About "Cygnus Loop" the judges wrote, "Well-written story." Here's a quick excerpt:
The morning rain pounded the small school along Riverside Drive. Children and teachers ran frantically from parked cars. Horns blasted, and headlights winked through waves of water.
Allison Peters hated arriving late. But she had just moved from her old bachelor pad in anticipation of her boyfriend’s arrival. This new place was a short commute.
Allison waited by the door of her third grade classroom with her hand over her heart, blonde hair plastered against her face, makeup running down her cheeks. A puddle of water formed around her feet as her students saluted the flag under the leadership of Vice Principal, Brett Castille.
Physically, she was attracted to Brett. If only he wasn’t so obnoxious, like the way he looked her over like a barfly would a potential night’s catch.
When the students pulled out their chairs, she whispered in his ear over the scraping noises. “Mind if I change?”
“No problem. Just make it fast.”
As she walked passed the principal’s office, she got nailed. “Miss Peters, I want to speak to you now. In my office.”
She walked slowly by the secretary’s desk, forced a smile at the elderly woman, and entered Dr. Judd’s office. The door’s tight spring closed it firmly behind her. Thud!
Nanette Judd was an older woman, thin like a scarecrow with brittle gray hair and skin as transparent as wax paper. Her desk was huge, and empty except for a crystal paperweight and a picture of a super nova. Allison smiled in sweet recognition when she saw the photo. She relaxed somewhat and sat in a leather-padded chair across from her boss. The desk seemed to dwarf the frail woman, but her demeanor was anything but feeble. Her blue eyes reached inside Miss Peter’s brown ones like a telepath reading her victim’s mind.