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The SparkNotes Blog

Homework help made hilarious.

The 7 Most Messed-Up Short Stories We All Had to Read in School

There’s nothing that will claw its way into the deepest recesses of your memory, only to resurface when you least expect it, quite like a super messed-up short story. There you’ll be—just taking a shower one day or perhaps lying in bed at night or maybe even driving along on an empty highway with nothing to distract you from your thoughts except the occasional cow or billboard—when suddenly your brain will go “Remember that short story from 8th grade that was equal parts weird and haunting?” and you’ll be like “Yeah, I do! What the @#$%?”

Here are the short stories our teachers just slapped down in front of us during English class like it was nothing, unaware that we would spend the rest of our lives feeling occasionally unsettled as a result.

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