Short Story Centre

Top Classic Short Stories With A Twist

We love to be surprised. 

To come across the unexpected.

And we love the moment when the rug is pulled out from under us, when all dots are connected, and when everything we thought we knew turns out to be entirely wrong. 

All in all, we fall for stories with twists and surprise endings. After all, such stories give us a chance to use our brains, conjecture what happened, anticipate what would happen, and seek answers on our own. 

I personally love these stories so much that I’ve got a special section in my bookshelf — of stories with unpredictable endings. 

And today, I’m sharing this section with you. 

Let’s get started:


The Interlopers by Saki 

Saki’s The Interlopers is a fablelike story of vendetta. The story begins with a short history of conflict between the two Eastern European families, but as the story unfolds, the legal battle takes the shape of a hate-filled personal conflict between the two representatives of the families who’ll do anything to get rid of each other.  


The Landlady by Roald Dahl 

Dahl’s The Landlady is a short story about a seventeen-year-old Billy Weaver who travels from London to Bath in search of work. On his first day at Bath, he stops at a boarding house and meets his middle-aged landlady, who looks good on the surface but has a dark secret tied to her taxidermy skills.


Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry 

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen follows protagonist Stuffy Pete through his thanksgiving day. Through Stuffy’s portrayal, O.Henry shows us a glimpse of irrational things we do in the name of custom and religion. The twisty ending shows us that good intention may have bad consequences.  


The Lottery by Shirley Jackson 

Jackson’s The Lottery describes a small town in modern America. The people of this town observe an annual custom called ‘the lottery’ where a community member is chosen to be stoned to death. 


The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant wrote ‘The Necklace’ in 1884. It’s a famous morality tale about the  “pretty and charming” Mathilde Loisel who regrets her lifestyle and spends hours imagining a more extravagant existence. Mathilde’s life changes when she borrows a necklace for a gala and has to pay for a replacement. 


The Last Leaf by O.Henry 

The Last Leaf is a story about Johnsy, a poor young woman who is severely ill with pneumonia. She believes that as soon as the ivy vine on the wall outside her window sheds all its leaves, she will die. But an artist named Behrman tricks her by painting an artificial leaf on the wall.


Désirée’s Baby by Kate Chopin

In Désirée’s Baby, we meet Désirée who was adopted into a Louisiana family. When Desiree married a wealthy Louisiana plantation owner and bore his child who had black blood, he accused her of mixing the ancestry.

Then the plot takes an unexpected twist that results in a brutal understanding of the subjugation of women and people of colour.


Taste by Roald Dahl

Taste is about two men — Richard Pratt and Mike Schofield — who bet about the identity of the wine at dinner. However, Mike was particularly set on having a bet over an unusual wine. The stakes keep rising until he bets his daughter’s hand in marriage against Pratt’s houses. 


To Serve Man by Damon Knight

To Serve Man is set in the US approximately in the 1950s. In the story, the narrator Peter talks about the “Kanamit,” an alien race who have come to earth to make it a more efficient and peaceful planet. 


Now, I know you’re probably thinking of your favourite short story with a twisty ending — may be the one I’ve missed adding here. So, let’s do something — using the comments box below, tell me about a great story we can add to this list. 


Here’s to sharing good books and great reads!

(3) Comments

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    1. It’s nice to know you liked my posts. Keep coming back. I’ll be posting some new blogs this week.

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