The table in the middle of the Dining Hall was empty.
Corneille had been been at Addergoole for three weeks. His first day here, the table had been over-full: eight of them at a six-person table, the four of them that had caught the flight in from Philly, two they'd met at the airport, two more they'd met at the first assembly. This place was weird, they all agreed, but it was a hundred percent better than the reform school, the military school, the nerdy prep school they thought they'd been going to.
It had been Einar that asked the question. "Why do you think they all made up different stories? I mean, what's so strange about this place that they had to lie?"
Einar had been the first one to disappear from the table, too. He’d been there one day, and then the next, he’d started spending all his time with this older girl. He sat with her, off in the corner of the Dining Hall with a bunch of other older girls, and when they’d tried to talk to him, he’d gotten squirrelly and weird about it.
Folami had sat down at the Table Of All The Girls to see what was going on with Einar, and never come back.
Celinda had gotten in a big fight with a guy, and then ended up sitting between him & his twin brother at meals. She still talked to Corneille and the rest of them, but if anyone asked about her twins, she just blushed and looked away.
One after another, they got picked off. Last Friday, they’d been down to five. The lights had been out Saturday… and Sunday it was just Corneille and Elissa.
Today, Elissa was nowhere in sight. Corneille sat down, trying not to look as exposed and obvious as he felt. It was like the moment in a horror movie when you realize the monsters have just grabbed your last surviving friend and…
“Hi.” A fey and beautiful person plopped themselves in front of Corneille. “You look lonely.”