Alex Arieh

From A Night To (Almost) Remember
Excerpt by Jemmiah
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Alex stood in silence as he contemplated the unthinkable.

You'd think when there was merely a contest between two people that picking the winner would be a fairly straightforward matter.

But that wasn't taking into consideration the Yoda factor.

"Master Alex. Your decision we await." Yoda tapped on the floor with his stick, staring up at the man with an inscrutable face.

"Er…the judges will retire to consider the verdict."

"A court of law this is not, Master Alex. No need there is for you to deliberate so long." Yoda replied.

Alex could have sworn there was merriment in the little troll's expression. It was as if he were enjoying the unnecessary suffering he was going through.

"I need to make sure the decision I come up with is the right one." He wilted when the green eyes regarded him skeptically.

"I'm sure you WILL make the right choice." Sula answered with hands on hips. "I mean, if Meri were to hear that I lost out just because you were too afraid to go against Master Yoda…"

Yoda chuckled to himself.

"Retire you may, Master Alex. Decide you must and make someone unhappy."

Alex grinned feebly and turned his back on the pair of them, walking towards the curtains, head back.

He closed his eyes and to no-one in particular mouthed the words "OH NO!" followed shortly thereafter by
"WHY ME?"

He tried to think about this rationally.

Yoda may have been talented in the force but he was not musically gifted. His rendition of H-A-P-P-Y, I AM had been extremely painful, even with the knowledge of being forearmed.

Sula had proved herself to be completely tone deaf.

The force was making him chose between possibly the worst couple of singers known to the galaxy and trying to separate the pair of them was not going to be an easy choice. Yoda's words had been all back to front. With Sula, you could at least make out what she was singing.

You just wished you couldn't.

He could delay all he wanted but he knew the moment of reckoning would arrive no matter how much he tried to squirm out of it.

"I have an announcement to make." Alex cleared his throat nervously.

Turning round, he could once more make out the sly amusement on Yoda's face, and the cool, vivid blue of Sula's eyes reflecting like two pools of ice waiting to drown him should he come to reach the wrong decision.

"You both thought that I was going to take the easy way out and call a draw, didn't you?" he frowned as he looked back and forth between the two of them.

Ha! That had got Yoda's attention.

"Well, in a way you are right. There is a draw."

Yoda snorted, still smiling at the predictability.

"You are both equally the worst singers I have ever had the misfortune to hear. There are laws against noise pollution and by rights I should have you both arrested for disturbing the peace. MY peace!" He paused momentarily for breath.

"I have come to a difficult, but in the end the only, decision I can make under the circumstances. As this is a singing contest, and as the garbage you have both spouted cannot under any circumstances be termed singing, I have no alternative but to disqualify the pair of you. The judges decision is finally and cannot be altered."

He pointed to the little silver cup on the stand that had been donated as a prize.

"And because of the extremity of my suffering I am going to declare myself the moral winner and take this away with me."

He stopped to pick up the tiny trophy, slipping it under his folded arm.

"Good day Master Yoda. Padawan Leishu."

Sula watched, disgruntled as Alex walked out the room, stilling rubbing futilely at his ears as if to rid them of the din that had so traumatized them in the last ten minutes or so.

"Well." Sula shrugged. "We both lost our little bet."

"Hmmmmph." Yoda snorted.

But the smile remained.

"Much anger in him, I fear." He shuffled across the floor with his stick.

"And no taste in music."