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The Quantum Mind: Chapter 5

by Ventomology


Her cat had been startled by the jerking of her feet, and had moved onto her stomach, staring Noel in the face as though she had wronged him terribly. Noel could just make out his amber eyes peeking from behind the layers of blankets and covers.

“Hello, silly cat,” she said drowsily, “You know, I feel a lot worse than I did yesterday.”

A voice echoed in her head. Dang it Noel, did you have to wake me up?

She whipped upwards, flinging the tom from her stomach. He slinked to the foot of her bed.

“Goodness gracious, cat!” Noel nearly shrieked. Then, remembering her parents were still asleep across the hall, she lowered her voice. “Did you just talk?”

No! I’m not your cat! Go back to sleep!

Noel narrowed her eyes at her cat. “Are you sure?” she said.

I’m positive. Just sleep. You kept me awake all night, and now you’re getting up before noon. I swear you have some sort of grudge against me.

Noel decided the voice was wrong. She was still asleep, just having strange dreams as leftovers from her absent mindedness the day before. Nope, she thought to herself, This isn’t happening.

I heard that, the voice echoed. It sounded scratchy and immature, like a middle school boy.

That too. Who are you calling a middle school boy?

“You, obviously,” Noel said aloud. She wasn’t sure why she’d said it though, since whoever it was could read her every thought.

I’m a freshman in high school! I’m older than you!

“Yeah and I don’t care, Mr. Conscience. Get out of my head.”

Not until you get back to sleep. I need my sleep. I’m a high school boy, remember?

“I just woke up,” Noel muttered.

I don’t care. Go back to sleep or I’ll play with your circadian rhythm

“You’re going to mess with my internal clock?”

Why do you know so much stinking trivia? I’m serious here.

She nearly screamed, realizing who exactly was using telepathy on her. “Oh, no, no, no. Not you! How did you even get in my head, Theo?”

How did you guess? Meh. It doesn’t matter. No neurostimulants for you! Good night!

Noel’s eyelids sagged, removing her prior fear, and her cat moved back to Noel’s stomach. She felt warm and tuckered-out, like she’d just had a mug of hot cocoa. And though she didn’t usually listen to Theo’s strange demands, she figured she’d let this one slide.

***

That afternoon, Carrie had begged Noel to come over and help with her math homework. Noel’s arrival was marked by the usual: Carrie’s big black dog whining about how badly he missed her, and the exchange of greetings between Carrie’s pop and Noel.

“Oh, hello,” she heard her pop say, “here to babysit Carrie?”

Noel laughed without any sort of restraint. Carrie always found it odd how Noel got along so well with old people.

“No,” the girl said, “Carrie’s older than me, so technically she’d be the sitter.”

Carrie had trudged up the stairs just as Noel and Pop started chuckling. “Hey Noel,” she drawled.

“Oh hey,” Noel said. She seemed way more alive than the day before. “What did you need help with?”

“Altitude crap. Ratios, you know.”

Noel adjusted her scarf. “I had trouble with that last year too. Don’t worry, you’ll be pro in no time.”

“And then we can watch kids’ TV shows.”

Noel looked away. “Of course, Carrie.”

As Noel reviewed Carrie’s work, Carrie tapped the table restlessly. She wanted to ask Noel about the day before.

“You’re not as out-of-it as you were yesterday,” Carrie said as Noel turned a page.

“Hm?”

“I said, you’re not as out-of-it as you were yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah, you’re probably right. Theo said he messed with my dopamine production, though I can’t figure out why. And then you know what he did?”

Carrie didn’t say anything. Something was wrong with Noel’s statement.

“He reset my internal clock! That ninny is going to get it on Monday!”

“Noel,” Carrie said, using her mature voice instead of the whiny one she used to get attention, “Are you telling me Theo forced your system to make more dopamine thereby making you really happy?”

“Precisely,” Noel replied, still concentrating on Carrie’s math homework, “And he was calling me a ninnymuffin through my mind all this morning, so I figured maybe he wasn’t fibbing.”

“Did you just use the word ‘fibbing’?”

“Yes.”

“That’s pretty cool. But are you sure you weren’t dreaming? Are you okay? Like, mentally or physically?”

“I'm very sure. In fact, he accidently sent me an email through his mind the other day. It's obvious because his desktop computer filters out most of his curse words, but not this one. And by the way, Theo says you’re currently plotting to confront me and say I’m in love with him. Is that true?”

A syllable of argument caught in Carrie’s throat. She’d been thinking exactly that. “Y-yes,” she stammered. Okay, maybe Noel hadn't completely lost it, because she wouldn't have guessed that on her own.

Noel turned to face Carrie, shaking her head and tsking. “That’s a horrible thing to think,” she said, “Theo is my friend. Besides, I read Benvolio's parts, not Juliet’s.”

“Are you implying that Theo is Romeo?,” Carrie asked, smirking.

Noel clapped her hands and smiled at Carrie’s work, totally ignoring that last comment. “You did just fine on this. I don’t see why you were so worried.” She turned. “So I heard you got a new bio teacher. What’s he like? Or, you know, she.”

Carrie brightened, totally ignoring the subject change. “Oh, she’s amazing! A little strange, since she has a habit of looking at things with her infrared camera, but still cool.”

Noel raised an eyebrow, but smiled anyway. “You mean she looks at everyone’s body heat? That’s almost creepy.”

“I know, right?” Carrie agreed, “But it was beneficial to this one kid. She sent him home because he had a fever.”

“I suppose that would be useful.”

Carrie wondered what exactly it would be like to see heat instead of light. Maybe there were aliens out there who did just that. Yvette could probably come up with a theory for them to bicker over.


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Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:04 am
barefootrunner wrote a review...



Back again! Good luck to your team on this lovely review day :D

Spelling and grammar

I just saw in your first paragraph, the word "peaking" should be "peeking", but that's all :)

Character development

Quite good, but we had some slightly unnatural dialogue in here, where Noel tells Carrie that Theo is messing with her internal systems, and all Carrie thinks is that there is something wrong with the statement. If your friend started saying crazy stuff like that, you'd probably freak out and ask her what's going on, right? However, Carrie says nothing, just letting Noel change the subject. That's a little weird.

Plot

It's great that it's going in such stages. You keep tension and release a little info over each chapter, keeping it exciting. Great work!

Style and tone

Good, but the order in which you did the mind-conversation with Noel only realising later on that it was Theo, messed with the flow of my reading. I had to go back and read it all over. By the bye, that mind-conversation was a little unrealistic, too. I'd be worried about a person getting into my mind like that, not having an insult war!

Keep writing!

barefoot




Ventomology says...


Yeah... I've been having lots of trouble with this one. It's definitely not my best.



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Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:31 pm
Deanie wrote a review...



Hey there!

Reading more because I have the time ;) So this was a great read :D I like how now Noel knows that Theo is messing with her mind. I would be a bit more annoyed at the fact that he has the power to control things about her body, and that she isn't really worried about not being "her own" anymore.

Another interesting thing to explore would be, can Theo go anywhere in her mind? I think she likes Theo, and obviously she wouldn't want him to be able to see that so noticeably. Can she "block" parts of her mind from him? I'm curious to know. You've got a pretty big topic here now, with lots of opportunities. Make sure you embrace them ;)

Another pretty awkward chapter ending... :3 I'm pretty sure you could improve this one also. Maybe Carrie gives a final thought to what Noel is saying, claiming her as just weird or believable? I'm not sure which Carrie would think. I would like to know.

Also, would Noel really go and tell someone immediately what happened to her? Wouldn't she want to confront Theo straight up and see if he knows that she's toying with her mind? Does she ever question if it's actually Theo? Wouldn't other people think she's crazy?

Basically for this chapter, I have a lot of unanswered questions, which I hope are either revealed in future chapters, or you go back and mention. I understand Noel has a fairly light-headed air about her, but maybe then her character doesn't suite this position? You could really toy around with this, and I feel like a limiting character would be a bit annoying. I also look forwards to reading about this from Theo's side of things...

So just keep writing and we'll see where the story takes us. Again, for balance in the chapter, great job! And technically as well, it was all clear.

Deanie x




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Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:43 am
Aravis10 wrote a review...



Hi! It's Aravis. Again. :) Why do I even try to review these when they are so great? I love how you keep building on every character. They each have so many dimensions.
One thing that confused me a little bit was Noel's reaction to the telepathy. When she thought it was her cat, she was freaking out. But when she realized that it was Theo, she was fine. If it were me, a cat or my crush talking to me in my head would totally freak me out. She seemed totally reserved to the fact that a boy was changing her dopamine levels. Creepy? I think, yes.
Anyway, this book is killing me. (In a good way) I just want to sit down and read the whole thing all at once. It is too much for my suspense to have to keep stopping!




Ventomology says...


You're very right. I wouldn't act at all the way Noel does when she figures out Theo's creepy powers. But she's also a real ditz, and takes things pretty well. I just didn't do a good job of setting her up that way. Thanks for pointing that out!




It's not nice to roast people when they're out of comebacks.
— Tuckster