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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Life & Death Chapter 20

Once again I have to mention the chapter title. It’s “Impatience” which perfectly sums up how I’m feelings with this whole plot Meyer spun out. At least, unlike Pao-pao, they don’t really give away the chapter. I don’t feel like I could have just absorbed the book by reading over the chapter list and pitched it into a bin. Also, this opening line.

When I woke up, I was confused. It took me longer than it should have to remember where I was.

You could have stopped at “confused”, Meyer. If there’s one thing Bella/Beau is, it’s stupid. I can only assume that Renee volunteered for prenatal boxing classes with lead gloves to give them that much brain damage. The biggest risk they run when at the hospital is that the doctor will claim they’re legally brain dead and shut down their life support.

‘Duh, what’s a vampire? How are you strong enough to carry me though I’ve seen you stop a sliding car? Are you a superhero? How many pairs of shoes am I wearing? How come the sun starts off bright when I stare at it and then goes dark? Why am I tasting your fist? Can you help me find my teeth?’

This is the setting equivalent of “I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror(lengthy description and too many superlatives)”. It works in the same way duct tape can be used to make a boat. Yes, it will function but it’s not the best use of your time. Better would be to simply introduce the setting and let the descriptions flow naturally.

Beau is vaguely recalling something about racing along in a limo with Archie and Jessamine. Beau badgered Archie to give him constant tarot readings about what was going on. Which does make me wonder how does Alice/Archie’s powers work? Can they see anything anywhere they focus on? Or is it fixed within an area around them? It’s just magic clairvoyance that does what the plot requires of it.

Most of Archie’s details are status updates on Ed and the rest. ‘Still going through a forest.’ Meyer does offer a solitary detail about the vampire foresight. Beau asks Arch to watch Chaz and he says that humans are harder than vampires. Which means Alice/Archie should have gotten warning about the antagonists far earlier than they did.

They drove through California and get to Arizona with no incident between anything. They decide to head to the airport for some reason. Beau asks if they’re flying somewhere and Archie says no but it’s better to be close. We all know what it’s like to suddenly need to fly to Bolivia and be no where near an airport so we can identify.

Might I ask why they didn’t fly down in the first place? Flight time from Seattle to Phoenix is around three hours. Factoring in drive time, also around three hours, plus findings a plane, they could be in Phoenix within 12 hours assuming they’re not using money as a wand to open doors.

Meanwhile, the drive from Forks to Phoenix is twenty three hours. Even if they drove double the speed limit down there and didn’t need to stop for gas, Archie and Jessamine are not getting Beau to Arizona before they could fly there. Then they go to the airport to wait around just in case?

Archie then asks to come in and says he got Beau some food ordered. They go into the living room of whatever hotel they’ve found so Beau can eat. Archie then acts as a filter for the action Meyer knows must be happening but doesn’t want to write out. They chased Joss around but it seems she’s given up and disappeared. The other Cullens are watching Charlie just in case Joss wants to pull a Se7en on him.

Arch then reminds Beau he should eat. Beau picks up food and eats it without tasting or looking at it so Meyer doesn’t have to make up some dish on the spot. She got into this business to pen about sparkly boners, not things like food. Jessamine then appears, telling Beau he has nothing to fear.

Beau says he’s not scared for himself. Archie says not to worry about it because his psychic powers assure him none of them are in trouble. Least of all Edy who is so amazing and powerful and beautiful and really just a shining example for all humans to aspire to. Have no fear that the blood drinking fuck toy will get ruined, Beau.

Archie says they’ll all be fine and their only fear is losing Beau. He, rightfully, asks why this is. After all, they don’t give a tin shit about all the other humans Joss and her crew have killed on there way there. They certainly had no problem letting Lauren run off knowing that she was still going to be eating people. So what makes Beau so damn special that he gets a double superhuman escort?

The answer is that Ed has been mopey for over a century. Which is fine, that’s pretty much standard in vampire fiction. Neck biters that lament the weight of their immortality is a major feature of newer vampire fiction. That everyone who knows them is willing to throw their life away because one things finally got Ed to stop putting on mascara and writing poetry about graveyards is a bit far.

Archie then says he’d have done it without Edy asking. Beau asks why and Archie says that, to him, it already feels like they’ve been friends. Because they will spend so much time hanging out in the future, Alice/Archie is already attached which is actually kind of an interesting take on future sight. Archie says it was nice of his sister to tall in love with his best friend.

Beau sort of takes advantage of his new best friend status and future asks about Archie’s name. The drives us to Archie’s origins with the grace of a square wheeled Hummer down a mountain side. He mentions he doesn’t recall much but his hair probably meant he was in prison. That would also explain the old timey teardrop tattoo.

Then he casually mentions how he waiting for twenty eight years to meet Jessamine. Archie had visions of her but knew she wasn’t ready to meet him. So he waited until she was in the right place, mentally, to meet. Which is a lot more romantic than anything Ed and Bella/Beau have done. I’m trying to imagine someone being able to remember someone they view as a soul mate and resisting the urge to be with them at that moment. That’s a nearly legendary level of patience.

Beau wants to know about Jessamine’s past which hasn’t been invented yet. So Meyer, via Jessamine, simply says that Beau isn’t ready for that. Which is a shitty reason. Jasper/Jessamine isn’t imparting the secret of the five palm fist to Bella/Beau. It’s their personal history. They should be saying “I don’t want to talk about it” or “I don’t know you that well yet.”

There’s some mumbling then about what Archie saw with nothing explicit except he saw Beau die. Then Beau asks how someone becomes a vampire. It requires a vat of virginal blood, prepared on the night of a harvest moon under the guidance of a high priest of Tockachan, deceiver of goat lungs. How the fuck do you think, Beau? This is one part of vampire lore even Meyer wasn’t willing to bend over a barrel.

Jessamine explains how, as predators, they have too many powers used to hunt humans. Which still makes no sense, Meyer. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, that’s not how nature works. Lions can’t fly and lure in the gazelles because they hunt them. Vampires might naturally need to be stronger than humans to kill them, fine, but they don’t need to be able to lift a car to do it. Never mind all the bonus powers most of the Cullens have.

She also tries to say their “venom” is a weapon as it incapacitates their prey because it’s so painful. No, it’s not a weapon. It’s your means of reproduction. That’s like saying men have a weapon with jizz because, when it gets in someone’s eye they can’t see. Sure you could use it like that but that ain’t what it’s for.

Archie then says that, also, they’re like sharks in that once they smell blood they can’t control themselves. Except for the Cullens because of how amazing they are. I don’t really care that they resist so well but Meyer simply uses it as a demonstration of how amazing her vampires are over the other store brand ones. Archie then says it’s not without downsides as Royal, for example, had to live knowing that his family aged and died.

Then Archie gets hit by a sudden vision because Meyer is ready for the climax. He’s staring off into space and Jessamine asks what he sees. Archie says it’s a long room with lots of mirrors and the tracker is there. So a GMC showroom circa nineteen ninety five? I will stop making those jokes as soon as Meyer stops pretending that the word “tracker” carries any gravitas. Archie describes it more but doesn’t know what it means other than the villain’s plans have changed.

They call Carnine and update them on the recent developments. Beau gets to talk to Edythe who says they lost her as she’s seemed to be suspicious of them. Really? You mean the vampires who are trying to kill her are something Joss wants to avoid? What is the world coming to these days? Edy says Joss seems to have stolen a small plane and is heading towards Forks to start over. Sure, I can see the logic in that. Instead of, say, maybe she’s fleeing else where to regroup and get some backup.

Beau says Charlie is fine and if Joss comes back she’ll find her. They say their goodbyes after professing their undying love for one another, again. Archie is then sketching out the room he saw in his vision. Beau recognizes it as a ballet studio. Beau says his mom taught dance there for a little bit but didn’t stick with it.

And here I was hoping Meyer had the balls to have Beau once done ballet. We wouldn’t have made fun of him for doing ballet, Meyer. It’s far more embarrassing for Beau to be one of your characters than to do something seen as feminine. Besides, there are plenty of guys who do ballet in real life.

Of course this can’t just be any ballet or dance studio, it just so happens to be the one Renee taught in. Archie is worried for Renee but she’s still in Florida. Though she’s coming home soon so Archie wants to know how they can warn her. She doesn’t have a cell phone for the same reason cabins in horror movies don’t have reception or internet. Archie says he can leave her a message and Renee will check it when she gets a chance.

Beau calls and says that it’s very important for her to call him at the hotel number. Then Beau says there’s nothing else to do but wait. Or one of your vampire pals could go out and scout this dance studio as well as Renee’s house. Make sure Renee isn’t lying in a pool of congealed blood next to Phil. I mean, bad guys never kill in a fit of rage when they’re thwarted or anything. That would just be childish.

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Life & Death Chapter 19

I think the most frustrating thing about this series is that it’s built on a lot of assumptions. That is, the author is assuming things about the characters or expecting us to. For example, that Bella/Beau have any kind of connection. Meyer just kind of skips over that and has the characters profess their love.

This is the same with their reason for fleeing James/Joss. We’re left to make up our own reasons and story. Why is Ed sending Bella/Beau away? Because of danger. The problem here is that the motivation is important. Without it, anyone not invested in the idea from the get go starts to question the reasoning and it falls apart.

That’s where Meyer relies heavily on the fairy tale aspect of her work. Some people might call it handwaving but that would require Meyer actively lift a hand and wave it away. That’s space in the book that could be used to remind us how perfect Ed’s skin is and how marbled his chest is or how Edy has dimples.

Beau notices that Charlie is still home and clearly waiting up for Beau. The mistreatment of Charlie still pisses me off. At least PCK made Zoey’s parents obnoxious to explain why she never talked to them. Meyer, in the usual fashion, just lets us watch as Bella/Beau pulls away from their parents who clearly try their best to love their spawn. I just want to take Charlie away from the whole thing and give him a mystery to solve and be the hero for once.

They let Beau out of the harness and he worries about not seeing Ed again. He kisses her hard and says that, no matter what happens, he loves her and that won’t change. He also asks for her to keep Charlie safe because Beau doesn’t want to have to move back if something happens to dear old dad.

Beau walks into the house and begins by snapping at Charlie. Then he decides that this won’t be enough and he’s going to really have to hurt Charlie’s feelings. Sure he could just grab some of his shit and tell his dad he’s got to go back to mom for awhile but that wouldn’t result in emotional abuse towards Chaz. I’m starting to wonder if Meyer doesn’t have a little unresolved issues with her daddy.

Charlie is trying to figure out what the hell Beau is talking about when Beau says he’s going home. He asks if the date went bad or what. Beau tries to shout him down and storm out with a backpack full of things. Charlie, being not completely neglectful, grabs Beau before he can leave and asks the most logical question “are you on drugs?” Because that’s the only reason a teen would act moody or weird.

Of course while Charlie is posited as a man’s man, who eats at steak places and works a Meyer approved ‘dad’ job, he’s a complete pushover and doesn’t force Beau back in the house. Instead he pleads with his teenage son to wait at least a week so Renee will be back home.

This makes a whole host of no known sense. Charlie is the law in his town. Forks, like a lot of municipalities, has a curfew in their code(It’s under Chapter 9.25 in case you’re curious). Meyer is trying to tell us that Charlie will just sit back knowing his son will be out violating curfew and driving back to Arizona, alone, without money. No, Meyer, I’m not buying it. You didn’t establish him as that bad of a parent.

Beau says he spent the night with a wonderful girl who is going to stay there, get married and have kids. He says this is too much like what Charlie did and he wants out. He says he hates Forks and runs to the truck to drive off. Edy is hiding inside and forces Beau out from behind the wheel to take over because Ed is a bitch, no matter if they were born with tab a or slot b.

Ed confirms that Joss is behind them about a mile and caught the end of the spate between Beau and Chaz. Beau has a brief moment where he realizes he might have hurt Charlie a lot more than intended. Ed goes “meh, he’ll forgive you. He practically has to.” In the mean time, he’ll just break out the hidden bottle of Jack and drink away the pain.

Ed then explains why Joss is chasing them. It’s the challenge. Joss sees herself as a hunter and a single human being protected by a bunch of vampires is hard. Ed says she’ll probably have to kill Joss and Carnine won’t like it. The first hint we’ve gotten that Carnine doesn’t like death comes a little late, Meyer.

Beau is worried that Ed will get hurt. Ed says she doesn’t fight fair. Beau asks how and Ed asks if Beau has ever tried to fight without thinking about it first. That’s not how fights work, Meyer. When people are fighting, they aren’t really thinking. If you’ve ever seen a bar fight, that’s why it’s usually wild haymakers and some awkward grappling. That’s why martial art training is to get the practitioner to break those habits and learn proper form. If you’re stopping to think about what you’re doing, you’ve already been hit in the face with a pool cue and are going down.

They get to the house where Lauren is waiting, the other girl of the murderous vampires. They ask if there’s anyway to stop Joss and she says no. She says “in all my three hundred years”, which is an incredibly clunky bit of exposition, she’s never seen anyone so deadly. That’s why she joined her “coven”. Why Lauren’s male analogue decided to try and kill Bella in the second book then is even more baffling. Lauren seems like she’d much rather be free of Joss and Victor than try and get vengeance.

There is mild concern that the climax could happen at any moment. Edy channels the author and says that Joss won’t attack the house tonight. Thank god you dissolved that tension, Meyer. The looming threat of Joss ready to strike at any moment might have added some urgency to Beau’s flight. Instead, we know that nothing will happen in this chapter for sure so we can just skim over it and pretend we’re reading.

Ed says they won’t have a choice but to fight and Carnine is rather accepting of it. She seems as bothered about the upcoming murder with the same disdain as someone finding out Starbucks is out of vanilla syrup. ‘I guess it can’t be helped. Slaughter them all.’
They look at Royal and tell him to swap clothes with Beau. He is clearly miffed and says no.

Ed just shrugs and looks to Earnest. They go upstairs and Earnest has to swap clothes with Beau so they can try and throw off Joss’s scent. Once Beau is safely gone, Ed and the rest will start hunting Joss down.

No, I don’t see how this plan could fail at all. There’s not telling how old James/Joss is supposed to be but if they really delight in the hunt, a little clothing swap will only keep them interested. Why not use Bella/Beau as bait for a trap? I would think a century old vampire or two would be able to device a vampire pit filled with burning charcoal and Bella/Beau’s shirt or something. But no, send Bella/Beau away and then go on the offensive while hoping the bad guy doesn’t give chase.

Ed looks at Lauren and tells her she has a choice to make. She looks around and says she’s intrigued by isn’t going to get in the between the two sides. This way she can pop up later for a cheap werewolf reveal. She warns not to underestimate Joss, she’s got a brilliant mind and is just as comfortable in the human world as they are. There’s the Meyer strength, leaning on the telling rather than the showing. Lauren then apologizes and takes off.

Carnine asks Edy how close Joss is. Edy says three miles and she’s circling with the “male”. See kids, this is why you don’t set hard limits on a characters powers. That way you can adjust their strength on a sliding scale and no one can hold you to it. Also, how does Ed know it’s three miles? I thought how well he can feel someone’s mind was dependent on them as well as how used to their thoughts he was? Wouldn’t that screw with his ability to pinpoint someone by thought alone?

It’s finally time for Beau to get his ass moving and into the next chapter. Ed says to be safe and she and Earnest take off in the truck. Jessamine then looks at Beau and says he’s wrong. She can feel what he’s feeling and says Beau is definitely worth it. I’d like to see the balance sheet for proof on that one. Then Archie asks if he may, indicating picking him up and running. Beau says he’s the first one that’s asked and allows it before they all run away from the home, leaving the lights on behind them.

I don’t know what that last detail was included for. Maybe in the Meyer household, leaving the lights on in a room you aren’t in is a lashable offense. It doesn’t really speak to desperation. ‘But they left their lights on, you guys!’ No, leaving a kettle boiling or a something in the oven to burn would indicate desperation. That the lights will still be on merely mean the Cullens will have to cash in a little bit more of the fortune when the power bill comes.

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Life & Death Chapter 18

What was the point of the vampire baseball game? It got the vampires out into the woods with Bella/Beau so they can run into the antagonists. So it drove the plot, I suppose. That’s shouldn’t be the only reason to have a scene though, especially when it’s not actually driving the plot. Meyer could have easily had them go out to the woods to start playing baseball and they immediately meet James. No time wasted with the Cullens running bases like Barry Allen after pounding ketamine.

That doesn’t mean the baseball scene had to go. It could have been a whole chapter and told us a lot about the characters. Maybe explained how they modified baseball, beyond spreading the bases out, to accommodate their vampire family. Does one person play against the rest of the family, trying to get a run before rotating others in? Does Alice/Archie cheat with their future sight? How about Ed? Have the rest of them figured out ways to mess with Ed’s mind reading so they can’t see a pitch coming?

Bullshit padding scenes are fine when you’re banging away in your bedroom or office. Sometimes you just need to keep the flywheel spinning before you land and meet road. Revisions are when you fix things like that and either make if fit the story or cut it entirely. That this moment is here tells us that the editor is just as much to blame for Twilight’s shittiness as is the source of the manuscript.

The antagonists appear, having also passed through the same transporter the rest of the Twi-verse used to swap genitals. The nameless mook who dies in the next book notices she’s in front and falls in line behind the girl formerly known as James. Why she was walking in front if they have such a rigid power hierarchy is beyond me. Or is it the realization that they’re in public and she has to pretend to be the bottom again? Also, there’s a red headed guy who was Victoria. If Meyer doesn’t just call him Victor, I will be incredibly disappointed.

Beau can immediately tell they’re different from the Cullens as their walk is catlike which some how equates to being on the edge of shifting into a crouch. What? Crouching isn’t threatening, Meyer. When cats crouch, they’re “stalking” things. Sure it’s part of hunting behavior but that would make them slower moving and less dangerous. Maybe you should have said how they appeared to walk in an almost crouch, ready to leap at prey or something.

We get her description which is pale but having an olive tone. She’s beautiful but not too beautiful and strong but not strong like Eleanor. How can you tell that last bit, Beau? You who were shocked when the Cullens were running around, leaving dust outlines behind not five seconds ago. Where the hell did your expertise in their strength come from?

Lauren is name of the girl in front while Joss is the girl that stepped back and the boy is Victor. I’m vaguely recalling the part where the disposable henchman was the one doing the talking in Twilight while James hung back. But really, Meyer? Joss? Do you just tag your characters with names from movie credits that are passing your eyes?

Lauren “analyzes” Carnine. Again, I’d like to know how Beau knows this. If you want to talk like the omniscient god-author you are Meyer, feel free. It’s one of the advantages to writing in that style. Otherwise, you and your editor need to check this at the door. Lauren says they thought they heard a game and wandered over to investigate.

How did they know it was a game, Meyer? Vampire superhearing just means they could hear the sounds. It doesn’t mean they know what it is. It’s be like if I amplified the sound of your heartbeat as you hid in the crawlspace. You’d nod your head in understanding once I told you but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense beforehand. Unless you were secretly a cardiologist.

They exchange pleasantries which in the world of vampires is talking about your hunting range. That makes sense as the first thing people discuss when meeting is how many pounds of General Tso’s chicken you can get from the local Shady Dragon buffet. Carnine mentions their permanent residence, along with the one in Alaska, which confuses them. Carnine invites them to her house to sit down and talk about it.

Just as Carnine sends Ed to take Beau and get the Jeep, the author miracles a breeze into being. This ruffles Beau’s hair and Joss suddenly looks over at him. She growls and lunges at Beau while Ed growls back. Beau tells us it’s terrifying because Meyer doesn’t know how to describe it otherwise. Lauren then asks what “this” is. It’s a rather sad attempt to rehash romance between two star crossed lover who can’t be for reasons unexplored. Oh, you mean Beau.

Joss says they brought a snack. The Cullens say that he’s with them and repeat it a few times. For some reason, the antagonists are puzzled at the idea that vampire, being basically human, would hang out with humans. I don’t buy that for a second, Meyer. I’m betting there are vampires who eat humans but still have human friends in your universe.

Lauren speaks up, saying that it appears they have a lot to learn from each other. Like how to gain some of that wondrous plot armor that protects Bella/Beau and Ed. She says they won’t harm the boy and certainly won’t hunt in the Cullens’ territory. She asks if they show them the way home to have that talk.

Ed, Archie and Eleanor run with Beau to the Jeep and strap him in. Can I ask what may be the obvious question here, Meyer? Why is the family of seven vampires running from a group of three? I get that Joss has somehow gotten a murder boner by Beau’s scent so she’s got motivation. Even if all three decide to attack, they’re outnumbered just over two to one. Sending Ed off with two other vampires effectively decreases the defenses of Beau in this case.

Archie is attempting to tell Ed to stop driving stupid and calm down. Ed begins shouting that she’s a “tracker” over and over. I’m going to assume that means she’s a vampiric Suzuki wearing a Geo badge which means she’s under powered and poses no risk to the Jeep you’re in, Ed. Archie tells Ed to pull over right now. Ed says that she wants him and she’s already begun.

Archie asks how long it would take for Joss to get beau’s scent when wandering about town. Beau, having a flash of insight which promptly burns out his brain, says they can’t leave Charlie behind. Ed is against it until beau says they can go home, wait until they’re sure Joss is watching then Beau will leave. That way Joss will follow them and not hurt Charlie. Because someone intent on killing you will leave your family when thwarted and not kill them for revenge or a snack for the road.

Lucky for us, Archie is there to confirm that Joss will leave Charlie alone if Beau follows through. They then talk through this plan of Beau’s, who’ll stay behind and when it will happen. Ed is supposed to stay there so Charlie doesn’t assume she murdered or eloped with him. We wouldn’t want Charlie suspicious after Beau suddenly says he wants to leave his dad without packing.

Beau tells Ed to wait a week to ensure the “hunter” sticks around and gets bored. Archie and Jessamine can go with him to Arizona, get some rays and relax by the pool. Ed declares this to be a terrible plan. Joss will hear Beau tell his dad that he’s going back to Arizona. Charlie will just say they can’t ever go back to Arizona and Beau will have to break cereal bowls in rage.

There is also the detail of Joss, being a vampire and having super senses, will hear this declaration. Being as they need her near by so she won’t hurt Chaz, this poses a problem. Beau says that Joss will know they know she’s listening and should surmise that this is a ruse. Archie says that’s diabolical. I guess if your definition of clever is Wile E. Coyote, then Beau is brilliant. Also, Joss will think Beau is with Edythe so she’ll stick around anyways.

Again, why not make the first move here? If Edy couldn’t read minds, you could argue that preemptive murder is bad. You can’t really know what someone will do until they pull the trigger. Edy and Archie can though. Edy can tell what Joss is thinking and Archie can read the future. Between the two, they can predict within ninety nine percent accuracy whether Joss is dangerous. So why run if she won’t stop?

It makes absolutely no sense. Meyer hasn’t established any reason for it prior. Ed isn’t a pacifist nor are the rest of the Cullens. There isn’t any mention of rules being enforced from the Volturi at this point or a vampire code. My guess is that Meyer had the showdown between Ed and James in mind and she wrote backwards from there. Which is fine if you justify it on a later pass but she never does.

Beau says Edy will have a better chance at fighting Joss if she stays. The prospect excites Eleanor while Ed mulls it over. Beau says that Archie and Jessamine can look after him for a week and then Edy can trade places. Ed asks if Jessamine and Archie can handle this and Arch says yes.

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Life & Death Chapter 17

Something that always bothers me about vampires in popular fiction is how dull their hobbies are. Poetry, piano and painting seem to the the big three. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you never see a vampire who spends their nights rebuilding one of the many retired General Lee’s.

Mind you, I get it. The audience and author like to pretend that becoming a vampire would allow their “true selves” to blossom. So instead of being the kind of person who microwaves a pot pie for dinner after a twelve hour day and slouches on the couch to relax, we’d transform. Instead we’d be the suave, well read, cultured and talented. The beauty, grace and strength are icing on the cake and a matter of course.

Because there are so many depictions like this, it makes all those that fall into this mold a bit less unique. Ed and the Cullens becomes bland and uninteresting in a sea of wallpaper paste. Meyers little attempts at quirks, such as them paying baseball(and then only in the first book of the entire series), are drowned out. It’s just one more unsalted cracker on a stack we’re being asked to choke down without water.

Ed is driving Beau back home when he spots Bonnie’s car in the drive way. Beau turns to Ed, asking if she’s there to warn Charlie. Ed nods and mutters something. Probably something better left unsaid like how much he’d like to stuff them into a mattress shredder.

What is Bonnie there to warn Charlie of, exactly? ‘Oh hey, there are vampires and your son shouldn’t date them.’ ‘Roger than, Bonnie. Say, have you been keeping up with your AA meetings later?’ I’d love to know what Bonnie is there for and how much she actually believes in vampires. Maybe Billy/Bonnie is xenophobic and hates the Cullens because they look like those shifty eyed members of ABBA.

No, just native American legends and mystic wisdom that’s a touch racist inform Billy/Bonnie. I’m also not certain why Ed isn’t allowed to be near them while they’re hanging out at Beau’s house. Did Jules’ ancestors write out a treaty that serves as a restraining order? ‘Alright, so it’s agreed that we will keep at least four short sparrow flights away from you outside of town. When we are forced to wander into the city limits, we will maintain at least a single wallabies’ hop away from your people.’

Ed says to get rid of them and she’ll be back later. Beau says she doesn’t have to go, Ed says she does and looks meaningfully at the Blacks. She then reminds him she has to get ready anyways as Charlie needs to meet Beau’s new girlfriend. Beau isn’t too happy about that part for some reason. He’s sure Charlie will approve. Being a slave to Beau’s will it’s impossible to imagine him even mildly disproving. Beau doesn’t want to sully the angel he’s put on a pedestal by dragging her into reality.

They go inside and Bonnie hands over a paper bag of fish fry. She tells Beau to put it in the fridge so it stays drier. Then she sends Jules to the car on a fake errand to get her out of the way. Beau does his best to hint that Charlie is gone and probably won’t be back until well after Bonnie decides to leave and call it a night. Please, Bonnie, go home and drink yourself to sleep like you do every night already.

Bonnie can see the hints attempting to land but lets them pass without clearance. She says she’s noticed Beau has been spending a lot of time with the Cullens. How she knows this is a mystery to me. Jules can report on how many times she sees Beau have lunch with Ed but after that’s anyone’s guess. I’m going to posit that Bonnie has purchased a number of items from a “spy” store and has them planted around Charlie’s house.

Did you know the Cullens have an “unpleasant” reputation on the reservation? What for, I’d like to know. Maybe Jasper/Jessamine slipped and killed a kid out there sixty years ago. Just the fact they’re vampires would be a pretty stupid reason to hat them. Beau says he’s aware and better informed than Bonnie knows. She asks if Charlie is as well and the whole battle of wills hinges on the fact Bonnie could tell Charlie that his son is hanging out with a girl.

Beau says that’s more of his business and Bonnie relents for no reason. She asks him to be careful and to please consider what he’s doing. Like any responsible teen, Beau promises while making a huge jerk off motion when she turns her back. Jules takes that opportunity to show up and say she couldn’t find the snipe inside the car’s spare tire, can they go look in the outhouse up at the cabin?

They leave and Beau goes to wash his hands. Charlie appears now that the pebble of tension has been driven over effectively. He’s excited that there’s fish fry in the fridge and wants to know what Beau did all day. He sheepishly mentions his sorta-date with Edythe. Charlie is shocked that Beau spent all day hanging out at the Cullens. Especially since Beau has been so antisocial so far.

Beau also adds that Ed wanted to introduce him to her parents. Charlie asks if that doesn’t mean it’s a little serious. Does that mean she’s his girlfriend? Beau says yes and is relieved it was that easy. Charlie says he’s met Earnest who’s okay but seems a little off. He asks when he’s going to meet Ed. Beau says she’ll be by in a little bit and they’re going to watch her family play baseball.

So Bella/Beau has just intimated they are in a “serious” relationship with someone who Charlie has heard nothing about. They also just said they’re going to go watch and partake in a sport, something Charlie likes. Would it be natural for Charlie, being an officer of the law, to maybe want to come along so he can meet the family and maybe talk to the parents? Not to be nosy, just to exchange numbers and let them know he’s always available if they need to reach him or check up on Edythe when she’s not around.

The doorbell rings and Charlie rushes to meet Ed. Unlike with Edward, Charlie is dazzled by Edythe, his face going blank when she “unleashed the dimples”. Maybe that’s Meyer code for tits. I cannot imagine a man in his forties being dumbstruck by a pretty teen with dimples. So there, Meyer, every time you say “dimples” my mental image of Edythe is getting her boobs out and asking for an opinion. I hope you’re happy now.

Ed acts incredibly formal and he says she can just call him Charlie. Her smiles and boobage are flustering Charlie. He manages to ask if they’ll be out late, not even asking where they’re going to be playing baseball considering the impending rain. Charlie just says he’s got some stuff to get to and they should have fun then, sending them on their way. The only realistic part is that Charlie shares a look with Beau that seems to ask how he got so lucky.

I have to assume that Charlie owns the worlds first, near perfect sexbot. It stays in his closet, standing on a charging pad until he comes home. After a boring day of policing the worlds dullest people, he just wants to come home and ride the electric pony until he gets a good chafe going. That’s the only reason I can see him being so nonchalant out his only child to go off and play baseball in the rain.

There’s a Jeep waiting outside instead of the Volvo. What? You mean they don’t own an imported off road machine with four wheel drive? Ed locks Beau into the harness which is kinda baffling in retrospect. If it’s the Cullens’ collective Jeep then it’s owned by vampires. They don’t care or fear for their own safety so who put those harnesses in and why? Do they often take human passengers off road? That doesn’t fit the Cullens we know. Unless they take them out in the middle of nowhere to kill and eat them. The same way you’d put your sandwich in a hard box so it doesn’t get squished until lunch time.

They talk about how much they missed each other for a few hours and kiss. We learn the Jeep is Eleanor’s and they have a garage on their property. They get to the place where they’re going to park and Edy says Beau needs to remember to breathe. Then she starts making out with him, Beau responds and Ed gets mad at him for making her horny. Being a wet dishrag that he is, Beau apologizes for it.

Ed carries Beau off to where they stop and walk at normal speed. This way they can talk about the almost encouragement he gave to her libido a moment ago. She whines more about how tempting he is and that puts him in danger. Also, she doesn’t want to feel guilty when he apologizes so stop doing it. They remind each other they love one another and then go into this other clearing for baseball.

They’re setting out bases but they’re so far apart, how will they play? Bella/Beau has to be one of the slowest protagonists in existence. Ed literally carried you on her back at warp speed, Beau. Twice. Has it not penetrated your tiny mind that a being with preternatural speed and strength might do things a little differently?

They start to play ball and it’s amazing because they’re so fast. Beau hangs out with Earnest who doesn’t play but watches and refs the games. He immediately asks if Beau heard he lost his daughter. Which is a little creepy but he’s a stay at home dad vampire who has one “child” who’s older than them. So I can forgive his social graces for being off a tad.

They focus a little on the game and we’re told that when one of them hits the ball it makes a thunderous sound. I’m not a physics major but I did once drop a lead ball off a tower. Baseball bats break on a regular basis in the hand of mortals, at least using Maple and Ash as the wood. In the hands of superhumans, I have to imagine the failure rate would skyrocket unless they’re using an alloy bat. Second, baseballs can only take so much abuse. Under those same conditions, I imagine the MLB’s average of seven pitches would be as long as you could expect it to hold out.

And lastly, why the hell do they need to wait for thunder? I get that the crack of the bat has been transformed into the sound of a thunderclap. Sure, fine. Sound still only travels so far. I could see them going a distance away from town to allay suspicion but waiting for thunder seems incredibly stupid.

They play a bit more until Archie begins having a conniption fit. Ed, being the mind raping jackass she is, begins asking for more details. “They’re” coming and there are three of them. They apparently want to play. So we’re talking about cyborg dogs who believe the Cullens have their tennis ball or it’s the bad guys.

They continue to play a bit while some of the Cullens eyeball Beau. Royal stares like he’d rather just kill Beau and be done with it. Unfortunately Meyer won’t let him off his lease so he’s just wasting his energy. Ed is sticking close to Beau, trying to mask his scent with hers. Archie says it won’t work, he can smell Beau from across the field.

Edythe apologizes for exposing Beau to danger and then focuses on the edge of the clearing. Beau then says whatever is coming was far worse than Royal. Considering that a bad tempered roach is more dangerous than Royal, your guess isn’t far off. Though James and his crotch swapped analogue in this one will only just edge out insect pests.

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Life & Death Chapter 16

Perhaps one of the best things about the Twilight series is the pockets of actual story buried around. My go to example happens to be Jasper. A Civil War era vampire who fought in vampire turf wars? Sign me the fuck up for that murder-fest. I want to see varying superhuman battling others of their kind, pitted against others who are matched in strength, topped only by the rare few with legitimate superpowers. Though I don’t want Meyer to tell it, if possible.

Carlisle/Carnine is another example of an interesting story. They grew up in the height of the stake burning witch craze and became a vampire. It’d be neat to watch someone with an internalized fear and hate of the supernatural become the object of their fear. Of course, that would take talent and it’s not about romance so it doesn’t interest Meyer. Which means their backstory will suffer.

Beau and Ed wander into Carnine’s office. It apparently looks like what Beau would expect from a college Dean’s office though Carnine looks so much younger. Here’s a tip for you Beau. If you see someone who’s older than a hundred look a certain way, that’s because they’re cultivating that look. They’re probably hiding the skin suit they’ve stitched from dead victims until you’ve been turned.

Carnine doesn’t mind the interruption. As an on call doctor, she sure as hell doesn’t have much else going on than to have a random human walk in and ask for her biography. Lucky for her, another doctor called out and she has to go to the hospital. She briefly points at a painting of London from the sixteen fifties and says that it’s the London of her youth. Then she flees the scene as Meyer could barely keep her interest piqued as it was. At least this way, it’ll be a poor story as relayed via Ed, the object of her affection.

Ed claims that, at first, Carnine tried to kill herself. Carnine was pretty stupid about it as she tried methods that were guaranteed not to work. Jumping off of things and drowning. Not once did she stick her hand in a fire which would have set her off like a fireworks display and ended this story prematurely.

Being as Carnine wasn’t a total asshole, she kept away from people so as not to kill them. After months of starving, she stumbled on a deer, killed it and felt better. Once she had food figured out, she decided to swim to France. Beau is incredulous that a vampire, being a supernatural being who can bench press cars and survive without breathing, could have swam to France. I know the feeling, Beau. Meyer tries to tell me that they have a personality as well and I just can’t believe it.

The best part is Ed’s reaction. She just goes “people swim the English channel all the time.” Sure, a swimmer who’s trained for it specifically can and will.  Ed then says it’s easy for them, to which Beau says “everything is easy for you”. Ed says this in particular as they, again, don’t need to breathe.

That really drives home the real reason Bella/Beau wants to be a vampire. Not because Bella/Beau believes they can do any good with their extended life. It’s because they want their life to be easy. No more worrying about aging or growing weak. Never having to fight those pounds creeping up on them as they get older. Getting to repeat high school while having all the answers, wearing the hippest clothes and having all the nicest gadgets. There’s nothing wrong with a selfish protagonist, I just don’t want Meyer to believe Bella/Beau has ever been motivated by love.

Beau is confused by the breathing bit. Ed says they don’t have to, it’s just out of habit. Then why not habituate yourself into not breathing? Wouldn’t that make it easier to avoid smelling tasty humans and resisting the urge? Sure they might have to inhale to speak but if they minimized that, the whole story could be pared down to half this size.

So Carnine went to France and took night classes. Because that’s something that was pretty common. I bet she got her doctorate through and old timey correspondence course. ‘This Certificate is a token of completion of Doctor Mizerbaum’s school of medicine and fine Taxidermy.” It only took two centuries for her to become immune to the scent of blood.

While Carnine was busying herself with the fine art of stitching and radio repair, she ran into the Italian vampires. They were refined and awesome excepting for their desire to eat people. They were much cooler than the pathetic sewer dwellers in England. Which smacks of racism to me. Also, it suggests the Volturi aren’t nearly as powerful as Meyer presents them in later books. Otherwise they would have kept their English chapter in order and respectable.

Their only grip with Carnine was that she didn’t eat people. They tried to convert her during her few decades of hanging out. Also, there’s a painting done by Solimena in the room inspired by the vampires. Beau asks what happened to those Italian vampires. Ed says they’re still there, doing vampire stuff and definitely factoring into upcoming sequels. She left for the U.S. at some point and then turned Edy.

Beau asks if Edythe has always been with Carnine. Ed says mostly but there was a point where she wandered off in rebellion to Carnine’s diet. This, of course, doesn’t bother Beau. Ed waxes on about still feeling guilt even though she could read the minds of her prey and ensure they were guilty. Not unlike another, certain vampire from another series but that’s from the long ago. So Ed came home after seeing the error of her ways.

Yes, folks. Carnine’s entire history was just given to us with the same fanfare of a chores list. I get that Meyer isn’t really interested in anything nor revolving around her avatars, Bella and Beau. She can at least muster a quarter ass when it’s about her fucktoy Edward. You could at least attempt to inject some care into the backstory of a major character. At the very least, go into a third person recounting from Carlisle/Carnine’s perspective. Rather than the dull recital of facts by a bored vampire teen.

Also, I’m still curious as to why Carlisle/Carnine decided to make a child of their family first. Ed tries to convince us that it was out of compassion to save someone from dying who had no family. This would describe a lot of people throughout the centuries Carnine has been around. I’m betting Carlisle/Carnine wasn’t even sure they could make another vampire so they tested it out on someone they could kill if need be. And then Ed turned out to be psychic and you can’t kill someone who knows you’re planning on it.

Ed then takes Beau over to her room. Normally, this would be an invitation to at least some old school heavy petting. Unlucky for our horny, human protagonist there isn’t a bed. There’s only a couch and a bunch of stuff like a stereo. Ed puts on some soft jazz, which certainly doesn’t dispel the atmosphere of boning. I’m surprised she doesn’t light a few candles and spread rose petals around the room.

Beau says that he’s not frightened by Ed. So she growls at him, a sound that has probably only sounded threatening coming from a human voice box once in all of history. Then she crouches and tenses up. Suddenly he’s flying through the room and ends up in her arms. beau says, ok, she’s terrifying but he loves her.

I’ve never understood the part where Ed insists they are a fierce predator who should be feared. Are they trying to scare off Bella/Beau? Because it just comes across as so half assed and meaningless to me. Being over a century old, Ed should know actions speak louder than words. They should know that if they really want to frighten their human paramour, they should probably demonstrate their danger.

Instead, Ed is constantly stroking Bella/Beau’s interest almost like a commercial. Ed is playing on the insecurities of their audience of one. ‘You know how dangerous it is to date me? You shouldn’t do it.’ Done to convince Bella/Beau that they fly in the face of common sense. They’re rebellious and strong for merely being attracted to someone who’s conventionally attractive. Are you trying to sell them on the idea of being a blood sacrifice, Ed?

Before the awkward boner can lead Beau to dry humping Edythe, there’s a knock at the door. Even in the remote woods of Washington, the girl scouts will still track you down. Even vampires can resist buying a pallet of Samoas and Thin Mints. Or it’s Archie and Jessamine. Here I’d almost forgotten how nice it was not to be dealing with the trademark “wacky” character of Alice/Archie.

Jessamine says that Doppler Weather Archie has picked up a storm. So they want to see if Ed wants to go play tonight. That’s right, it’s vampire baseball which requires thunder to play.

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Life & Death Chapter 15

Nothing quite like closing a chapter by having a character go to sleep, eh? How else can you stop a chapter otherwise? It might be possible to just end where the last notable, i.e. interesting, thing happens. That’s a slippery slope though because no one would know when they slept. Without those details, the house of cards falls apart. The only details we allow authors to skip are bathroom breaks and their waxing regimen.

Meyer keeps us grounded though, continuing last chapter into this one by having Beau wake up. He’s surprised to wake up next to Edythe and glad he rubbed the easy one out in the shower yesterday. Also, Meyer, you really should have been consistent on the vampire temperature thing. One minute, they’re ambient temperature and slowly warm in sunlight just as a park bench would. That’s fine with me but in later books, she swaps it around to where Ed is always cold.

I say this because I’ve slept on a waterbed where the heater is out. At room temperature, that’ll suck your bodyheat right out. It’s strikingly similar to sleeping on the group in that you’ll wake up feeling like you’ve been beaten all over. So either Ed is making Bella/Beau freeze at night or, at they very least, being an uncomfortably hard surface wrapped around them. Bella/Beau is going to be waking up feeling like they’ve tried out their sweet MMA moves in the middle of a moshpit.

Edythe changed her clothes, saying she had to as what would the neighbors think if she wore yesterday’s threads. I suspect, the nonexistent neighbors would notice a teen and assume they were probably having sex. Then, if they gave a damn, they might tell Chaz about it and he’d get involved. As we all know, Charlie is a splash of ice water on the turgid shame boner of vampires. Beau asks where Charlie is, as though he has no idea what his dad does to avoid parenting on the weekend. Ed says he left with a lot of gear.

He’d be gone all day. So it was just me and Edythe, in an empty house, with no need to go anywhere. So much time. I felt like some crazy old miser, gloating over his piles of gold coins, only instead of coins, it was seconds that I hoarded.

That’s a rather strange simile, Meyer. Were you going to say Scrooge McDuck but were worried? Considering beau is supposed to be quite literate, I might have made an allusion to Dickens by way of classic Scrooge. Ya know, because that’s the kind of thing someone who reads a lot might make reference to in passing. ‘Course, I don’t see Beau as a mask to wear while boning a marble statue with the personality of the same.

Now it’s time to tell the audience what Beau said in his dreams. If you really wanted to show us, Meyer, why not do a short, wham-bam chapter for the night as viewed through Ed’s eyes? Oh right, because that might taint the fantasy strap-on harness that Ed is. Also, whoever that guy was that said brevity was awesome is a tool! Chapters should be like a toxic marriage; long, painful and only one of you makes it out alive. Beau confessed his love in his sleep but wants to say it aloud.

I stared into her eyes. “I love you,” I said.
She leaned down and rested her forehead carefully against mine. “You are my life now.”

That’s the kind of response that can shatter an overthinking person’s mind. ‘Oh god, did she sigh when she said that? Is that how it’s going to be the rest of our lives? Am I going to be a fleshy millstone, forever weighing her down and tempting her to murder? Am I being weird? Oh god, I can’t stop worrying about it. Quick, make a joke about it and maybe we can rewind the relationship to where it’s not so awkward…’ “I uh, love you like a sister?” ‘Shit…’

Beau does his human stuff like brushing his teeth, showering and combing his hair. Somehow he forgot to grab clothes, because we all know you’d comb your hair before doning a t-shirt which you’d pull over your head. He’s too embarrassed to let the love of his life see him naked, in no small part due to the time he was caught screwing a hotdog toaster, so he peeks out slyly to find she’s laid out clothes for him.

Once he’s dressed and eating bowl of cereal, after making some gut-punchingly bad jokes, Beau asks Edythe what’s on the schedule for the day. How about a free range lunch out in the backwoods? Edy asks if he wants to meet her family which causes him to choke on his cereal. Unfortunately it doesn’t take and he lives to respond to Edy who assures him no one will hurt him. Aside from the sniper who’s aiming for a spot right between the eyes.

The fact that Alice/Archie can see the future seems to bother Bella/Beau far more than Ed. Never mind that Ed uses Beau’s friends like listening devices to spy on him everywhere he goes. Ed says it’s only the possibilities and not all of them come true. Why ol’ Arch figured Beau only had a seventy percent chance of surviving yesterday as it is. The message here is, take comfort in the fact you haven’t died yet, audience. It will come, just not today. Beau also asks about Charlie and how to explain her.

She shrugged. “I doubt he’ll struggle too hard with the idea of your having a girlfriend. Though it’s a loose interpretation of the word girl, I’ll admit.”

I don’t know, unless you were a large mouthed bass with tits, I doubt Charlie would care. Also, you look like an idealized version of a girl, not a monster. Unless you’re face goes all wonky when you feed or fight like in some other vampire fiction, you’re basically a regular person with dietary restrictions, Ed. Oh, and Beau whines that girlfriend sounds too temporary. That’s one experience for playing in character, Meyer.

Beau then panics and asks if Edythe will really be there, like, forever. This I forgive because it reeks of the desperation that can only come from hormones and inexperience. Edy goes in for a kiss and Beau, trying to be “careful”, forgets to breathe and almost passes out. Ed then gets angry at Beau, saying that yesterday he attacked her and today he nearly faints. Because it’s his fault Beau doesn’t understand what you need as a vampire.

Off they go to meet the “parents” of Ed. This leads to a description of the house the Cullen’s own which is amazing, of course. The best way to blend in with everybody is to own a quarter million dollar property upon which sits an equally costly home. No one will ever suspect there’s something odd about the Cullens.

Contrary to the part where Ed says half of them were against Beau and Ed, everyone there is pleased with Beau. The parental figures and Archie and Jessamine all beam over him. Seemingly, the only one who won’t like Beau will be Royal for reasons that Meyer won’t make clear in this iteration. One out of seven Cullens disliking Beau is hardly a source of conflict. Families that large usually get more dissenting opinions on where to pick up burgers from.

Ed plays the paino for everyone, they’re all impressed and Beau is feeling inadequate. Everyone wanders off so Ed and Beau can be alone so Ed can tell him how much they like him. What Bella/Beau ever did, besides get Ed all horny, to win their approval is a mystery. Maybe Meyer failed to elaborate on the major charity work Bealla/Beau founded back in Phoenix.

To spite me, Ed then explains that Royal is jealous of Beau because Beau is human. Are you still going to have their motivation come from babies, Meyer? In all the years between books you still couldn’t come up with anything better? beau then asks what was Carnine trying to tell Ed with meaningful looks.

Ed says that Carnine was debating telling him news. Arch is seeing some visitors coming soon who are also vampires. Unlike the Cullens, they’ve not sworn off veal in yoga pants. Beau asks if there’s a way to warn people about it. Ed says Carnine will talk to them and ask them not to hunt in their territory. Which is a weird thing for someone with super-compassion.

These are vampries that kill humans to feed, unapologetically. Instead of trying to turn them away from murder, Carnine will just ask them to not do it in her backyard. That’s someone that truly cares about life, right there. As long as Carnine isn’t implicated in the constant murder, she’s alright with it.

Now if there was a branch of the Volturi that existed within North America, Meyer could have explained that away. A small family of vampires going against the grain, couldn’t really choose to pick a fight with some random nomads over their dietary choices. Hell, that would give the Volturi excuse to put their foot down on the Cullens or at least watch them. Maybe the Volturi believe that tradition, murder, is the only way to be a vampire and that’s where friction between them starts to build. Nope, better to focus on Beau and Ed cuddling without having sex. That’s more interesting.

Ed takes Beau on a tour of the place showing him the empty rooms of his family in hiding. Beau sees a cross with a date on it for Carnine and asks how old she is. Over three hundred and sixty. Let’s see, her father burned people and sought out witches, werewolves and vampires. Carnine, however, believed in the “scientific method” which I have to wonder where she learned it from. I highly doubt a priest in old England would have sent their kid off to study science let alone afford it.

One day the father ran into an actual vampire. In spite of their immunity to pitchforks and spears, so sayeth Ed, they were mad. So a random vampire dressed in rags showed up at the house, bit Carnine and murdered her father. Carnine then crawled into the cellar to hid in a pile of potatoes while she transformed.

Beau asks what happened next and Ed takes his hand and says she’ll show him. Unfortunately, it won’t end with Beau either turned or buried in a car in Puget sound. Instead, it’ll be the backstory of someone interesting who actually has a life and hobbies outside of repeating high school every presidential election.

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Life & Death Chapter 14

Given the prevalence in the series, I still have to ask why Bella/Beau is too stupid to ask about the sparkling. I’ve already complained about how obnoxious it is that Ed seemed to think it was scary. I cannot imagine anyone, in any society, ever panicking because someone turned into a laser light show by stepping into the sun. If anything, that would make it more likely they’d be worshiped as being wreathed in light is usually considered divine.

The real head scratcher here is, why didn’t Bella/Beau question Ed about the sparkling? The first thing that should have occurred to them was ‘is this why you skip out on school?’ The second question would be ‘why can’t you cover up again?’ Meyer, believing she’s built a fantasy world, is hoping to hell no one looks too closely and finds out the prince is just a pig and the castle is just a facade over the general store.

So vampires in your world sparkle, eh Meyer? Sure, dumb as hell and I’ll maintain that until the end, but we’ll roll with it. Now it only happens in direct sunlight? Why? What about sunlight, versus headlights or florescents, makes that work? What about full spectrum grow lights, would those make Ed light up like the ball drop in Times Square?

How about reflected light? Just because the Cullens are hanging out in the shade, doesn’t mean a beam of light from a passing windshield won’t hit them. I still say it’d be better for them to do a self tan with some spray paint everyday and then no one would suspect anything. But then the plot of the second book couldn’t happen.

I don’t usually chime in on the chapter titles in this series. Considering the general content within, it’s a little like complaining about the decor after a tornado has hit. Sure it sucks, but there are generally bigger problems. However, this one, being called “Mind of Matter” is just asinine. You or your characters have to have a mind to matter, let alone overcome it, Meyer.

Our dippy romance partners are driving back and not racing along. Personally, I’ve never understood why Ed drives so fast. Sure he can and maybe they’ve got the training but if Ed is so interesting in Bella/Beau, why doesn’t Ed drive slower? That way they have an excuse to spend more time together. Then I realized I was putting thought into a story which has made millions of dollars by doing the exact opposite.

Beau asks Edythe if she likes “fifties music”. She says yes, better than the sixties or seventies though the eighties was tolerable. So either Ed’s got shitty taste in music, or Meyer does. Also, what kind of music out of the fifties are we talking about, Meyer? The classic rise of Rock n’ Roll? The tailing end of the big band performers? Maybe Ed likes the old Country and Western music that was gaining ground back then. While you can lump certain styles and movements into a decade, no decade is a homogeneous blob of tofu. Except maybe the eighties.

Beau wants to know how old Ed is which leads to her backstory. Born one year after the turn of the century, she was dying of Spanish Flu. Carnine found her and saved her. Also, Ed’s parents were both dead already. I forgot that Ed was the first of the Cullens turned which is really damn creepy if you think about it. Considering the era it occurred, it’s almost like Carlisle/Carnine was trying to make either a sex slave or an immortal prostitute and chickened out at the last second. Oh, and Esme/Earnest was the second. Kinda adds a weird dimension knowing that Ed is older than their mom/dad.

Let’s see, Archie/Alice and Jessamine/Jasper are unique because they weren’t brought up not to kill. They developed their own conscience and came looking for them. I forgot that Alice/Archie just had visions of their significant other, hunted them down and then tracked down the Cullens. That’s Meyer saying she couldn’t think of a genuine backstory for Alice/Archie and Jasper/Jessamine and their decision to join the Cult of Carlisle/Carnine. ‘They just did, okay!? Let me get back to the romance which is blooming slower than a corpse flower!’

Beau wonders if there are more vampires. If there weren’t, I would have paid good money to see the prequels to Twilight where the Cullens went vigilante. Seeing the stone faced cast hunt down other vampires as a coordinated strike team would at least be interesting. But there are other vampires and not all of them don’t kill. Ed says most are nomads and prefer the North. Beau asks why.

“Did you have your eyes open this afternoon?” she teased. “Do you think I could walk down the street in the sunlight without causing traffic accidents?”

Yes, by wearing a big hat or sunscreen. Or by covering yourself with makeup/paint. I’d get it if that thought hadn’t occurred to them based on their age. They’re from another time and newer ideas are hard to incorporate. Though you’d think at least one of them though would put in a badly worded question on Yahoo answers at some point. ‘How is sunligh formed?’

They arrive at Beau’s house and he invites Ed in. They go inside, Ed says Beau should eat and Beau grabs something out of the fridge. It’s lasagna, by the way. That’s the kind of details the editor should have snipped out as extraneous. Then again, when you’ve been tasked with editing Twilight, you probably drink on the job and miss bullshit like that.

Does Ed miss anything about being human? Ed says no because she doesn’t remember much from before. She does whine about how boring it is staying awake all the time and she wishes she could sleep. Beau asks what’s on her schedule then for the evening once she leaves. Oh, just a little creeping outside the back door and staring in the window of his bedroom.

Beau is terrified but not because a potential murderer who can barely control themselves is watching him at his most helpless. He talks in his sleep and might have said something embarrassing. Ed assures him he really only misses his mom and used to miss Arizona. Also, she hears him talk about her though that shouldn’t bother beau because he already told Ed he dreams about her.

Lights come through the window, meaning the cock block Charlie-tron is back. Ed asks if Beau wants Chaz to know she’s there. Beau says no and Ed runs off so fast it’s like she was never there at all. If it weren’t for his awkward boner, Beau might have dreamed the whole thing. Charlie walks in and they have another riveting conversation about food.

Beau wonders if Ed is just hiding around, rather than having left entirely. Chaz attempts to engage his son, the house hermit, and gets nowhere. All suggestions that he talk to girls or go out with friends are dismissed. He could just let Chaz meet Ed and that would shut the man up. That might spoil the fun if Ed snaps and kills Beau in a fit of hunger and rage though.

Now it’s time to go over Beau’s bedtime rituals. He brushes his teeth and says goodnight to Chaz then goes to his room. I hope to god they didn’t cut such vital moments out of the movie. The whole things would have been ruing otherwise. In his room, Beau calls out to Ed and she responds. He flips on the light to find her lying on the bed.

This would be a great opportunity to have them act like teens or at least Bella/Beau. Maybe have them try to lure Ed into a little making out? They just lay down and cuddle with Ed listening to Beau’s heartbeat. I would think that’s akin to a cat hearing a can opener. Ed just keeps saying mind over matter and says there’s no possibility she’ll kill him.

Ed talks about how jealous she got watching other girls ask Beau out. She was glad when they started talking. Ed then says, for the thousandth time, she wants to know everything about him. I’m starting to wonder if Ed keeps saying that, hoping against hope, that Bella/Beau has an actual personality buried under there. ‘Tell me about yourself.’ ‘I like reading and music.’ ‘Anything in particular, like genres?’ ‘Not really, I’m pretty empty headed.’

Beau wants to know why Ed can read minds and none of the others. We hear about the “theory” that vampirism amplifies existing traits. We’re also reminded that Carlisle/Carnine has super compassion, for some reason. Then Beau tries to delicately ask about sex as if his mom is listening from the other room.

Edythe says vampires do, in fact, fuck as they’re basically human other than the blood drinking and not liking food. Ed says she doesn’t think they could bone because of how fragile he is. Then Beau asks if she’s ever done it and Ed says no, he’s her first everything. Nothing more awkward than a metahuman-human pairing where they’re both virgins.

Now it’s time for some good ol’ fashioned blue balling. Beau wants to know what a superlative drenched girl like Edythe could want with him. She says his eyes are amazing and that got him a bunch of admirers. Also his arms, shoulders and hands or maybe his chin. Ed runs her hands over him which I’m sure is not inflating the pup tent at all.

Beau believes she’s making fun of him, which sounds right to me. There’s no way Bella/Beau is this plain and yet so attractive. Either Ed has different standards and gets hot at the thought of drywall mud or Ed is a liar.

After being reassured again, as Beau is a giant baby, he figures that’s enough questions for the day. Edythe hums him a lullaby and he drifts off to sleep, telling us how he was exhausted from a day of emotional and mental stress like he’d never felt before. A date with the girl he likes is that taxing? I guess Beau has never had anything go on in his life.

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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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Life & Death Chapter 12

While I’m doing a lot of bitching about this book, and series in general, I have two things positive to say about it. The first is that Meyer wrote it. Yes, it’s not very good or interesting but she still sat down and did a story from start to finish. If you’ve ever written and made the mistake of talking about it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many people out there who will tell you they could write a book and they have just so many ideas.  If you ask them how many pages or words they’ve gotten, they’ll start backpedaling and saying they haven’t gotten a chance to get started.

Second is that it’s better than the House Of Night books. That’s not hard by any stretch. I’ve read self published novels, written by former classmates, that were basically nothing but a revenge fantasy against a local store owner. At least the purpose within the story was clear even while the dialogue was confusing and the plot rehashed from what appeared to be Walking Tall.

There you go, Meyer, that’s the only internet cookie I’ll give you. Print it out and nail it to your wall. You can tell all your friends and fans that you’re better than the knockoff duo of PCK. Which, again, is such a low bar the national limbo association uses it as a baseline.

Charlie is thrilled to see Bonnie(Billy) Black. Again, I have to ask what the point was of swapping everyone’s genitals like there was a transporter accident? I get the motive behind Bella and Ed, but Billy? Instead of just being friends, now I’m going to imagine they bone on the side. ‘Where’s your dad, Beau.’ ‘He’s off fishing with Bonnie.’ ‘Oh, thank god you can’t read minds. You don’t want to know what they’re doing.’

Charlie says he’s going to pretend he didn’t see Jules driving the car. The same way Charlie pretends he doesn’t see Bella/Beau marrying into a family of vampires. He also likes to pretend he didn’t see the ice molds for a penis/vagina get delivered via UPS. Bella/Beau may hold on to their virginity but they do want to know what a cold statue fucking is like.

Beau asks if they want dinner, they don’t, and proceeds to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Bonnie remains in the living room with Chaz to watch the mysterious “game” that stereotype men are always watching. Jules asks who that was in the other car and laughs when she hears it was Edythe. She figures that must be why Bonnie is acting weird. Jules mumbles that Bonnie is superstitious, not believing in those silly legends. That’s for the sequel when she happens to turn into an exploding werewolf.

They watch “the game”, with Bonnie and Jules leaving right after. Charlie says they’ll have to come back for the next game. They have a tradition of watching their favorite Michael Douglas film once a week. It’s kind of odd but far more interesting than anything Beau does.

Charlie then says he didn’t know Beau could play badminton. Beau says he can’t but McKayla can and she’s good. Charlie asks if she didn’t want to ask him to the dance. Beau just rolls his eyes. Then Charlie tries to reach out to his only child, saying he feels like he leaves Beau alone too much. Beau says no, it’s better that he remain neglectful and stay  out of Beau’s way.

The next morning, Meyer rushes through Beau’s morning routine until he gets into the car with Edythe. She “flourished” her dimples at him and Beau describes her in obnoxious superlatives. I don’t know who Meyer talked to that said dimples were sexy. Personally, it reminds me of Shirley Temple which is the exact opposite of sexy. Unless you’re a former fast food spokesperson.

Beau asks if he can question her today. Edythe says nope, because she’s a bitch and in charge. She asks about his past with women, Beau doesn’t have one and Ed asks if there wasn’t anyone he wanted. He simply says “not in Phoenix”.

Then Ed says she should have let him drive as she’s leaving early with Archie. Jughead will be around to give him ride later. Edythe says not to worry, she’ll have his truck waiting for him around lunch. Why not simply leave him the key for the Volvo? Archie could have just brought his own car and let Beau drive home in comfort. Of course, that would require Ed trust Beau.

Edythe is going hunting so that way tomorrow she’s all filled up and won’t crunch Beau. Beau worries about Charlie seeing the Volvo in the driveway. Because god forbid Charlie have even the meanest inkling of what’s going on. Better for Beau to completely disappear without a trace. Just another missing persons case that will go unsolved.

So no, Edythe won’t be driving over. Then Beau asks if Archie wasn’t being annoying. Edythe says that he’s the most supportive. Though Beau shouldn’t worry that the others don’t like him. They’re just confused as to why Ed can’t leave Beau alone. Probably because she hasn’t had a roll in the hay since horses were the best way to get aroud New York.

Edythe then says how Beau is so unique and amazing. Especially how he does the opposite of what she expects. Like what, Meyer? Can you name an example besides the part where Beau doesn’t run away from Edythe? No? Ok, then carry on.

Let’s see, Royal glares at Beau and Edythe says it’s because he’s worried. Archie then shows up and gets introduced to Beau. All important, pointless formalities that add nothing to the plot or characters. Edythe says she’ll see him tomorrow and, though it seems long to Beau, it’ll be there soon.

Over to gym class where McKayla continues to whine and be jealous. She pesters him to know what he’s doing that Saturday and if he’s taking Edythe to the dance. Beau says no, he’s studying for a test. When McKayla asks if Edythe is helping him “study’, Beau goes on a tear about how smart and brilliant she is.

McKayla, being desperate, still tries to get him to go along to the dance. Jeremy gives him the ol’ spicy stink eye because he doesn’t trust McKayla’s loyalty but she’s the only piece of ass he’s going to get. Beau once again says he’s not going then we skip forward to the truck. Which is parked exactly where the Volvo was. Good thing no one in high school takes off to get a nibble from the local fast food and take the open spot. Author forbid that Beau would have to look around for a few seconds.

Beau finds s note written in her calligraphy that says “be safe”. At home, Beau tells his dad he won’t, in fact, be going into Seattle. He’ll just stay home until someday that Jeremy is available. Charlie asks, not without a hint of desperation, if he should join Beau. Beau says there’s no need for Charlie to change plans.

Beau almost feels guilty about not telling his dad about his date with Edythe. Then he wonders how that would help if Charlie knew he was with Edythe if he did get killed. Sure, that would give Charlie a sense closure and a reason to hunt down the killer. This way Charlie is always left to wonder what happened. Beau tells us that he’s choosing her over everything and doesn’t feel the guilt that he should. Did I mention he’s not feeling guilty?

Now it’s time for Meyer to pad like a freshman trying to get their report to the minimum. The next morning, Edythe shows up and laughs because their clothing matches. Aw, they have so much in common. They both like terrible music, they both wear similar colored clothes and the both want Beau to die.

They hop into his truck and Edythe gives him directions. Though she throws a few digs in at the truck because it’s not her sporty Volvo. They’re going to a place and then hike five miles to a place Edythe likes to go when the weather is nice. The arcade? Oh, some boring meadow. Because we all know how Edythe likes to sit in the warm sunlight and absorb the warmth of the sun.

Actually, why does Edythe like to hang out in a meadow during sunny days? Can your vampire feel the warmth, Meyer? Do they just enjoy hanging out in the light which they normally avoid? You’re right, better not to explore and characterize them lest they stop being the perfect fantasy.

Beau and Edythe ditch their sweaters in the truck. Beau gets a good look at Edythe’s goods. He cautions himself not to stare and they begin to hike along. It’s not too bad of a hike though and Beau doesn’t get too winded. We wouldn’t want our protagonist to face any obstacles, not even in the way of nature itself.

Beau trips a couple of times but Edythe steadies him. She asks him some stupid questions which would have been rendered moot if Beau had an account on a popular social media site. They get to where Beau can see the meadow and it’s incredibly idyllic what with a ton of wild flowers. Beau wanders into it and looks over at Edythe. She holds up her hand, telling him to stay put, then walks into the sun.

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