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Classic Twists

The short story genre has a proud history of shattering readers' perceptions with an unexpected final paragraph. Here we present a group of the most surprising and devious twists - from the tragic to the humorous by way of the downright sinister.
A Horseman in the Sky . . . Ambrose Bierce . . . 6 pages
An incident that takes place during the American civil war begins with a sentry asleep at his post. Neatly examines the personal amongst the duty and professionalism of war.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge . . . Ambrose Bierce . . . 9 pages
A man stands on a railroad bridge; his wrists are bound with a chord, a rope encircles his neck. This story was adapted into the most popular ever episode of The Twighlight Zone.
The Necklace . . . Guy de Maupassant . . . 8 pages
A poor woman borrows a necklace from a rich friend. Classic twisty tale.
Desiree's Baby . . . Kate Chopin . . . 6 pages
The events surrounding the birth of a child - the father a member of an important Louisiana family; the mother a woman found abandoned as a baby.
The Story of an Hour . . . Kate Chopin . . . 3 pages
A woman hears news of her husband's death.
The Furnished Room . . . O. Henry . . . 5 pages
A young man searches for his lost love around the filthy bedsits of New York.
The Last Leaf . . . O. Henry . . . 6 pages
It is not Pneumonia alone that is killing Johnsy - for some reason, she has resigned herself to death.
Miss Brill . . . Katherine Mansfield . . . 5 pages
An older woman goes for a walk in the park.
The Cask of Amontillado . . . Edgar Allan Poe . . . 7 pages
A man takes his enemy to taste a rare wine - which he happens to keep at the far end of a vast, damp cellar.
The New Catacomb . . . Arthur Conan Doyle . . . 12 pages
In this homage to Poe, two rival scholars are brought together when one discovers an important early Christian burial ground.
The Case of Lady Sannox . . . Arthur Conan Doyle . . . 9 pages
A case which leaves a Lady of notoriously loose morals in a nunnery and her lover - a brilliant physician - in a vegetative state.
The Open Window . . . Saki . . . 3 pages
Frankly, Framton Nuttel doubted whether these formal visits on a succession of total strangers would do much towards helping his nerve cure.
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