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But what you don't know about yet is the other story . . . the one which successfully dislocated my hip every time I tried to wrestle it into submission. Let me tell you about it from the beginning, which in this case, is Season 3. That's the Season 3 cast on the right . . .
And the little guy on the far right is Gary's younger brother Tucker, who only gets voted in as a member because Gary's mother threatens to bar her older son from meetings unless Tuck gets to be there, too. (This is also how Tucker got to make a tiny cameo in my FF Before Midnight. His mother tracked me down and said that Gary wouldn't be allowed to make an appearance unless I wrote both her boys into the story. Incredible.)
The pretty girl on the left is Sam--but store that away for now.
Last Are You Afraid of November?, when I was scraping together as much "research" as I could on the Midnight Society canon, I came across a fan profile of Tucker which included the line: "takes over the Midnight Society after the older members start having sex." Which is both exactly what happened and exactly what didn't happen.
No, the guy on the left isn't a grown up Gary. It's Aldous Huxley, whom I now officially love more than George Orwell. (And please note that there is now a Huxley vs. Orwell label for relevant posts.) After all, it was Huxley who gave us the observation that--
"An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex."
Now, I'd gladly replace "intellectual" with whatever word we have for "imaginative person who occasionally seeks out solitude to create cool things," but until I find one, let me point to the picture of the Midnight Society again. Straightlaced Gary, weird Betty Ann, tomboyish Kiki, tough-talking Frank, romantic Sam, and even obnoxious Tucker are all "intellectuals."
Granted, there is an element of "sex" in Are You Afraid of the Dark? We see it in David's crush on Kristen in Season 1 . . . and again in what happens between Gary and Sam from Season 3 onwards. But it was never something beyond the supposedly childish world of the bonfire; instead, it was something warmed into existence by the same.
In other words, yes, Tucker takes over the Midnight Society--and inasmuch as the Midnight Society live in the real world, the older members presumably find more grownup expressions of "sex" in their lives. But there is no freaking way they received the benediction of that bonfire and went on to think--as the first quote implies--that "sex" is "more interesting" than scary stories.
It was when I realised this that my new idea, a story about Gary and Sam, was born. And boy, was it dark.
I envisioned the pair running into each other a few months after the older members of the Midnight Society have to stop meeting in the woods--though not because of "sex," but because of uni. It comes as a shock to Sam, who peeled away from her nighttime friends a year earlier. She just quit going to the secret clearing, never properly said goodbye, even let herself grow apart from Betty Ann at school . . . And just when she finally realises what a great thing she threw away, she learns that she can never have it back. Time moves on, you know. People grow up. Gary gets another girlfriend.
And that story would totally be on my FanFiction.net archive right now if it weren't for the fact that I was utterly unable to find its plot. Three freaking weeks. No freaking plot. No freaking idea how to get from Point A and Point B in this story of a love that was lost, much less all the other points in the alphabet . . . until last night . . . when I was drafting this post in longhand in my notebook of "bad pages" . . . and a brave new thought occurred to me.
What if it wants to be a story about a love that was found?
I hate it when I do these things to myself. I really do. While I'm not going to make another promise of a Bad Page for Easter, I do want to keep working on what I've got. So if you think you might want to read it, you can subscribe to my FanFiction.net feed. =)
And now you know that this entire post was merely an oyster to that pearl of a shameless plug.
Image Sources: a) The Midnight Society, Seasons 3 and 4, b) Aldous Huxley