Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED

chitoryu12 posted:

I was going to say something about Bella continuing to be a whiny brat, but I just noticed how few contractions Bella's internal monologue uses. It doesn't sound natural.

It's starting to remind me of Ernest Cline somehow.

chitoryu12 posted:

Gonna be fun to get to New Moon because I just read a list of how Bella fits 20/20 traits on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, something even Edward Cullen didn't accomplish.

Oh boy. I can hardly wait.

PS: thanks, I hate it.


Apr 23, 2014


Jessica pulled on my arm.

“Hello? Bella? What do you want?”

I looked down; my ears were hot. I had no reason to feel self-conscious, I reminded myself. I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“What’s with Bella?” Mike asked Jessica.

A lot!


“Nothing,” I answered. “I’ll just get a soda today.” I caught up to the end of the line.

“Aren’t you hungry?” Jessica asked.

“Actually, I feel a little sick,” I said, my eyes still on the floor.

I waited for them to get their food, and then followed them to a table, my eyes on my feet.

I sipped my soda slowly, my stomach churning. Twice Mike asked, with unnecessary concern, how I was feeling. I told him it was nothing, but I was wondering if I should play it up and escape to the nurse’s office for the next hour.

Get used to Bella's "all about me" stance on the world. It doesn't go away.


Ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to run away.

I decided to permit myself one glance at the Cullen family’s table. If he was glaring at me, I would skip Biology, like the coward I was.

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!


I kept my head down and glanced up under my lashes. None of them were looking this way. I lifted my head a little.

They were laughing. Edward, Jasper, and Emmett all had their hair entirely saturated with melting snow. Alice and Rosalie were leaning away as Emmett shook his dripping hair toward them. They were enjoying the snowy day, just like everyone else—only they looked more like a scene from a movie than the rest of us.

But, aside from the laughter and playfulness, there was something different, and I couldn’t quite pinpoint what that difference was. I examined Edward the most carefully. His skin was less pale, I decided—flushed from the snow fight maybe—the circles under his eyes much less noticeable. But there was something more. I pondered, staring, trying to isolate the change.

“Bella, what are you staring at?” Jessica intruded, her eyes following my stare.

At that precise moment, his eyes flashed over to meet mine.

I dropped my head, letting my hair fall to conceal my face. I was sure, though, in the instant our eyes met, that he didn’t look harsh or unfriendly as he had the last time I’d seen him. He looked merely curious again, unsatisfied in some way.

Okay you don't have to do it three times, Meyer. Twice was enough.


“Edward Cullen is staring at you,” Jessica giggled in my ear.

“He doesn’t look angry, does he?” I couldn’t help asking.

“No,” she said, sounding confused by my question. “Should he be?”

“I don’t think he likes me,” I confided. I still felt queasy. I put my head down on my arm.

“The Cullens don’t like anybody… well, they don’t notice anybody enough to like them. But he’s still staring at you.”

“Stop looking at him,” I hissed. She snickered, but she looked away.

I raised my head enough to make sure that she did, contemplating violence if she resisted.

Isn't she lovely?


Mike interrupted us then—he was planning an epic battle of the blizzard in the parking lot after school and wanted us to join. Jessica agreed enthusiastically. The way she looked at Mike left little doubt that she would be up for anything he suggested. I kept silent. I would have to hide in the gym until the parking lot cleared.

For the rest of the lunch hour I very carefully kept my eyes at my own table. I decided to honor the bargain I’d made with myself. Since he didn’t look angry, I would go to Biology. My stomach did frightened little flips at the thought of sitting next to him again.

Her Inner Goddess is really lame.


I didn’t really want to walk to class with Mike as usual—he seemed to be a popular target for the snowball snipers—but when we went to the door, everyone besides me groaned in unison. It was raining, washing all traces of the snow away in clear, icy ribbons down the side of the walkway. I pulled my hood up, secretly pleased. I would be free to go straight home after Gym.

Mike kept up a string of complaints on the way to building four.

He's just trying to fit in with you!


Once inside the classroom, I saw with relief that my table was still empty. Mr. Banner was walking around the room, distributing one microscope and box of slides to each table. Class didn’t start for a few minutes, and the room buzzed with conversation. I kept my eyes away from the door, doodling idly on the cover of my notebook.

I heard very clearly when the chair next to me moved, but my eyes stayed carefully focused on the pattern I was drawing.

“Hello,” said a quiet, musical voice.

I looked up, stunned that he was speaking to me. He was sitting as far away from me as the desk allowed, but his chair was angled toward me. His hair was dripping wet, disheveled—even so, he looked like he’d just finished shooting a commercial for hair gel. His dazzling face was friendly, open, a slight smile on his flawless lips. But his eyes were careful.

“My name is Edward Cullen,” he continued. “I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself last week. You must be Bella Swan.”

My mind was spinning with confusion. Had I made up the whole thing? He was perfectly polite now. I had to speak; he was waiting. But I couldn’t think of anything conventional to say.

“H-how do you know my name?” I stammered.

He laughed a soft, enchanting laugh.

“Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town’s been waiting for you to arrive.”

I grimaced. I knew it was something like that.

Forks is a town of over 3000 people. It's sure as hell not tiny enough that everyone knows everyone to the point where the police chief's estranged daughter coming home is going to be the talk of the town. Meyer has lived her entire life in large cities as far as I know, so I think her idea of what small town life is like comes from Gilmore Girls.


“No,” I persisted stupidly. “I meant, why did you call me Bella?”

He seemed confused. “Do you prefer Isabella?”

“No, I like Bella,” I said. “But I think Charlie—I mean my dad—must call me Isabella behind my back—that’s what everyone here seems to know me as,” I tried to explain, feeling like an utter moron.

“Oh.” He let it drop. I looked away awkwardly.

Thankfully, Mr. Banner started class at that moment. I tried to concentrate as he explained the lab we would be doing today. The slides in the box were out of order. Working as lab partners, we had to separate the slides of onion root tip cells into the phases of mitosis they represented and label them accordingly. We weren’t supposed to use our books. In twenty minutes, he would be coming around to see who had it right.

“Get started,” he commanded.

This is definitely information we needed to have, right? Totally not a way to get this book to 130,000 words?


“Ladies first, partner?” Edward asked. I looked up to see him smiling a crooked smile so beautiful that I could only stare at him like an idiot.

“Or I could start, if you wish.” The smile faded; he was obviously wondering if I was mentally competent.

“No,” I said, flushing. “I’ll go ahead.”

I was showing off, just a little. I’d already done this lab, and I knew what I was looking for. It should be easy. I snapped the first slide into place under the microscope and adjusted it quickly to the 40X objective. I studied the slide briefly.

Has there been a single subject in this school that Bella hasn't already done and mastered?


My assessment was confident. “Prophase.”

“Do you mind if I look?” he asked as I began to remove the slide. His hand caught mine, to stop me, as he asked. His fingers were ice cold, like he’d been holding them in a snowdrift before class. But that wasn’t why I jerked my hand away so quickly. When he touched me, it stung my hand as if an electric current had passed through us.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered, pulling his hand back immediately. However, he continued to reach for the microscope. I watched him, still staggered, as he examined the slide for an even shorter time than I had.

“Prophase,” he agreed, writing it neatly in the first space on our worksheet. He swiftly switched out the first slide for the second, and then glanced at it cursorily.

“Anaphase,” he murmured, writing it down as he spoke.

I kept my voice indifferent. “May I?”

He smirked and pushed the microscope to me. I looked through the eyepiece eagerly, only to be disappointed. Dang it, he was right.

Why are you disappointed? Were you hoping he'd be wrong so you could show off?


“Slide three?” I held out my hand without looking at him.

He handed it to me; it seemed like he was being careful not to touch my skin again.

I took the most fleeting look I could manage.

“Interphase.” I passed him the microscope before he could ask for it. He took a swift peek, and then wrote it down. I would have written it while he looked, but his clear, elegant script intimidated me. I didn’t want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl.



We were finished before anyone else was close. I could see Mike and his partner comparing two slides again and again, and another group had their book open under the table.

Which left me with nothing to do but try to not look at him… unsuccessfully. I glanced up, and he was staring at me, that same inexplicable look of frustration in his eyes. Suddenly I identified that subtle difference in his face.

“Did you get contacts?” I blurted out unthinkingly.

He seemed puzzled by my unexpected question. “No.”

“Oh,” I mumbled. “I thought there was something different about your eyes.”

He shrugged, and looked away.

In fact, I was sure there was something different. I vividly remembered the flat black color of his eyes the last time he’d glared at me—the color was striking against the background of his pale skin and his auburn hair. Today, his eyes were a completely different color: a strange ocher, darker than butterscotch, but with the same golden tone. I didn’t understand how that could be, unless he was lying for some reason about the contacts. Or maybe Forks was making me crazy in the literal sense of the word. I looked down. His hands were clenched into hard fists again.

Mr. Banner came to our table then, to see why we weren’t working. He looked over our shoulders to glance at the completed lab, and then stared more intently to check the answers.

“So, Edward, didn’t you think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?” Mr. Banner asked.

“Bella,” Edward corrected automatically. “Actually, she identified three of the five.”

Mr. Banner looked at me now; his expression was skeptical.

“Have you done this lab before?” he asked.

I smiled sheepishly. “Not with onion root.”

“Whitefish blastula?”


Mr. Banner nodded. “Were you in an advanced placement program in Phoenix?”


“Well,” he said after a moment, “I guess it’s good you two are lab partners.” He mumbled something else as he walked away. After he left, I began doodling on my notebook again.

Bella is a smart, straight-A student. All of her poor decisions are due to her personality.


“It’s too bad about the snow, isn’t it?” Edward asked. I had the feeling that he was forcing himself to make small talk with me. Paranoia swept over me again. It was like he had heard my conversation with Jessica at lunch and was trying to prove me wrong.

We're still going with this?


“Not really,” I answered honestly, instead of pretending to be normal like everyone else. I was still trying to dislodge the stupid feeling of suspicion, and I couldn’t concentrate.

“You don’t like the cold.” It wasn’t a question.

“Or the wet.”

“Forks must be a difficult place for you to live,” he mused.

“You have no idea,” I muttered darkly.

He looked fascinated by what I said, for some reason I couldn’t imagine. His face was such a distraction that I tried not to look at it any more than courtesy absolutely demanded.

“Why did you come here, then?” No one had asked me that—not straight out like he did, demanding.

That's not a really demanding question, Bella. It's pretty casual small talk.


“It’s… complicated.”

“I think I can keep up,” he pressed.

I paused for a long moment, and then made the mistake of meeting his gaze. His dark gold eyes confused me, and I answered without thinking.

“My mother got remarried,” I said.

“That doesn’t sound so complex,” he disagreed, but he was suddenly sympathetic. “When did that happen?”

“Last September.” My voice sounded sad, even to me.

“And you don’t like him,” Edward surmised, his tone still kind.

“No, Phil is fine. Too young, maybe, but nice enough.”

“Why didn’t you stay with them?”

I couldn’t fathom his interest, but he continued to stare at me with penetrating eyes, as if my dull life’s story was somehow vitally important.

The acting is awful in this scene and they sound like they're suffering from asthma, but seeing this play out in person really nails how poorly this scene is written. It's like a romance written and acted out by bored high school kids who don't really want to be in drama class but need the extra credit.


“Phil travels a lot. He plays ball for a living.” I half-smiled.

“Have I heard of him?” he asked, smiling in response.

“Probably not. He doesn’t play well. Strictly minor league. He moves around a lot.”

“And your mother sent you here so that she could travel with him.” He said it as an assumption again, not a question.

My chin raised a fraction. “No, she did not send me here. I sent myself.”

His eyebrows knit together. “I don’t understand,” he admitted, and he seemed unnecessarily frustrated by that fact.

I sighed. Why was I explaining this to him? He continued to stare at me with obvious curiosity.

“She stayed with me at first, but she missed him. It made her unhappy… so I decided it was time to spend some quality time with Charlie.” My voice was glum by the time I finished.

“But now you’re unhappy,” he pointed out.

“And?” I challenged.

“That doesn’t seem fair.” He shrugged, but his eyes were still intense.

I laughed without humor. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you? Life isn’t fair.”

“I believe I have heard that somewhere before,” he agreed dryly.

“So that’s all,” I insisted, wondering why he was still staring at me that way.

His gaze became appraising. “You put on a good show,” he said slowly. “But I’d be willing to bet that you’re suffering more than you let anyone see.”

I grimaced at him, resisting the impulse to stick out my tongue like a five-year-old, and looked away.

You've been doing a good job acting like a five-year-old so far!


“Am I wrong?”

I tried to ignore him.

“I didn’t think so,” he murmured smugly.

“Why does it matter to you?” I asked, irritated. I kept my eyes away, watching the teacher make his rounds.

“That’s a very good question,” he muttered, so quietly that I wondered if he was talking to himself. However, after a few seconds of silence, I decided that was the only answer I was going to get.

I sighed, scowling at the blackboard.

“Am I annoying you?” he asked. He sounded amused.

I glanced at him without thinking… and told the truth again. “Not exactly. I’m more annoyed at myself. My face is so easy to read—my mother always calls me her open book.” I frowned.

So far Edward has already managed to be more endearing than Bella simply by not being so gloomy.


“On the contrary, I find you very difficult to read.” Despite everything that I’d said and he’d guessed, he sounded like he meant it.

“You must be a good reader then,” I replied.

“Usually.” He smiled widely, flashing a set of perfect, ultrawhite teeth.

Watching the video back again, Robert Pattinson actually compromised and smiled where it's noted in the book. It says a lot about the romance here that he still came out thinking Edward was so morose.


Mr. Banner called the class to order then, and I turned with relief to listen. I was in disbelief that I’d just explained my dreary life to this bizarre, beautiful boy who may or may not despise me. He’d seemed engrossed in our conversation, but now I could see, from the corner of my eye, that he was leaning away from me again, his hands gripping the edge of the table with unmistakable tension.

I tried to appear attentive as Mr. Banner illustrated, with transparencies on the overhead projector, what I had seen without difficulty through the microscope. But my thoughts were unmanageable.

When the bell finally rang, Edward rushed as swiftly and as gracefully from the room as he had last Monday. And, like last Monday, I stared after him in amazement.

Mike skipped quickly to my side and picked up my books for me. I imagined him with a wagging tail.

“That was awful,” he groaned. “They all looked exactly the same. You’re lucky you had Cullen for a partner.”

“I didn’t have any trouble with it,” I said, stung by his assumption. I regretted the snub instantly. “I’ve done the lab before, though,” I added before he could get his feelings hurt.

I'm sure you still hurt his feelings!


“Cullen seemed friendly enough today,” he commented as we shrugged into our raincoats. He didn’t seem pleased about it.

I tried to sound indifferent. “I wonder what was with him last Monday.”

I couldn’t concentrate on Mike’s chatter as we walked to Gym, and P.E. didn’t do much to hold my attention, either. Mike was on my team today. He chivalrously covered my position as well as his own, so my woolgathering was only interrupted when it was my turn to serve; my team ducked warily out of the way every time I was up.

The rain was just a mist as I walked to the parking lot, but I was happier when I was in the dry cab. I got the heater running, for once not caring about the mind-numbing roar of the engine. I unzipped my jacket, put the hood down, and fluffed my damp hair out so the heater could dry it on the way home.

I looked around me to make sure it was clear. That’s when I noticed the still, white figure. Edward Cullen was leaning against the front door of the Volvo, three cars down from me, and staring intently in my direction. I swiftly looked away and threw the truck into reverse, almost hitting a rusty Toyota Corolla in my haste. Lucky for the Toyota, I stomped on the brake in time. It was just the sort of car that my truck would make scrap metal of. I took a deep breath, still looking out the other side of my car, and cautiously pulled out again, with greater success. I stared straight ahead as I passed the Volvo, but from a peripheral peek, I would swear I saw him laughing.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Mar 1, 2020

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 3: Phenomenon


When I opened my eyes in the morning, something was different.

It was the light. It was still the gray-green light of a cloudy day in the forest, but it was clearer somehow. I realized there was no fog veiling my window.

I jumped up to look outside, and then groaned in horror.

A fine layer of snow covered the yard, dusted the top of my truck, and whitened the road. But that wasn’t the worst part. All the rain from yesterday had frozen solid—coating the needles on the trees in fantastic, gorgeous patterns, and making the driveway a deadly ice slick. I had enough trouble not falling down when the ground was dry; it might be safer for me to go back to bed now.

I'm waiting for the day Bella wakes up and doesn't immediately complain about it.


Charlie had left for work before I got downstairs. In a lot of ways, living with Charlie was like having my own place, and I found myself reveling in the aloneness instead of being lonely.

I threw down a quick bowl of cereal and some orange juice from the carton. I felt excited to go to school, and that scared me. I knew it wasn’t the stimulating learning environment I was anticipating, or seeing my new set of friends. If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.

I should be avoiding him entirely after my brainless and embarrassing babbling yesterday. And I was suspicious of him; why should he lie about his eyes? I was still frightened of the hostility I sometimes felt emanating from him, and I was still tongue-tied whenever I pictured his perfect face. I was well aware that my league and his league were spheres that did not touch. So I shouldn’t be at all anxious to see him today.

It took every ounce of my concentration to make it down the icy brick driveway alive. I almost lost my balance when I finally got to the truck, but I managed to cling to the side mirror and save myself. Clearly, today was going to be nightmarish.

Driving to school, I distracted myself from my fear of falling and my unwanted speculations about Edward Cullen by thinking about Mike and Eric, and the obvious difference in how teenage boys responded to me here. I was sure I looked exactly the same as I had in Phoenix. Maybe it was just that the boys back home had watched me pass slowly through all the awkward phases of adolescence and still thought of me that way. Perhaps it was because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between. Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress. Whatever the reason, Mike’s puppy dog behavior and Eric’s apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting. I wasn’t sure if I didn’t prefer being ignored.

As I said before, this was something Meyer said was taken from her real experience moving on to Provo. As she seems like she was probably an attractive young woman, I'm wondering if the apparent sudden interest in her when she went to college has less to do with Scottsdale being too full of hot tan blondes and more to do with Provo being a very conservative Mormon city and Meyer gaining the confidence and maturity that's typical of young people leaving high school and growing up.


My truck seemed to have no problem with the black ice that covered the roads. I drove very slowly, though, not wanting to carve a path of destruction through Main Street.

When I got out of my truck at school, I saw why I’d had so little trouble. Something silver caught my eye, and I walked to the back of the truck—carefully holding the side for support—to examine my tires. There were thin chains crisscrossed in diamond shapes around them. Charlie had gotten up who knows how early to put snow chains on my truck. My throat suddenly felt tight. I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise.

It says a lot about Bella that her mom has been basically useless to the point where she's had to be the adult of the household, but she can't stand the dad who clearly loves her and even went so far as to demand that he spend money on expensive California vacations during his visitation months. And after all that, he still does everything he can to help her and care for her.

What I'm saying is Charlie Swan doesn't deserve to be in this series.


I was standing by the back corner of the truck, struggling to fight back the sudden wave of emotion the snow chains had brought on, when I heard an odd sound.

It was a high-pitched screech, and it was fast becoming painfully loud. I looked up, startled.

I saw several things simultaneously. Nothing was moving in slow motion, the way it does in the movies. Instead, the adrenaline rush seemed to make my brain work much faster, and I was able to absorb in clear detail several things at once.

Edward Cullen was standing four cars down from me, staring at me in horror. His face stood out from a sea of faces, all frozen in the same mask of shock. But of more immediate importance was the dark blue van that was skidding, tires locked and squealing against the brakes, spinning wildly across the ice of the parking lot. It was going to hit the back corner of my truck, and I was standing between them. I didn’t even have time to close my eyes.

Just before I heard the shattering crunch of the van folding around the truck bed, something hit me, hard, but not from the direction I was expecting. My head cracked against the icy blacktop, and I felt something solid and cold pinning me to the ground. I was lying on the pavement behind the tan car I’d parked next to. But I didn’t have a chance to notice anything else, because the van was still coming. It had curled gratingly around the end of the truck and, still spinning and sliding, was about to collide with me again.

A low oath made me aware that someone was with me, and the voice was impossible not to recognize. Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face, the large hands fitting providentially into a deep dent in the side of the van’s body.

Then his hands moved so fast they blurred. One was suddenly gripping under the body of the van, and something was dragging me, swinging my legs around like a rag doll’s, till they hit the tire of the tan car. A groaning metallic thud hurt my ears, and the van settled, glass popping, onto the asphalt—exactly where, a second ago, my legs had been.

It was absolutely silent for one long second before the screaming began. In the abrupt bedlam, I could hear more than one person shouting my name. But more clearly than all the yelling, I could hear Edward Cullen’s low, frantic voice in my ear.

“Bella? Are you all right?”

The reveal of Edward's vampiric speed and strength in the movie quickly reveals the film's low budget, with quick cuts used to disguise the bizarre physics that lead to the van suddenly sliding at a perfect 90 degree angle after a swerve. It does fit the Mary Sue angle in that everyone immediately crowds around the completely uninjured Bella while ignoring the man bleeding from his head.


“I’m fine.” My voice sounded strange. I tried to sit up, and realized he was holding me against the side of his body in an iron grasp.

“Be careful,” he warned as I struggled. “I think you hit your head pretty hard.”

I became aware of a throbbing ache centered above my left ear.

“Ow,” I said, surprised.

“That’s what I thought.” His voice, amazingly, sounded like he was suppressing laughter.

Yeah, why does he sound like that?


“How in the…” I trailed off, trying to clear my head, get my bearings. “How did you get over here so fast?”

“I was standing right next to you, Bella,” he said, his tone serious again.

I turned to sit up, and this time he let me, releasing his hold around my waist and sliding as far from me as he could in the limited space. I looked at his concerned, innocent expression and was disoriented again by the force of his gold-colored eyes. What was I asking him?

And then they found us, a crowd of people with tears streaming down their faces, shouting at each other, shouting at us.

“Don’t move,” someone instructed.

“Get Tyler out of the van!” someone else shouted. There was a flurry of activity around us. I tried to get up, but Edward’s cold hand pushed my shoulder down.

“Just stay put for now.”

“But it’s cold,” I complained. It surprised me when he chuckled under his breath. There was an edge to the sound.

How long do you think a compilation of every time Bella complained or whined would be?


“You were over there,” I suddenly remembered, and his chuckle stopped short. “You were by your car.”

His expression turned hard. “No, I wasn’t.”

“I saw you.” All around us was chaos. I could hear the gruffer voices of adults arriving on the scene. But I obstinately held on to our argument; I was right, and he was going to admit it.

“Bella, I was standing with you, and I pulled you out of the way.” He unleashed the full, devastating power of his eyes on me, as if trying to communicate something crucial.

“No.” I set my jaw.

The gold in his eyes blazed. “Please, Bella.”

“Why?” I demanded.

“Trust me,” he pleaded, his soft voice overwhelming.

I could hear the sirens now. “Will you promise to explain everything to me later?”

“Fine,” he snapped, abruptly exasperated.

“Fine,” I repeated angrily.

Huh. That was surprisingly easy.


It took six EMTs and two teachers—Mr. Varner and Coach Clapp—to shift the van far enough away from us to bring the stretchers in. Edward vehemently refused his, and I tried to do the same, but the traitor told them I’d hit my head and probably had a concussion. I almost died of humiliation when they put on the neck brace. It looked like the entire school was there, watching soberly as they loaded me in the back of the ambulance. Edward got to ride in the front. It was maddening.

Bella you could literally die if you smack your head on the asphalt hard enough. Just accept the drat paramedics.


To make matters worse, Chief Swan arrived before they could get me safely away.

“Bella!” he yelled in panic when he recognized me on the stretcher.

“I’m completely fine, Char—Dad,” I sighed. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

He turned to the closest EMT for a second opinion. I tuned him out to consider the jumble of inexplicable images churning chaotically in my head. When they’d lifted me away from the car, I had seen the deep dent in the tan car’s bumper—a very distinct dent that fit the contours of Edward’s shoulders… as if he had braced himself against the car with enough force to damage the metal frame.…

And then there was his family, looking on from the distance, with expressions that ranged from disapproval to fury but held no hint of concern for their brother’s safety.

I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen—a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.

Naturally, the ambulance got a police escort to the county hospital. I felt ridiculous the whole time they were unloading me. What made it worse was that Edward simply glided through the hospital doors under his own power. I ground my teeth together.

Imagine the level of selfishness to be ungrateful for someone saving your life.


They put me in the emergency room, a long room with a line of beds separated by pastel-patterned curtains. A nurse put a pressure cuff on my arm and a thermometer under my tongue. Since no one bothered pulling the curtain around to give me some privacy, I decided I wasn’t obligated to wear the stupid-looking neck brace anymore. When the nurse walked away, I quickly unfastened the Velcro and threw it under the bed.

And then she learned that she had an undiagnosed clavicle fracture from hitting the pavement!


There was another flurry of hospital personnel, another stretcher brought to the bed next to me. I recognized Tyler Crowley from my Government class beneath the bloodstained bandages wrapped tightly around his head. Tyler looked a hundred times worse than I felt. But he was staring anxiously at me.

Tyler was played by 18-year-old Gregory Tyree Boyce. He's one of the few actors with a speaking role in the series to cease professional acting entirely after the first movie; he has no IMDB credits except appearing in the music video for Trevor Jackson's "Apocalypse".


“Bella, I’m so sorry!”

“I’m fine, Tyler—you look awful, are you all right?” As we spoke, nurses began unwinding his soiled bandages, exposing a myriad of shallow slices all over his forehead and left cheek.

He ignored me. “I thought I was going to kill you! I was going too fast, and I hit the ice wrong.…” He winced as one nurse started dabbing at his face.

“Don’t worry about it; you missed me.”

“How did you get out of the way so fast? You were there, and then you were gone.…”

“Umm… Edward pulled me out of the way.”

He looked confused. “Who?”

“Edward Cullen—he was standing next to me.” I’d always been a terrible liar; I didn’t sound convincing at all.

“Cullen? I didn’t see him… wow, it was all so fast, I guess. Is he okay?”

“I think so. He’s here somewhere, but they didn’t make him use a stretcher.”

I knew I wasn’t crazy. What had happened? There was no way to explain away what I’d seen.

They wheeled me away then, to X-ray my head. I told them there was nothing wrong, and I was right. Not even a concussion. I asked if I could leave, but the nurse said I had to talk to a doctor first. So I was trapped in the ER, waiting, harassed by Tyler’s constant apologies and promises to make it up to me. No matter how many times I tried to convince him I was fine, he continued to torment himself. Finally, I closed my eyes and ignored him. He kept up a remorseful mumbling.

I'd be fine with Bella not being injured if she hadn't been so overtly dismissive of health care professionals trying to make sure she's all right. It's their responsibility to take all precautions necessary to get you diagnosed and X-rayed to ensure that there's no damage that can't be seen or felt at a glance. Something like flinging off your neck brace is not only dangerous to your health, but insulting and aggravating to the people taking care of you. And dismissing someone much more severely injured and traumatized from nearly killing a classmate as an annoyance is jaw-droppingly selfish.


“Is she sleeping?” a musical voice asked. My eyes flew open.

Edward was standing at the foot of my bed, smirking. I glared at him. It wasn’t easy—it would have been more natural to ogle.

“Hey, Edward, I’m really sorry—” Tyler began.

Edward lifted a hand to stop him.

“No blood, no foul,” he said, flashing his brilliant teeth. He moved to sit on the edge of Tyler’s bed, facing me. He smirked again.

“So, what’s the verdict?” he asked me.

“There’s nothing wrong with me at all, but they won’t let me go,” I complained. “How come you aren’t strapped to a gurney like the rest of us?”

I did a quick Ctrl+F for the word "complain" on a full text of the book. The verb form is used 8 times, 6 of which are describing how Bella is speaking.


“It’s all about who you know,” he answered. “But don’t worry, I came to spring you.”

Then a doctor walked around the corner, and my mouth fell open. He was young, he was blond… and he was handsomer than any movie star I’d ever seen. He was pale, though, and tired-looking, with circles under his eyes. From Charlie’s description, this had to be Edward’s father.

Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the dreamboat of the series for all the middle-aged women, was played by Peter Facinelli. He's predominately a TV actor, appearing as Maxwell Lord on Supergirl and Dr. Fitch Cooper on Nurse Jackie. He initially declined the role when his agent offered, thinking it was going to be a gory vampire movie, but decided to take it after reading the book. Apparently he's a fan!


“So, Miss Swan,” Dr. Cullen said in a remarkably appealing voice, “how are you feeling?”

“I’m fine,” I said, for the last time, I hoped.

He walked to the lightboard on the wall over my head, and turned it on. “Your X-rays look good,” he said. “Does your head hurt? Edward said you hit it pretty hard.”

“It’s fine,” I repeated with a sigh, throwing a quick scowl toward Edward.

The doctor’s cool fingers probed lightly along my skull. He noticed when I winced.

“Tender?” he asked.



“Not really.” I’d had worse.

I heard a chuckle, and looked over to see Edward’s patronizing smile. My eyes narrowed.

“Well, your father is in the waiting room—you can go home with him now. But come back if you feel dizzy or have trouble with your eyesight at all.”

“Can’t I go back to school?” I asked, imagining Charlie trying to be attentive.

“Maybe you should take it easy today.” I glanced at Edward.

“Does he get to go to school?”

“Someone has to spread the good news that we survived,” Edward said smugly.

I know Edward gets all the hate for being a stalker and everything, but so far he's been a much more appealing character than Bella.


“Actually,” Dr. Cullen corrected, “most of the school seems to be in the waiting room.”

“Oh no,” I moaned, covering my face with my hands.

In a normal universe they'd all be there for the guy who's traumatized and far more injured rather than the girl he didn't even hit.


Dr. Cullen raised his eyebrows. “Do you want to stay?”

“No, no!” I insisted, throwing my legs over the side of the bed and hopping down quickly. Too quickly—I staggered, and Dr. Cullen caught me. He looked concerned.

“I’m fine,” I assured him again. No need to tell him my balance problems had nothing to do with hitting my head.

“Take some Tylenol for the pain,” he suggested as he steadied me.

“It doesn’t hurt that bad,” I insisted.

“It sounds like you were extremely lucky,” Dr. Cullen said, smiling as he signed my chart with a flourish.

“Lucky Edward happened to be standing next to me,” I amended with a hard glance at the subject of my statement.

“Oh, well, yes,” Dr. Cullen agreed, suddenly occupied with the papers in front of him. Then he looked away, at Tyler, and walked to the next bed. My intuition flickered; the doctor was in on it.

While she's correct, I feel like this isn't enough information for her to decide that.


“I’m afraid that you’ll have to stay with us just a little bit longer,” he said to Tyler, and began checking his cuts.

As soon as the doctor’s back was turned, I moved to Edward’s side.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” I hissed under my breath. He took a step back from me, his jaw suddenly clenched.

“Your father is waiting for you,” he said through his teeth.

I glanced at Dr. Cullen and Tyler.

“I’d like to speak with you alone, if you don’t mind,” I pressed.

He glared, and then turned his back and strode down the long room. I nearly had to run to keep up. As soon as we turned the corner into a short hallway, he spun around to face me.

“What do you want?” he asked, sounding annoyed. His eyes were cold.

His unfriendliness intimidated me. My words came out with less severity than I’d intended. “You owe me an explanation,” I reminded him.

“I saved your life—I don’t owe you anything.”

He's...not wrong.


I flinched back from the resentment in his voice. “You promised.”

“Bella, you hit your head, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” His tone was cutting.

My temper flared now, and I glared defiantly at him. “There’s nothing wrong with my head.”

She is wrong.


He glared back. “What do you want from me, Bella?”

“I want to know the truth,” I said. “I want to know why I’m lying for you.”

“What do you think happened?” he snapped.

It came out in a rush.

“All I know is that you weren’t anywhere near me—Tyler didn’t see you, either, so don’t tell me I hit my head too hard. That van was going to crush us both—and it didn’t, and your hands left dents in the side of it—and you left a dent in the other car, and you’re not hurt at all—and the van should have smashed my legs, but you were holding it up.…” I could hear how crazy it sounded, and I couldn’t continue. I was so mad I could feel the tears coming; I tried to force them back by grinding my teeth together.

He was staring at me incredulously. But his face was tense, defensive.

“You think I lifted a van off you?” His tone questioned my sanity, but it only made me more suspicious. It was like a perfectly delivered line by a skilled actor.

I merely nodded once, jaw tight.

“Nobody will believe that, you know.” His voice held an edge of derision now.

"I'm not going to tell anybody." I said each word slowly, carefully controlling my anger.

Surprise flitted across his face. “Then why does it matter?”

“It matters to me,” I insisted. “I don’t like to lie—so there’d better be a good reason why I’m doing it.”

This itself is a lie. In New Moon she lies and manipulates so much that it becomes her defining character trait.


“Can’t you just thank me and get over it?”

“Thank you.” I waited, fuming and expectant.

“You’re not going to let it go, are you?”


“In that case… I hope you enjoy disappointment.”

We scowled at each other in silence. I was the first to speak, trying to keep myself focused. I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.

While I like the "stare down a destroying angel" line on its surface, I'd rather it was used to refer to something other than being distracted from an argument by him being too gorgeous.


“Why did you even bother?” I asked frigidly.

He paused, and for a brief moment his stunning face was unexpectedly vulnerable.

“I don’t know,” he whispered.

"You're honestly kind of a brat and haven't displayed any redeeming qualities whatsoever. It's baffling that I would have cared that much."


And then he turned his back on me and walked away.

I was so angry, it took me a few minutes until I could move. When I could walk, I made my way slowly to the exit at the end of the hallway.

The waiting room was more unpleasant than I’d feared. It seemed like every face I knew in Forks was there, staring at me. Charlie rushed to my side; I put up my hands.

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” I assured him sullenly. I was still aggravated, not in the mood for chitchat.

“What did the doctor say?”

“Dr. Cullen saw me, and he said I was fine and I could go home.” I sighed. Mike and Jessica and Eric were all there, beginning to converge on us. “Let’s go,” I urged.

Charlie put one arm behind my back, not quite touching me, and led me to the glass doors of the exit. I waved sheepishly at my friends, hoping to convey that they didn’t need to worry anymore.

Charlie has mastered the Keanu hoverhand.


It was a huge relief—the first time I’d ever felt that way—to get into the cruiser.

We drove in silence. I was so wrapped up in my thoughts that I barely knew Charlie was there. I was positive that Edward’s defensive behavior in the hall was a confirmation of the bizarre things I still could hardly believe I’d witnessed.

When we got to the house, Charlie finally spoke.

“Um… you’ll need to call Renée.” He hung his head, guilty. I was appalled.

“You told Mom!”


I slammed the cruiser’s door a little harder than necessary on my way out.

A very likable, relatable protagonist. We all want to be in her place.


My mom was in hysterics, of course. I had to tell her I felt fine at least thirty times before she would calm down. She begged me to come home—forgetting the fact that home was empty at the moment—but her pleas were easier to resist than I would have thought. I was consumed by the mystery Edward presented. And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wasn’t as eager to escape Forks as I should be, as any normal, sane person would be.

Forks is fine! Jeeze.


I decided I might as well go to bed early that night. Charlie continued to watch me anxiously, and it was getting on my nerves. I stopped on my way to grab three Tylenol from the bathroom. They did help, and, as the pain eased, I drifted to sleep.

That was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 14:37 on Jun 28, 2019

May 10, 2008

chitoryu12 posted:

We scowled at each other in silence. I was the first to speak, trying to keep myself focused. I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.

He's so ~*~dreamy~*~!

Apr 23, 2014

The_White_Crane posted:

He's so ~*~dreamy~*~!

Jesus Christ.

Sep 8, 2016

"“Why did you even bother?” I asked frigidly.

He paused, and for a brief moment his stunning face was unexpectedly vulnerable.

“I don’t know,” he whispered."

I wish the books had leaned more into how alien the Cullens are. Later they get into how utterly detached from the world the "bad vampires" are and how they view people as food only, but it would have been much more interesting to have Edward struggling to care about people after a century of no longer being one.

Apr 23, 2014

PsychedelicWarlord posted:

"“Why did you even bother?” I asked frigidly.

He paused, and for a brief moment his stunning face was unexpectedly vulnerable.

“I don’t know,” he whispered."

I wish the books had leaned more into how alien the Cullens are. Later they get into how utterly detached from the world the "bad vampires" are and how they view people as food only, but it would have been much more interesting to have Edward struggling to care about people after a century of no longer being one.

And frankly even the "vegetarian" vampires should have some detachment. They never age, so they're moving constantly and should avoid forming attachments to anyone because they'll have to leave in a few years.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012
Can't post for 24 minutes!

this is all reminding me of the twilight style video my chemistry TAs made in high school which was hilarious because the writing was only slightly cornier and the special effects only a little cheaper looking despite being produced by two teenage girls in about 2 hours for a class they didnt care about

Sep 12, 2008

My God, it's full of Horatios!

Chitoryu, this thread is amazing. Please keep it coming, it’s so much fun to read you detachedly taking apart bad prose and worse characterisation.

May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town

I read the first Twilight 9 or 10 years ago out of morbid curiosity and it really is just terribly written. It's the literary equivalent of plain white bread. Looking forward to this thread.

Lord Zedd-Repulsa
Jul 21, 2007

Devour a good book.

Bella being worried about the rest of the school's attention makes a little bit of sense to me because I moved twice in high school, both times to small towns, and never got to live down early incidents classmates saw as strange. Different states having drastically different curriculum is normal too, sadly. It doesn't make her any less insufferable a character, but Meyer has some decent bits mixed in and that's probably the most frustrating part so far.

Apr 23, 2014

Lord Zedd-Repulsa posted:

Bella being worried about the rest of the school's attention makes a little bit of sense to me because I moved twice in high school, both times to small towns, and never got to live down early incidents classmates saw as strange. Different states having drastically different curriculum is normal too, sadly. It doesn't make her any less insufferable a character, but Meyer has some decent bits mixed in and that's probably the most frustrating part so far.

Where it falls apart is that the attention somehow starts long before she gets to school. Forks is a town of over 3000 people, hardly an "everyone knows everyone" place. Somehow the police chief's estranged daughter (who he's been seeing yearly anyway and used to come up to visit all the time until she whined enough that he started taking her to California instead) moving in with him right before she finishes high school is the talk of the town. Everyone she meets, from school administrators to students to teachers, already knows who she is when she arrives and some of them even gawk at her. That is not a newsworthy event!

And all of it seems to come together in a way that ensures Bella is the center of attention. The curriculum is different, but always in a way that gives her an advantage. She's embarrassed by her arrival, but the whole drat school is practically tripping over themselves to befriend her as soon as she arrives and storms the hospital when she's nearly hit by a van to check on her. It's an extremely self-centered story even before you get into her uniqueness causing literally the entire plot to revolve around her existence.

Lord Zedd-Repulsa
Jul 21, 2007

Devour a good book.

All of that is bullshit, yeah. I'm just trying to find anything that might've been interesting in the hands of an author with more skill or experience.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED

Thanks, I hate it.

Give Charlie his own series with some of those clever, competent Bond girls.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 4: Invitations


In my dream it was very dark, and what dim light there was seemed to be radiating from Edward’s skin. I couldn’t see his face, just his back as he walked away from me, leaving me in the blackness. No matter how fast I ran, I couldn’t catch up to him; no matter how loud I called, he never turned. Troubled, I woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep again for what seemed like a very long time. After that, he was in my dreams nearly every night, but always on the periphery, never within reach.

The month that followed the accident was uneasy, tense, and, at first, embarrassing.

To my dismay, I found myself the center of attention for the rest of that week.

You've been the center of attention the whole drat time, Bella!


Tyler Crowley was impossible, following me around, obsessed with making amends to me somehow. I tried to convince him what I wanted more than anything else was for him to forget all about it—especially since nothing had actually happened to me—but he remained insistent. He followed me between classes and sat at our now-crowded lunch table. Mike and Eric were even less friendly toward him than they were to each other, which made me worry that I’d gained another unwelcome fan.

Bella has been in school for a few weeks and already has three guys fighting over her in addition to Edward, but she's still supposed to be our awkward outcast.


No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero—how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too. I tried to be convincing. Jessica, Mike, Eric, and everyone else always commented that they hadn’t even seen him there till the van was pulled away.

"Also if we start talking about him, that's less time we spend on you!"


I wondered to myself why no one else had seen him standing so far away, before he was suddenly, impossibly saving my life. With chagrin, I realized the probable cause—no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.

I thought the Cullens were supposed to be so impossibly, ethereally beautiful that everyone pays attention to them even when they're not doing anything?


Edward was never surrounded by crowds of curious bystanders eager for his firsthand account. People avoided him as usual. The Cullens and the Hales sat at the same table as always, not eating, talking only among themselves. None of them, especially Edward, glanced my way anymore.

But...this doesn't really mesh with how we were introduced to them? The Cullens are so shockingly gorgeous and pale that they instantly attract Bella's attention. Jessica knows enough about them to rattle off their names, relationships, and imply that just about every girl in the school has made a failed attempt at hooking up with Edward. But now everyone just completely avoids them and pays so little attention that they don't even notice Edward being involved in the crash?


When he sat next to me in class, as far from me as the table would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence. Only now and then, when his fists would suddenly ball up—skin stretched even whiter over the bones—did I wonder if he wasn’t quite as oblivious as he appeared.

He wished he hadn’t pulled me from the path of Tyler’s van—there was no other conclusion I could come to.

There's a lot of other conclusions you can come to!


I wanted very much to talk to him, and the day after the accident I tried. The last time I’d seen him, outside the ER, we’d both been so furious. I still was angry that he wouldn’t trust me with the truth, even though I was keeping my part of the bargain flawlessly. But he had in fact saved my life, no matter how he’d done it. And, overnight, the heat of my anger faded into awed gratitude.

He was already seated when I got to Biology, looking straight ahead. I sat down, expecting him to turn toward me. He showed no sign that he realized I was there.

“Hello, Edward,” I said pleasantly, to show him I was going to behave myself.

He turned his head a fraction toward me without meeting my gaze, nodded once, and then looked the other way.

And that was the last contact I’d had with him, though he was there, a foot away from me, every day. I watched him sometimes, unable to stop myself—from a distance, though, in the cafeteria or parking lot. I watched as his golden eyes grew perceptibly darker day by day. But in class I gave no more notice that he existed than he showed toward me. I was miserable. And the dreams continued.

No better way to start a romance than to have both people ruin their first pleasant interaction with a fight and then stop talking to each other for a month.


Despite my outright lies, the tenor of my e-mails alerted Renée to my depression, and she called a few times, worried. I tried to convince her it was just the weather that had me down.

Mike, at least, was pleased by the obvious coolness between me and my lab partner. I could see he’d been worried that Edward’s daring rescue might have impressed me, and he was relieved that it seemed to have the opposite effect. He grew more confident, sitting on the edge of my table to talk before Biology class started, ignoring Edward as completely as he ignored us.

Mike is too good for you.

You might be noticing around this point that there's no Jacob. Jacob actually has a very small role in the first book and doesn't become part of the infamous love triangle until New Moon. It's actually the dorky blonde of all people who has to compete with Edward at first!

You might also notice that Mike (as well as everyone else who's not a Swan or Cullen) has essentially no characterization. All of Bella's school friends are distinguished only by name and the attention they give her.


The snow washed away for good after that one dangerously icy day. Mike was disappointed he’d never gotten to stage his snowball fight, but pleased that the beach trip would soon be possible. The rain continued heavily, though, and the weeks passed.

Jessica made me aware of another event looming on the horizon—she called the first Tuesday of March to ask my permission to invite Mike to the girls’ choice spring dance in two weeks.

“Are you sure you don’t mind… you weren’t planning to ask him?” she persisted when I told her I didn’t mind in the least.

This is a really awkward way to write dialogue.


“No, Jess, I’m not going,” I assured her. Dancing was glaringly outside my range of abilities.

“It will be really fun.” Her attempt to convince me was halfhearted. I suspected that Jessica enjoyed my inexplicable popularity more than my actual company.

Meyer repeatedly commits the common amateur's sin of calling out her own mistakes instead of fixing them. Instead of making a more realistic character that's actually as awkward and shy as Bella claims to be, where Edward's attention really is unusual, Meyer makes her self-insert protagonist the center of attention that everyone is obsessing over and just tries to do a "Haha, silly me!"

Another place you can see it is Bella repeatedly calling herself out for making stupid decisions, like obsessing over wanting to see Edward again after their mild pleasantries in Biology. It makes it seem like Bella (and by extension the author) find it okay to repeatedly sin or make dumbass moves as long as you beat yourself up over it. She could just, you know, not keep acting deranged.


“You have fun with Mike,” I encouraged.

The next day, I was surprised that Jessica wasn’t her usual gushing self in Trig and Spanish. She was silent as she walked by my side between classes, and I was afraid to ask her why. If Mike had turned her down, I was the last person she would want to tell.

My fears were strengthened during lunch when Jessica sat as far from Mike as possible, chatting animatedly with Eric. Mike was unusually quiet.

Mike was still quiet as he walked me to class, the uncomfortable look on his face a bad sign. But he didn’t broach the subject until I was in my seat and he was perched on my desk. As always, I was electrically aware of Edward sitting close enough to touch, as distant as if he were merely an invention of my imagination.

“So,” Mike said, looking at the floor, “Jessica asked me to the spring dance.”

“That’s great.” I made my voice bright and enthusiastic. “You’ll have a lot of fun with Jessica.”

“Well…” He floundered as he examined my smile, clearly not happy with my response. “I told her I had to think about it.”

“Why would you do that?” I let disapproval color my tone, though I was relieved he hadn’t given her an absolute no.

His face was bright red as he looked down again. Pity shook my resolve.

“I was wondering if… well, if you might be planning to ask me.”

I paused for a moment, hating the wave of guilt that swept through me. But I saw, from the corner of my eye, Edward’s head tilt reflexively in my direction.

Normally I would call out Bella for saying no because of her obsession with a guy who currently can't stand to be around her, but Mike and Jessica deserve better than her.


“Mike, I think you should tell her yes,” I said.

“Did you already ask someone?” Did Edward notice how Mike’s eyes flickered in his direction?

“No,” I assured him. “I’m not going to the dance at all.”

“Why not?” Mike demanded. I didn’t want to get into the safety hazards that dancing presented, so I quickly made new plans.

“I’m going to Seattle that Saturday,” I explained. I needed to get out of town anyway—it was suddenly the perfect time to go.

Forks is a roughly 4-hour drive from Seattle on the other side of the Olympic National Park. It really is in the middle of nowhere.


“Can’t you go some other weekend?”

“Sorry, no,” I said. “So you shouldn’t make Jess wait any longer—it’s rude.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” he mumbled, and turned, dejected, to walk back to his seat. I closed my eyes and pressed my fingers to my temples, trying to push the guilt and sympathy out of my head. Mr. Banner began talking. I sighed and opened my eyes.

And Edward was staring at me curiously, that same, familiar edge of frustration even more distinct now in his black eyes.

I stared back, surprised, expecting him to look quickly away. But instead he continued to gaze with probing intensity into my eyes. There was no question of me looking away. My hands started to shake.

“Mr. Cullen?” the teacher called, seeking the answer to a question that I hadn’t heard.

“The Krebs Cycle,” Edward answered, seeming reluctant as he turned to look at Mr. Banner.

I looked down at my book as soon as his eyes released me, trying to find my place. Cowardly as ever, I shifted my hair over my right shoulder to hide my face. I couldn’t believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me—just because he’d happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks. I couldn’t allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.

So don't date him!


I tried very hard not to be aware of him for the rest of the hour, and, since that was impossible, at least not to let him know that I was aware of him. When the bell rang at last, I turned my back to him to gather my things, expecting him to leave immediately as usual.

“Bella?” His voice shouldn’t have been so familiar to me, as if I’d known the sound of it all my life rather than for just a few short weeks.

I turned slowly, unwillingly. I didn’t want to feel what I knew I would feel when I looked at his too-perfect face. My expression was wary when I finally turned to him; his expression was unreadable. He didn’t say anything.

“What? Are you speaking to me again?” I finally asked, an unintentional note of petulance in my voice. His lips twitched, fighting a smile.

“No, not really,” he admitted.

I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly through my nose, aware that I was gritting my teeth. He waited.

“Then what do you want, Edward?” I asked, keeping my eyes closed; it was easier to talk to him coherently that way.

“I’m sorry.” He sounded sincere. “I’m being very rude, I know. But it’s better this way, really.”

I opened my eyes. His face was very serious.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I said, my voice guarded.

“It’s better if we’re not friends,” he explained. “Trust me.”

My eyes narrowed. I’d heard that before.

“It’s too bad you didn’t figure that out earlier,” I hissed through my teeth. “You could have saved yourself all this regret.”

“Regret?” The word, and my tone, obviously caught him off guard. “Regret for what?”

“For not just letting that stupid van squish me.”

He was astonished. He stared at me in disbelief.

When he finally spoke, he almost sounded mad. “You think I regret saving your life?”

“I know you do,” I snapped.

“You don’t know anything.” He was definitely mad.

One of the more infamous pieces of Twilight history was Midnight Sun. Because Meyer doesn't really know what else to write, she began work on a rewrite of the original Twilight from Edward's point of view. Robert Pattinson and Catherine Hardwicke were actually given some chapters of the book that she had already completed to help with understanding Edward's unstated motivations during filming. In August 2008 (3 months before the film's release), someone Meyer had given an incomplete draft to leaked it online. Meyer promptly threw a tantrum and refused to finish the book, at least until everyone had forgotten about it. She was at least kind enough to put up the whole manuscript for free herself.

Eventually Meyer decided to start writing again, but rather than finish Midnight Sun she wrote Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined. This supremely lazy book is simply a gender-flipped repeat of the first one, with extremely few changes apart from swapping names (and some very telling changes of emotion and detail that have more than a few sexist implications). It actually got her interested in picking up her book about Edward again....and then she found out that EL James was releasing Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian. As she recounted at New York Comic-Con, this caused her to throw yet another tantrum and give up.

Thanks to Midnight Sun, we can actually go and look at Edward's thoughts and motivations in any given scene. To spoil it a little, at this point the Cullen family has been debating whether or not they need to kill Bella to keep their secret. They already know of Edward's attraction to her and he's incredibly offended that Bella thinks he wishes she died, to the point where he starts wondering if she even thinks the same way normal humans do.


I turned my head sharply away from him, clenching my jaw against all the wild accusations I wanted to hurl at him. I gathered my books together, then stood and walked to the door. I meant to sweep dramatically out of the room, but of course I caught the toe of my boot on the doorjamb and dropped my books. I stood there for a moment, thinking about leaving them. Then I sighed and bent to pick them up. He was there; he’d already stacked them into a pile. He handed them to me, his face hard.

“Thank you,” I said icily. His eyes narrowed.

“You’re welcome,” he retorted.

I straightened up swiftly, turned away from him again, and stalked off to Gym without looking back.

This scene takes place in the cafeteria in the movie. Yes, this video is the one with the best quality. Shut up.

The apple trick took 26 takes, even with the apple on a string to pull it up.


Gym was brutal. We’d moved on to basketball. My team never passed me the ball, so that was good, but I fell down a lot. Sometimes I took people with me. Today I was worse than usual because my head was so filled with Edward. I tried to concentrate on my feet, but he kept creeping back into my thoughts just when I really needed my balance.

It was a relief, as always, to leave. I almost ran to the truck; there were just so many people I wanted to avoid. The truck had suffered only minimal damage in the accident. I’d had to replace the taillights, and if I’d had a real paint job, I would have touched that up. Tyler’s parents had to sell their van for parts.

I'm sure Bella will continue to whine about how much of a struggle it is to deal with Tyler while he's injured, traumatized, and dealing with his parents having to sell their van because of the accident.


I almost had a stroke when I rounded the corner and saw a tall, dark figure leaning against the side of my truck. Then I realized it was just Eric. I started walking again.

“Hey, Eric,” I called.

“Hi, Bella.”

“What’s up?” I said as I was unlocking the door. I wasn’t paying attention to the uncomfortable edge in his voice, so his next words took me by surprise.

“Uh, I was just wondering… if you would go to the spring dance with me?” His voice broke on the last word.

“I thought it was girls’ choice,” I said, too startled to be diplomatic.

“Well, yeah,” he admitted, shamefaced.

I recovered my composure and tried to make my smile warm. “Thank you for asking me, but I’m going to be in Seattle that day.”

“Oh,” he said. “Well, maybe next time.”

“Sure,” I agreed, and then bit my lip. I wouldn’t want him to take that too literally.

That's two down. Can we get a third?


He slouched off, back toward the school. I heard a low chuckle.

Edward was walking past the front of my truck, looking straight forward, his lips pressed together. I yanked the door open and jumped inside, slamming it loudly behind me. I revved the engine deafeningly and reversed out into the aisle. Edward was in his car already, two spaces down, sliding out smoothly in front of me, cutting me off. He stopped there—to wait for his family; I could see the four of them walking this way, but still by the cafeteria. I considered taking out the rear of his shiny Volvo, but there were too many witnesses.

Bella what the gently caress?


I looked in my rearview mirror. A line was beginning to form. Directly behind me, Tyler Crowley was in his recently acquired used Sentra, waving. I was too aggravated to acknowledge him.

While I was sitting there, looking everywhere but at the car in front of me, I heard a knock on my passenger side window. I looked over; it was Tyler. I glanced back in my rearview mirror, confused. His car was still running, the door left open. I leaned across the cab to crank the window down. It was stiff. I got it halfway down, then gave up.

“I’m sorry, Tyler, I’m stuck behind Cullen.” I was annoyed—obviously the holdup wasn’t my fault.

“Oh, I know—I just wanted to ask you something while we’re trapped here.” He grinned.

And there we go! Every male character with lines as of this point who isn't an adult is in love with her!


This could not be happening.

“Will you ask me to the spring dance?” he continued.

“I’m not going to be in town, Tyler.” My voice sounded a little sharp. I had to remember it wasn’t his fault that Mike and Eric had already used up my quota of patience for the day.

“Yeah, Mike said that,” he admitted.

“Then why—”

He shrugged. “I was hoping you were just letting him down easy.”

Okay, it was completely his fault.

“Sorry, Tyler,” I said, working to hide my irritation. “I really am going out of town.”

“That’s cool. We still have prom.”

I'd like to say her dislike of him is understandable at this point, but I still have no clue why everyone is head over heels for her. She's been horribly rude and inconsiderate to pretty much everyone every day.


And before I could respond, he was walking back to his car. I could feel the shock on my face. I looked forward to see Alice, Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper all sliding into the Volvo. In his rearview mirror, Edward’s eyes were on me. He was unquestionably shaking with laughter, as if he’d heard every word Tyler had said. My foot itched toward the gas pedal… one little bump wouldn’t hurt any of them, just that glossy silver paint job. I revved the engine.

Remember before when I said that there have been essays explaining why Bella Swan is a sociopath? It starts early.


But they were all in, and Edward was speeding away. I drove home slowly, carefully, muttering to myself the whole way. When I got home, I decided to make chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was a long process, and it would keep me busy. While I was simmering the onions and chilies, the phone rang. I was almost afraid to answer it, but it might be Charlie or my mom.

It was Jessica, and she was jubilant; Mike had caught her after school to accept her invitation. I celebrated with her briefly while I stirred. She had to go, she wanted to call Angela and Lauren to tell them. I suggested—with casual innocence—that maybe Angela, the shy girl who had Biology with me, could ask Eric. And Lauren, a standoffish girl who had always ignored me at the lunch table, could ask Tyler; I’d heard he was still available. Jess thought that was a great idea. Now that she was sure of Mike, she actually sounded sincere when she said she wished I would go to the dance. I gave her my Seattle excuse.

Wow, it's a good thing that all of that buildup with everyone asking her to the dance happened! It really made the paragraph where they painlessly resolve everything matter so much more! This definitely has a bearing on the plot!


After I hung up, I tried to concentrate on dinner—dicing the chicken especially; I didn’t want to take another trip to the emergency room. But my head was spinning, trying to analyze every word Edward had spoken today. What did he mean, it was better if we weren’t friends?

My stomach twisted as I realized what he must have meant. He must see how absorbed I was by him; he must not want to lead me on… so we couldn’t even be friends… because he wasn’t interested in me at all.

It's a good thing the entire rest of the school unconditionally loves you and your father would die for you no matter how bitchy you were to him, right?


Of course he wasn’t interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging—a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.

"I'm not interesting or beautiful! That's why everyone's lives revolve around me and my approval!"


Well, that was fine. I could leave him alone. I would leave him alone. I would get through my self-imposed sentence here in purgatory, and then hopefully some school in the Southwest, or possibly Hawaii, would offer me a scholarship. I focused my thoughts on sunny beaches and palm trees as I finished the enchiladas and put them in the oven.

Charlie seemed suspicious when he came home and smelled the green peppers. I couldn’t blame him—the closest edible Mexican food was probably in southern California. But he was a cop, even if just a small-town cop, so he was brave enough to take the first bite. He seemed to like it. It was fun to watch as he slowly began trusting me in the kitchen.

Imagine being this goddamn haughty about Mexican food. You're a loving 4-hour drive from Seattle and Tacoma, the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country and home to one of the most thriving cultural scenes in America.


“Dad?” I asked when he was almost done.

“Yeah, Bella?”

“Um, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to Seattle for the day a week from Saturday… if that’s okay?” I didn’t want to ask permission—it set a bad precedent—but I felt rude, so I tacked it on at the end.

“Why?” He sounded surprised, as if he were unable to imagine something that Forks couldn’t offer.

“Well, I wanted to get a few books—the library here is pretty limited—and maybe look at some clothes.” I had more money than I was used to having, since, thanks to Charlie, I hadn’t had to pay for a car. Not that the truck didn’t cost me quite a bit in the gas department.

“That truck probably doesn’t get very good gas mileage,” he said, echoing my thoughts.

“I know, I’ll stop in Montesano and Olympia—and Tacoma if I have to.”

“Are you going all by yourself?” he asked, and I couldn’t tell if he was suspicious I had a secret boyfriend or just worried about car trouble.

Or the chances of you committing a road rage murder.



“Seattle is a big city—you could get lost,” he fretted.

“Dad, Phoenix is five times the size of Seattle—and I can read a map, don’t worry about it.”

“Do you want me to come with you?”

I tried to be crafty as I hid my horror.

“That’s all right, Dad, I’ll probably just be in dressing rooms all day—very boring.”

“Oh, okay.” The thought of sitting in women’s clothing stores for any period of time immediately put him off.

“Thanks.” I smiled at him.

“Will you be back in time for the dance?”

Grrr. Only in a town this small would a father know when the high school dances were.

I would really love to know what the gently caress that means, Meyer.


“No—I don’t dance, Dad.” He, of all people, should understand that—I didn’t get my balance problems from my mother.

He did understand. “Oh, that’s right,” he realized.

But...we've never seen Charlie clumsy? Ever?


The next morning, when I pulled into the parking lot, I deliberately parked as far as possible from the silver Volvo. I didn’t want to put myself in the path of too much temptation and end up owing him a new car.

Bella is shockingly, revoltingly violent.


Getting out of the cab, I fumbled with my key and it fell into a puddle at my feet. As I bent to get it, a white hand flashed out and grabbed it before I could. I jerked upright. Edward Cullen was right next to me, leaning casually against my truck.

“How do you do that?” I asked in amazed irritation.

“Do what?” He held my key out as he spoke. As I reached for it, he dropped it into my palm.

“Appear out of thin air.”

“Bella, it’s not my fault if you are exceptionally unobservant.” His voice was quiet as usual—velvet, muted.

Yes, good. Keep roasting her. Someone in this book has to.


I scowled at his perfect face. His eyes were light again today, a deep, golden honey color. Then I had to look down, to reassemble my now-tangled thoughts.

Oh get over yourself.


“Why the traffic jam last night?” I demanded, still looking away. “I thought you were supposed to be pretending I don’t exist, not irritating me to death.”

“That was for Tyler’s sake, not mine. I had to give him his chance.” He snickered.

“You…” I gasped. I couldn’t think of a bad enough word. It felt like the heat of my anger should physically burn him, but he only seemed more amused.

Edward is the true hero of this book.


“And I’m not pretending you don’t exist,” he continued.

“So you are trying to irritate me to death? Since Tyler’s van didn’t do the job?”

Anger flashed in his tawny eyes. His lips pressed into a hard line, all signs of humor gone.

“Bella, you are utterly absurd,” he said, his low voice cold.

"And also just the worst."


My palms tingled—I wanted so badly to hit something. I was surprised at myself. I was usually a nonviolent person.

Are you, though?


I turned my back and started to walk away.

“Wait,” he called. I kept walking, sloshing angrily through the rain. But he was next to me, easily keeping pace. “I’m sorry, that was rude,” he said as we walked. I ignored him. “I’m not saying it isn’t true,” he continued, “but it was rude to say it, anyway.”

How have you written a protagonist so terrible that it makes me love Edward "Abusive Stalker" Cullen?


“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I grumbled.

“I wanted to ask you something, but you sidetracked me,” he chuckled. He seemed to have recovered his good humor.

“Do you have a multiple personality disorder?” I asked severely.

That's actually a good point. Despite being much more endearing than our psychopathic protagonist, Edward's tone and mood swing practically sentence to sentence. Maybe it was Meyer's way of trying to write a vampire who's permanently a teenager and has some level of detachment from humanity, but it makes the romance even more confusing than having one member have no appealing qualities whatsoever.


“You’re doing it again.”

I sighed. “Fine then. What do you want to ask?”

“I was wondering if, a week from Saturday—you know, the day of the spring dance—”

“Are you trying to be funny?” I interrupted him, wheeling toward him. My face got drenched as I looked up at his expression.

His eyes were wickedly amused. “Will you please allow me to finish?”

I bit my lip and clasped my hands together, interlocking my fingers, so I couldn’t do anything rash.

“I heard you say you were going to Seattle that day, and I was wondering if you wanted a ride.”

That was unexpected.

“What?” I wasn’t sure what he was getting at.

“Do you want a ride to Seattle?”

“With who?” I asked, mystified.

“Myself, obviously.” He enunciated every syllable, as if he were talking to someone mentally handicapped.

You said it, not me.


I was still stunned. “Why?”

“Well, I was planning to go to Seattle in the next few weeks, and, to be honest, I’m not sure if your truck can make it.”

“My truck works just fine, thank you very much for your concern.” I started to walk again, but I was too surprised to maintain the same level of anger.

“But can your truck make it there on one tank of gas?” He matched my pace again.

“I don’t see how that is any of your business.” Stupid, shiny Volvo owner.

“The wasting of finite resources is everyone’s business.”

Oh my God. This was a Captain Planet AU all along.


“Honestly, Edward.” I felt a thrill go through me as I said his name, and I hated it. “I can’t keep up with you. I thought you didn’t want to be my friend.”

“I said it would be better if we weren’t friends, not that I didn’t want to be.”

"But I need to keep this plot going against all reason, so...."


“Oh, thanks, now that’s all cleared up.” Heavy sarcasm. I realized I had stopped walking again. We were under the shelter of the cafeteria roof now, so I could more easily look at his face. Which certainly didn’t help my clarity of thought.

“It would be more… prudent for you not to be my friend,” he explained. “But I’m tired of trying to stay away from you, Bella.”

His eyes were gloriously intense as he uttered that last sentence, his voice smoldering. I couldn’t remember how to breathe.

“Will you go with me to Seattle?” he asked, still intense.

I couldn’t speak yet, so I just nodded.

He smiled briefly, and then his face became serious.

“You really should stay away from me,” he warned. “I’ll see you in class.”

He turned abruptly and walked back the way we’d come. don't ask her out!

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 13:38 on Jul 1, 2019

May 10, 2008

Ah yes, I see, these are ... human people who act like hu-mans, yes.
No, don't give me that "Edward is a vampire!" he's been faking humanity for howevermany decades, he should be less poo poo at it by now.

Apr 23, 2014

Reading through another sporking of the book concurrently, someone pointed out that during the van accident Bella has so much time to notice tons of inconsequential details (where Edward is, the expression on his face, the reactions of everyone else around him, and the exact angle the van was going to hit her truck and where she was in relation to both vehicles) that it implies she was standing and staring at the van for ages waiting for it to hit her. They compare it to this:

Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

We have not truly reached the nadir of Bella Swan. Brace yourselves!

Apr 23, 2014

HIJK posted:

We have not truly reached the nadir of Bella Swan. Brace yourselves!

Yeah, everything about New Moon says she jumps right off the cliff (hohohohoho) straight into manipulative, sociopathic behavior. There's actually a lot of attempts at diagnosing her. She convincingly fits Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and sociopathy/psychopathy depending on how you want to look at her. Regardless of what you pick, she remains an utterly awful person.

Apr 10, 2010

College Slice

"I didn't want to start a bad precedent by asking my dad if I, his 17 year old daughter who had an old car, could drive several hours away to a strange city alone."

So, idea to make the book better. Bella goes back to Phoenix, Charlie adopts Mike, Mike and Jessica start dating, and the three of them travel around solving crimes helped by Mr Cullen, who uses vampire medicine for forensic stuff

Apr 23, 2014

Epicurius posted:

"I didn't want to start a bad precedent by asking my dad if I, his 17 year old daughter who had an old car, could drive several hours away to a strange city alone."

So, idea to make the book better. Bella goes back to Phoenix, Charlie adopts Mike, Mike and Jessica start dating, and the three of them travel around solving crimes helped by Mr Cullen, who uses vampire medicine for forensic stuff

I actually kinda want to write a book like this now.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 5: Blood Type


I made my way to English in a daze. I didn't even realize when I first walked in that class had already started.

“Thank you for joining us, Miss Swan,” Mr. Mason said in a disparaging tone.

I flushed and hurried to my seat.

It wasn’t till class ended that I realized Mike wasn’t sitting in his usual seat next to me. I felt a twinge of guilt. But he and Eric both met me at the door as usual, so I figured I wasn’t totally unforgiven. Mike seemed to become more himself as we walked, gaining enthusiasm as he talked about the weather report for this weekend. The rain was supposed to take a minor break, and so maybe his beach trip would be possible. I tried to sound eager, to make up for disappointing him yesterday. It was hard; rain or no rain, it would still only be in the high forties, if we were lucky.

The rest of the morning passed in a blur. It was difficult to believe that I hadn’t just imagined what Edward had said, and the way his eyes had looked. Maybe it was just a very convincing dream that I’d confused with reality. That seemed more probable than that I really appealed to him on any level.

Why? Somehow you've managed to appeal to every single other person you've met in this book despite a total lack of redeeming qualities. The whole drat school left to check on you when you almost got hit by a van!


So I was impatient and frightened as Jessica and I entered the cafeteria. I wanted to see his face, to see if he’d gone back to the cold, indifferent person I’d known for the last several weeks. Or if, by some miracle, I’d really heard what I thought I’d heard this morning. Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plans—Lauren and Angela had asked the other boys and they were all going together—completely unaware of my inattention.

Disappointment flooded through me as my eyes unerringly focused on his table. The other four were there, but he was absent. Had he gone home? I followed the still-babbling Jessica through the line, crushed. I’d lost my appetite—I bought nothing but a bottle of lemonade. I just wanted to go sit down and sulk.

“Edward Cullen is staring at you again,” Jessica said, finally breaking through my abstraction with his name. “I wonder why he’s sitting alone today.”

My head snapped up. I followed her gaze to see Edward, smiling crookedly, staring at me from an empty table across the cafeteria from where he usually sat. Once he’d caught my eye, he raised one hand and motioned with his index finger for me to join him. As I stared in disbelief, he winked.

Do people seriously wink in real life?


“Does he mean you?” Jessica asked with insulting astonishment in her voice.

“Maybe he needs help with his Biology homework,” I muttered for her benefit. “Um, I’d better go see what he wants.”

I could feel her staring after me as I walked away.

When I reached his table, I stood behind the chair across from him, unsure.

“Why don’t you sit with me today?” he asked, smiling.

I sat down automatically, watching him with caution. He was still smiling. It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be real. I was afraid that he might disappear in a sudden puff of smoke, and I would wake up.

He seemed to be waiting for me to say something.

“This is different,” I finally managed.

“Well…” He paused, and then the rest of the words followed in a rush. “I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.” not the kind of thing you want a guy to say when he starts flirting with you.


I waited for him to say something that made sense. The seconds ticked by.

“You know I don’t have any idea what you mean,” I eventually pointed out.

“I know.” He smiled again, and then he changed the subject. “I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you.”

“They’ll survive.” I could feel their stares boring into my back.

Not if their entire existence revolves around you!


“I may not give you back, though,” he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.



I gulped.

He laughed. “You look worried.”

“No,” I said, but, ridiculously, my voice broke. “Surprised, actually… what brought all this on?”

“I told you—I got tired of trying to stay away from you. So I’m giving up.” He was still smiling, but his ocher eyes were serious.

“Giving up?” I repeated in confusion.

“Yes—giving up trying to be good. I’m just going to do what I want now, and let the chips fall where they may.” His smile faded as he explained, and a hard edge crept into his voice.

I know Meyer probably meant this to sound predatory, but I don't think it sounds like it in the way she hoped it would.


“You lost me again.”

The breathtaking crooked smile reappeared.

“I always say too much when I’m talking to you—that’s one of the problems.”

“Don’t worry—I don’t understand any of it,” I said wryly.

“I’m counting on that.”

“So, in plain English, are we friends now?”

“Friends…,” he mused, dubious.

“Or not,” I muttered.

He grinned. “Well, we can try, I suppose. But I’m warning you now that I’m not a good friend for you.” Behind his smile, the warning was real.

“You say that a lot,” I noted, trying to ignore the sudden trembling in my stomach and keep my voice even.

Yeah, are we really going to rehash this for the fourth or fifth time in two chapters?


“Yes, because you’re not listening to me. I’m still waiting for you to believe it. If you’re smart, you’ll avoid me.”

Another way to pad the word count: repeat conversations over and over because nobody gets it.


“I think you’ve made your opinion on the subject of my intellect clear, too.” My eyes narrowed.

He smiled apologetically.

“So, as long as I’m being… not smart, we’ll try to be friends?” I struggled to sum up the confusing exchange.

“That sounds about right.”

I looked down at my hands wrapped around the lemonade bottle, not sure what to do now.

“What are you thinking?” he asked curiously.

I looked up into his deep gold eyes, became befuddled, and, as usual, blurted out the truth.

“I’m trying to figure out what you are.”

His jaw tightened, but he kept his smile in place with some effort.

“Are you having any luck with that?” he asked in an offhand tone.

“Not too much,” I admitted.

He chuckled. “What are your theories?”

I blushed. I had been vacillating during the last month between Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker. There was no way I was going to own up to that.

That's the smartest decision you've made so far, Bella.


“Won’t you tell me?” he asked, tilting his head to one side with a shockingly tempting smile.

I shook my head. “Too embarrassing.”

“That’s really frustrating, you know,” he complained.

So is having you keep trying to make friends while insisting nobody should be friends with you!


“No,” I disagreed quickly, my eyes narrowing, “I can’t imagine why that would be frustrating at all—just because someone refuses to tell you what they’re thinking, even if all the while they’re making cryptic little remarks specifically designed to keep you up at night wondering what they could possibly mean… now, why would that be frustrating?”

He grimaced.

“Or better,” I continued, the pent-up annoyance flowing freely now, “say that person also did a wide range of bizarre things—from saving your life under impossible circumstances one day to treating you like a pariah the next, and he never explained any of that, either, even after he promised. That, also, would be very non-frustrating.”

“You’ve got a bit of a temper, don’t you?”

Imagine if he knew she was seriously considering wrecking his car because of annoyance.


“I don’t like double standards.”



We stared at each other, unsmiling.

He glanced over my shoulder, and then, unexpectedly, he snickered.


“Your boyfriend seems to think I’m being unpleasant to you—he’s debating whether or not to come break up our fight.” He snickered again.

“I don’t know who you’re talking about,” I said frostily. “But I’m sure you’re wrong, anyway.”

“I’m not. I told you, most people are easy to read.”

“Except me, of course.”

“Yes. Except for you.” His mood shifted suddenly; his eyes turned brooding. “I wonder why that is.”

Because she's a sociopath faking complex emotions and care for other people?


I had to look away from the intensity of his stare. I concentrated on unscrewing the lid of my lemonade. I took a swig, staring at the table without seeing it.

“Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, distracted.

“No.” I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full—of butterflies. “You?” I looked at the empty table in front of him.

“No, I’m not hungry.” I didn’t understand his expression—it looked like he was enjoying some private joke.

Why do I get the feeling the Cullens have to keep moving because they can't stop making coy references to being immortal vampires in front of people?


“Can you do me a favor?” I asked after a second of hesitation.

He was suddenly wary. “That depends on what you want.”

“It’s not much,” I assured him.

He waited, guarded but curious.

“I just wondered… if you could warn me beforehand the next time you decide to ignore me for my own good. Just so I’m prepared.” I looked at the lemonade bottle as I spoke, tracing the circle of the opening with my pinkie finger.

“That sounds fair.” He was pressing his lips together to keep from laughing when I looked up.


“Then can I have one answer in return?” he demanded.


“Tell me one theory.”

Whoops. “Not that one.”

“You didn’t qualify, you just promised one answer,” he reminded me.

“And you’ve broken promises yourself,” I reminded him back.

“Just one theory—I won’t laugh.”

“Yes, you will.” I was positive about that.

Yes he will.


He looked down, and then glanced up at me through his long black lashes, his ocher eyes scorching.

“Please?” he breathed, leaning toward me.

I blinked, my mind going blank. Holy crow, how did he do that?

“Er, what?” I asked, dazed.

“Please tell me just one little theory.” His eyes still smoldered at me.

“Um, well, bitten by a radioactive spider?” Was he a hypnotist, too? Or was I just a hopeless pushover?

Or just crazy.


“That’s not very creative,” he scoffed.

“I’m sorry, that’s all I’ve got,” I said, miffed.

“You’re not even close,” he teased.

“No spiders?”


“And no radioactivity?”


“Dang,” I sighed.

“Kryptonite doesn’t bother me, either,” he chuckled.

“You’re not supposed to laugh, remember?”

He struggled to compose his face.

“I’ll figure it out eventually,” I warned him.

“I wish you wouldn’t try.” He was serious again.


“What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.

“Oh,” I said, as several things he’d hinted fell suddenly into place. “I see.”

“Do you?” His face was abruptly severe, as if he were afraid that he’d accidentally said too much.

“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.

He just looked at me, eyes full of some emotion I couldn’t comprehend.

What does that even look like?


“But not bad,” I whispered, shaking my head. “No, I don’t believe that you’re bad.”

“You’re wrong.” His voice was almost inaudible. He looked down, stealing my bottle lid and then spinning it on its side between his fingers. I stared at him, wondering why I didn’t feel afraid. He meant what he was saying—that was obvious. But I just felt anxious, on edge… and, more than anything else, fascinated. The same way I always felt when I was near him.

I'm starting to like the movie more for cutting down on the obnoxious padding. This post is already long as hell and virtually nothing has happened! We're in the same conversation that we started the chapter in and we've barely learned anything or progressed the plot!


The silence lasted until I noticed that the cafeteria was almost empty.

I jumped to my feet. “We’re going to be late.”

“I’m not going to class today,” he said, twirling the lid so fast it was just a blur.

“Why not?”

“It’s healthy to ditch class now and then.” He smiled up at me, but his eyes were still troubled.

Give him a leather jacket and a cigarette, ladies! He's a bad boy.


“Well, I’m going,” I told him. I was far too big a coward to risk getting caught.

He turned his attention back to his makeshift top. “I’ll see you later, then.”

I hesitated, torn, but then the first bell sent me hurrying out the door—with a last glance confirming that he hadn’t moved a centimeter.

As I half-ran to class, my head was spinning faster than the bottle cap.

Imagine going straight from reading James Bond to this.


So few questions had been answered in comparison to how many new questions had been raised. At least the rain had stopped.

I was lucky; Mr. Banner wasn’t in the room yet when I arrived. I settled quickly into my seat, aware that both Mike and Angela were staring at me. Mike looked resentful; Angela looked surprised, and slightly awed.

Mr. Banner came in the room then, calling the class to order. He was juggling a few small cardboard boxes in his arms. He put them down on Mike’s table, telling him to start passing them around the class.

“Okay, guys, I want you all to take one piece from each box,” he said as he produced a pair of rubber gloves from the pocket of his lab jacket and pulled them on. The sharp sound as the gloves snapped into place against his wrists seemed ominous to me. “The first should be an indicator card,” he went on, grabbing a white card with four squares marked on it and displaying it. “The second is a four-pronged applicator—” he held up something that looked like a nearly toothless hair pick “—and the third is a sterile micro-lancet.” He held up a small piece of blue plastic and split it open. The barb was invisible from this distance, but my stomach flipped.

“I’ll be coming around with a dropper of water to prepare your cards, so please don’t start until I get to you.” He began at Mike’s table again, carefully putting one drop of water in each of the four squares. “Then I want you to carefully prick your finger with the lancet.…” He grabbed Mike’s hand and jabbed the spike into the tip of Mike’s middle finger. Oh no. Clammy moisture broke out across my forehead.

I wonder how long Meyer can drag this one out?


“Put a small drop of blood on each of the prongs.” He demonstrated, squeezing Mike’s finger till the blood flowed. I swallowed convulsively, my stomach heaving.

“And then apply it to the card,” he finished, holding up the dripping red card for us to see. I closed my eyes, trying to hear through the ringing in my ears.

I, uh, don't think that's exactly what it's like when you feel faint at the sight of blood.


“The Red Cross is having a blood drive in Port Angeles next weekend, so I thought you should all know your blood type.” He sounded proud of himself. “Those of you who aren’t eighteen yet will need a parent’s permission—I have slips at my desk.”

He continued through the room with his water drops. I put my cheek against the cool black tabletop and tried to hold on to my consciousness. All around me I could hear squeals, complaints, and giggles as my classmates skewered their fingers. I breathed slowly in and out through my mouth.

“Bella, are you all right?” Mr. Banner asked. His voice was close to my head, and it sounded alarmed.

“I already know my blood type, Mr. Banner,” I said in a weak voice. I was afraid to raise my head.

“Are you feeling faint?”

“Yes, sir,” I muttered, internally kicking myself for not ditching when I had the chance.

See, Edward is already a bad influence on her!


“Can someone take Bella to the nurse, please?” he called.

I didn’t have to look up to know that it would be Mike who volunteered.

“Can you walk?” Mr. Banner asked.

“Yes,” I whispered. Just let me get out of here, I thought. I’ll crawl.

Mike seemed eager as he put his arm around my waist and pulled my arm over his shoulder. I leaned against him heavily on the way out of the classroom.

Mike towed me slowly across campus. When we were around the edge of the cafeteria, out of sight of building four in case Mr. Banner was watching, I stopped.

“Just let me sit for a minute, please?” I begged.

Remember this is the protagonist that Stephenie Meyer wants us to root for and enjoy reading about.


He helped me sit on the edge of the walk.

“And whatever you do, keep your hand in your pocket,” I warned. I was still so dizzy. I slumped over on my side, putting my cheek against the freezing, damp cement of the sidewalk, closing my eyes. That seemed to help a little.

“Wow, you’re green, Bella,” Mike said nervously.

“Bella?” a different voice called from the distance.

No! Please let me be imagining that horribly familiar voice.

“What’s wrong—is she hurt?” His voice was closer now, and he sounded upset. I wasn’t imagining it. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to die. Or, at the very least, not to throw up.

Mike seemed stressed. “I think she’s fainted. I don’t know what happened, she didn’t even stick her finger.”

“Bella.” Edward’s voice was right beside me, relieved now. “Can you hear me?”

“No,” I groaned. “Go away.”

How loving.


He chuckled. “I was taking her to the nurse,” Mike explained in a defensive tone, “but she wouldn’t go any farther.”

“I’ll take her,” Edward said. I could hear the smile still in his voice. “You can go back to class.”

“No,” Mike protested. “I’m supposed to do it.”

Suddenly the sidewalk disappeared from beneath me. My eyes flew open in shock. Edward had scooped me up in his arms, as easily as if I weighed ten pounds instead of a hundred and ten.

“Put me down!” Please, please let me not vomit on him. He was walking before I was finished talking.

“Hey!” Mike called, already ten paces behind us. Edward ignored him.

“You look awful,” he told me, grinning.

“Put me back on the sidewalk,” I moaned. The rocking movement of his walk was not helping. He held me away from his body, gingerly, supporting all my weight with just his arms—it didn’t seem to bother him.

“So you faint at the sight of blood?” he asked. This seemed to entertain him.

I didn’t answer. I closed my eyes again and fought the nausea with all my strength, clamping my lips together.

“And not even your own blood,” he continued, enjoying himself.

I wonder how Bella has dealt with periods for so many years if she instantly faints from a single drop of blood on someone's finger.


I don’t know how he opened the door while carrying me, but it was suddenly warm, so I knew we were inside.

“Oh my,” I heard a female voice gasp.

“She fainted in Biology,” Edward explained.

I opened my eyes. I was in the office, and Edward was striding past the front counter toward the nurse’s door. Ms. Cope, the redheaded front office receptionist, ran ahead of him to hold it open. The grandmotherly nurse looked up from a novel, astonished, as Edward swung me into the room and placed me gently on the crackly paper that covered the brown vinyl mattress on the one cot. Then he moved to stand against the wall as far across the narrow room as possible. His eyes were bright, excited.

“She’s just a little faint,” he reassured the startled nurse. “They’re blood typing in Biology.”

The nurse nodded sagely. “There’s always one.”

"Cowards, we call them."


He muffled a snicker. “Just lie down for a minute, honey; it’ll pass.”

“I know,” I sighed. The nausea was already fading.

“Does this happen a lot?” she asked.

“Sometimes,” I admitted. Edward coughed to hide another laugh.

“You can go back to class now,” she told him.

“I’m supposed to stay with her.” He said this with such assured authority that—even though she pursed her lips—the nurse didn’t argue it further.

“I’ll go get you some ice for your forehead, dear,” she said to me, and then bustled out of the room.

“You were right,” I moaned, letting my eyes close.

“I usually am—but about what in particular this time?”



“Ditching is healthy.” I practiced breathing evenly.

“You scared me for a minute there,” he admitted after a pause. His tone made it sound like he was confessing a humiliating weakness. “I thought Newton was dragging your dead body off to bury it in the woods.”

Mike doesn't have nearly enough personality to be revealed as a serial killer.


“Ha ha.” I still had my eyes closed, but I was feeling more normal every minute.

“Honestly—I’ve seen corpses with better color. I was concerned that I might have to avenge your murder.”

“Poor Mike. I’ll bet he’s mad.”

“He absolutely loathes me,” Edward said cheerfully.

“You can’t know that,” I argued, but then I wondered suddenly if he could.

“I saw his face—I could tell.”

“How did you see me? I thought you were ditching.” I was almost fine now, though the queasiness would probably pass faster if I’d eaten something for lunch. On the other hand, maybe it was lucky my stomach was empty.

“I was in my car, listening to a CD.” Such a normal response—it surprised me.

Maybe that's why this book had the appeal it did. It's all for the kids who would ditch class to listen to My Chemical Romance.


I heard the door and opened my eyes to see the nurse with a cold compress in her hand.

“Here you go, dear.” She laid it across my forehead. “You’re looking better,” she added.

“I think I’m fine,” I said, sitting up. Just a little ringing in my ears, no spinning. The mint green walls stayed where they should.

I could see she was about to make me lie back down, but the door opened just then, and Ms. Cope stuck her head in.

“We’ve got another one,” she warned.

I hopped down to free up the cot for the next invalid. I handed the compress back to the nurse. “Here, I don’t need this.”

Bella just has a thing about running away from medical treatment.

Actually, making that joke suddenly reminded me. Bella was in the hospital and Tyler's face was all sliced up from the crash, but she never once saw any blood or had a reaction to it? Maybe her annoyance at Tyler being guilty for nearly killing her overrode her weakness.


And then Mike staggered through the door, now supporting a sallow-looking Lee Stephens, another boy in our Biology class. Edward and I drew back against the wall to give them room.

In case you were wondering, Lee Stephens is not in the movie. He makes a few intermittent appearances as a background character and never does anything.


“Oh no,” Edward muttered. “Go out to the office, Bella.”

I looked up at him, bewildered. “Trust me—go.”

I spun and caught the door before it closed, darting out of the infirmary. I could feel Edward right behind me.

“You actually listened to me.” He was stunned.

“I smelled the blood,” I said, wrinkling my nose. Lee wasn’t sick from watching other people, like me.

“People can’t smell blood,” he contradicted.

“Well, I can—that’s what makes me sick. It smells like rust… and salt.”

He was staring at me with an unfathomable expression.

I think he's realizing the hospital plot hole too.


“What?” I asked.

“It’s nothing.”

Mike came through the door then, glancing from me to Edward. The look he gave Edward confirmed what Edward had said about loathing. He looked back at me, his eyes glum.

You look better,” he accused.

“Just keep your hand in your pocket,” I warned him again.

As we all know, pockets block smells.


“It’s not bleeding anymore,” he muttered. “Are you going back to class?”

“Are you kidding? I’d just have to turn around and come back.”

“Yeah, I guess.… So are you going this weekend? To the beach?” While he spoke, he flashed another glare toward Edward, who was standing against the cluttered counter, motionless as a sculpture, staring off into space.

According to Midnight Sun, Edward is staring into space because he's utterly furious at Bella spending time with anyone else.


I tried to sound as friendly as possible. “Sure, I said I was in.”

“We’re meeting at my dad’s store, at ten.” His eyes flickered to Edward again, wondering if he was giving out too much information. His body language made it clear that it wasn’t an open invitation.

“I’ll be there,” I promised.

“I’ll see you in Gym, then,” he said, moving uncertainly toward the door.

“See you,” I replied. He looked at me once more, his round face slightly pouting, and then as he walked slowly through the door, his shoulders slumped. A swell of sympathy washed over me. I pondered seeing his disappointed face again… in Gym.

“Gym,” I groaned.

“I can take care of that.” I hadn’t noticed Edward moving to my side, but he spoke now in my ear. “Go sit down and look pale,” he muttered.

That wasn’t a challenge; I was always pale, and my recent swoon had left a light sheen of sweat on my face. I sat in one of the creaky folding chairs and rested my head against the wall with my eyes closed. Fainting spells always exhausted me.

Our protagonist is a cowardly, clumsy sociopath in poor physical condition who passes out at the sight of one drop of blood (when narratively convenient). Bella is often criticized for lacking really any agency in the plot and just being someone that things happen to, and it's clear from the beginning that it's because Meyer wrote someone with absolutely zero tools to actually affect the narrative.


I heard Edward speaking softly at the counter. “Ms. Cope?”

“Yes?” I hadn’t heard her return to her desk.

“Bella has Gym next hour, and I don’t think she feels well enough. Actually, I was thinking I should take her home now. Do you think you could excuse her from class?” His voice was like melting honey. I could imagine how much more overwhelming his eyes would be.

“Do you need to be excused, too, Edward?” Ms. Cope fluttered. Why couldn’t I do that?

When a nearly century-old vampire in a 17-year-old's body is seducing a school nurse, which is the creepier one?


“No, I have Mrs. Goff, she won’t mind.”

“Okay, it’s all taken care of. You feel better, Bella,” she called to me. I nodded weakly, hamming it up just a bit.

“Can you walk, or do you want me to carry you again?” With his back to the receptionist, his expression became sarcastic.

“I’ll walk.”

I stood carefully, and I was still fine. He held the door for me, his smile polite but his eyes mocking. I walked out into the cold, fine mist that had just begun to fall. It felt nice—the first time I’d enjoyed the constant moisture falling out of the sky—as it washed my face clean of the sticky perspiration.

“Thanks,” I said as he followed me out. “It’s almost worth getting sick to miss Gym.”

I won't disagree there.


“Anytime.” He was staring straight forward, squinting into the rain.

“So are you going? This Saturday, I mean?” I was hoping he would, though it seemed unlikely. I couldn’t picture him loading up to carpool with the rest of the kids from school; he didn’t belong in the same world. But just hoping that he might gave me the first twinge of enthusiasm I’d felt for the outing.

“Where are you all going, exactly?” He was still looking ahead, expressionless.

“Down to La Push, to First Beach.” I studied his face, trying to read it. His eyes seemed to narrow infinitesimally.

He glanced down at me from the corner of his eye, smiling wryly. “I really don’t think I was invited.”

I sighed. “I just invited you.”

“Let’s you and I not push poor Mike any further this week. We don’t want him to snap.” His eyes danced; he was enjoying the idea more than he should.

“Mike-schmike,” I muttered, preoccupied by the way he’d said “you and I.” I liked it more than I should.

When was the last time a teenager seriously said "Mike-schmike" as opposed to "Man, gently caress Mike"?


We were near the parking lot now. I veered left, toward my truck. Something caught my jacket, yanking me back.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.

I was confused. “I’m going home.”

“Didn’t you hear me promise to take you safely home? Do you think I’m going to let you drive in your condition?” His voice was still indignant.

But her condition is fake! You were both acting!


“What condition? And what about my truck?” I complained.

“I’ll have Alice drop it off after school.” He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket. It was all I could do to keep from falling backward. He’d probably just drag me along anyway if I did.

“Let go!” I insisted. He ignored me. I staggered along sideways across the wet sidewalk until we reached the Volvo. Then he finally freed me—I stumbled against the passenger door.

“You are so pushy!” I grumbled.

The word you're looking for is "abusive" Bella!


“It’s open,” was all he responded. He got in the driver’s side.

“I am perfectly capable of driving myself home!” I stood by the car, fuming. It was raining harder now, and I’d never put my hood up, so my hair was dripping down my back.

He lowered the automatic window and leaned toward me across the seat. “Get in, Bella.” I didn’t answer.

I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. I had to admit, they weren’t good.

“I’ll just drag you back,” he threatened, guessing my plan.

"Hahaha, Mike is such a secret murderer. Also, get the gently caress in my car or I'll drag you in myself."


I tried to maintain what dignity I could as I got into his car. I wasn’t very successful—I looked like a half-drowned cat and my boots squeaked.

“This is completely unnecessary,” I said stiffly.

No, most of the chapter preceding this was unnecessary. This is Ted Bundy's start of darkness.


He didn’t answer. He fiddled with the controls, turning the heater up and the music down. As he pulled out of the parking lot, I was preparing to give him the silent treatment—my face in full pout mode—but then I recognized the music playing, and my curiosity got the better of my intentions.

“Clair de Lune?” I asked, surprised.

“You know Debussy?” He sounded surprised, too.

"Clair de Lune" is a pretty famous piano piece. Recognizing it isn't a tremendous achievement.


“Not well,” I admitted. “My mother plays a lot of classical music around the house—I only know my favorites.”

“It’s one of my favorites, too.” He stared out through the rain, lost in thought.

I listened to the music, relaxing against the light gray leather seat. It was impossible not to respond to the familiar, soothing melody. The rain blurred everything outside the window into gray and green smudges. I began to realize we were driving very fast; the car moved so steadily, so evenly, though, I didn’t feel the speed. Only the town flashing by gave it away.

Man, she forgets about being forced into a creepy guy's car real fast.


“What is your mother like?” he asked me suddenly.

I glanced over to see him studying me with curious eyes.

“She looks a lot like me, but she’s prettier,” I said. He raised his eyebrows. “I have too much Charlie in me. She’s more outgoing than I am, and braver. She’s irresponsible and slightly eccentric, and she’s a very unpredictable cook. She’s my best friend.” I stopped. Talking about her was making me depressed.

“How old are you, Bella?” His voice sounded frustrated for some reason I couldn’t imagine. He’d stopped the car, and I realized we were at Charlie’s house already. The rain was so heavy that I could barely see the house at all. It was like the car was submerged under a river.

“I’m seventeen,” I responded, a little confused.

“You don’t seem seventeen.”

"More like twelve on a good day."


His tone was reproachful; it made me laugh.

“What?” he asked, curious again.

“My mom always says I was born thirty-five years old and that I get more middle-aged every year.” I laughed, and then sighed. “Well, someone has to be the adult.” I paused for a second. “You don’t seem much like a junior in high school yourself,” I noted.

I think your mom was only saying that because she's permanently a child. I can't remind people enough that Renee Swan got married young, had a kid, and got bored with small town life and abandoned her husband while taking advantage of his depression and ailing parents to get primary custody of their daughter. She was then so useless that Bella was forced to take care of all the basic household tasks until she found a new husband who would coddle her. And somehow she's the one Bella sympathizes with, rather than her eternally put-upon father who continues to dote on her despite her whiny and demanding personality.


He made a face and changed the subject.

“So why did your mother marry Phil?”

I was surprised he would remember the name; I’d mentioned it just once, almost two months ago. It took me a moment to answer.

“My mother… she’s very young for her age. I think Phil makes her feel even younger. At any rate, she’s crazy about him.” I shook my head. The attraction was a mystery to me.

“Do you approve?” he asked.

“Does it matter?” I countered. “I want her to be happy… and he is who she wants.”

“That’s very generous.… I wonder,” he mused.


“Would she extend the same courtesy to you, do you think? No matter who your choice was?” He was suddenly intent, his eyes searching mine.

I don't know if Renee is mentally capable of understanding her daughter having a relationship.


“I-I think so,” I stuttered. “But she’s the parent, after all. It’s a little bit different.”

“No one too scary then,” he teased.

I grinned in response. “What do you mean by scary? Multiple facial piercings and extensive tattoos?”

“That’s one definition, I suppose.”

“What’s your definition?”

But he ignored my question and asked me another. “Do you think that I could be scary?” He raised one eyebrow, and the faint trace of a smile lightened his face.

This entire sequence with the car has been right out of a serial killer playbook. Any sane girl would be diving out onto the highway right now.


I thought for a moment, wondering whether the truth or a lie would go over better. I decided to go with the truth. “Hmmm… I think you could be, if you wanted to.”

“Are you frightened of me now?” The smile vanished, and his heavenly face was suddenly serious.

“No.” But I answered too quickly. The smile returned.

You loving should be!


“So, now are you going to tell me about your family?” I asked to distract him. “It’s got to be a much more interesting story than mine.”

He was instantly cautious. “What do you want to know?”

“The Cullens adopted you?” I verified.


I hesitated for a moment. “What happened to your parents?”

“They died many years ago.” His tone was matter-of-fact.

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled.

“I don’t really remember them that clearly. Carlisle and Esme have been my parents for a long time now.”

“And you love them.” It wasn’t a question. It was obvious in the way he spoke of them.

“Yes.” He smiled. “I couldn’t imagine two better people.”

“You’re very lucky.”

“I know I am.”

“And your brother and sister?”

He glanced at the clock on the dashboard.

“My brother and sister, and Jasper and Rosalie for that matter, are going to be quite upset if they have to stand in the rain waiting for me.”

“Oh, sorry, I guess you have to go.” I didn’t want to get out of the car.

The car you were physically forced into.


“And you probably want your truck back before Chief Swan gets home, so you don’t have to tell him about the Biology incident.” He grinned at me.

“I’m sure he’s already heard. There are no secrets in Forks.” I sighed.

Again, not that small of a town!


He laughed, and there was an edge to his laughter.

“Have fun at the beach… good weather for sunbathing.” He glanced out at the sheeting rain.

“Won’t I see you tomorrow?”

“No. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early.”

“What are you going to do?” A friend could ask that, right? I hoped the disappointment wasn’t too apparent in my voice.

“We’re going to be hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Rainier.”

I remembered Charlie had said the Cullens went camping frequently.

To hide all the bodies!


“Oh, well, have fun.” I tried to sound enthusiastic. I don’t think I fooled him, though. A smile was playing around the edges of his lips.

“Will you do something for me this weekend?” He turned to look me straight in the face, utilizing the full power of his burning gold eyes.

I nodded helplessly.

“Don’t be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So… try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?” He smiled crookedly.

"It's less fun if I can't do it myself."


The helplessness had faded as he spoke. I glared at him.

“I’ll see what I can do,” I snapped as I jumped out into the rain. I slammed the door behind me with excessive force.

But she's not normally violent, right?


He was still smiling as he drove away.

Apr 23, 2014

I'm kinda wanting to finish this series with Midnight Sun because it really explains why Robert Pattinson would have such a hatred of Edward. Being exposed to all of his internal thoughts reveals exactly what level of depravity being a vampire for almost 100 years has dropped him to.

Basically, he's incapable of viewing humans as humans. While he has an obsessive love for Bella, he's utterly disconnected from just about every other human being at this point in the book. He not only considers himself a rival of Mike's, but actually fantasizes about ways of murdering him whenever he gets Bella's attention.

As far as why he's forcing Bella into his car, he wanted to practice being close to her for an extended period of time without giving into the urge to kill her. Keep in mind that Edward is spending all of his scenes with Bella with the insatiable urge to murder her. This is a romance of a monster and a sociopath.

Apr 10, 2010

College Slice

Edward, for being an immortal century old predator who instinctively sees human beings as prey instead of equals, still has more emotional intelligence than Bella, though.

Apr 23, 2014

Something noticeable with Midnight Sun as the "final" entry in the Twilight series is that Meyer's writing never really gets better. She's more capable of complex emotions and has learned more words, but her style of writing is still incredibly stilted and includes very awkward turns of phrase. It actually seems to get even worse at times because she's trying to emulate Edward's age with more archaic speech.

Here's that final sequence from his perspective:


If I let her push for too many details, I would have to lie. I glanced at the clock, disheartened that my time with her was up.

"My brother and sister, and Jasper and Rosalie for that matter, are going to be quite upset if they have to stand in the rain waiting for me."

"Oh, sorry, I guess you have to go." She didn't move. She didn't want our time to be up, either. I liked that very, very much.

"And you probably want your truck back before Chief Swan gets home, so you don't have to tell him about the Biology incident." I grinned at the memory of her embarrassment in my arms.

"I'm sure he's already heard. There are no secrets in Forks." She said the name of the town with distinct distaste.

I laughed at her words. No secrets, indeed. "Have fun at the beach." I glanced at the pouring rain, knowing it would not last, and wishing more strongly than usual that it could. "Good weather for sunbathing." Well, it would be by Saturday. She would enjoy that.

"Won't I see you tomorrow?"

The worry in her tone pleased me.

"No. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early." I was mad at myself now for having made the plans.

I could break them...but there was no such thing as too much hunting at this point, and my family was going to be concerned enough about my behavior without me revealing how obsessive I was turning.

"What are you going to do?" she asked, not sounded happy with my revelation. Good.

"We're going to be hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Rainier."

Emmett was eager for bear season.

"Oh, well, have fun," she said halfheartedly. Her lack of enthusiasm pleased me again.

As I stared at her, I began to feel almost agonized at the thought of saying even a temporary goodbye.

She was just so soft and vulnerable. It seemed foolhardy to let her out of my sight, where anything could happen to her. And yet, the worst things that could happen to her would result from being with me.

"Will you do something for me this weekend?" I asked seriously.

She nodded, her eyes wide and bewildered by my intensity.

Keep it light.

"Don't be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So...try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?"

I smiled ruefully at her, hoping she couldn't see the sadness in my eyes. How much I wished that she wasn't so much better off away from me, no matter what might happen to her there.

Run, Bella, run. I love you too much, for your good or mine.

She was offended by my teasing. She glared at me. "I'll see what I can do," she snapped, jumping out into the rain and slamming the door as hard as she could behind her.

Just like an angry kitten that believes it's a tiger.

I curled my hand around the key I'd just picked from her jacket pocket, and smiled as I drove away.

Keep in mind that no matter what Edward seemed like in the original book, this is what Robert Pattinson had in his head the whole time.

Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

No wonder he was down on the character, sheesh

Apr 23, 2014

Here's an even sketchier passage. It's almost a game to find places where both characters are being awful at the same time.


Mike Newton interrupted us then, entering the room with resentful, violent thoughts.

"You look better," he said to her rudely.

My hand twitched, wanting to teach him some manners. I would have to watch myself, or I would end up actually killing this obnoxious boy.

"Just keep your hand in your pocket," she said. For one wild second, I thought she was talking to me.

"It's not bleeding anymore," he answered sullenly. "Are you going back to class?"

"Are you kidding? I'd just have to turn around and come back."

That was very good. I'd thought I was going to have to miss this whole hour with her, and now I got extra time instead. I felt greedy, a miser hording over each minute. "Yeah, I guess..." Mike mumbled. "So are you going this weekend? To the beach?"

Ah, they had plans. Anger froze me in place. It was a group trip, though. I'd seen some of this in other students' heads. It wasn't just the two of them. I was still furious. I leaned motionlessly against the counter, trying to control myself.

"Sure, I said I was in," she promised him.

So she'd said yes to him, too. The jealousy burned, more painful than thirst.

No, it was just a group outing, I tried to convince myself. She was just spending the day with friends. Nothing more.

"We're meeting at my dad's store, at ten." And Cullen's NOT invited.

"I'll be there," she said.

"I'll see you in Gym, then."

"See you," she replied.

He shuffled off to his class, his thoughts full of ire. What does she see in that freak? Sure, he's rich, I guess. Chicks think he's hot, but I don't see that. Too...too perfect. I bet his dad experiments with plastic surgery on all of them. That's why they're all so white and pretty. It's not natural. And he's sort of...scary-looking. Sometimes, when he stares at me, I'd swear he's thinking about killing me... Freak...

Mike wasn't entirely unperceptive.

"Gym," Bella repeated quietly. A groan.

I looked at her, and saw that she was sad about something again. I wasn't sure why, but it was clear that she didn't want to go to her next class with Mike, and I was all for that plan.

I went to her side and bent close to her face, feeling the warmth of her skin radiating out to my lips. I didn't dare breathe.

"I can take care of that," I murmured. "Go sit down and look pale."

She did as I asked, sitting in one of the folding chairs and leaning her head back against the wall, while, behind me, Ms. Cope came out of the back room and went to her desk. With her eyes closed, Bella looked as if she'd passed out again. Her full color hadn't returned yet.

I turned to the secretary. Hopefully Bella was paying attention to this, I thought sardonically. This was how a human was supposed to respond.

"Ms. Cope?" I asked, using my persuasive voice again.

Her eyelashes fluttered, and her heart sped up. Too young, get a hold of yourself!


That was interesting. When Shelly Cope's pulse quickened, it was because she found me physically attractive, not because she was frightened. I was used to that around human females...yet I hadn't considered that explanation for Bella's racing heart. I rather liked that. Too much, in fact. I smiled, and Mrs. Cope's breathing got louder.

"Bella has gym next hour, and I don't think she feels well enough. Actually, I was thinking I should take her home now. Do you think you could excuse her from class?" I stared into her depthless eyes, enjoying the havoc that this wreaked on her thought processes. Was it possible that Bella...?

Mrs. Cope had to swallow loudly before she answered. "Do you need to be excused, too, Edward?"

"No, I have Mrs. Goff, she won't mind."

I wasn't paying much attention to her now. I was exploring this new possibility. Hmm. I'd like to believe that Bella found me attractive like other humans did, but when did Bella ever have the same reactions as other humans? I shouldn't get my hopes up.

"Okay, it's all taken care of. You feel better, Bella."

Bella nodded weakly - overacting a bit.

"Can you walk, or do you want me to carry you again?" I asked, amused by her poor theatrics. I knew she would want to walk - she wouldn't want to be weak. "I'll walk," she said.

Right again. I was getting better at this.

She got up, hesitating for a moment as if to check her balance. I held the door for her, and we walked out into the rain.

I watched her as she lifted her face to the light rain with her eyes closed, a slight smile on her lips. What was she thinking? Something about this action seemed off, and I quickly realized why the posture looked unfamiliar to me. Normal human girls wouldn't raise their faces to the drizzle that way; normal human girls usually wore makeup, even here in this wet place.

Bella never wore makeup, nor should she. The cosmetics industry made billions of dollars a year from women who were trying to attain skin like hers.

"Thanks," she said, smiling at me now. "It's worth getting sick to miss Gym."

I stared across the campus, wondering how to prolong my time with her.

"Anytime," I said.

"So are you going? This Saturday, I mean?" She sounded hopeful.

Ah, her hope was soothing. She wanted me with her, not Mike Newton. And I wanted to say yes. But there were many things to consider. For one, the sun would be shining this Saturday...

"Where are you all going, exactly?" I tried to keep my voice nonchalant, as if it didn't matter much. Mike had said beach, though. Not much chance of avoiding sunlight there.

"Down to La Push, to First Beach."

drat. Well, it was impossible, then.

Anyway, Emmett would be irritated if I cancelled our plans.

I glanced down at her, smiling wryly. "I really don't think I was invited." She sighed, already resigned. "I just invited you."

"Let's you and I not push poor Mike any further this week. We don't want him to snap." I thought about snapping poor Mike myself, and enjoyed the mental picture intensely.

"Mike-schmike," she said, dismissive again. I smiled widely.

And then she started to walk away from me.

Without thinking about my action, I reached out and caught her by the back of her rain jacket. She jerked to a stop.

"Where do you think you're going?" I was almost angry that she was leaving me.

I hadn't had enough time with her. She couldn't go, not yet.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 23:11 on Jul 2, 2019

Apr 10, 2010

College Slice

Here's the thing. Honestly, Edward being creepy doesn't really bother me. Being a hundred year old immortal stuck in the body of a 17 year old who instinctively sees humans as either prey or threats and has spent his entire lifetime forcing himself to be self controlled and emotionally repressed because he knows that the sight or smell of blood will drive him into a frenzy probably means that he's not going to view the world the same way you or I would. It, of course, also means he's not good boyfriend material for an actual 17 year old human girl.

But to give a little bit of credit to the Edward of Midnight Sun, or at least the excerpts posted, he knows that. He knows that any sort of humanity or understanding he's showing is a deliberate act, and all he wants to do is kill or dominate. And he knows how he affects people...he outright seduces the school nurse so she'll do what he wants. Is it creepy? Sure. But he at least is showing some sort of agency here. So I still find Edward less obnoxious than Bella, who has shown no sort of self awareness or agency at all.

Dec 24, 2007

While I was aware of its existence I never read or watched any of this series and this thread is quite a revelation.

Sep 8, 2016

Edward posted:

Run, Bella, run. I love you too much, for your good or mine. 

He's talked to her like three times at this point

Apr 23, 2014

PsychedelicWarlord posted:

He's talked to her like three times at this point

Bella’s the most inexplicable one here. Edward at least has the excuse of unusually strong hunger toward her blood. She had one mildly annoying incident on her first day and was sobbing and unable to sleep from it, then spent a whole week obsessing over him.

Sep 21, 2010

chitoryu12 posted:

Bella’s the most inexplicable one here. Edward at least has the excuse of unusually strong hunger toward her blood. She had one mildly annoying incident on her first day and was sobbing and unable to sleep from it, then spent a whole week obsessing over him.

Yeah, also having someone who's mind you can't read after 100+ years of being able to read everyone is actually a pretty strong hook for why he's obsessed with her. Like reading all the excerpts from the Edward POV book, Meyer is really pushing the idea that Edward can't actually function without the ability to read minds and is constantly misinterpreting everything about Bella because he can't cheat and get into her head like everyone else.

May 10, 2008


I felt greedy, a miser hording over each minute.

You hack, Meyer, that's not how you spell "hoarding", nor how you use it.

Apr 23, 2014

Zore posted:

Yeah, also having someone who's mind you can't read after 100+ years of being able to read everyone is actually a pretty strong hook for why he's obsessed with her. Like reading all the excerpts from the Edward POV book, Meyer is really pushing the idea that Edward can't actually function without the ability to read minds and is constantly misinterpreting everything about Bella because he can't cheat and get into her head like everyone else.

As always, there’s a much better idea and story buried beneath her amateur writing and awful characterization.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009

Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!

Morbid Hound

chitoryu12 posted:

As always, there’s a much better idea and story buried beneath her amateur writing and awful characterization.

Probably part of why the books inspired so much fanfiction. Even EL James looks at this and goes "I can do that. I can do better than that."

Sep 8, 2016

A more interesting story would focus on how Edward is essentially a predator and the Cullens are really badly attempting to ape humanity with little success. There are also moral dilemmas with the Cullens: one of them is a surgeon but the rest just pretend to do high school instead of actually useful stuff. And they are aware of the vampires who are, uh, bad, but have a sort of don't ask don't tell policy toward widespread murder.

When I was a teenage girl reading these books and getting into the fandom, I liked all the stories that played with the minor characters. There are some actual good elements in the story that are just dropped or poorly handled: I am not sure what the spoiler policy is so I'll hold off.

I hadn't read Midnight Sun so I am kind of delighted to hear that the Cullens are just as big sickos as they come off in the series: constantly debating about murdering people to maintain their facade of "hot highschooler."

Apr 23, 2014

PsychedelicWarlord posted:

A more interesting story would focus on how Edward is essentially a predator and the Cullens are really badly attempting to ape humanity with little success. There are also moral dilemmas with the Cullens: one of them is a surgeon but the rest just pretend to do high school instead of actually useful stuff. And they are aware of the vampires who are, uh, bad, but have a sort of don't ask don't tell policy toward widespread murder.

When I was a teenage girl reading these books and getting into the fandom, I liked all the stories that played with the minor characters. There are some actual good elements in the story that are just dropped or poorly handled: I am not sure what the spoiler policy is so I'll hold off.

I hadn't read Midnight Sun so I am kind of delighted to hear that the Cullens are just as big sickos as they come off in the series: constantly debating about murdering people to maintain their facade of "hot highschooler."

I'm more casual with spoilers here because most of the really heinous poo poo (like "imprinting") is already well known in popular culture. I'd just put it behind spoiler tags.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 6: Scary Stories


As I sat in my room, trying to concentrate on the third act of Macbeth, I was really listening for my truck. I would have thought, even over the pounding rain, I could have heard the engine’s roar. But when I went to peek out the curtain—again—it was suddenly there.

I checked Midnight Sun to see if there was any supernatural explanation like the Cullens carrying her truck to the driveway for no reason, but no. She just couldn't hear it over the rain.


I wasn’t looking forward to Friday, and it more than lived up to my non-expectations. Of course there were the fainting comments. Jessica especially seemed to get a kick out of that story. Luckily Mike had kept his mouth shut, and no one seemed to know about Edward’s involvement. She did have a lot of questions about lunch, though.

“So what did Edward Cullen want yesterday?” Jessica asked in Trig.

“I don’t know,” I answered truthfully. “He never really got to the point.”

As always, bad writing is okay if the characters make fun of it!


“You looked kind of mad,” she fished.

“Did I?” I kept my expression blank.

“You know, I’ve never seen him sit with anyone but his family before. That was weird.”

“Weird,” I agreed. She seemed annoyed; she flipped her dark curls impatiently—I guessed she’d been hoping to hear something that would make a good story for her to pass on.

Bella reminds me of those "I have an old soul!" girls who are really just sanctimonious about their immaturity. Virtually all of her female peers are shallower than thou and only care about gossip and boys.


The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn’t going to be there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica and Mike, I couldn’t keep from looking at his table, where Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper sat talking, heads close together. And I couldn’t stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn’t know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.

At my usual table, everyone was full of our plans for the next day. Mike was animated again, putting a great deal of trust in the local weatherman who promised sun tomorrow. I’d have to see that before I believed it. But it was warmer today—almost sixty. Maybe the outing wouldn’t be completely miserable.

I intercepted a few unfriendly glances from Lauren during lunch, which I didn’t understand until we were all walking out of the room together. I was right behind her, just a foot from her slick, silver blond hair, and she was evidently unaware of that.

“… don’t know why Bella”—she sneered my name—“doesn’t just sit with the Cullens from now on,” I heard her muttering to Mike. I’d never noticed what an unpleasant, nasal voice she had, and I was surprised by the malice in it. I really didn’t know her well at all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me—or so I’d thought.

“She’s my friend; she sits with us,” Mike whispered back loyally, but also a bit territorially. I paused to let Jess and Angela pass me. I didn’t want to hear any more.

Also, blondes are pretty universally bitchy in this series.


That night at dinner, Charlie seemed enthusiastic about my trip to La Push in the morning. I think he felt guilty for leaving me home alone on the weekends, but he’d spent too many years building his habits to break them now. Of course he knew the names of all the kids going, and their parents, and their great-grandparents, too, probably. He seemed to approve. I wondered if he would approve of my plan to ride to Seattle with Edward Cullen. Not that I was going to tell him.

“Dad, do you know a place called Goat Rocks or something like that? I think it’s south of Mount Rainier,” I asked casually.

“Yeah—why?” I shrugged.

“Some kids were talking about camping there.”

“It’s not a very good place for camping.” He sounded surprised. “Too many bears. Most people go there during the hunting season.”

“Oh,” I murmured. “Maybe I got the name wrong.”

I meant to sleep in, but an unusual brightness woke me. I opened my eyes to see a clear yellow light streaming through my window. I couldn’t believe it. I hurried to the window to check, and sure enough, there was the sun.

Doo doo doo doo.


It was in the wrong place in the sky, too low, and it didn’t seem to be as close as it should be, but it was definitely the sun. Clouds ringed the horizon, but a large patch of blue was visible in the middle. I lingered by the window as long as I could, afraid that if I left the blue would disappear again.

The Newtons’ Olympic Outfitters store was just north of town. I’d seen the store, but I’d never stopped there—not having much need for any supplies required for being outdoors over an extended period of time. In the parking lot I recognized Mike’s Suburban and Tyler’s Sentra. As I pulled up next to their vehicles, I could see the group standing around in front of the Suburban. Eric was there, along with two other boys I had class with; I was fairly sure their names were Ben and Conner. Jess was there, flanked by Angela and Lauren. Three other girls stood with them, including one I remembered falling over in Gym on Friday. That one gave me a dirty look as I got out of the truck, and whispered something to Lauren. Lauren shook out her cornsilk hair and eyed me scornfully.

So it was going to be one of those days.

Ben, Conner, and Lauren never appear in the film as named characters. I don't think Ben or Conner ever do anything important except add flavor text to the background.


At least Mike was happy to see me.

“You came!” he called, delighted. “And I said it would be sunny today, didn’t I?”

“I told you I was coming,” I reminded him.

“We’re just waiting for Lee and Samantha… unless you invited someone,” Mike added.

“Nope,” I lied lightly, hoping I wouldn’t get caught in the lie. But also wishing that a miracle would occur, and Edward would appear.

Mike looked satisfied.

“Will you ride in my car? It’s that or Lee’s mom’s minivan.”

“Sure.” He smiled blissfully. It was so easy to make Mike happy.

“You can have shotgun,” he promised. I hid my chagrin. It wasn’t as simple to make Mike and Jessica happy at the same time. I could see Jessica glowering at us now.

Stephenie Meyer is one of those authors that will make you hate the word "chagrin". It appears 24 times in the books, including 9 times in Midnight Sun alone, and she regularly misuses it as an adjective.


The numbers worked out in my favor, though. Lee brought two extra people, and suddenly every seat was necessary. I managed to wedge Jess in between Mike and me in the front seat of the Suburban. Mike could have been more graceful about it, but at least Jess seemed appeased.

It was only fifteen miles to La Push from Forks, with gorgeous, dense green forests edging the road most of the way and the wide Quillayute River snaking beneath it twice. I was glad I had the window seat. We’d rolled the windows down—the Suburban was a bit claustrophobic with nine people in it—and I tried to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

I wonder how many of Bella's traits were meant to make her the anti-vampire. Being afraid of blood, loving the sun....


I’d been to the beaches around La Push many times during my Forks summers with Charlie, so the mile-long crescent of First Beach was familiar to me. It was still breathtaking. The water was dark gray, even in the sunlight, white-capped and heaving to the gray, rocky shore. Islands rose out of the steel harbor waters with sheer cliff sides, reaching to uneven summits, and crowned with austere, soaring firs. The beach had only a thin border of actual sand at the water’s edge, after which it grew into millions of large, smooth stones that looked uniformly gray from a distance, but close up were every shade a stone could be: terra-cotta, sea green, lavender, blue gray, dull gold. The tide line was strewn with huge driftwood trees, bleached bone white in the salt waves, some piled together against the edge of the forest fringe, some lying solitary, just out of reach of the waves.

There was a brisk wind coming off the waves, cool and briny. Pelicans floated on the swells while seagulls and a lone eagle wheeled above them. The clouds still circled the sky, threatening to invade at any moment, but for now the sun shone bravely in its halo of blue sky.

We picked our way down to the beach, Mike leading the way to a ring of driftwood logs that had obviously been used for parties like ours before. There was a fire circle already in place, filled with black ashes. Eric and the boy I thought was named Ben gathered broken branches of driftwood from the drier piles against the forest edge, and soon had a teepee-shaped construction built atop the old cinders.

“Have you ever seen a driftwood fire?” Mike asked me. I was sitting on one of the bone-colored benches; the other girls clustered, gossiping excitedly, on either side of me. Mike kneeled by the fire, lighting one of the smaller sticks with a cigarette lighter.

“No,” I said as he placed the blazing twig carefully against the teepee.

“You’ll like this then—watch the colors.” He lit another small branch and laid it alongside the first. The flames started to lick quickly up the dry wood.

“It’s blue,” I said in surprise.

“The salt does it. Pretty, isn’t it?” He lit one more piece, placed it where the fire hadn’t yet caught, and then came to sit by me. Thankfully, Jess was on his other side. She turned to him and claimed his attention. I watched the strange blue and green flames crackle toward the sky.

First off, it's amazing how incredibly boring Meyer manages to make this sequence. You can tell what she had in her head, but it's written in such a matter-of-fact way.

Second, this is correct. The salts in driftwood create lavender and blue flames when burned. The smoke is also toxic!


After a half hour of chatter, some of the boys wanted to hike to the nearby tidal pools. It was a dilemma. On the one hand, I loved the tide pools. They had fascinated me since I was a child; they were one of the only things I ever looked forward to when I had to come to Forks. On the other hand, I’d also fallen into them a lot. Not a big deal when you’re seven and with your dad. It reminded me of Edward’s request—that I not fall into the ocean.

Spoilers: Bella later falls in the ocean.


Lauren was the one who made my decision for me. She didn’t want to hike, and she was definitely wearing the wrong shoes for it. Most of the other girls besides Angela and Jessica decided to stay on the beach as well. I waited until Tyler and Eric had committed to remaining with them before I got up quietly to join the pro-hiking group. Mike gave me a huge smile when he saw that I was coming.

Lauren is a walking stereotype, from the blonde hair to the bitchiness toward the new girl to wearing fashion shoes for a hike.


The hike wasn’t too long, though I hated to lose the sky in the woods. The green light of the forest was strangely at odds with the adolescent laughter, too murky and ominous to be in harmony with the light banter around me. I had to watch each step I took very carefully, avoiding roots below and branches above, and I soon fell behind. Eventually I broke through the emerald confines of the forest and found the rocky shore again. It was low tide, and a tidal river flowed past us on its way to the sea. Along its pebbled banks, shallow pools that never completely drained were teeming with life.

I was very cautious not to lean too far over the little ocean ponds. The others were fearless, leaping over the rocks, perching precariously on the edges. I found a very stable-looking rock on the fringe of one of the largest pools and sat there cautiously, spellbound by the natural aquarium below me. The bouquets of brilliant anemones undulated ceaselessly in the invisible current, twisted shells scurried about the edges, obscuring the crabs within them, starfish stuck motionless to the rocks and each other, while one small black eel with white racing stripes wove through the bright green weeds, waiting for the sea to return. I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if he were here with me.

"I told you not to fall in the loving water."


Finally the boys were hungry, and I got up stiffly to follow them back. I tried to keep up better this time through the woods, so naturally I fell a few times. I got some shallow scrapes on my palms, and the knees of my jeans were stained green, but it could have been worse.

It's really unfair of Bella to get pissed at Edward and try to damage his property for warning her not to kill herself on this hike when she can't even walk through the woods without repeatedly tripping.


When we got back to First Beach, the group we’d left behind had multiplied. As we got closer we could see the shining, straight black hair and copper skin of the newcomers, teenagers from the reservation come to socialize. The food was already being passed around, and the boys hurried to claim a share while Eric introduced us as we each entered the driftwood circle. Angela and I were the last to arrive, and, as Eric said our names, I noticed a younger boy sitting on the stones near the fire glance up at me in interest. I sat down next to Angela, and Mike brought us sandwiches and an array of sodas to choose from, while a boy who looked to be the oldest of the visitors rattled off the names of the seven others with him. All I caught was that one of the girls was also named Jessica, and the boy who noticed me was named Jacob.

Awww poo poo here we go.


It was relaxing to sit with Angela; she was a restful kind of person to be around—she didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with chatter. She left me free to think undisturbed while we ate. And I was thinking about how disjointedly time seemed to flow in Forks, passing in a blur at times, with single images standing out more clearly than others. And then, at other times, every second was significant, etched in my mind. I knew exactly what caused the difference, and it disturbed me.

Time feels so disjointed because Meyer skips over huge chunks of time. It feels almost like it's been a few weeks at most if you're not paying attention to the text, but we started this book in January and it's now March. The mysterious boy Bella has been obsessing over has interacted with her about half a dozen times in 3 months and several of those conversations have been outright hostile or involved physical abuse.


During lunch the clouds started to advance, slinking across the blue sky, darting in front of the sun momentarily, casting long shadows across the beach, and blackening the waves. As they finished eating, people started to drift away in twos and threes. Some walked down to the edge of the waves, trying to skip rocks across the choppy surface. Others were gathering a second expedition to the tide pools. Mike—with Jessica shadowing him—headed up to the one shop in the village. Some of the local kids went with them; others went along on the hike. By the time they all had scattered, I was sitting alone on my driftwood log, with Lauren and Tyler occupying themselves by the CD player someone had thought to bring, and three teenagers from the reservation perched around the circle, including the boy named Jacob and the oldest boy who had acted as spokesperson.

A few minutes after Angela left with the hikers, Jacob sauntered over to take her place by my side. He looked fourteen, maybe fifteen, and had long, glossy black hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck. His skin was beautiful, silky and russet-colored; his eyes were dark, set deep above the high planes of his cheekbones. He still had just a hint of childish roundness left around his chin. Altogether, a very pretty face. However, my positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.

“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”

It was like the first day of school all over again.

Oh no, not those people who mistakenly use your full name! The worst humans!

The third member of our love triangle, 16-year-old Taylor Lautner was a child actor who infamously starred in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl in 3-D a few years earlier. He was initially interested mainly in martial arts and basketball as a child, but attended an Xtreme Martial Arts camp run by Michael Chaturantabut (the Blue Ranger on Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue) who encouraged him to take up acting. Many of his most famous roles as a youth were flops, but he choreographed his own fight scenes as Sharkboy thanks to his martial arts talent.

Possibly because of some distant Native American ancestry on his mother's side, Lautner was cast in the relatively minor role of Jacob Black in the first movie. However, Jacob goes through serious physical changes in New Moon and the studio began looking at Michael Copon (who was a Blue Ranger himself in Power Rangers Time Force) to replace him with someone with a better physique. Unwilling to give up the role, Lautner extensively weight trained until he had a body that even made Robert Pattinson jealous. His youth led to some controversy over his sudden status as an underage sex symbol, including dating Taylor Swift for a few months when he was 17 and she was 20.

Lautner has led a relatively low profile life, unlike his costars who went on to bigger and better things. He had a stint on Scream Queens and Cuckoo, but he seems content to mostly coast on his Twilight millions. He even still lives with his parents and hasn't really changed his daily routine.


“Bella,” I sighed.

“I’m Jacob Black.” He held his hand out in a friendly gesture. “You bought my dad’s truck.”

“Oh,” I said, relieved, shaking his sleek hand. “You’re Billy’s son. I probably should remember you.”

“No, I’m the youngest of the family—you would remember my older sisters.”

“Rachel and Rebecca,” I suddenly recalled. Charlie and Billy had thrown us together a lot during my visits, to keep us busy while they fished. We were all too shy to make much progress as friends. Of course, I’d kicked up enough tantrums to end the fishing trips by the time I was eleven.

Bella mentions her childhood a few times. Many of her recollections serve to reinforce that yes, she has been a giant whiny brat her entire life.


“Are they here?” I examined the girls at the ocean’s edge, wondering if I would recognize them now.

“No.” Jacob shook his head. “Rachel got a scholarship to Washington State, and Rebecca married a Samoan surfer—she lives in Hawaii now.”

“Married. Wow.” I was stunned. The twins were only a little over a year older than I was.

Despite the overall importance of the Black family in the plot, Rebecca and Rachel have practically nothing to do with it. Rachel is the only one to even appear physically later on.


“So how do you like the truck?” he asked. “I love it. It runs great.”

“Yeah, but it’s really slow,” he laughed. “I was so relieved when Charlie bought it. My dad wouldn’t let me work on building another car when we had a perfectly good vehicle right there.”

“It’s not that slow,” I objected.

“Have you tried to go over sixty?”

“No,” I admitted.

“Good. Don’t.” He grinned.

Remember that she was going to try and drive this thing 4 hours one way down unfamiliar highways without a cellphone in an isolated area because she was too awkward to go to the school dance.


I couldn’t help grinning back. “It does great in a collision,” I offered in my truck’s defense.

"I almost used it to smash up this guy's car because he irritated me at school!"


“I don’t think a tank could take out that old monster,” he agreed with another laugh.

“So you build cars?” I asked, impressed.

“When I have free time, and parts. You wouldn’t happen to know where I could get my hands on a master cylinder for a 1986 Volkswagen Rabbit?” he added jokingly. He had a pleasant, husky voice.

To her credit, despite his relatively small role Meyer definitely intended for Jacob to become the real member of the love triangle instead of Mike. It doesn't seem like she suddenly changed her mind when writing the sequel.


“Sorry,” I laughed, “I haven’t seen any lately, but I’ll keep my eyes open for you.” As if I knew what that was. He was very easy to talk with.

He flashed a brilliant smile, looking at me appreciatively in a way I was learning to recognize. I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

“You know Bella, Jacob?” Lauren asked—in what I imagined was an insolent tone—from across the fire.

“We’ve sort of known each other since I was born,” he laughed, smiling at me again.

“How nice.” She didn’t sound like she thought it was nice at all, and her pale, fishy eyes narrowed.

“Bella,” she called again, watching my face carefully, “I was just saying to Tyler that it was too bad none of the Cullens could come out today. Didn’t anyone think to invite them?” Her expression of concern was unconvincing.

Is it unfair to say that Mike would probably get into a duel with them?


“You mean Dr. Carlisle Cullen’s family?” the tall, older boy asked before I could respond, much to Lauren’s irritation. He was really closer to a man than a boy, and his voice was very deep.

“Yes, do you know them?” she asked condescendingly, turning halfway toward him.

“The Cullens don’t come here,” he said in a tone that closed the subject, ignoring her question.

Tyler, trying to win back her attention, asked Lauren’s opinion on a CD he held. She was distracted.

I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the dark forest behind us. He’d said that the Cullens didn’t come here, but his tone had implied something more—that they weren’t allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success. Jacob interrupted my meditation.

“So is Forks driving you insane yet?”

Trust me, she's always been like this.


“Oh, I’d say that’s an understatement.” I grimaced. He grinned understandingly.

I was still turning over the brief comment on the Cullens, and I had a sudden inspiration. It was a stupid plan, but I didn’t have any better ideas. I hoped that young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn’t see through my sure-to-be-pitiful attempts at flirting.

“Do you want to walk down the beach with me?” I asked, trying to imitate that way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes. It couldn’t have nearly the same effect, I was sure, but Jacob jumped up willingly enough.

I'm imagining her doing this cartoonish eye flutter.


As we walked north across the multihued stones toward the driftwood seawall, the clouds finally closed ranks across the sky, causing the sea to darken and the temperature to drop. I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my jacket.

“So you’re, what, sixteen?” I asked, trying not to look like an idiot as I fluttered my eyelids the way I’d seen girls do on TV.

Oh God she really did do that.


“I just turned fifteen,” he confessed, flattered.

“Really?” My face was full of false surprise. “I would have thought you were older.”

“I’m tall for my age,” he explained.

Taylor Lautner is 5'9.


“Do you come up to Forks much?” I asked archly, as if I was hoping for a yes. I sounded idiotic to myself. I was afraid he would turn on me with disgust and accuse me of my fraud, but he still seemed flattered.

“Not too much,” he admitted with a frown. “But when I get my car finished I can go up as much as I want—after I get my license,” he amended.

“Who was that other boy Lauren was talking to? He seemed a little old to be hanging out with us.” I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.

“That’s Sam—he’s nineteen,” he informed me.

Big ol' Sam was played by the 33-year-old Chaske Spencer (I guess once you hit 18 in Hollywood you're now generically "young adult"). He's of mixed Native American descent and grew up on the Fort Peck reservation in Montana. Like many Native Americans on reservations, he suffered from severe drug addiction and often resorted to robbery for drug money. He got a few acting roles beginning with Skins in 2002 and voiced Shadow Wolf in Red Dead Revolver, but he constantly lost out on opportunities from showing up to auditions high or drunk.

He finally got clean just in time to audition for New Moon, which solidified his acting career that has continued to this day with roles on shows like Banshee, Blindspot, and Jessica Jones. He's also a Sun Dance practitioner, something that he credits with forcing himself to stay sober.


“What was that he was saying about the doctor’s family?” I asked innocently.

“The Cullens? Oh, they’re not supposed to come onto the reservation.” He looked away, out toward James Island, as he confirmed what I’d thought I’d heard in Sam’s voice.

“Why not?”

He glanced back at me, biting his lip. “Oops. I’m not supposed to say anything about that.”

“Oh, I won’t tell anyone, I’m just curious.” I tried to make my smile alluring, wondering if I was laying it on too thick.

This is one of the things that gets brought up as an example of Bella showing sociopathic traits. It gets much worse in the sequels, but she regularly fakes emotion to manipulate people.


He smiled back, though, looking allured. Then he lifted one eyebrow and his voice was even huskier than before.

“Do you like scary stories?” he asked ominously.

“I love them,” I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.

Jacob strolled to a nearby driftwood tree that had its roots sticking out like the attenuated legs of a huge, pale spider. He perched lightly on one of the twisted roots while I sat beneath him on the body of the tree. He stared down at the rocks, a smile hovering around the edges of his broad lips. I could see he was going to try to make this good. I focused on keeping the vital interest I felt out of my eyes.

“Do you know any of our old stories, about where we came from—the Quileutes, I mean?” he began.

“Not really,” I admitted.

“Well, there are lots of legends, some of them claiming to date back to the Flood—supposedly, the ancient Quileutes tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark.” He smiled, to show me how little stock he put in the histories. “Another legend claims that we descended from wolves—and that the wolves are our brothers still. It’s against tribal law to kill them.

Hoo boy. Here we go.

The Quileute are a real Native American tribe on the La Push reservation. Wolves are indeed central to their belief system; warriors once belonged to the Wolf Society, a secret society with days-long initiations and elaborate ceremonies. Only about 2000 remain and their language was considered extinct by 1999, with efforts being made to try and revitalize it among the new generation using books written by now-deceased elders.

Along with her grievous misrepresentations of Quileute culture that have offended them, Meyer has also caused unexpected problems for the tribe due to her books' popularity. While Forks has seen an explosion in popularity and tourism, the natives on the reservation see little of it. People show up, sure, but most of the tourist dollars go to white residents offering tours and selling merchandise based on Quileute designs and culture. The Burke Museum even collaborated with the tribe on Truth vs. Twilight, a segment of their website dedicated to dispelling misconceptions engendered by the books and highlighting how the tribe has received little to no benefit from being used.


“Then there are the stories about the cold ones.” His voice dropped a little lower.

“The cold ones?” I asked, not faking my intrigue now.

“Yes. There are stories of the cold ones as old as the wolf legends, and some much more recent. According to legend, my own great-grandfather knew some of them. He was the one who made the treaty that kept them off our land.” He rolled his eyes.

“Your great-grandfather?” I encouraged.

“He was a tribal elder, like my father. You see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the wolf—well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into men, like our ancestors. You would call them werewolves.”

“Werewolves have enemies?”

“Only one.”

I should point out that we're 124 pages into the book and have only now gotten any information on Edward being a vampire, despite the back of the book telling everyone it's a vampire love story and Edward having done overtly supernatural things constantly.


I stared at him earnestly, hoping to disguise my impatience as admiration.

Have an appreciation for drama, Bella.


“So you see,” Jacob continued, “the cold ones are traditionally our enemies. But this pack that came to our territory during my great-grandfather’s time was different. They didn’t hunt the way others of their kind did—they weren’t supposed to be dangerous to the tribe. So my great-grandfather made a truce with them. If they would promise to stay off our lands, we wouldn’t expose them to the pale-faces.” He winked at me.

“If they weren’t dangerous, then why…?” I tried to understand, struggling not to let him see how seriously I was considering his ghost story.

“There’s always a risk for humans to be around the cold ones, even if they’re civilized like this clan was. You never know when they might get too hungry to resist.” He deliberately worked a thick edge of menace into his tone.

“What do you mean, ‘civilized’?”

“They claimed that they didn’t hunt humans. They supposedly were somehow able to prey on animals instead.”

I tried to keep my voice casual. “So how does it fit in with the Cullens? Are they like the cold ones your great-grandfather met?”

“No.” He paused dramatically. “They are the same ones.”

He must have thought the expression on my face was fear inspired by his story. He smiled, pleased, and continued.

“There are more of them now, a new female and a new male, but the rest are the same. In my great-grandfather’s time they already knew of the leader, Carlisle. He’d been here and gone before your people had even arrived.” He was fighting a smile.

“And what are they?” I finally asked. “What are the cold ones?”

He smiled darkly.

“Blood drinkers,” he replied in a chilling voice. “Your people call them vampires.”

I stared out at the rough surf after he answered, not sure what my face was exposing.

“You have goose bumps,” he laughed delightedly.

“You’re a good storyteller,” I complimented him, still staring into the waves.

“Pretty crazy stuff, though, isn’t it? No wonder my dad doesn’t want us to talk about it to anyone.”

I couldn’t control my expression enough to look at him yet. “Don’t worry, I won’t give you away.”

“I guess I just violated the treaty,” he laughed.

Despite becoming a werewolf later on, at this point Jacob legitimately doesn't believe in any of the tribal legends.


“I’ll take it to the grave,” I promised, and then I shivered.

“Seriously, though, don’t say anything to Charlie. He was pretty mad at my dad when he heard that some of us weren’t going to the hospital since Dr. Cullen started working there.”

“I won’t, of course not.”

“So do you think we’re a bunch of superstitious natives or what?” he asked in a playful tone, but with a hint of worry. I still hadn’t looked away from the ocean.

Just some mildly racist stereotypes from the Mormon woman here.


I turned and smiled at him as normally as I could.

“No. I think you’re very good at telling scary stories, though. I still have goose bumps, see?” I held up my arm.

“Cool.” He smiled.

And then the sound of the beach rocks clattering against each other warned us that someone was approaching. Our heads snapped up at the same time to see Mike and Jessica about fifty yards away, walking toward us.

“There you are, Bella,” Mike called in relief, waving his arm over his head.

“Is that your boyfriend?” Jacob asked, alerted by the jealous edge in Mike’s voice. I was surprised it was so obvious.

“No, definitely not,” I whispered. I was tremendously grateful to Jacob, and eager to make him as happy as possible. I winked at him, carefully turning away from Mike to do so. He smiled, elated by my inept flirting.

I think the count of how many people in this book who don't like Bella instantly despite her ineptitude and rudeness is currently at 1.


“So when I get my license…,” he began.

“You should come see me in Forks. We could hang out sometime.” I felt guilty as I said this, knowing that I’d used him. But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be friends with.

I can assure you that she doesn't feel real guilt. She spends most of New Moon continuing to manipulate Jacob for attention.


Mike had reached us now, with Jessica still a few paces back. I could see his eyes appraising Jacob, and looking satisfied at his obvious youth.

“Where have you been?” he asked, though the answer was right in front of him.

“Jacob was just telling me some local stories,” I volunteered. “It was really interesting.”

I smiled at Jacob warmly, and he grinned back.

“Well,” Mike paused, carefully reassessing the situation as he watched our camaraderie. “We’re packing up—it looks like it’s going to rain soon.”

We all looked up at the glowering sky. It certainly did look like rain.

“Okay.” I jumped up. “I’m coming.”

“It was nice to see you again,” Jacob said, and I could tell he was taunting Mike just a bit.

“It really was. Next time Charlie comes down to see Billy, I’ll come, too,” I promised.

His grin stretched across his face. “That would be cool.”

“And thanks,” I added earnestly.

I pulled up my hood as we tramped across the rocks toward the parking lot. A few drops were beginning to fall, making black spots on the stones where they landed. When we got to the Suburban the others were already loading everything back in. I crawled into the backseat by Angela and Tyler, announcing that I’d already had my turn in the shotgun position. Angela just stared out the window at the escalating storm, and Lauren twisted around in the middle seat to occupy Tyler’s attention, so I could simply lay my head back on the seat and close my eyes and try very hard not to think.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 18:38 on Sep 17, 2020

Nov 29, 2004

Storm On The Sea Of Galilee, it's called, and he's in it. Old Rembrandt, he's in the painting. He's in there, right in the middle of the storm, looking straight at you. But... you can't see him. And the reason you can't see him is because the painting has been stolen.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Probably part of why the books inspired so much fanfiction. Even EL James looks at this and goes "I can do that. I can do better than that."

And yet Stephenie Meyer blows EL James out of the water with plot, characterization, dialogue, descriptions, pacing, grammar, everything. It's not calling Meyer good, but that's literally how terrible James' writing is.


Apr 23, 2014

MorgaineDax posted:

And yet Stephenie Meyer blows EL James out of the water with plot, characterization, dialogue, descriptions, pacing, grammar, everything. It's not calling Meyer good, but that's literally how terrible James' writing is.

That’s why I wanted to start with Twilight before doing the Fifty Shades series. They started as a fanfic, so you get to see the same basic building blocks of the series and very similar characters (it’s often obvious who each person is meant to be) handled with even more ineptitude and even more overtly abusive relationships.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply