Dawn started her last washing machine and leaned against it, watching Shannon. “How did you get it to stop?”
Shannon shook her head with a wry smile. “I have no idea. Maybe Amy or Randi apologized to the ghost or something, but if so, they never said so. It just stopped. In fact, I don’t think I heard any weird noises or had my door open or shut itself spontaneously once the rest of that year.”
“One of my friends is having issues with the ghost this year. I hoped you would have a trick.”
“No. My only trick is to not live in Mary Thomas.” Shannon shrugged.
“I’ve heard a couple of different stories about the ghost’s origin.”
“Yeah? I only heard one, that she used to be a scholarship student and killed herself over a guy. What did you hear?”
“That was one, and the other is that she is the original Mary Thomas, one of the founders of the school.”
Shannon frowned, leaning against the dryer. “Why would one of the founders of the school want to mess with students?”
“That’s a really good question,” Dawn said. “Maybe the suicide one is the real one. Though I’m not sure that explains why she would want to mess with students, either.”
“If she killed herself over a guy, maybe she doesn’t want anyone else to be happy, either. Or either way, maybe she just can’t help it. She’s a ghost—it’s her nature to scare people.”
Dawn shook her head. “I don’t think that makes sense. It got worse for you after you tried to communicate with her, and it’s a lot worse for my friend Annie than it seems to be for anyone else. The ghost has been disturbing her sleep more nights than not.”
“That’s pretty bad. You haven’t gotten any help from the magic professors?”
“No, they refuse to believe that there’s a ghost.”
Shannon shook her head and straightened up. “I wish I could help more. Hopefully with time it will just calm down, like it is for us. I have to get back to my homework. See you later.”
“Yeah, I hope so. See you around, Shannon.” Dawn stayed in the laundry room as Shannon left, frowning and thoughtful. Shannon and her friends had tried to communicate with the ghost, and things had gotten worse for them, just like they had for Dawn and her friends—except that the ghost seemed to be harassing everyone in Mary Thomas now. Then again, Dawn and her friends didn’t live in that dorm, so maybe with them inaccessible, the ghost was just bothering the people she could get to.
Presumably, as a ghost, she was tied to the place she’d died, which would be Mary Thomas. That meant it was even less likely that she was the original Mary Thomas—why would one of the founders of the school have lived in a dorm? Unless it had just been a house at the time, since it did look like it had once been a grand, beautiful house before it had been converted into single dorm rooms.
Or maybe she was tied to Mary Thomas for some other reason. It might be a place she had a strong connection to in life, rather than the place she had died. There were just too many ghost stories out there—Dawn didn’t know which ones were closer to truth and which ones were pure fiction until she had more experience, just like with the faeries.
She sighed and pushed herself off of the washer. At least now she knew that she, Corrie, and Edie hadn’t been the only ones to make the ghost mad by attempting to communicate; presumably this was just how she was.
Also, she’d gotten her laundry started, and as long as she and Shannon both returned promptly to get the next parts done, she would have clean clothes before she had to get to the library to start her shift. That was the really important thing.