You know what I love in stories? When a character, or the author, offers the audience a contradiction and the editor doesn’t call them on it. It gives me a boost in my faith of the publishing industry, it really does. It means that they too will hire any warm body to fill a spot just as long as they’ll take less pay than a competent employee. Take this choice entry, for example.
I woke up warm, dry, bandaged, and safe.
I felt like death.
So death feels like warmth, safety and bandages. That must be why victims of auto accidents always feel like crap. Clearly the only solution is to remove a few of those elements. Maybe go around hospitals, ripping off bandages or turning up the AC. Barring all that maybe it’d be better to burst into their rooms, waving a gun and chanting in the tongue of the ancients. Anything to make them feel less like death.
That’s the beginning of chapters thirty five, by the way. Not exactly Pulitzer material Jimmy is churning out, is it? Max claims that, like every time she wakes up, she’s unsure of where she is. Which could have been gotten across by having her wake up in a panic a few times throughout the book and we would infer that she was still traumatized by the experiences of her youth but no, Jimmy doesn’t trust us on that. Instead he assumes we’re a bunch of paste eating retards, at least he knows his audience, and has Max tell us all about it.
Then the pain in her shoulder makes Max think about the time she dislocated it in a sparring match with Fang. It was okay though because Jeb fixed it and made it all better. Oh, and somehow she knows that he was better to her than a real father. How? Well Max said so, thus it must be true. Stop asking questions! She also feels sad because Jeb is gone.
Ok, I’m building a hypothesis here. Jeb isn’t dead, I can almost guarantee that. The way Jimmy keeps trying to remind us how dead he is only supposed to add to the shock when he turns up alive. Secondly, I’d be willing to say Jeb is her father because everyone knows that a parental twist and reveal has never been done before. Thirdly, I’ll say that Jeb was also the father of Angel and so Max has a sister which is why she cares for her so much. Also, that’s why Jeb snuck the kids out of there. The youngest made him grow a conscience.
Now Vet and Ella come in to see if Max wants some breakfast. They’re checking to see if their new pet eats the same things we do. No, Ella, I’m sorry. Max only feeds on the blood of highborn virgins after it’s been strained through the fur of a baby seal. She just nods though when they offer her a breakfast buffet and starts wondering if there are any comic conventions with guest appearances being made by Dutch royalty in close proximity.
Then Max notices there’s a sweatshirt with slits cut out in the back waiting for her nearby and she gets all choked up. I guess she feels sad that Vet had to cut up her only memento from that New Kids on the Block concert she attended in ’89. Vet can still remember that way that security guard leered at her. Then Max, being the tough shelled protagonist she is, gets mushy because someone gave her a Bandaid, a sweatshirt and offered her microwaved Eggos.
Ella’s mom was taking care of me, like Jeb had. I didn’t know how to act, what to say.
A girl could get used to this.
And we’re back with Iggy and Gasman, hurray! Hey, wolfmen. I’ll make you a deal. You kill these two idiots in the most brutal way possible and I promise I’ll never offer you a dog biscuit ever again. Not even as a joke. What do you say?
Iggy is suggesting that they fly straight up. Just then, one of the wolves comes in through the window. Whoa, Jimmy, things are almost happening. You might want to slow it down by throwing out some nonsense to baffle the readers again.
“Guess what?” the first Eraser asked with a pleasant smile. “We got the little one—they don’t need you two alive.” They laughed, the sound like deep bells ringing, and then their faces began to change. The Gasman couldn’t help grimacing as they morphed, becoming more wolflike, their muzzles extending, their teeth protruding until it looked like they had a mouthful of knives.
That’s the spirit, I knew you could do it Jimmy. First, I’m having a hard time imagining laughter sounding like deep bells ringing. All I’m picturing is Tony Jay dressed in a Liberty Bell costume listening to George Carlin. Secondly, holy crap! When did these “Erasers” get the ability to morph?
No, seriously Jimmy, what the hell? First they’re hairy wolfmen like the classic Universal monster and now they can switch back and forth? Maybe before now might have been a better time to tell us. Like before you’re thirty some chapters into the story.
There’s some taunting from the wolves that goes on far too long. I guess Henchmen rule six is give your quarry as much time as needed to escape. So Iggy jumps straight through the roof followed by Gasman. One of them grabs at Gasman but only manages to paw at him and slow his progress away. They get some distance from the cabin and then the cabin explodes.
Gasman sees one of the “Erasers” crawl away from the burning wreckage and collapse. Iggy says they got them and Gasman doesn’t want to contradict Iggy. I guess he’s worried that the blind kid’s feelings will be hurt if he thinks the bomb only managed to maim, not kill, a couple of people. Besides, I’m sure the burnt man won’t show up later with a grudge against these two. No, he’ll probably succumb to his wounds in the hospital later on and off screen.
Of course Iggy hadn’t seen anything. The Gasman cleared his throat. “No,” he said. “They’re dead.” He felt slightly queasy, guilty, and dirty. Then he remembered Angel, how she’d shared the last of the ice cream with him three nights ago. She was so small, and God only knew what horrible things they were doing to her. His jaw hardened.
Oh, Gasman has a similar power to Iggy’s. Iggy can control the pliancy of his skin while Gasman can do the same to his bones. Or maybe Jimmy means that Gasman’s jaw became hardier and therefore more resistant to the punch I want to throw. I guess Gasman can sense when he’s getting stronger and more durable. That’s kind of a useful if a little impractical. It’d probably be good to have if you were a triathlete though.
Anyway, Gasman calls them scum sucking jerks and they decide to fly off. Tell them what they’ve won Bob! ‘Thanks, Drew. Our winning contestants have won an all expense paid vacation to lovely Cancun. That’s airfare and hotel for three nights, all inclusive. While there they’ll go on scuba dives in the Pacific coast, horseback riding in Baja or they can just lounge on the beach at their luxury hotel and all if the Price is Right!’
Bet he thought he was trying to be ironic with “I felt like death” but it just sounds supremely stupid.
Maybe when Max said she felt like death she meant that she had the urge to don a black cloak and carry a scythe about.