Life & Death Chapter 13

I’m starting to think that the fairy tale romance aspect is the whole reason this series was popular in the first place. It’s not complicated, the vampire love interest represents a perfect fantasy element come to life. In Ed’s case, he’s basically a white knight riding in on a white stallion to rescue Bella from real life. It’s also the reason it’s so boring.

Bella/Beau and Ed’s love is a foregone conclusion from the get go. Which is fine if that’s how Meyer wants to tell it, but there needs to be something interesting going on. If the conflict doesn’t come from the two lovebirds fighting their desires, then it should come from something external. Whether it’s other people, society or even the goddamned weather, we need something fighting their love. Otherwise it’s a boring anecdote told by a CPA. “Two guys come in, they have all their paperwork, paid the fee and got their taxes filed with no issues.”

Instead, Meyer completely wusses out. So we spend chapter after chapter of Ed and Bella/Beau sitting next to each other and touching hands. Occasionally Ed will tell Bella/Beau they’re special or ask them a question about their past. Bella/Beau will then feel anxiously undeserving and mentally note how perfect Ed is. Which goes on until the wild villain appears in the third act to make it seem like there’s a plot.

We’re still at the meadow and Edythe is finally walking into the sun. Beau is shocked and, at first, believes that Edythe is on fire. How any kind of sparkling resembles fire, I don’t know. I supposed because she’s bright, unlike Beau, who then says that she has the kind of beauty that people would worship. Because she was just good looking before but make her into a disco ball and now it’s time to start a cult. Ed then asks him if he’s afraid now.

‘Are you afraid of me now?’ ‘Not really.’ ‘Wait, let me wrap this feather boa around my neck. Also, I shall put on these swim fins. Hmm, what if I add an umpires vest and a glitter sticker to my face. There, am I now terrifying!?’ ‘If your goal was to be the terror of fashion, then yes, you are terrifying.’

I don’t know what alternate universe Ed lives in where sparkling could be considered scary, but I want to commute there. I have a feeling their horror movies are centered around a main character discovering that the tapioca pudding they’re eating has a misprinted expiration date. Though it looks like next week it actually expires this very same day! I could revolutionize their film industry with a few buckets of blood and a catalog of Italian horror films.

Beau is still too amazed at how pretty she is to do or say anything. He touches her and says she still feels cold. All the better to preserve your balls when she takes them, Beau. He tells Ed he’s never seen or imagined anything so beautiful. Then Ed seems to become self aware and look directly at the audience.

“Aren’t you repulsed by my flagrant lack of humanity?”

Yes we are though considering how flat the rest of the cast is, you fit right in. I don’t think people who’ve never read this understand this is why people like me got frothing mad about the sparkling. It wasn’t just that it was stupid, it is but people have had vampires do a lot of stupid things throughout the years in fiction. It was the fact that the author treated it like it was frightening and that Bella/Beau was unique for overcoming their revulsion.

Now if Ed went all Nosferatu when exposed or when feeding and Bella/Beau loved them anyway, that would be something. Instead it’s ‘wow, I thought you were beautiful before. Now you’re even prettier. It sure is going to be hard to love you.’ It all comes back around to a complete lack of hurdles. Looking like a raver who fell into a vat of glitter is not as  repulsive as having no lower jaw and sphincters for eyes, Meyer.

Because Beau touched her, she has to step back for a bit. Ostensibly because she’s close to losing control. Meyer’s way of showing us this is having Ed clench her jaw and hold up her arm like she’s trying to stop the elementary kids from crossing so the damn bus can finally get moving. So they sit down and Beau watches Ed breathe, telling us she seems very aware of the act of breathing. Most people are, right until they fail to get the belt of their neck.

Beau then starts inching closer to Ed. This is one of those moments that works with the human as a girl but not as a boy. Beau just comes across like a stalker who can’t take a hint when a girl wants him to step back and leave her alone. She does pat the ground next to her first but the slow creep towards her is distracting.

When he gets closer, Beau can hear her singing under her breath. Ed says it helps her relax. We’re not told what she’s singing, that might characterize her or something. She then asks, again, if she’s still not scaring him. Try stripping naked and doing a lap dance to him, I’m sure that would frighten him.

Beau then gets close enough to touch her and begins to run his fingers over her arm. She complains she can’t read his mind, one of the only things Ed ever seems to think about. Beau says that’s how everyone else has to live. Beau says, when asked what he’s thinking, that she’s not real and that he’s afraid. He doesn’t get to finish what he’s afraid of because Ed snaps up and says she doesn’t want him to be afraid. Not that Beau ever says what he’s afraid of.

Edythe then pulls away, which makes Beau sad but not as sad as dropping the last taco on the floor. Ed starts going on about how she’s the perfect predator what with her appealing smell, sight and sound. She then, rightfully, points out how those are all unnecessary by flash stepping over to a tree, tearing down a huge branch and throwing it at another tree. ‘I don’t want you to be afraid but look how easily I could kill you, don’t be afraid!’

Ed swears she won’t hurt him when Beau begins to look nervous. I know nothing settles my nerves like watching someone smash walls with a tire iron then promise me I’m not next. She wants to know what Beau is afraid of and it’s not her but of not being able to be with her. Then she goes on a rant about how much better it would be if she left and how she should try to leave now. Ed also reminds him she’s supremely dangerous to him.

Which is a problem right there. Being a century old, Ed should have better control of herself. Because she doesn’t, she comes across like a basket case six days off their meds. One second she’s worried Beau is afraid, then she goes to breaking things, then promising to never hurt him and finally back to telling him how dangerous she is. Smeagol has steadier conversations with himself.

Beau wants to know why him. Ed goes on her but about him being a fine cognac where she’s an alcoholic. Which is not how alcoholism works but I don’t expect a mentally impaired author to know. Then she draws comparison to heroin and says Beau is exactly her brand of heroin. Which, again, is not how addiction works. There’s not a single brand that a heroin addict will shoot up and only.

Edythe says she asked her sisters about it. Eleanor said she found something like that only twice, once stronger than before. Beau asks what happened with that and Edythe makes a pained face. Beau says it was a dumb question. Being as you’re in the presence of vampires, that’s beyond a stupid question. That’s like asking a zookeeper what keeps happening to the gazelles that keep wandering into the lion pen.

We’re then told Edythe’s tale of running away to Alaska to hide out for a bit. That was better but she was worried that Earnest(Esme) was sad so she came back. Also, she was really tempted when the accident was about to happen and saved him more so she wouldn’t blood frenzy right there in the lot. Which is actually a better reason for Ed saving Bella/Beau than I thought. Though it’s no longer the romantic act Meyer wants it to be.

Let’s see, he’s the most important thing to her now. Edythe then tells him to hold still so she can smell him. This doesn’t bother her all that much and she’s getting used to it. Beau then touches her, noting how she’s feeling warmer than iced coffee. A detail that Meyer forgot completely once the series got going.

There’s more touching but nothing below the collarbone. That’s reserved for the marriage bed, thank you very much. There’s more talk about how hard it is and how Beau can’t understand until it’s time to go. Ed says she has a faster way back to the truck, by carrying him.

This is the thing that really blows his mind. Edythe is so small and he might have witnessed her tearing apart a tree and throwing it with the ease he would display with tissue but carry him? That’s insane on a level unheard of by mortals. She runs off to pick up a boulder and bring it back to him so show how strong she is. I guess being able to stop a sliding vehicle weighing over a ton wasn’t enough proof to Beau that Edythe is strong. ‘I’ve seen her lift a tractor but how do I know she can really carry me?’

Then Beau wonder how he can fit on her back as she’s so small. Just shut the fuck up and piggy back you fucking pussy! I swear to Gutenberg, I will crawl into this book and give you a head injury that will render you a vegetable. Then, Ed won’t need to read your mind because it’ll be as blank as your personality.

They run through the woods to the truck and Beau is nervous. Back at the truck, she says there was something she wanted to try and leans in for a kiss. The second Beau tries to get into it, she locks up and pushes him away. Which still strikes me as someone who hasn’t come to terms that they don’t like making out with Bella/Beau. I guess I just can’t see how romantic Ed is.

Beau says he should drive back as he’s had quite enough of Edythe’s speed for the day. She says she could handle it and her reflexes are better. Besides, she can’t let him drive under the influence as he’s intoxicated by her presence. She breathes in his face and he stumbles then agrees to let her drive. He holds out his hand and asks if she’s not affected by him. Her non answer is “regardless, I have better reflexes.” Charlie found them wrapped around a light pole, burned to death, later that evening.

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