My all-time favorite short story is Easter Eve by Anton Chekov, the father of the genre. It’s more of a character sketch than anything else, but it’s about a man who takes a ferry across a river to attend midnight Mass on Easter Eve. ALthough there is no plot to speak of, Chekov painted an evocative picture of the sounds and sights associated with the most holy night of the Othodox Christian year. Chekov knew that in a short story you must (not to completely bastardize a quote of his) show light through broken glass instead of just telling your audience about the moon shining through a window. He knew every word counts when you tell a story, and he gave us vivid images and beautiful stories with as few words as possible, which is why he is one of my favorite classic writers.