Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 50: Dismissal

“Oh, I hope you don’t think I’m neglecting you. I didn’t mean to.”

Edie shook her head. “I’m sure it’s just as much my fault as yours. I guess I have been a little distracted, actually.”

“More distracted than in previous semesters? But everything’s so safe now.” Derwen rolled her eyes.

Edie grinned and relaxed a little. That was the Derwen she knew. “That’s kind of the thing. They didn’t tell us anything about ghosts in the protection class. Actually, they basically said that ghosts exist but are nothing to worry about, and that obviously isn’t the case.”

“Ghosts? Really?” Derwen pulled her legs up onto the bed, turning more toward Edie. Her grin was eager. “Where are you hearing about ghosts?”

“In the Mary Thomas dorm.”

Derwen’s face fell slightly. “I can barely even go into that building. I would have thought it was the safest dorm on campus, with all that iron, but obviously not after what happened to Elrath.”

Edie shook her head. “So it really is full of iron? I thought it looked like there was iron in the furniture, but then Elrath was living there last year. He always freaked me out, but that was a little freaky, too.”

“Right? I don’t know how he could live and sleep there. But I guess it is a safe place, since Gerlina didn’t kill him until he’d left.”

Edie nodded. “That’s right, he was found on the grass.”

“It’s not his ghost, is it?”

Edie took a deep breath. She’d never even thought of that possibility. Good thing, too, or she would have been even more scared earlier. “No, it’s the ghost of a girl who was a student a long time ago, as far as we can tell. We’re not sure yet how she died or why she’s haunting the building. You’ve never heard of the ghost?”

“It does sound kind of familiar.” Derwen’s eyes moved from Edie’s face to the ceiling as she thought. “What does the ghost do? Makes weird sounds and knocks stuff over?”

“Exactly. There’s a cold spot where she is, too.” Edie had felt it earlier today, though she had been too distracted to make the connection. “And she opens and closes doors, too.”

“Huh. I don’t remember hearing about that, but… yeah, a long time ago, I heard about the ghost.”

“How long ago?”

Derwen tucked her knees up against her chest, wrapping her bathrobe around them. Her eyes seemed bigger than before. “I’m trying to remember. It’s all a muddle, you know. It wasn’t last time, or the time before that. Maybe… a hundred years ago, or more.”

Edie nodded. “That makes sense. We looked in records of the last century and didn’t find her, though they’re not perfect. You didn’t know about her when she was alive? Or shortly after she died?”

“No. I mean… do you really think it’s real?” Derwen laughed, though she’d seemed entirely willing to believe that the ghost existed a few moments ago. “That there’s a person who died and she became a ghost?”

“Isn’t that where ghosts come from?”

Derwen shook her head. “No, Lal would know if there was a real person. This is just a story.”

Edie frowned. “A story that’s persisted for over a hundred years?”

“Stories have power,” Derwen said. She slid her legs out again and stood up. “Anyway, I have to get ready for my shower. I’ll see you in class, okay, Edie?”

“Sure,” Edie said, standing up and taking a step toward the door. “Maybe we can get lunch beforehand or something.”

“Yeah, sure.” Derwen walked to the door and held it open for Edie. “Have a good one.”

“You, too.” Edie left the room and watched Derwen close it behind her, totally confused. Derwen had seemed to believe in the ghost, then turn around and dismiss the idea that it could be real. Her focus seemed to be the fact that Professor Lal didn’t believe in it.

Was this a faerie thing? Was that why the magic professors dismissed the idea of the ghost—because faeries and ghosts didn’t get along or something?

No, Ginny was too smart to go along with a story like that just because it was what the other magic professors said. And she had dismissed the story, too. There must be something that the professors just weren’t seeing.

Or maybe something that Edie and her friends weren’t seeing. She couldn’t dismiss that idea entirely. Frowning, still confused, she walked back down to her empty dorm room.

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 49: Beware

Edie sat still for a moment, thinking. If she went back to Annie’s dorm room now, Annie would probably be there. But what if she wasn’t? Maybe Roe had stayed there and they were hanging out. She wouldn’t want to interrupt that.

Anyway, the idea of leaving Annie’s room, talking to her roommates for twenty minutes, and then just turning around and going back to Annie’s room made her stomach churn. It would be completely obvious to Annie exactly what had happened. That would be humiliating. Better to wait until she saw Annie naturally.

She stood up abruptly. “I have an assignment to do. I’ll go see if Derwen is in her room.”

Corrie and Dawn looked at each other. “Well, you’re putting us to shame,” Corrie said. “I was going to just talk to Lal after class on Tuesday. You could try to catch Derwen then, too.”

“I was going to go to the library early for my shift tomorrow to try to look up the Mary Thomas scholarship,” Dawn said with a grin.

Edie shook her head. “We’re in the same building right now. And if Lin is ready again tomorrow, I want to go back to the conversation with new information, if that’s at all possible.”

Corrie frowned, but reluctantly said, “Yeah, that makes sense. I may as well see if Lal is in her office today.”

Dawn wrinkled her nose. “Fine, I’ll go to the library on my day off. Again.”

“Oh yeah, because you hate the library so much,” Corrie said, and they all laughed.

Edie still felt a lurking guilt, but now that she was doing something she had more energy. She led the way out of the room and toward the stairs. Derwen lived up on the third floor, where the rooms were all singles, except for the corner rooms like theirs.

She realized once she got up there that she hadn’t actually been there before. She’d hung out with Derwen a few times during the semester, but Derwen had always either come to her room or they’d hung out after class. Lately, the faerie seemed to have made some other friends; she and Edie weren’t talking after class.

A guy wearing a towel around his waist stopped when he saw Edie. “Hey, are you looking for somebody?”

“Uh, yeah, my friend Derwen?” At least Edie knew that she was going by Derwen now, not a human name, since they were in a class together.

“Oh, yeah, I know her. 306, I think.” He pointed to a door.

Edie smiled at him. “Thanks.” She walked to the door and immediately felt relieved. The door had a large, hand-drawn poster of an oak tree (at least she thought it was meant to be an oak—the artistry was not the most brilliant) on it, and, above the number, a sign that read “Beware!” in a spooky font. If that wasn’t Derwen’s room, Edie didn’t know what was.

She knocked, wondering if Derwen was even in. But she didn’t have much time to wonder, because Derwen called “come in!” cheerfully.

Edie opened the door cautiously and poked her head in, smiling. “Hey, Derwen. I thought I was supposed to beware. You don’t sound very threatening.”

“Edie!” Derwen laughed and put down the magazine she was reading. She was sitting on her bed in a satin bathrobe, her legs crossed. They were tan and slightly furry. “You never have to beware. Come in, I meant it.”

Edie entered and shut the door behind her. “How are you?” The room wasn’t any smaller than Annie’s, but it didn’t seem to have anywhere to sit. The desk chair held a pile of books and papers, and the corner of the room was taken up with stacks of cushions.

“Good, good. Come in, sit down.” Derwen moved to the right and patted the bed next to her. “What brings you to my humble abode?”

Derwen seemed to be talking differently than the way she used to. Edie wondered if she’d been learning new things from her other friends. Or maybe she was just trying on a different persona, as she seemed to do.

She sat, but she felt like it would be rude to just tell Derwen straight out that she was only visiting her because she wanted to know if she knew anything about a ghost. Instead, she said, “We never hang out anymore. I mean, I know we have our own friends, but it just occurred to me that I hadn’t talked to you in a while except for in class.”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 9: Crushing

“This is a good start,” Ginny said at last. “As your homework, I want you to continue with this exercise through the tarot. Tonight, find the Magician card and write down a few impressions of it from your chosen deck. Then choose another random card, put it next to the Magician, and write down the impressions you get from that. Continue tomorrow with the High Priestess, and so on until we have class again on Tuesday. Any questions?”

The class was quiet until Derwen suddenly lifted her head. “Uh, how do we know what the order of the cards is?”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 9: Crushing”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 7: Tarot Decks

Corrie gave a farewell wave to Edie and Troy as she headed for her second class of the day, Divination, which was right after Literary Analysis. She was excited to learn divination; she was sure Professor Lal had barely scratched the surface in their Intro to Magic class last year. This class was supposed to focus on tarot, pendulum, and astrology, which seemed like they could take a lot more than a single semester.

She was also curious to see who would be teaching the class. When she’d signed up, Professor Strega had been listed, but she’d left the school—or she could have changed her mind at the last minute, of course. So Corrie was expecting either Professor Strega or a brand-new teacher. There had been a teacher she didn’t recognize, Professor Cantrell, at the assembly at the end of last semester; maybe she was the new magic teacher.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 7: Tarot Decks”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 2: Horns, Eyes, Teeth

As Corrie started to unpack her notebooks, laptop, and pens, she saw another familiar face approaching the open door. But she had to blink a few times to get through her surprise enough to speak. “Derwen? Is that you?”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 2: Horns, Eyes, Teeth”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 37: The Past and the Present

Edie kept trying to get into the trance state that Ginny had described, but it was getting frustrating, and she was pretty sure that being frustrated was just going to make it harder for her to get into trance. It didn’t even feel familiar at all, even though she knew she’d done trance magic before, last semester. But that book had given bad advice—maybe she’d just learned it wrong. Right now, she wasn’t going to have any success. She decided to just sit there, watching the class and breathing evenly.

When she looked sideways at Derwen, she got a surprise. Derwen was looking sideways at her, too. When Edie caught her eye, she grinned and winked. So she wasn’t in trance, either.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 37: The Past and the Present”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 36: Trying Trance

Edie couldn’t believe how fast the semester was drawing to an end. They would be having exams next week! It didn’t seem like enough time. Of course, for some of her classes, the end couldn’t come quickly enough—she was really looking forward to getting the student-written plays in her theater class over and done with, and while she liked her French class well enough, she was really looking forward to the French classes she’d signed up for in the fall semester, which would be more challenging and immersive.

She wished her magic class wasn’t coming to an end quite so soon, though. True, next semester she’d be taking even better magic classes, but she felt like Ginny’s class hadn’t even scratched the surface. Part of that had to do with missing a class, of course, but she thought it was also just because there wasn’t enough time to fit in all the interesting things in one semester.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 36: Trying Trance”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 21: Water

Edie moved away from Derwen and Darcy to find an empty stretch of grass. Actually, it was about half grass, half clover, she saw as she sat down cross-legged with her bag behind her. She automatically scanned it for four-leaf clovers and found one. She reached out to touch it, wondering whether they affected her in any way. But they clearly didn’t—at least not to touch, and not if someone looked at her using one. They would have figured out that she was part faerie months earlier if four-leaf clovers did anything to her.

But she was supposed to be working on water magic. She closed her eyes and relaxed in her seat. Between fire, air, and earth practice, she’d gotten pretty good at this unusual sensation of settling into her magic, and she did it now, cupping her hands in front of her.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 21: Water”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 20: Outside

Friday, May 12

Edie woke up, for once, excited and full of energy. She was finally getting to have the magic class they’d missed on Wednesday. She knew for sure that today’s class was on, because Ginny had sent out an email to the class warning them against missing it—with only five classes left in the semester, they couldn’t afford to skip anything, since they would be squeezing the rest of the lessons into the remaining time.

Today they had water magic. Edie wouldn’t want to miss that no matter what.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 20: Outside”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 8: Doldrums

A little while later, there was a knock on the door. Corrie hopped up to answer it, and Edie saw her open the door to let Lorelei in. Lorelei looked around at the group of them and laughed. “You guys certainly know how to take advantage of a foggy day.”

“Come join us,” Edie said, gesturing at the pile of food. “There’s plenty.”

Lorelei shook her head. “Sorry, but I can’t. Charlie and I are responsible for the whole dorm. I wish I could just hang out with you guys.”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 8: Doldrums”