Short Story #332: The Little Story by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  The Little Story

Author: Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce

The story is presented as a very short play (3 pages) between a Supernumerary Editor and a Probationary Contributor.  When the contributor enters, he asks for the editor and the supernumerary editor says he's dead, which the contributor is grateful for and begins to tell the man his "little story."  The contributor begins to tell his story about a girl sitting outside in the rain wishing she could be a variety of delicious food from inside the bake-shop as a means of passing the time.  The editor remarks that he has heard it before and the contributor explains that he has because the story has never been rejected where he's looked to publish it but that the editor should heed to the end as it is largely improved upon.  The clock in the story strikes midnight and it is a new year.  The editor interrupts again to note the different details and the contributor explains this is because he has read Byron and looks to improve the tale.  In the contributor's story, food begins to plummet from the sky to which she must dodge.  The food types and amount begin to increase along with domestic wares.  By the morning, people had gone into the street to scoop up these items.  The editor asks about the girl and the contributor explains she had to be swept up because she had been pummeled so much and brought to the coroner.  The coroner says that she had a similar map delivered the day before (meaning her body was flattened as such).


The story was alright.  The banter between the two was the most amusing bit whereas the story the contributor was telling fell a bit...flat (yes, I went there).

Short Story #332 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 11/01/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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