and see if you can find the parallels. This was my first time reading Zadie Smith because I’d always heard mixed reviews, but if her longer fiction is anything like this short story, I’m in love. If you need help figuring out where to start with Zadie Smith’s books, check out our Reading Pathway guide to Zadie Smith .

“Sweetness” by Toni MOrrison (The New Yorker)

A prelude to Morrison’s book God Help the Child , this is the story of Bride’s mother, and her rationale for raising her daughter in a loveless home.

“Girls, At Play”  by Celeste Ng (Bellevue Literary Review)

“This is how we play the game: pink means kissing; red means tongue. Green means up your shirt; blue means down his pants. Purple means in your mouth. Black means all the way.”

The first four sentences of this short story sent chills down my spine. A superbly told story of the extremes of girlhood and adolescence; the pressures girls face as they get older.

“On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” by Haruki Murakami (Genius)

Love at first sight, if you believe love is predestined rather than a choice. Fated love, to me, no matter how hard my heart becomes, still seems ridiculously romantic. I haven’t read Murakami in a long time but now I’m itching to pick up one of his books (I really want to read 1Q84 , but it’s soooo long!).

“Chechnya”  by Anthony Marra (Narrative Magazine)

This was Anthony Marra’s first published short story, and works as an outline for his novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon . It’s the kind of story you read while holding your breath.

“The Fruit of My Woman” by Han Kang (Granta)

This story was written in 1997 before the publication of The Vegetarian . The two stories share many of the same themes, and it’s evident that this story served as a blueprint for the later book. In “The Fruit of My Woman” the wife is slowly turning into a tree (something that also comes up in The Vegetarian ). The allusions to Daphne turning herself into a laurel tree to escape the advances of Apollo are hard to miss, but there’s no clear indication that Daphne was an actual influence on either story. Han Kang can do no wrong in my eyes.

“A Lady’s Maid” by Sarah Gailey (Barnes & Noble)

I love Sarah Gailey. This is a great introduction if you’re unfamiliar with her work. It’s Victorian London with androids — so much to love!

“A Bruise the Size and Shape of a Door Handle” by Daisy Johnson (American Short Fiction)

A hot and bothered story about a house falling in love with the girl who lives in the attic. I loved everything about this story. This is included in Johnson’s short story collection, Fen , and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Also, the writing style reminded me of Samantha Hunt.

“Hollow” by Breece D’J Pancake (The Atlantic)

Breece D’J Pancake died when he was 26. He was from West Virginia, and I would label his writing “grit-lit”. This story was almost too gritty for me. He’s the kind of writer that other writers love. His short story collection has a blurb from Joyce Carol Oates.

Want more short stories? Check out our post on the 100 must-read contemporary short story collections , 20 must-read short stories on audio , and the best short stories of all time !

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Learn English Through Story

Reading English stories is one of the most effective ways of improving your language skills. We have a lot of story books for all levels to learn English easily and quickly. Each English stories has audio files with subtitles. You can also free download them in PDF book form. We offer you to learn English through stories.

Anne of Green Gables (for Elementary Levels A2)

a short story pdf

Free Short Stories PDF Free Download — «Anne of Green Gables» By Lucy Maud Montgomery, Retold by Anne Collins book PDF

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Anne of Green Gables

By Lucy Maud Montgomery

Retold by Anne Collins

Chapter one: Anne Arrives in Avonlea

Chapter two: A Sad Story

Chapter three: Red Hair

Chapter four: The Party

Chapter five: Love and Hate

Chapter six: Diana Comes to Tea

Chapter seven: A Cake for Mrs. Allan

Chapter eight: An Accident and a New Dress

Chapter nine: Some Stupid Mistakes

Chapter ten: The Queen’s College Class

Chapter eleven: A New Start

Chapter one

Anne arrives in avonlea.

Free Short Stories PDF Books - East Canada

East Canada

«You don’t want me!»  cried the child suddenly.  «You don’t want me because I’m not a boy! 

    One fine spring afternoon in Avonlea, Mrs.  Rachel Lynde sat by her kitchen window.  She often sat there because she could see the Avonlea road very well from there.

    A man with a horse and buggy came up the road. It was Mrs. Lynde’s neighbor, Matthew Cuthbert.

    «Where’s Matthew going?»  thought Mrs.  Lynde in surprise. «It’s half past three in the afternoon and he has a lot of work on his farm. Where’s he going and why is he going there?»

     Matthew Cuthbert lived with his sister, Marilla, in Green Gables, a large old house near Mrs.  Lynde’s home. Later, Mrs. Lynde walked to Green Gables.

      Marilla Cuthbert was busy in the kitchen. She was a tall, thin woman with gray hair.  Marilla wasn’t young or pretty, and she didn’t smile very much. But she had a kind heart.  She wasn’t surprised by Mrs. Lynde’s visit.

    «Hello, Marilla,» said Mrs. Lynde. «I saw Matthew on the road. Where’s he going?»

     «To Bright River Station,» answered Marilla. «We’re getting a little boy from an orphanage in Nova Scotia.  He’s coming on the train this afternoon.»

     Mrs.  Lynde couldn’t speak. Then she said, «An orphan boy! Why do you want an orphan boy?»

      «Matthew is sixty years old,» answered Marilla. «His heart isn’t very strong. He wants a boy to help him on the farm.

      «We heard about Mrs. Spencer at White Sands.  She’s getting a little girl from the orphanage.  Matthew and I want a little boy. Mrs.  Spencer went to the orphanage today.  She’s bringing a boy back on the train and she’s going to leave him at the station. Matthew will meet him there.»

      «I think you’re doing a very stupid thing, Marilla,» said Mrs. Lynde. «You’re bringing a strange boy into your house. You don’t know anything about him.

      «I read a story in the newspaper about an orphan. This child lived with a Canadian family. The child lit a fire one night and the family died in the fire. But it was a girl, not a boy.»

    «But we’re not getting a girl,» said Marilla.  «We don’t want a girl. We’re getting a boy.»

    Bright River Station was about twelve kilometers from Avonlea. Matthew drove there slowly in the buggy. When he arrived at Bright River, it was late. He couldn’t see a train.

     There was only one person at the station, a little girl about eleven years old.  She was very thin with large gray eyes and long red hair.  She wore a short, ugly dress and carried an old bag.

     When she saw Matthew, she smiled. Then she put out her hand. «Are you Mr.  Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables?»  she asked. «I’m from the orphanage. Mrs.  Spencer brought me here.»

    Matthew took the child’s hand.  «There’s a mistake,» he thought. «This is a girl, not a boy!»

    » When you weren’t here at the station,» said the child, «I thought,’I can sleep in that big tree tonight. I know he’ll come in the morning.’  I know it’s a long way to your house.  Mrs.  Spencer told me.  But I love driving. And I’m going to have a home with you. That’s wonderful. I never had a home.»

    «I was late,» said Matthew slowly. «I’m sorry.»  He took the little girl’s bag and they walked to the buggy.  «I can’t leave this child at the station,» he thought.  «I’ll take her back to Green Gables.  Marilla can tell her about the mistake.»

      The girl got into the buggy and Matthew drove home.  The child talked and talked.  Matthew listened.  He was a quiet man and he was usually afraid of little girls.  But he liked listening to this girl’s conversation.

Free Short Stories PDF Books - Are you Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables

«Are you Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables?»  

    «Look at those trees with the beautiful white flowers,» said the girl. «I love the color white.  I’d like a beautiful white dress. I never had a pretty dress. They only gave us ugly clothes at the orphanage.  I know I’m going to be very happy with you.  But one thing makes me sad. Look at my hair. What color is it?»

     «Isn’t it red?» asked Matthew.

     «Yes,» said the little girl sadly. «It’s red. I hate my red hair.»

    It was evening when they arrived at Green Gables. Marilla came to the door and looked at the child in surprise.

    «Who’s this, Matthew?»  she asked. «Where’s the boy?»

    «There wasn’t a boy,» said Matthew unhappily.  «There was only her. I couldn’t leave her at the station.»

    » No boy!»  said Marilla. «But we asked Mrs. Spencer for a boy!»

    «You don’t want me!»  cried the child suddenly.  «You don’t want me because I’m not a boy!  Oh, what shall I do?»

    «Don’t cry,» said Marilla.  «We can’t send you back to the orphanage tonight. You’ll have to stay here.  What’s your name?»

    The child stopped crying. «Can you call me Cordelia?» she asked.

     «Cordelia!  Is that your name?» asked Marilla in surprise.

     «No,» said the child sadly.  «But Cordelia is a prettier name than mine. My name is Anne Shirley. Anne with an ‘e’. But please call me Cordelia.»

     «No,» said Marilla, but she smiled. «Anne is a very good name. Now come and eat something, Anne.»

     Anne sat down at the table but she couldn’t eat anything.  So Marilla took her upstairs to a small bedroom. Anne took off her clothes and got sadly into bed.

    Marilla went downstairs and washed the plates. Matthew sat in a chair. He didn’t say very much.

    «I’ll drive to Mrs.  Spencer’s house tomorrow,» said Marilla, «and I’ll ask her about this mistake. We’ll have to send this child back.»

    «She’s a very nice little girl,» said Matthew slowly, «and very interesting.  She likes to talk. And she wants to stay with us.»

    Marilla was very surprised. «But, Matthew, she can’t stay here,» she said. «A girl can’t help you on the farm.»

    «But maybe we can help her,» answered Matthew quietly.

    «I’m going to send her back to the orphanage,» said Marilla. «I don’t want an orphan girl.»

    «All right, Marilla,» said Matthew. «I’m going to bed now.»

    Marilla put the plates away and went to bed, too. And in the room upstairs, the little orphan girl cried and cried.

Chapter two

 a sad story.

«They wanted to be kind, «Anne said slowly. » But they were always very tired. They couldn’t really be kind to me.»

    When Anne woke up the next morning, she felt happy. She jumped out of bed and ran to the window.

    It was a beautiful morning. The sun shone and the sky was blue. Anne opened the window.  Outside, there was a fruit tree with beautiful flowers. Anne could see many other trees and flowers, and a small river too.

    «This is a wonderful place!» she thought. Then, suddenly, she remembered. She felt very sad again. «But I can’t stay here,» she thought. «They don’t want me because I’m not a boy.»

    Marilla came into the room. «Good morning, Anne,» she said. «Breakfast is waiting. Wash your face and put on your clothes.»

    «I’m feeling very hungry,» Anne said. «I can never be sad in the mornings. I love mornings.»

    After breakfast, Anne washed the plates and cups.  Marilla watched carefully, but Anne did the job well.

    «This afternoon I’m going to drive to White Sands,» Marilla said. «You’ll come with me, Anne, and we’ll talk to Mrs.  Spencer.»

Free Short Stories PDF - Marilla suddenly felt very sorry for Anne.

Marilla suddenly felt very sorry for Anne.

    Matthew didn’t say anything, but he looked very sad.  Later, he got the horse and buggy ready for Marilla. Marilla drove, and Anne sat next to her.

    «Is it a long way to White Sands?» asked Anne.

     «About eight kilometers,» answered Marilla. «I know you like to talk, Anne.  So tell me your story.»

    «It isn’t very interesting,» said Anne. «I was born in Bolingbroke in Nova Scotia, and I was eleven last March.  My parents were teachers.  But they died when I was a baby.  So their cleaner, Mrs.  Thomas, and her husband took me into their house.

    «Mrs. Thomas had four children. I helped her with them. But then Mr. Thomas died in an accident.  Mrs.  Thomas and the children went to Mr. Thomas’s parents. They didn’t want me.

    «Then Mrs. Hammond, Mrs. Thomas’s friend, took me into her house. She had eight children. They were very hard work. Then Mrs.  Hammond moved away. I had to go to the orphanage because nobody wanted me. I was there for four months.»

     «Did you go to school?»  asked Marilla.

     «No, not often,» answered Anne. «I didn’t have time. I was always busy with the children. But I like reading very much.»

      «Were these women—Mrs. Thomas and Mrs.  Hammond — kind to you?»  asked Marilla.

      «They wanted to be kind,» Anne said slowly.  «But they were always very tired. They couldn’t really be kind to me.»

      Marilla suddenly felt very sorry for Anne. The little girl’s life was very sad. Nobody wanted her or loved her.

     When Mrs. Spencer saw Marilla and Anne, she was very surprised.  Marilla told her about the problem.

    «I’m very sorry,» answered Mrs. Spencer. «I made a mistake.

    But I have an idea. My neighbor, Mrs.  Blewett, has a new baby. She wants a girl to help her. Anne can go and live with her.»

Free Short Stories PDF - Can I really stay with you at Green Gables

«Can I really stay with you at Green Gables?»

     Oh,» said Marilla.  She knew about Mrs.  Blewett.  Mrs. Blewett had a lot of children, but she wasn’t very kind to them.

     «Look!» said Mrs.  Spencer. «Here’s Mrs. Blewett now.»

    Mrs. Blewett had small, cold eyes.

    «This is Marilla Cuthbert from Green Gables,» Mrs. Spencer told her. «And this little girl is from the orphanage. I brought her for Marilla but Marilla wants a boy. Would you like her?»

    Mrs. Blewett looked at Anne for a long time.  She didn’t smile. «She’s very thin,» she said.  «I hope she’s strong. She’ll have to work hard. Yes, Mrs.  Spencer, I’ll take this girl.  She can come home with me now.»

     Marilla looked at Anne’s unhappy face. «I can’t give Anne to Mrs.  Blewett,» she thought.  «Wait,» she said.  «First I have to discuss things with my brother, Matthew.  He wants Anne to stay with us.»

    Anne looked at Marilla in surprise. Then she jumped up and ran across the room.  «Can I really stay with you at Green Gables?»  she asked. «Did you really say that?»

     «I don’t know,» said Marilla. » Now sit down and be quiet.»

    When Marilla and Anne arrived at Green Gables, Matthew met them. He was very happy when he saw Anne.  Later, Marilla told him about Mrs.  Blewett.  She told him Anne’s story, too.  Matthew wasn’t usually angry, but he was very angry about Mrs. Blewett.

    «That Blewett woman is very unkind,» he said.

    I know,» said Marilla. «I don’t like her. All right, Matthew, Anne can stay here with us.  But I don’t know very much about children. I hope I don’t make any mistakes with her.»

    «Thank you, Marilla,» said Matthew happily. «Anne’s a very interesting little girl. Be good to her. Then she’ll always love you.»

Chapter three

« She’s very thin, Marilla. And her hair is as red as carrots! Come here, child. I want to see you. «

    Next day, Marilla didn’t tell Anne about her conversation with Matthew. She gave Anne a lot of work in the kitchen.

    «Marilla,» said Anne excitedly, «I have to know about my future.  Please tell me. Are you going to send me away?»

    «No,» said Marilla. «You can stay at Green Gables with Matthew and me.  But you have to be good.»

     Anne started to cry.

    «Why are you crying?» asked Marilla in surprise. «Don’t you want to stay with us?  Don’t you like Green Gables?»

    «Oh, yes, Marilla!» cried Anne. «I like it very much.  I’m crying because I’m very happy. And I’ll always be good.»

    Some days later, Mrs. Lynde came to tea with Marilla. When she arrived, Anne was outside.  Marilla and Mrs.  Lynde sat in the kitchen and talked.

     «I think you’re making a mistake,» said Mrs.  Lynde. «You don’t know anything about children.»

    «No, but I can learn,» said Marilla.

    Anne ran into the kitchen. She saw Mrs.  Lynde and stopped.

    «The Cuthberts didn’t take you for your pretty face!»  Mrs. Lynde said.  «She’s very thin, Marilla.  And her hair is as red as carrots!  Come here, child.  I want to see you.»

    Anne ran across the kitchen and stood in front of Mrs. Lynde. Her face was red and angry. «I hate you!» she cried.»I hate you— I hate you!»

    «Anne!»  cried Marilla.

    «You’re a very rude woman,» Anne told Mrs.  Lynde.  «And you’re fat!»

    «Anne, go to your room!»  said Marilla. «Wait for me there!»

    Anne started to cry. Then she ran upstairs.

Short Stories PDF -

«I hate you!» she cried.

     Mrs. Lynde got up from her chair. «I’m going home now, Marilla,» she said. «That child is very wild. You’ll have a lot of problems with her!»

      «But you said unkind things about her!» said Marilla. After Mrs. Lynde went home, Marilla went upstairs. «Why did Anne say those things?» she thought unhappily.  » Now Mrs. Lynde will tell everybody in Avonlea about her.»

      «Stop crying and listen to me, Anne,» she said. «You were very rude to Mrs.  Lynde.  She was a visitor in my home.»

      «But she was very unkind,» said Anne.

      «I want you to say sorry to Mrs.  Lynde,» said Marilla.

      «Never!»  said Anne. «I’m not sorry.»

      Marilla remembered something.  When she was a child, her aunts often talked about her.  «Marilla isn’t a very pretty little girl,» they said.

     «Maybe Mrs.  Lynde was unkind,» said Marilla quietly.  «But you have to say sorry.  Stay here in your room!»

      Next morning, Anne didn’t come down to breakfast.  Marilla told Matthew the story. «She was very rude,» she said.

      «But, Marilla,» said Matthew. «Mrs.  Lynde doesn’t think before she speaks.  Please don’t be angry with Anne.»

      Anne stayed in her room all day.  Marilla took food upstairs, but Anne didn’t eat very much.  In the evening, Matthew went quietly up to Anne’s room.

      Anne was on a chair by the window. She looked very small and unhappy. Matthew felt very sorry for her. He closed the door. «Please go and say sorry to Mrs.  Lynde, Anne,» he said.

    «All right, Matthew,» said Anne.  «I wasn’t sorry yesterday, but I’m sorry now. I’ll do it because you asked me.»

     «Good,» said Matthew happily. «It’s very quiet downstairs without you, Anne.»  He went quietly out of the room.

     Later, Marilla and Anne walked to Mrs. Lynde’s house.

    «I’m very, very sorry, Mrs.  Lynde,» said Anne. «I was very rude to you.  You were right about my red hair. And I am thin and ugly.»

     Mrs.  Lynde smiled. «I was rude to you, too,» she said. «You do have red hair. But maybe it will change color when you’re older.»

    «That’s very kind of you, Mrs. Lynde!»  said Anne. » Now I can hope for prettier hair.  Please can I go outside and play?»

    «Yes, of course,» said Mrs. Lynde. «Find some flowers.»

    Anne went out and closed the door behind her.

    «Anne is really sorry,» thought Marilla. «But she’s funny, too.»

    «She’s a strange little girl,» said Mrs. Lynde to Marilla. «But she isn’t a bad child.  I like her.»

    On the way home, Anne suddenly put her small hand into Manila’s hand. «I love Green Gables, Marilla,» she said.  «It’s my home now.»  

Chapter four

» Anne,» Marilla said, »I’ll ask you again. «Did you take the brooch from my room and lose it?»

      Anne had only one ugly dress from the orphanage.  So Marilla made her three new dresses. She bought a little hat for Anne, too. But Anne didn’t like the new clothes.

     «Why don’t you like them, Anne?» asked Marilla.

     «They’re—they’re not—pretty,» answered Anne.

     «But they’re very good dresses,» said Marilla.

     Marilla went to church every Sunday. She wanted to take Anne with her. But the next Sunday, Marilla was sick.

    «Can you go to church without me?» she asked Anne.

    «Yes, of course, Marilla,» answered Anne.

     She put on one of her new dresses and her hat, and started walking down the road to church.  «I don’t like this hat,» she thought. «It isn’t very pretty.»

    Then she had an idea.  There were a lot of beautiful yellow flowers by the road. Anne put some flowers on her hat.

    When she arrived at church, the other children looked at her. «That girl’s crazy!»  they said.

     After church, Anne ran back to Green Gables.

     «Did you enjoy it, Anne?»  asked Marilla.

    «Not very much,» said Anne.  «The minister talked for a long time, but he wasn’t very interesting.  But there’s going to be a party next week for the children of Avonlea.  That’s exciting. Please, Marilla, can I go too?»

      «Yes, of course,» answered Marilla.

      «Oh, thank you, Marilla!»  said Anne.  She put her arms around Marilla.

      Marilla felt happy.  «I’m starting to love this child,» she thought.

    Marilla had a beautiful old brooch. The day before the party, she couldn’t find it. «It was on top of the desk in my room,» she thought. «But now it isn’t there. Where is it?»

      «Did you take my brooch out of my room?» she asked Anne.

      «No, Marilla,» said Anne. «I went into your room last week. I saw the brooch on top of the desk and put it on my dress. But then I put it back on the desk. I didn’t take it out of your room.»

      Marilla looked for the brooch again, but she couldn’t find it.

    «Anne,» she said, «I’ll ask you again. Did you take the brooch from my room and lose it?»

      «No, I didn’t, Marilla,» said Anne quietly.

      «Go to your room and stay there,» said Marilla.

     Anne went to her room.  Later, Marilla went to see her.

     «Marilla, the party is tomorrow,» Anne said. «Please can I go?»

    «No,» said Marilla angrily. «Tell me about the brooch first.»

     «But I told you about the brooch, Marilla!»  cried Anne.

     Next morning, Marilla took Anne’s breakfast upstairs. Anne sat on her bed. Her face was white and her big gray eyes shone.

Short Stories PDF - The other children looked at Anne.

The other children looked at Anne.

     «I’ll tell you about the brooch now,» she said quietly. «I took it and I put it on my dress. Then I went outside and walked down the road to the bridge. I wanted to look at the brooch again, so I took it off my dress.  It shone in the sun and was very beautiful. But then it fell from my hand—down, down to the bottom of the river.»

      «You’re a very bad girl, Anne,» Marilla said angrily.

      «I’m sorry,» said Anne. «Please can I go to the party now?»

      «The party!» cried Marilla. «Of course you can’t go!»

      «But, Marilla,» said Anne, «you wanted to know about the brooch. So I told you.  Now please can I go to the party?»

      «No,» said Marilla, and went out.

     Anne fell on her bed and began to cry.

     Marilla went downstairs with a very sad heart. «Maybe Mrs.  Lynde was right about Anne,» she thought.

     After lunch, Marilla wanted to go for a walk. She took her coat from the closet. Then she saw something on her coat. It was her beautiful brooch.

      «What’s this?» thought Marilla in surprise. » Oh, I remember now. I put the brooch on this coat.»

      She went to Anne’s room. «Anne, why did you tell me that story this morning?»  she said. «The brooch is here on my coat.»

      «I wanted to go to the party,» said Anne sadly. «You wanted me to tell you about the brooch. So I had to think of a story.»

      Marilla began to laugh. «I’m sorry, Anne,» she said. «I made a mistake.  Now get ready for the party.»

     «Oh, Marilla!»  cried Anne. «Isn’t it too late?»

     «No,» answered Marilla. «It’s only two o’clock. Wash your face and put on one of your new dresses. I’ll give you some food for the party.»

    When Anne came home that evening, she was very happy. «Oh, Marilla, the party was wonderful!»  she said.

Short Stories PDF - Then Marilla saw something on her coat.

Then Marilla saw something on her coat.

Chapter five

Love and hate.

» Anne, what’s wrong?» asked Marilla. «Why are you crying?» «When Diana Left here on Saturday, she was drunk.»

      «Marilla,» said Anne one day, «do any other little girls live near Green Gables?  I’d like to have a best friend.»

     «Yes,» answered Marilla. «Diana Barry is the same age as you. She lives at Orchard Slope, across the river. I’m going to visit her mother this afternoon. You can come with me.»

      Mrs.  Barry was a tall, thin woman. Diana was a very pretty little girl with black hair and dark eyes. She had a little sister, Minnie May. Minnie May was three years old.

      «Diana, take Anne outside,» said Mrs. Barry.

     Anne and Diana went outside and stood quietly by the flowers.  Then they started to talk. They talked all afternoon.

    «Did you like Diana, Anne?» asked Marilla later.

    » Oh, yes,» said Anne happily. «Diana is wonderful!»

     Anne and Diana met every day.  Sometimes they played in the woods. Sometimes they read books and told stories.

      Then summer ended and September came. Anne went to school in Avonlea. She was good at her lessons and she liked the other girls. But Anne didn’t like the teacher, Mr.  Phillips, very much.

      One day, there was a new boy in school. He was tall, with brown hair. The girls liked him.

     «That’s Gilbert Blythe,» Diana said to Anne. «His family went away for the summer. They came back on Saturday.»

      Gilbert’s desk was near Anne’s desk.  He often looked at her. He wanted her to look at him, too.  She was different from the other girls in Avonlea.  But Anne wasn’t interested in Gilbert.

     Gilbert took Anne’s hair in his hand. «Carrots!»  he said loudly. «Carrots!»

      Anne jumped to her feet and looked at Gilbert angrily. «I hate you!» she cried.  «I hate you!»  She hit Gilbert on the head with her slate and the slate broke. Everybody looked at her.

Short Stories - Then Marilla saw something on her coat.

Anne hit Gilbert on the head with her slate and the slate broke.

      Mr. Phillips ran to her. «Anne Shirley, what are you doing?»  he asked. «Answer me!»

      «Anne didn’t do anything wrong,» said Gilbert quickly. «I was rude about her hair.»

      «Anne, go and stand in front of the class,» said Mr.  Phillips.

      Anne stood in front of the class all afternoon. Everybody looked at her.  But Anne didn’t look at anybody. «I’ll never speak to Gilbert Blythe again,» she thought.

      After school Gilbert tried to talk to Anne, but she walked past him.

      «Don’t be angry with Gilbert, Anne,» said Diana. » He laughs at my hair because it’s very black.»

      «Gilbert Blythe was very unkind,» said Anne.

      The children often played outside after lunch. Sometimes they were late for afternoon school. The next day, Mr.  Phillips was in the classroom when Anne arrived with flowers in her hair.

      «Anne Shirley, you’re late,» Mr. Phillips said.  «Take those flowers out of your hair. Then go and sit with Gilbert Blythe.»

      «I can’t sit next to Gilbert,» Anne thought. «I hate him!»

      She got up slowly from her desk and sat down next to Gilbert. But she didn’t look at him. She put her head on her arms. A little later, Gilbert pushed some candy under Anne’s arm. Anne took the candy and threw it onto the floor.

      At the end of the day, Anne took her slate and her books.

     «What are you doing, Anne?» asked Diana in surprise.

      «I’m taking my things home,» said Anne. «I’m going to study there. I’m not coming back to school again.»

      Later, Anne told Marilla about Mr.  Phillips. «I’ll learn my lessons at home,» she said. «I’ll work hard and I’ll be a good girl. But I’m not going back to Mr.  Phillips.»

      Marilla went to see Mrs. Lynde. «What shall I do?» she asked.

    «Leave Anne at home,» said Mrs.  Lynde.  «She’ll get bored. Then she’ll want to go back to school.»

    Anne learned her lessons at home. In the evenings she played with Diana. She loved Diana, but she hated Gilbert Blythe.

Chapter six 

Diana comes to tea.

«Anne, what’s wrong?» asked MariLla. «Why are you crying?» «When Diana Left here on Saturday, she was drunk.»

      «Anne, I’m going out this afternoon,» said Marilla one Saturday. «You can invite Diana here for tea. There’s cake—and a bottle of fruit cordial on a shelf in the kitchen closet.»

      When Diana arrived, the two little girls played outside.

      «I’m very thirsty,» said Diana after a time.

      «Would you like some fruit cordial?» asked Anne.

      She went to the kitchen closet and got the bottle. The cordial was a dark red color. Anne wasn’t thirsty, but Diana drank a big glass of it.

      «This is very nice,» she said. «Can I have another glass?»

     After three glasses of cordial, Diana put her hands to her head.

      «I’m not feeling very well,» she said. «I have to go home.»

     «But, Diana!» cried Anne sadly. «Don’t you want any cake?»

      «No,» said Diana. «I have to go home now.»

     The next day, Sunday, it rained all day and Anne stayed at home. On Monday, Marilla sent Anne to Mrs.  Lynde’s house.  But Anne came back very quickly, and ran into the kitchen.

      «Anne, what’s wrong?»  asked Marilla. «Why are you crying?»

     «Mrs. Barry was at Mrs.  Lynde’s house today,» said Anne. «She said very bad things about me.  When Diana left here on Saturday, she was drunk!»

      «Drunk!»  cried Marilla in surprise. «What did you give her?»

      «Only the fruit cordial,» answered Anne unhappily.

     Marilla went to the kitchen closet and found the bottle of cordial.  She looked at it.  It wasn’t fruit cordial. It was red wine!

    «Oh, no!» she thought.  «I remember now. The fruit cordial is in the other closet.»

     Marilla went to see Mrs. Barry.  She tried to tell Mrs. Barry about the mistake, but Mrs. Barry didn’t want to listen.

     «That Anne Shirley is a very bad little girl,» she said. «I don’t want Diana to play with her again.»

      Anne was very sad.  She loved Diana very much.  Some days later, she went back to school.  «I can’t be Diana’s friend now,» Anne told Marilla. «But I can look at her in school.»

      Anne worked hard. The other girls liked her, and she had a lot of friends.  But she was very unhappy about Diana.

      One evening some weeks later, Marilla went to a meeting in Charlottetown, the most important town on Prince Edward Island.  Mrs.  Lynde and Diana’s parents went to the meeting, too. They all slept in Charlottetown that night.

      Anne and Matthew stayed at home.  They sat in the kitchen. Anne studied her lessons at the table.  Suddenly, Diana ran through the door. Her face was very white.

      «Oh, Anne, please come quickly!»  she said. «Minnie May is very sick.  She has croup. Maybe she’s going to die.»

      Matthew got up quietly and put on his coat.  «I’ll go for the doctor,» he said, and went out.

      «Don’t be afraid, Diana,» said Anne. «I know about croup. Mrs.  Hammond had eight children and they all had it.  Wait! Marilla has some medicine.  I’ll bring it with me.»

      Anne went with Diana to the Barrys’ house. The ground was white with snow. When they arrived at the house, Anne went to Minnie May.  She was very sick.

      «Now, Diana, bring me hot water,» said Anne.

      She undressed Minnie May and put her to bed. Then she gave her some medicine. All night Minnie May was very sick, but in the early morning she slept quietly.

      Matthew arrived with the doctor. «I’m sorry we’re late,» he said. «The doctor wasn’t at home. I had to wait for a long time.»

Stories - Suddenly, Diana ran through the door.

Suddenly, Diana ran through the door.

      The doctor looked at Minnie May. «You did very well, Anne,» he said.

      Anne drove home with Matthew in the snow.  When they arrived at Green Gables, Anne went to bed.

     That afternoon, Marilla was downstairs in the kitchen.

    » How was the meeting, Marilla?» asked Anne.

    «Fine,» answered Marilla.  «Listen, Anne, Mrs. Barry was here this morning and told me about Minnie May’s croup.  She wanted to say ‘thank you’ to you.  And she’s very sorry about the fruit cordial.  She wants you and Diana to be friends again.»

    » Oh, Marilla, that’s wonderful!»  cried Anne. «Can I go and see Diana now?»

    «Yes,» said Marilla, and smiled.

    Anne ran quickly to Diana’s house. It was cold, and she had no coat or hat. But she was the happiest girl in Avonlea.

Chapter seven

A cake for mrs. allan.

» Is something wrong?» thought Marilla. She tried some cake, too. «Anne Shirley!» she cried. »What did you put in this?»

    The long summer vacation began at the end of June. Mr.  Phillips left the Avonlea school. The old minister left the church, too, and a new minister came. His name was Mr. Allan. He brought his pretty young wife with him.

      «I’ll ask Mr. and Mrs. Allan to tea on Wednesday,» said Marilla.

      » Oh, Marilla,» said Anne excitedly. «Can I make a cake?»

      «All right, Anne,» said Marilla.

      On Wednesday morning, Anne got up early and made her cake. It looked very good. In the afternoon, Anne put flowers around the table. Then Mr. and Mrs. Allan arrived.

      «The table looks beautiful,» they said.

      Anne felt very happy. She sat at the table with Matthew and Marilla. Matthew wore his best clothes.

      «Would you like some cake, Mrs. Allan?»  asked Anne. «I made it for you.»

      «Yes, please,» said Mrs. Allan, and she smiled.

      Anne cut some cake for Mrs. Allan. Mrs. Allan put the cake in her mouth and started to eat it. But she didn’t look very happy.

      «Is something wrong?»  thought Marilla. She tried some cake, too. «Anne Shirley!» she cried. «What did you put in this?»

      «Only—only vanilla,» answered Anne. She went to the kitchen and brought back a small bottle. On the front of the bottle, it said «Best Vanilla.»

      Marilla opened the bottle. «This isn’t vanilla,» she said. «It’s medicine.  Last week I broke the medicine bottle. I put the medicine into this old vanilla bottle.»

      «Medicine!» said Anne. «Oh!»

      She ran upstairs to her room. She cried and cried.

      A little later, Anne heard somebody on the stairs, but she didn’t look up. «Oh, Marilla,» she said, «I’m very unhappy.  Everybody in Avonlea will hear about my cake. They ‘ll laugh at me.  I can’t go downstairs. I can’t look at Mrs. Allan again.  I’m very sorry, Marilla.  Please tell Mrs. Allan.»

      » You tell her, Anne,» said Mrs. Allan.

     Anne looked up. «Mrs. Allan!» she said in surprise.

      «Yes, it’s me,» said Mrs. Allan, and laughed.  «Don’t cry, Anne. The medicine in the cake was a very funny mistake.»

      «I’m sorry, Mrs.  Allan,» said Anne. «I wanted to make a nice cake for you.»

      «I know,» said Mrs. Allan.  » Now please come down and show me your flowers. I’m very interested in flowers.»

     Anne felt happy again. She went downstairs with Mrs. Allan and nobody said anything about the cake.

     A week later, Anne ran into the kitchen at Green Gables. She was very excited.  She had a letter in her hand.

      «Mrs.  Allan is inviting me to tea tomorrow afternoon,» she said. «Look at this letter, Marilla.  It says, ‘Miss Anne Shirley, Green Gables.’  Nobody called me ‘Miss’ before.»

     The next afternoon, Anne went to tea with Mrs. Allan.

     «I had a wonderful time with Mrs. Allan,» she told Marilla later. «She’s very kind. And she wore a beautiful dress. We talked for a long time. I told her about Mrs.  Thomas and Mrs. Hammond, and the orphanage. I told her about Green Gables and the school, too.»

      «Mrs. Allan told me something interesting.  A new teacher is coming to Avonlea after the vacation.  Her name is Miss Muriel Stacy.  Isn’t that a pretty name?  I want to meet her very much.»

Chapter eight

An accident and a new dress.

«Who can climb up to the top of Diana’s house?» «I can!» cried Anne. She ran to the house.

      Some weeks later, Diana had a party. She invited Anne and the other girls in her class. They had a very good time.

      After tea, the girls played outside. «Let’s play a new game,» said one of the girls. «Let’s do exciting things. Who can climb the big tree by Diana’s front door?»

      One of the girls climbed the tree. Then another girl thought of something more exciting.  » Who can climb up to the top of Diana’s house?»  she said.

      «I can!» cried Anne.  She ran to the house.

      «Stop, Anne!» called Diana. «That’s very dangerous!»

      Anne started to climb to the top of the house, but it was very difficult.  Suddenly, she fell to the ground.

    Diana ran to her. «Oh, Anne, Anne, are you dead?» she said.

    Anne opened her eyes.  Her face was very white. «No, I’m not dead, Diana,» she said. «But my leg hurts.  I can’t walk.»

Stop, Anne! called Diana.

«Stop, Anne!» called Diana.

     Mr.  Barry carried Anne home to Green Gables. When Marilla saw Mr.  Barry with Anne in his arms, she felt very afraid. Was Anne dead?

      «I love Anne very much,» she thought. «I know that now.» She ran to Mr. Barry. «What happened?»  she asked.

      «Don’t be afraid, Marilla,» said Anne. «I fell off Diana’s house.»

      Anne couldn’t go back to school.  She stayed home for seven weeks.  Her friends came to see her every day. They brought her flowers and books.  She had many other visitors, too. Mrs.  Allan and Mrs.  Lynde came often.

    When Anne’s leg was better, she went back to school. She liked Miss Stacy very much.  Miss Stacy was a very good young teacher, and Anne worked hard in her lessons.

      «I love Miss Stacy,» Anne said to Marilla and Matthew one evening.  «She wants us to give a concert at Christmas. Isn’t that exciting?  Diana’s going to sing a song. And I’m going to say two poems.»

      One evening, Matthew went into the kitchen at Green Gables. Anne’s friends were there. They laughed and talked about the concert. They were very excited.

      Matthew watched them. «Anne looks different from the other girls. But why?» he thought.  He thought all evening, then suddenly he knew the answer.  «Anne’s clothes are different,» he thought. «The other girls wear pretty dresses. Marilla makes good dresses for Anne, but they aren’t very pretty.»

      Then Matthew had an idea.  «I’m going to give Anne a new dress for Christmas,» he thought.

      He went to the store in town and tried to buy a dress. But he couldn’t because he didn’t know much about girls’ dresses.

    «Maybe somebody can make a pretty dress for Anne,» he thought. «But who? I don’t know many women in Avonlea.  I can’t ask Marilla.  I know—I’ll have to ask Mrs. Lynde.»

       He went to see Mrs. Lynde.

      » Of course I’ll help you, Matthew,» said Mrs.  Lynde.  «And I won’t tell Marilla.  It ‘ll be a surprise.»

      On Christmas morning, Anne woke up early.  She looked out of the window and felt very happy. The trees were white with snow.

      She ran downstairs into the kitchen and Matthew gave her the dress. Anne started to cry.

      «What’s wrong?» said Matthew. «Don’t you like it?»

      » Oh yes, Matthew,» answered Anne.  «I love the dress.  It’s beautiful. Thank you!  I’m crying because I’m very happy.»

      That night, Anne wore her new dress to the concert.  She said her two poems very well.  Matthew and Marilla were at the concert, too.  Later, they sat by the kitchen fire and talked.

      «Anne did very well tonight,» said Matthew.

      «Yes,» said Marilla. «She’s very smart. And she looked very nice in her new dress.»

      «She’s thirteen now,» said Matthew. » One day she’ll leave the Avonlea school. We have to think about her future.»

Chapter nine 

Some stupid mistakes.

Marilla looked at Annes hair. It was green! «Anne Shirley!» she said. «What did you do to it?»

      One spring afternoon.  Marilla walked home.  The country was very beautiful and Marilla felt happy.

      «Anne’s at home,» she thought.  «She’ll make a good fire, and she’ll have tea on the table.»

      But Anne wasn’t at Green Gables. There was no fire, and the tea wasn’t ready.

      «Where is that girl?»  thought Marilla angrily.  «Is she playing with Diana again?  She has to do housework first.»

      Matthew came in from the farm and he and Marilla had tea. But Anne didn’t come. When it was dark, Marilla went upstairs to Anne’s room. Anne was on her bed.

      «What’s wrong, Anne?» said Marilla in surprise. «Are you sick?»

      «No, Marilla,» said Anne unhappily. «Look at my hair!»

      Marilla looked at Anne’s hair.  It was green! «Anne Shirley!» she said. «What did you do to it?»

      «I. dyed it,» said Anne. «I hated my red hair. Today a man came to Green Gables.  He wanted to sell us things.  I saw a bottle of black hair dye in his box, so I bought it.  But it made my hair green!»

      «Go and wash it,» said Marilla.

      Anne washed her hair.  But the green color didn’t go away.

     «Oh, Marilla,» she said.  «What shall I do?  The other girls will laugh at me.  I can’t go to school.»

     Anne stayed home for a week.  She washed her hair every day, but the green color stayed in her hair.

     «We’ll have to cut it,» Marilla said, and she cut Anne’s hair short.

     «I’ll never hate my red hair again!»Anne said.

    She went back to school. When her friends saw her short hair, they were very surprised.  But Anne didn’t tell them about the dye. After some weeks, Anne’s hair looked prettier than before, and it wasn’t as red.

      One day in the summer, Anne and her friends were by the river near Diana’s house. There was an old boat there.

      «Let’s play a game,» said Anne. «Do you remember that poem from school about a girl, Elaine?  She was unhappy in love. She found a boat on the river and got into it. Then she died. The river carried the boat to a town.  Everybody came and saw her.

     «I’ll be Elaine. I’ll get into this old boat and the river will carry it down to the bridge.  Go and wait for me there.»

     Anne climbed into the bottom of the boat. The girls put flowers into her hands and Anne closed her eyes.

Marilla looked at Anne's hair. It was green!

Marilla looked at Anne’s hair. It was green!

      «Oh,» said the girls. «Anne really looks dead.»

      They pushed the boat out into the center of the river, and ran to the bridge. The river was very fast and dangerous.  The boat was old and not very strong.  Suddenly, a lot of water came into the boat. Anne sat up.  She was very afraid.

      The boat went past a large tree and Anne caught the tree with her hands. The river carried the boat away. Then the boat went down—down to the bottom of the river.

     Diana and the other girls waited at the bridge. They saw the boat in the river, but they didn’t see Anne. «Anne’s in the river!» they cried. «Let’s go for help!» They ran quickly to Diana’s house.

     Anne was very cold and wet. She had her arms around the tree, but she couldn’t move.  Her arms hurt and she felt very tired. «Help!  Help!»  she cried. «Why doesn’t somebody come?»

     Suddenly, a small boat came down the river. A boy was in it. It was Gilbert Blythe.

     «Anne Shirley, what are you doing here?» he asked in surprise.

     Anne told him, and Gilbert brought his boat near the tree. He gave Anne his hand and pulled her into his boat. But Anne didn’t look at him.

     «Thank you,» she said coldly.

     «Please let’s be friends,» said Gilbert. «I was rude about your hair in school, and I’m sorry.  But your hair is very pretty now.»

     «No,» said Anne. «I’ll never be friends with you!»

     «All right,» said Gilbert angrily. «I’ll never ask you again!»

Chapter ten

The queen’s college class.

When Marilla looked at Anne, she felt a little sad. «she’s fifteen now,» she thought. «She’s almost a woman!»

      It was November.  Marilla and Anne sat in the kitchen at Green Gables. Manila’s eyes were tired and weak. They often hurt her.

     «I’ll go to town tomorrow and get new glasses,» she thought.

Gilbert gave Anne his hand and pulled her into his boat.

Gilbert gave Anne his hand and pulled her into his boat.

     Anne was in front of the fire with a book in her hand. Marilla watched her. She loved Anne very much. She often made pretty dresses for the child now.

      «Anne,» she said. «Miss Stacy was here today. She talked to me about your future. Would you like to study at Queen’s College in Charlottetown? Would you like to be a teacher?»

      » Oh yes, Marilla,» said Anne, and her eyes shone. «But isn’t Queen’s College  very expensive?»

      «Yes,» said Marilla. «But Matthew and I will pay for you.»

      Six other students from Avonlea wanted to go to Queen’s College, too. They studied after school in one class—the Queen’s College class.

      Anne and Gilbert Blythe were the smartest students in the class.  Sometimes Anne was first, and sometimes Gilbert. Gilbert was friendly with the other girls in the class, but he never spoke to Anne.

      When Anne thought about him, she felt sorry.  «I don’t hate Gilbert now,» she thought.

      The Queen’s College class was very interesting and the dayswent quickly. Winter came again, then spring, then summer. At the beginning of the long summer vacation, Anne went home and put her books away in a box.

      «I’m not going to study in the vacation,» she said to Marilla.»I want to enjoy this summer.  There are going to be parties and concerts. And Mr. Barry is going to take us to dinner one evening at the hotel at White Sands.»

      Mrs.  Lynde came to tea with Marilla at Green Gables. «Matthew doesn’t look very well these days,» she said.

      «No,» said Marilla. «He had a problem with his heart last week. He works hard, but he has to be careful.»

      » When Anne came to Green Gables, I said unkind things about her,» said Mrs. Lynde. «But I made a big mistake.  She helps you, and she’s very pretty now too.»

      Anne enjoyed her summer very much.  In the fall, she went back to school. The Queen’s College class started again and Anne worked hard all year. But she went to parties and concerts, too.

     When Marilla looked at Anne, she felt a little sad. «She’s fifteen now,» she thought. «She’s almost a woman!»

    By June, Anne and the other students were ready for the Queen’s College examinations. They went to Charlottetown and stayed there for a week. When Anne came home, Diana was at Green Gables.

      » How were the examinations, Anne?»  she asked.

      «They were very difficult,» said Anne. «I’m very tired now!»

      One evening three weeks later, Anne sat by the window in Green Gables. The summer evening was very beautiful. The sky in the west was slowly turning red.

    Suddenly, Diana arrived with a newspaper in her hand. «Anne!»  she cried excitedly.  «Your name’s in the newspaper! You came first in the Queen’s College examinations—you and Gilbert Blythe.  You’re the best students on the island!»

      Anne looked at the newspaper.  There were two hundred names there. Her name was at the top—hers and Gilbert’s!

      «This is wonderful, Diana!» she said happily.

      She ran to Marilla and Matthew. Then she went to see Mrs. Lynde and Mrs. Allan. «You did very well, Anne,» they said.

Chapter eleven

A new start.

« Gilbert knows you want to be near Marilla. The Avonlea school is yours. «

      Anne went to Queen’s College and enjoyed her time there.  She was in the same class as Gilbert Blythe, but they didn’t speak.

      At the end of the year, there were more examinations.  Anne did very well.  She won a free place at another college, Redmond College.  Gilbert Blythe got a place at the college, too.

"Your name's in the newspaper."

«Your name’s in the newspaper.»

      Anne went back to Green Gables in June. Diana came to see her.

      «I have three months’ wonderful vacation at Green Gables,» said Anne. «Then I’m going to Redmond College.»

      «Gilbert Blythe isn’t going,» Diana told her.  «His father doesn’t have the money.  So Gilbert is going to teach in the Avonlea school.»

      «Oh,» said Anne.  Suddenly, she felt sad.

      The next morning at breakfast, Anne watched Matthew’s face. It was very tired and gray.

      «Is Matthew all right?» she asked Marilla later.

      «No,» said Marilla. «He’s having problems with his heart again. He works hard, and his heart isn’t strong.»

      Some days later, Matthew came into the kitchen and fell to the ground. Anne and Marilla ran to him. But Matthew was dead.

     Anne was very sad.  Later, in her room, she cried and cried.

    «Matthew was my first friend,» she thought.  «He brought me to Green Gables.  He was always very kind to me. I loved him.»

      Anne woke in the night and Marilla came to her. «Don’t cry,» she said. «Matthew was a good brother and a wonderful man. But you have me and I have you, Anne.  I love you very much.»

     Marilla sat at the kitchen table.  She looked very tired and sad.

    Anne put her arms around her.  «What’s wrong, Marilla?» she asked.

     «My eyes are hurting again,» answered Marilla.  «I can’t see very well and I can’t work. And, Anne, there’s something worse. I have to sell Green Gables. Matthew and I had our money in, the Abbey Bank.  But the bank had problems and now there’s no money.»  She started to cry.

    «Don’t cry, Marilla!» cried Anne. «You don’t have to sell Green Gables. You and Matthew did everything for me.  Now I’m going to help you.  I’m not going to go to Redmond College.  I’ll teach at a school on Prince Edward Island, and I’ll help you with Green Gables. We’ll be very happy—you and I.»

      Mrs.  Lynde visited Green Gables.  «You’re doing a very good thing for Marilla,» she said to Anne.  «She’s very happy.  And you can teach at the Avonlea school.»

    «1 can’t,» said Anne. «Gilbert Blythe is going to teach here.  I’ll live at Green Gables, but I have to find another school.»

    «No,» said Mrs.  Lynde.  «Gilbert heard about Manila’s problems.  He knows you want to be near Manila.  So he’s going to go to the White Sands school. The Avonlea school is yours.»

Let's be friends now.

«Let’s be friends now.»

    «That’s very nice of Gilbert,» thought Anne in surprise.

    Two days later, Anne met Gilbert on the road. She stopped and put out her hand.  «Gilbert,» she said, «thank you very much for the job at the Avonlea school.  I’m sorry about everything.  Please let’s be friends now.»

    «Yes,» said Gilbert, and took Anne’s hand. «I’d like that.»

    Gilbert walked home with Anne.  They stood outside Green Gables and talked for half an hour.

     Later, Anne sat by her window and looked out.  It was a beautiful night. «I know I’m going to be very happy,» she thought. «I have a good job and dear friends. Everything is going to be all right.»


Source:   frenglish.ru

Free Short Stories PDF

Stories to Improve English- The Secret of the Stones By Victoria Heward book

Free short stories pdf Top Sites

  • electricliterature.com — Free short stories pdf

Electric Literature is a nonprofit digital publisher with the mission to make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. We are committed to publishing work that is intelligent and unpretentious, elevating new voices, and examining how literature and storytelling can help illuminate social justice issues and current events. We are particularly interested in writing that operates at the intersection of different cultures, genres, and media.

Electric Literature began as a quarterly journal in 2009 and became a non-profit in 2014. In addition to the essays, criticism, and literary news on this site, you’ll find our acclaimed weekly literary magazines:  Recommended Reading , which publishes short story and novel excerpts with personal recommendations, and  The Commuter , our home for flash fiction, poetry, and graphic narrative.  Recommended Reading  launched in 2012 and will publish its 450th issue on December 30, 2020. Work published by Electric Literature and our literary magazines has been recognized by Best American Short Stories, Essays, Poetry, and Comics, the Pushcart Prize, Best Canadian Short Stories, and The Best of the Small Presses.

Everything published by Electric Literature is available to readers for free, and as a non-profit, we rely on contributions from those readers to survive. To support our work and our mission, please consider  becoming a member  or  making a one-time contribution . All gifts are tax-deductible. Electric Literature monetizes some book links on our site. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which goes towards paying writers. These commissions do not influence what books we feature or how we choose to cover them.

Electric Literature is grateful for the support of the Amazon Literary Partnership Literary Magazine Fund and the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

2. www.newyorker.com — Free short stories pdf

The New Yorker  has always played an integral role in the history of serious American fiction. Ever since the publication of “Short Stories from The New Yorker” in 1940, the magazine became one of the most renowned première venues for short fiction, having literary legends such as Nabokov, Murakami, Atwood, Salinger or Fitzgerald grace its pages.

Today,  The New Yorker  publishes only one story per issue, devoting one issue per year to new fiction. Stories can be sent by anyone using the magazine’s online submission form. While usually gravitating towards already established writers,  The New Yorker  sometimes takes a chance on fairly experimental ones.

Without a subscription, users can enjoy the home page, section pages, the video hub, Goings On About Town listings, and six full articles per month. They can also download the  New Yorker Today  app for free, and browse a couple of articles before asked to subscribe.

With a subscription, however, they are given unlimited access to the entirety of  New Yorker ‘s content, such as:

  • Unlimited browsing and access to articles on both the  New Yorker  website and  The New Yorker Today  iOS app (not just articles, but also cartoons, journalism, and much more)
  • Flash fiction, podcasts, and short stories (often with a podcast of the author reading it aloud)
  • Every issue of the magazine since its founding in 1925 in a digital-replica format at  archives.newyorker.com  (including all short stories)
  • Every story published for the magazine since 2007 in standard Web format (including all short stories)

The pricing is surprisingly low, standing at $12 for 12 weeks of a Print and Digital subscription. As a welcome gift, new subscribers also receive a free tote bag.

3. gutenberg.org — Free short stories pdf

About Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is an online library of free eBooks.

Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and his memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related content today.

Free short stories pdf Project Gutenberg Mission Statement

To encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.

A 2004 essay  by Michael Hart provides more detail on the mission statement, and some of the beliefs that guide Project Gutenberg’s activities in fulfillment of that mission.

Free short stories pdf More about Project Gutenberg

To read more about Project Gutenberg, choose one of these topics:

  • Background, History and Philosophy : Various essays and articles.
  • Partners and Affiliates
  • Help and how-to
  • The  Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation , which operates Project Gutenberg and accepts donations.

Free short stories pdf BEST Sites

  • fictionaut.com — Free short stories pdf

Fictionaut is a vibrant literary community designed specifically for short fiction and poetry. It is a friendly creative hub that enables users to discover new authors, publish their own works, get feedback and connect with others.

As a website still in development, Fictionaut is currently invite-only – meaning that only those who had received an invite can log in, comment, and publish.

Non-members can, however, read all short stories and poetry for free – and there are over 15,000 works to choose from already.

2. wattpad.com — Free short stories pdf

Wattpad is an online community for readers and writers alike. With over 70 million members (including Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, and R L Stine) and stories in 50 different languages, it is the most popular social storytelling platform on the Internet. Some of the most popular short story categories include fiction, poetry, fan-fiction, spiritual, humor, and teen fiction.

In order to browse on the website you have to create a free account. All of the services – such as publishing own works, reading and commenting other people’s work, the iOS app, and many others – are entirely free to use, since Wattpad earns money through advertising.

3. 3ammagazine.com — Free short stories pdf

3:AM Magazine is a literary webzine created by Sorbonne lecturer Andrew Gallix. It features literary criticism, nonfiction essays, original fiction, poetry, and interviews with leading writers and philosophers. Well-known for its “blunt, funny, and angrily academic” content, 3:AM focuses primarily on sharp and savvy avant-garde reads.

4. inkitt.com — Free short stories pdf

This beautifully designed website (and an equally sleek iOS app) was created for the users to upload excerpts of fictional works in progress or entire short stories to connect them with readers to provide feedback.

But most importantly, it is also a publishing house that selects authors to collaborate with through algorithms. “We analyze reader behavior, analyze their engagement,” Inkitt founder Ali Albazaz tells TechCrunch. “If they start reading and stay up all night to continue reading, if they use every break during the day to continue reading your story, we look at this reader behavior in order to see if a book is good or not good”.

And the algorithm seems to work. To date, the company has published 24 books, of which 22 have become Amazon best sellers.

As of today, the Inkitt community has 1.6 million readers, 110,000 writers, and some 350,000 stories.

Free short stories pdf — infobooks.org

Enjoying a book is something that many appreciate, there are really varied, some more extensive than others, but with excellent content, this time we have made a selection of  short books in PDF format.  You can share it, download it, use it for whatever you need!

These wonderful short books tell truly fascinating stories and valuable information. You can enjoy all their goodness by downloading them from our site and taking them anywhere.

Select what you like best, you can search in multiple options that although they are free, you will have variety to choose from and you will not have an excuse to get bored.

The short books are characterized by not having more than 200 pages, so you can read a book of these periodically and finish them in a short time. For lovers of varied reading, having these books is a real pleasure, since they have incredible stories, are quick to read and you can still enjoy all the benefits of reading.

The stories inside these books go in all directions, you can find short books of any genre, from bedtime stories for children, to more complete love stories. You won’t regret taking a look at the entire list of content we have to offer.

If you’re a beginner reader, or not much of a lover, you might start to get a taste for books with our selection of short books. No user is excluded, we have thought of everyone to make our free books a total success, with the advantage that they are short and interesting.

Here we present our collection of  more than 20 short books in PDF format , among which we assure you will find one for you. There is no excuse! If you are a book lover, you know that a short book can surprise you.

Free short stories pdf freeditorial.com

The first volumes of Grimm’s Tales were much criticized because, although they were called «Children’s Tales», they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter. Many changes through the editions were probably made with an eye to such suitability. But for almost two centuries, the stories of magic and myth gathered by the Brothers Grimm have been part of the way children — and adults — learn about the vagaries of the real world.

«The Black Cat» is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most memorable stories. The tale centers around a black cat and the subsequent deterioration of a man. The story is often linked with «The Tell-Tale Heart» because of the profound psychological elements these two works share.

The two main characters in «The Devoted Friend» are a poor man known as little Hans and a rich Miller. The Miller claims to be a devoted friend of little Hans. In truth, he selfishly takes advantage of little Hans at every opportunity. Little Hans’ desire to remain the Miller’s friend ultimately proves fatal for him.

Free short stories pdf free-ebooks.net

The Last Laugh — D. H. Lawrence — The Last Laugh is another of Lawrence’s supernatural stories, set in a dreamlike snowy London. The question left open is who the three people in the story saw on the snowy evening. Perhaps Pan, returned to destroy the Christian God, as the church is destroyed in…

Celebrate this festive season with heart-warming classic short stories. Unlike popular classics, you may well have not come across these hidden gems. Authors include famous names like Dickens, Andersen, and Potter. Each story has been hand-picked and perfect for reading on your own or with family…

Free short stories pdf — bookbub.com

36 short stories you can read for free right now.

By  Jennifer Martin and BookBub Editors •Updated: October 27, 2020•10 min read

Those of us who love short stories know the magic behind a well-told tale. There are times when you just need a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Well, we’ve got some great news: A lot of incredible short stories are actually available online, and you can read them for free right now! It’s the perfect way to spend a work break, the moments while dinner is in the oven, or your last few minutes before bedtime. Without further ado, here’s our list of great short stories you can read for free right now. The list features a blend of works from contemporary authors, as well as short stories from your favorite classic authors. Read on for our complete list of free short stories!

Contemporary Free Short Stories

These stories are by contemporary authors. If you’ve never read these authors before, their free short stories will give you a taste of their style before you commit to one of their longer works. There’s something for everyone, with genres ranging from science fiction to historical fiction to horror.

“ The Hunter’s Wife ” by Anthony Doerr

Gorgeous descriptions of nature fill this story of a hunter and his younger, psychic wife during a Montana winter. After reading it, you’ll be amazed by Doerr’s talent, which was also behind his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel  All the Light We Cannot See .

“ Premium Harmony ” by Stephen King

King fans won’t want to miss this 2009 short story which appeared in  The New Yorker . A bickering couple stop at a convenience store and find their lives taking an unexpected dark turn. If you read closely, you’ll also catch references to the horror writer’s other works here.

“ Broads ” by Roxane Gay

You’ll get a kick out of this saucy story by Roxane Gay, author of  Bad Feminist . Jimmy has a thing for loud, bold women. But it’s not until he meets a diner waitress that he finally seems to get what he wants.

“ And of Clay Are We Created ” by Isabel Allende

We’re transfixed by this story based on a real-life natural disaster. A volcano erupted in Colombia in 1985 and caused mudslides that tragically killed 23,000 people. Weaving culture with a gripping personal drama, Allende’s story centers on the rescue of Azucena, a girl trapped in the mud.

Free Online Short Story Book collections in all Fiction Genres in Pdf & ePub

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Online Story Books for When Time is ... Short!

Short stories are a fantastic way to get reading without investing huge amounts of time in a novel. We’ve all started a book, got busy and then picked it up only to have forgotten what we have read and have to go back a chapter just to get caught up. If you don’t have time to read every day this is a common problem.

With a short story you can usually get from start to finish in one sitting. In fact, that is basically the definition of a short story.

You can expect all kinds of stories, plots, relationships, and characters. The common theme with shorts is just that – short. It crosses every genre so whether you want action and adventure , science fiction , love stories , or something to make you think differently about the word, it will be available as short fiction.

Shorts have been mainstream popular from the late 18th century but picked up in the 19th century as distribution of the written word grew through newspapers, magazines and books. Many famous authors of well known novels have written short stories when starting out as a way to get published and get their name out there. Others write them for the enjoyment between their big novels. Charles Dickens even wrote shorts.

Fairy tales are also considered to be in this genre. The Brothers Grimm (early 19th century) are especially well known and their stories are read by children and teenagers  to this day.

As already mentioned, the rise of newspapers and magazines supported growth of the short story. In the late 19th century Arthur Conan Doyle wrote short fiction about his famous detective character, Sherlock Holmes. These were published in magazines of the day and brought notoriety to the author and, of course, the character. The success of the Sherlock Holmes is still obvious today in the form of film and television.

Around the same time that Sherlock Holmes was becoming famous, H. G. Wells was writing his short science fiction stories and building his own fan base. Wowing audiences with stories of space and the future.

Today, the internet allows anyone to publish free downloadable books : you'll be familiar with 'posts' on facebook and the like. And there is no shortage of short story anthologies ... but you need to know where to find them! Choosing from the collection here at obooko is one of the easier ways to get into the literary world. Even if you have never read a book before, make it a resolution this year to download a free short story and see how it goes. Then try a novelette before starting your first novel.

Another interesting area that has become popular with the Internet is fan fiction. This is where fans of more famous novels and characters write their own short fiction online using the characters and settings in new ways.

At obooko we have an abundance of free short story collections available to download. Get yourself a collection and sink your teeth into a new story every day. There are many genres to choose from and why not try something new – you don’t have to invest as much time as a full length novel.

All titles in this category are legally licensed for free download in PDF ePub, & Kindle Formats.

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Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read

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Blog – Posted on Sunday, Jun 17

Best short stories and collections everyone should read.

Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read

If you are on the lookout for great storytelling but don’t want to commit to a full-length novel, then short story collections are the answer. Whether it’s just before bed, during your commute, or waiting to see your doctor, small chunks of time are perfect for reading short stories.

Here we have gathered thirty-one of the best short stories and collections , from all sorts of backgrounds and sources, to help you grow your “To Be Read” pile.

For your convenience, we've divided this post into two parts: 1. the ten best free short stories to read right now , and 2. best short story collections. Feel free to jump to the section that you prefer!

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great short stories out there, you can also take our 30-second quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized short story recommendation 😉

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Free Short Stories to Read Right Now

These individual short stories are the best of the best — and the even better news is that they're available for free online for you to peruse. From classics published in the 1900s to a short story that exploded in late 2017, here are ten of the greatest free short stories for you to read.

1. “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

While not exactly a philosophical or political tale like our first two examples, this twisty short story from Dahl does delve into some shady moral territory. We are introduced to Mary Maloney: a loving wife and dedicated homemaker. In just a few short paragraphs describing how she welcomes her husband home, Dahl makes us sympathize with Mary — before a rash act turns her life upside down and takes the reader with her on a dark journey.

For those who haven’t read it, we won’t spoil the rest. However, it’s safe to say that Dahl serves up a fiendish twist on a platter.

2. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

A perennial feature in many a high school syllabus, Shirley Jackson’s best-known short story clinically details an unusual ritual that takes place in a small town. There’s not exactly a lot of plot to spoil in The Lottery — but within a few short pages, Jackson manages to represent the mob mentality that can drive reasonable people to commit heinous acts.

3. “How to Become a Writer” by Lorrie Moore

Told in the second person point of view , this story from Moore’s debut anthology Self-Help takes an honest look at the inner life of a struggling artist. Through the use of an unusual POV, the author manages to turn her reader into a confidante — making it abundantly clear that the ‘you’ the narrator is speaking about is actually herself.

This story is a standout, but the entire collection is well worth a read for its insight, humor, and disregard for literary norms.

4. “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian

In the Social Media Age, no short story has gone viral the way this New Yorker contribution from Roupenian has. Arriving at the height of #MeToo, it begins with 20-year-old Margot embarking on the early stages of flirtation with an older man, Robert. As she gets to know more about this man (as well as filling in the gaps with her imagination), the power dynamic in their relationship starts to fluctuate.

Lauded for its portrayal of Margot’s inner life and the fears many modern women face when it comes to dating, it also has its fair share of detractors — many are critical of the central character, some are downright outraged by the story’s success. Still, this story undeniably struck a chord with the reading public, and will likely remain relevant for some time.

5. “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

First published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1981, “Cathedral” is today known as one of Raymond Carver’s finest works. When it opens, we meet a narrator whose wife is expecting a visit from an old friend, a blind man. Dissatisfied and distrusting of people not like him, our narrator struggles to connect until the blind man asks him to describe a cathedral to him. 

 “Cathedral” is one of Carver’s own personal favorites, and deservedly so. His characteristic minimalist style is devastating as the story builds up to a shattering moment of emotional truth — an ultimate reminder that no-one else can capture the quiet sadness of working-class people like him. 

6. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Innocuously titled, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is nevertheless Flannery O’Connor’s bleakest — and most famous — work. It begins unassumingly with a Southern family who’s planning to go on a road trip. Yet the journey is rudely interrupted when their car overturns on an abandoned dirt road — and they are met by an enigmatic group of three men, coming up over the far hill. 

This short story inspired some strong reactions from the public upon publication — and the conversation continues today as to its frank depiction of the nature of good and evil. Again, we won’t spoil anything for you, except to say that “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is well worth your time. 

7. “Symbols and Signs” by Vladimir Nabokov

The famous author of Lolita wrote “Signs and Symbols” in 1948. Its premise is seemingly simple: an elderly couple visits their mentally ill son in the sanatorium in America. Yet their background and trials come into sharp focus as the story develops, until an explosive ending disrupts everyone’s peace of mind. 

As you might expect, the somber “Symbols and Signs” diverges sharply from Lolita in terms of both tone and subject — but its ending will keep you awake at night thinking about its implications.  

8. “Sticks” by George Saunders

Not so much a short story as it is flash fiction, “Sticks” is written from the perspective of a young man whose father has an unusual habit: dressing up a crucifix that’s built of out a metal pole in the yard. One of America’s greatest living short story writers, George Saunders explained: "For two years I'd been driving past a house like the one in the story, imagining the owner as a man more joyful and self-possessed and less self-conscious than myself. Then one day I got sick of him and invented his opposite, and there was the story." 

The result is a masterful piece of fiction that builds something out of seemingly nothing — all in the space of only two paragraphs. 

9. “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

If there’s anyone who you can trust to deliver thought-provoking, terrifying science fiction on the regular, it’s Ray Bradbury. In “The Veldt,” George and Lydia Hadley have bought an automated house that comes with a “nursey,” or a virtual reality room. Worried about the nursery’s effect on the kids, George and Lydia think about turning off the nursey — but the problem is that their children are obsessed with it. 

As an ominously prescient prediction of the downside of technology, “The Veldt” is a short and shining example of how Ray Bradbury was an author before his time. 

10. “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes

In this classic short story, we are privy to the journals of Charlie Gordon, a cleaner with an IQ of 68. ("I reely wantd to lern I wantid it more even then pepul who are smarter even then me. All my life I wantid to be smart and not dumb.”) Charlie’s luck changes when he is selected for an experiment that purports to turn him into a genius — but everything that goes up must come down in the end. 

“Flowers for Algernon” won the Hugo Award in 1960 for its groundbreaking presentation. Heartbreaking and rich with subtle poignance, it is likely to remain a staple for centuries to come.  

Best Short Story Collections to Devour

If you'd like many short stories at your fingertips all at once, short story collections are where you should look. Here, we've collected 21 of the best short story collections — along with the standout story in each volume.

11. A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “A Manual for Cleaning Women”

12. Blow-up and Other Stories by Julio Cortázar

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “House Taken Over”

13. Drifting House by Krys Lee

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Drifting House”

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14. Dubliners by James Joyce

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Dead”

15. Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Riding the Bullet”

16. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Garden of Forking Paths”

17. Florida by Lauren Groff

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Above and Below”

18. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Flints of Memory Lane”

19. Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Pig”

20. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Samsa in Love”

21. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “For Esme - With Love and Squalor”

22. Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “In a Bamboo Grove”

23. Runaway by Alice Munro

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Runaway”

24. Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel García Márquez

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow”

25. The Collected Stories by Grace Paley

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “A Man Told Me the Story of His Life”

26. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “Hills Like White Elephants”

27. The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

28. The Essential Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Lady with the Dog”

29. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “I’d Love You to Want Me”

30. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “The Thing Around Your Neck”

31. The Youngest Doll by Rosario Ferré

a short story pdf

Standout Story: “When Women Love Men”

Ready to write your own short story? Check out these short story ideas for all your inspiration needs.

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A2–B1 stories

A2–B1 stories

Do you enjoy reading stories?

In this section, read our entertaining short stories specially written for pre-intermediate (CEFR level A2) or intermediate (CEFR level B1) learners.

You will improve your reading fluency and comprehension and develop your vocabulary. Each story has interactive exercises to help you understand and use the language.

Choose a story

Bad blood – A2/B1

Bad blood – A2/B1

When a vampire visits a happy young couple, will true love save their lives?

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First star I see tonight – A2/B1

First star I see tonight – A2/B1

When his physics experiment goes wrong and all the stars disappear, the whole world blames Dr Tomas Streyer. Are the stars gone forever?

  • Read more about First star I see tonight – A2/B1

Frank's last case – A2/B1

Frank's last case – A2/B1

Sergeant Frank Spike is not a successful police officer. But he has 'a nose for crime'. Will his last case be a success?

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Love me, love me not – A2/B1

Love me, love me not – A2/B1

Two people fall in love. But is their experience real? Or is it just an effect of the medicine they're taking?

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Man at door

The devil's in the details – A2/B1

A strange salesman knocks on Victoria's door and offers the end to all her problems. Will she say yes or is the price too high?

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The green wars – A2/B1

The green wars – A2/B1

Two friends take action to create a beautiful green town. But what's the best way to help the environment, and is it worth going to prison for?

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The hole in the wall – A2/B1

The hole in the wall – A2/B1

Joanna is the last fruit seller in her family. When she goes to the capital city to sell her fruits, she discovers something worth more than money.

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The time travel plumber – A2/B1

The time travel plumber – A2/B1

Priya's son is ill, she has no money and now her kitchen is flooded. Can time travel make everything better?

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Women posing for a selfie

True Beauty – A2/B1

With a new app, a photo can show your true beauty. Read what happens when people see how beautiful they are on the inside.

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50+ Very Short English Stories (PDF)

Reading very short stories in English is an important and effective way for ESL students to improve their language skills. Short stories offer a variety of benefits for language learners, such as improving reading comprehension , vocabulary and grammar usage.

These short stories are written in a simple way, making them easy to understand for ESL students. The stories are simple, easy to understand, and teach important English grammar lessons. You can also download English Grammar with Simple Stories and Short English Stories for ESL students PDF files down below.

a short story pdf

Very Short Stories

Story 1: introducing my family.

Hello, let me tell you about myself. My name is John, and my last name is Anderson. I’m from Canada, so I’m Canadian. I live not too far from Toronto. I can speak both English and French. I’m a student, and I go to the College. I have many friends, but my best friend is Tom. On the weekends, which are Saturdays and Sundays, Tom and I like to play soccer together. We are good at playing soccer, and I really enjoy sports, but I don’t have a lot of free time.

My family isn’t very big. There are four people in my family: my father, my mother, my brother, and me. My brother is named Mark, and he’s not married; he’s single. We also have a pet cat named Whiskers. We live in an apartment in the middle of the city, but we also have a big house in the countryside. We usually go to the countryside on weekends.

My father is an engineer, and he works at the local firm. My mother is a nurse. My dad enjoys playing basketball, and my mom loves gardening. We often have dinner together. We have a large table for dinners in our apartment. My mom always makes delicious meals for us. My dad and I often watch movies together. We usually sit on our big couch and watch comedies. My brother, Mark, likes to read books and listen to music.

Check Also: Short English Moral Stories & Free PDF Free English Story Books (Level 1) PDF English Story Books for Beginners (Level 2-3-4)

Story 2: Weekend Plans

Tom and Emma are eagerly preparing for a fun-filled weekend activity. They’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. Currently, they are in the kitchen, making delicious sandwiches and packing a picnic basket with their favorite treats. You can feel their excitement as they fill a cool box with refreshing drinks and a variety of snacks.

The plan is to spend the entire day at a nearby park. They have also invited some close friends to join them and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors. Tom and Emma have even brought along a frisbee and a soccer ball for some friendly games. As they load their car with all the picnic essentials, they can’t help but smile, looking forward to a day of laughter, good food, and memorable moments.

Story 3: A Birthday Party

A few months ago, Emily celebrated her birthday with a grand party. She had been planning this special day for a while. She invited all her friends to her house, which was adorned with colorful balloons and streamers. The festivities began with games and dancing to lively music.

The highlight of the party was the chocolate cake, which was decorated with her favorite characters. As Emily blew out the candles, her friends cheered and clapped. They shared the cake, enjoyed ice cream, and exchanged thoughtful gifts. It was a day filled with laughter and joyful memories, and Emily felt truly loved and celebrated.

Story 4: A Rainy Day

Last week, a heavy rainstorm swept through the town, causing everyone to stay indoors. With the rain beating against the windows and thunder rumbling in the background, Mary made the most of her day. She made herself comfortable on the sofa. She had a good novel and a warm cup of tea.

Throughout the day, she read her book, losing herself in the exciting world of the characters. Her cat, Whiskers, nestled on her lap, purring contentedly. Mary felt cozy and relaxed, embracing the opportunity to enjoy some downtime. The rain on the windows created a soothing ambiance that made her enjoy the rainy day.

Story 5: Life Achievements

David has recently achieved a significant milestone in his life. He proudly graduated from college after dedicating four years to his studies. His hard work and determination paid off as he received his degree in engineering.

With his degree in hand, David is now on the lookout for a job in his field. He’s excited to apply what he’s learned in the real world and embark on the next chapter of his journey.

Story 6: Weekend Plans

Amina has an exciting plan for the upcoming weekend. Next Saturday, she will be taking the train to visit her grandparents in a charming little town. The agenda for the visit includes a trip to the local market to select fresh vegetables. Afterward, Amina and her grandparents will head back to their kitchen to cook a special family recipe that’s been passed down for generations.

Amina eagerly awaits the journey, and the thought of quality time with her grandparents warms her heart. The weekend ahead promises to be filled with cherished moments and delicious homemade food.

Very Short English Stories PDF

  50+ Very Short English Stories PDF – download

English Grammar with Short Stories

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Free Stories for Kids

Children's Book Self Publishing

Showing 21 - 30 of 50 Free Children's Books

a short story pdf


Categories:  Age 4-7  /  Age 8-12

“What’s to wonder about water?”, you might ask. Professor Ture will tell you why.  Filled with compelling illustrations, this free children’s book takes a dive  into a whirlpool of knowledge about the ubiquitous water that we often take for granted.

a short story pdf


Something magical was happening in the fish bowl  and he wasn’t  quite ready for what lay in store.  Read this captivating free illustrated book for kids that encourages them to explore and be awed by the many wonders of nature. 

a short story pdf


Categories:  Age 0-3  /  Age 4-7

Is there ever an ordinary day at the beach? Read what happens when a flea, a dog and a hog meet on a warm sunny day by the sea.  This Free Children’s Book is great read for children aged 3 to 8. 

a short story pdf


Looking for a Free Bedtime story books? Jim and Jen are going to the zoo and the drive never seems to end. EVER! They just made a song for the road and the tune is growing on mom and dad.Let’s tap our feet and sing along..

a short story pdf


Dragons come in many shapes and sizes and speak different tongues. Some are mean, some are kind, some have legs while some don’t. No matter what they all have one thing in common..they grab eyes wherever they go.  Join our free children’s book giveaway to read more about these wonderful creatures.

a short story pdf


Mandy and grandpa went on a hike . But it was more than that. Together they explored the woods, learnt to be at peace with nature and talked their hearts out about things that mattered. It was a special bond between them and you’ve got to read this great free illustrated children’s book to experience it. Happy Exploring!!

a short story pdf


Sandy chances upon an old treasure map and as the events roll out one after another, he becomes richer both by pennies and by thoughts. Here’s a treasure hunt to embark upon  in this free children’s storybook. Sail Away Captain! The seven seas are yours.

a short story pdf


Shh!  Did you hear that? The jungle’s saying a story and you cannot afford to miss it. A colorful narrative set in the woods..camouflaged as a free children’s dog story. Happy Reading!

a short story pdf


Jimmy’s starting school and he doesn’t know what’s in store. One step at a time, slowly but surely, he made it to the school bus. And off he went! Just like that. The illustrations in the free bed time book for children evoke sweet memories of that very special first day at school.

a short story pdf


He thought he was the Lord of the Farm. He thought he was Boss. But his vanity was short lived and soon he learnt a lesson he’ll never forget. Follow this funny and thoughtful story of a certain farm we chanced upon in this free bedtime storybook.

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15+ Short Stories for Children for Free! [PDF]

* If you have doubts about how to download free books from InfoBooks, visit our guide to downloading books .

Short Stories for Children in PDF

In the hectic world in which we live, many do not stop to maintain traditions such as reading stories to the little ones of the house.

Therefore, we bring you the best option if you have little time, our selection of short stories for children in PDF format , which you can read to them at any time from one of your electronic devices.

In other opportunities, we have talked about the benefits of reading stories to children, since they create emotional bonds, enrich their vocabulary, expand their imagination and a lot of other wonders. None of that is lost in this collection of short stories for children we have made with childhood in mind.

Reading stories to children also has great advantages. As you may already know, children have a much shorter attention span than adults. The younger they are, the less they can keep their attention in front of what they are told. Therefore, this is a great alternative for them, as you can make sure they hear the whole story and get the rest of the benefits.

Also, short stories usually have a condensed emotion, as in a few words you have to create the atmosphere and leave a complete sense of the story. Therefore, everything happens fast, and writers usually pour all their ingenuity into coming up with engaging mini-stories that grab the reader and leave them with a peculiar feeling at the end.

Children will want to try more of these short stories. It’s like tasting a small bite of a delicious candy, the feeling at the end is of wanting much more, so it will be easier for you to install in them the habit of reading that will do them so much good in the future.

Take a look right now at the more than 15 short stories for children in PDF format that we have gathered so that you don’t lose this fascinating tradition.

Here we present our complete selection of Short Stories for Children:

The Velveteen Rabbit

Margery Williams Bianco

Jack and the Beanstalk

Joseph Jacobs

St. George and the Dragon

Happy St. George's Day

Charles Perrault

Snow white and the seven dwarfs

Eindhoven University of Technology

The Gingerbread Boy

Paul Galdone

Little Red Riding Hood

British Council

The Bremen Town Musicians

Brothers Grimm

The magic tree

Pedro Pablo Sacristán

Ali and the magic carpet

The Shoemaker and the Elves - Short Stories for Kids

Samantha Language School

Princess of Fire

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Primary Resources

Dick Whittington

The Ugly Duckling

Hans Christian Anderson

An octupus in trouble

The haunted house

Monster shopping trip

Here ends our selection of free Short Stories for Children books in PDF format. We hope you liked it and already have your next book!

If you found this list useful, do not forget to share it on your social networks. Remember that “Sharing is Caring” .

Children's Books

| Animal Coloring Books

| Bedtime Stories for Children

| Books for Babies

| Books on Reading and Writing

| Books to Learn to Read

| Books with Pictograms

| Children's Books

| Children's Story Books

| Christmas Stories

| Craft Books

| Dinosaurs Books

| Dragon Books

| Fairies Books

| Ghost Books

| Mermaid Books

| Nursery Rhymes and Songs Books

| Pirate Books

| Riddle Books

| Unicorn Books

| Uppercase Books

| Workbooks to Learn to Read

Alternative Therapy Books

Alternative Therapy

Animal Books

Art & Photography

Biology Books


Computer Science Books

Computer Science

Engineering Books


Esoteric Books


Food & Drinks Books

Food & Drinks

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Google’s Gemini is now in everything. Here’s how you can try it out.

Gmail, Docs, and more will now come with Gemini baked in. But Europeans will have to wait before they can download the app.

  • Will Douglas Heaven archive page

In the biggest mass-market AI launch yet, Google is rolling out Gemini , its family of large language models, across almost all its products, from Android to the iOS Google app to Gmail to Docs and more. You can also now get your hands on Gemini Ultra, the most powerful version of the model, for the first time.  

With this launch, Google is sunsetting Bard , the company's answer to ChatGPT. Bard, which has been powered by a version of Gemini since December, will now be known as Gemini too.  

ChatGPT , released by Microsoft-backed OpenAI just 14 months ago, changed people’s expectations of what computers could do. Google, which has been racing to catch up ever since, unveiled its Gemini family of models in December. They are multimodal large language models that can interact with you via voice, image, and text. Google claimed that its own benchmarking showed that Gemini could outperform OpenAI's multimodal model, GPT-4, on a range of standard tests. But the margins were slim. 

By baking Gemini into its ubiquitous products, Google is hoping to make up lost ground. “Every launch is big, but this one is the biggest yet,” Sissie Hsiao, Google vice president and general manager of Google Assistant and Bard (now Gemini), said in a press conference yesterday. “We think this is one of the most profound ways that we’re going to advance our company’s mission.”

But some will have to wait longer than others to play with Google’s new toys. The company has announced rollouts in the US and East Asia but said nothing about when the Android and iOS apps will come to the UK or the rest of Europe. This may be because the company is waiting for the EU’s new AI Act to be set in stone, says Dragoș Tudorache, a Romanian politician and member of the European Parliament, who was a key negotiator on the law.

“We’re working with local regulators to make sure that we’re abiding by local regime requirements before we can expand,” Hsiao said. “Rest assured, we are absolutely working on it and I hope we’ll be able to announce expansion very, very soon.”

How can you get it? Gemini Pro, Google’s middle-tier model that has been available via Bard since December, will continue to be available for free on the web at gemini.google.com (rather than bard.google.com). But now there is a mobile app as well.

If you have an Android device, you can either download the Gemini app or opt in to an upgrade in Google Assistant. This will let you call up Gemini in the same way that you use Google Assistant: by pressing the power button, swiping from the corner of the screen, or saying “Hey, Google!” iOS users can download the Google app, which will now include Gemini.

Gemini will pop up as an overlay on your screen, where you can ask it questions or give it instructions about whatever’s on your phone at the time, such as summarizing an article or generating a caption for a photo.  

Finally, Google is launching a paid-for service called Gemini Advanced. This comes bundled in a subscription costing $19.99 a month that the company is calling the Google One Premium AI Plan. It combines the perks of the existing Google One Premium Plan, such as 2TB of extra storage, with access to Google's most powerful model, Gemini Ultra, for the first time. This will compete with OpenAI’s paid-for service, ChatGPT Plus, which buys you access to the more powerful GPT-4 (rather than the default GPT-3.5) for $20 a month.

At some point soon (Google didn't say exactly when) this subscription will also unlock Gemini across Google’s Workspace apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, where it works as a smart assistant similar to the GPT-4-powered Copilot that Microsoft is trialing in Office 365.

When can you get it? The free Gemini app (powered by Gemini Pro) is available from today in English in the US. Starting next week, you’ll be able to access it across the Asia Pacific region in English and in Japanese and Korean. But there is no word on when the app will come to the UK, countries in the EU, or Switzerland.

Gemini Advanced (the paid-for service that gives access to Gemini Ultra) is available in English in more than 150 countries, including the UK and EU (but not France). Google says it is analyzing local requirements and fine-tuning Gemini for cultural nuance in different countries. But the company promises that more languages and regions are coming.

What can you do with it? Google says it has developed its Gemini products with the help of more than 100 testers and power users. At the press conference yesterday, Google execs outlined a handful of use cases, such as getting Gemini to help write a cover letter for a job application. “This can help you come across as more professional and increase your relevance to recruiters,” said Google’s vice president for product management, Kristina Behr.

Or you could take a picture of your flat tire and ask Gemini how to fix it. A more elaborate example involved Gemini managing a snack rota for the parents of kids on a soccer team. Gemini would come up with a schedule for who should bring snacks and when, help you email other parents, and then field their replies. In future versions, Gemini will be able to draw on data in your Google Drive that could help manage carpooling around game schedules, Behr said.   

But we should expect people to come up with a lot more uses themselves. “I’m really excited to see how people around the world are going to push the envelope on this AI,” Hsaio said.

Is it safe? Google has been working hard to make sure its products are safe to use. But no amount of testing can anticipate all the ways that tech will get used and misused once it is released. In the last few months, Meta saw people use its image-making app to produce pictures of Mickey Mouse with guns and SpongeBob SquarePants flying a jet into two towers. Others used Microsoft’s image-making software to create fake pornographic images of Taylor Swift .

The AI Act aims to mitigate some—but not all—of these problems. For example, it requires the makers of powerful AI like Gemini to build in safeguards, such as watermarking for generated images and steps to avoid reproducing copyrighted material. Google says that all images generated by its products will include its SynthID watermarks. 

Like most companies, Google was knocked onto the back foot when ChatGPT arrived. Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI has given it a boost over its old rival. But with Gemini, Google has come back strong: this is the slickest packaging of this generation’s tech yet. 

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What is Ash Wednesday? Here’s what to know about the holy day marking the beginning of Lent

a short story pdf

Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and giving that Catholics and some other Christian denominations observe as a time of repentance and closeness to God in preparation for the day of Christ's resurrection, celebrated on Easter .

Ash Wednesday is the kickoff of that season that is one of five on the Catholic liturgical calendar, along with Advent, Christmas, Easter, and Ordinary Time .

That means you may see someone walking around with an ash cross on their forehead this Wednesday. Don't try to clean their forehead: Here's what it means and why the day figures so prominently in the Lenten season.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the liturgical season of Lent that falls six and half weeks before Easter each year.

Members of the Catholic Church ages 18 to 59 are required to observe Lent and fast on Ash Wednesday, starting at 14-years-old.

Ash Wednesday dates back to the 11th century, according to the Vatican , but the tradition of marking one's forward with ashes is rooted in the ancient Hebrew custom of "clothing oneself in sackcloth and dusting oneself with ashes as a sign of penance," according to Hallow , an app for Catholic prayer and meditation.

When is Ash Wednesday 2024?

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14.

Why is Ash Wednesday important?

Ash Wednesday places Catholics and other denominations of faith in the place of Jesus’ entry into the desert before His death. It is a symbolic turning of one's heart towards God, recognizing the brokenness that exists and the need for salvation.

"Ash Wednesday is the perfect opportunity for us all to recommit to many of the things we know we need to do," Hallow CEO Alex Jones said.

For some, it could mean prayer and meditation, Jones added. For others, it could look like fasting food or social media.

"It might be serving at a local shelter or being more generous in our giving. Whatever it is, Lent is the perfect time to take just 40 days and commit to it," Jones said.

What do the ashes symbolize?

The ashes symbolize our mortality.

On Ash Wednesday, you may see neighbors walking around with ash crosses on their foreheads.

During mass on this day, priests will add crosses made of ashes to foreheads reminding Catholics, but you do not need to be Catholic to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Other Christian denominations and even those disconnected from traditions of faith, sometimes observe.

When is Easter 2024? How its date is determined each year and why some celebrate.

Can you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only two days of fasting and abstinence required by the Catholic Church, though Catholics are encouraged to abstain from meat on Fridays during the 40-day season of Lent.

Christ fasted in the desert for 40 days leading up to His death and resurrection, so believers choose to fast as well according to their own conviction in the days leading up to Easter. Fasting, just like ashes, is a sign of repentance and aims to stir up a spiritual hunger.

What is Lent?

Just as the four-week season of Advent prepares believers for Jesus’s birth at Christmas, the 40-day season of Lent prepares believers for Jesus' death and resurrection at Easter.

This time of sacrifice and repentance prepares the heart to receive the reconciliation that Christ offers. An individual gets to choose what they'd like to give up during the time of Lent, as Jones shared.

When does Lent start and end?

This year, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14) and ends on either March 29, Good Friday, or on March 30, " Holy Saturday ," the day before Easter, depending on the denomination.

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My friend Dorothy (a pseudonym) is in her mid-40s. She loves parties and sharing good food with family and friends. She likes watching musicals and films, going to the ballet and the pantomime, to the pub and to church as well as expressing herself creatively. Whatever she is doing, she enjoys looking stylish and receiving compliments about her appearance.

It has not been possible for Dorothy to have a thorough dental examination in her adult life, nor blood pressure checks, women’s health checks or any other preventative health checks. Why? Because she has a severe intellectual disability, and there are few services that provide the adjustments she would need to access preventative healthcare. It is also not possible for her to share her story because she has few clear words, and so I, a friend and former member of her care team, have worked with members of her family to write on her behalf.

Dorothy is very wary of unfamiliar situations and people and often finds transitions hard. She finds physical proximity and touch difficult. She is particularly nervous of medical professionals and environments and will strenuously resist any physical interventions or investigations. Because she has very little speech, it is difficult for her to express her needs and concerns. In her care home, where she lives with other adults with intellectual disabilities, she is supported day-to-day by assistants. In addition, she has a circle of support which meets quarterly, helping to ensure that decisions about her care and support are in her best interest, in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act.

The National Health Service functions for patients in many ways. It provides help when a patient seeks support for a specific health problem and screening to identify health conditions. It also provides health checks such as dental check-ups, and preventative health programmes, such as vaccinations. But what happens for someone like Dorothy, who faces barriers to accessing all of these services due to her disability?

It is very likely that if Dorothy develops a health problem, it will take a while for her care team to recognise it. Probably her behaviour will change, but these changes may be subtle or develop, so slowly that they go unnoticed for a long time, or are attributed to events in her daily life. Once the behaviour change has been observed, identifying that there is an underlying medical need will also probably take a while. At the same time, symptoms could be misinterpreted as behavioural challenges; this is of particular concern at the moment as we are aware she may soon develop symptoms of peri-menopause. These things make disease prevention, health screening and health check-ups even more important for Dorothy than for the general public, yet it is rare to find any service that she can easily access. And so: delay, delay, delay.

It is difficult to support Dorothy to brush her teeth and it is quite likely that her teeth have never been brushed to the same daily standard as most people do for themselves, so dental checks are really important. Even for a routine dental check-up, Dorothy needs specialist dentistry and requires sedation. We face similar challenges for all of Dorothy’s health issues. For example, even though she is in the clinically vulnerable category for COVID-19, when she was due to receive her first vaccine in early 2021, it was not possible for her to give informed consent, nor to attend a normal vaccination clinic. After many months of negotiations, Dorothy was given a sedative medication to take at home, so that on arrival at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic, she was already relaxed and able to cope with the process. A private room, the company of an assistant, old friend and her sister, plus further sedation on arrival, enabled her to sleep through the vaccination and helped keep her calm and comfortable.

The barriers I have mentioned can seem insurmountable, and people die prematurely every year because of them. As a society, how can we provide people with intellectual disabilities with equitable care? Her family and I think there are three key issues. First, prioritising access to preventative care to reduce the risk of needing urgent surgery (eg, after developing tooth decay) or hospital intervention (eg, due to COVID-19 complications). Second, dealing with the issue of consent (eg, through a ‘best interests’ meeting) and third, by adapting services around an individual’s needs. For preventive care, working towards obtaining consent tends to be a low priority—it requires time-consuming coordination between all parties involved—and adapting services requires extra funding and bold thinking. Healthcare providers may be cautious, for example, with using sedation for non-urgent procedures or checks.

Now that we know that solutions such as short-acting sedation are so straightforward and effective, what Dorothy really needs is for such opportunities to be utilised to the maximum. What else can be done while she is sedated? Blood tests for hormonal changes? Blood pressure checks? Optometry? Audiology? How can we coordinate and co-design care for her that support her health and well-being while minimising the impact on her life and comfort? Would it be possible to set up a regular multidisciplinary one-stop-shop?

You might be thinking that such a multidisciplinary clinic would be expensive and unnecessary because not many people need sedation for routine procedures. We believe there may be a large unmet need throughout our country and many others. Dorothy and others like her cannot advocate for themselves, and the barriers they face are more complex than for many people with disabilities. Consider for yourself, if there are only a few people with intellectual disabilities using your services, maybe this is because the barriers to access the care you offer are too great. We need creative thinking to provide alternative routes to access care.

Ethics statements

Patient consent for publication.

Not applicable.

Ethics approval

Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Competing interests The author of this piece is known to the Editors of the journal.

Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer-reviewed.

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