Babs, strangely, wasn't anxious about the odd stories that seemed to circulate around her new roommate.
Fiona Newton was from a small town outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and though overly shy and retiring, didn't appear much different than the other freshman girls in the dorm, or from Babs, for that matter.
She had shown up almost mid-way into the second semester, but seemed extremely smart and caught-up to the classes she was taking in a matter of a few weeks.
Going away to college was a dream Babs had nurtured since middle school. Her home life was miserable and, therefore, became her best inspiration to excel at her school work. Her grades were good enough to get her a hefty scholarship to the college of her choice. A summer job filled out the rest of her money needs, for the first year at least.
When her parents had stopped fighting and throwing things long enough to hear her tell them about going away for college, they each had a similar reaction. They burst into laughter and taunted her about failing out the first time someone said boo to her.
Some people had anger issues, others were emotionally immature and couldn't form intimate relationships. For Babs, it was a crippling fear of the unknown, that kept her bedside light on after dark and made her check and recheck locks on windows and doors, even when at home with her parents.
She had no particular religious belief, but her constant anxiety about safety caused her to sneak into a Catholic Church to fill a small bottle with Holy Water. She went to a Christian book store and bought crosses, a Bible and to cover all her bases, wore both a cross and Star of David on a thin gold chain around her neck; an item she never removed.
When not engaged in her heavy school load, she sensed an unseen hunter, sniffing for her scent with every change in the wind. She had goose bumps up and down her arm whenever there was a sound that didn't belong in the night.
Fiona was actually a year older than Babs. She had confided in her that she dropped out of a very prestigious Ivy League college, after allegations spread like "the plague about my being a witch."
Babs had heard of kids who went off to college and got caught up in the partying and the new freedoms they had. They made bad choices and had to quite school.
It seemed that Fiona was a serious student who kept to herself and kept her head down, not seeking attention.
When Babs asked her why people thought she was a witch, she merely shrugged and said "Could be my sleepwalking problem."
Babs was shocked! She'd been sharing the close quarters of the dorm room and had never been aware that her roommate might be up pacing the floors and god knew what at night!
Her anxiety level shot up like the "Old Faithful" geyser!
That night, when Babs was sure Fiona was sleeping soundly, she crept out of her own bed. Stepping as quietly as possible, she moved the the side of the softly breathing girl's side.
All of the religious precautions she had installed around her side of the room were useless she concluded. A sleepwalker could never be tolerated.
There was one other item she had put aside for just such a threat. She took a deep breath and whispered a spell she'd learned from the Book of Druid Magic.
The girl Fiona made a gurgling, then choking sound. As Babs watched her closely in the dim glow from her night light, she turned a dark indigo blue and stopped breathing.
Babs returned to her own bed, snuggling down deeply into the cozy warmth of her covers.
"I wondered if that one would work" she said with a contented little laugh.