The Best Of:

Happy Endings

To make it onto Inkfoundry's "Best Of Happy Endings" collection, a story must have a satisfying as well as uplifting ending.

There are great stories in the happy endings catalogue that aren’t on this list, so if you’re as much of a sucker for the genre as I am, I recommend browsing there for more feel-good stories.

The Hero: Izzy, who has just left a party feeling like she’ll never get anything right.

  • InkFounder Comments: (Includes Spoilers)

    This was such a sweet story. It’s short but packs such a punch, I recommend it to nearly everyone I meet. I believe the main character is coded neurodivergent, but I think everyone these days can relate to the awkwardness of feeling like everyone else is speaking a language we never learned.

    There’s a tremendous sense of relief and excitement that comes with the ending. The set-up and pay off comes and goes really fast, but the leap from dread/mortification to whimsy/confidence was profound.

The Hero: Marie, the captain of a fishing vessel who, due to the population control laws, should never have been born.

  • InkFounder Comments: (Includes Spoilers)

    This was the first story I ever collected for InkFoundry and it remains one of my absolute favorites. Carrie Vaughn is such an engaging writer, I love the way she writes friendships and brings the nuance of her conflicts into every nook and cranny of the stories she tells. Amaryllis tells the story of a captain who is afraid of being a burden not just on the society that didn’t want her, but on the loyal and hearty crew who depends on her for their happiness.

    The ending of the story is simple, but it still took me by surprise. Looking through the lens of Captain Marie, I assumed, as she did, that if she told anyone about the bullying and unfairness she was enduring, she would be dismissed at best, punished at worst. The fears of being a burden and holding back the people she loves feel palpable and painful, so the resolution being something as simple as ‘she was believed and valued just as highly as anyone else’ felt powerful and elegant.

    This story also made it onto the ‘Best of Found Family” list.

The Hero: A death metal fan cursed with whimsical powers.

  • InkFounder Comments: (Includes Spoilers)

    A short, adorable story. Admittedly my experience with metal music is limited, but the themes of “So. Fucking. Metal.” are universal. Finding acceptance in your community by just being yourself is probably the happiest ending there is. 

    The writing is immediate and engaging, and it’s another one of those ones that I comfort read over and dark and sweet, bony and beautiful. 

The Hero: Dreya, a factory town’s godling with a responsibility to protect her company’s workers.

  • InkFounder Comments: (Includes Spoilers)

    I really love this story. It has a western vibe to it, the sense of a stand-off at high noon even before we know there is an adversary. The magic system is really unique, with great wonder beats and a cast of characters that somehow felt both hardy and precious. I really didn’t think this story would have a happy ending on my first read-through. The situation seemed to dire and the problem so all-encompassing, it felt like a set-up for a tragedy. Even putting it on this list felt like a big spoiler.

    But I think the very best happy endings have been tempered a little by the hardship it takes to achieve them.