With four minutes delay (Anna had counted them) the organisers of the contest entered the stage. One of them, a man with a scraggly beard, square glasses, and a suit with tie stepped up to the podium. He coughed lightly, looked around the audience and started speaking with a coarse and monotone voice.
Monika only took notice that there was actually something going on when Anna gave her a nudge. She had been too busy with her drawings to pay attention. On the stage Monika now saw a man who didn't seem to fit into the clothes he wore even in the slightest. She didn't recall ever seeing him before and wondered if he was a teacher or held some other position. His looks really puzzled her and she couldn't determine what kind of job he would have, wearing an unfitting suit like that. Monika figured that he might also be just some random guy they picked out from behind a café counter, stuffed into a suit and then told to hold this ridiculously boring speech. Yes, a café seemed a much more fitting place for someone like that. She could picture him now sitting behind a brown counter with a purely white shirt and dark green apron. Monika wondered what kind of customers he would have to deal with on a daily basis. Did he look like he'd be a polite clerk? Probably. Though one thing she knew for sure, he would not enthusiastically greet customers. No, that would not fit into the atmosphere of his little shop anyway. In the mornings as the sun rose rays of light would make the air glitter as the specks of dust were lit up, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans in the air and people rushing by the large windows, hurrying to their jobs.
Her imagination went on more and more tangents until she was once more interrupted by Anna's nudging. Monika reflexively stared blankly into Anna's face and immediately turned red as she encountered Anna's glare. She knew she'd have to pay attention now, so she tried her best not to think about the coffee shop clerk and instead actually listen to what he said. It appears he was about to announce the first batch of results: the teams ranking from ten to seven. Apparently they wouldn't get any prizes at all, just honorary mentions. Monika didn't care so much for winning a prize, but she could well imagine that a lot of people would not be happy to be called up for any of these ranks.
Each announcement went exactly according to the following procedure: The number was called, then a copy of the poster was projected onto the screen behind the committee members. Scraggly beard man then quickly read down what they had thought of it. Finally the team was called up to the stage to shake everyone's hands and to pick up their certificate. After a short round of applause they then went back to their seats.
Neither Anna nor Monika knew any of the names that were called up for the first batch. The posters were all well made, but none of them seemed too interesting. The awards were for posters of a lipstick, a university, an Italian restaurant, and a shampoo, in that order. Out of all of those, Monika was most partial to the restaurant advertisement, although mostly because she noticed that she was getting hungry. Anna appreciated the way the lipstick ad had tried to use a single colour to make it more effective. The beard then set on to another speech that introduced the next batch. The winners of these would have their posters hung up around the university for the next semesters with some name plaques underneath.
Written by shinmera