There will be no new chapters of Chatoyant College this week, September 4 or September 7. I am on vacation! See you on the 11th!
Corrie and Edie knocked on Dawn’s door, but no one answered, so they figured she was with Rico and went to Roe’s room. Edie also expressed concern about Roe’s appearance, which made Annie give her another glare, but Roe dismissed them again. Corrie knew better than to keep bugging her about it—it would just make her defensive and even less likely to do what they wanted. Anyway, Roe did have an appointment with Professor Strega the next day.
When they stepped out into the late afternoon, Corrie noticed that the air was getting humid. “I wish Dawn were here,” she said. “She could tell us whether there’s a storm coming.”
“I’m in that class too,” Annie said. “I can sense the air currents enough to see if there’s a storm that’s close by. Want me to check?”
Thursday, May 18
Now that over a week had passed since Elrath’s death, the campus seemed to have relaxed somewhat. Corrie hadn’t heard any rumors or questions in a couple of days. Maybe they really had managed to forget about Elrath.
After all, it had never been only the magic on campus that kept people from understanding that faeries were real and lived there. The magic had just been enhancing the natural capability of the human mind to ignore things that didn’t fit in the world that they knew. If students had seen faeries day after day, eventually they would have had to admit that something strange was going on, but the vast majority of students didn’t have that much contact with faeries. So by the time they saw something else strange, they’d forgotten about the first thing.
Edie headed up the stairs to the fifth floor. She marveled sometimes at how easy it was for her to climb the stairs now. Sure, she still got a little bit out of breath at the top, but she caught her breath again before she reached her own room. And her legs didn’t burn from all the climbing.
She hoped she didn’t get out of shape over the summer, or in their new dorm next year. They hadn’t learned yet whether they’d gotten the room assignment they wanted, but it probably wouldn’t be on the fifth floor of any building. Maybe if she did get out of shape, Corrie would finally convince her to go for a run some morning.
It would still involve getting up early, though, so probably not.
Zip and her friends didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that Edie wasn’t quite sitting with them. “Mark, want to start your story over so Edie can hear it?” Zip said.
“Sure,” said a boy with light brown hair and pale eyes—paler than the rest of the group, anyway—who was leaning back on his elbows in the grass. “So over the summers I work at my dad’s shoe store. Last summer on my last day of work it’s pretty quiet and this woman comes in. I’m sitting behind the counter reading a magazine because, come on, it’s boring. So I’m not paying attention to her.” A few of the listeners grinned.
Saturday, May 13
Edie turned the page in the book she was reading for American Literature. She had been enjoying Beloved, and really, she still was—it was a creepy story with a lot of depth both of character and of history. But she’d already finished one novel and read most of another in the time she’d been in the library, and it was strange to think, but she was getting sick of sitting around and reading.
She wondered if she should ask Dawn if she wanted to leave. But it had been Dawn’s idea to come to the library to study in the first place, and anyway, Edie wasn’t sure where she was at the moment.
She put her bookmark in the spot she’d reached and lifted her head to look around. She was in one of the relatively comfortable chairs in the reference area of the library. She wasn’t reading any reference books, but on a Saturday, this part of the library wasn’t busy. Dawn had started out here, taking a couple of books down from the shelves to look for sources for her paper, but in the last couple of hours she seemed to have wandered farther before returning.
Edie could certainly wait until Dawn had finished finding her latest source before asking to leave. She could read a few more pages.
Edie piled spinach, olives, and red peppers on her pasta to accompany the sauce and Parmesan cheese, then decided that was enough. If she was still hungry when she’d finished this, she would make herself get a small salad.
She sat at the table and ate alone for a few moments—it was really good—before her friends returned. When Dawn sat down, Edie remembered something else she’d said about her elemental magic class, when she’d learned how good she was at sensing air currents. “What about that cold air current you said you felt on campus?” she asked. “Did Professor Lal know anything about that?”
Dawn frowned. “She didn’t say anything about it in her email. I’d kind of forgotten about it, to be honest. Maybe I should try to sense it again. It was right by the wall, at the south end of campus, so if it has moved that will be interesting.”