Read Short Stories Online: Ten Immersive Tales
Read all the best fantasy books and looking for something a little different?
On the hunt for immersive fantasy short stories that capture your imagination, play with your emotions and captivate you at every turn?
Step through the Azrian Portal, and enter a new world.
What Free Short Stories Can You Read Online Through The Azrian Portal?
Welcome to Azra, a world unlike any other.
In these fantasy short stories, you’ll discover a place of not only magic and legend, but also diverse characters and communities. Azra is a place where monsters lurk and mystic energies pulse beneath the surface, all while following the stories of characters that feel genuine and real. The free fiction you’ll find here on the Azrian Portal is written not just to help you escape the everyday, but also designed to offer something that resonates.
Azra is more than a place for cliched wizards and knights.
The fantasy short stories on The Azrian Portal range in length from quick a thousand word read to longer eight-thousand plus slow-burns. Whatever you are after, you’ll easily be able to find the perfect short story for you. Whether you are looking to read short stories online to while away the time on your daily commute, or settle back in an armchair and explore a new world, a trip through the Azrian Portal can satisfy anyone’s hunger for a good story.
Ten Fantasy Short Stories:
It came while he was out in the city, chasing women and drinking himself into a stupor: the monster from the mountains. The wraith slaughtered his village, killed his father and stole his future. He has nothing left. Nothing but vengeance. Leading a small party of wrathful survivors into the mountains to claim back a life for the many the beast had taken, it soon becomes clear that the fight isn’t against the creature they hunt, it is for their very survival.
It's a game of wits. Of luck. Of Chance. Opponents face each other, one-on-one. A sword in the middle of the arena, a dagger at their side. The rules are simple, but the game is hard. Only a lone champion can emerge. Only one can survive.
Kiara is a prostitute, and she can’t stand it. But she is trapped. Trapped between her own two perfect visions of hell. She wants to escape her life in the service of others, but her only way out is to reveal herself for the flame-wielding vessel of the Goddess Azra that she is. Yet that just leaves her in service of an even greater power; a prospect she sees as even more terrible. Maybe there is another way though. Maybe she can find a way to escape both prisons that seek to cage her. She just needs a little help.
As the centuries pass, and the wealth of the family slowly dries up, one is selected to enter the forest. The goal is simple: claim the reward within its heart. A reward that keeps them in a life of luxury. It’s a secret passed down from generation to generation. But one thing the chosen is not prepared for, one thing nobody thought to tell them, is that the forest is ready to fight back. Ready to stop them taking what belongs to it.
Tradition is everything to the people of Myah's village, but when tradition is torn away, how will they cope with the wrath of God? The Voice of Azra decrees that no more sacrifices shall be made in her name. That the old ways are dead. The people of the village cannot abide by this law, but they have no choice, lest they themselves be hung for heresy. As tensions rise and tempers fray, can Myah keep things together, or will the people’s fear of God get the better of them?
Alone in the woods. Hounded by hunters. There seems little hope for Driev. Escape means braving the darkness, it means exposing himself to the vulnerable world beyond his place of safety. But, if he stays here too long, he might never get out alive. Can Driev stave off the beasts that pursue him, or will he become the prey they so desperately seek?
Monsters lurk in all kinds of places. In a nation torn apart by cultists and treacherous family members, an overthrown Prince struggles with how best to serve his people. Does he take up the mantle of his past and fight for them? Or does he keep the peace best he can? When temptation comes for him, when a chance to liberate his kin seems within reach, will he replace the monsters that enslave him, or will he become one of them?
Captain Bankamp has seen horrors, but none like this. Neither the sights of death nor war could prepare him for what he found in a dark and dingy tavern deep in the frozen south. A young girl, a child: alone, scared and sold every night into a world not meant for someone so innocent and delicate. He has a chance to save her, but it will cost him everything he has.
He was born a fisherman and he will die a fisherman, but he is also deathly afraid of the ocean and gets seasick at the slightest motion of a wave. But here, on the islands, where you can only ever be what you were born to be, in a society that doesn’t allow for anyone or anything to change their path, how can he escape a world he can longer stand to live within? How can you make progress in a place that denies it at every corner? The answer is simple when you think about it: you take desperate and dangerous steps.
Two things come out of the mines: bodies and stone. They call him the Backbreaker, The Chain Keeper, The Merchant of Bones, but he prefers to look upon himself as their saviour. If the mines fail, the city fails. If the city fails, its residents will starve. He might be ruthless, his methods might be extreme, but he gets the job done. The people should thank him for it. Shouldn’t they?
Where Else Can You Read Short Stories Online?
The Azrian Portal isn’t (always) about self-promotion. There is so much exciting short fiction out there that it would be criminal not to share hubs and writing communities.
If you’re looking for free stories online, you’ve got plenty of options. BookHub, Wattpad and BookRix are all good places to start if you’re in the mind to discover fiction across all genres. If you want to read short stories online that are exclusively within the fantasy subset though, Tor and Clarkesworld Magazine would be the top recommendations.
You can also pretty much always find a good free short story collection or anthology by punching the term into the Amazon Kindle marketplace, or other platforms like Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and other eBook platforms.
If you’re going to the paid route, there is a blog available on The Azrian Portal about the best fantasy short story collections.
Notes From The Writer: Why Fantasy Short Stories?
What made me want to write fantasy short stories? It’s a tough question. Fantasy is an exciting genre, where you can explore anything and everything. In your own world, you can approach a dark and gritty subject that pervades real-world ideals, or you can set yourself totally free and write about mythical creatures and deities. The limitless boundaries of fantasy short stories are what really drew me in. I’ve also found it’s easy to write bad free fantasy short stories.
Because when you create a world, your own world, you want to tell everyone everything about it. You want to inform them of all the minute details that go into making your fantasy realm exactly what it is. But when you write a fantasy short story, you’ve got limited time. You need to focus. This isn’t a 150,000 epic high fantasy novel. It’s a brief encounter in an unfamiliar landscape. Too often, I’ve been reading a piece of short fantasy fiction that delves too heavily into the world, forgetting the narrative in favour of building a place we’re only in briefly.
Writing fantasy short stories is a challenge.
It’s about finding that balance between world and telling a story. It’s a challenge I enjoy and one I hope I’ve overcome in at least some of the free fantasy short stories above. In particular, I find myself drawn to dark fantasy short stories. I’m not sure why.