Chapter 29:


Pandora's Box

"What the heck? I thought you were going to steal the ballot box!" I said.

Red was standing on the sink of the empty boys bathroom as I spoke to him. As the news had broken a few minutes ago about the votes being counted, we frantically tracked each other down.

"I did! There's no way anyone could have found it either. I strapped it to some cinder blocks and threw it into the ocean." Red exclaimed.

"What's going on then? How could they come to a result if you disposed of the votes?"

"I don't know, maybe the universe really does just hate you."

Red chuckled to himself a bit.

"This isn't the time to be cracking jokes, Red. In case you haven't noticed, I'm freaking out right now! If something doesn't happen, I'm going to explode in front of everyone."

"Well I guess all we can do now is go to the gymnasium and figure out what happened."

"Yeah but what abou-."

Red refused to let me finish. He jumped off the sink and walked out of the bathroom, making his way to the gymnasium. He gave me no choice, but to follow him. It's not like I really had any other options left.


I had a really bad feeling as I entered the gym. Jo Ito and a few other students helping run the election, were standing around a large blue box. Sato was also already there, eagerly awaiting the results.

"May the best man... or I should say woman win." Sato said, smuggly to me.

I just ignored her as I approached Jo.

"So the ballots have been completely counted." I said, nervously.

"They sure have! Things went even smoother than we thought they would. Before we officially announce the winner to the school, we are going to do it privately right now just in case either of you have any disputes." Jo said.

That's not what I wanted to hear.

"O-oh, that's...great."

I had to figure out how to stop this RIGHT NOW!

Jo looked at both Sato and me as he spoke,

"So the winner by literally a single vote is..."

"Wai-!" I attempted to object, but I couldn't get it out in time.


"WHAT?!" Sato and I said simultaneously.

"One vote's easily within the margin of error. I think there should be a recount to make sure there weren’t any errors made." Sato demanded.

It seems like the results had put her a bit on edge. She was unusually tense. I'm guessing she hadn't even fathomed it was possible for her to lose. Under normal circumstances I would have been ecstatic that I won, but unfortunately I didn't have that luxury at the moment.

"I agree with Sato... We should REALLY take our time to make sure that every vote was counted." I said.

As irritating as it was, I had no choice, but to side with Sato on the recount. This was the best chance I had to stall out the results.

"Yeah, no problem. We'll get those counted right away." Jo said.

Him and the other few students assisting him proceeded to recount each and every vote by hand...

"The results are the same. Hako-san wins by one vote." He said.

"I think we should do another count. I'm still not entirely convinced." Sato persisted.

"I'm fine with that too." I agreed

"Alright then, we'll count them again." Jo said.

They proceeded to count again... and the result was exactly the same as the first two times.

"I just can't accept this. Please count another time."

Sato was in complete denial. Surprisingly her being a psychotic freak was actually working to my advantage. If she keeps this up, they might have to put the results off for a few days.

The vote count kept coming up with the same result and Sato just kept forcing the votes to be recounted over and over again. Soon a crowd of students gathered out of curiosity. Some students even started making side bets on the number of times the votes would be recounted.

After a few hours of counting the votes over and over and over... and over... we finally hit 107 recounts, when...


"What the *BLEEP*!"

Sato suddenly seemed to completely snap, as she flipped a folding table over. The whole gym suddenly got so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Everyone cast their gazes at her.

"How could you have won by a point! There's no way that could have happened."

A few spectating students began booing her.

"This is all you morons faults and I mean ALL of you. The only thing all of you had to do was check a box next to MY name, but apparently the students at this school are too stupid to figure that out."

She turned towards me to continue her tirade.

"And you, Hako-san! How the heck did you manage to win. I went as far as swapping out the ballot box with a separate one that I rigged with fake votes and yet somehow that didn't even work."

There were some gasps from the crowd. Sato seemed to be having a complete mental breakdown.

"Yes, I'll admit in front of everyone here, I tried rigging the election and I would've gotten away with it too, if someone hadn't swapped the boxes back."

Jo spoke up,

"I'm sorry Sato-san, but admitting to cheating instantly disqualifies you according to school rules."

Sato didn't say another word, she just proceeded to flip off both me and the entire crowd of students as she stormed out of the gymnasium.

Now I understood what had happened. Sato had swapped out the ballot box with one that she had rigged. When Red went to steal it, that was the one he took and threw in the ocean.

None of that mattered anymore though. The election was over and any second now I was going to spontaneously combust. I had failed to fulfill my deal with Red. The only one I could blame for this now was myself. I should have never made the mistake of making a deal with a devil.

Jo suddenly handed me a microphone.

"How's about you say a few words to everyone, newly elected President Hako."

I took the mic from him. This was it. It was over and there was nothing else I could do. I had no choice, but to accept my fate. At least I could hold my head high knowing I was able to defeat Sato. If this was going to be my last few moments of life, I was at least going to go out on a high note!

N.J. Ecalus
Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64