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The Quantum Mind: Chapter 3

by Ventomology


Theo didn’t show up on Thursday, a rare, but awesome occurrence, and Lillian was brimming with happiness from it. She wouldn’t have to listen to his dumbness in French and English, thank god, and she wouldn’t have to listen to him chat with Doug during zero-hour.

She arrived exactly on time, as usual, and the ever-punctual Yvette and stupid-looking Noel were waiting for her in the room.

“Morning Lillian,” Yvette said calmly.

Noel waved cheerily and greeted with much more enthusiasm. “Good Morning!”

Lillian grunted. She hadn’t gotten quite enough sleep last night, what with extra ballet practice for the Spring Showcase. She should have quit ages ago.

The teacher left a little work time at the end of class, and Lillian was overcome with jealousy for Noel’s seat. She had competent people at her table, not just bozos who loved to flub their mouths. She cursed Noel’s luck.

She and Noel talked during P.E. warm-ups, but went their separate ways-Noel took fitness while Lillian had opted for power-walking. She probably should have switched to Noel’s class, if only to avoid the morning chills. That was why Noel had taken an indoor P.E. class in the first place. She was a wimp when it came to cold.

But at least it left a whole hour for solitary contemplation. No one Lillian knew, or was willing to talk to, was in that class, so thoughts flowed freely and without any chance of being spoken aloud. She made fun of song lyrics and the relationships between her friends, complained about her dad living elsewhere, and slandered those she hated, all in the confines of her mind. No chance of her thoughts slipping out here.

When first hour was over, Lillian and Noel rushed outside to avoid the crowds.

“It’s cold,” Noel muttered, shivering and gripping her heavy wool coat. She’d gotten it this year, and the cream-colored jacket was still magically new-looking. “I hate cold,” Noel grumbled again.

“We know,” Lillian said, “You’ve said that a thousand times.”

Noel smiled her dork smile, the one she used whenever she conceded to someone else’s opinion. “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

“But you’re right,” Lillian continued, “It’s what, April? It should be like twenty degrees warmer by now.”

“I’m not sure the difference is that great, but seventies sure would be nice. Seventies are almost as good as eighties.”

“You and your dumb weather preferences.”

Her dark-brown-haired friend giggled self-deprecatingly and readjusted her glasses.

***

Friday was normal. Theo came back, still sickly, but still savage in his commentary. He’d never change that.

During the passing between fifth and sixth hour, Noel managed to reach the Deutsch room just a bit earlier than usual. In fact, she'd gotten there so early that Theo, who she usually missed, smacked into her while she struggled towards the door.

“Watch it, fool,” he sneered, seeing her destination and trying to block it.

One of Noel’s classmates walked up, surprised to see someone waving his arms like a lunatic trying to keep someone out of their class.

“There are other people trying to get in, Theo,” Noel said. She tried to sound calm like Yvette, but it came out timidly.

The upperclassman laughed. “Freshman,” he said, rolling his eyes and magically sending Theo on his way. Lillian stopped Noel this time.

“Did you finish the math?” she asked.

“No, you?”

“Duh, of course not. I’ll send it to you. I wish Theo was still sick and not being a dorkwad. See you.” She disappeared back into the stream and headed for French.

Finally, Noel could get into the Deutsch room.

When school was out, and the Deutsch room looked like some lunatic’s house with the chairs all put up, Noel and Lillian walked quickly, but amiably to the band locker room. It was Friday, and soon enough, Theo begrudgingly showed up to carry Noel’s French Horn.

“Why don’t you carry your own?” he asked as they walked to the buses. He asked that every time.

“I doubt Carrie trusts you with hers, but I’m fine with you carrying my Horn.”

“You should just let Carrie get her own instrument.”

“You know I couldn’t.”

“You should stop doting.”

“It’s not doting if I treat everyone like this,” Noel whined.

“Then stop caring. Whatever. Every man for himself, right?” Theo said.

Noel didn’t reply. Instead she tossed her hair and lifted her chin haughtily to look the other way.

“You were more fun in middle school.”

“I made resolutions.”

“No one follows through with resolutions.”

She didn’t say anything back and slipped a hand into her pockets to grope for her bus pass. A thick piece of paper touched her fingers and she showed it to the driver in one fluid motion, climbing the stairs and pocketing the pass right after.

The two found seats near the front where Carrie could easily find them. Carrie’s Horn sat between Noel and strangers, and Theo was trying to balance Noel’s precariously on his lap. Grimacing, Noel asked him to stop.

“You’re no fun,” he pouted.

“Noel is lots of fun,” Carrie argued from right in front of the two. When did she get there?

“She never reacts to my teasing anymore.”

“You just don’t know which buttons to press. And for the sake of her private space, don’t press the buttons on her coat.”

Noel hated being talked about when she was right there with them, but she was thankful for Carrie catching Theo’s attempt at a stomach poke.

“Mind telling me which ones to press then?” Theo asked.

Carrie began to say no, but Noel had already used her signature move. She pushed Theo’s head away, displacing his glasses in the process. “Shut up,” she said.

Surprisingly enough, he did.


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Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:57 pm
barefootrunner wrote a review...



Hi there! Here for another quick review :)

I'll go more into details (alias nitpicks) here, since you've got a few good reviews already :)
What I liked, was the improved character interaction. On the other hand, I feel your writing style is becoming slightly fragmented. I'll show you.

Lillian grunted. She hadn’t gotten quite enough sleep last night. There was ballet with an extra hour for the Spring Showcase tacked on. She really needed to quit.

"There was ballet" is too vague a statement, as is "she really needed to quit". Quit what? Where/when was ballet? So rephrase something like:

Lillian grunted. She hadn't quite gotten enough sleep last night. She had had ballet yesterday, with an extra hour tacked on to prep for the Spring Showcase. She really should have quit dancing long ago.

It's more solid, no? Okay, let's try another.

During the passing between fifth and sixth hour, Noel managed to reach the Deutsch room just a bit earlier than usual. It was enough that Theo nearly smacked into her when she tried to swim through the crowd between her and the door.

"It was enough" is just hanging in the air. What was enough? If it refers to her punctuality, rather say "She was early enough". That "it" doesn't actively latch on to any other phrases I can see around there.

Don't dumb down your writing. Just clarify where there are dangling references. That should really clear up your writing and keep your touch so trademark-light!

Never stop writing!




Ventomology says...


Oh, I see those bits there. Thanks for catching them for me!



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Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:18 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hello again,

I liked reading this, because it gave a further description of the characters and their relationships. Which was exactly what I asked for, and hoped to see! So well done there :D

I'm pretty picky when it comes to chapters. I like the to be just right, or have a good enough balance with things. I think this chapter was great when it comes to characters - fine. But it needed a bit more action in it. I felt like it was a "fill in" chapter, there to show the story and setting, but doesn't really boost the plot towards it's climax. I think every chapter should be heading towards finding that climax, and progressing the story. What I lacked here was that progression. I felt like the characters were just going on with their daily lives. So maybe you should add in a little extra something here to make this chapter a bit more worthy of it's placement in the story ;)

People always say the beginning and the end of anything is important. Especially the beginning and end of a novel (even though the middle is just as important.) I think the perhaps not so much the beginning, but more so the ending of a chapter is quite important too. It doesn't necessarily always have to be a cliffhanger - but it needs to be something exciting, intriguing, or important enough for the reader to want to turn the page immediately and start on the next chapter. I think yours could have a bit more improvement with this element.

When it comes to technical stuff, with spelling and dialogue and punctuation, this is all looked pretty neat. So good job there. Also, the dialogue between the characters seemed realistic enough for me to believe these conversations actually happened. ^^ Which is great!

Looking forwards to future chapters :D

Deanie x




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Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:48 pm
Aravis10 wrote a review...



Hi! It's Aravis; here to give you a review, again. ;) There is the description of Lillian that I was looking for! Yay! I really enjoy the different perspectives of all the character and how they all fit seamlessly together.
This chapter was a little disappointing. It doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the story, other than further explaining the characters. My suspense has not been at all relieved or even um, what's the word, piqued? I need just a few more tidbits about the meteor or something to keep my suspense and interest up. Your dialogue was still amazing, it just was missing SOMETHING. You can decide what would add to that suspense and keep your readers engaged.
When will you put on your next chapter? I am excited to know what happens next. Write more! Please!





Goos are anarchists.
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