I try to do this by providing a one-paragraph teaser that discloses the tone of the story and as much of the plot as possible without giving away the ending. I then immediately return to the beginning, which can be days, weeks, even years earlier than the introductory paragraph. Below are a few examples of short story introductions from my collection, IT GOES ON, coming out in June.
Something for Nothing
A Costly Legacy
A Christmas Found
The space between us had widened. Years ago, reaching my hand to her waist beneath the sheets, she would have instinctively backed her body into mine, grasping my arm and entwining it around her. She often initiated what came next. But I couldn’t remember the last time I tested her willingness. It’d been so long that I no longer thought about trying. Invisible walls partitioned off our thoughts, our desires, our communication. Neither of us wanted it that way. It had just happened.