August 25

Jeanne’s eyes swept across the room; some students were still working, but most were glaring at Fran for being bossy. Gene was rolling his eyes. Fran had a point, of course; there was a precedent for Mr. Walsh throwing out the results of a quiz and replacing it with one ten times harder. The difficulty jump was only of marginal discomfort to Jeanne and Gene, but the wasted effort got under her skin.
It did not take long for Mr. Walsh to return; the classroom was remarkably silent when he arrived. “Okay, boys and girls, time’s up,” he said. “I’ve got the election results, all official and certified. Everyone, pass your quiz to your nearest candidate– that’s Gene, Fran, or Deacon– and then let’s have those three come up to the board.”
Gene collected the quizzes from the Antarcticans and a handful of other students, and warily stepped forward. Fran was unusually somber, and Deacon was grinning. Jeanne felt that there was something about to go horribly wrong, but she couldn’t place what, exactly.
“Okay,” Mr. Walsh said. “We had three ideas. Gene wanted us to watch a movie, Deacon wanted to go out and play tag, and Fran wanted to go to the computer lab. All are really great ideas, but only one will win. And the winner is…”

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