15 Shortest Stories – The Shorter the Sweeter


Shortest Stories

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. It is a fiction. It is short. Why not in one sentence or few lines or may be just a paragraph. Isn’t it intriguing to paraphrase the definition of short story? The shorter the merrier and the art lie in trimming not tagging more words to our deeply weighed thoughts. The challenging part is simplifying the complexity of our clouded thoughts.

The stories have to be imaginative.

It is wired in the web of imagination.

“The short.”

“ The cut.”

“ The sweet.”

“ The spot.”

The sweet spot is in the shortest.


It is like doing more with less, showing in expression and not telling in words.


When we write the shortest stories we needn’t have to bother about the rules and by default we break the rules, and the greatest stories have emerged out of the “wounds of breakup not the healing from makeup.” The rules become hurdles not guidelines.


We were told that time and again that short story follows a time revered rule.


We have to limit our story to a time or a place. Short story can be subjected to radical experimentation. It is a more versatile genre than is generally perceived by the storyteller.

Here is a creative attempt to craft stories from my personal experiences, random observations heighten imagination and enabled inspiration in as few curtailed words that you can read when you are merely shifting the position from standing to sitting.



Story (1): It was a beautiful formation of cloud, suddenly there was thunder and lightning. She was shouting nobody could hear her, she could only see everybody disappear under the cloudburst…


Story (2): He could hear the nature’s call, he tried calling back, there was a silence and the phone kept ringing but nobody to respond.


Story (3): In a fit of rage, I flipped the pack of food on the street, moment later as I turned around saw the street urchins happily munching. I just didn’t know whether to regret or rejoice.


Story (4): The little kid came running and hugged the doctor; “my mom”, he didn’t know how to react. God had already come and given the discharged letter to the doctor.


Story (5): I am proud of my father in the army, he fought a valiant battle and I love my country. The very moment entered the compound the army vehicle and she could see the wrapped flag.


Story (6): Standing at the foothills, she pierced at the snow-capped mountain, the summer sun was melting the snow, there was a flood of tears that came down to touch her feet but he refused to forgive for devouring his mountaineering brother.


Story (7): He was extremely upset that there was small cut in the foot, and no fault of his. He cannot wear the new shoe to the evening party; he was returning back from the clinic when his eye fell on the boy who was on the wheelchair, the boy smiled back.


Story (8): She missed the sunrise; she was gazing at the sunset walking along the spotless sea beach. Every time she didn’t like her footprints, she could see the wave was there to wipe it off. She couldn’t do anything to her bad memories that kept coming at her.


Story (9): I dropped the hundred rupee note in the temple chest and felt relieved that I have done my religious duty and emerged out of the temple with pride. I saw the baby badly crying for food in the lap of her mother, I asked myself who needs the note more?


Story (10): I was in a hurry, I yelled at him, he had taken my seat and he was not listening nor was he replying…thank God that I didn’t react. I realized!!!


Story (11): There was life coming and there was life going, the operation was successful but the pregnant patient died.


Story (12): She was missing her mother, and her mother stepped into the house. That made things worse for her, she was her step mother.


Story (13): He jumped from the tall tree, he had a phobia of height and he got up and he was fine, the fear melted in his dream.


Story (14): I made a mistake, I learned. I made a mistake, I didn’t learn. I made a mistake and I’m still learning…that’s life!!!


Story (15): He could never stand near the fire, now he was sleeping on fire and the fire was silently devouring the lifeless body.


Short Stories


There is possibly an intriguing beginning of an interesting new dialogue on the prefix “short”, when a story is a story. The dialogue of how short a short story can be or should be, and by being ridiculously short are we questioning the DNA of how short story to be defined, if the current definition is not challenging enough to confine our creative competency…it needs a redefinition.

The defining dialogue between ingenious minds that is impulsively set on work and this very creative work is an undefined obsession, there is a catch and the catch of creative value that needs to be nurtured with passion and not nudged with obsession.


It has the inherent potential to usher an engagement through the magical meeting of minds.


Only when you put your imaginative lens on these shortest stories, definitely there will be short coming on these short stories. I’m keenly looking forward to hearing those nuanced take in the eyes of your brilliant mind, which are my wonderful sources of inspiration to hold onto these sublime stories in such measured set of limiting words. There is a frantic haunt for having the right set of words.

Then the pertinent question that need a profound answer i.e. which one of the shortest story thought not definitely, but tentatively touched your heart; if it really deed and which are the ones flew completely off track…

These shorten creative exercise which took a bigger toll on my limited thinking, though it has certainly helped me to explore the unexplored territories of my world of imagination; such short stories are nugget of wisdom subtly hidden in the recesses of our little streams of thoughts.


It just needed to be discovered…


Nihar Pradhan


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  1. It’s difficult to express all the feelings we have in the lowest possible words. You’ve done that wonderfully in all the 15 stories.All of them immediately creates a picture on the reader’s mind, making her/him think for while!

    I loved the third one most. It’s a true glimpse of everyday life and the changing perspectives of life… 🙂

    • Mani great to see you back.

      Yes, short stories have the challenge of words and therein lies the beauty of writing as we keep dwelling on different forms. And we have so many different stories that keeps floating around us and it happens everyday, and it is upto us how to capture in our lens. It keeps going away…Rightly so, the feelings and emotions are the blood and skin to the skeleton of any story, and they keep providing that fresh bout of blood every time where as the body and the skeleton remains the same.

      Similar to the third one, is what we all face many time or other in our life, though we did it in a fit of anger and many time such act without a proper thought, just casually, it shows us the path, the way out and how we should be living our life, and such small things truly matters in other’s life.

      Thanks for your lovely words.
      Have a great weekend.

  2. Story 3 says a lot despite few words. I like how you have hinted at the melting of anger into positive emotions in an instant. My favorite is story 8…sunrise and sunset symbolize ups and downs of life and the footprints of regret get washed away by the waves…superb thoughts Nihar!

    Short stories were very popular once upon a time and when I think about this genre some brilliant ones immediately flash across my mind. Though I had read them many years ago, their eternal impact could never wane. Who could forget The Last Leaf or The Model Millionaire or The Man With The Scar?

    Sadly, short stories have been smothered by dark fiction and meaningless novels in the modern era. Flash fiction, 50 words or 100 words stories were never heard of! It seems to be the invention of the digital generation and you have done immense justice to this new-fangled genre (if it can be called so.)

    Let me add my definition. Shortest stories are like texting, like saying something in a rush, without developing any characters, passing on all the responsibility to the readers to understand whatever their imagination can catch and some read it just like a message, without discerning the thought of the writer. 🙂
    Thank you for picking up this topic, which needs to be discussed in detail.

    • Thanks Balroop for such a wonderful analysis and as always with such precise words and a nuanced perspective that takes the topic to an elevated platform for further discussion. I like the way you have added the thoughts to the definition, I agree shortest stories are quite like texting and usually left much to the interpretation of the readers. “3” and “8”, nature and nurture that comes through these stories and thanks for taking out these two, it helps me a lot in my learning.

      As a reader we see ourselves in stories that we love and we all have our part to play in some form or the other in our life where we played different characters, and we never take those characters seriously as we are the protagonist, and only we see others putting those scenes in words which we are able to connect and relate, there is a floodgate of appreciation that opens from no where and we are excited in being in the expression of great stories.

      These short stories that you so rightly picked up out of the wonderful basket of inspiring stories, have beautifully etched their mark in our mind forever, and when we take the name of these great personalities i.e. O Henry, Oscar Wilde and Somerset Maugham we are driven and inspired to do something that makes us feel accomplished. O Henry and Oscar Wilde have been my favorite and by doing that I feel, we make a mistake, as every great writer have their style and their form and flow, the choice of words, and the preference for genre that makes them stand out and they are in a position of bringing out something that cannot be seen in our normal vision, it needs be envisioned.

      The Picture of Dorian Gray, was a masterpiece and the more I analyse the more I realize how one could have visualized such a plot and it was there and all of us feel it but only few others could put those thoughts into such a beautiful plot, it was a flow and it was flowing like a stream in our mind, I could hear the music of sound of greatness of stories.

      Small request Balroop, it would be wonderful if you can list out for me your top 15-20 short stories that has inspired you and has something unique to offer to a reader. I would love to read those stories.
      Have a beautiful Sunday.

  3. I think writing such short excerpts as in the illustrations of your 15 short stories Nihar are often more difficult to convey in such a short amount of words.
    For the words themselves need to be chosen more carefully to enhance the story to bring it fuller meaning in such a short sentence..
    As you know, I am never short of words lol.. 🙂 I think this is why I find I am not drawn to Haiku to write for myself.. Yet I love reading others creations.. I like to stretch out my words in poetry form.. 🙂
    My short stories are more that would fill the side of an A4 writing page.. 🙂

    I suppose you could say I wrote a short story in my intro to Mondays post Senses. These are my muses, as short as they are 🙂
    Many thanks Nihar for your wonderful words and enlightening lines I read within your short stories.. Each one could be embellished and built upon ..

    Sending Well wishes and Kind regards for your week my friend
    Sue 🙂

    • I agree dear Sue, we have so much to say and words are never sufficient and it is in fact not always the right way to restrict the usage of words in telling stories, they need our ingenuity and plethora of thoughts to make it powerful. Words just a vehicle but our thoughts should reach the way we conceived the idea.

      I love the way you articulate your stories and they have so much layers, deep meaning and it makes the reader to interpret and analyse in multiple ways and thus making the reader go through the immense possibilities of exploring it’s different hidden nuances.

      As the short stories that comes from you are straight from the heart and with so much love and compassion, it permeates far and wide, and it is for everyone to see and cherish the profound thoughts that are weaved into the body of such beautiful story-line…

      Thanks so much dear Sue and always a great delight in our discussion on the finer aspects of stories with you.

      • As always Nihar, your comments take my breath away, in your glowing compliments of my writings.. And yes, you are right.. I do not ponder upon a story, It just comes into BEing and yes comes from the heart.. And I am grateful for that piece of feedback my friend.. For one of my aims when I started blogging was to Make a Difference.. And if just one little story or poem makes someone think outside their normal Box.. I am happy..
        Many thanks dear Nihar.. Have a beautiful Day and a Peaceful weekend
        Sue 🙂

        • Making a difference, dear Sue you have been doing for more than a decade, that itself is another big achievement…doing it consistently and doing it for so long is never easy. It has to come from the heart and it has to be passion, it has to be profound and it has be authentic, and you have it all. Hence the big difference you keep making in out thoughts and life. God bless you and you keep making such differences for years to come.
          Thanks so much dear Sue and take care.

    • Thanks Priya for a lovely observation and glad that you liked these stories. Storytelling is such a fascinating aspects of our life and we keep hearing stories from everyone we meet and there are places we visit are deeply embedded with plots and we just need to look inside and we have such wonderful stories unfolding in front of us.
      Looking forward to.