Since I began writing seriously 7 years ago, I've become enamored of short stories. Some of the best writing that's being done these days happens in short stories, where the leanness of the form enforces crispness and encourages striking metaphors.
Within the short story genre is an even briefer form known at the short-short. Short-shorts word limits vary from 500-2000 words. If you think writing a short story is tough, try trimming it down to 1500 words.
And then there's "flash fiction" -- stories that are 100 words or less. This is the maple syrup of creative writing, boiled down to its very essence.
In one exteme example, a college writing prof assigned his class to write a piece involving religion, sex and mystery. He got this back:
"Oh my God! I'm pregnant! I wonder who the father is?"
My personal favorite:
1998, H. Stanbrough
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
"How long since your last confession?"
"What's the trouble?"
"I have wished death on a man."
"You haven't acted on your wish?"
"Who is the man?"
"He is cheating with my wife."
The priest paled. "I forgive you."
I shot him through the screen.
And one of my own:
Better Living Through Chemistry
The body in the street was slowing traffic as Yvonne drove away without a backward glance. Crossing against the light was bound to end this way eventually.
The next casualty was her husband, Leroy, who walked into the kitchen, sniffed the air and said, again, “Don’t let your meat loaf!”
She brained him with a 14 oz. creamed spinach.
The next morning, as Leroy grew fragrant on the linoleum, Yvonne’s manager expired during her performance appraisal, a victim of his own high standards and a promotional letter-opener from AccounTemps.
From jail, she placed a call.
"Dr. Mitchell? We may need to increase my estrogen.”