Thought I would end things with the masters:
U – The Unrest Cure ~ H.H. Munro (SAKI)
When J.P. Huddle complains to a fellow passenger that he and his sister have a much too mundane life, when even a new bird in the yard disrupts their day, the Unrest Cure is suggested. The cure, which is definitely worse than the disease, is civil unrest and a massacre planned from their home. Munro deftly portrays the growing mood of Huddle and his sister, from mere inconvenience to sheer terror.
V – A Vine on a House ~ Ambrose Pierce
Another one of the old stories, this one I just about surely read in high school. This story is worth reading if only to get to the last line: “Of Robert Harding and the rest of his family nothing is known. The house retains its evil reputation, but the replanted vine is as orderly and well-behaved a vegetable as a nervous person could wish to sit under of a pleasant night when the katydids grate out their immemorial revelation and the distant whippoorwill signifies his notion of what ought to be done about it.”
I love the idea of a well-behaved vegetable and how a nervous person could sit there under it.
W – Witches’ Loaves ~ O. Henry
How many others would think of describing a character as possessing two false teeth and a sympathetic heart? Henry is the master. A baker wants to befriend someone who she believes to be an artist. The man comes in every day to buy two stale loaves. When the baker sees the man growing thinner, she decides to sneak butter into his stale loaves. Little does she know that she has just destroyed his career.
X – (okay, fudging it a bit) Extracts from Adam’s Diary ~ Mark Twain
There is a new creature in Adam’s garden, one with long hair who keeps using the word “we.” Adam is not happy about it.
Y – The Yarkand Manner ~ H.H. Munro (SAKI)
This story compares the migration of “previously stay-at-home animals” to the migration of the press as weeklies and small papers moved from the big hubs to smaller areas. The Yarkand Manner was the name of observations made from a rooftop in Yarkand, which were just as good as those made a few blocks from Number 10 Dowling Street.
Z – The Prisoner of Zembla ~ O. Henry
“It seems very hard,” said the princess, “that I cannot marry when I chews,” says the princess, putting a stick of gum in her mouth.
This is a funny fairy tale of puns and monkey wrenches, but alas, not a monkey in the kingdom.
And although ending in a rush, I did do it. A short story for every letter, even if five days late. This has been fun, but I am ready to get back to my normal blog topics. I also am looking forward to having time to visit other blogs on the challenge, as my day job got in the way of that too the past few weeks.
This month I am participating in the A to Z blog challenge. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
The challenge involves 26 posts in April, all somehow connected to the alphabet. My theme for the month is short stories. The Story Factory needs market research, of course, so I will be reading a short story for each letter of the alphabet and trying to learn some new techniques for my story writing. My lacks seem to be characterization and emotional experience, so I am mainly looking for stories to teach me those things. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments if you know of an amazing story. Another component of the challenge is the blog road trip, where we visit each other’s blogs, leave comments, etc. While I would like to visit a couple of blogs every day, it is more realistic to do Road Trips on Sundays. (Of course, my ongoing, 52 bad story challenge is still on, as well as the 2021 creative hours in 2021.