The 48th OTP mini-contest launched in April 2021. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story up to 50 words long in which every sentence was a question.
We received 188 entries. Here are the winning entries, then the honorable mentions. All six winners are new to OTP.
Third Place by George Berkheimer (new to OTP)
“Why is everything so bright? Who slapped me? Wait, where are we going? Why the hell is this thing so cold? Seven pounds four ounces, what does that even mean? Can’t I go back to the warmth? My God, does the suffering never cease?”
Second Place by Daria Davis (new to OTP)
How do you think I feel? You think it’s easy, being the depressed kid’s mom? You think people don’t talk, Jen? For God’s sake, can’t you just cheer up a little? Get out of bed once in a while? Are you even listening?
“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”
First Place by Khushi Bajaj (new to OTP)
“Can you please hold my hand a little tighter when we cross the graveyard?”
“Of course, darling—this is your first time being dead, isn’t it?”
Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)
Three other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.
What if, one night, Death’s Angel lit upon your bed? Would you ponder Life? Glory in being well-lived? Would you smile joyfully, like I did?
But if your Angel, like mine, had horns where Her halo should’ve been? What then? Would you scream to high heaven, like I did?
(by Roger Hammons, new to OTP)
“Is it nice out today?”
Why does Dad even ask? Doesn’t he realize he’ll never leave this hospice alive?
Then again, why don’t they open the damn windows? “Um, Nurse?”
(by Gregory Anderson, new to OTP)
“Would you like a blindfold?”
“Do you think that it will help?”
“How about a cigarette, instead?”
“Aren’t those things bad for your health?”
“Any last requests?”
(by James Blakey, new to OTP)
Now It’s Our Turn
This time, the co-publishers wanted to play along. Here are our (very different) entries:
“So you blame her?”
“You think it’s easy to quit?”
“But did she even try?”
“Are you really asking?”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“Maybe because you already know the answer? Why would you be carrying her casket if you really thought she was to blame?”
(by Bethany Granger, co-publisher)
Out of all the kids on Earth you picked ME? Are all flying saucers this cool? What’s THIS button do? Can I touch your antennas? Do you have death lasers? Can we blow up the moon? Is this lever supposed to come off like that? Wait, why are we turning around?
(by Tarl Kudrick, co-publisher)
Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.