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Chapter 2: What are the Odds?

(After the meeting, it's late and everyone decides to turn in. Noel is about to leave when Lampi stops her.)

Lampi: \"Noel? I have a question.\"

Noel: \"And I may have an answer. What is it, Isaac Newton? Did the apple give you a concussion this time?\"

Lampi: \"(Laughs hysterically at her joke for a few seconds, then instantly becomes serious) No seriously. I was wondering if the boss is okay.\"

Noel: \"He's insisting he feels better, but when I mentioned the flu he became very defensive and stopped talking to me. He's so stubborn. I honestly don't think he'll be judging tomorrow night.\"

Lampi: \"Poor guy. He hates being sick... And he doesn't like it when he's wrong either. Aww... And I really wanted him to see my musical number. It's from a really awesome show!\"

Noel: \"Mind if I ask what it is?\"

Lampi: \"(Excited and jumps happily) Oh, yes! It's from a musical called 'Return to the Forbidden Planet.' It's has all sorts of rock and roll songs from the fifties and I'm singing my favorite one! Would you like to hear it?\"

Noel: \"I think I'll wait until tomorrow night. I don't want to spoil the excitement ahead of time. Sorry Lampi.\"

Lampi: \"I understand. I wanted to save my voice anyway. Will you come by tomorrow morning to help set up?\"

Noel: \"I think I can do that. Give me a call when you're ready.\"

Lampi: \"No problem! Good night Noel! See you tomorrow!\"

(Lampi turns to leave but Noel speaks to him one last time.)

Noel: \"By the way, would you also let me know if Leon becomes worse? I'd be more than happy to help if something comes up.\"

Lampi: \"Sure. I'll keep you posted. I'm sure he'll recover overnight. Besides, if anything does happen, I'll pay you twenty bucks!\"

Noel: \"I'm praying you'll keep your money...\"

(Noel leaves to her house in the wintry cold night. Snow falls slightly and starts covering the ground as she walks. She reaches her house by the old oak tree and calls it a night. The next morning, Noel is sitting and reading the paper. She occasionally looks at the phone. It hasn't rung yet, making her worry.)

Noel: \"They're usually up at this time. I hope everything is alright... (She continues to read until the phone rings at last. Noel picks up the phone and answers.) Hello, is this Lampi?\"

Lampi: \"(From the other phone line. He sounds very upset.) Oh good! Sorry that I took so long. We've been having a rough time since four this morning and things are still not better!\"

Noel: \"(Greatly concerned) What happened?! Is everyone alright?\"

Lampi: \"Yes, everyone is fine except for... (He sobs a little.) Well, I have good news and bad news...\"

Noel: \"I'm listening.\"

Lampi: \"The bad news is we can't find a large basin! (Sulks)\"

Noel: \"(She starts to think it's a joke and laughs a little) Okay... So then what's the good news?\"

Lampi: \"(Hesitant) I was afraid you would ask that... Well, I wanted to congratulate you on winning last night's bet. (Noel looks horrified and becomes silent.) Noel? Are you still there?\"

Noel: \"(Emotionless and horror stricken) I'll be right over... (She hangs up the phone and puts her head against the wall with frustration and sadness) Hang in there Leon...\"

(End of Chapter 2.)

Submitted: September 20, 2015

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