1. The Business of Murder
Flash fiction when done effectively tends to be over before the reader is ready. This thrilling, 937-word piece about a planned homicide agency that never misses an appointment will keep you thinking long after the final sentence.
One of Reddit’s most famous comments, this tale of a fantastically dumb, haplessly helpless student by NoahtheRed will have you torn between “This can’t be real” and “You can’t make this up.”
3. The Monster Under the Bed
Are you afraid of what goes bump in the night? Check out tumblr user kittenwiskers’ response to the following writing prompt: “You’re in charge of assigning every child on Earth the monster under their bed. One child in particular has caused every monster assigned to him/her to quit. You decide to assign yourself.”
4. A Tiny Feast
Written by Chris Adrian and published in the New Yorker, this (slightly longer, very poignant) short story follows Oberon and Titania, the immortal faerie rulers, when they adopt a human toddler only to learn the child is stricken with leukemia.
5. Denny the Bad Ass
Behold, one of the oldest links saved in my Bookmarks folder. In fifth grade, I stumbled upon this story on Funnyjunk, and it changed the course of my life, as I learned that I could no longer go on without a sword in my cane. Warning: slightly salty language ahead.
6. American Idol for Terrorists
Fan of surprise endings? Here’s Reddit user RamsesThePigeon’s response to the writing prompt “A terrorist group has been infiltrated by so many agencies that it is now run by spies, unbeknownst to the spies themselves. This fact becomes apparent to an actual extremist who joins their ranks.”
7. How a City in France Got the World’s First Short-Story Vending Machines
After you press 1, 3, or 5, a certain vending machine in Grenoble, France with a glass panel bearing the words “Distributeur d’histoires courtes” will dispense a story that will take 1, 3, or 5 minutes to read.