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Escapist Stories to Read If You’re Feeling Trapped


With restrictions on travel and socialising in place around the world, most of us aren’t able to do everything we would like to at the moment. Yet reading short fiction can be the perfect escape from a constricted life, transporting us to different places, giving us a taste of freedom and allowing us to live vicariously through characters’ experiences. Here are some suggestions for escapist stories to read if you need a break from the limitations of life in these strange times.

An Experience by Sam Reese

Set among the beautiful open landscapes of New Zealand, this story follows two students who spend the university holidays working in an orchard owned by a strange, reclusive woman.

story about escape

Greenwood Tree by Sarah Dale

Have you been getting closer to nature in recent times? In this magic realist story, a woman finds an unusual kind of solace when life becomes too much for her.

nature story

Grandparents, Smiling, £7.95 by George Sandison

After an argument with his girlfriend and in the midst of work stress, a man runs away from it all, taking a trip to Cornwall alone to clear his head.

story about running away

To Be Loved, and Made Twice by Phoebe Smith

Missing going out to bars? This absorbing, unsettling story, in which a bartender notices a customer behaving very strangely, might make you think twice…

story about a bartender

A Prayer for Roses in Alabama by Emma Lee

The protagonist of this poignant story finds that a trip through the US opens her up to new possibilities.

story about travel

A Tiding of Magpies by Cathryn Haynes

If you’re looking to escape the real world altogether, this magical story will carry you away to a fairy-tale realm.

romance story

We hope you enjoy reading these escapist stories. All of our published short stories can be browsed here, and some will also be included in our forthcoming print anthology, The Fairlight Book of Short Stories: Volume 1, which is available to pre-order now.