Corrie led the way, picking one of the houses on either side at random. Edie and Derwen seemed uncertain, so she figured she should be in charge while she knew what was going on. She marched up to the door, almost knocked, then saw the doorbell and rang it. She heard the chime inside, followed by the sound of unhurried footsteps. She turned to Edie and Derwen, standing on the steps behind her, and gave them an encouraging smile.
A young man with dark hair and a dusting of stubble answered the door. “Can I help you?” he asked, smiling at Corrie.
“What do you mean, she never died?” Edie asked in a hushed voice. She inched closer to Rachel, staring at her as though looking more closely would get her clearer answers.
“Oh, no,” whispered Mona. She covered her mouth when Corrie looked at her. “I’m sorry,” she said through her fingers. “She forgets—but it doesn’t do any good to argue with her about it, not when her mind isn’t working. Don’t worry about it, Edith.”
But Edie was obviously not worried about it. She was excited. She wanted more explanations, not argument. And Corrie wanted to hear more, as well.
After they’d been walking around in the park for a few minutes, a voice came from behind them. “Hey, guys.”
Corrie spun around to see Derwen just standing there—not anywhere near any of the groves of trees. And she hadn’t been there a moment ago. “How long have you been here?” she asked.
“Just got here,” said Derwen. “Lal wanted to wait until she could pinpoint you two, instead of sending me to a random location in the park.”
The synagogue was hushed with quiet, and Corrie could tell it was a pleasant place as soon as she walked in. It had good energy, somehow. It made her feel immediately hopeful that they would be able to find help here.
“I don’t hear anything,” Edie whispered. “Services must be over. That’s good. Let’s find the rabbi’s office.”
“Okay,” said Corrie, shaking her head slightly to clear it. “I think we should get going if we want to have any time to talk to people. Did you change your mind yet?”
Derwen smiled. “You were nice enough to bring me soup, so I guess so. I’m not looking forward to it, though. Where are we going? The town has a park, right?”
“There’s a park nearby,” said Edie. “You want us to meet you there?” She named the park.
“How’s the soup?” Corrie asked Edie when they got into Gilkey and out of the wind.
Edie took it out of her pocket and carefully took the lid off to sniff it. She frowned. “It’s not steaming anymore. I don’t think it’s warm enough to convince Derwen to come with us.”
Corrie pushed open the door to the common room with her hip. “Let’s warm it up in the microwave, then. Come on.”
Corrie and Edie quickly ate their breakfasts, eggs and pancakes to fortify them against the cold and for the long drive. Then they tried to figure out what to bring Derwen. They both remembered her saying at the beginning of the school year (when she’d been Ever instead of Sarah) that she couldn’t eat salt, or something like that; she’d been picky about what to get from the vending machine.
Saturday, January 29
Saturday morning dawned cold, but clear and windless. Corrie smiled to herself as she ran through the dim, icy morning. This was some of her favorite weather to run in—cold enough that she didn’t warm herself up until she’d been running for a bit, but clear, with no snow, no rain, and plenty of sun. Though, of course, with how early she liked to run, “plenty of sun” wasn’t quite accurate while it was still January. There was a little bit of sun, peeking at her through the leafless trees. It was enough.
“So did anybody check the weather for this weekend?” asked Corrie once they had all gotten their food and were seated at the table. She’d gotten lasagna, even though it would never be as good as at Feninni’s; at least it was warm and filling. “I meant to do that but I keep forgetting. But it probably won’t snow, if the clear sky today is anything to go by.”
“I actually did check,” said Edie. “It’s supposed to warm up a little, finally. Highs of like fifty and fifty-one.”
“Oh, thank goodness,” said Derwen. “I am so sick of this awful cold.”
They hung around the exhibition for a while, looking at everything all over again. Corrie thought it had gotten a lot more interesting with the actual piece of Chatoyant College faerie history. If only they could find the rest of the treaty, they would know exactly how it worked.