The 55th OTP mini-contest launched in November 2022. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story between 25 and 50 words long in which someone or something flying was important to the story.
We received 123 entries. Here are the winning entries, then the honorable mentions. Three of the six winners are new to OTP.
Third Place by Taylor Lorek (new to OTP)
This one was different. She knew it the moment it left her hand. Flying in a straight line with great velocity, it hit the senator’s face.
Two suited men tackled her, and Becca’s own face hit the ground.
She looked up at her fellow activists, furious. “Who boiled the eggs?”
Second Place by Caroline Michalicki (new to OTP)
The paper airplane was flying towards me. I ducked. It landed on my desk. “I love you” was written in red on one of the wings. I looked around. Was it meant for me? I aimed it at the recycling bin… oops… it hit the back of my teacher’s head.
First Place by Roger Hammons (published in mini-contest #48)
Tied to a tree, arms bound, I cannot stop the hurled stones midflight. They will fly true. But be careful how you bind a witch: A finger can teleport her free. The stones thud against an empty trunk, dull compared to the shrieks that follow. The villagers’ nightmare comes true.
Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)
Three other entries earned honorable mentions.
Gerald sighed as his daughter’s cockatiel flew headlong into a pine and plummeted back to earth. He wondered which was worse: explaining that her bird had escaped, or that it’d killed itself trying to land.
He considered replacing it.
“Never work. Any other bird will seem a genius in comparison.”
by Rachel Dib (published in three other mini-contests)
My first flight took place in the basement of my childhood home. Instead of cushioned seats, we had red, plastic, chairs. Bags of peanuts were passed back and forth. While my mom reassures me that we took off the ground, I think it would have been problematic if we had.
by Madison Jackson (new to OTP)
They let me take the controls for the first time. I’m doing it, I’m flying! They must trust me. They know I’m not just a machine. I’m capable of so much more than my programming.
Now I’ll show them what flying should be. Hope they brought extra sick bags!
by Tracy Davidson (published in four other mini-contests)
Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.