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The Quantum Mind: Chapter 16

by Ventomology


“So Yvette,” Lillian started, “I know you and Mr. Wills and Mrs. Johns are aliens, but what do you even look like?”

Yvette looked at Lillian like she’d sprouted horns or something.

“Well?”

The alien glanced back at Noel, who was quite worse for wear, before turning back. “You’re asking me something like that now? Noel’s life is in danger here.”

Lillian shrugged. “It’s not like there’s much we can do. I don’t think Theo can hear what we’re thinking down here, so we can’t help him.”

“It’s true there’s no internet for this telepathy you speak of to function.” She looked up. “If I could draw, I would draw it for you. And I can't show you because once I turn back, this guise is completely used up. I won’t be able to stay.” She looked almost ashamed. “And you know, I really do want to stay once this mess is cleaned up.”

The other three were scheming to get out, crowding together in the one part of the room that no one on the other side of the glass could see. Lillian knew better than to try. She didn’t have weird fantasies of heroism. “I hear you,” Lillian replied, “I think everyone’s pretty weird, but I’d stay too.”

“Thanks. That means a lot. Besides," Yvette said, her face reddening,"I don't think I want you guys to see my real appearance.” Clearly eager to change subjects, the blonde looked over at the three plotters. “What do you say we help them?”

“Whatever.”

***

Noel could hear her stomach rumbling. It was loud, like an untamed lion, and she hoped it bothered Mrs. Johns too.

The woman had sat down, tired of rampaging while she asked questions, and had even stopped asking. She was probably tired of Noel’s disconnected trivia about brains.

“So,” Noel began, drawing it out cautiously, “Would it be possible to not be hooked up to this-”

“No.”

Yeah. I thought so. “Uh… Any word on Theo?” she asked, again drawing out her words.

“No.”

“Any idea what’s happening?”

“No.”

“Are you happy?”

“Shut up!” the alien snarled, looking ready to jump from her chair.

“Could you-”

“No.”

Well that’s rude, Noel thought, she didn’t even let me finish.

Mrs. Johns leaned back and stretched in her chair, emanating a murderous presences. “What could be taking Mr. Wills so long?”

“Maybe he-”

“I didn’t ask you.”

I hope Theo pounded him into dust, Noel thought bitterly. She couldn’t feel it, but she was probably stiff from being in the same position for so long. It was like that really long prayer at the end of church where everyone’s knee-knuckles cracked when they finally sat down. Stupid synovial fluid and tissue capsules.

And so they waited, watching the teens on the other side of the glass disappear into a corner where she couldn’t even see their blurs.

***

When Theo walked through the door, feeling quite sick again without all the adrenaline, he met another room just as white as the corridor. That was mildly disappointing because he’d hoped for something black and sinister with lots of blinking lights and switches. Instead, there was only a wonky machine with the awkwardest keyboard he’d ever seen sitting in the middle of the room. There were two white doors on the opposite wall, and Theo could not decide which one to try.

Eenie meanie miney mo, he thought, before shaking his head at himself, no. Noel told me you can cheat at that one. He tried another method. Heads is right, tails is left. He checked his pockets. Dang it. No change. This stomach ache is keeping me from thinking.

Mr. Wills was probably mostly free from the cement by then, so Theo tried the left door, to no avail. He tried the second, but it didn’t work either.

“God dam-” he screamed, banging on the the door before it burst out into the next room revealing the startled faces of everyone but Noel.

“Hey Theo,” Lillian ventured, an unimpressed frown on her face. “Nice to see you could join us in this lovely establishment.”

“Noel’s not here?” he said, holding the door open.

“Thanks for your concern,” Lillian said, rolling her eyes, “and she’s on the other side of this glass.” The girl pointed to the left, beyond what Theo could see from the doorway.

“Someone hold the door open while I look.”

“You don’t want to,” Yvette said.


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Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:06 am
barefootrunner wrote a review...



Hi there!

Spelling and grammar

“God dam-” he screamed, banging on the the door before it burst out into the next room revealing the startled faces of everyone but Noel.

Dam should be damn, and I can't make out if the door burst open because he was hammering on it, or for some other reason. And why would it, if it's the door to a prison? Shouldn't it be locked?

Mrs. Johns leaned back and stretched in her chair, emanating a murderous presences. “What could be taking Mr. Wills so long?”

Presence should be singular, not plural.

Plot

Once more, very little is happening in this chapter. Each chapter should contain a main event, and I'm not seeing one here, though maybe Theo's joining them is it?

I'm also seeing more unrealistic reactions, like nobody wanting to escape when the door flies open. At least have them discuss it so the readers know why not.

Style and tone

I'm still not sure about the appearance of the rooms they're in—how does the glass story work? Is there a door between them, or what? You do need more description here. Your balance is shifting more to dialogue and plot and less to characters and details. Watch out for it!


Keep writing!

barefoot




Ventomology says...


We actually have the awkward doors mentioned earlier, but still whoops on all the grammatical errors. And I suppose I should have someone leave during that last scene, hm? Again, thanks!



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Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:41 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hey Budgie!

Seeing as you've already had a detailed review on the technical side of things, I will try and keep to the storyline side. I'm in a picky mood today, so don't mind me being too picky on your work. I'm going to try and iron out every bit I can.

It's really liked how Yvette's friends accepted her alien-ness and how they want her to always be a part of their little group. However, I do think that Yvette should've explained her appearance. It's something even the reader is curious of. Yes, she doesn't have paper or anything to write with, but she has words. And those are perfectly fine for descriptions too.

I liked the mid section of the novel and the end too. Nothing there to complain about really.

Thanks for your concern,” Lillian said, rolling her eyes, “and she’s on the other side of this glass.” The girl pointed to the left.

“Someone hold the door open while I look.”

“You don’t want to,” Yvette said.


Great way to end the chapter, but if it's just glass, wouldn't Theo have seen Noel? Especially if he's looking for her. Maybe the chapter should end with his horror at her appearance.

Other than that, I shall roll on to the next chapter!

Deanie x




Ventomology says...


I hate to admit, but the appearance bit is going to be a joke. I suppose I should have her get flustered?
And I'm not sure if I mentioned, but not all parts of the room can be seen (or see through) the glass. It should be in the chapter, but I'll look for it to make sure.
Thanks as always!



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Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:36 pm
TimmyJake wrote a review...



Timmyjake here to give you a review.

Since I haven't read the rest of your story, I will try to stick to grammar and punctuation for my review. Just trying to clear the Green room up! And, I am supposed to be trying to be a knight. Right now, I guess I am just a squire. :)

Alright. Here goes!

“So Yvette,” Lillian started, “I know you and Mr. Wills and Mrs. Johns are aliens, but what do you even look like?”

I would say that you should make that a few sentences. After "Lillian started" I think a period would work better than a comma.


“If I could draw, I would draw it for you, but once I turn back, this guise is completely used up.

Here is another spot where I think a period would work better than a comma at "draw it for you. But once I..."

“No.”

“Any idea what’s happening?”

“No.”

“Are you happy?”

“Shut up.”

“Could you-”

“No.”

This part seems a little empty. Maybe the woman could say it emphatically, or slam her hand on the table? Something like that?

Your story seems very captivating and well written, although I think that description is lacking somewhat.
Keep posting more when you write it. I shall read some of your other chapters to get a better grasp on the content.
Keep writing!!




Ventomology says...


Hey thanks for reading this! And you're right about the length of the dialogue sentences. I'll watch for that while I'm editing the final chapters.




I love her dearly, but I can’t live with her for a day without feeling my whole life is wasting away.
— Miss Kenton, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro