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Chatoyant College

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.”

Chapter 37: Unusual Interest

Annie didn’t want to go, but Roe was interested in meeting Tom, so they were a little group of four that headed up to the north end of campus. Edie was anxious enough that she actually remembered her bracelets this time, which reminded Corrie and Roe, too. She kept touching them as they walked through the campus, bumping into people as they tried to stay on the path—the sidewalks were crowded today, with fellow students moving around. But it was a Saturday, after all, and for once there was something on campus to do. Maybe the craft fair was getting some business after all.

Chapter 36: Hair Brushing

“Okay, I need to brush my hair before we do anything else,” Roe said as they left.

Edie nodded eagerly, shaking more glitter out of her hair. “That sounds like an excellent idea.”

“I’ll leave you girls to that,” said Link with a laugh.

“You know you have glitter in your hair too, right?” Corrie asked with a grin.

Chapter 35: Glitter

When Tricia brought out a version of the drawstring bag that was checked with green and black, Edie decided she had to buy it—she loved those colors. And when she pointed out a small purse she’d made with a blue wave-patterned fabric and told Troy she could make a large men’s bag using that fabric, the girls had to hide their grins as she made another sale.

Then the room exploded.

Chapter 34: Globe

Nobody had much interest in the knitted potholders (as college students, they didn’t exactly use pots very often) so they walked to the next table, where a variety of different crafts were on display. “Oh, no!” said Roe immediately.

“Is this it?” Corrie asked, perhaps a bit too excited for what they were probably expecting to be an explosion.

Chapter 33: Craft Fair

The craft fair was, to Edie’s disappointment, kind of small. That was what they got for not publicizing it to people who could join, she supposed. There were probably a dozen different tables, and only a couple of people shopping besides their group—but they were early, anyway. The tables were arranged in a horseshoe shape, and the five of them immediately headed for the right end of the horseshoe. Edie, excited despite her minor disappointment, was in the lead. She immediately started laughing and cooing when she saw what was on display: little dolls made out of thick clothespins.

Chapter 32: Breakfast

Showered and refreshed and shoveling omelette into her mouth (she was more hungry than she had even realized), Edie felt much better, but listening to Corrie’s explanation still freaked her out. Not only had Dawn acted like she was high the night before, but Corrie had gone into the woods by herself and gotten way too close to the faerie ball. “So I don’t even know what to do,” she finished. “I kind of want to talk to Professor Lal, but I’m also kind of scared to, especially after seeing her at the ball. There aren’t that many faeries we trust.”

Chapter 31: Don't Tell Me

She didn’t have to go very far, not once she got out of the trees. In fact, she’d only gone a few more steps when she saw Corrie, passing her on the path. She called out and waved. Corrie turned so fast she almost fell over, then stopped and waved back, grinning. Edie caught up to her quickly. “It must be really early,” she said ruefully. “I’ve never been up early enough to see you in your running clothes before.”

Chapter 30: Cold Morning

Saturday, November 1

Edie woke up and, for a moment, she had no idea where she was. That scared her at first, because it had been happening too often lately, and if it was happening again, maybe there really was something wrong with her. But once she realized that the reason the light looked so odd was that it was coming through the trees instead of her window, and that the strange warmth next to her was actually Leila, she remembered what had happened last night and how she had gotten here, and she felt much better.

Chapter 29: Over the Wall

It was still dark, but at least Corrie could follow the wall. It couldn’t possibly go all the way around the campus, or they would have encountered it before. Certainly the one on the east side didn’t go all the way around, or she wouldn’t have been able to get to the street from the campus. She turned around and reached for the wall to guide herself with. It wasn’t there.

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