Oh my god, we are here. In the biggest art competition in the United States. I should clarify that we means me, Scyla Jackson and my best friend Maraya Thomas or, as I like to call her, MayMay. We are both artists which is how we became friends. We are best at painting which is why we are walking toward the table saying PLEASE SIGN IN FOR PAINTING CONTEST!!! in colorful letters.

We arrive at the table say our first and last names to the lady, she gives us two name tags, one to put on our shirts and one for our bags, and a number, and says that they will call the contestants up by pairs, numerically. Our moms say they'll meet us after the competition. My dad had gone to a different contest for cars or something but he promises he'll be back for my part.

MayMay and I start walking towards the stadium where the painting contest is taking place. MayMay looks at her number then at mine in my hand.

"Ah dang it!" MayMay says.


"I got number 23 and you got 24!"


"We have to go against each other you dummy! And we have to go last!"

"Oh... yeah..." I say, instantly deflating.

"It's okay! No matter what we had the talent to get here and that's AMAZING!" MayMay, as usual, bringing the silver lining into view.

"Yeah!" I say, brightening.

The thing about MayMay is that she is extremely sweet and optimistic. Which sometimes makes her a target to bullies but because of her optimism it doesn't affect her.

She is an AMAZING painter. She lives with her mom since her parents are divorced. That's another reason we became best friends. I live next door so she was over a lot while her parents were sorting everything out in the divorce.

"Come on let's go find a seat!" MayMay says while reaching for my wrist. She starts running and yanks me along like a helpless puppy.

"Don't we have to get ready?" I say my wrist already sore from her death grip. I'm lucky I paint with my left hand.

"All we have to is make sure we know our numbers." MayMay said while climbing ALL the way to the VERY top of the bleachers and into the far left corner corner.

"We can't even see the painters from up here!" I feel like I need to yell from up here like if were a mountain.

MayMay rolls her eyes. She may be optimistic but she's still a teenager. "There's like a million TV monitors everywhere so you can just look at one of them if something interesting happens. And you can look up their to know when we almost need to go." She points to the 4 biggest TV's which are arranged in a circle so everybody can see the numbers that are being displayed. Right now 1 and 2 are being warned that the contest starts in a few minutes.

I sigh. "Fine."

Let me explain more about the contest. Each pair gets 10 minutes to complete a painting. It does not have to be a specific genre you can paint whatever with whatever paint medium you want- which is the different materials or supplies that you can make art with so like watercolor paint or acrylic paint or oil paint. At the end they display every painting and people either online and vote or go to one of the voting machines that are lined up against the entire right wall.

MayMay and I spend a little less than two hours drawing, gossiping, and snorting pixie dust up our noses because we were laughing to hard at some random thing. (Yes we brought pixie sticks in our bags. Yes it's hurts and makes you sneeze when you snort it up your nose. You also smell fruits for the rest of the day.)

At one point my notebook contains what I'm painting in the contest disappeared but It reappeared under my hoodie. I probably misplaced it.

Our numbers flash across the screen, telling us we have 10 minutes to use the bathroom or whatever and get backstage. I tell MayMay I actually DO have to use the bathroom and we probably won't see each other until we get onstage.

She hugs me hard and says, "When you win" at this I shake my head but she ignores me, "I will be cheering for you the loudest."

"I will too. For you, I mean."

She laughs a little. "Yeah I know."

She lets me go and I go down to the bathroom.

I do my business, wash my hands, dry them, and exit. I'm starting to walk backstage when someone stops me. It's a girl my age with light brown hair and light blue eyes staring at me intensely.

"Are you Scyla Jackson?" She asks, her eyes darting around.

"Um... yeah?" I reply, slightly freaked out.

"You're up against Maraya Thomas, right?"


She smirks and says, "You want to win the competition right?"

I was beginning to get more suspicious but I still answered, "Yeah I'm pretty sure that everybody competitor wants to."

"Well, what if I say I know exactly what your competitor is painting, so you could easily copy it and make it better."

5 minutes later.

I am across the stage from MayMay and the timer is counting down from 10 seconds. She flashes me two thumbs up and I flash some back at her. A timer starts for 10 minutes this time and me and MayMay began painting. Since I knew what I wanted to paint, everything else came easily. The 10 minutes were over quick but I wasn't stressed.

The host tells us to turn our paintings around in...

3. I was glad I didn't cheat.

2. I know MayMay wouldn't cheat to win against me and I wouldn't either.

1. We turn our paintings around.

Guess I was wrong about MayMay.

NOTE: Hi! I'm the author of this story, Allison Ordonez. You may or may not know that already but I feel like I need to introduce myself. This is my first story so I accept and am thankful for helpful tips and constructive criticism that will help me improve my writing. Thanks so much! 😄

November 04, 2020 05:37

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Pratheeksha R
03:30 Nov 12, 2020

I love how simple and effective the characters are. I feel there could be a sequel as the ending hints at that direction. :)


18:04 Nov 12, 2020

Thank you! And yes I am working on a part 2!


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Mira Caplan
02:42 Nov 12, 2020

Hi! I just want to say that I really enjoyed this story! I'm an artist myself, so I found the concept of an art competition as an interesting plot. I can't wait for Part 2, if there is to be one. =)


18:05 Nov 12, 2020

I'm an artist too so it felt necessary to include an art element into my writing. And I will be doing a part 2!


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✰ Jennie ✰
20:39 Feb 09, 2021

OMG DID MAYMAY CHEAT???????? holy- plot twist DOUBLED! omg i loved how you wrote that last part... wowowowow


20:45 Feb 09, 2021

I guess MayMay wasn't who anyone thought she was! I really like endings where you have to think to figure out the ending. Thank you!


✰ Jennie ✰
20:48 Feb 09, 2021

part 2 as you promised...? please? I honestly really enjoyed this!


16:39 Feb 18, 2021

I honestly will, just working through some writers block right now! Hopefully I get over it soon.


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