At 8:45 her phone’s alarm started to go off, playing the beginning of one of Criss’s songs. She woke up quite instantly, took her phone and turned it off and looked at the pictures of Criss that were on the wall facing her. “Well today is the day” she said to the pictures as Criss’s relaxing brown eyes just looked back at her. She got up, and went to get her laptop and turned it on. She wasn’t a hundred percent awake yet, but as soon as she would see the contest, that would do the trick. As she was waiting for the homepage to load, she heard her dad coming out of her parent’s room, probably on his way to the kitchen. Her door was shut, so she assumed that he would think she was still asleep. The homepage loaded, she logged in, and she scrolled down. There it was in all caps: DETAILS OF THE CRISS ANGEL CABO VACATION CONTEST. She was getting excited. She click on the icon that said read more.
FOR THE CONTEST: Everyone must create a graphic that uses a picture with Criss in it, or something relating to it, like artwork for a DVD cover or a photo from one of the characters from Believe. Can be any picture, and needs to have some element added to it, lighting, layers, an icon, and because Criss is going to Mexico, there has to be something written in Spanish on it, it can be a word, or a sentence .Requirements for graphics: 1. It has to be something that all ages can see. 2. It can't contain any image that would be found offensive to Criss, his crew, or family. When you’re ready to send it, please send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Work hard, do your best, and don’t be afraid! Good luck again! “Yes, it’s not too hard!” she said outloud when she was done reading. “what’s not to hard?” Her dad had opened the door into her room, didn’t think to knock. “Oh morning dad, I just read the requirements for the contest.” “Oh, so what do you have to do?” still standing at the door he asks. “Create an awesome Criss graphic with any Criss picture I want.” She shut her computer and started to get up. “Sounds good, got any ideas?” “Ya I think so.” she said as she walked passed him heading for the kitchen as her dad followed. When they got to the kitchen she opened the refrigerator to find something. “Do you want help?” her dad said standing behind her. It didn’t take long for her to reply: “Why would I want help from my parents who basically said: don’t count your money on winning so don’t even try?” She shut the door not finding anything and went over to the cabinets. “We didn’t say that.” “Didn’t say that?” she was confused. “Mom gave her same old opinion like she does in these situations and you basically agreed with her when you said she was just trying to be honest.” At this time she had gotten out some instant grits, because she couldn’t find anything else and didn’t care for cereal. Her dad had taken out some bacon, and was going to make it. “So I take it you don’t want my help?” he questioned her. “No, I’m fine dad.” “Ok, don’t come crying when you don’t win.” The bacon had started to sizzle on the pan, and so was she. She didn’t say anything, and continued making her grits. That was such a rude statement, and there was no use trying to fight it, it was just negative energy like Criss had taught her. As she stirred some cheese into the bowl, by the microwave, she said out loud, but quietly “and this is why I have my loyal friends.” “What honey?” Her dad asked. She grabbed a spoon, and before leaving the kitchen looked at her dad even though he was still standing at the stove, and said “ Oh, don’t come crying if you burn the bacon.” She stood and waited till he looked at her and she raised her eyebrows at him before leaving. She decided to go back into her room to her laptop again, and bring it into the living room to listen to music on her ipod dock while checking her other social networks to see what was going on. Her ipod was always set to shuffle. When she got to Twitter, she saw that no one had said anything yet, so she tweeted about the contest, and told everyone good luck. She really hoped that if she won, so would her closest online loyal friends to. That way not only would she get to meet them, they all would be in the presence of the man they all loved for different reasons, and the nights would be filled with gathering in each other’s room’s talking about what he did that day, or what he said, or how they were all so lucky to be there together, which most likely would be the conversation of the first night there. The Jackson 5 song: Got To be There started playing. She started singing the beginning: “got to be there, got to be there in the morrrning, when she says hello to the world”. She logged into Myspace and changed her status to “excited” with a blue happy face. She then remembered the bowl sitting next to her and took a bite. Then her phone rang. It was very odd for someone to be calling her this early in the morning. “Hello?” she answered. “Hiii its LeAnn” “Oh hi, good morning.” It was now 9 but then again LeAnn was a writer, and liked her to start her days early so she could put in as much writing time as she could, even though she got distracted very easily. “How are you?” Claire asked. “I’m good”, how are you?” I’m pretty good, as you may know; you’re calling because I assume you found out about the contest to right?” Claire questioned. “Yup” she answered. “So I was talking to Arianna last night, and I asked her what she thought; now it’s time to get your opinion.” “Well I’m excited to, but I’m a writer not a graphic designer, so I don’t really know how to go about this thing.” There was doubt in her voice like maybe she wouldn’t be able to do it. Claire wanted to help her. “Well do you have any photo programs on your computer like Photoshop or something?” “No“ she said. “Mmmm, well there are photo programs on the internet you can use, and it’s just a click and paste type thing, nothing really professional like Photoshop.” “You think I can use that?” she asked. “I don’t know. They didn’t say anything about only having to use Photoshop, but obviously it’s gotta be good enough to win.” “awww this sucks.” “No, no, you’ll figure it out, and I am sure that good ol’ Youtube can help you, and think about this: you can use a photo you really like.” She said nudging her with her voice. There were more than a couple of photos that LeAnn liked that she would most often refer to when talking in the Criss Angel chat room. “Oh ya, think they’ll have them?” “Oh of course, if they have makeup and piano tutorials, they’ll have something on photo design.” She laughed. She hoped she was making her friend feel better. “So what are you going to do?” “I cant tell you that!” Claire was a bit shocked. “Oh come on, I’m not gonna steal it, I don’t even know which one I’m gonna do yet.” “Alright,” she said calmly. “No telling anyone.” She remarked. “I wont.” LeAnn said. Claire wanted to believe her. “You know, the photo with Criss and Hammie where Criss has his eyes closed?” “Oh ya, you like that photo.” “Yup, and I have the poster to.” “well that’s cool.” “Ya, my dad this morning asked if he could help, but neither him nor my mom thinks I’m gonna win, so I said no.” “awwww.” “Ya, like at least be excited for me!” “What do you think your mom will say?” “Well hopefully something positive, and let me go if I do win, not like the whole Vegas thing.” She told her. “Ya, and tell your mom it’s not like someone else can take your place.” At this point she didn’t care if her dad had heard the conversation. Maybe she just had to let them hear her, and make them be excited for her, or maybe it wasn’t worth it. “Good morning honey” her mom was behind her going into the kitchen. “Speaking of mom’s, mine just said hello to me.” She told LeAnn. She just waved the back of her hand to her mom. “Ah. So, do you wanna talk on the chat?” “ya that sounds good.” “I wonder if anyone will be in there this morning talking about it.” LeAnn commented. “Well let’s go see.” “Alright, talk to you soon.” “Bye.” LeAnn reminded her that she wanted some coffee at the moment, so she went into the kitchen.
The buzz about the contest had begun. In the coming days Claire knew she would hear so much stuff from negative, to positive, that all she needed to do was focus on her photo, and she would be just fine. If she won, she would be with Criss personally and make the judgments herself. Like she told LeAnn she wanted to stick with the photo of Criss with his cat Hammie. She really liked the photo because it was just Criss in a very serene moment. It was always relaxing to look at. She knew what word she wanted on it. Creer. Which in Spanish means to Believe, and since Criss had shown her the path to Believe, she thought it would be perfect. She wanted to make sure the photo was personal, so in case she had to present it, she knew what she would say, and it wasn’t something she just “threw together to win”. Her parents did say much to her about it anymore but did ask her how it was going, and she always gave them a confident answer. The one problem was: How she was going to get there if she won. She hated to fly, and would not do it unless someone was with her, but in this case, her parents couldn’t go with her. They were out to dinner that night, and as her dad was making a decision on wine. They went to a restaurant Claire liked because of menu, and the theme. On a couple of places on the wall, they had quotes from different famous people like Elvis and Eleanor Roosevelt. The bathroom was also really nice. The walls were warm purple with sliver stars. Claire smiled and was looking at her menu when she said to her dad, “you should order Cakebread Cabernet”, and wanted to start giggling, but didn’t. She didn’t know if they had it on the menu, but said it anyway. “Why, have you had it?” her dad asked. “No”, she looked at him. Her dad wasn’t stupid and caught on. “Does this have something to do with Criss?” “Uh huh”, she replied, trying to be cute. Unfortunately her dad made a decision, and it wasn’t Cakebread. When the waiter walked away they started to discuss Cabo. “So I know we’ve asked you, but remind us, how’s the photo coming?” “Oh it’s good.” She said. She thought she knew what she wanted to order. “I’ve got the photo I want, and the word I want.” “The word?” her dad questioned. “Well since you both were being so negative, I didn’t tell you the details.” “On the photo we have to have a word or a phrase in Spanish since we are going to be in “Mexico.” She air quoted. “Oh that’s interesting, what did you chose?” Calm and interested. This was going good Claire thought. “I chose the word Creer, which means to Believe.” The waiter had come back with the wine and her father “tested it”, and it was approved. Claire had some also, but would wait until her food came to start drinking any. “What else are you going to do with the photo?” her mom finally asked. “I don’t know. Now it’s going to be a test of trying different things out on the computer until I find something that I just love.” “The thing is, you may love it, but is it enough to win?” her mom said. “I’m aware of that mom.” Claire replied with a bit of annoyance in her voice. “Alright” her dad cut in, “Sarah, let’s try and be supportive now.” Her dad told her mom. “Thank you” Claire whispered, and went back to looking at her menu. The waiter came back and they were ready to order. Her dad would have the pumpkin ricotta ravioli, her mom, the ground tuna burger and Claire had the Ribeye. Her parents turned their attention back on her. Her mom then asked the big question. “So let’s say you do win, would you be willing to fly alone?” “I know, it’s something to think about, Claire started as her dad took another sip of wine, but obviously I’m willing to, if I’m going through with making a graphic and sending it.” “Obviously I’d feel pretty down if I didn’t win. And then she added, “Plus, this will be an experience, and I won’t be on the flight alone.” “See, you sound pretty confident” her dad said. “Yeah, I sound it, but once I’m on that plane that’s it.” She wanted to do this. This was a real chance at being around Criss and getting to know him better. What loyal wouldn’t want that? “I just hope the air flare they give us is a direct flight, and then I’ll feel a lot better.” “They’re paying for the trip and everything?” her mom was curious to know. Claire took some bread and butter. “Well yeah, usually when people will contests like this, they usually do all expenses paid thing.” “Oh yeah, that’s true” her dad said. Claire was starting to feel better. All this energy will be good use towards making her photo. With that the food came. Before they ate her father held up his glass and said “A toast”. Her mom and Claire raised there’s. She and her mom waited. “To Cabo” he said, and they repeated “To Cabo” Claire smiled.