Edie and Derwen got back to Edie’s dorm room just as Corrie was leaving the bathroom, her hair plastered to her head with dampness. “Everyone already used up the hot water,” she complained. “Hey, Derwen.”
“Yeah, I noticed the same thing,” Edie said. “Did you get enough exercise running up and down the stairs?”
“I think so,” Corrie said. “At least I feel a bit better. What’s with the kettle?”
“It’s to make tea,” Derwen said.
“We’re having a potluck breakfast,” Edie said. “Everyone’s in our room. I hope you don’t mind.”
Corrie laughed. “Sounds great, though I hope everyone will turn around so I can put on my clothes!”
Naomi, Roe, and Annie were chatting away when they went inside, though Dawn and Rico hadn’t returned yet. Edie and Derwen found a spot to set up the kettle, where it could be plugged in and not be close to anything flammable, while Roe ran back to her room for more mugs. The tea box turned out to contain regular and decaffeinated black tea as well as green tea with mint.
“If you want something herbal, we could make weed tea,” Naomi offered.
Edie rolled her eyes, though she did it where Naomi couldn’t see her. “I don’t think we’re interested.”
“You won’t get high. It’s just a nice marijuana taste.”
“Why are you so determined to get us to take some pot?” Annie asked.
“I feel bad. You’re all sharing with me and I have nothing else to share with you.”
“I think,” Corrie said, pulling crinkling bags out of her drawer, “that if any of us is going to try pot for the first time, it should be outdoors, at a time when the campus is safe. That day is definitely not today. Here we go.” She added a packet of crackers, another bag of popcorn, and three bars of chocolate to the jumble of food in the middle of the room. “I have a banana, too, but it’s overripe. I should have eaten it earlier.”
“I’ll take it,” Annie said. “I can mash it a little and put it on my peanut butter sandwich.”
“Sure,” Corrie said. As she turned back to get the banana, Roe returned with a handful of mugs. Derwen started taking people’s tea orders and setting teabags in the mugs while they waited for the kettle to boil.
Edie sat back down, opened one of the chocolate bars, and broke off a piece of chocolate. “Well, even if this fog is for a really bad reason, it’s kind of nice to hang out like this.”
“Yeah, we did the same thing at the beginning of the year, remember?” Corrie said. “We called it a fog party.”
“Did you?” Annie said.
“I remember,” Naomi said, nodding. “It was in our room, though.”
“It was while you were with the faeries, Annie,” Edie said. “I think they were upset because Lorelei had gone to try to rescue you.”
Annie stared at her for a long moment. “I guess that’s why I missed it. Well, I’m glad I’m participating in this one.”
“This fog is even worse,” Corrie said quickly. “That time, I’m pretty sure I could run through the fog. Today it would have been way too dangerous.”
“Did they cancel classes that time?” Derwen asked. “I don’t remember it.”
Edie shook her head. “It was before classes started.”
Dawn and Rico finally returned, each carrying a plastic bag. Rico’s turned out to contain bottled sodas, which he added carefully to the jumble in the middle of the floor. “My offering.” Naomi laughed. Edie wondered what had taken them so long, but didn’t say anything.
Dawn put her bag down, too. “And for dessert.” She opened it to show that inside were two boxes of Oreos.
“Breakfast doesn’t have dessert,” Roe said.
“At this rate, we’re going to be here for lunch, too,” Dawn said. “It doesn’t look like the fog is clearing up at all.”
Edie finished her chocolate and climbed back onto her bed to look out the window. “You’re right.” It was even brighter out now that the sun was higher, reflecting dazzlingly off the top of the fog. It would have looked like snow, except that no snow had ever been that deep. “Do you think it’s going to clear up at all? What if the campus is just stuck in fog now?”
“We’d learn to navigate it,” Corrie said. “They’d probably bring out vehicles to get people from dorm to classroom.”
Edie checked her email again. There was no response from Darcy or Zip. She sat down as Naomi started to go on about her ideas for navigating through very thick fog. She seemed to have given the matter some thought.
At least it was better than speculating about who had been killed and whether they were going to find out. Edie grabbed a few crackers, smiled at the way Annie was obviously enjoying her peanut-butter-and-mashed-banana sandwich, and settled down.