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Chatoyant College

Chapter 44: Bracelets

“Well… I guess we make jewelry with it,” Corrie said. “Wasn’t that the idea? If we make necklaces or something, then we can have the steel against our skin all the time.”

“So, no beading it, I guess,” said Naomi.

“Not if it means the steel won’t be against our skin, no,” said Dawn. “I was thinking bracelets would be the best idea. Maybe two for each of us, if there’s enough wire.”

Chapter 43: Stainless Steel

“That brings up another question,” Dawn said, walking over to Corrie’s bed and sitting down. “What kind of iron counts? The keys obviously aren’t wrought iron. I don’t think modern keys are normally even one hundred percent iron.”

“I guess even if they’re alloys it counts,” Corrie said, digging through her desk drawer to see if there was anything metal among her pens and pencils. “I don’t know how we’ll figure out what metal is iron and what isn’t.” She picked up a metal ruler with a cork back and looked it over. In small letters, it said that it was aluminum. She put it back.

Chapter 42: Duct Tape

Edie laughed some more and shut the door. “You’re definitely not a Girl Scout. Real Girl Scouts would use duct tape.”

“Yeah? That is a good idea.” Corrie peeled the tape off her skin and tossed it in the trash, then jingled her keys, contemplating them. “Have any?”

“No. I guess I’m not a very good Girl Scout either. Which makes sense, since I haven’t gone to any meetings in a few years.” Edie tossed her backpack onto her bed with a sigh of apparent relief. “Why are you trying to get your keys to stick to you anyway?”

Chapter 41: Scotch Tape

Friday, October 10

Corrie had a hard time concentrating during her classes that day. The only reason she got through magic class was because Dawn poked her a few times, bringing her attention back to what Professor Lal was saying. That and the fact that they’d read the material the night before, of course.

Chapter 40: Scout's Honor

Corrie, Dawn, and Roe finished their reading for magic class without complaining too much more about Professor Lal, and then Corrie headed back to her room to read the assignment for history class. The room seemed quiet and dark. Of course, it was getting dark earlier and earlier, now that it was getting into October, but she was pretty sure that it seemed so quiet just because Edie wasn’t there. She kept glancing up at every little sound, which was pretty frequent, considering people were always walking up and down the hallway, going to the bathroom or back and forth to each other’s rooms.

Chapter 39: Magic Again

Corrie stared after Leila and Edie as they walked away, clenching her fists in frustration. How could Leila just push her away like that? And Edie had listened!

Chapter 38: Home

Edie felt Leila’s hand on her shoulder, shaking her lightly. She opened her eyes. “Did I fall asleep?”

“Yes, dear. Are you feeling better?” Leila, kneeling beside her, smiled down at her. The angry red marks that had been on her cheek were gone, and her head nearly brushed the lowest branches of the tree.

“I am!” Apparently she had needed a nap. She hadn’t slept all that well the night before, had she? That would explain why she felt so woozy when she and Leila had left the orchard. “How about you? You look better.”

Chapter 37: Of Course It Is Safe

“Oh good, you’re here.” Leila sighed and shook her head, then pushed her hands over the top of her head as though smoothing her hair down. “It has been quite a day, I tell you. Shall we get started?”

“Sure,” said Edie. “What are we doing?” She was pretty sure they were doing the same thing they’d done last night, but she didn’t actually remember what that was. Then, as Leila turned toward her, she forgot her question. She gasped and ran towards her girlfriend, reaching out toward her face. “What happened to your cheek?”

Chapter 36: An Excellent Idea

Corrie nodded. “You’re right, of course. But what if she didn’t know?”

Dawn frowned. “What… you think Edie could be nonhuman and not know it?”

“Exactly. Like if she was a changeling or something.”

Dawn nodded slowly. It certainly wasn’t a possibility she could discount. “I thought changelings were all made of sticks, or looked really old, or something, though.”

Chapter 35: He Wouldn't Believe Me

Dawn knocked on Corrie and Edie’s door, and after a moment, Corrie answered it. Dawn started back. She looked haggard. There were bags under her eyes (they were small, but noticeable to someone who usually saw Corrie smiling and well-rested), her hair was coming out of its ponytail, and she was definitely not smiling. “Corrie, what’s wrong?” Dawn asked. Looking over her shoulder at the empty room, she added, “Where’s Edie?”

“Well, that’s part of what’s wrong,” said Corrie, with a half-smile. “Let’s talk about it over dinner. I don’t think she’s showing up, she’s usually back by now.”

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