Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 8: Freedom

After everyone was seated again, Ginny picked up a deck of her own from the packs scattered on her desk. “All right, now I’d like each of you to locate the Fool in your deck. That’s the first trump, or Major Arcana card, numbered zero—in case you’ve forgotten the list from your Intro to Magic class. If your deck has never been opened before, it will be the first card, or the first after one or two explanation cards.”

Corrie looked down at her deck. She didn’t know whether her grandmother had put the cards in any order. She carefully slid them out of the box and looked at the first card. It was a familiar woman dressed in stars she’d seen so many times in her life—the Empress. She smiled and started flipping through until she found the Fool, a man staring at the sky with a stick over his shoulder. This card was relatively crisp and new.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 7: Tarot Decks

Corrie gave a farewell wave to Edie and Troy as she headed for her second class of the day, Divination, which was right after Literary Analysis. She was excited to learn divination; she was sure Professor Lal had barely scratched the surface in their Intro to Magic class last year. This class was supposed to focus on tarot, pendulum, and astrology, which seemed like they could take a lot more than a single semester.

She was also curious to see who would be teaching the class. When she’d signed up, Professor Strega had been listed, but she’d left the school—or she could have changed her mind at the last minute, of course. So Corrie was expecting either Professor Strega or a brand-new teacher. There had been a teacher she didn’t recognize, Professor Cantrell, at the assembly at the end of last semester; maybe she was the new magic teacher.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 6: Which Yet Survive

Thursday, August 24

Edie silently cursed her alarm as she flung her arm out of bed to turn it off. Then she cursed her past self, which had decided to sign up for a nine AM class. It was just too early to be awake.

Of course, when she sat up, blinking the sleep out of her eyes, she saw that Corrie was already up, dressed, and vigorously toweling off her short blonde hair. “Morning,” Corrie said brightly. “It’s nice to be back on campus for my morning run.”

“Must be better than the city,” Edie said. Or tried to say. It mostly came out as a grumble.

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Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 5: Mandatory

Dawn led the way back to the three-person dorm room she was now sharing with Edie and Corrie. She couldn’t help grinning a little as she and her friends climbed the stairs and then she unlocked the door to the corner room. Sure, it would have been nice to have a single room that she could have Rico in at any time, but she could always find ways to spend time with Rico. The fact that she was sharing space with her two closest friends was more important.

Besides, she knew she could count on them to both be cleaner and communicate better than her roommate last year, Naomi.

She went to her desk and turned on her computer while the others followed her in. Rico sat down on her bed. Corrie dug out her computer while Edie turned hers on as well. Annie and Roe hovered over Edie.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 4: Reassurances

“Hey, Corrie,” Belinda said, waving and laughing. “You brought a whole escort just for me?”

Corrie laughed and waved back. “These are my closest friends. You know Edie.” She gestured at each of her friends as she said their names. “These are Dawn, Roe, Annie, and Rico.”

“Hi,” Belinda said, waving again at them all. “Do they all know about, uh… how we know each other?”

Corrie nodded. “Yeah, they know about my dad.”

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 3: Return to Gilkey

They passed a number of other people moving in as they headed down the stairs and out the door. Corrie, Edie, and Dawn waved and said hi to Shannon, the girl who had shown them her dorm last year in a bid to get them to move into Sayer. Roe greeted an Asian girl Corrie vaguely recognized as Lin, who’d been in Intro to Magic with them. And they walked past Chris, who had been one of the friends of Leila, Edie’s faerie ex-girlfriend. They didn’t speak to her. Corrie wasn’t sure how she and Edie felt about each other now, but it probably wasn’t good, considering their complicated history.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 3: Return to Gilkey”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 2: Horns, Eyes, Teeth

As Corrie started to unpack her notebooks, laptop, and pens, she saw another familiar face approaching the open door. But she had to blink a few times to get through her surprise enough to speak. “Derwen? Is that you?”

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 1: Move-In Day

Wednesday, August 23

Corrie’s new rolling suitcase bumped over the lines in the pavement as she headed toward the campus from the parking lot, taking a deep breath of the warm late-summer air. It smelled amazing; she loved the city, but she thought she might love the country more—at least, she certainly loved the middle-of-nowhere land of Chatoyant College. Here, she could smell things that were green and growing, even if it would only be a month or two before they turned brown and dried up. And she was sure that if it were possible, if she knew how, she would be able to smell magic.

She smiled and waved at a few people she knew as she walked through the huge iron gates that marked the front of Chatoyant College’s campus. She didn’t see any of her closest friends yet, but she knew that was only a matter of time—after all, she, Edie, and Dawn were sharing a room this year. They’d gotten their dorm assignments at the end of the spring semester, and the three of them had a triple on the second floor of Sayer. She was thrilled about it.

Corrie had to check in at the administration building to get her key, but the lines were short and it didn’t take long; soon she was walking through the front door of her new dorm building (someone had helpfully propped it open so that the students moving in didn’t have to keep swiping their ID cards while carrying bags) and then hauling her suitcase up the stairs.

She wasn’t surprised to find that she was the last one of the three to reach the room—Edie and Dawn were always more prompt than she was. No one was in the room at the moment, but she recognized Edie’s trunk at the foot of the bed on the right, and the suitcase and backpack on the bed on the left, around the corner where the building turned, looked like Dawn’s. They had thoughtfully left her the bed in the middle. Since that was what she wanted, she grinned and started unpacking.

She was in the middle of hanging her clothes in the closet (which was much smaller than the one she’d had in Gilkey, but the room size made up for it, and she didn’t need that much space) when she heard the door open and the laughter of several people burst in. She turned with a grin. “There you are!”

“Corrie!” Edie broke away from the group and rushed toward Corrie. They hugged each other tightly, and Corrie felt her metaphorical cup of happiness fill up even more. She belonged here—with her best friend.

Dawn was lined up right behind Edie to hug her, followed by their friends Annie and Roe. Dawn’s boyfriend Rico didn’t hug Corrie, but smiled and shook her hand.

“What have you guys been up to?” Corrie asked, going back to her unpacking. “You weren’t here when I showed up.”

“We went to look for Annie and Roe,” Dawn said. She and Rico headed over to her side of the room and started to unpack her things. They started with the sheets, making her bed. Corrie was tempted to make a dirty joke, but refrained.

She turned to Roe and Annie instead. “Oh, yeah, you guys are in Richmond, right?”

“Not anymore,” Roe said. “It turns out with so few people returning this year, they decided to shut down Richmond and Darnel and shift everyone who’d signed up for it to other dorms.”

“It works out for us, though,” Annie said. “We have singles now, in Mary Thomas.”

Corrie grimaced. She wouldn’t want to live in Mary Thomas and she was surprised that, if the college was going to shut down dorms, it wasn’t Mary Thomas and Sayer. After all, they were the dorms that had housed the two students who had been killed the previous semester by a faerie.

But it didn’t bother her to live in Sayer, even though this was where Sean had lived, and she realized that it wasn’t the deaths that she was concerned about, but who they’d been in life; Elrath, the first person to be killed, was a faerie who had used his magic to take advantage of women. And now that she thought about it, four students had been killed, and she had no idea where Payton and Elena had lived. It wouldn’t be practical to shut down all the dorms where the victims had lived.

Anyway, the people who had returned were the ones who weren’t scared off by the deaths that had occurred—which included her and her friends, since they had been involved in the capture of the culprit—or the revelation at the very end of the spring semester that faeries lived on campus and in the woods, disguised as humans.

“I guess I’m not surprised that a lot of people aren’t back,” she said. “I’m glad you guys weren’t scared off. Who do we know that’s still around?”

“I haven’t seen anyone else yet,” Edie said. She was starting to unpack her trunk.

“Troy is still here, of course,” Roe said.

“And Link?” Corrie said, looking over her shoulder and grinning at her.

Roe grinned back, blushing a little. Her boyfriend Link was the older cousin of their friend Troy, and both of them were Djanaea, something like mermaids who took human form to come to Chatoyant College. “He has an apartment in town and he’s working in the administration. How’s Charlie?”

It was Corrie’s turn to blush a little. Charlie was their old RA from Gilkey, and she’d been dating him since spring. He was also a werewolf in the same pack as her father.

Chatoyant College had thrown her and her friends into a tangled web of the supernatural that she didn’t think they’d ever get free of. Not that she wanted to.

“He’s got a good job in Human Resources,” she said. “He’s working for a big company in the city.”

“Human Resources?” Dawn said, laughing.

“I’m sure he’s good at it!” Annie said. “He puts people at ease.”

“You’re right, it’s just… so corporate.”

“I think it’s weird and so does he,” Corrie said, laughing too. “But he likes it so far.” She’d finished with her clothes, so she moved on to her sheets. Annie stepped in to help her, and they had the bed made in seconds.