Mini-Contest #53

The 53rd OTP mini-contest launched in May 2022. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story between 25 and 50 words long that featured an unreliable narrator.

We received 157 entries. Here are the winning entries, then the honorable mentions. Six of the seven winners are new to OTP.

Third Place by Doug Jacquier (published in Issue #37)

Why did I leave my last job? Honestly, it was because my manager was totally clueless when it came to current trends in software and was outraged when I shared my view with the CEO at Christmas drinks. But I’m sure you guys are much more innovative.


Second Place by Julie Mehta (new to OTP)

I was sad because my favorite show got cut off by some news report. Mama took me to the beach and we made a sand castle with a huge wall around it. I thought maybe she was crying but she said it was just spray from the ocean.


First Place by Chris Cottom (new to OTP)

Always been good with names, unlike most people. Take Sayers yesterday. Didn’t know me, or even his own name, poor old thing. Insisted he was called Phillips. Sad when people lose it like that.

The staff aren’t much better. They’ve put the wrong name on the door of my room.


Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)

Four other entries earned honorable mentions.

The terrier’s tongue lolled from its drooling mouth, and it panted as if near death, but the dog’s cruel owner continued to torment his pet, and he threw away the stick, every time the faithful dog returned it to him. I couldn’t bear to watch!
by Mark Stanislawski (new to OTP)

I watch the police open the closet, shedding light on my shoe collection. They gasp at the sight. What’s so shocking? They’re just shoes. How else was I supposed to get them without severing their feet?
by Westley S. Smith (new to OTP)

In just these first three months alone, this year has brought me more than I could have fathomed. Defeat of Pompey, and now to be named King of Rome at the hands of my friends. Ah, there’s Brutus now.
by Kayla Thacker (new to OTP)

This is my secret. Don’t tell.

Whenever I’m walking the tideline by myself, I’m collecting precious gems. The green ones are emeralds; this one’s an opal.

When I’ve got enough, I’ll give them to my parents. They’ll be so happy! They’ll never have to worry about bills ever again.
by Fiona Jones (new to OTP)

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