Emily turned slowly and shuffled her way back to her room. The campus was quiet, but she did not really notice. She had Pierce on her mind and wondered how serious they might actually be. She would not be nineteen for another two months and that still felt very young. He was closer to twenty-four, not that it mattered. Emily hugged her coat for warmth and briefly wondered why February, the shortest month, always felt like the longest month.
Emily unlocked the door to her room. The first thing she noticed was a red rose on her desk. There was no Shakespeare this time, but she smiled all the same. It appeared as if Pierce was having the same thoughts she was having.
Jessica was not home at the moment. That was fine. Emily had some work to do and then she had to gather her stuff since it looked like sleeping over at Lisa’s might be a regular thing for a while. She felt the urge to go to the campus center, but ignored it. She did not need a latte. She needed to catch up on some work so she buckled down, but it did no good. The urge for the campus center nagged at her and of course, she could not avoid the Pierce fantasies. After a time of being unable to properly concentrate on her schoolwork, Emily went next door. Maria was not home either but her door was curiously unlocked. Emily poked around and found Maria’s phone. That really made her curious. Maria was never without her phone.
Emily stepped back into the hall, Maria’s phone still in her hand, and realized the whole dorm was unaccountably quiet. Normally after supper, the halls and lounges would be full of people trying hard to avoid studying. Now there was only stillness.
There was a sudden bang in the stairwell and Emily was startled. Two students came bouncing down the stairs and crashed open the door to the outside. Emily stepped over to see the two head for the campus center. It did not feel right. Suddenly nothing felt right. Maria’s phone rang and Emily answered it.
“Hello? Maria?” Emily heard the voice and knew instantly who it was though she had only talked to the girl a couple of times.
“Melissa? This is Emily. Maria is not here right now. What is it?”
Emily felt the hesitation on the other side of the line. “Emily?”
“You remembered something.” Emily’s intuition acted up. “You can tell me, I’ll be sure Maria gets the message.”
“It’s just…” Melissa still hesitated. “It’s just I remembered that girl’s last name.” Melissa did not have to say which girl. Emily knew she was talking about Abby. “It is Swenson. She is Abigail Swenson, the professor’s daughter.”
Shit! Emily did not say that aloud. Instead, she said, “What else?”
“I remembered the campus center. There is a conference room upstairs. That girl was talking about turning it into her shrine.” Melissa sounded finished, but Emily did not need any further information. The urge to go to the campus center was still in her system. She thanked Melissa and promised to call back as soon as there was news. Then she exchanged Maria’s phone for her own. She had Lisa in her contacts. Damn! It was voice mail. She left what information she had and started to run and crashed out the same door by the stairs that the two students had crashed out of moments before.
Emily was not surprised to see Jessica and Maria in the campus center, posted at the bottom of the stairs. They were there to stop her. They could not, but it took a minute to get by them without hurting them. Of course, Maria and Jessica were not home. Their eyes looked empty, but it was them, all the same on the outside, and it would be them again if Emily could do anything about it.
“Don’t worry,” Emily said as she peeled Jessica’s nails off her arm and flung the girl to the floor. “I’ll get you back.”
She took two steps at a time and burst into the room to find Abby sitting on the floor, staring with red, blank eyes of her own. The girl said one unintelligible word, and that became just like a pebble dropped into a still pond. Something, some force or wind came from her and expanded out well beyond the building. It knocked Emily to the floor as it went by. When she sat up, she had the terrible urge to worship the bitch, but this time that feeling could not find a place in her mind to grab hold of her, and she did not get intoxicated.
When she looked up, she saw Abby staring at her, wondering how her magic fared. Emily answered by pulling her knife. Abby looked mad, but only for a minute before she spoke. “It’s too late, you know.” She began to laugh and pointed at Emily with the words, “Kill her.” There had to be fifty students in that room eager to do whatever Abby said.
Emily threw a chair through the nearest window and then followed the chair. She dropped from the second floor, got a small glass cut in her upper arm and imagined the others could not follow her in the two-story jump. She was surprised to see several students jump after her. They mostly got hurt, a couple rather badly. She did not wait around. She could still hear Abby’s giggle as if the girl thought this was all such great fun. Abby came to the window and applauded as Emily rushed off across the campus.
Emily still had her knife and her most important weapon, her phone. She thought first of the library. She imagined there were secluded places among the books where she could hide and make some calls. To her surprise, the students came roaring out of the library front door, yelling at her and throwing whatever came to hand, books, notebooks, backpacks, pens and pencils.
“My God, how far did that wave travel?” She did a u-turn and turned up the speed with which she could easily outrun even the swiftest pursuer. She ran around the science building and ducked in the back door. There was no one in the downstairs hall so she ran the length. She kicked open the door to the lab room she blew up. They were rebuilding the room and there signs of progress everywhere, including the lab desks all pushed together in the center, gas piping snaked all over the floor, and wallboard stacked in the corner. Emily opened the side window, the one she went through before, and kicked out the storm window.
She checked out front. They were gathering from the library, the student center and the nearby dorms and spreading out again in every direction. They were hunting, and several looked ready to come up to the science building, though Emily clearly and deliberately ran around the building to make them think she headed for the engineering school. Emily raced across the hall to the front stairwell and pulled herself into the shadows behind and beneath the stairs. There was a fire alarm exit door if she needed it. She hoped she would not. She had to call Lisa, but for the moment, she had to remain quiet as she heard the students come in.
Monday, the Elect chapter 15, Abbyland…don’t miss it.