5 Quirky Stories to Spice Up Your Spring

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and we’re finally entering the defrost zone. What better thing to do with this newfound springtime warmth than to sit down in the park with a good read? Here at F(r)iction, we love a wacky story that gets our imaginations whirring, and so we’ve collected five of the most unusual we could find. The somnolence of winter is behind us; it’s time for a new season. Wake up your literary senses with one of these quick and quirky reads:   

Goblin” by Rachel Harrison

The world’s newest dieting app quite literally comes to life in this magical short story by Rachel Harrison. When a woman attempts to slim down for her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, she gets far more than she bargained for. The goblin on her phone, meant to encourage her weight loss journey, jumps through the screen and turns real. Following her everywhere, raiding her pantry of its junk food, verbally abusing her when she fails to stick to her regimen—the creature is relentless. While it is certainly not easy to write about eating disorders, Harrison does this mental health struggle justice in this touching and disturbing piece. Read this piece right now on Electric Literature.  

Children in Alaska” by Zach Powers

If you love it so much, why don’t you just marry it? A popular joke among middle schoolers for decades, but in this short story by Zach Powers, it seems to ring true. A man marries—we kid you not—a lightbulb. As impossible as it sounds, Powers pulls the story off with humor and grace. Pick up a copy of his collection, full of other strange yet intricately woven tales, to find out this sweet couple’s fate. 

The Semplica Girl Diaries” by George Saunders

In this haunting tale by George Saunders, suburban families decorate their lawns not with plastic flamingos or painted rocks, but with actual human beings. Told through a series of journal entries by a poor father desperate to please his family, the story deposits the reader right into the heart of this dystopian society. Tackling topics such as social class and immigration, this story couldn’t get any timelier, despite the eight years that have passed since its initial publication. Read it here and now on The New Yorker website.  

How to Live Your Best Life” by Peter Kispert

What if you had the opportunity to start life afresh, move to a new city with a quarter of a million dollars lining your pocket? How much would you risk just for the chance? These questions and more are explored in the recently released collection by Peter Kispert, I Know You Know Who I Am. In this particular piece, characters participate in a game show in which the penalty for incorrect answers is the instantaneous death of their loved ones. Maybe it sounds crazy. But it just might work? Find out by picking up a copy of this fantastically bizarre collection.  

Parakeets by Kevin Brockmeier

We live in a world of noise, but imagine a world of eternal song instead. This is the world that Kevin Brockmeier creates in this remarkable short story. Everyone sings, everywhere, all the time, spreading happiness throughout their quaint city. Or nearly everyone. One man is mute, having lived his entire life as the odd one out in this town full of musicians. His most valuable connection is not with other people, but rather his own pet birds. Read more about these beloved parakeets by reading the story now on Granta or by ordering his whole collection, full of equally moving pieces.  

We hope this list successfully shook off any lingering winter blues, but if you’re hungry for more, have no fear. F(r)iction has got all of your wacky story needs covered. Browse through our fiction here or check out our latest literary commentary here. Keep writing and reading weird! 

Meg Walters

Meg Walters is a recent graduate of Emory University’s English & Creative Writing Program. In July she moved to New York City, where she now teaches creative writing and runs an extracurricular club at a middle school in Queens. Her work has been previously published in The Adroit Journal, and she is currently working on a short story collection which focuses on the themes of memory and female desire. She is passionate about creating and reading new work, as well as advocating for the improvement of arts education access in the public school system.  

Cover art by Mochamad Arief