When I started my undergraduate Creative Writing courses, the instructors used to make us read a ton of short stories and I really disdained them. And then I found Guy De Maupassant, and he caused me to fall in love with them. He is truly one of the kings of the Short Story form.
The stories tend to take on quite an alarming slant at times. Like The Jewels, which chronicles a husband discovering his wife's infidelity after she's passed on, The Graveyard Sisterhood about women who possibly prey on men in mourning, and Idyll which I don't want to talk about because I'm not sure whether to think of it as crazy/beautiful, or crazy....well crazy.
Maupassant infuses his stories with the beauty of descriptive Paris and the excitement of unpredictability. Of course, to an extent he sets out to turn certain ideals on their head a bit.
The edition I have is rare, and browning with that 'eau de biblio' musk that I just can't resist. I never expected to love him this much!