Q: What is your favourite short story?
A: “Night Meeting” by Ray Bradbury from The Martian Chronicles. Nothing much happens in it–just a guy driving to a party and meeting a Martian on the way. During their conversation, however, Earthling and Martian realize they cannot tell the difference between future and past, and that therefore the only thing we can count on is the beauty of the present. Bradbury uses simple images to immensely moving effect. The whole book is great, but this is the one I can read over and over.
Honorable mentions: “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, “Idle Days on the Yann” by Lord Dunsany, “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M.R. James.