Hey people! Here’s the long-awaited Chapter 2 of Talent Battle. (To read chapter 1, go here.) I’ve decided that I’m going to post a new chapter of this story every week. Enjoy!
After what seemed like forever, my family’s car finally pulled up in front of Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s large white house.
“We’re here. Whoo-hoo!” I squealed.
My parents smiled at each other. Then, we all started getting out of the car.
“Mmm-smells like Uncle Tom is already getting started on grilling those hot dogs and hamburgers,” my dad commented.
My mom, dad, and I rounded the side of the house to Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s big backyard. I could see my ten-year-old cousin, Lesli, balancing a plate on a wooden stick and showing off to Lauren. Lesli is really, really good at magic tricks and balancing acts. It’s her passion, the way singing and making music is mine.
As soon as I saw Lauren, I exclaimed, “Lauren!”
“Amy!” Lauren squealed, as she ran over to hug me. “I waited forever for you to get here!”
“Yeah, I couldn’t wait to see you!” I replied.
Just then, Lesli ran over, her brown ponytail swishing from side to side. “Hey, Amy,” she said. “Want to watch me do a way-cool trick?”
“Sure!” I exclaimed. I remembered what it was like to be ten and how fun it had been to show off to relatives.
Lesli whipped out the plate and wooden stick from behind her back. “Observe,” she instructed me.
“Oh yeah, this is really awesome,” Lauren whispered to me. “Lesli’s a pro at this stuff, and she’s only ten years old! How cool is that?”
“Very cool,” I replied, my eyes focused on Lesli.
Lesli slowly balanced the plate, which was on top of the wooden stick, on her finger. After a moment, she raised a leg in the air. She was doing great-until a voice cut into her act.
“Hey, Amy!” I heard someone call.
I took my eyes off of Lesli for a second, and saw a tall boy with spiky brown hair sprinting toward me. It was Dylan, Lauren’s brother and my cousin.
“Hi, Dylan!” I called, waving. “What’s going on?”
“Not too much,” Dylan responded, as she got to where Lauren, Lesli, and I were standing. “Oh my gosh, Lesli!” he gasped. “What a cool trick!”
“Thanks, Dylan,” Lesli answered. She lowered her leg and stopped balancing the plate on the stick.”See you guys later!” She ran over to my parents.
“So anyway, Amy,” Dylan began, “I wanted to tell you something. Lauren did a really great thing the other day. She wrote a whole song for our dog Sunburst!”
“Whoa!” I cried, turning to Lauren. My eyes were wide with amazement. “Is this true?”
Lauren gave a nod. “Sure is, Amy!”
“Lauren is AWESOME at both guitar and piano,” Dylan continued. “She can write really amazing songs. She impresses just about everyone we meet!”
“Oh, come on, Dylan. I’m not that good,” Lauren replied.
“Lauren, yes, you are!” Dylan exclaimed. He continued to go on and on about Lauren’s guitar and songwriting skills, and how she had an amazing singing voice.
Once Dylan stopped to take a breath, I said, “Wow…that’s, um, really great. Ummm…I’m gonna go get a snack.”
I raced over to the snack table a few feet away and popped a tortilla chip into my mouth.
My face was absolutely burning red, and I could feel my eyes stinging with tears. I felt like even though I could play guitar, write songs, and sing well like Lauren, I wasn’t and never would be able to do these things as well as her.
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I whirled around and faced my blond, curly-haired cousin Shannon, who was sixteen, like me. Today her curly hair was in a long ponytail.
“Amy, hi!” she began, starting to hug me. Then she noticed my face. “What’s wrong?”
I proceeded to tell her what had just happened with Lauren and Dylan, and how I felt that I wasn’t as talented as Lauren.
“But you are talented, Amy!” Shannon cried. “I’ve heard you sing and play guitar, and I’ m always super amazed at how well you do those things. And you write awesome songs! I could never do all that! Have you ever heard me try to sing? I sound like a frog!”
I smiled a little, then frowned again. “Yeah, thanks. But if Lauren’s better than me, maybe it’s ’cause she’s older.”
Shannon argued, “By one year-what’s the difference? That can’t be it!” She grabbed a chip and crunched down hard on it for emphasis. “We have to do something to prove to Lauren and Dylan that you’re just as talented, and also to make you feel good about yourself.”
“But what do we do?” I asked.
Shannon thought for a minute. “How about we hold a contest? You against Lauren, to see who’s better. Our whole family will decide who should be the winner.”
“Sounds good,” I replied. “What’s the prize?”
“How about an extra piece of my mom’s double-chocolate Mississippi Mud cake?” Shannon suggested. “She brought it for dessert later.”
“It’s a deal!” I exclaimed. Aunt Rachel’s Mississippi Mud cake is very popular in our family. I can never get enough of it. Everyone loves it so much, there’s never enough left for all the people that want seconds to get them.
“So, should we go tell Lauren and Dylan about the contest?” Shannon wanted to know.
I gave a nod, so Shannon and I hurried over to where Lauren and Dylan stood.
That’s it for Chapter 2! I really hope you liked it! Chapter 3 will hopefully be posted sometime next weekend. 🙂