I got a little backed up on mentioning short stories for Short Story Month, so let me dump three on you:
(1) I just reread Stephen King's "The Woman in the Room" from his first
collection Night Shift. It's a heartbreaking story, only scary in the
sense of the reality of decisions we have to make with family sometimes.
Nothing supernatural, yet terrifying.
(2) "The Smile on Happy Chang's Face" by
Tom Perotta is probably the BEST OVERALL story I've ever read--I
finished it for maybe the dozenth time. I does it all and flawlessly:
dynamic plot, strong characterization, gut-wrenching theme, atmosphere
that sets the tone . . . Centered around parents and kids at Little
League baseball, you need know nothing about baseball--you just have to
have been a child and/or a parent trying to find your way to appreciate
(3) "Pin" by Robert McCammon, from Blue World. Read
it and be ready to be on edge. This is a defining story about insanity,
like "The Yellow Wallpaper," or maybe it's just a story about a man
trying to push a pin into his eyeball, hahaha. Either way, it's