I prefer science fiction, fantasy, and horror without the spaceships, dragons, and zombies.
Three more shorts down for Short Story Month:
"The Lawnmower Man," by Stephen King (from Night Shift) - This was a re-read for me. I first read it when I was in high school and thought it was great at the time. A friend of mine recently posted a review of this story in which he expressed a deep and long-lasting hatred for this piece. I didn't like it as much the second time around, but I did enjoy it. I like the absurd nature of the story and can't really see anything about it that would inspire my pal to spit such venom over the poor little thing.
"Yvette's Gift," by Richard McGowan (from Short Fiction, Volume 1, The Erotica) - This story somehow manages to be engaging despite the fact that there is zero conflict. It's just a pleasant recounting of two people getting to know each other on a road trip. It didn't end the way I thought it would, but at the same time, the ending I did get didn't seem wholly earned either.
"Leaving Maverley," by Alice Monro (from The O. Henry Prize Stories: 2013) - This was interesting in that you didn't quite know who the story was focused on until a good way in. It had an emotional impact that was expertly and stealthily seeded throughout the narrative, so that the ending kind of creeps up on you. Nicely done.