"The Second Tree From The Corner" is the best short story of all time, imho. It was written by E.B. White and I think was originally published in The New Yorker. Before the Internet it was out of print and I had to search to find an old edition of White's New Yorker essays which included this and a few other stories. They were great, but this story is perfect. Setting, tone, word choice, metaphors, simplicity — it's a master class in all. And the ending takes my breath away.
It's not a complicated or "large" story, but every time I read it I come away feeling whole, as if an entire puzzle has at least been put together. Not a huge puzzle, just a small one, but enough to let me keep going.
What do you think? Here's an audio version (not as fun as looking at the words, but maybe I'll find those later.)
Would love to know your favorite short story...