A fallen tree sparks a poisonous feud between neighbors. A child searches the darkness for the gleam of a tiger’s teeth. A woman holds off a colony of oddly relentless prairie dogs. This is just a taste of the Trespass collection, unsettling stories ranging from horror to magical realism, imagined by the incredible talents of award-winning, best-selling authors Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Stephen Graham Jones, Carmen Maria Machado, Tochi Onyebuchi, Karen Russell, and collection curator Jeff VanderMeer.
Published by Amazon Original Stories, the collection of wild stories about animal instincts, human folly, and survival—is available to read or listen to in a single sitting.
"We’re still, oddly, in the early days of untangling our relationship to nature, to wilderness, to animals—and we have a long way to go," said Jeff VanderMeer. "I wanted to explore what happens when the environment is impinging on you in ways you may not even realize, while also dealing with the complications of territory, how we seem programmed to see our yard, for example, as these separate fiefdoms, even though everything is connected.”
“I loved Jeff's description of Trespass, with its focus on animal-human interactions and its important question, ‘How can we live with each other?'” shared author Karen Russell. “Years ago, I'd gotten the idea for a story about a tortoise who was trained to be a ring bearer at desert weddings. I'd tried to write it from the flower girl's perspective, and it never worked. For Trespass, I returned to that weird party, and a very different voice came into range: A divorced man, a blotto lost soul, who has come to feel like a trespasser wherever he goes. I've been a plus-one many times, and it's always struck me as a hilariously tenuous status—you're a trespasser on someone else's big day. Stag started out as a dark comedy, and I'm glad the tortoise led me deeper into the desert than I'd intended to go. We are all aware that we are trashing our planet, and I think animals can help reawaken the better parts of our nature, the caring that feels essential. Our belonging to a vaster reality than the party tent, or the hard shells of our skulls.”
To hear more on what happens when humans and Mother Nature collide, scroll down for an audio sampling and overview of each story available in the Trespass collection. Available for free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited subscribers, or for a small cost for non-members, the short stories can be downloaded by readers as a Kindle eBook or Audible audiobook.

Page overview

The Tiger Came to the Mountains

The Tiger Came to the Mountains
The Backbone of the World
A Righteous Man
Bloody Summer
The Tiger Came to the Mountains
A graphic that reads, "The Tiger Came to the Mountains by Silvia Moreno-Garcia."

“The night of the tiger, our neighbors came late, warning of trouble.”

Mexico, 1917. On a farm during the violent tumult of revolution, a more immediate threat prowls in a short, emotional story about survival by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the New York Times best-selling author of Mexican Gothic.

She is the adventurer of the family. Her brother, the gentle dreamer. Even as they bond over folktales and hold each other close, their world has never felt so dangerous. Revolutionaries and pelones are in conflict, soldiers have turned into scavengers, and an escaped tiger has slipped up the mountain, looking for easy prey. As the darkest of legends becomes real, a young girl will do anything to save her brother’s life.

An image that reads, "Wildlife by Jeff VanderMeer" with a graphic a wolf.

“Some other, new thing, rising to the surface, out of the ravine.”

Nature offers sanctuary for a woman with a violent past. But anything can happen when borderlands are crossed in a short story about the menace next door by Jeff VanderMeer, the New York Times best-selling author. Sam has retreated to her late father’s rental house, a safe place to commune with the animals in the greenbelt out back, tend to her garden, and keep her secrets. Her sense of security slowly returns—until an aggressive neighbor from the other side of the ravine fells a tree on her property. How little he regards nature. Or understands its darkness. How little he knows Sam.

The Backbone of the World
An image that read, "The Backbone of the World by Stephen Graham Jones" alongside a graphic of a prairie dog.

    “As one, every prairie dog turned to her, fixed her in a sea of unblinking black eyes, not a whisker twitching.”

    An American Indian woman’s past and future collide in unthinkable ways in this richly imagined short story of deep secrets and Lovecraftian horrors by New York Times best-selling author Stephen Graham Jones.

    Millie Two Bears lives alone in a trailer in the heart of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. Since her husband went to jail, she’s been on the outs with the reservation. And it’s not just people she has to contend with. Now the prairie dogs are moving in on her patch of land. When a strange woman comes into Millie’s life, and Millie’s rodent war escalates, a fateful confrontation with vengeance, secrets, and survival is just underfoot.

    Text that reads, "Stag by Karen Russell" alongside a graphic of a turtle.

    “Please let there be a world outside the world, life beyond life. Be led.”

    Feeling alone? Join the party in a darkly comedic and deeply felt short story about fragility and resilience in the Mojave Desert by the New York Times best-selling author of Swamplandia!, Karen Russell.

    Still recovering from a brutal breakup, Stan Dobrev crashes a “divorce party” in the Southern California desert. An unknown extra in a stranger’s drama, he’s on his way back to the bar when a fellow interloper catches his wandering eye. She’s a formidable tortoise named Greeley, trudging through the drunken revelry and chaos like a true survivor. Before the night is over, she’ll lead Stan on a strange journey beyond oblivion.

    A Righteous Man
    Text that reads, "A Righteous Man by Tochi Onyebuchi" alongside a graphic of a cheetah.

    “At night, when the winds howl and the heat is but a mite below unbearable, I close my eyes and pray.”

    A missionary in 19th-century Africa suffers a chilling crisis of faith in a short story about deliverance, friendship, and metamorphosis by the award-winning author of Riot Baby Tochi Onyebuchi.

    Nathaniel is a well-intentioned, if naive, British cleric feeling blessed to educate a West African village about the benevolent power of God. But as slavers encroach, Nathaniel’s endeavor is daunted by the realities unfolding on the beautiful homeland of his congregation. It seems the devil has power, too. What follows for Nathaniel is a profound spiritual upheaval, as he questions his purpose and even his humanity.

    Bloody Summer
    An image that reads, "Bloody Summer by Carmen Maria Machado" alongside a graphic of tiger claws.

      “For what is a child but a caged tiger, something that should have never been trapped in the first place?”

      What do children know that adults can’t begin to believe? The answer is hidden in plain sight in this haunting short story by Carmen Maria Machado, the best-selling author of Her Body and Other Parties.

      “Tiger, tiger, burning bright, in the forests of the night.”

      In the town of Never-Again, Pennsylvania, this hand-game song contains a history—centuries of inexplicable tiger sightings. It also reveals a frightening prophecy, one that only a small circle of players envisions. After Never-Again becomes the scene of unimaginable violence, a researcher uncovers the truth about the game, right down to its final chilling verse.

      Amazon Original Stories, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, is known for its single-sitting reads from bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and new voices. Launched in 2017, Amazon Original Stories brings unforgettable short fiction and nonfiction to Kindle—including stories and essays from Mindy Kaling, Dean Koontz, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andy Weir, Kiley Reid, David Sedaris, N.K. Jemisin, Ruth Ware, Jess Walter, Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Rainbow Rowell, Alice Hoffman, and Jacqueline Woodson.