UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: October Edition

Flash Fiction: A style of fictional literature marked by extreme brevity

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.

The Rules

  • 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 October 30 will be considered. We'll run the winner on October 31.

This Month's Prize

Win a galley copy of Anthony Quinn's Border Angels (one of The Inspector Celcius Daly Mysteries).

Here's a bit about the book—which comes out this month—from Amazon.com:

On the Irish border, Inspector Celcius Daly investigates human trafficking and a scorched corpse.

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is a rugged place: cold, windswept, and dark. For the girls brought here from Eastern Europe, it may as well be a war zone. Put to work in a farmhouse brothel near Dunmore, the women are forced into a living hell. One night, a pimp takes one of them for a ride. She is just planning her escape when the car explodes. The next morning, there is nothing left but the pimp’s charred body and the woman’s footprints in the snow.

As his forensics specialists turn their attention to the burned corpse, Police Inspector Celcius Daly obsesses over the footprints. Where exactly did the woman come from, and where did she go? It is the sort of question asked only in the borderlands—between North and South, between life and death.

Your Inspiration

I hate scary movies. There, I said it. Even though many are very, very good, I just am too chicken to watch them.

But....since it's almost Halloween...

I dare you to scare me.

That's right. You get 25 words and two sentences to scare the *Bleep* out of me. Good luck!

Now Get Writing!

And the winner is…Trevor Duplessis.

Well, you folks are a bunch of scary muthaeffers. I even starred as the intended victim in two entries from previous Flash Fiction winners artistic addict and BarryG. (Nice try, guys!)

But there was one entry that creeped me out so much, I almost didn’t select it as the winner. But then I realized, I told you to scare me, and this entry truly did.

Thanks to Trevor, I will never look at those little stick-figure-family car stickers the same ever again. *shudder* So, without further ado:


He peels the sticker of the little boy from the minivan window’s decal family as he walks by. They won't need it come morning.

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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sheller14's picture
sheller14 October 30, 2013 - 5:54am


My family's at the store, and there's a plate of cookies in the kitchen. I take a bite...crap, they taste like peanut butter

Lisa_gag's picture
Lisa_gag October 30, 2013 - 5:54am

I heard knocking on my front door, opened it, nobody. Later I get in my bed and distinguish my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

sydneyd's picture
sydneyd October 30, 2013 - 6:49am

It Wasn't My Mother

As I lay wrapped in a snug blanket in bed, I hear my mother open the door. Instead I see a doctor watching me and then I realize it is not a blanket I am wrapped in.

ebishopbosu's picture
ebishopbosu October 30, 2013 - 6:58am

 My Past Actions

I stand over the freshly turned dirt and a thought comes to mind. If ghosts are real my father will not let me sleep tonight.  


K's picture
K October 30, 2013 - 7:41am

Curtains stired. Then I realized that windows were closed.

Sariaka Andria's picture
Sariaka Andria October 30, 2013 - 7:50am

My sister claims that mommy killed her. Mommy claims I don't have a sister.

Autumn Letrice's picture
Autumn Letrice October 30, 2013 - 7:51am

I was home alone one night, I sneezed. Then, I got a call from a private number; he said "bless you" and hung up.

Catie Gossett's picture
Catie Gossett from 10234 Maple Rd. Tybee Island Georgia is reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom October 30, 2013 - 7:52am

I was looking in the mirror. I walked away and when I looked back I was still there. 

ChaseMiller's picture
ChaseMiller October 30, 2013 - 7:52am

The Happy Couple 

Margret heard her abusive husband come home. She got up, and grabbed the knife.

Lili Alvarez's picture
Lili Alvarez October 30, 2013 - 7:54am

At night, I get into my car, it is really dark everywhere. I look through the rear view mirror and there it was. 

Megan Murphy's picture
Megan Murphy October 30, 2013 - 7:53am

Blood pools around my ankles. Hands grab for my feet and drag me down.

zseeberg's picture
zseeberg October 30, 2013 - 11:42am

We All Have Demons, Some More Deadly Than Others 

My cries for help echoed throughout the room as I was tied to the frozen slab. The demons from my past were back to kill.

SCeleste's picture
SCeleste October 30, 2013 - 8:13am

Fear consumed me as I pounded on the walls looking for a way out. I was trapped, alone, and soon to be dead. 

anasoto's picture
anasoto October 30, 2013 - 8:16am

Before I could turn the lights off, all of them went out and I heard a voice said "It's okay, i got it". 

maya.saupe's picture
maya.saupe October 30, 2013 - 8:16am

I closed my eyes, nervous about my first plane ride. When I opened them, the calendar in the hospital said November 2030.

hcraig's picture
hcraig October 30, 2013 - 9:54am

Standing in the dark, cold, the faint breeze on the back of your neck.  The feeling that something or someone is watching.




downer49's picture
downer49 October 30, 2013 - 9:54am

A deserted highway. no lights, no cars, no people. just shadows. swaying back and forth. back and forth. silently. 

erintukel's picture
erintukel October 30, 2013 - 10:08am

Creeping around the corner, heart pounding, palms sweating, wanting to run. One, two, then three steps. Death.

woodbridge's picture
woodbridge October 30, 2013 - 10:12am

I wake up to a drop of water splash my cheeks, I open my eyes.  My mother-in-law plunges her wrinkled face at my lips.

C.murphy's picture
C.murphy October 30, 2013 - 10:23am

Computers whir, then fall silent, and inside the viruses invade. Their programers are screaming.

MichaelM's picture
MichaelM October 30, 2013 - 10:47am

He danced across the room smiling, and giggling while holding the knife. The children watched as he picked up a child and whispered, “lets play.”

Incyde Out Boy's picture
Incyde Out Boy from Melstrand is reading This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Levitin October 30, 2013 - 11:16am

Shadow of Love


     Pressed against you enveloped in darkness holding tight you ask, "Please". I oblige and feel the warmth as your heart has intercourse with my blade.

John Gerber's picture
John Gerber from Mayville, New York October 30, 2013 - 11:42am
I Just Wanted a Piece of Candy
Yesterday, I met a sweet old lady. Today, I couldn’t feel my body- I was laying in a freezer.  
Dena Marie's picture
Dena Marie October 30, 2013 - 11:50am

Therapist said it would take me out of this world....

Strong hands, hovering breath, moist lips, and two tiny daggers resting near my jaw...a quick stab and sweet nectar oozes down my neck.

Beka Waterman's picture
Beka Waterman October 30, 2013 - 12:10pm

Toxic Thunder

It is the last night on Earth. Far in the distance, the sounds of Brittany Spear's Toxic can be heard amongst the screams. 

Joe McGlenn's picture
Joe McGlenn October 30, 2013 - 12:25pm

I got a call from my dad the other day that made me happy. I've missed him a lot since he's been dead.

maandrea's picture
maandrea October 30, 2013 - 12:40pm

I tried to stop and correct my ways. But the blood was everywhere that I couldn't stop. Unfortunately no one survived.

Patrick Belli's picture
Patrick Belli October 30, 2013 - 2:28pm

Trying to get to class that dark morning. My hair and face is drenched in blood, and I hear faint sirens. 

vikasnair's picture
vikasnair October 30, 2013 - 5:09pm


He heard a tap and a scratch from behind and swiveled around to shine his flashlight through the fog. RIP Jackson, 2013-'13: too soon.

deadpeasantmoon's picture
deadpeasantmoon October 30, 2013 - 5:21pm

She shut the living room drapes and ignored her inner demons. A tall retarded man cleaved her skull.

C00ki3M0nst3r's picture
C00ki3M0nst3r October 30, 2013 - 5:28pm

Princess’s scream, werwolves cry, Dracula’s blood spatters across my eyes. Who knows what the next knock on my door will bring, a trick or treat?

Repo Kempt's picture
Repo Kempt from Nova Scotia October 30, 2013 - 5:53pm

21st Century Witch

Activate curse app. Every email you ever wrote and your lifetime internet search history is now being sent to everyone in your address book.


Vlad's picture
Vlad October 30, 2013 - 6:24pm


I was working at home, alone. I felt a cold breath down my neck.

zombiesandkittens's picture
zombiesandkittens October 30, 2013 - 7:34pm

I stood in the cemetery. I was all alone. Then I heard the scream from beneath me. Gee, I thought I killed them all.

Dena Marie's picture
Dena Marie October 30, 2013 - 7:47pm

I heard a beep and then a woman's voice, but no one was there. 


By Dylan G. and Dena S.  

Sarah Eichbaum's picture
Sarah Eichbaum October 30, 2013 - 7:41pm

I was on my way home. I walked through the darkness until nothing but plain, cold blackness swallowed me to the point of no return.

Dena Marie's picture
Dena Marie October 30, 2013 - 8:16pm

After hours of labor the doctor says its not a boy, its not a girl...its green and has antennae. 

dwhiteindahouse's picture
dwhiteindahouse from America is reading Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type October 30, 2013 - 8:27pm
Password Strength: Medium

I submit my story to litreactor. Then I realize, it has already been submitted...with the same username.

nstarkman's picture
nstarkman October 31, 2013 - 5:39am

I arrive at home to my bachelor pad — just me. But I’m already at home, facing me opening the door; I’m holding a knife.

artistic addict's picture
artistic addict from Living in Fear and Loathing U.S.A. is reading 1984 October 31, 2013 - 12:42pm

Congratulations Trevor Duplessis! And thanks Taylor, I actually scared myself a little writing that one.

Kelby Losack's picture
Kelby Losack from Texas is reading Muerte Con Carne; The Summer Job; Bizarro Bizarro October 31, 2013 - 8:38pm

Amazing pick! The winner truly deserved this one. Definitely a powerful, terrifying two sentences.