“The sixth place goes to the Zürich Park project.” The screen showed a large photograph of an idyllic, green park. The city's crest and a building company's logo were displayed on the bottom and a short blurb explained what the goal of the project was. “Miss Eglin and Mr Furrer displayed great aptitude with their Photography and chose an excellent subject. The intent of the advertisement is clearly portrayed and it seems as if it were taken from an actual poster from our city. It is well deserving of the sixth place and will be displayed in the halls around the University” concluded the beard. Two figures stood up from the front of the rows and hurried onto the stage. As before, they shook everyone's hands, took their certificates and returned to their seats, chattering in excitement amongst each other. Applause.
“For the fifth place we chose this poster for a luxury fountain pen by Miss Kalan and Miss Meyer.” Anna stirred a bit and Monika let out a quiet “oh.” Their poster was displayed larger than they'd ever seen it before themselves. The speaker continued: “With an immediately striking image and very clear-cut message, this advertisement is very effective. While remaining very minimalist in the design, there is still a very distinctive style applied. This combination of flair and effectiveness is clearly deserving of the fifth place.” Anna mechanically stood up and walked towards the stage, Monika following behind her. As they stepped onto the stage, Monika looked back towards the manege. Only now the massive amount of students that filled the hall truly came apparent to her. She felt as if she was shrinking a bit and started to fidget around with her hands. Anna directly approached the glasses and shook his hand, exchanging a few words that Monika couldn't hear. Monika was uncertain whether she should say something too as she shook his hand and tried to avoid his gaze. In her mind she pondered a hundred different things she could have said or done right then, but she had no idea if anything was appropriate, so she just smiled and then turned to follow Anna to the rest of the judges.
Hands were shaken, certificates taken and then they quickly hurried off the stage back to their own seats. Monika sighed in relief as she sat down and just stared at the ceiling for a while. She didn't know what to think or do. Anna seemed unresponsive. “And the final –fourth– place of this batch goes to Mr Durig and Mr Glauser” the voice went on. Monika didn't mind it at all. She looked at the thing sheet of paper in her hands. Her name was written on it in bold, cursive letters. At the bottom were the signatures of all the five judges. She wondered which one belonged to the Coffee shop clerk. Monika looked at Anna, who had closed her eyes for a second, let out a small sigh and then seemed to intently study the Tea advert that was displayed up front.
“And with that we come to the final three places. The each winning team will receive 100, 200 and 500 Chf in cash respectively.” He shuffled his papers a bit. “Third place goes to Mr Joost and Ms Pfenninger.” Anna furrowed her brow upon hearing the first name. Monika shot her a questioning glance and Anna replied “one of my classmates” without looking at her. A picture of the Matterhorn flashed up. Below it was decorated by a few houses and a cheery man suited up with hiking gear. The title read “The Tour of Your Dreams”. “This fantastic touring guide poster truly seems to make the viewer feel as if they were right there, at the foot of the mountain, breathing the fresh air. Capturing such a feeling is no easy feat, so we feel that it is more than worthy of the third place.” Anna seemed to glare at the student as he stood up and walked to the stage together with his partner. Monika smirked at Anna; she couldn't understand why Anna would always get so upset when others beat her, but she couldn't deny that it was amusing to watch her being sulky. Mr Joost seemed to fervently dispute something with the beard. The beard nodded and Joost turned towards the audience: “I just quickly wanted to amend that we forgot to add a small blurb to the poster, but we only noticed after we had handed it in. We're very sorry for that!” He bowed quickly and turned to face the other judges. Anna scowled. The two quietly returned to their seats with certificates in hand. Applause followed.
Then, a close up shot of a box of pralines filled the canvas. The only text on it was “Délicieux” in an extremely complex cursive font. “This fabulously rendered poster of chocolates filled us with both curiosity and the desire to try them out. Unfortunately for us, Mr Neiger and Ms Noser's creation is only an advertisement. We are however happy to award it the second place, both for the excellently done photography and the attention to detail on their subject. Everything you see was crafted by hand.” Anna relaxed a bit and studied the poster intently. It was certainly very well made. She wondered how long it had taken them to learn to make pralines like that. She wanted to ask them about that some day, so she made sure to remember their names.
After the second place had left the stage and the mandatory applause, the hall suddenly turned very silent. The tension was really high and even though Monika and Anna knew it wouldn't be them they intently awaited the reveal of the winners. The coffee shop clerk shuffled his papers once more and cleared his throat. “And with that we arrive at the first place. The winners of this contest have shown excellent handling of all the different crafts involved: photography, calligraphy, graphic design, and writing.” Projected onto the canvas was an advertisement for a wellness hotel. It showed all the different aspects of the hotel: A heated outside swimming pool, massage rooms, a sauna, and of course, luxurious and spacious hotel rooms. The pictures were arranged in a snake-like pattern along the middle of the poster, each accompanied by a short paragraph on either left or right side. The background of the poster was a blurred, large view of the pool with large fields and a mountain range in the back. It really was quite striking and immediately gripped the attention of the viewer. Anna, too, nodded in approval. Monika whispered to her: “I wonder where they took those photos at.” “Ms Amacher and Ms Hübscher have consulted hotels all over Switzerland in order to find just the right ones for their project. Meticulous labour and a lot of travelling later, they assembled a poster for an almost dream-like resort. But not just the photography shows commitment, the text perfectly supplements the pictures and shows both wit and great knowledge of marketing tactics. Thus we award you with five hundred Franks and the first place for this contest!” With applause the two made their way to the stage. One of them seemed quite flustered and surprised by the revelation, the other gleamed with pride and happiness. They energetically shook hands with the judges and quickly claimed their certificates.
After the applause had quieted down, the beard once more set on to speak. “And with that we conclude this event. We have prepared an apéritif just outside and would welcome you to use this opportunity to learn some more about each other. If you were not called up yet you should receive a letter in the mail today, or tomorrow by the latest, which contains your certificate. Thank you all for participating and we hope this event has been a great learning opportunity for you, both to get a bit closer to real-life work and to learn about the other departments of art.” And with that he collected his papers and stood down to the podium. Applause followed once more and people started to get up, chattering amongst each other.
Anna sighed loudly and looked at Monika with a tired face. “Finally it's over” she said and smiled lightly. “So what do we do now?” Monika asked as they stepped down the stairs to the exit. “Well, do you want to go to the apéritif?” - “No, not really. I'm sure it's gonna be crowded.” - “Right.” They squeezed through the mass of people, grabbed their coats as quickly as they could and embraced the open space outside. “Ha ha, wow, I forgot how cool it was outside.” Monika said as she looked at the little clouds of vapour that formed in front of their faces. Anna looked around herself, trying to find something to say, but she didn't know what. Now that their project was over they didn't have any specific reason to see each other again, as they didn't share any classes with each other. They stared at each other for a while, then Monika shrugged. “I guess it'll be a while until we see each other again” she said, looking away from Anna. “Well, we I'd definitely like to meet up from time to time” Anna replied, folding her arms. “We could meet up every week for lunch or something like that” she went on. “Sure, that sounds good” Monika murmured, observing some birds that chattered in a tree close by. She suddenly faced Anna and asked “which day and where?” Anna pondered for a while. “I think until the end of the semester –if I recall the schedules correctly– Thursday would be best. And I guess we could meet up around here and look for someplace to eat then.” - “Sure, that sounds alright.” The two stood still for another moment. Monika shuddered. “Euh, I'm freezing. I think I'd better get home. Until next Thursday then, eh?” She blinked a few times, her face was lit up bright red from the cold again. “Sure, see you then. Don't be late!” Anna shouted after her, as Monika turned to leave. She looked back, waved and grinned: “I'd never!”
Afternote: Phew, finally done. The ending took me a lot longer to write since I finished it once and had to scrap it all because I didn't like it. It was quite difficult to figure out how to gauge the two's reactions to the announcements and how the story should end. I still think it could've come out better than it did, but for what it is, I think I did a good enough job and I'm glad to finally have finished writing this.
Written by shinmera