Short Stories About Light and Darkness

These short stories about light and darkness have light and dark as a recurring motif or as a theme, and usually contain literal references to light and dark as well as light and dark imagery. See also:

Short Stories About Light and Darkness

“Blood-Burning Moon” by Jean Toomer

Louisa is a black woman working as a domestic helper for a white family, the Stones. She has a secret relationship with Bob Stone, a son of her employer. A black man, Tom Burwell, is also interested in her.

This story can be read in the preview of Black Voices: An Anthology of African-American Literature(Pg. 19)

“Say Yes” by Tobias Wolff

While doing the dishes together, a husband and wife start discussing interracial marriage. The wife thinks it is fine, but the husband believes the cultural differences would be insurmountable. (Summary & Analysis)

“Johnny Mnemonic” by William Gibson

Johnny preps his shotgun and heads for the Drome bar. His last client, Ralfi, has put out a contract on him. Johnny has to settle it. It seems the information stored in his head was stolen from dangerous people. They want it gone. The presence of Ralfi’s bodyguard complicates things.

“Johnny Mnemonic” can be read in the preview of Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Revolution and Evolution.

Short Stories About Light and Darkness
Short Stories About Light and Darkness

“The Island of the Fay” by Edgar Allan Poe

A man finds a surreal looking island while traveling deep into the mountains. It has two distinct sides of light and dark. Eventually, he sees a fairy. (Summary)

Read “The Island of the Fay”

“Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin

Desiree had been adopted as a toddler. She is now an adult with a baby of her own. She and her husband, Armand, are very happy. After a while, there are some whispers about the baby’s background. (Summary & Analysis)

This story can be read by selecting it in the table of contents of The Awakening, and Selected Short Stories.

“Guests of the Nation” by Frank O’Connor

During the War for Independence, two Englishmen are held captive by the Irish Republican Army. The captors and captives develop camaraderie as they go about their daily routine.

This is the first story in the preview of Collected Stories(Go into Paperback preview first, then select Kindle)

“In the Shadow of War” by Ben Okri

During the Nigerian Civil War, a young boy, Omovo, notices a woman in a black veil walking by his house every day for a week. He later learns that the soldiers are looking for her, claiming she is a spy and enemy supporter.

“My Life with the Wave” by Octavio Paz

A man gets seduced by an ocean wave. It finds its way home to him and they have a tumultuous love affair.

“Paris 1991” by Kate Walbert

Rebecca and her husband, Tom, go to Paris to conceive a child. Rebecca thinks often of her mother, Marion, who died a few months earlier.

“The Dog of Tithwal” by Saadat Hasan Manto

Entrenched Indian and Pakistani soldiers send a stray dog back and forth between their camps.

“The Wives of the Dead” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The narrator relates a story that generated some interest about a hundred years ago in the Bay Province. Two women, married to two brothers, received the news that their husbands had been killed on consecutive days. Many guests came to offer condolences, and in their shared grief, they comforted each other.

Read “The Wives of the Dead”

“My Kinsman, Major Molineux” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A young man, Robin, arrives by ferry in a New England city. He is looking for Major Molineux, but when he asks people if they know where he is, he gets anger or silence from the strangers.

Read “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”

Short Stories About Light and Darkness, Cont’d

“Odour of Chrysanthemums” by D. H. Lawrence

The Bates’s live in a mining town, and Mr. Bates works at the mine. Mr. Bates is late for supper one evening, so his wife assumes he’s drunk and they start without him. After some time passes and he still hasn’t come home, she goes looking for him.

Read “Odour of Chrysanthemums”

“Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov

Lagash has six suns and is always bright. A newspaper columnist who’s been criticizing the Observatory comes for a story. The Director, Aton, points out that only one sun is now visible in the sky. He claims that in four hours, the sun will go down and civilization will end. The reporter is dubious. He’s allowed to stay and get his story as long as he doesn’t interfere.

Read “Nightfall”

“A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri

Shoba had a miscarriage six months ago, three weeks before she was due. She and her husband Shukumar get a notice from the electric company saying their power will be off for an hour for five consecutive evenings. While eating in candlelight, they decide to play a game where they will reveal something previously kept secret from each other.

Read here

“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter

Doctor Harry checks on Granny Weatherall, a bed-ridden woman of almost eighty. She’s uncooperative and wants him to leave. She thinks about what she’ll do tomorrow. She has to go through her box of letters from George and John. She doesn’t need the children finding them. She thinks about her life, including the time she was left at the altar.

Read “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”

“The Beast in the Jungle” by Henry James

John Marcher meets up with May Bartram, a woman he had met on vacation ten years prior. They share a bond because she is the only person to whom he has ever confided his secret – he’s convinced that he’s destined to experience a monumental but disastrous event. They live close to each other and become good friends.

This is a novella-length story.

Read here

I hope you found some great short stories about light and darkness.