View Full Version : Doing your Best is Best

21-Aug-06, 09:26
The other one.
“Tomorrow’s the deadline to get our money in for the Fun Run,” Emma told Miranda, her best friend, “and I only have 5 sponsors. Mum and Dad and my Nan on Mum’s side and Nan and Pop on Dad’s side. Sally wants to sponsor me but she hasn’t got any money. $34.00! I have to work out a way of finding more sponsors, I really want to win the TV/DVD Combo that is first prize for raising the most money. The second prize of a Sony I-pod would be OK, but I really want a TV of my own, for my room,” she said into the phone.
“ Well, $34.00 is not going to win you anything.” commented Miranda.
“Every one else in the whole school will get more than that. Why won’t Mum and Dad just ask the neighbours, or the people from church for me?” She fumed.
“Hello?” the door to her room opened and Sally, her sister came in and plonked on the end of the bed.
“I’ve gotta go Miranda, I’ll see you later,” she hung up the phone.
“Whatcha doin’?” Sally asked.
“Counting my sponsorship money.”
“How much have you got?”
“A bit,” Emma replied, and quickly stuffed the money and form into her school bag before Sally could see.
“What do you think the Magnificent Mystery Prize is?” Sally asked quickly, changing the subject.
Emma shrugged, not interested in the stupid Magnificent Mystery Prize or in talking to her ‘Miss Goody Two Shoes’ about it.
“I’m going to Miranda’s.” She walked out of the room, taking her bag with her, leaving Sally sitting on the bed.

On the walk to Miranda’s Emma tried to think of ways that she could get more sponsorship money. I really want that TV/DVD, she thought. Miranda might have some ideas.
They sat on the lounge in the family room and drank hot chocolate as Miranda counted her sponsorship money.
“Well I have $391.25, what if I give you half of mine?” Miranda suggested.
“How did you get that much?” Emma was amazed at the amount.
“Oh, Dad asked his colleagues from work and Mum sponsored me for $100.” she replied airily. Emma really liked Miranda, but she sometimes envied her rich friend. Money was no problem for the West’s, but Emma and Sally’s parents had normal jobs. Both Miranda’s Mum and Dad were doctor’s, and as an only child Miranda could have anything she wanted.
“How can we take the sponsors off your form and put them on mine?” Emma didn’t see how it could be done, “The forms have to be signed by the sponsors and yours is already filled in.”
“It’ll be easy,” Miranda assured her. “We’ll just forge the signatures onto yours and white them out on mine.”
“But they’ll be able to see that we removed them from yours. Won’t they?” Emma wanted the extra money, but wasn’t sure that Miranda’s plan would work.
The girls looked closely at the sponsorship forms, they were high gloss and very colourful. Emma didn’t think that they could easily remove the writing. She frowned, “I don’t think it’ll work.”
“I have an idea!” exclaimed Miranda, “We can photocopy it.”
“My Dad’s office has a brand new, really cool photocopier, I’m sure we could copy it and you would hardly tell the difference” she jumped up off the lounge, “Come on. We’ll just tell him it’s for a school assignment.”
“Will he let us use it?” Emma wasn’t sure, this was getting more and more complicated.
“Sure, he never takes any notice of my school work, as long as I don’t get into trouble at school, he doesn’t care what I do.”
This amazed Emma, her parents wanted to know everything about everything in her life. She had always been jealous of the life Miranda had, and as much as she resented her parents nosiness, at least they cared about her and what she did.
“Come on,” Miranda held the form out in front of Emma’s face and flapped it under her nose, “ we have work to do.”

Emma and Miranda went to Miranda’s Dad’s office, and Emma was relieved to see that it was empty. At least they would not have to lie about what they were doing. Miranda went straight to a large, impressive looking machine and opened a drawer on the side.
“Shouldn’t you ask first?” Emma was beginning to wonder if this was really worth it. “I mean, won’t you get into trouble for using it without permission.”
“No, it’s fine. Dad’s playing golf and won’t be home for ages. He probably won’t even know.”
“What about your Mum?”
“I think she’s out shopping.” Miranda pulled out a sheet of paper from the draw. “This should be OK.”
Miranda lifted the lid on the top of the copier and put the form on the glass plate, put the lid down and pressed a button on the front. The machine whirred and squawked, clicked and whirred some more before it finally spat out a colourful piece of paper. It looked the same as the form that was under the lid, but the paper was not glossy like the original form.
“We need better paper,” said Emma.
“Yeah, but this one is so we can trace the signatures form my form onto yours.”
“We’ll do that in a minute, first we have to find some better paper. You look in that cupboard, and I’ll go through the drawers in the filing cabinet.”

21-Aug-06, 09:28
An hour later, after trying every kind of paper they could find, they decided that they would have to go to the shops to see if they could buy some paper that was more like the real form.
“It’s 4.45,” said Emma, “We’ll never make it to Kopy Katz.”
“No,” said Miranda, “but there’s another printing shop that’s closer. We’ll go there.”
The girls raced to the small arcade that was closer to Miranda’s house than the larger complex on the other side of town. They looked at a couple of different types of paper, but none of them really were anything like the original sponsorship form.
“Forget it Miranda.” Emma gave up. “None of these are anything like it, and I can’t afford any of them anyway.”
“I can pay for it,” Miranda didn’t seem to want to give up. “We can do this.”
Emma looked at her friend, “I couldn’t be bothered Miranda. It’s too hard and it won’t work anyway.” She wondered why Miranda was so determined to photocopy it.
“It will work,” Miranda insisted.
“I don’t want to do it this way,” Emma was starting to think that cheating was harder work than doing it properly. “Just forget it, I’m going back to your place to get my bag and then I’m going home.”
“Fine, if you want to be a loser.” Miranda sneered.
Emma looked at her in disgust. “Forget it,” she walked away.

A week later and the whole school was lined up ready to start the fun run. It began at the school oval and then followed a series of bright pink flags through the trails in the state forest behind the school, before finishing back at the starting line.
The Principal stepped up to the microphone and switched it on, Emma stood with Sally, she was watching the platform as the head sports teacher and the deputy principal examined a folder and the speakers screeched in protest as the Principal cleared his throat.
“Good Morning!” he bellowed into the microphone, “Hhm, ah I have an announcement to make before we start the race.” He paused.
“He might tell us what the Magnificent Mystery Prize is going to be,” said Sally excitedly.
“Yeah,” Emma was bored. Why bother, she thought, she wouldn’t win anything.
“Cheer up Em, it’ll be fun. We’re easily the best runners in the school. Let’s see if we can win.” Sally was trying to cheer her up and Emma felt sorry that she had been such a grump.
“Yeah, OK.” She didn’t really feel like it, but Sally was looking forward to the run. She really was a good sister.
The loud speakers hissed and crackled again, Emma and Sally turned their attention back to the stage.
“The Magnificent Mystery Prize will go to the runner who wins the race.” He paused, waiting for the crowd to stop murmuring, “I know you’re all waiting to find out what the Magnificent Mystery Prize actually is.” He paused again, this time for effect, as the crowd went totally silent. He grinned out at the runners before him.
“I’m pleased to announce that the winner of the fun run will win a trip for 4 to the Taronga Park Zoo, including accommodation at the Zoo Motel.”
The crowd erupted with enthusiastic yells and whistles.
“Well, one of us is bound to win, so we’ll definitely be going,” stated Sally confidently.

21-Aug-06, 09:31
Emma felt the excitement beginning to bubble in her chest, Sally was right, they would be winning the Magnificent Mystery Prize. So what if she didn’t have her own TV in her room. She kinda liked arguing with Sally about what shows to watch anyway.
“OK then,” she said to Sally, “we’ll work together and win the trip!”
Sally grinned back at her sister, “You’re on!”
Emma grinned back, she was actually enjoying her sisters company for the first time ever. She had been so busy resenting her that she hadn’t noticed that she was a really nice person.
“Runners to the starting line,” boomed the speaker, and the crowd pushed and shoved to get into position. Emma grabbed Sally’s hand and dragged her through the other kids until they’d reached the front.
“If we sprint for a couple of hundred metres, we’ll get clear of the rest and then we just have to hold the lead,” she suggested to Sally, “What do you think?”
“Sounds good.” Sally nodded.
The starting siren screeched and the race was on. Sally took off like a startled rabbit, with Emma only half a step behind. As soon as the were in front of the pack by a few hundred metres they adjusted their speed and settled into a steady pace that kept them in front. Within a kilometre they had a good lead and began to relax a little.
“We’re going good,” puffed Emma.
Emma glanced back over her shoulder to check the distance between themselves and the competition. She was surprised to see a tall skinny boy catching up with them pretty quickly. She didn’t recognise him.
“Who’s that kid?” she asked Sally.
Sally glanced back, “He’s new. Only been here a couple of weeks.” she panted, “He looks like he’s a runner.”
“Yeah,” Emma glanced back around again. Suddenly she saw Sally stumble and fall to her knees. Emma skidded to a stop.
“What happened? Are you alright?” she asked her sister who was rolling on the ground holding her left leg tight to her chest.
“It’s my ankle, I twisted it.” Sally groaned through gritted teeth.
Emma knelt down beside her, “What can I do?”
“Get going, and win the race. That kid just went by.”
“What?” She looked along the track and saw the boy eating up the metres with his long legged stride. “Forget about the race. I have to get help.”
“I’ll be right, just get going and win that trip to the zoo, the shortest way to get help is to the finish line anyway.” Sally said wryly.
“Ha, ha. Are you sure you’ll be OK.” Already Emma was starting to jog backwards away from her sister. “I want to beat that cretin, he didn’t even stop.” Emma was disgusted at his callousness.

21-Aug-06, 09:33
“I’m fine, just go!”
Emma turned and ran as fast as she could go, the boy was out of sight. She had to catch him and then stay out in front. She would win this for Sally, and for herself. This was the first thing she had ever really tried to win. And she would do it.
Emma ran around the next bend in the track and could see the boy’s retreating figure a long way ahead on the track. She’d never catch him. She started to slow, she just couldn’t do it. Then she thought of Sally lying back on the track and decided to at least try. So she concentrated on the pounding of her feet on the dusty track and kept her legs pumping to the finish line. She kept her focus on the boy’s back and soon she realised that it seemed to be getting bigger. Maybe she was starting to gain on him. Maybe she did have a chance after all.

It was going to be close, the track was starting to curve around back toward the school oval. She would need to time it just right, if she was going to be able to get past the boy. If she went too early she would give him time to block her getting past, if she left her run too late, she wouldn’t give herself enough room to win.

Emma held her position, and so far the boy hadn’t even looked around. He has no idea that I’m even close, she thought, he’s so confident of winning that he hasn’t even checked the competition. Ha, well isn’t he in for a surprise.
The crowd was going wild, Emma could see people jumping up and down as she crept ever closer to the boy.
When the boy was within 100 metres of the finish line, he glanced back over his shoulder. The look of horror that crossed his face in that second of realisation was so funny that Emma would have laughed if she had any energy left. But her priority was to win this race. His head went back to the front and he tried to pick up the pace, but it was too late. Emma was already up to full speed and she flew past him and over the finish line in first place. The crowd was screaming.
“Emma! Emma! Emma!”
But Emma didn’t even glance at them, she ran straight through the people that were spilling onto the track to congratulate her, and over to the first aide tent.
“Help… my sister… has fallen… on… on the track… and hurt her leg.” she gasped painfully. She felt like her heart was going to explode through her ribs at any minute. “About a… kilometre… or so back.” Then she collapsed to ground to sit down. Exhausted.

“This is fantastic,” said Sally as Emma pushed her wheel chair to the tiger’s enclosure. Emma smiled back at her sister, and then at their parents. This was the best holiday that she’d ever had.