UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: January 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.
- 15 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 January 29th will be considered. We'll run the winner on January 30th.
This Month's Prize
This month, win a copy of Singapore Noir, a collection of dark tales edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Included are brand-new stories by: Colin Goh, Simon Tay/Donald Tee Quee Ho, Philip Jeyaretnam, Colin Cheong, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Monica Bhide, S.J. Rozan, Lawrence Osborne, Suchen Christine Lim, Ovidia Yu, Damon Chua, Johann S. Lee, Dave Chua, and Nury Vittachi.
Here's a teaser from the introduction: by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan:
Say Singapore to anyone and you'll likely hear one of a few words: Caning. Fines. Chewing gum.
For much of the West, the narrative of Singapore--a modern Southeast Asian city-state perched on an island on the tip of the Malay Peninsula--has been marked largely by its government's strict laws and unwavering enforcement of them...As much as I understand these outside viewpoints, I have always lamented that the quirky and dark complexities of my native country's culture rarely seem to make it past its borders...
Beneath its sparkling veneer is a country teeming with shadows...And its stories remain. The rich stories that attracted literary lions W. Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling to hold court at the Raffles Hotel (where the Singapore Sling was created) are still sprinkled throughout its neighborhoods. And in the following pages, you'll get the chance to discover some of them...
You'll find stories from some of the best contemporary writers in Singapore--three of them winners of the Singapore Literature Prize, essentially the country's Pulitzer: Simon Tay, writing as Donald Tee Quee Ho, tells the story of a hard-boiled detective who inadvertently wends his way into the underbelly of organized crime, Colin Cheong shows us a surprising side to the country's ubiquitous cheerful 'taxi uncle,' while Suchen Christine Lim spins a wistful tale of a Chinese temple medium whose past resurges to haunt her...
As for mine, I chose a setting close to my heart--the kelongs, or old fisheries on stilts, that once dotted the waters of Singapore but are gradually disappearing. I have a deep sense of romance about these kelongs, along with the many other settings, characters, nuances, and quirks that you’ll see in these stories. They're intense, inky, nebulous. There is evil, sadness, a foreboding. And liars, cheaters, the valiant abound.
This is a Singapore rarely explored in Western literature--until now. No Disneyland here; but there is a death penalty.
Apparently, January is National Soup Month, and considering how cold it is in many parts of the world during this time of year, that seems appropriate to me. That said, not all soups are hot. Write a short recipe (15 words or less) for a perfect soup--whatever that means to you. Of course, it does not have to be edible, just soupy.
And the Winner Is...Anthony Puzzio
While soup wasn't the most inspiring prompt I've come up with, you all still came up with some pretty great stories! Well done, everyone!
However, let's congratulate Anthony Puzzio on his winning entry. I enjoyed the rhyming element of this soup story, as well as the double meaning of the word stew. Nicely done!
Me, You, A Table for Two. Leave your "lover" home, lonely, to stew.
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