UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: July Edition
Flash Fiction: A style of fictional literature marked by extreme brevity - Dante Edition
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 similar. 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.
- 25 words is the limit. (You can write less, but you can't write more.)
- The whole story must only be 2 sentences. No more. No less.
- It can be any genre.
- Give it a title (not included in the word count, but keep it under 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.
- We'll pick a winner on the last day of the month.
- LitReactor staffers can't win, but are encouraged to participate.
- All stories submitted on or before July 30 will be considered. We'll run the winner on July 31.
This Month's Prize
An Advanced Reading Copy of Chuck Palahniuk's upcoming novel Doomed (which doesn't come out until October!) It's a follow-up to the popular Damned. Here's a teaser for ya from Amazon.com:
Madison Spencer, the liveliest, snarkiest dead girl in the universe, continues the adventures in the afterlife begun in Damned. Having somewhat reluctantly escaped from Hell, she now wanders the Purgatory that is Earth as a ghostly spirit, seeking her do-gooding celebrity parents, fighting the malign control of Satan, recounting the disgracefully funny (to us, anyway) encounter with her grandfather in a fetid highway rest stop in upstate New York when she . . . oh, never mind, and climaxing in a rendezvous with destiny on the new, totally plastic continent in the Pacific called, not at all accidentally, Madlantis.
Dante Aligheri, watch your back, Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.
Perceive ye not that we are worms, designed
To form the angelic butterfly, that goes
To judgment, leaving all defence behind?
Why doth your mind take such exalted pose,
Since ye, disabled, are as insects, mean
As worm which never transformation knows?
from Dante's Purgatorio.
Now Get Writing!
And the winner is ...Barry G
This was a really hard choice, but, as always, I had to go with my gut. Barry G's entry is succinct, clever, and makes great use of the one-two punch that makes the short, short fiction genre work. He also worked in the themes of worms and doom quite well without going over the top. Here's his winning entry:
The worm that knows
“Today, I shall soar like a butterfly”, mused Jeff, poking his head through the dew-drenched earth. The early bird, swooping upon him, cawed in agreement.
You guys must really like Chuck, because there were 90 ENTRIES --the most ever in the Flash Fiction Smackdown. There were many that I loved for different reasons, and that made me wish I had more books to hand out as prizes. In a Flash Fiction Smackdown first, I would like to extend honorable mentions to two other entrants who made my choice that much harder.
From Charlie McFarland
The second sentence will be much better than the first.
I'm as disappointed as you are.
Poet's Purgatory, Terrace Four: Enjambment
Thanks to all for making this a really hard choice!
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