The Paper Palace
Jaire’s friends were impressed by his cup-stacking skills but scoffed at the idea of a competition when he told them his plans for the weekend. He shrugged off their jeers and continued to practice building up the cups into a pyramid before breaking it down into three smaller pyramids and various other arrangements. The three rounds at the state tournament would decide who continued on to the finals in the nations capitol. If that wasn’t enough pressure Jaire secretly wanted to prove to his friends that it wasn’t just a silly party trick, that it required months of practice. There were three judges who scored based on speed, accuracy, and complexity, and if Jaire had been sitting in any of those chairs he would have failed his performance; he was his own biggest critic that way. Not only did he not fail, he advanced to the next round, and despite every mistake and fumble that he noticed he was again advanced to the final round of the state tournament. He didn’t advance to compete in the final competition, but 4th place got tickets to the finals, all expenses covered, and a cash prize that garnered new-found respect from his friends.