Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 39: On the Rocks

Saturday, September 30

Edie ate pudding off a spoon, trying to hide her smile as Corrie slowly and torturously pronounced a sentence she’d learned in her introductory French class. Corrie stuck her tongue out and shook her head at the end of it, then turned to Edie. “Well, how did I do? Did any of that make sense?”

Edie put her spoon back in her pudding. “Sorry, I charge twenty dollars an hour for French tutoring.”

Annie and Dawn both laughed. “Can you afford those rates, Corrie?” Dawn teased. “Usually all you have to do is offer Edie a new book or some yarn.”

“I’ll accept the equivalent of my rate in books or yarn,” Edie said hastily, and all four of them laughed.

“I don’t think French is my thing,” Corrie said, flopping her head on the dining hall table dramatically. “Maybe I should leave it to you, Edie.”

“Oh, come on!” Edie said. “You’re just starting out. At least give it a full semester.”

“But if I drop out now, I won’t get a negative on my transcript,” Corrie said. “I don’t think I can face the midterm.”

“Someone has to learn French with me,” Edie said. “I want to study abroad in France for a semester, but I don’t want to go by myself.”

Annie stopped grinning and looked down at her plate. Edie winced inwardly. She didn’t know what exactly she’d said just now to upset Annie, but she felt like she was walking on eggshells with her ever since she’d asked her out. Edie knew she owed her an answer, and things would be uncomfortable between them until she gave that answer, but she just didn’t know what she wanted to say.

“So how come Roe didn’t eat with us tonight?” Dawn asked. Edie inwardly thanked her for breaking the awkward silence, whether or not she’d done it on purpose.

“She’s out with Link,” Annie said.

“Oh, so their date did get rescheduled?” Edie asked. “Good, I was a little worried after last week. She didn’t seem too confident about it.”

Annie sighed. “She hasn’t told me a lot of details, but I think their relationship might be on the rocks.”

“Again?” Corrie asked. “They certainly seemed to have made up last semester…”

“Yes, and things were fine over the summer, but not as much now. He might still be living on campus, but he’s working—he’s more like an adult than a student. And I think he feels a little bit less needed now that Troy is doing so well on his own, so he’s grumpy about that.”

“That sucks,” Edie said. “I mean, not that Troy is doing so well—I’ve seen it and it’s great. But Link should feel better now that he isn’t needed.”

Annie nodded. “And he definitely still wants to get married, and she is definitely not ready for that. It probably doesn’t help that she hasn’t been sleeping well, either.”

“Is she having more disturbing visions?” Dawn asked. “Like with the teeth last semester?”

“No, it’s just the ghost.” Annie grimaced.

Corrie frowned and put down her drink. “We need to do something about that. I’d say we should try to communicate with her again, but it obviously backfired last time.”

“I caught Lal in the hallway the other day and tried to talk to her about it, but she brushed me off,” Annie said. “The professors seem really determined not to believe that there’s no ghost.”

“I guess we just have to hope that we learn something in Ritual Magic,” Dawn said.

Annie put her head in her hands and groaned theatrically. “So we have to hope for Mardalan to be a competent teacher. Great.”

Edie and Corrie both laughed, and then they all started to gather up their dishes—Edie had finished her pudding, though she would have been tempted to get more if they hadn’t all seemed ready to go. Dawn and Corrie led the way out of the dining hall, but as they were heading out into the cooling evening, Annie touched Edie’s elbow, distracting her from the brilliant yellow and orange that the leaves were turning.

“Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”

Edie swallowed, feeling that something inside her was twisted, but she nodded. They split off from Corrie and Dawn when the path branched—Edie wasn’t even sure if her roommates noticed her going a different way—and headed to Mary Thomas.

Annie stopped just inside the door and headed over to the left to stand by one of the thick, lead-paned windows that let light into the lobby. “I don’t want to go back up to my room just yet,” she said with a sigh, touching her temple with her fingertips.

Something inside Edie squeezed. “You’re welcome to sleep over in our dorm again,” she said. “I don’t know if anyone else is planning to spend the night in someone else’s room, but we can figure something out…”

She trailed off as Annie shook her head more and more vigorously. “I can’t do that,” she said.

“We don’t mind helping you get some sleep,” Edie said, but she strongly suspected that it was hopeless.

Annie sighed again, glancing around the deserted lobby as though to make sure no one else was there. “Maybe you don’t understand, Edie,” she said, looking down at her hands and then clasping them in front of herself. “I couldn’t sleep when I stayed over in your dorm, either. It wasn’t the ghost then. It was you. I couldn’t relax, being that close to you, without knowing.”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 32: Illusion

“Right,” Corrie said. “If the building is not in imminent danger, I guess we can.” She took a deep breath. “We found the ghost—there wasn’t anything to see, but she knocked to communicate with us. She wouldn’t use the tarot cards, though, and she wouldn’t communicate very clearly. She ran out into the hall—Edie figured that out, since she felt the cold wind.”

“Cold spots,” Annie said. “I thought I’d noticed those, but I wasn’t sure.”

“We followed her to try to communicate with her more,” Corrie said. “But she still wouldn’t say anything. Then she started bending the floorboards. It looked like we were going to fall through the floor if we stepped forward. I’m getting more skeptical of the magic professors’ assertions that ghosts can’t hurt us.”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 32: Illusion”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 31: Buckling

“I think she might have left the room, if the cold air was her,” Edie said. “It felt like she went… right through me.” She shuddered again. It wasn’t a pleasant thing to think about, much less to feel.

“Let’s try the hallway, then,” Corrie said, getting to her feet. “That is where Roe’s vision took place, after all.”

“I just hope she hasn’t gone downstairs to harass Annie some more,” Dawn said.

Edie led the way back out into the hall. She looked up and down it, but of course she didn’t see anything.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 31: Buckling”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 30: Knocking

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.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 30: Knocking”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 25: Some Time

Edie ran up the steps to the second floor of Mary Thomas, only slowing down when someone she vaguely recognized flattened themselves along the wall as though she was going to barrel over them. Embarrassed, she switched to a fast walk. At least she wasn’t far from Annie’s room now.

She hesitated at the door, then knocked gently. If Annie was napping or something, she didn’t want to disturb her.

Annie’s voice was soft at the best of times, but Edie was used to it by now, and so she could make out the words from the other side of the door. “Who’s there?”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 25: Some Time”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 20: Strange Noises

Edie gasped. She should have known that the story would have a tragic ending, since they were talking about a ghost, but the idea that this striving scholarship student had died by suicide still really struck her. She would have guessed that the student had been killed by a faerie or some magic gone wrong. But then, there wouldn’t be a well-known story on campus about a student having been killed by a faerie, would there?

Of course, she hadn’t heard this story before. It could have easily been suppressed by the magic that kept people from noticing the strange discrepancies that having a campus filled with faeries produced. And she thought if that were the case, the only reason it could have resurfaced was if there was really a ghost.

“So she haunts the building?” Corrie asked. “What is she supposed to do?”

“People say they see her, standing in the hall or on the stairs,” Sam said. “Or there are strange noises.” Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 20: Strange Noises”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 19: Haunted

Friday, September 1

Edie walked a little bit ahead of Dawn and Corrie as they entered the Mary Thomas dorm, looking around. She’d been in here a couple times now, but she was still trying to rid it of the association it had picked up last year, since Elrath had lived here. She was trying to learn to like it now that people she liked—Annie and Roe—lived here. And it did have interesting Victorian architecture. It was pretty in some ways, though that big staircase leading up to the second floor still seemed intimidating.

Annie was the reason they were here; they were picking her up to go have dinner together in the dining hall. And there she was, approaching the top of the stairs from the hallway, covering her mouth in a yawn.

“Are you okay?” Corrie asked Annie as she came close. “It’s not even seven o’clock, you can’t be tired yet.”

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 19: Haunted”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 14: Ghost Stories

Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 6: Which Yet Survive

Thursday, August 24

Edie silently cursed her alarm as she flung her arm out of bed to turn it off. Then she cursed her past self, which had decided to sign up for a nine AM class. It was just too early to be awake.

Of course, when she sat up, blinking the sleep out of her eyes, she saw that Corrie was already up, dressed, and vigorously toweling off her short blonde hair. “Morning,” Corrie said brightly. “It’s nice to be back on campus for my morning run.”

“Must be better than the city,” Edie said. Or tried to say. It mostly came out as a grumble.

Continue reading “Chatoyant College Book 14: Chapter 6: Which Yet Survive”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Interlude: Summer Break

Chatoyant College Interlude: 11, 12, and 13

11: Corrie to Edie and Dawn

YES!!! I knew they’d figure it out!

12: Edie to Corrie and Dawn

You both got the email, right? What a relief.

Not a lot of details, though. I hope they’ll tell us what they’ve figured out to make the campus safe. Maybe they won’t tell the whole student body, but we can go talk to Professor Lal and make her tell us.

Edie

13: Dawn to Corrie and Edie

Wow, they cut that close, didn’t they? I was afraid it was going to be bad news when it got so late in the day without any word, but the email finally came out. I might have been a little distracted at work checking my personal email, but there’s never enough work to fill up my time anyway. (Sorry, I may have complained about that a hundred times already.)

I just hope they’ve really done it right. Maybe we can get them to explain their system to us so we can poke any loopholes and they can fix them.

Of course, we know how to keep ourselves safe, even if their plan is full of loopholes. And maybe now that everyone knows about faeries, they’ll also learn to keep themselves safe—even if we have to teach them.

Now I know for sure I can say, see you two in the fall! I’m looking forward to having you as roommates!

– Dawn