Saturday, September 16
Edie looked left and right at her friends. They both nodded at her, and she nodded back at them. Then, shoulder to shoulder, the three of them started up the stairs.
They had talked to Annie; she had agreed that it was a great idea to try to communicate with the ghost and figure out why she was bothering Annie, if she even knew. She had also agreed that it was best if she stayed out of the way, so she and Roe were hanging out in Roe’s room. Edie, Corrie, and Dawn could call them if they felt they needed help, but otherwise they were out of the way.
Edie was glad. If the ghost had a problem with Annie specifically, she was not in the line of fire right now. And if the problem was just with anyone in that room, now there would be three of them to contend with.
Half of her was still uncertain that there was a real ghost; it might be entirely psychological for Annie, and they wouldn’t be able to help. But she hoped that they could help. A small corner of her mind was telling her that there was something she could do if she was really concerned about Annie’s mental state, but she ignored it.
It was late evening, a time when they hoped that most people would be out of the dorms. Corrie had actually refused to schedule a date with Charlie for tonight. Of course, he’d completely understood, encouraged her, and offered to come to campus and help. That was why Corrie and Charlie worked so well together.
They also thought that the ghost was more active at night, so she would be easier to contact as well.
The dorm was eerily quiet. Hopefully that was because people were out at parties or in town. The three of them reached the top of the stairs and advanced toward Annie’s room.
She’d told them that she’d left the door unlocked, but shut. As they approached, the door was obviously several inches open. Edie’s stomach twisted.
Corrie stepped forward first and pushed open the door. The light was off, and the three of them moved in to stand in the middle of the dark room.
Corrie took a deep breath and cleared her throat. “Ghost? If you’re here, we’d like to talk to you.”
They waited a moment. There was silence. Edie didn’t know what she was expecting.
“If you can hear me,” Corrie said, “knock twice on the wall.”
There was a knock. Then another one. Edie felt a gasp forced out of her.
Slow, deliberate, methodical, and unmistakable. The ghost had heard them.
Edie glanced to the side to see Corrie grinning wildly. “Thank you,” she said. “Can you communicate with us in any other way? The traditional thing to do is knock once for yes, twice for no.”
One knock. Edie looked sideways at Dawn, wondering if there was anything she could see, but she shook her head. No faerie hiding in a glamour to surprise them, then.
“I have a deck of tarot cards,” Corrie said, holding up her box. “Will this help?”
A pause, then another knock. Corrie sat down on the floor anyway, dumping the cards out of the box and spreading them over the floor in front of her. “Give it a try, anyway. If you can manipulate physical objects, you can select a card. You don’t have to know what they mean. Just pick something based on the picture, or the—ahhh!”
The cards had suddenly swirled up into the air, spinning like a tiny funnel cloud and slapping at Corrie’s face and hands. Edie felt something go past her—an icy blast of air nearly knocking her over backward.
“Are you okay?” Dawn knelt on the floor next to Corrie.
“Ow… I think I have a few paper cuts.” Corrie grimaced, plucking cards off her arms and hair. “So she can definitely move the cards.”
“She just doesn’t want to,” Edie said. She shivered, still feeling the cold of that blast, and wrapped her arms around herself as Corrie and Dawn picked up the cards. “You definitely don’t see anything, Dawn? Did you feel the cold air?”
“No, I didn’t,” Dawn said, turning to look at Edie. “Are you thinking Gerlina?”
Edie nodded. “One of you had better go into trance.”
“I—right, you can’t. Corrie, you finish with the cards, I’ll go into trance.” Dawn sat on the floor for a moment, closing her eyes.
“Okay,” Corrie said, putting the last of the cards back into the box. “Ghost, will you help us find another way for you to talk to us?”
There was no answer this time, not even a knock. Dawn opened her eyes and looked around the room, then shook her head. “I can’t see anything, with any of my senses.”
“Ghost, are you there?” Corrie asked, raising her voice slightly. Still no answer.