“Shouldn’t we put this to a vote or something who goes next?” Rou said indignantly. Opi grabbed up the book, holding it close.
“Like that would work,” he said protectively, wrapping his arms around the book. “We’d all just vote that we’re the person who should go next.”
“I wouldn’t,” Sam said. “Though at this moment, I’d vote for whoever tells me what the hell happened!”
“It was awesome-” Rou blurted out, her words spilling over Opi’s.
“It worked-” he began. The two glowered at each other.
“Why do you want to go next anyways?” He asked Rou. The girl threw her hair back, running a hand through the electric blue strands.
“I need to go back to University tonight,” she said. “I’m just lucky my schedule let me stay home an extra day to see this. But I have my Calculus final tomorrow, and it’s worth like, 25% of my grade.”
Opi pouted at her. “Fine, I guess you can go next,” he said, passing her the book. I walked around the circle, relighting the candle as Rou started quickly studying. She walked into the circle, sitting down like Sam had.
“Damn it,” I said when I got to the dish with the dew drops.
“That doesn’t sound promising,” Rou said, looking up from the book.
I held up the glass bowl. “It’s not,” I told her. “The water dish is empty.”
“What!?” she yelled, jumping up. Everyone else gathered around the bowl as well to see what I’d already noticed. There wasn’t even a drop left in the dish.
“How did that happen?” Syra asked in a hushed tone.
I shrugged. “I didn’t even see it happen. I thought I saw all the water jump back into the dish when Sam’s initiation ended.”
We all looked at Sam and she gave us an incredulous look. “You guys still haven’t even told me what happened!”
Opi and Rou both started to explain, stumbling over each other again.
“Oh, shut up you two,” Syra said exasperatedly. “You got this crazy golden aura that radiated light. And then the room filled with these little glow bugs. Then the water jumped out of it’s bowl like the glowbugs were having a water balloon fight.”
“Your shadows got super creepy too,” I added. “They were really long and dark while it happened.”
Sam’s eyes got super wide while we talked, looking between us in disbelief. “Seriously?”
“Didn’t you notice anything weird?” Opi asked as Syra and Rou nodded at her.
Sam’s eyes met mine. “Really Mary? I know you wouldn’t lie to me.”
I nodded as well. “It was really crazy.”
Sam nodded, looking a little bit like she might faint. “Okay… Okay that’s cool.”
“Are you okay?” I asked. “Do you see anything different?”
“Yeah, I’m fine…” she said, though I still thought she should sit down. “Nothing really looks different…”
She leaned up against the rough wooden wall of the clubhouse and I leaned beside her, looking at our friends.
“Okay, clearly we all want to do this,” I said. “But right now, we can’t do anything until we get some more dew. So why don’t we collect some more then get together again tomorrow? Maybe we can even get extra in case it vanishes again.”
“Wait, what about me?” Rou asked angrily.
“Well, when can you come back?” I asked. “Maybe we can get all of us done first, then do you when you come home next?”
“That’s just a fancy way of saying it’ll never be my turn,” Rou said. Her voice sounded a bit heavy. “You guys will all do it then no one will want to do it again when it’s my turn.”
“What?” Sam said. “We wouldn’t do that you, Rou!”
Her reassurances didn’t seem to help Rou that much. The older girl bit her lip uncomfortably. Even Syra seemed worried.
“When can you come home again?” Syra asked.
“Thursday,” Rou said. She sounded like she was trying not to cry.
“That’s practically the next day!” I said, but Rou just shrugged unhappily. “We could just get everyone done tomorrow and then the next day, we do you.”
“That’s what everyone says,” Rou said. “But then it’s never my turn.”
I sighed, “Rou, we wouldn’t do that to you!”
“It’s my ring,” she said aggressively, “If I take it home now then no one can do it.”
Opi gave her a dirty look. “So it’s you or nobody?”
“Shut up, Opi,” I snapped. “Okay, how about this. Tomorrow, we’ll do Opi. Then we’ll wait for you to come home on Thursday, and do you next. Then Syra can go, then me.”
“You can go first, Mary,” Syra said.
I gave her a questioning look. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah,” she shrugged. “I was the one who said it wasn’t really. I was totally wrong. I can wait.”
“You know we don’t really care about that…” I said but she was shaking her head.
“I’d just feel better if you went first.”
I shrugged too. “Well, if you don’t care…”
Syra smiled. Opi smiled too.
“So, I get to go next?” he asked, still clutching the book.
“Yeah, sure,” I said smiling. “But you have to collect your own dewdrops. Maybe you guys can help too.”
Opi rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I think I can manage that.”
“Good,” I said, handing him the bottle, “because it’s really annoying.”
I looked at Rou. “Does that work for you too?”
She still looked uncomfortable but nodded at me. “I guess so. Don’t break my ring though!”
“We won’t,” I promised. “Or at least, we’ll try not to.”
I looked at the dish that had held the dew drops to make my point. Rou winced as she looked at it. “Well, only the water vanished though, right? Even the candle is still burning.”
Sam nodded. “I wonder why only the water reacted…”
I shrugged. “It’s literally magic.”
Syra giggled but Opi looked thoughtful. “I wonder if it’s in the book…”
“Well, you’ll have a chance to study it,” I said. “Looks like you’re up next.”