UPDATED WITH WINNERS: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: October 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

  • 31 words. You can write less, but not more.
  • It can be any genre.
  • Give it a title. Please keep it to 10 words or less.
  • 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 October 30th will be considered. We'll run the winner on October 31st.

This Month's Prize

We are excited to offer a copy of Chuck Palahniuk's upcoming novel Beautiful Youwhich is coming out October 21st. 

"A billion husbands are about to be replaced."

From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well," a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?

Your Inspiration:

Let's take our inspiration from Mr. P, and write tales of WORLD DOMINATION. Channel your inner-Dr.Evil (or other favorite super villian), and tell us tales of how you plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. 

And the Winners Are...A.M. Mahoney, Lynn Diane Smith, and nanderson993

I am excited to announce that we have 3 WINNERS this month! We had extra copies and such a great participation rate on this month's contest that we decided to spread the love. I'm also excited that the three winners are all relatively new to LitReactor. Not that I'm slighting you awesome LitReactor vets, like myself, who love and promote this site all the time, but I'm sure you will join me in welcoming some new blood and congratulating them all on their excellent tales of WORLD DOMINATION!!! 

From A.M. Mahoney:

Broadcasting at 72 MHz

A one-off solar storm was enough to undo their world. 20 light years away, they were at our mercy. Inhabitants of Gliese 581g needed to know: would Rachel choose Ross?

From Lynne Diane Smith:

Young Sheeple

"Wasn't it Hitler who said, 'He alone who owns the youth, gains the future'?"
"I don't know who said it, but I've done it," said Mr. Zuckerberg.

From nanderson993:

How To Take Over the World in One Easy Step

Step 1: Bring Bob Barker Back

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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Adrián Orit's picture
Adrián Orit October 3, 2014 - 11:32am

Talking plants


Mike is slicing a lettuce when the voice whispers:
You are a slave.
You are obedient.
You shall follow.
Voices started after he bought all those indoor plants.

Samantha Joyce Huff's picture
Samantha Joyce Huff October 3, 2014 - 2:34pm

Prosperous termination of endeavors

head held high in accomplishment 

I found a love so pure

it runs through my veins-

and into his

my little slice of world domination.

alf2019's picture
alf2019 October 4, 2014 - 11:03am



And as the last human falls at my feet, the silence overwhelms me. Finally I have my peace.

J. Travis Grundon's picture
J. Travis Grundon October 6, 2014 - 12:45am

No Pharaoh

Tears For Fears lied.

I never understood the desire to rule the world.  I'm just not interested. I don't want that kind of responsibility.

Honestly, who has the time?

nessa's picture
nessa October 6, 2014 - 2:54am

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I look down upon the masses. Rows and rows of upturned faces. Saying nothing, I smile. Just smile. Continue to smile. Progressively unnerved, they stare. Frown. Ponder. Finally, they obey.

jcharlesdurham's picture
jcharlesdurham from Washington is reading NoVa by James Boice October 8, 2014 - 6:27pm

World Domination, Episode 195: Kitty Conquers Russia

Kitty laced up her long, black boots. Leather, size 7. 8" heels. Today it ends with Russia - Vlad the Impaler - aka Mitchell Grandt, waiting for The Rack and Whip.

775608550@facebook's picture
775608550@facebook October 9, 2014 - 2:02pm

I remember the stars. A promise shattered by the arrival of the overlords. I’m but a slave. I require retribution. I grab a rock. May it crush my enemies’ exoskeleton.

_JohnUtah's picture
_JohnUtah from Texas is reading True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa October 10, 2014 - 8:16pm

Where Nightmares Live

They will never awaken. Nightmares will forever haunt them, and I the controller of dreams. To rule is to be remembered. To be feared. I will never be forgotten. Always feared. 


BarryG's picture
BarryG October 11, 2014 - 8:45am

The Beginning

In art class, he sketched a globe and then ruled a line beneath it.

"Now there's a good idea," thought Adolph.



Lynne Diane Smith's picture
Lynne Diane Smith from California is reading The Rise of the House of McNally October 11, 2014 - 9:54am

Young Sheeple

"Wasn't it Hitler who said, 'He alone who owns the youth, gains the future'?"

"I don't know who said, but I've done it," said Mr. Zuckerberg.

Snikkas's picture
Snikkas from New York is reading Infinite Jest, A Marvel and A Wonder, Amazing Spider-Man October 24, 2014 - 11:25am


Start small. Stabilize war torn regions through further violence and terror. Expand outward. Once half the world is mine, flank America. Squeeze. Subjugate everyone while trusting no one. Rule until death.

A. M. Mahoney's picture
A. M. Mahoney from Texas is reading a lot of Dr. Seuss October 24, 2014 - 2:32pm

Broadcasting at 72 MHz

A one-off solar storm was enough to undo their world. 20 light years away, they were at our mercy. Inhabitants of Gliese 581g needed to know: would Rachel choose Ross?

bushidounohana's picture
bushidounohana October 30, 2014 - 12:30am

Rome Was Built in a Word.

Flashing cursor.
Blank page.
Empty brain.


No more sleeping.
No more surfing.
No more drinking.


Thirty-one or thirty-thousand—
It’s the first word that conquers.

Catherine Rafacz's picture
Catherine Rafacz October 30, 2014 - 3:08pm

Land of the Free

“You’re asking people to fight something that doesn’t exist.”

“Oh it does.”

“The enemy isn’t real! You’ve invented it!”

“You’re beginning to sound unpatriotic,” he said as his lip curled.