It was half finished. The competition adjudicator just gaped in amazement. “You can’t expect to submit this for judging? Be serious, woman!”
“I’ve very little choice,” Tharinn pointed out. “My primary contributor died. Both of my secondaries have been sidetracked into other matters. Honestly, if the judging panel was serious about this they would have sequestered the contributing artists from communal responsibilities for the duration of the competition. Instead, powerful patrons can get other groups tied in knots by nominating their team members for civic responsibilities.”
“You don’t blame your competitors for Hallen’s demise?” He looked at her shrewdly over his glasses.
“A major monorail disaster? Seventeen dead, almost a hundred injured,” retorted Tharinn. “I credit the other teams and their patrons with some sense of proportion. This is an internal art competition after all, not an international event.”
“True,” the adjudicator shuddered, “I’ve been involved in some of those – body guards and Kevlar. You have no idea how bad I look in body armour and helmet hair.” He changed the subject back to their original topic. “So, what will you call it?”
“I’m thinking ‘Ode to an Unfinished Life’. I’ll have to run it past the surviving contributors, of course,” she added, “But I think that will be it.”