Chapter 38: A Tumble
Dawn stared up into the tree. It was mostly bare, but she still couldn’t see where Tom had gone. She couldn’t see him at all. It was like he had jumped up and just vanished. “Well, crap,” she said out loud, still gazing up. “Now what do we do?”
“Let him do his thing?” Roe said, standing up behind Dawn. “I mean, I’m glad to hear that he’s going to deal with that jerk who messed with you.”
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything I could do to stop Tom, even if I wanted to,” she said. “But he didn’t really explain anything to us.”
“He told us the guy’s name, and what he most likely did,” said Corrie. “That’s pretty much enough for me.”
“Well, it’s not for me,” said Dawn. She took out her cell phone and frowned. Somehow, it did not surprise her that she wasn’t getting any cell reception here. It would definitely explain why they always had such trouble getting hold of Edie. “Let’s head back toward campus. I’m going to try to call Naomi and see if she can put me in touch with some of her art major friends. We should at least warn people off this guy.”
“Good idea,” Edie said, starting down the hill. “But what do we tell them? We can’t talk about faeries.”
“We tell them he—she, I guess—spiked my candy.”
“Yeah, but how do we prove it?” said Roe. “They don’t know you, they aren’t going to take your word for it.”
“Damn.” They were right. Dawn pocketed her phone and kept walking. “I guess we should see if we can locate Professor Lal, or one of the other magic professors, and let them know what he’s doing. Elrath, that was the name?”
“I think so,” said Corrie. “And I agree, we should warn people somehow. Get Naomi to spread the word. And her friend Jerry. Or whoever he is to her.”
“Friend, I think,” Dawn said. But she couldn’t help grinning. Naomi refused to say their relationship was anything other than friendship, even though he’d spent the night in her bed. “That’s a good idea. But what do we tell them to say?”
“Just talk about how she acted toward you on Friday,” Corrie said. “We wanted to get you out of there, since you were obviously high, but she wouldn’t let you.”
Dawn nodded, even though had no memory of what Corrie was describing. She alternately wished she did remember and was glad she didn’t. Right now, it was the former. “For all I know they might already be doing that. Though Naomi seemed to mostly find it funny.”
“Right, and she—” Corrie started to say. Then, she tripped—though Dawn couldn’t see over what, and the path was getting broader and smoother down here close to campus—and went tumbling down what was left of the hill, practically end-over-end.
“Oh no!” Edie cried, chasing after their friend. Dawn gave chase as well, after looking for whatever had tripped Corrie so she wouldn’t fall as well. With Roe last, the three of them caught up to Corrie only moments after she’d finished rolling.
“Are you all right?” Edie asked quickly, bending over Corrie.
Corrie groaned and rolled onto her back, then sat up slowly. “I think so. What the hell did I trip on?”
“I have no idea,” said Dawn, putting out a hand to help Corrie up.
Corrie looked at the hand, then shook her head. “I’m just going to catch my breath for a minute. That was kind of scary. Ow, I’m probably all bruised up.”
“No broken bones?” Edie crouched next to Corrie and started prodding at her arm.
“Ow,” Corrie said again, but she didn’t pull away. “No, I’m pretty sure I’m fine. Am I all full of dirt and leaves?”
“A little bit, yeah,” Roe said, unable to suppress a giggle. “You’re going to have to brush your hair. Again.”
“And you’ve lost all your glitter,” Dawn pointed out.
“Oh, great.” Corrie brushed a hand over the top of her head, getting rid of some of the leaves that had stuck there. “All right, Edie, I told you, I’m fine. I think I’m good to get up now.”
Dawn and Edie helped pull Corrie to her feet. She started brushing off her jeans, asking, “How would you even know if I had a broken bone? Would you be able to feel it?”
“Probably, if it was really broken,” said Edie. “If it was just a minor fracture, it would hurt a lot when I poked it. I figured if you jumped we would call the hospital.”
“How do you know all that?” asked Roe.
“My mom’s a nurse,” Edie said. “I’ve helped her out a few times and I guess you just pick stuff up. Broken bones are really common.”
Dawn grinned. “I knew there was a reason we kept you around.” Corrie smacked her.