Life & Death Chapter 21

I’m still more than a little bothered by the fact that Archie and Jessamine drove Beau down to Arizona. That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons you could make. Maybe have had Earnest run off and leave a scent trail to the airport to foil Joss’ nose while having Beau driven to Arizona in relative safety. Hell, they could have even said they couldn’t find a plane ticket in time and it was too risky to just hang around.

Worse is the fact the drive down there was pointless. I’m all for skipping over a long boring scene to get to the climax, that’s good storytelling. Meyer though then ends up replacing a dull drive with a dull sitting around the hotel scene.

What should have happened is that Bella/Beau asks about Alice/Archie’s past while on their long boring drive. Not even towards anyplace in particular, they’re just driving to get Bella/Beau away from Washington. Then the vision hits and they have impetus to get to Arizona as quickly as possible. If you’re going to have a small plot, you might as well tie it all together.

Beau wakes up and it’s early. Somehow this means he’s getting his days and nights reversed. I don’t know how or why that would be true as it’s not like he’s getting into a vampire sleep schedule. He could have said that it was so boring he had nothing to do but sleep and watch TV which was screwing with him.

Archie and Jessamine are off to the side talking loud enough for him to hear they’re talking. He wanders over and Archie is drawing something which Beau recognizes as his mom’s house. Archie says Edy is coming to meet them at the airport and he can go back with her. They’ll hang out and keep an eye on Renee.

Beau, finally, realizes that Joss is probably just going to start killing his family if she can’t get to him. You mean the bloodthirsty vampire who wants to kill you might do something awful? If only Beau had been given enough time to think about it, he might have come to that conclusion before. I suppose I can’t blame him with the breakneck pace they’ve been moving. There simply hasn’t been time.

Beau then throws a tantrum that it’s not just his human family he’s worried about. He slams his bedroom door and then sits, staring at the wall for four hours. It’s important to clarify how long a character has been sitting around, jacking off. He tries to think of a way out of this situation but the author hasn’t seen fit to bless him with the minimum equipment necessary to do so.

When Beau steps out of the room, Jessamine is gone to checkout. Archie says Edy will be there soon and they’re relocating closer to Rene’s house. Just then, the phone rings and the number on the caller ID is Rene’s. Archie hands it over to Beau without answering it himself. Probably because Archie knows who it is and how the call will go down.

Rene’s voice comes across the other line screeching like a harpy that’s been kicked in the junk. Beau tells her to calm the fuck down and he’ll explains everything in just a minute. Then Joss comes on the line and tells Beau he has to say only what she tells him. Beau tells us she has a very low, generic kind of voice. The kind you hear in luxury car commercials. That’s actually not generic, Meyer. That would be classy and smooth with a hint of sex.

Joss says she doesn’t need to hurt Rene so he should just play along. She feeds him some lines in standard movie kidnapper format. She also tells him to leave the room so his face doesn’t give the whole thing away. How she knows Beau’s couldn’t act any better than Kristen Stewart is also beyond me. Joss must be getting notes from the author.

Once again, Beau is being counted on to think. Joss asks if he believes he can get away from his friends. He says no and Joss repeats the question, asking if he’s sure he can’t being as Rene’s life hinges on his answer. Beau reconsiders and says sure, it can’t be that hard. There has to be some plot convenient way to outrun a psychic vampire. Joss says after he gets away, he has to get to Rene’s house where there will be another number to call for further instructions. He should also be ready with the code phrase, the duck’s quack echoes at midnight.

Beau says his fake goodbyes to his not mom. Joss warns him that he can’t make his friends suspicious and she looks forward to seeing him. I’m really curious as to how and why Joss wants Beau to do this weird phone relay. Does she know Archie is psychic but can only see the future if the person has made a decision? I suppose Lauren could have told her but you’d think the actual psychic vampires would have figured that out as well.

Now we’re told how very sad Beau is. He’s not sure that Joss will actually let Rene live after she eats him. He can only hope that Joss is glad enough to have won the game and beaten Edythe that she honors the deal. I’m sure a vampire that wants to kill you will let their hostage go after being witness to both a murder and a vampire. Instead of, ya know, having them as a desert.

What really makes Beau sad though is that he’ll never get to see Edythe. Because he’s so desperately in love with her for reasons that are still not clear. Beau then tries to fix his face so he doesn’t give himself away. He says he only manages a blank look which should work.

I’ve always wondered how the characters in books are so good at reading faces. People sometimes have odd looks on their faces and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Does a mild look of concern really give away your intention that much? Or do author’s just not know how to have characters “know” there’s something wrong so all their characters turn into self proclaimed micro expression readers?

Speaking of facial expression silliness, does it really matter how well Beau keeps a poker face? Jasper/Jessamine can feel emotions. As soon as Beau starts feeling anxious and nervous, they should start wondering why. Then they just might look over at their clairvoyant spouse and ask them if Bella/Beau is up to anything.

Beau decides that he has to not decide to take off yet so Archie doesn’t see it unless he already has. Which I’m still puzzled by. How can Bella/Beau have decided they’re going to take off but note decide they’re taking off? Even if he hasn’t picked out the exact way he plans on running off, Alice/Archie should begin seeing branches of the future where Bella/Beau runs away from them.

When Beau steps back into the room with Archie, he’s groaning and lying over a table. Hey, now is not the time to be masturbating over porn visions. Jessamine comes rushing in, asking what she sees. Archie says Beau and he says he’s right there. Then he realizes that Archie is answering Jessamine’s question. Good for you Archie, you can see people who are directly in the room with you. I still think you need to go to the vampire optometrist.

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