Bree Part 14

So in between all the recaps I had a moment of clarity. See, Otis never mentioned exactly how big a deal fire was for the vampires. It was kind of hinted at but never once did she make it out to be such a handicap. Whereas here in the novella, Otis makes it sounds like a single disposable lighter is enough to turn any one of the statuesque leeches into a pile fit for a Rhoomba to pick up in about ten seconds.

Either Otis always meant to include it or, far moiré likely, someone inside Otis’s circle mentioned they should be a tiny bit vulnerable. The problem here is that they’re actually quite killable. Charlie could have ended the series right at the point he heard someone sneaking into his daughter’s room every night.

Charlie seems like the loose cannon/paranoid kind of guy that has tracers as every other round in his assault rifle. He grabs it as soon as he hears the creak of the window and pads silently down the hallway. Charlie throws the door open and sees Eddie sitting on the window ledge staring in at Bella and, without thinking, thus giving Eddie no warning, fires six shots at the creepy man looking at his daughter. Eddie, believing himself immune to such silly human weapons, just stands there as a bullets slam into his body. He has only a second to wonder why he suddenly feels hot before burning down to a pile of ashes. Bella freaks out and is traumatized but eventually gets over herself. End of crappy vampire fauxmance. I know it’s contrived but a man can dream.

Anywho, back to the business at hand. Bree is still wondering about the whole sunlight thing. Goddamn it Otis, no one cares. We all know they’re immune, including the characters. There’s no tension to be milked from this. If Bree really wants to know she’d better ask Riley herself, idle speculation does not answer questions. And, again, this is something the audience should already be asking. If you have to tell them, you’re failing as an author.

Suddenly, I wondered if this was what had really happened to Shelly and Steve and the other kids who had disappeared. I knew they hadn’t burned in the sun. Had Riley only claimed he’d seen their ashes as another way to keep the rest of us afraid and dependent on him? Returning home to him every dawn? Maybe Shelly and Steve had just set off on their own. No more Raoul. No enemies or armies threatening their immediate future.

I love how she uses a few throw away characters to tell us that a few of them have been killed by Riley. At least in movies they introduce the cannon fodder before blowing them up. In this case it’s a couple of no names we’ve never heard of or seen.

And then Bree considers that maybe Riley was using “killed by the sun” as a euphemism. Whoa, Bree, that has all sorts of crazy implications. Maybe that explains that guy that was offering you free python rides even though he didn’t appear to have a sixty foot snake and he kept trying to remove his pants. And then he kept muttering how he was going to ice you afterwards but that was just plain silly. Vampires don’t rot like zombies. Some people are so dumb.

In order to prove that she’s never let go of anything if it gave her characters something to whine about, Otis has Bree rehash how her and Diego should have escaped. I’m going to get a bullhorn, Otis, and then I’m going to hold it to your ear while I scream Duh, over and over. I’ll be done just as soon as your ears are bleeding or my vocal chords wear out.

Again, I imagined the whole horde of us on the loose without a curfew. I could see Diego and me moving like ninjas through the shade. But I could also see Raoul, Kevin, and the rest, sparkling disco-ball monsters in the center of a busy downtown street, the bodies piling up, the screaming, the helicopters whirring, the soft, helpless cops with their dinky little bullets that wouldn’t make a dent, the cameras, the panic that would spread so fast as the pictures bounced swiftly around the globe.

Yeah, us humans and our stupid useless weapons. If only we had some way of lighting things on fire, then the vampires would have a reason to be scared. I mean, it’s not like the vampires are going to let us get close enough with a Zippo to cook them. We’d have to have some way to make the fire into a projectile, something that threw fire if you will. But this isn’t the place for science fiction.

Bree tries to use deductive reasoning but it’s the kind most authors use when they need to draw you to a conclusion they’re not sure of. Bree figures that they’re not hiding from the humans, what with their ineffectual guns and all, so it must be something else. Yes, keep saying guns don’t bother your Vampires Otis. It’s neither tiresome nor inaccurate.

Raoul comes back from feeding and this means dawn is near. Huh? Apparently Raoul stays out late. And we’re supposed to care because? Anyway, Bree is hyperventilating because Diego is nowhere to be seen.

Gee, what happened? Anyone want to guess? My vote is that the burning pile of statue bits was Diego after he talked to Riley. Raoul laughs at the smoking stain on the floor and Bree starts thinking again. Careful Bree, if your brain gets too hot there will be yet another smear of ashes on the concrete.

She’s wondering where Riley and Diego are. She figures that Diego must have confronted him and Riley must have wanted proof. Clearly, the only reason they’re still out is because they’re waiting for sunlight not to burn. Therefore Riley must not know about sunlight doing nothing more than making vampires look like someone assaulted them with a Bedazzler.

That’s a big leap of logic there, Bree. I mean, maybe Riley knew about it already so he’s having a good laugh with Diego in a nearby coffee shop. Maybe Riley is standing behind Diego while they wait for dawn, holding a lighter and waiting for the first sliver of sun before he turns Diego into the Olympic torch. Or maybe Diego forgot about the sun and decided to take Riley out to a strip club.

Then a girl named Kristie comes back with her gang. Wait, who? Don’t bother introducing us to the redshirts if you’re not going to talk about them, Otis. It’s damned jarring, especially when it’s over the halfway mark in the story. And don’t talk about strange characters like we’re all familiar with them. It makes us wonder if we missed something.

Bree counts all the people and there’re only twenty of them. A good thing too because if there was one more she wasn’t going to be able to tell. For Bree, any number above twenty is just lots. Then Riley comes in and throws off her entire census. Hurrah, everything is solved. But, oh wait, where’s Diego? I don’t know Scooby, it’s a mystery.

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