Life & Death Chapter 24

I don’t read my chapters ahead of the recaps and I’ve never read the book before doing them. Which might contribute to the seeming spontaneity that shows up in some of my posts. Parts where I’ll clearly chase some little thing on a tangent for a paragraph or two just to have it amount to nothing because it was merely the character being stupid and the other characters correct them.

Then there are things like right now that I’m taken aback. I would not have guessed, except sarcastically, that Meyer would have turned Beau into a vampire right away. Honestly that should have been how the original ended anyway. So I’m naturally more than a little suspicious of why this happened now.

Beau is complaining that the “fire in his arm” was nothing compared to what’s happening now. He begged Edy to kill him and get it over with. Archie, being the closest thing we get to a voice of reason, tells Beau everyone says the same thing. Beau yells at him and he shuts up and maybe apologizes for having a spine.

Though he’s lost in a fever dream of vampiric change, Beau is still cogent enough to tell things are happening. He’s not in the ballet room for one though they’ve moved him somewhere dark for the time being. No matter what, Edy stays with him as does Archie. Beau cries and screams and Edythe apologizes every time he does which makes him try to stop screaming.

They stop and get gas while Edy stays with him. Beau complains how the “fire” never lessens. You know that thing where you repeat a word over and over until it eventually loses all meaning? It has a name, semantic satiation. It’s something that kicks in within writing as well.

Constantly exposing an audience to the same word is almost exhausting. Repeating the word “fire” to describe the sensation stops having an impact fairly quickly. It also bores people and boring people, who are already reading your work to escape boredom, quickly put your shit down and decide it’d be better to hunt a squirrel with a turkey baster than get to the end of your drivel. For fucks sake, borrow the thesaurus from Paolini and grab a few other descriptors. Hell, I wouldn’t have faulted Meyer if she only bounced back between burning and fire.

At some point, Archie and Edythe decide Beau is far along enough in his transformation that they can begin educating him on vampirism. Number one, he’s going to be thirsty. Not just in a ‘hey, when you get a chance, could we swing by a Sonic and get me a shake?’ He’ll probably want to grab the nearest thing with a pulse, rip its head off and toss back their life essence like someone in a Gatorade commercial doing their damnedest to stem the leak of essential neon colors.

Edythe says that as soon as he’s done, she’ll take him hunting and he always wanted to see that, didn’t he? Also, he’ll get to see Eleanor’s bear impression and laughs. It comes across as desperate as those scenes in war movies where the poor bastard comforts a dying soldier. ‘Yeah, we’re going to go hunting just like you always wanted. And we’ll watch the fear in Katie Courics eyes swallow her soul as we descend like locusts on her flesh.’

Archie actually tells Edythe to stop worrying about it. Edythe says there’s just so much Beau doesn’t know about being a vampire. There’s one rule that has “a thousand permutations”. Basically that vampires must maintain the masquerade or else the Ventrue, er Volturi, will come down on them hard. Also, for no reason given, he can’t see his mother or father again.

Edythe first says this is because it’s not safe. This make a little sense as you can’t let a starving mouse loose in a grain silo. Especially not when that mouse could rip the silo apart and use it to harvest all the wheat in the surrounding fifteen kilometers(it just doesn’t have the same ring as miles does to me).

Edythe then is mumbling about how the Volturi are the reason he can’t talk to them again. It’s better for them to think he’s dead and how sad he never got to say goodbye. Then Beau is given a brief rundown of the Volts and their varying X-Men powers. I don’t remember her but one of them, a girl, can take a vampire’s power and give it to someone else. Everyone else remains the same boring, back of the envelope, had to make a new mutant before the deadline power.

Now it’s tine for a mention of the vampires that live in Alaska and are the real reason the polar bear population is in decline. Al Gore was wrong, it’s vampires! One of them can do the electricity thing while one of them can tell what powers a vampire has. Not very useful in their day to day operations I guess.

The transition is hurting beau more than knowing he won’t get to see either of his parents right now. He knows this won’t stay that way forever. Edythe continues to tell him all the fiddling bits like not aging or sleeping. He’s also going to remember everything ever for as long as he’s alive.

Goofy powers, RPG knock offs and the basics aside, Edythe then introduces the series werewolves. Yup, Jules’ family tree is lousy with magic wolves. Beau says all the things that Julie “scoffs at” are actual history. Which is unfair to Jules as she’s never seen a real werewolf and the last ancestor who could morph, her great grandmother, was probably dead before she was born.

Then we get short paragraphs for each of the Cullens and their backstory. Absolutely none of them change. Jessamine was still part of the Confederacy. Which is funny because Beau wasn’t in ballet like Bella was. That means Meyer thought it was more believable that a woman in the days of the U.S. Civil War would fight to secede than a boy going to dance lessons.

I don’t know why this is all here, do you Meyer? The only market for a Twilight re-imagined book is the original audience of Twilight fans. That unicorn reader, one who wants Twilight but hasn’t read it yet, doesn’t need the series spoiled by this shit. It’s basically letting the fans wank at the fact they know everyone’s tale already. Skip, skip, skip.

Victor took off by swimming into the Pacific, so he’s gone and could never be a threat again. Beau hopes that they destroyed the tape Joss had rolling while she was beating him. Beau also complains about how different the pain is between different parts of his body and how it burns different here than it does there. Meyer, having finally moved from fire to burn, continues to use it until it sounds like an incantation for conjuring rain.

The searing of the change begins to fade from his extremities. This worries Beau as he’s convinced parts of his body are now falling off after having been charred. The heat then focuses inwards towards his heart. Carnine, being quite the doctor with a bed side manner that would make House angry, has this to say:

“You’re all right, Beau. It’s ending. I’m sorry, I know. I remember.”

I get that Carnine is telling him that it will pass and, in the long view of things, this will be momentary. I’m taking it to mean that, after changing most of her “family” into vampires, Carnine’s sympathy is worn out. ‘Yes, yes, Beau. It hurts and I care very deeply about that. Just let me finish checking my lotto tickets and we’ll talk.’

There’s a description of what sounds like Beau having a heart attack and then it’s all over. Immediately after changing, Beau can hop up and look around. No relaxing in the simple pleasure of pain passed. Everything looks amazing to him now and he can touch Edythe without fear of her hurting him. Also, she doesn’t feel cold anymore.

Beau sees himself in a mirror and is startled by his eyes. We’re not told what color they are but it scares him. Edythe says that they will turn gold if he sticks to an non-human diet. If he chooses to graze among the population though they’ll go red. Beau says he’ll only hunt animals because that’s the right thing to do. Edythe then suggests they go hunting to slake his thirst and see. This is setup for a dumb joke where Beau says he’s never used a rifle before. How funny, time to fetch the lighter fluid.

As he moves while holding Edythe’s hand, Beau notices pale blurs in the floor length mirror. He stops and manages to force Edy to join him as he’s now strong. He tells us how his eyes are not only red, thanks for the late detail, but appear to be glowing and savage. He says he would scare himself if he ran into him in a dark alley.

Beau’s still wearing the bloody jeans he had before but has a fresh shirt on. This is a Swan fashion update brought to you by Aeropostale. He also tells us how he now looks right standing next to Edythe rather than like Jake Baruchel next to Alice Eve. This will make the paparazzi photos of them on the red carpet much less awkward. And yes this is a long fucking chapter.

Edythe tells him that hunting will be much easier than he thinks and to follow her. Beau runs along like the Flash after her. He’s impressed because his plot given flaw of clumsiness has been removed and he can now operate his legs unlike the drunken squid that normally did it. He’s quite pleased with his new super speed and tells Edythe, as soon as they stop, they have to do that again.

Edythe is frustrated and angry that Beau is in a good mood. he should be mad with hunger at this point because that’s what she felt. She asks then if he doesn’t have something he wants to say or do with them being alone. He should want to hit that booty now that he’s immortal and always rock hard. Instead, Beau has no idea what she’s talking about.

When Beau fails to comprehend what Edythe is talking about, she gets angrier. She though he wanted to yell at her in privacy to save her the embarrassment. Beau says no, he was trying to tell her in the car that she needn’t apologize, it’s not her fault. He’s still a bit disoriented, having only been a full vampire for about twenty minutes. As long as he’s with Edythe though, he’s good and happy. What else could she have done to have saved his life?

As Beau is absolving Edythe of any and all guilt she could possibly feel, he remembers something Joss said. Edythe says that Joss spoke of many things. She listened to the tape with headphones, a valuable detail we needed to have. She asks which lie of Joss’ is Beau thinking of. Probably the one where she claimed that alien vampires built the pyramids using plesiosaurs as beast of burdern while the yeti’s served as the stone masons.

The part where Joss said Edy didn’t want to turn him into a vampire. Edythe says that’s true, she didn’t. Beau says this means she wasn’t planning on him sticking around for very long. He doesn’t expect her to put up with him forever if she doesn’t want but he’ll be the best vampire he can possibly be. She “growls” at him that if he ever says something so stupid again, she’ll bite him.

He’s not stupid, Edythe. There aren’t many reasons I can come up with for not wanting to turn him into a vampire. If you truly felt love at first sight and it’s the kind of soul mate connection that will last an eternity, why not? Even if not right away, maybe have plans on offering it and see how he takes it. Not having any desire to change him says ‘sure I like you but I don’t see myself into you within the next century.’

Edythe says that having him there and being able to keep him is like having every wish she ever had fulfilled. She specifically says selfish wish, so Beau still doesn’t top the desire to see cancer eradicated. She says the real reason she didn’t want to turn him was because he was so special and he deserved more. Basically she didn’t want him to deal with being a vampire.

You keep claiming that, Meyer, but you have to show what Beau loses or it’s meaningless. You did that in Twilight as well and it’s just a token barrier you’ve set up. It’s part of why this series comes across as a personal fantasy. You don’t actually want anything that would make choosing immortality and beauty hard. Which is fine but that quality is what makes the story interesting. It tests the characters and shows us what they’re made of.

Edythe assures him that she’ll never want him anywhere else besides her. He says ok and Edythe says that she knew she’d love him forever right away. With that out of the way, she thinks they can figure the rest out for themselves. Which is actually almost sweet. She’s basically saying that she knows she loves him and they have time to sort the rest of their lives out.

That’s damn near a human sentiment, Meyer. Who’s fucking wedding vows did you take it from? I know full well, being a machine priest myself, that the binding ceremonies of subterranau do not value feelings. I have to assume one of your underlings married into human society and you were taking notes.

Beau leans into kiss her, noting how easy it is now. He doesn’t have to worry about her getting horny and dry humping his pelvis into a compound fracture. Edythe is still surprised he’s able to focus on anything but blood. he says he is pretty thirsty now that she mentions it. She says they should hunt and they run off into the night. beau says that he was unafraid and this would be easy just like everything else.

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