Short Story #188: An Unfinished Race by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  An Unfinished Race

Author:  Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceA shoemaker one day gets a little too drunk and begins boasting of his athletic abilities.  He claims he can run some forty miles and so is taken up on the offer by two men who follow him in a wagon.  Several miles in, the man appears to trip over something and fall but his body never lands.  The two search for him but never find him.  They are put on trial but considered of good character and found innocent.  


A real short story without much gusto at all.  It feels more like a set up for a joke than an actual plot for a short story.  So many of Bierce's bizarre stories have not meat to them in terms of the supernatural and its purpose within the tale.   That makes me wonder if indeed these were collected tales from different people he met and shared campfire tales with. 

Short Story #188 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 7/2/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.