The 42nd OTP mini-contest launched in May 2019. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story no between 30 and 50 words long in which no word was more than seven letters long.
Here are our winning entries, then our honorable mentions. Four of our six winners are new to OTP.
Third Place by Jennifer Moore (published in multiple mini-contests)
After the world ended, Cassie handed me back her ring. “Sorry Mike,” she said, “I don’t think you’re the right man for me after all.”
“But I’m the only man left.”
She nodded, smiling sadly as she levered open the shelter door.
I’m not going to lie. That hurt.
Second Place by T. L. Sherwood (published in issue #32)
Lacy drapes flutter. Wings flap in angst. The wasp marches around the window, looks for a break. Freedom is out there, beyond the glass barrier. The ancient woman has watched this pest for hours. She takes her pills, sours with kinship, wishes she could escape, too.
First Place by Carol Scheina (new to OTP)
Annie was glum. “Cindy got the fairy’s wish, not me. Prince and all. But,” Annie then beamed, “I get Cindy’s old life.”
“Do you know what it’s like?” Dru asked.
“Does it matter? It’s got to be better.”
A pause. “Can I have your old life then?”
Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)
Three other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.
Santa Fe Sam waved his six gun and stopped the Laredo stage coach.
“Throw down the strong box.”
“No strong box,” replied the driver, “just luggage.”
“Yeah, for them four Texas Rangers inside.”
They buried Sam on the side of the road.
(by Frank Kozusko, new to OTP)
Dawn was warned that snakes escape, but she didn’t expect to lose Rocky, her boa. The burglar didn’t expect to find Rocky curled in the drawer with the silver. Dawn didn’t expect to find a robber passed out on her kitchen floor, but at least Granny’s dessert forks were saved.
(by Leisel Hufford, new to OTP)
“No man shall ever kill you.” The genie snapped its fingers. “My payment—”
“But women can?” the Dark Lord whined.
“Okay, human. Your bill is—”
“What about objects? If ‘humans’ can’t kill me, but a sword can—”
Five minutes later, the genie killed the Dark Lord.
(by Emily Sorensen, new to OTP)
Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.