Monday, September 25
Dawn wrinkled her nose in disappointment as she hauled her laundry hamper into the laundry room in Sayer. She’d hoped that on a Monday at lunchtime there would be no one else using any of the machines and she could catch up on her sorely-neglected laundry, but someone else was already there… and she really needed clean clothes for her work shift later. In class, she could cover her ragged T-shirt with a hoodie, but shelving books for six hours was a warm job.
The other person straightened up and smiled at Dawn. “Hi!”
It was Shannon, who’d given Dawn and her friends a mini tour of the dorm last year, convincing them to apply for a room here. Dawn was happy to see that she was still on campus—she was very nice—and even happier that it was someone she could probably talk to.
“Hi, Shannon,” she said. “You’re not using all the machines, are you? I really have to get some laundry done.”
“You’re in luck,” Shannon said, stepping aside and gesturing at the washer with an open door she’d just been standing in front of. “I’m moving my stuff to the dryers right now. I swear I haven’t had a chance to do laundry all semester, so I was using all the washers, but I’m done with them.”
“Oh, that’s perfect,” Dawn said with a sigh of relief. She dragged her hamper forward and started loading clothes into the washer that Shannon had just vacated. Shannon started the dryer, and the room filled with the soft hum and thump of the machines as the two of them loaded laundry from one receptacle to another.
“How have you been?” Dawn asked after a few minutes. “I meant to find you and thank you again for your little tour of Sayer. My two friends and I got a corner room and it’s really been perfect for the three of us.”
“Oh, that’s great!” Shannon said. “So none of you were scared off by the big announcement at the end of last semester?”
Dawn snorted, but she wasn’t sure Shannon could hear her over the sound of the dryer. “It wasn’t really news to us,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of dealing with the faeries before.”
“Wow, so I guess it wasn’t a problem for you,” Shannon said. “That’s kind of cool. I wasn’t sure about coming back, but I decided I could handle it. I don’t think I ever dealt with the faeries before, though I did run into a ghost.”
“Really?” Dawn straightened up to look at Shannon, who was still busy moving her clothes from the last washer to the last dryer. “I’ve been hearing stories about a ghost in Mary Thomas.”
“That’s the one!” Shannon pointed at Dawn with a finger gun. “I lived there freshman year. My two friends and I—Amy and Randi, they’re my roommates now—actually tried to hold a seance.”
“Tried?” Dawn went back to putting her clothes in the washer; she did need to get this done quickly, since her work shift started in an hour and a half.
“We wanted to talk to the ghost, but she got mad about it. At least, that’s what we figure happened, but maybe it was a faerie after all. Huh. Didn’t they talk about faeries not liking iron in that protection class?”
“Yes. I’ve wondered if that’s why Mary Thomas is the way it is, with everything made out of iron, so faeries don’t want to come in. It doesn’t keep them out entirely, though.”
“So maybe it was a ghost after all.”
“So what happened with your seance?”
Shannon laughed. “Jeez, I haven’t thought about this much in over a year, but I haven’t wanted to go back to that dorm, either.” She ran her hand through her hair, pushing it out of her face. “All our candles got knocked over. Or fell over. But we thought it was the ghost. The floor almost caught fire, and I had to pay for the scorched spot to be fixed. Then for the next three nights none of us could sleep through the night. We kept hearing things get knocked over, and our doors didn’t stay closed unless we locked them. Those things had always happened once in a while, but it was really bad for all three of us for those three nights.”