Mini-Contest #26

The 26th mini-contest was held in May 2015. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story in two sentences that totaled no more than 50 words. The first sentence had to be set before some event happened, and the second had to be set after it happened.

Here are our winners, then our honorable mentions. Five of the seven winners are new to OTP, and two are repeat winners.

Third Place ($10) by Dana Schellings (new OTP author)

After a few beers a friend of mine bet me $200 I wouldn’t run around the block naked. The fines for public nudity and intoxication totaled $195, so I still came out ahead if you don’t count the video that went viral.


Second Place ($15) by Renee Loll (new OTP author)

My crush (if a married thirty-something mom of two can even use that word) texted me last night. Now I’m at the grocery store wondering if anyone can see the brand new scarlet A shining through my v-neck sweater.


First Place ($25) by Audrey Pierce (new OTP author)

As he pulled the trigger Sam realized that, despite the planning, the discipline, the training, he still did not know if he could handle the burden of taking a life—if he would ever be the same, or if something essential would become unmoored.

It was… amazing.


Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)
Four other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.

The Lord told me what to do but I went sailing instead. Who would have dreamed the inside of a whale would smell this fishy?
(by James Jalenak, new OTP author)


For years she avoided mirrors, the brown curves of her body feeling alien to her. At thirty, after hormones and surgery, he looked at his reflection and saw the person who had been there all along.
(by Laura Loomis, published numerous times in OTP)


The Professor, eager to win the eye-crossingly paradoxical Möbius Trophy, flipped the bird at his jeering competitors and activated the time machine. After, it was before.
(by Michael McGovern, honorable mention in mini-contest #22 and in short story contest #16)


For eight years Jackie had asked permission to brush her teeth, eaten only the remains from another’s plate, and hidden grocery dollars beneath the floor mat of her deteriorating Jetta. Now three hundred miles from home she stood alone, trembling in front of QuikBurger’s expansive, fluorescent menu, overwhelmed with possibilities.
(by L. J. Larsen, new OTP author)


Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.