Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 164,193,775 Issue: 173 | 14th day of Sleeping, Y7
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Notable: Part Two

by pandabearb


Mala wiped her eyes and said, "What's this?"

     "Just open it," Julie replied excitedly.

     Mala opened the object, a case, and shrieked happily. "Is this what I think this is?"

     "Yes," Julie replied with a smile. "It's the clarinet I used to win the Seasonal Talent Show when I played in it. I want you to have it. But don't break its winning streak! Go out there and get the gold!"

     "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Mala exclaimed and hugged her sister. She began jumping up and down while cradling the clarinet case in her arms.

     Their owner smiled and said to Mala, "Come on, we better get going! Performers were supposed to be at school a couple of minutes ago,"

     Mala grabbed her case and music then followed their dad out the door, waving to her brother and sister as she left. "See you in an hour!" she shouted and then the door banged shut.

* * * * * * * * * * *

     Bobby and Julie strolled into the school auditorium scanning the crowded seats for their father. Finding him, they quickly walked down and pushed past people already gathered in the rows to get seats next to their owner.

     "How is she?" Julie asked as she sat down and opened her program.

     "I don't know. I think she's nervous, but alright," their dad replied.

     Julie stared at the stage, knowing that there were a lot of performers behind the curtain waiting in anticipation for the show to start. She squinted as she thought that she saw a red head peek out from behind the curtain quickly before going back in. "I'll be right back," Julie said as she got up and began pushing past all of the people again, getting annoyed murmurs from them.

     The blue Gelert strode back behind the stage and looked around for her sister. There she was, standing in the back with a scared look on her face. Her new clarinet was gleaming slightly under the dim light of the backstage and Mala's music was crinkled tightly in her hand.

     Julie shook her head and walked back to her sister, hiding a smile. "How are ya doing?" She asked her sister with a smile.

     A look of relief washed over Mala's face when she saw her sister. She managed a small smile and said, "I'm so nervous. What if I mess up?"

     "What if you do mess up?" Julie asked. "So what? Just keep going and pretend that you meant for it to sound like that. That's what I did, and it didn't turn out so bad."

     Mala's eyes widened and her jaw dropped slightly as she soaked in what Julie had just told her. "You mean you messed up when you played?"

     Julie just smiled without answering and gave her sister a supportive hug. "You'll do fine. Trust me. But I have to get back to my seat now because the show will be starting soon. Good luck!"

     The show was just starting by the time Julie got back to her seat.

     "Welcome to the Twelfth Annual Neoschool Seasonal Talent Show!" A strict-looking yellow Lenny said into a microphone on the stage. "We have some wonderful and talented performers backstage ready to entertain you. We ask that any food in the auditorium at this time is chewed quietly and we also would like to add that if you have any drinks with you, please don't slurp them loudly. Also, if you witness a bad performance, please refrain from throwing any vegetables or waffles at the contestants as it is poor manners. Thank you and enjoy the show!" The audience applauded politely as the Lenny went off to the side of the stage and announced the first performer.

     As the first contestant, a pineapple Chia, sang some song that Julie had never heard of, she scanned the program looking for Mala's name. Julie made a face as she saw that her sister's name was second to last. She went off on a daydream seeing her sister waiting in a corner in agony, alone and afraid, as contestant after contestant went through their performances and came off, relieved that it was done. She was thrown back into reality as the audience clapped for the first contestant.

     Bobby squirmed in his seat and Julie leaned with her head in one hand as they watched the performances. There was a jelly Chomby that could juggle and a lot of dance numbers. They waited in agony as a Cybunny violinist butchered a once-beautiful piece of music. Finally it was Mala's turn.

     Mala slowly shuffled out onto the stage with her clarinet in one hand and her music in the other. Placing her music on the stand, she took a moment to look around the auditorium. She had never realized just how big it really was. Mala glanced at the panel of judges sitting just off of the stage. They were waiting patiently for her to begin, as was the audience.

     Taking a big breath, she put the clarinet mouthpiece in her mouth and began playing. The song was a classic Seasonal carol that was made especially popular by Jazzmosis a couple of years ago. The notes flowed out smoothly as her fingers expertly moved up and down, alternating between covering the keys and keeping them open. She thought about how far she had come since her brother and sister began helping her a couple of years ago. She realized how lucky she was to have siblings who cared for her. With that extra discovery, she finished her piece with an extra dynamic on a note that came out perfectly in tune.

     It seemed like the audience exploded in applause as Julie and Bobby jumped out of their seats clapping like mad for their sister. Julie was so proud of Mala and was yelling out, "I taught her everything she knows!"

     Bobby was shoving Julie and yelling back, "I taught her everything else she knows!" All the while they were cheering and shouting as loud as they could, until they lost their voices.

     Mala took a bow and quickly backed out behind the curtain, so happy that she was done.

     After the last performer had finished, the yellow Lenny walked back onto the center of the stage. "Well, we had a great performance tonight and I hoped you enjoyed it. We decided not to judge anything this year. Good bye and walk safely."

     The crowd replied to that remark with a series of "What?" and "Aww…" clearly disappointed.

     The Lenny looked at the crowd and said, "I'm just kidding. I know, I know, I'm such a joker, right?" He took a moment to laugh at his joke then continued, "Well, we're going to get the results from the judges right now, so all you contestants can begin to cross your fingers and hope for the best."

     He walked over to the panel of judges and they placed an envelope in his wing. Walking back, he broke the seal on the envelope and pulled out a piece of paper. "We'll start with the third place winner. Please give a round of applause for Bob, the Orange Chia, on his wonderful performance on the triangle!"

     Bob walked up looking really surprised as he was handed a miniscule bronze trophy the size of a dead radish.

     "And the second place trophy goes to…Mala, the red Yurble, with her superb performance on the clarinet!"

     Mala walked onto the stage, looking slightly disappointed, but with a big smile on her face, and accepted her silver trophy. It was a pretty good size, and it appeared to be a good weight, as Mala had trouble carrying it over to stand next to the Chia.

     "The first place prize goes to Charlie, the juggling jelly Chomby! Please give him and all of our winners a grand applause!" The Lenny continued as Charlie walked out and shook his hand. He was given a huge golden trophy that was bigger than he was.

     * * * * * * * * * * * *

     Mala slowly walked outside of the entrance to the school and began searching for her family. She spotted them next to a tree in the yard. Julie ran over at full speed, followed closely behind by Bobby, with their owner bringing up the rear.

     Julie ran up and half-attacked, half-hugged her sister. "You did great, Mala!" Julie exclaimed. "I'm so proud of you!"

     Mala smiled grimly and replied sadly, "But I didn't even win."

     "You may not have won the actually first place, but we thought that you were the best out there. Couldn't you hear us yelling for you?" Bobby retorted happily, his eyes sparkling.

     "You did wonderfully, Mala!" Their owner praised and gave her a hug.

     "I am still sorry that I didn't win first place, though, Julie. I guess I broke the winning streak for you clarinet," Mala told her sister, looking at her feet.

     Julie glanced from her brother to her father and reached into a bag that was hanging on her arm. She took out a makeshift trophy in the shape of a clarinet made with wood that they had bought in a store. It was painted gold and said on it "You won!" Julie handed it to her sister and said, "This is from all of us to you. You won in our eyes!"

     Mala took the trophy that had been hand-made by her siblings. She traced the outline of the poorly cut-in keys and ran her finger down the uneven paint job. The "You won!" looked like "Too vom!" Tears filled Mala's eyes as she set down her silver trophy and cradled her family's. "It's beautiful," she whispered.

The End

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