The Last Vote

by Andrew Tan

"Recount!"

"A recount?"

"Hey, who did you vote for?"

It was a chilly December day, yet no-one bothered to wear a coat in the packed assembly hall of Middleton High School.

The students filed in one entrance and joined the large line leading to the other. Near the entrance the students each collected a piece of paper, containing two large boxes, one with the name "Peter Falkins", and the other labelled "Tom Halspurt". Further down the line they would take a pen and tick one of the boxes, some students ticking Peter or Tom without hesitation, the others hesitating at this controversial issue, reflecting on the credibility and the pledges each made, making up their view on the different propaganda spread, whether they had personally addressed them or not, and so on. They would then lightly tick one name and hurry on his way. In the final leg of the line, the students dropped their papers into a small box, which was immediately registered and organized into piles by the sweating teachers.

As the minutes passed, the line started to thin. As the last student finally departed, all that could be heard was the sound of paper being flicked around and the scratching of chalk on the huge tally on the table. After one whole hour, the students filed in once more, to take their places around the stage, where three people awaited. To the left (of the stage, that is), Peter Falkins wiped a bead of sweat from his shiny black hair, slightly relieving the burden he had carried out in hijacking the votes from his adversary. To the right, Tom Halspurt tried to keep a silly grin on his face as he started worrying about the vulnerabilities he had shown during his campaign. And in the middle, Principal Baldies had just announced a recount.

One hour later, and a paper was handed to the Principal. Clearing his throat, he announced "Today, to my left and right, stand two seminal candidates, both showing outstanding responsibility and leadership skills. In fact, they are so outstanding, that in the first time since this school was founded, there has been a tie."

Gasps spread around the assembly hall as the news spread around. Eyes opened wide in shock, whispers broke in waves, and the Principal had to clear his throat several times to catch their attention again.

"Peter, Tom, in my hand I hold a one Pound coin. I shall throw it, and should it be heads, Peter shall be student president. Tails, Tom. Do you have any objections?"

Both candidates nodded in acquiescence.

The coin flew up in the air, flying high and spinning many times in the process. The hall remained silent, so silent a pin dropped could be heard. The light caught the image of the Queen's face in the air as the coin slowly fell. Landing vertically, the coin spun around, and everyone held their breath as the coin settled on the cold floor.

Bending down, his eyes squinted, the Principal picked up the coin, straightened up and looked at the person to his left: "Congratulations, new president."

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