Friday, September 15
Dawn sat down on her bed, looking at her two roommates. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Somebody has to do something about Annie’s sleep,” Corrie said.
Dawn grimaced. That was certainly something she could not deny. Annie had been doing okay, and her burn was healed enough now that she no longer needed the bandage all day, but if it was lack of sleep that was making her mess up in magic class—and it was the ghost that was messing with her sleep—then she definitely needed help. And the professors weren’t offering it.
Corrie sat down cross-legged on her own bed. “We should probably make a plan before we actually do anything.”
Edie looked at her sideways and smiled. “You were all raring to go on Wednesday.”
“Well, you and Roe convinced me that we needed to slow down and wait for Dawn, and since then I’ve decided that we need a plan.” Corrie sighed. “In the vision it sounds like we were just talking to the ghost, but does that really work? How do you get in communication with a ghost? How do we even find her, even if we can just talk to her, since she seems to be invisible? Dawn, you’re taking that Death and Dying class. Any suggestions?”
Dawn had to laugh. “The class isn’t about ghosts. In fact, the suggestion hasn’t even come up. It’s a sociology class. We’re learning about rituals around death and burial around the world. It’s really interesting, but I don’t think it’s going to help us here. In Ritual Magic we’re supposed to learn spiritualism to communicate with the dead, but we haven’t gotten there yet. It’s not until the end of the semester.”
“That doesn’t do us much good, then,” Corrie agreed.
“What about your divination class?” Dawn asked her. “Have you learned anything that might help?”
Corrie grimaced and shook her head. “Unless the ghost wants to use the tarot cards to tell us things, then I don’t think it’s going to help much.”
“Maybe she does,” Edie said. “It’s worth bringing them, anyway.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll bring my deck. And we just started pendulum yesterday. I’ll bring my pendulum, too—maybe she can at least use it to say yes and no.” Corrie shrugged.
“Can’t you use pendulums to find things?” Dawn asked. “Like, on maps and stuff?”
“I don’t think a pendulum on a map would get us any closer than saying the ghost is in Mary Thomas,” Edie said.
“Do either of you have a map of the campus? We can at least try that now,” Corrie said, unfolding her legs and taking the two steps to her desk.
“Yeah, I have one. Just a sec.” Dawn stood up and went to her backpack. She pulled out her folder of miscellaneous items she thought she might need on campus and flipped through it before she found her campus map, which she held out to Corrie.
Corrie took the map and put it on the floor, sitting down cross-legged next to it. She frowned and changed the angle a couple of times. “This is the right orientation, isn’t it? To the actual campus? I don’t know if it matters, but it seems better if we do have it oriented the same, especially since we’re actually inside the map.”
Edie looked over Corrie’s shoulder. “No, let me adjust it.” She turned the paper slightly. “Sayer isn’t at a perfect north-south orientation. You can see that on the map.”
Corrie grinned. “I guess so.” She lifted her pendulum, the chain looped over the middle finger of her right hand.
Dawn sat down on her bed again, but leaned forward to watch. She hadn’t yet taken the divination class herself, though, of course, she knew the basics from the intro class she’d taken.
Corrie closed her eyes. “Where do we find the ghost?” she asked. She opened her eyes again and tapped the pendulum with the pointer finger of her left hand, sending it swinging.
There was silence as all three of them watched the pendulum swing wildly, then begin to move in a more smooth, regular manner. After a minute, it was making a narrow ellipse over campus. The ellipse shrank and shrank until it was unmistakably circling over Mary Thomas. They were still silent. Dawn wasn’t sure she could see the difference between when it was still moving and when it stopped, but after a few moments it was quivering in place, its point just touching the paper.
Corrie squinted at it. “Well, the point is not precisely centered over Mary Thomas. So maybe it’s being more specific than that. What do you guys think?”
“That could be Annie’s room,” Edie said. “It’s on the right side of the building.”
“But we don’t know whether it’s on the first floor or the second floor,” Dawn said. “Or even on the roof.”
“Does it really matter?” Edie said. “If Annie’s room isn’t where we find the ghost, then it’s not what is causing her problems.”
Corrie sighed. “You’re right, I guess this didn’t really tell us anything new.” She pulled up the chain of the pendulum with her fingers, curling it into her palm. “It was kind of cool, though. I’ve never had such a clear answer from a pendulum before.”
Dawn bent down to scoop her map back up from the floor. “There is one other thing we could try, but I hate to even suggest it.”
“The old faerie woman?” Corrie asked. “I was just thinking of her.”
“Didn’t we kind of get scolded for talking to her before?” Edie asked. “I don’t really want to risk that.”
“Last resort,” Dawn said firmly. “Let’s try something to talk to the ghost before we look for her help.”
“I wish we knew the ghost’s name,” Corrie said. “That would probably help a lot with talking to her. I mean, I know that if someone was wandering around going ‘hey bald-headed girl, I need to talk to you,’ I’d be a lot less likely to respond than if they said ‘Corrie.’” Edie giggled.
“Have either of you talked to Annie about looking for her in the yearbooks?” Dawn asked.
“She looked some, I think,” Edie said. “But she didn’t say she’d found her.”
“I don’t want to wait to do more research,” Corrie said. “Let’s at least try something tomorrow.”
“I agree,” Edie said. “On one condition.”
“What’s that?” Corrie sat down on her bed.
Edie crossed her arms over her middle. “We have to talk to Annie first. Make sure she’s okay with it.”
Dawn and Corrie looked at each other. “Agreed.”