After much discussion and the arrival of three more people, they ended up ordering three pizzas—one extra cheese, one pepperoni, and one with onions and sausage. Corrie, remembering ordering pizza at college, made a point of asking if anyone was vegetarian or vegan—none of the people she knew from high school had been, but these things did change. She was even considering going vegetarian herself. She was going to have to talk to Dawn about it one of these days.
Dawn spent an hour or so that evening trying to make more jewels, but none of them seemed to come out right. Eventually she gave up and uncreated all the jewels she’d made. She didn’t want anyone finding them and getting suspicious of where she’d gotten them from, and they probably wouldn’t be worth anything if she tried to have them appraised. It would be clear that they were manmade, and badly at that.
The next day, Edie went back to the library to see if she could find any other books on faeries and return the books she’d checked out earlier. No matter what section she looked in, however, there didn’t seem to be any information on actual faeries or faerie lore—the library didn’t have a separate folklore section, and there wasn’t anything she could find in the mythology or even reference sections. She did take out a couple of books on European mythology, thinking that might have some information, and a couple more fantasy novels.
The day of the party had arrived. Corrie carefully packed up her cake, looking very nice now that she had completely frosted it, in a box, which she placed on the passenger seat of her car. After a moment’s thought, she carefully buckled the seatbelt around it. She didn’t want the cake sliding around at all. It would be a waste of that delicious frosting to have it get all stuck to the inside of the box.
Later that evening, Dawn took out her piece of clay in her room and worked on duplicating it. The magic was much easier with an example of what she wanted to make right there in front of her—she could see it, touch it, squish it, even smell it to see if she was getting it right. She made a few not-quite-perfect copies, but each time she was able to figure out one of the things she was doing wrong by looking at the original piece of clay.
Edie managed to finish all of her knitted gifts by the end of Christmas Day (despite the fact that a group had actually come to their door caroling and she’d had to go downstairs and listen), but she decided to save giving them out for the last day of Hanukkah anyway. By then, she’d received two novels, two pairs of socks, a miniature sewing kit, and an insulated water bottle from her parents, as well as a bookstore gift card from her sister.
After her run, Corrie felt energized. She danced around the kitchen as she baked her cake, checking the recipe over and over to make sure she was putting the right amounts of things in. She preheated the oven long before it needed to be ready so she could keep checking the oven thermometer—and it was a good thing she did, because it got too hot and she had to turn it down, then it got too cool and she had to turn it back up a little. But by the time the cake batter was in the pans, the oven was at the right temperature.
Dawn poked around a little more while Pru was working on her pot, looking through the glazes that she had for the pottery (Dawn had no idea what glazes were made out of, so she didn’t think she should try replicating any of those) and then making a pot of herbal tea. When she brought in the steaming mugs, Pru had stopped the wheel, and she took the tea with a smile.
Edie spent the next few days alternating between reading her books and working on her knitting projects. The book on personal finance wasn’t as interesting as she hoped it would be, but she read the whole thing anyway. The next day she realized that she couldn’t remember most of the concepts that the book had discussed, but she didn’t have the heart to go back and look through it again for help understanding finance. She would just have to hope that reading it had allowed her to absorb some of the wisdom—or find another book.
The club Alice had chosen, Dashabout, was higher scale than many of the dives they’d visited, or in a few cases, were working at. It was frequented not just by lowly college students out to score cheap drinks and get laid, but also by an older, more sophisticated crowd of graduates… who were looking to score cheap drinks and get laid. The fake ID’s Nick had proved the previous year came in handy, as the bouncers actually looked at the identification presented to them, rather than merely making sure it was plastic and rectangular.