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Chapter 15: Baking

Corrie spent the time waiting for her grandmother by first helping her mom set up candles around the house—they didn’t have a fireplace and there was nowhere in the city that they could have a proper Solstice fire without danger, so for as long as Corrie could remember their tradition had been to light as many candles as possible, including at least a few that would last for twelve hours or more. Her grandmother would be bringing more when she came.

Chapter 14: The Mall

“You seem on edge,” Steph commented as she and Dawn sat at a table in the food court, drinking soda and sharing a large order of fries. “Are you all right?”

Chapter 13: Knitting

After a while, Edie got tired of her book. She wasn’t finding anything useful in it—though it was really interesting—and she remembered that it was almost halfway through Hanukkah already and she hadn’t finished her presents for her family. Leah had complained about getting knitted presents in the past, so Edie had bought her a gift, but she wanted to wait until she had presents for everyone else before giving them out.

Chapter 12: Crescent Rolls

The next day Corrie did set her alarm, but she woke up right before it went off anyway. Maybe she’d just needed that day of rest. After a quick check of online maps to make sure she had a good route in mind, she took off for her run.

Chapter 11: Steph

On Sunday afternoon, while Dawn was safely enclosed in her bedroom reading a book, she faintly heard the doorbell ring. A few moments later, she heard her mother’s voice shouting up the stairs, “Dawn! It’s Stephanie!”

Chapter 10: Clothes

The next day after breakfast, Edie decided to try on all her new clothes over again. She knew from experience that sometimes clothes seemed to flatter her in the dressing room, but when she wore them at home and looked in her own mirror, she didn’t like them at all anymore. Even though she had all of break ahead of her, she didn’t want to wake up in the morning, wanting to get dressed, only to find the shirt she wanted to wear didn’t look at all like she remembered.

Chapter 9: Etta

That afternoon, after Corrie had spent a few hours watching videos online and doing a little bit of practicing magic—it wasn’t any harder for her to do elemental magic off campus than it was on, though she couldn’t seem to summon up the concentration to try trance—she had an idea. She remembered creating water for her own glass on Thanksgiving, and how cool her cousin had thought it was. Darlene had told Corrie to bring people. Would Etta be interested in a Christmas party?

Chapter 8: Clay

Dawn’s dad came back with the allergy medicine just as Dawn was putting away her laundry. She quickly read the instructions to make sure she would take the right number of pills, then swallowed them down. “I guess I won’t be sure if they work right away, though,” she told her dad. “I’m going over to Pru’s.”

“Better to take them than not take them and get worse,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere else today, so you can take the car.”

Chapter 7: Religion

After the synagogue services were over, Edie’s family spent a few minutes greeting people they knew before going back to the car. Sometimes there would be a luncheon out in the courtyard, or at least snacks, but everyone seemed to agree that it was too cold today for anyone to go out into the courtyard, or at least too cold to stay there.

Chapter 6: Invitation

Corrie was just devouring the last of the blueberry pancakes when the phone rang. “I’ll get it,” her mom called, but a moment later she had appeared in the kitchen where Corrie was still sitting, phone in hand. “It’s actually for you.”

Corrie jumped up and took the phone, wondering whether it was one of her friends from college. She would be happy to hear from them, of course, but it would be surprising this soon after coming home from school. “Hello?” she said, lifting the phone to her ear.

“Corrie? You are back from college! It’s Darlene.”

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