The 33rd OTP mini-contest was held in April 2017. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story no more than 50 words long in which some kind of anniversary played an important part.
Here are our winning entries, then our honorable mentions. All six authors are new to OTP.
Third Place by Marty Weiss (new OTP author)
Just like it had for the last 49 years, the unwanted package containing a 7.62 mm rifle bullet, its flattened tip stained by dried blood, arrived March 16. It reminded Ted of his participation in the mission and the sight of the slaughtered bodies. He would not open it.
Second Place by Nancy Dassy (new OTP author)
Today is the 20th anniversary of the day I was born. It should be called a birthday, but as they have explained I was made not born. They didn’t sing or buy me a cake, instead my creator was honored for having made such an astonishing accomplishment in science.
First Place by Jonathan Nissan (new OTP author)
Awoken from its slumber, the elevator began its ascent. The surface was finally declared safe, exactly two centuries after the atomic apocalypse. Bertram didn’t know what to expect. He looked around. All he saw was a flat empty field. And elevators. Thousands of elevators, each with its own dumbfounded onlooker.
Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)
Three other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.
The woman drops a handful of crushed flowers on her daughter’s grave. Elizabeth, she says, the rain making the sod mushy where she stands. Five years ago on this day killed by the man with the scratched headstone two graves away. Squeezing her eyes shut, hating. They are neighbors now.
(by Gary Robbe, new OTP author)
“Ain’t today ten years for you? You and I came in on the same day. I remember. Can’t believe I been at this job all these years. It’s a long time to do anything.”
The prisoner clutched the bars and looked the guard in the eyes. “Yeah. Especially time.”
(by Jennifer Floyd, new OTP author)
Hospice nurses swarmed. The patient permitted every means of resuscitation. With shocks, stimulants and pumps, he clung to life. The doctors had given him only six months; he told them he’d take a year. This was the day. The last seconds ticked down. He’d have his anniversary yet, damn them!
(by Nathan Large, new OTP author)
Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.