The Contest Part two

Short story: The Contest

Part two of three


They finally finished and went back to the bottom, where they looked over all the pictures. There was one hundred and fifty in all, many of which were great, but Maria still felt that any picture she had did not fit the theme of this contest.

"What'll fit the description?" Maria wondered aloud, looking at the miles of forest around her.

"Hey," Aiden began, speaking for the first time since she and Maria were on the phone earlier. "Why don't we go for a walk through town? We can see what there is to take pictures of."

"That's a good idea! Let's go ask Mom if we can."

"Sounds good."

Maria and Aiden set forward onto the path leading home, then after they got permission from her mother, they grabbed a pair of bikes and headed towards the town center. Maria lived in a hilly area, mostly grass, and flowers, but with a couple of houses here and there. It was not uncommon to see a bear or wolf, but there had been few accounts of an attack. It was an hour and a half's ride to town. They set off around 1:30, hoping to be back home by 6:00. The air was warm, riddled with a few breezes here and there.

The town was nowhere near as 'country' as Maria's home area was. There were malls, offices, and at least two people who had a million dollars. It was a tourist attraction, though only because a couple miles farther was a popular geyser. There were many gift shops and candy shops in their town, as their town was sort of a tourist attraction. They were remembered for their unique building designs, and beautiful beachfront views.

When they first got to town, their first thought was to check out The Sweet Shoppe. The Sweet Shoppe was an old-fashioned candy shop, complete with a taffy puller, where saltwater taffy was pulled daily. As they walked in, this was the first thing that Maria saw. That would be an interesting picture, She thought, turning her head the way of the taffy workers. No, it wouldn't work. She turned away and started to look at the candy. None of it really spoke to her as art, so she shrugged and turned to Aiden, who was watching the worker pull the taffy.

"Ready to leave?" She asked, startling Aiden, who was, apparently, very wrapped up in the chocolate.

"Sure, let's go," Aiden said, diverting her attention back to Maria.

They began to head out, continuing their adventure for the perfect picture. Maria took pictures at three other stops, when she saw a giant metal outline of a building, reflecting the sky in the distance.

"That's perfect!!" She practically shrieked, grabbing Aiden's hand, and dragging her along, over to the building. "What is that?" She asked excitedly as they hurried to it. The streets weren't crowded, so they were able to get to the building quickly.

"I think it's a construction site. They're building an office for Mayor Mortis."

"Great. Well, it's perfect! See how the setting sun is reflecting into the Let's get over there! Come on!" They turned one more corner and almost ran right into a fence.

"What's this doing here? No!! I need to get in there!"

"Why?" Maria asked, confused. "Just take the picture out here, it's a good view."

"It's too far away! I can't get a good picture, I have to get a great one!"

"Well Maria, we're too far away to do anything about it now. The sun's setting. If you're going to do something, do it now!"

Maria looked sideways at the building, a plan formulating in her mind.

"No!" Aiden interrupted Maria's thoughts.

"What? What harm would come if I happened to accidentally slip over the edge? Look, everyone's gone now!" She said with a glint in her eye.

"No! No, you can't! What if you get caught? What if someone finds out? You would go to jail! If they caught you, you could ruin your chances of becoming a lawyer!!"

"Relax. I'm not going to get caught. Even if I do, what damage will one little black mark do on my record?" She started climbing the fence, strapping her camera around her neck and arm like a purse.

"Maria! Come down!" She repeated.

"I need to win this Aiden. You wouldn't understand. You don't go to school with Thea!"

"Maria!" Aiden's voice dropped to a whisper, even though the place was abandoned. "Get down from there! Th-They could have trip wires! Or-or security cameras!"

Maria ignored her friend's pleas and continued on. Her heart started pounding, her throat was dry, and she was only focused on the building. Get the picture. Get the picture. Get the picture. She pushed this thought around her head. Over and over again. Get the picture. Get the picture. Get the picture. Synchronized with her heartbeat. Get the picture. Get the picture. Get the picture. She took a deep breath and jumped off the fence, now officially breaking the law.

She turned around to say something to Aiden, who had run away. Maria shrugged. Though she felt a little hurt Aiden had left, she knew it was best Aiden not get in trouble. Not that there was going to be trouble! She looked back at the building. She guessed she only had a few minutes before the sun sank, and even less time to get out before she was spotted.

She let out a deep breath and pushed the voice of her conscience down.
It's go time Maria.

You've got to win this.

Otherwise, it's all for nothing.

End Pt. 2

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