UPDATED WITH WINNER - LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: April Fool's 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

  • 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 April 29th will be considered. We'll run the winner on April 30th.

This Month's Prize

This month's winner will receive a copy of Donna Tartt's highly praised book The Goldfinch.

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

Your Inspiration:

Today is April Fool's Day, but let's celebrate fools and jokesters the entire month by awarding the flash fiction prize to the best joke or prank. 

And the April Fool Is....Christopher Peterson

This entry needs no explanation:

Why Grandma's Banned For Life From the Church Bake Sale

"What's the difference between pie and pussy?"
"What, Grandma?"
"You love eating my pie.

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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Grant Williams's picture
Grant Williams from Wichita, KS is reading Friday April 1, 2015 - 11:14am


It was planned perfectly except that she wouldn't be home until Tuesday to untie him.

Robert VanCleave's picture
Robert VanCleave from The Land of Ice And Snow is reading "Sex Lives of Siamese Twins" by Irving Welsh April 1, 2015 - 1:21pm

April's Flash Fiction Contest

If only they knew it was all just a hoax; a fixed one at that.

MikeJesus's picture
MikeJesus from Nowhere in particular is reading This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald April 1, 2015 - 4:50pm

Televised Jest

“It’s not funny!”
No one could hear her over the roar of the audience.

Christopher Peterson's picture
Christopher Peterson from Illinois is reading the tea leaves... April 7, 2015 - 1:00pm

Why Grandma's Banned For Life From the Church Bake Sale

"What's the difference between pie and pussy?"
"What, Grandma?"
"You love eating my pie."

_JohnUtah's picture
_JohnUtah from Texas is reading True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa April 4, 2015 - 2:14pm

I wouldn't If You Didn't

"What's in your hand?"

"The Clown's fake bullets.  Ready for a laugh?"

BarryG's picture
BarryG April 6, 2015 - 6:15am

Coroner's Report 1 April 2015: Testimony of Jack Kevorkian, Obstetrician

"All I said was that her ultrasound showed octuplets. Guess she couldn't take a joke!"

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated April 6, 2015 - 12:19pm

Dental Work

He awoke and saw a bloody tooth someone left. Later he realized it was his.

JuliaK's picture
JuliaK April 6, 2015 - 1:11pm


April one had been; April fools abounded. I wasn't one; I was in solitary confinement.