The Kingdom That Failed by Haruki Murakami
“To see a splendid kingdom fade away,” it said, “is far sadder than seeing a second-rate republic collapse.”
I’ve never read anything by Murakami and this was definitely a great introduction. I’m not really sure how to describe this one: a man sees someone he used to know and watches the man while remembering how he used to be. It’s quite short, yet engaging and with great prose!
It’s published in The New Yorker if you want to check it out. I definitely recommend giving it a go!