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    Driven to Distraction

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    Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 26/06/13, 11:37 pm

    Noah had been doing all right most of the day.  Physics and Pre-Calc kept him occupied enough not to dwell overmuch on the week's events, and lunch held other distractions.  Once in the machine shop, however, it was easier to go on autopilot, which left him with way too much time to think.

    Over an hour of helping Ms. Curtis take the sophomores through the shop rules (a second time) later, Noah was dreading sitting through Stage Management as well.  As he shouldered through the door, he frowned at seeing the spot where they'd first seen Matt...change.  He idly wondered if it was at all similar to what he went through, but that threatened to send his mind back where it had been for the past hour.

    Luckily, he spotted Madison across the quad.  Brightening, he jogged his way over, giving her a largely unconsciously flirtatious smile and head nod.

    "Hey Maddie, what's up?"
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 27/06/13, 06:58 am

    Madison looked over as he approached, smiling back (and trying to keep from blushing).  "Oh, hi Noah... I was just on my way to Theater.  What about you?" As if she didn't have his schedule memorized already...
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 27/06/13, 07:33 am

    "Headed that direction myself," he replied. "Looking forward to another thrilling Schoepke lecture. I can't wait for them to decide what you guys are putting on so we can actually do something."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 07:08 am

    "Yeah, it's kind of hard - they always have to find things for extra girls to do, because not as many guys take Theater." She shrugged. "Like Macbeth with an extra twelve witches, that kind of thing. Although that was pretty cool."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 28/06/13, 01:10 pm

    "Yeah, that was fun. They had that sweet lighting setup; some of them worked on the rigging in the shop."

    Noah was quiet a moment, Madison's mention of witches sending his thoughts down familiar paths. Trying to maintain a casual tone, he spoke up.

    "What're you up to this weekend?"
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 01:31 pm

    Madison looked up at him, surprised by the question but trying to act casual. "Nothing too much... Alex is having a party Saturday night but I hadn't decided if I wanted to go yet or not. He does have a pool though... Are you going to that or, um, did you have something else in mind?"
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 28/06/13, 01:42 pm

    "Oh, yeah, I remember Alex saying something about that," Noah replied after a beat. He had a feeling Madison's question about 'something else in mind' was a little loaded, but he did have something else in mind, if not what she thought.

    "Yeah, I was planning on hitting that up. I was more wondering what you had going on Friday. We don't start scrimmaging 'til next week, and I was kind of thinking about another trip to the park."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 02:01 pm

    "Oh."  It wasn't exactly her idea of fun, but on the other hand, it would maybe mean some time alone with Noah, without David butting in. "Yeah, that could be cool," she said, smiling.
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 28/06/13, 02:18 pm

    "Sweet," Noah replied, returning the smile.

    Noah turned around to face Madison as the neared the door to the theater building. He kept his voice quiet as he continued.

    "I have to be honest, I'm freaking out a little about all of the stuff that's been going on, in general and with me specifically" he said conspiratorially," and I haven't really had anything to do about it. This...this is something I can check up on, learn about. Its a place to start, you know? It'd be nice to have someone along who knows what its like to have weird things happen to them."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 02:26 pm

    For a moment Madison didn't know what he meant, but then it came to her. "My dreams? They're usually about more ordinary things, but I guess I get it. It must be pretty weird for you..even if you already knew it was going to happen someday. " She shrugged sympathetically.
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 28/06/13, 02:42 pm

    "Yeah, it was a pretty freaky summer, and it looks like the school year is shaping up to be even weirder. I guess I feel like the best thing to do is meet it head on. You know? Jock instincts, I guess."

    Noah grinned.

    "For all I know, it'll turn out to be nothing, and we can go catch a movie or something. World's End looks pretty good, but I'm up for whatever."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 05:08 pm

    Madison would have been happy to go see whatever movie Noah was interested in.  "Sure, that would be fun too," she said, as laid-back as she could manage to sound under the circumstances (namely, bubbling with excitement and nerves).  As the bell rang, she winced slightly - she wasn't usually late for class if she could help it.  "I'd better run," she told him reluctantly.  "But I'll see you... I guess Friday?  Well, I'll probably see you around before then, but... you know what I mean!"  She gave what she hoped was a normal, friendly smile.
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 28/06/13, 05:28 pm

    Noah's grin widened.

    "Catch you later," he replied with a practiced eyebrow raise. He reflexively eyed Madison for a long moment as she walked off, finally catching himself and shaking his head.

    "She's David's sister," he muttered under his breath as he turned towards the backstage door.

    -----

    Noah sat in his truck, parked two houses down from the Emery household. He was starting to feel a little bad about the secrecy here, but he wasn't quite ready to share his concerns with his best friend. Somehow, Madison seemed like she'd be a little more sympathetic. Still, he knew he'd catch hell tomorrow at the party if David found out where Madison was tonight. He felt extra guilty for the errant thought that he might catch a break and David would skip.

    Sighing, he texted Madison to let her know he was outside and settled in to wait.
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 28/06/13, 06:52 pm

    Madison had been waiting for the word that Noah was outside. She'd spent the time trying on different outfits, trying to strike the right balance between 'good for hiking through the woods' and 'cute and flirty'. Finally she'd settled on a pair of skinny jeans and a red tank top under a loose, lacy, mostly see-through white sweater. She was just finishing up her hair (making sure a few strands were out of place from her ponytail so it didn't look too neat) when his message arrived. After sending a quick reply to let him know she'd be right out, she said goodbye to her father, hoping David wouldn't ask where she was going - fortunately he was shut up in his room and probably hadn't even noticed she was leaving.

    She spotted Noah's truck sitting a little way off from their house, and forced herself to stroll casually over to it, walking around to the passenger side and climbing in. "Hey," she said with a smile. "Ready for some exciting amateur park ranger adventures?"
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 29/06/13, 04:37 am

    "Well, I can't guarantee they'll be exciting, but, if not, I promise to make up for it later," Noah answered before he quite realized what he was saying, giving a slight cough to cover.

    "So, any trouble with your dad?" he asked quickly, shifting the truck into gear and pulling out into the street.
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 29/06/13, 10:23 am

    Madison blushed, very busy with adjusting her seatbelt for a moment. "No, I just said I was going out to the park with some friends, and he didn't actually ask who, so that was okay. Um... what are we actually going to do when we get there? Just look around, or what?"
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 29/06/13, 11:49 pm

    Noah was grateful for the excuse to focus on his plans for the parks as opposed to...otherwise.

    "Yeah, for the most part. I brought some more filings," he said, gesturing to the bed of the truck where a black duffel bag lay. "I figure we can lay out a circle or something, just in case. And I was kind of thinking we could, ah, try to open it again."

    Noah was quick to follow up, trying to head off concerns.

    "Just a bit, just to see if it can be done. I know we don't know what's on the other side, and the iron should keep it from being a problem. I just...it wouldn't budge for me or Matt, and we're both pretty swole. But you guys could move it, even Addie, and she's not exactly an athlete. I'm wondering why."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 29/06/13, 11:57 pm

    "Maybe only girls can open it? I don't know," Madison said, puzzled. "If it's a magic thing, who knows why it does what it does. Will the iron really work to keep anything ...in?
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 30/06/13, 12:02 am

    "Damn, now I feel like a complete idiot," Noah said, eyes widening. "I've been freaking out about this all week. I didn't even consider that it could be about sex."

    "Of the person opening the door, I mean," Noah said quickly. "I was worried it was about us...being supernatural. That, uh, that it meant something bad about us."

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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 30/06/13, 12:06 am

    "Oh, hm. I hope that's not it," Madison said, frowning. "It wouldn't seem fair for a magic door not to open for... you know, magic-y people. But I really don't know anything about how this stuff works - I looked at some of those books we got from the library, but it's hard to know what's true and what's just made-up junk."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 30/06/13, 12:16 am

    "That kind of why I wanted to go and check it out. Try to sort through some of that, you know? I thought if we knew more, it might put my mind at ease, but, heh, I guess you just did that. See, its working already."

    Noah grinned, then once again gestured towards the truck bed.

    "I've got the iron, and some other stuff from some of those books. Its still daylight for a while at least. This seems like about as safe as we can make it."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 30/06/13, 12:33 am

    "Well, okay - we'll be as careful as we can, I guess." She hesitated. "It's still kind of bothering me... about my dream, I mean. The part my Mom said about it not being time yet. I don't know what it meant." She gave Noah a sidelong glance. "She, um... it probably sounds nuts, but when she tells me things in my dreams, it's usually right. I don't mean it's necessarily really her, like her ghost or something," she said, blushing a bit. "Maybe it's just the way the part of my brain that, I don't know, knows these things chooses to talk to me." She didn't sound entirely convinced, though. "I just know that whenever she shows up in a dream, then it's probably going to be one of the ones that... means something."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 30/06/13, 12:44 am

    Noah gave a concerned look.

    "Do you...do you think we should let this wait, then? I mean, I'm willing to trust your brain if you are."

    Noah made a weird face, considering his statement.

    "I mean, I'm a werewolf. Who am I to question dream-moms?" he said, trying to sound upbeat. "I still think it might be a good idea to lay out some of this stuff, just in case, but we can just go hit the movies or whatever after that."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Curtana on 30/06/13, 12:52 am

    "I don't know," Maddy said. "Maybe it wasn't the right time then, but it is now. I'm willing to go and look around and see what we can figure out, anyway. If anything starts to feel too weird, then yeah, we can just go do something else instead." She managed a smile for Noah. "Something more fun, less creepy."
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    Re: Driven to Distraction

    Post by Josh on 30/06/13, 09:03 am

    "Sounds like a plan," Noah responded with a smile.

    They managed to pass the short drive with more casual conversation, discussing some of the events of the first week of school: people who'd hooked up over the summer, couples that had broken up, commiserating about annoying teachers. Soon enough, Noah pulled off the road across from Black Swan Lake.

    Noah retrieved his duffel as Madison came around the truck, checked the street, and jogged across. He was staying alert, keeping an eye out and trying to identify any out of the ordinary scents.

    They walked around the lake, up towards the small hill where the door had stood three days ago. He stopped short as the came into the clearing. The hill was there, like normal, but the door was nowhere to be seen.

    "What the fuck?"

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