Mini-Contest #44

The 44th OTP mini-contest launched in November 2019. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story up to 50 words long in which some kind of board game played an important role.

Here are our winning entries, then our honorable mentions. All six of our winners are new to OTP.

Third Place by Ethan Nahte (new to OTP)

Jason’s wife slammed her hand down on the Risk board, scattering the plastic numerals. She had lost 11 of 14 games.


“Why?” he asked, sighing.

“I have a college degree! I should be able to beat a high school graduate!”

He realized this marriage would never work.


Second Place by Jeffrey Hunt (new to OTP)

It was the slumber party girls, yelling into the phone again: “Come join us!”

“Why?” Henry asked.

“We’re playing games… board games. Now get your butt here!”

“Should I bring Stratego? Risk?”

“Uhhh!” the girls exclaimed. “You really don’t have a—”

“Clue?” Henry interrupted. “Want me to bring that?”


First Place by Jeff Gard (new to OTP)

When the therapist suggested we become more playful in our love life, I never imagined Tony would suggest strip Monopoly. Three hours later, he was bankrupt and naked. Fearing another penalty, he refused to touch the community chest. Neither of us passed Go, yet our therapist still collected $200.


Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)

Three other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.

“That’s not a game,” she said, yanking the ouija board away and giving us a dirty look. “It’s serious business.”

We got out Monopoly instead. It was all fun and games until Billy asked who moved the old shoe. None of us had. We packed Monopoly away; Ouija seemed safer.
(by Ashley Scott, new to OTP)

Paul patiently repeated the word every day, but Pinky the parrot would only squawk back. Every weekend Pinky noisily watched Paul play Scrabble with his kids. One day when Paul was cleaning the bird cage, he found five Scrabble squares laid out on its floor. The letters spelled “HELLO”.
(by Marie Daniely, new to OTP)

A car ride to the psych ward is followed by paperwork, then a tour. My parents leave. I’m near tears, abandoned.

Three other girls finish a game. One invites me over. I’m hesitant to take a seat.

We play Life. I suck at it, but I’m not the only one.
(by Jessica Bowden, new to OTP)

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