Readers interested in immersing themselves in the dark side of human nature—both fictional and factual—can get possessed by a collection of short stories in eBook and audiobook, all free with Prime.
From Alma Katsu’s fictional take on werewolves during the last days of World War II, asking “Are we men, or are we monsters?” to a grisly true account of murder on the American frontier, these unsettling Amazon Original Stories from acclaimed storytellers are the perfect companion to read under the covers, by candlelight, or wherever you dare.
Find a selection of recommended short stories below to jump-scare your reading journey into action this spooky season.
The Wehrwolf by Alma Katsu
From the visionary author of The Fervor, The Hunger, and The Deep, comes a terrifying short story about monsters among men—and the thin lines that divide them.
Germany, 1945. In the waning days of World War II, the Nazis have been all but defeated. Uwe Fuchs, never a fighter, feels fortunate to have avoided the frontlines as he cared for his widowed mother.
But Uwe’s fortune changes when Hans Sauer, the village bully, recruits him to join a guerilla resistance unit preparing for the arrival of Allied soldiers. At first, Uwe is wary. The war is lost, and rumor has it that Hans is a deserter. But Hans entices him with talk of power, brutality, and their village’s ancestral lore—werewolves.
With some reluctance, Uwe joins up with the pack and soon witnesses their startling transformation. But when the men’s violent rampage against enemy soldiers takes a devastatingly personal turn, Uwe must grapple not only with his role in their evil acts but with his own humanity. Can he reclaim what this group of predatory men has stolen from him?
Or has he been a monster all along?
The Tiger Came to the Mountains by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexico, 1917. On a farm during the violent tumult of revolution, a more immediate threat prowls, in a short, emotional story about survival by 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.
The Best Girls by Min Jin Lee
Inspired by a true event, this powerful short story from the author of National Book Award finalist Pachinko explores the meaning of patriarchy and the cost of female silence through the eyes of a dutiful young girl.
An excellent student from a poor, traditional family in Seoul, the narrator has absorbed the same message her whole life: Only a boy can provide the family with dignity and wealth. Not her. Not her three sisters. Receiving approval only for uncomplaining sacrifice, she has resolved to take on her family’s troubles. She is a good girl. And she knows what good girls must do.
Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie by Harold Schechter
At a remote little inn not far from the Kansas homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder lived the Bender family. These pioneers welcomed unwary visitors with jackrabbit stew and a sledgehammer to the skull.
In time, their apple orchard gave up its secrets—a burial ground for their mutilated victims, each stripped of their possessions. The devilish enterprise on “Hell’s Half-Acre” would earn the Bloody Benders an undying place in the annals of American infamy. But it was the mysterious fate of eldest daughter, Kate, that would make them the stuff of mythic campfire prairie tales.
Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie is part of Bloodlands, a chilling collection of short, page-turning historical narratives from best-selling true-crime master Harold Schechter. Spanning a century in our nation’s murderous past, Schechter resurrects nearly forgotten tales of madmen and thrill-killers that dominated the most sensational headlines of their day.
To find more short stories to read or listen to in one sitting, visit Amazon Original Stories. Available for free to Prime members 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. Looking to discover other great shorts and authors? Learn more about the latest titles available in Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited.