Resonance of Ages


The drive back to Gallagher University was quickly becoming second nature to Anne Ross. She turned off the highway, and headed down the road past a recently bulldozed field, where a sign promised a future industrial park. She made a left at a familiar intersection with its gas station, new bank, and run down strip mall.

The one-story houses on either side of the road had their green lawns and trees turning brown. Autumn had officially started a few weeks ago, but now, it had taken a while for the leaves to start to change. Ross turned into the main gate of the college, and followed the main road through campus towards the dorms. Upon seeing a campus police car behind her, she released her foot from the gas pedal and instinctively put both hands on the steering wheel.

As she lowered her speed, she at the police cruiser through her rear-view mirror. The police cruiser pulled off into a parking lot, and Anne Ross continued on her way to the dorms. She noticed several other cars heading into and out of the door parking lots, presumably dropping off and picking up other people from campus. She was hardly the only one returning for Saturday night.

Anne snuck a glance at the woods along the road around campus. Almost completely hidden behind pine trees was the fenced around the old house. Less than a hundred yards away was the bamboo forest, also tucked away by the native vegetation. The townhouses for the upperclassmen further obscured both.

Down the road, Anne drove past the lake, and made a right turn into the parking garage. Finding a spot on the second level, she parked her car and took out her backpack. She rustled through the top compartment and pulled out her cell phone. She had one missed call, from Julie. It was about a half hour ago she called, when she was still driving. Anne called her friend as she headed towards her room.

"Hey, Julie?" she asked, as her friend picked up her phone. "I'm back! Where are you?"

"Student center. Just doing some reading now," Julie Silverman replied. "Doing anything tonight?"

"Probably going to the party at the swim house," Anne said as she swiped herself into the dorm. "Are you almost done with work?"

"Yeah. How about we go grab some lunch in half an hour? I'll be done by then," Julie replied. "For now, I've got to finish outlining this chapter on Byzantine History."

"See you then," Anne finished as she ended the call.

Pocketing the phone, she pulled out her room key. Her roommate had gone home for the weekends, so she would have some time to herself. Anne put her bag down on her bed, and pulled out her laptop. Plugging it into the wall, she checked her email. A group member for a journalism class had said they were unable to do their part of the project due to "health issues."

Yeah, like being hung over for a week, Anne mused to herself, recalling how this was the second time it happened in the first month of school. Not everyone came to class sober. If they came in the first place.

There were three other unopened messages, all spam. It was not that receiving spam in the school's email accounts was a rare thing. It would be nice to get other emails than just her classmates writing excuses for slacking and countless messages promising weight loss, penis enlargement, and online scams.

Anne opened up the notebook that she listed each of her assignments for the week. She would have to spend another day typing up the journalism project. That would prevent her from going to that party on Tuesday night. She knew that planning for fun was just as important as preparing for work.

She opened up an article she had to summarize, and began to read it until she had to leave for lunch. Anne locked the door behind her, and headed down the hall. She knocked on the locked door next to the laundry room, and asked, "Jules?"

There was no reply from the room. "Julie?!" she knocked harder. Instead, Anne heard nothing but moaning and heavy breathing.

"Right here," came a voice from behind her.

Anne turned to see a brunette wearing a set of jeans and unmarked blue shirt. "So, your roommate kick you out again?" she asked.

"Yeah. But at least she let met finish my work before kicking me out," Julie shrugged. "So, anything new with you?"

"Just got back from visiting my parents, and found that bitch from journalism ditched another part of our project," Anne rolled her eyes. "Damn assigned groups. That's one thing I hate about having Leone as a professor."

"You should transfer to History," Julie joked. "We get all the individual reports we could ever dream of, and then some!"

"Maybe you could help," Anne asked. "How much do you know about local history?"

"Not much," Julie replied. "Unless by local history, you mean the campus and the town around it."

"I do, as a matter of fact," Anne smiled. "My project's a paper on local history. Weird events and things on and around campus. I have to go to the library and look at old newspapers and stuff."

"I can do better than help you look through some old papers," Julie grinned. "Do you have any plans tonight?"

"Maybe. Why?" Anne asked.

"Come on," Julie started to walk. "Let's talk over lunch."

The two girls left their dorm, and headed for the cafeteria.