UPDATED WITH WINNERS - LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: February Edition

Flash fiction: A style of fictional literature marked by extreme brevity.

Welcome to LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown, a monthly bout of writing prowess.

How It Works

We give you inspiration in the form of a picture, poem, video, or prompt. You write a flash fiction piece using the inspiration we gave you. Put your entry in the comments section. One winner will be picked and awarded a prize.

The Rules

  • 30 words. No more. No less.
  • It can be any genre.
  • Give it a title. Please keep it to 10 words.
  • We're not exactly shy, but let's stay away from senseless racism or violence.
  • One entry per person.
  • Editing your entry after you submit it is permitted.
  • LitReactor staffers can't win, but are encouraged to participate.
  • All stories submitted on or before February 26th will be considered. We'll run the winner on February 27th.

This Month's Prize

TWO winners will receive a copy of of Sharma Shields' new novel The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac. 

A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive Sasquatch he encountered in his youth

Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a Sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. We follow all of the Roebuck family members, witnessing through each of them the painful, isolating effects of Eli's maniacal hunt, and find that each Roebuck is battling a monster of his or her own, sometimes literally. The magical world Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes. At times charming, as when young Eli meets the eccentric, extraordinary Mr. Krantz, and downright horrifying at others, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac is boldly imaginative throughout, and proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face.

If you want to read more about this mythological tale of family pain, check out the LitReactor Bookshots review from Freddie Moore.

Your Inspiration:

I can't come up with a better prompt than SASQUATCH!!! As a 10-plus-year resident of the Pacific Northwest, stories of s'quatch sightings have become a regular part of my interactions with otherwise seemingly reasonable people. I no more believe in this mythical creature than I believe in the Easter Bunny, but I do find it amusing.

So this month, give me 30 words about a mythical creature—be it Sasquatch, Yeti, Mothman, Nessie, Chupacabra, or some other creature you've created (or seen crashing through the woods with your own two eyes!) Have fun!

And the Winners Are...PROleary and Scott Emerson

Not a big showing this month, but quality entries nonetheless! Thank you all for participating. Honorable mentions go to Josh (who can't win because he works here) for making me worry a bit about him, and Pablo Ortiz M. O', because the image of the Easter Bunny (or did you mean Sasquatch?) eating my husband was so damn funny!

Winning Entry from PROleary:


Every night I hope it returns but I never see its pale pink face. So I lope to my lonely cave, lean my furry hide against cold stone, and dream.


Winning Entry from Scott Emerson:


Halfbreed, they taunted. Mutant.

In his bedroom he takes off size 18 sneakers, studies legs matted with patchy fur and the diminutive member between them.

Nothing was crueler than irony.

Taylor Houston

Column by Taylor Houston

Taylor Houston is a genuine Word Nerd living in Portland, OR where she works as a technical writer and volunteers on the marketing committee for Wordstock, a local organization dedicated to writing education. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Spanish from Hamilton College and attended Penn State's MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. She has taught writing at all levels from middle school to college to adult, and she is the creator of Writer’s Cramp, a class for adults who just want to write!

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Christopher Peterson's picture
Christopher Peterson from Illinois is reading the tea leaves... February 11, 2015 - 10:18am

Logbook – VLCC Alaskan Bellweather, Oil Tanker – Albert Gore, Captain

05/24/06 0357h: Lookout spotted unidentified figure crossing sea ice southward near daybreak. Reported immense bipedal creature bearing resemblance to man, bear, and pig. By God, this is my white whale.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine February 2, 2015 - 10:51am

Cum for Bigfoot

Little did I know this camping trip was to be my erotic awakening, and would spawn a popular series of self-published eBooks featuring hirsute cryptid sex.

Christopher Lesko's picture
Christopher Lesko from Ohio August 25, 2020 - 8:46pm


The gorilla-size rabbit with bloodshot eyes slid it's warm, heavy, moist body over my face. Thousands of liquid eggs squirted into my mouth until I was about to choke.

PROleary's picture
PROleary from central NJ is reading anything and everything February 3, 2015 - 10:15am


Every night I hope it returns but I never see its pale pink face. So I lope to my lonely cave, lean my furry hide against cold stone, and dream.

Micah Gilman's picture
Micah Gilman February 3, 2015 - 4:02pm


The crackle of firelight kisses the trees around us. A scruffy shrub gently sways to the rhythm of Razor Love. Its blinking orange eyes catch mine, then recede into darkness.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal February 3, 2015 - 5:31pm

Let Me Take a #Selfie

In an effort to break out of recent box office obscurity, award winning filmmaker Michael Moore takes a selfie, tries to claim he found Sasquatch.

Scott Emerson's picture
Scott Emerson from Pennsylvania is reading The Nightmare Frontier February 3, 2015 - 9:24pm



Halfbreed, they taunted. Mutant.

In his bedroom he takes off size 18 sneakers, studies legs matted with patchy fur and the diminutive member between them.

Nothing was crueler than irony.

Emily Brown's picture
Emily Brown February 3, 2015 - 10:29pm


"Susan! Wake up! He's out there!"

"Not falling for it again, Gary."

"I'm serious, Sue! He's out--"

"--GARY! I'm trying to sleep... And please stop farting in the godamned tent!"

Alex Miller's picture
Alex Miller February 4, 2015 - 7:58pm


Flesh melts and bones snap between these teeth. Allowing their lifeblood to flow. Warm and sweet. Loved ones and strangers all alike. My grotesque form mirrored back from dead eyes.

James Matterhorn's picture
James Matterhorn February 17, 2015 - 9:34am

Mothman's Bite

My eyelids were metal, sleep was overtaking me. As my vision flickered, dark, patchy wings unfurled to reveal two red eyes hovering at the footboard. Why was I so tired?

Bog Monster's picture
Bog Monster from Bristol United Kingdom February 15, 2015 - 3:07pm

Yeti climbs

Dragging a big foot, swollen with frost. Everything aching. Yet he climbs higher towards the summit. his last chance for proof. Then in broken English
'Look. Little man like animal'.

Pablo Ortiz M. O''s picture
Pablo Ortiz M. O' from México is reading Stephen King, Dark Tower series February 11, 2015 - 4:54pm

Oh Really?

"I no more believe in this mythical creature than I believe in the Easter Bunny."  

I turned aroung and shouted at her "so then, who is that eating your husband?"

Nicholas Anderson's picture
Nicholas Anderson from Denver is reading Necessary Stranger February 12, 2015 - 11:25am

A "Not So" Ode to a Chupacabra

Oh Chupacabra 

You are a Carona with no lime, 10 miles from any beach chairs. 

You are uglier than an Ozark family reunion.


You are the reason for agoraphobia. 

Dave Cummins's picture
Dave Cummins from Ireland February 16, 2015 - 8:09am

Sasquatch vs Abominable Snowman II: This time it's personal

We reached the icy cave entrance.
‘Finger on the trigger,’ said the Sasquatch, ‘we’re taking this abominable bastard out.’
Our machine guns ripped the air around us.

Jess M's picture
Jess M from Bristol is reading Invisible Monsters February 18, 2015 - 3:44am

Destined to be an Outcast

Amid growls tears fell upon fur.  As the prophet said, despite the attack, a beautiful boy would be born. But such beauty, his mother knew, would go unrecognised by others.