I admit, I cheated. I picked a random page twice to get a good one. But I had too. The sentences, most of them, are so short.

I ordered pancakes for Penelope and me. I ordered orange juice and coffee and a side order of toast and hot chocolate and French fries, too, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for any of it.

That comes from about smack dab in the middle of Sherman Alexie’s excellent, sad, funny, squirmy, National-Book-Award-winning YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (from p125 to be exact), but it would make a perfect opening for a short story. It has description, voice, action, a ‘problem’, and  someone named Penelope. What more does a story need to get a reader’s attention?