Aretta looked hilarious in glasses.
Sitting at a table with several other Songmaker officials, Vinnia found herself unable to keep a small laugh from escaping her lips. Since when had Aretta decided to wear glasses? And could she have possibly chosen a worse pair to fit her face?
Of course, the other officials didn't seem to appreciate Vinnia's tiny outburst of laughter. At their annoyed glances, Vinnia zipped her lips and sat back in her chair. Bored out of her mind and quite ready to get out of the meeting, she tried to concentrate on what was being said, but her mind kept straying.
It's time to get out of here. It's time to up and leave.
"Vinnia, are you even paying attention?" came Aretta's ever-annoying tone. "Listen up!"
Might as well speak my mind. "No, I wasn't paying attention, because honestly, I couldn't think of anything more boring or trivial than planning the decorations for the first round of the competition," Vinnia replied, not taking pains to sift the boredom from her voice.
Aretta crossed her arms. "You ought to be thankful, Vinnia. We could have put you in a group that takes care of the food services."
Aretta's response could not have been more irritating. Everyone knew that Vinnia's late husband, the one who had cheated on and publicly humiliated her, had been in charge of the food services.
"That's awfully nice of you, darling," Vinnia said nonchalantly, as though she hadn't recognized Aretta's dig.
But Vinnia knew that Aretta was aware of her jab.
"If the theme this year is Midnight Melodies, then perhaps the first thing we ought to do is figure out the lighting," one of the officials suggested. "We ought to have everything as dark as possible."
No! Ya think? Vinnia thought sarcastically, but she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut that time.
"But if the lights are as dark as safely possible, then people won't be able to admire one another's fine clothing," Aretta protested.
Leave it to Aretta to focus on appearance.
"I think we ought to scrap the entire dark thing," Vinnia chimed in, still trying to sound as bored and apathetic as she could possibly manage without endangering herself. "There are other ways to convey a midnight mood without being cliched. I mean, think about it. If someone tells you to make a room night-themed, your first thought would probably be to make everything dark. Admit it; it's cliched. Instead, we ought to make things night-themed without going along lines that have already been done."
"And what would you suggest?" Aretta asked in a sickeningly sugary-sweet voice.
"I think the midnight theme is mainstream as a whole. I think we ought to do something that's never been done before." Vinnia was suddenly excited for the first time. "Something that makes the audience uncomfortable."
"Like what?" Aretta asked, and Vinnia could tell she was slightly intrigued.
"What about 'The Monster Within'?"
The silence was tangible.