Life & Death Chapter 6

One of the more common complaints people have regarding Ed is that they’re too controlling. Which is fair but a lot of people forget how willing we are to suspend our disbelief in fiction. Once we’ve accepted vampires in fiction, pretending Ed’s weird ass desire to yank Bella/Beau around like a meat puppet, while calling it romantic isn’t much of a stretch. Which is why I tend not to rag on it more than in passing. I get were the complaints are coming from but I also try to understand the audience.

What does bother me is how Meyer missed so hard from a storytelling perspective. Here was a chance to explain some of Ed’s over protective nature. Whether in Twilight or this version, you could easily stuff in some backstory to wave it away. Maybe make it so Ed witnessed their spouse to be die in their arms from the Spanish Flu. Tha’d be melodramatic enough to blend right in with everything else.

Plus then people would understand why the Eds are so worried about their fleshy, vulnerable fuck sack. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people will cut you a lot more slack if you explain your character’s bad behavior. The flipside is to not go to far as to look like you’re writing out excuses for them.

Beau is sitting in his room, reading Macbeth and listening for his truck. And the only way that could get more pretentious would be if Beau was smoking European clove cigarettes because they’re, ya know, just so much better. He doesn’t hear it pull up, it’s just back in the driveway somehow.

Can I ask why all the stealth in returning Beau’s truck, Meyer? To what goddamned end did they bother? I get that you’re attempting to make the Cullens exotic and mysterious. To that end you believe that a suddenly appearing truck will add to the mood. What would have happened had Beau looked out the window and seen Royal park the truck, hop out and then get a ride from Edythe? Would he have been tempted to masturbate and your sensibilities couldn’t imagine that?

Speaking of which, Meyer, did you address the wanking elephant in the room? I get that, culturally, we still pretend girls don’t ring the doorbell until they get a dopamine rush. We never expected a scene where Bella explores the Swan divide while thinking about Eddie’s chiseled visage. We do accept and expect that all boys will play at least one game of Centipede with natures controller before they hit eighteen.

So, Meyer, does your Beau wax the surfboard while imagining a pair of marble breasts? Or did you go up to each of your boys and ask, loudly, if they were masturbating at seventeen? ‘Just tell me the truth, have you ever touched your penis for pleasure?’ ‘Jesus mom, no, and going by the way you talk I never will.’ ‘Well, my sample size may be only three males but they all reported they’ve never jerked off. Therefore, boys do not do this.’ Or is the real reason because you believe the sexual desire would taint the romance?

Back at school, Beau is given a lot of shit, rightfully so, about fainting. Everyone makes it kind of a big deal that Edythe sat with Beau when she normally sits with no one outside of the Cullen clan. This is odd enough that it might earn a remark. Though when they discuss whether or not Beau is allowed to sit with them, as if there are seating assignments in the lunch room, veers into sitcom territory.

Back at home, Beau asks his dad about the spot Edythe said she was going camping. Charlie says it’s not a good place for camping as there are a lot of bears there. I got it, Edythe is actually the niece of Timothy Treadwell and she’s out for revenge. Grizzly Man 2 – Sometimes revenge is unbearable.

Beau meets up with everyone outside of the camping supply store. McKayla asks if Beau is by himself or bringing a plus one. When he says no, she immediately brightens and Beau is panicky because he just lied. I don’t remember him inviting Edythe but it doesn’t matter because she won’t show up. Then Meyer thrills us with the details of their carpool seating arrangement. But will you promise to tell me when Beau needs to stop and take a piss?

Having been to the beaches every summer, Beau is quite familiar with them already. Which makes sense to me as Charlie is written as an absentee father who gets distracted by thoughts of hooking a fish or a drunk than dealing with his only offspring. I want to meet the Charlie that took Bella/Beau out to the beach every summer. Maybe he has some thoughts on where this new Charlie and Rene have gone wrong.

They build a fire, then talk about what the plan is. I didn’t know being a teen meant scheduling was such a constant pressure. I vaguely recall dicking around and doing whatever came to mind. The boys mostly want to go get food from a shop while Mckayla wants to hike to the tide pools. Beau opts to go to the tide pools because the thought of inventing a shop name and food it sells would tax Meyer’s creativity for the day.

Meyer decides that now is the time to describe the nature of the area. It’s very beautiful, I’m sure. It’s quite out of place for a location which has little to no impact on the story. I’m all for interesting description but it really feels like pointless padding here. Especially when Meyer doesn’t really focus on things like the background or the locale. She’s more interested in telling us how sculpted the vampires are.

Suddenly everyone was hungry, and I got up stiffly to follow them back. I tried to keep up better this time through the woods, so naturally I tripped. I got some shallow scrapes on my palms, but they didn’t bleed much.

As if out of nowhere, the entire cadre was struck by hunger. If only humans had some sort of natural warning system that advised them they needed to regularly replenish their calorie stores. Because they don’t, we invented the easy to use app, CalTrack. With CalTrack, you’ll never again have to do the long division required by the old federally mandated food tables. Simply put in your age, weight, height, birth sign, BMI, real BMI, desired BMI, your current relative position to the Eiffel tower, the last time you ate and presto! The app will remind you when to consume your next meal. Looking for meal suggestions? Upgrade to CalTrackPlus which will randomly direct you to the nearest drive through and tell you what combo to order.

They eat and a bunch of the other kids wander off, leaving Beau sort of alone. That’s when our Jacob analogue, Jules, wanders over. The conversation between her and Beau is probably the least stilted I’ve come across in this series. They talk about the truck and hobbies, Jules’s of course, before Logan noticing who Beau is talking to.

I can’t tell who Logan is supposed to be a flip of and frankly don’t care. He’s supposed to be evil though because he has “silver-blond” hair which is slicked back. Beau comments that he never notices how fishy Logan’s pale green eyes were until now. In fact, Beau hadn’t noticed that his class mate had been a singing bass plaque all along. Maybe the fact he was singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” at the top of his lungs, every time someone walks by him.

Jules asks Beau to take a walk with her. This is where she tells Beau stories about the “cold ones”. Many tells of a legend of a beer up there in Washington. So can you go and get her a nice stout, Beau? Thanks, sweet cheeks. And hey, if you have a moment grab Jules a sandwich while you’re up, that’d be swell.

Jules says that they’re supposedly descended from wolves and fought an ancient enemy. Once they’d defeated gluten intolerance, a new enemy appeared, the only enemy of werewolves. No, besides shitty fiction. But then one day a “tribe” of different cold ones showed up. They didn’t eat people and they made a treaty with Jules great-grandma. Jules says they’re the same people but with two more people though Carine is the same.

Jules then does the “your people” thing, saying Beau’s people calls them vampires. Unless you aren’t speaking English or have another word for them, Jacob/Jules, you too call them vampires. Beau says that Jules is in fact good at telling scary stories, as she promised she was earlier. Beau even rolls up his sleeve to show the goosebumps he has. Because that’s a perfectly normal thing someone would do. I hope Beau doesn’t pull a similar move to show how aroused Edythe makes him.

Mckalya then comes over saying there Beau is. Because there’s no other way for exposition to be ended but by an ancillary character coming over and ending the scene. Jules asks if that’s his girlfriend which bothers him. Beau asks why everyone keeps asking that and Jules, correctly, says that’s because it’s what she wants everyone to think.

This could be the hint Bella/Beau needs to realize, later, that they basically let other people dictate their lives. Instead, Beau ignores it and gets mildly exited when Jules says they should hang out sometime. The sky threatens them with rain and the Washington natives scurry back to their cars at the first sign. Beau says he spent the car ride back trying not to think. Which is like earth trying not to get demoted from planet status.

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