Chapter 4: Visions
So, last chapter, Wardo decides that he must leave for the safety of his family (from some vague threat of exposure or something that we’re not quite clear on) and for Bella, because despite only talking to her once he simply cannot imagine hurting her, because she is so wonderful and Special and Unique (I guess if it was anybody but her, he’d be fine with it), and woe, it’s so terrible, because they’re going to have to break up their family, and that is just a death worse than fate for our Mormon heroes. But then, while Wardo is pondering getting one last creepy stalk in, DUN DUN DUN, Bella is attacked by a Killer Car! But Wardo can’t bear the thought of his Destined Endless Love being smushed into so much cat food, so he runs over and saves her in a reality- and physics-defying scene that just made me laugh. It was so ridiculous that all the normal, intelligent people just assumed that Bella got lucky, but not her! She’s too
This chapter is the first that doesn’t share the same name as one from Twilight, and as we’ll see, it’s one that shows us events that Bella wasn’t privy to in her own little whinefest. Goodie.
So, since last chapter, Wardo has told us time and time again that he’s leaving, and he still totally is in this one—he tells us he is every other sentence, so it much be so—which is a particularly stupid plot device here, because we already know what’s going to happen from reading Twilight. Seriously—I would understand if she was trying to show internal conflict, but it really just sounds like she’s trying to fool us into believing it…when we already know it’s not going to happen.
But anyway, despite so totally going to leave and all and the furor surrounding the accident being a great opportunity to sneak out, he instead goes back to school. This turns out to be a good thing, because he tells us that he badly wants to ditch—just so he can go back and find Bella again. Or rather, “find the girl again”. I’ve noticed that despite having an impressive total of two conversations with her now, he still doesn’t think of her by name—as a person. No—she’s definitely an object. And he even calls himself “an obsessed, vampire stalker”.
DINGDINGDING!!! Give that man a Kewpie Doll!
And yet, in true SMeyer fashion, does the realization and acknowledgement that what he is doing is messed up and wrong cause him to make changes? Of course not! Admitting it makes it okay!
At this point, I don’t know if it would be better for us if he’d just gone back to panting after Bella rather than going to school—because now we have to listen to him whine and angst about how boring and lifeless and colorless that school is without her presence, oh, woe is him.
And he tells us that there is something else he should be doing—trying to play up Bella’s head injury in order to ruin her credibility concerning the events surrounding the VoD. Frankly, I think it’s incredible enough on its own—does he really think that anyone is going to believe her if she tells people that he ran twenty yards in a split second and then lifted a car above his head before folding it in half with his bare hands? I think not. But he’s convinced that she can expose them—so he should try to cover for himself, particularly because he’s a Cullen, as he takes the time to tell us, and they are all Unique and Special Snowflakes—although exactly what bearing that has on the situation I don’t know.
And yet, he can’t bring himself to do it, even though we’re supposed to think they are that close to being outed (I don’t), because oh, it would be wrong to be so mean to her. Which is funny, because it apparently wouldn’t have been wrong to eat her.
The rest of the Cullens seem to share Wardo’s conviction that this is enough for Bella to expose them as vampires to the world and are appropriately pissy about it. Well, Rosalie is, mostly, because she’s a bitch. Wardo has in fact come up with a good cover story—that if she’d been smushed all up, he’d have definitely outed himself by running over there and licking up the Bella hash from the pavement, because she just smells That Good.
But he can’t use that excuse to his family, it would be too “shameful”, because he knows that he was really only thinking of protecting his One True and Destined Love.
Emmett tells us that, having previously been the only one to largely escape SMeyer’s character slaughter, Jasper is now being the Douche in Charge in that he has decided that the best way out of this situation is to eat Bella. Edward promptly and completely flips his shit in the middle Spanish, and Emmett nearly has to put him in a figure four to keep him from going ballistic and tells him to just calm his little butt down.
We have some more random emphasis that the Cullens are Freaks (which really just means that they are all special and stuff), and then Wardo tells us that he is, after being in her presence all of four times, each no longer than an hour, and only three stilted, stupid conversations, he is totally ready to throw down with his family over Bella. This is, of course, a Doom Most Terrible to any good upstanding Mormon (which Wardo is). He angsts about dividing his family over this even as he draws up battle lines. This is pretty much him spelling out which vampires are the honest Mary Sues (read: on his and Bella’s side) and which are still being kinda Scary (not on his side). Which sounds suspiciously like Bella putting her “friends” into the Good and Evil bins based upon whether or not they put up with her bullshit in New Moon. He mentions that Alice is the wildcard, in that she’d probably just side with whoever she Saw winning, which prompts me to ask Mervin’s question—why do people like her, again? Even the lolfans? She’s a bitch.
Wardo then ponders some “evasive action”. Aaaaaaaannnnd that turns out to be—kidnapping Bella to keep her safe!
Wardo also reminds us about how much danger she is from him—even though already that particular subplot has been largely abandoned in favor of him being in loooooooooove with her after all thee of their flat, passionless interactions—and tells us that the thought of him bringing her to harm causes him pain that is “multifaceted and intense”. Good thing he doesn’t have a soul—otherwise, the angels would’ve come down and wept upon it. And then he trails ominously off, wondering at “the lengths [he] might be forced to go afterwards…”
This is supposed to be tense again, but the only tension I’m getting is over how incredibly creepy this asshat is, and the fact that I’m supposed to like him. No way, man.
All the Cullens meet up after class. Rosalie calls Wardo lots of names, which is nice, even though they’re largely generic and not the accusations of stalking and abuse that he needs. This is all done mentally of course—I guess you only block their thoughts when it’s convenient, otherwise it’s all snoop away! Not to mention it’s handy way for SMeyer to avoid having to write any actual dialogue, and instead keep us chained in the Wide Awake Nightmare that is the inside of Wardo’s head.
Jasper is totally going to nom all over Bella. Alice is having visions and now has become the typical helpless, hand-wringing female, and after seeing Wardo in conflict with Jasper, tells him that she won’t let that happen—not even to save an innocent girl’s life—because she can’t live without Her Man.
They drive home—the scene transitions are handled much better than before, I will give SMeyer that much (which is all I’ll give her)—and we have to talk all about their expensive and ostentatious cars *cough*newmoney*cough* as they go inside. Wardo prisses inside and yes, TOTALLY calls a family meeting! I was sorely disappointed that he didn’t start griping that no one respects his needs and wants as a person and that everyone favors Emmett.
Carlisle and Esme are all tense, because oh noes, their family looks to be splitting up, and we can’t have that—what would Joseph Smith think? And just as an aside, it just occurred to me: I understand that they keep up this pretense of being a family, with the mommy and the daddy and all the bothers and sisters while at school—it’s part of them blending in. But in reality, while all the “kids” are physically in their teens, they are mentally at least in their 70s and 80s—and Wardo and Jasper in particular are even older—older than Esme with regards to how long they’ve been vampires. And yet, even at home, they keep up this charade of parents and children…and as such, the way that Esme is all doting and motherly and insisting upon treating them all as her children—particularly to Wardo—suddenly came off really quite freaky.
Anyhoo, we all sit down for a Cullen Family
Hang on—hadn’t he already promised to leave earlier? Like, a lot?
Guess I was mistaken—SMeyer’s just so subtle, I can see how a person can miss these things.
Emmett is then reasonably sensible, operating under the assumption that this is indeed the catastrophe that SMeyer wants us to believe it is (which I don’t), and points out that Wardo can’t leave, because they need their Emergency Broadcast System to be around to let them know if anyone has caught on. However, I can’t appreciate his sense, because I know it’s just SMeyer using him as her mouthpiece to conveniently find a way to keep Wardo and Bella Togethah Forevah.
We have a bunch of back and forth BS, all of it lame, as to what’s going to happen, who’s going to talk, who’s going to eat who, and it’s all boring. We get a reminder of what special snowflakes the Cullens are—that it’s so much more dangerous for them, living like they do, because Certain People would just love an excuse to trash them, and aren’t they just awesome? I myself was more amused by all their talk of “leaving rumors behind them”. In a day and age where no one believes in vampires anymore, how hard can it be to keep things quiet? If you really are that creepy and as ostracized by normal people as you claim, you must be going way out of your ways to draw attention to yourselves to make people notice you enough to cause rumors in the first place.
Actually, SMeyer just sucks. She’s contradicting her own canon here. Seriously—she’s said that she never meant Twilight to go further than one book, and it shows in all of her inconsistencies and bad characterization and lame plot. So she’s writing this to be a companion to Twilight and shows all these ridiculous lengths her vamps are willing to go so that they don’t have to move, all these whiny, selfish arguments about their not wanting to move, and then—BAM! They leave over Bella’s papercut in New Moon. I know you certainly don’t believe actual reality to be any limitations to what you type, SMeyer—but could you not even be bothered to take your own substituted reality into consideration either?
Anyway, then we get Rose and Jasper talking about how nice and easy it would be to sneak in and kill Bella. A noble cause, to my mind, but in this instance it really pisses me off. They’re willing to kill and innocent girl just to cover their own asses for something that’s really not that big of a deal in the first place.
Our Heroes, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Oh, and Edward has the unmitigated gall to be all nasty to Rosalie about how she’s killed people in the past.
Carlisle is, thankfully, awesome by telling Rose that is out of the question, because Bella didn’t do anything. He is only merely awesome, though, not Awesome, because he says that he let her do her thing to the guys that roughed her up back in NY because they were mean and deserved it and revenge is okay, and I’m not only not into vigilantism, but am annoyed because SMeyer here is claiming to be all Christian and stuff but that is so not—not to mention that it just smacks of Bella and Wardo’s “It’s okay to kill them if they weren’t nice!” bit.
Carlisle then edges closer to being genuinely Awesome by telling her why it is out of the question—he’s a bit blasé about the slip-up thing (which doesn’t fly with me because despite all of SMeyer’s protestations of how hard it is for them to life the way they do, that only comes up when convenient)—but on the whole delivers a very nice speech about what is wrong with that, that making exceptions to protect themselves is the height of selfishness and makes them no better than those they don’t want to be.
And then Wardo ruins the moment by being smug about it.
Rose continues on with this ridiculous, two-dimensional Bitch Queen thing, sacrificed to the Gods of Bad Characterization For the Sake of Glorifying the Main SIs, and then we shift over to Jasper, who still is planning on nomming, because supposedly he’s Been There, Done That with regards to being naughty and getting in trouble with the authorities for it…although we certainly haven’t ever heard about it. And isn’t the punishment for getting in trouble with the authorities death? Then how would he know about it and still be alive? Whatever.
Wardo, of course, lays down the law to him, that no one touches
Of course, Jasper is doing it only for the sake of keeping Alice safe, because she is a fragile and delicate female and must be wrapped in cotton and tucked safely out of sight
Alice interrupts, and Jasper pretty much tells her to shut up, woman, this is man’s business, and he doesn’t care if she thinks she can protect herself, he knows better.
Alice says she knows (and is apparently fine with that) but then asks Jasper for a favor—would he pretty please not kill Bella, because she’s just had a vision that they’re going to be friends.
Hold it—time out.
Aside from the obviously rage-inducing bad writing up there that’s supposed to sound like Alice is perky and clever but really just makes her sound like she has to beg Jasper to even consider doing something that she wants, rather than making all the decisions himself—what?
Thus far Alice’s visions are of events—she sees what will happen in time and space based on a decision to act made in the present. Act being the key word. Actions. She does not have Wardo’s ability to sense or see thoughts or emotions.
Then how the hell can she see something abstract like being “friends?”
It was clear as glass in her head: Alice, smiling, with her icy white arm around the girl’s warm, fragile shoulders. And Bella was smiling too, her arm around Alice’s waist.
Okay, so she sees them striking a lame pose together while looking right at the camera, and that means they’re friends? Oh, and thanks for more emphasis on how fragile Bella is, and once again treating her like an object or nonentity, there, you asshole.
Jasper and Wardo are completely flummoxed by this turn of events, apparently, and Alice tells them that now she’s suddenly sure that Bella won’t rat them out (which makes no sense, because we know from Twilight that she was determined not to tell before this), and SMeyer is really laying it on thick and telling us that after seeing that vision, Alice already loves Bella and is her friend.
SHE DOESN’T KNOW A THING ABOUT HER!!!!!
She’s never even MET her! Okay, fine, for the sake of argument we could say that she saw a series of visions with herself and Bella being chummy (I am not counting the Kodak moment up there, because that’s crap), and the logical conclusion would be that, yes, at some point in the future they appear to be friends. BUT YOU CAN’T JUST INSTANTLY BE FRIENDS BASED ON THAT!!! Building a friendship takes time, is based on mutual conversations and interests, the building of trust, with shared experiences and likes and dislikes and senses of humor! IT DOESN’T JUST COME OUT OF THIN AIR!! It takes TIME—and clearly, SMeyer doesn’t have time to actually show people becoming friends—she needs to get back to fapping over Wardo here, so—BAM. Alice is Bella’s friend now, and we’d better just get used to the idea!
Do you know what that is?
LAZY, CRAPPY-ASS WRITING!
Wardo and Jasper are all floundering now, because this apparently just a total shock, although we’re not told why. It really just reminds me of everyone flailing over Airhead and the fact that “OMG I can’t believe you’re friends with Snape!”
Alice says that there is change in the wind and all then starts really trying not to let a
Alice apparently ate something that disagreed with her, because she can’t keep the vision from slipping, and Wardo sees it and promptly freaks right the hell out. He throws a little tantrum, complete with shouted denials, and Alice says that it’s really only one way or the other for Bella now, and that her future is set. And I’ll tell you, this part really annoyed me, because it’s written in the traditional Suethor style of “they’re going to have this long and drawn-out conversation without actually explicitly mentioning the subject so I’ll leave you guessing and I’m not going to tell you what it is until a suitably dramatic moment and you are totally too dumb to figure it out before then.”
To those of us with a brainstem, it is now painfully clear that Bella’s going to be either dead’d or vamp’d. *gives SMeyer the bird*
Wardo tries to flounce off and run away again, and Emmett not-so-patiently tells him to shut up because they’ve gone over that already (karate-chop his pottery, Emmett!). Alice tells Wardo that he’s not leaving, because she’s seen it, so he can’t.
I am not kidding about that. Free will’s a bitch, isn’t it? Or, well, it would be, if there was any around here. Wardo angsts, Jasper is there, Alice goes off on what is going to happen, Wardo still doesn’t call Bella by her name, and then, despite my outraged rant above, we get this.
I love her too. Or I will. It’s not the same thing, but I want her around for that.
“Love her, too?” I whispered, incredulous.
She sighed. You are so blind, Edward. Can’t you see where you’re headed? Can’t you see where you already are? It’s more inevitable than the sun rising in the east. See what I see…
Yep! After being in her presence four times, having three boring, stilted conversations completely devoid of chemistry, and wanting to eat her like an ice cream sundae, Wardo is clearly already falling in love with her, for it is the East, and Bella is the Sun, and he is now fated and destined to be her One True Love Forever and Ever Sealed in the Temple for Time and All Eternity.
And he has no choice in the matter.
THIS. IS. NOT. ROMANCE!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS NO DIFFERENT THAN HER IMPRINTING CRAP!!! THIS. IS. BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!
Wardo angsts some more, and Emmett is Awesome by yelling at Alice and Wardo to include the rest of the family, for crying out loud. Rosalie then has a moment of awesome, courtesy of her Scary Sue nature allowing her to voice the readers’ outrage, and mocks Wardo for falling for a human by “[making] a gagging sound”.
AMEN, SISTER. But you are only awesome for that, not Awesome—because, while I couldn’t agree more about how puke-inducing this cardboard romance is, I know you’re only being motivated by your (and therefore SMeyer’s) ridiculous prejudice against and therefore perceived superiority over mere lowly humans.
Emmett is Awesome again and laughs at Wardo for it—“trust Emmett to find the joke in the destruction of [his] life” (yeah, since this is all about you, and Bella’s life doesn’t really matter, you asshole)—and I totally just sat back and imagined him telling Wardo not to worry, because ugly chicks can still be good in bed.
Alice finally tells everyone else what’s going on—someone gasps, it’s all so shocking. Or not. Alice tells everyone that Wardo is either definitely going to kill Bella, or she’ll somehow be vamped. Wardo refuses to play along with that, and for a brief, shocking moment, I actually felt some kind of sympathy for the sorry little bastard. Because here (if we imagine that he actually is what SMeyer wants him to be, a good guy who doesn’t want to kill because he thinks its wrong) he’s being confronted by the fact that, if he plays the hand as it stands, he will either kill an innocent girl, or condemn her to what he believes is an existence as a soulless monster. Yeah—for one shining a moment, I had the briefest glimmer of sympathy for Edward.
Will wonders never cease.
But it didn’t last long. Because then Alice became SMeyer’s mouthpiece and so we’re back to wanking over Wardo—oh, he’ll have to manage not to kill her, says Alice, and it’ll take control greater than even Carlisle has but he can manage it—but there’s apparently no way he can just stay away from Bella anymore, ‘cause he’s just not strong enough for that.
Wardo finally gets to have his flounce—listening to everyone’s reactions is simply too much for his delicate mind to handle, so he runs off. And frankly, everyone’s reactions were too much for me to handle. Or rather, not everyone’s, but just Esme’s.
Because what is her reaction to this, to finding out that if Edward manages not to kill an innocent girl, then she’s going to be turned into one of them, a fate that he doesn’t wish on anyone, and that he has no choice in the matter but to do it?
That’s right—she’s happy about all this. And do you know why? Why, because that means that Wardo will finally find a woman, because no one is complete without another person to cling to, staying single is just not an option in SMeyer-Land. She’s totally thrilled with all involved being apparently stripped of their free will, with Wardo being doomed to suffer two fates that he considers wrong, horrible, and unacceptable, and of condemning Bella to death, or a fate that she may not even want in the first place.
Actually, I think she was just happy that he wasn’t gay. Because that’s even worse than a woman being single and not having lots of babies.
Anyway, after that I was quite happy to follow Wardo on his little flounce just to get away from that bat guano, and there was what I think was a decent bit of writing—or at least, what could have been, in a little aside about Wardo wanting to be alone. I think it could have been good, highlighting an aspect of his gift that is a curse to him, about how hard it is to ever really be alone, even inside his head. But really, I think it was just Wardo throwing a tantrum and doing the equivalent of stomping upstairs to his room, and my own imagination was filling in for SMeyer’s lazy-ass writing—so I take it back and she gets no points.
Wardo runs off through the mountains and apparently halfway to Seattle. I’m going to take this as an example of SMeyer back-sliding into her lousy scene transitions, because I refuse to believe that, no matter how Sue-ish your little sparklepires are, that he just ran 70 miles in
Wardo stops to angst. First we get a recap of the vision of Bella and Alice being all buddy-buddy, and in true Stu fashion, Wardo wants to know how he fits into that scene, of what Bella thinks of him there, which is a nice inclusion of his insistence that he is allowed to know what everyone is thinking.
Then we get angst over the second vision and, in the dramatic reveal we’ve been tiredly waiting for, we see Bella and Alice together, and—GASP!—Bella’s been vamped. The Sixth Sense this is not. Although…Mervin? Guess what Suethor staple Wardo has been using to describe Bella’s (and therefore SMeyer’s, by extension) eyes?
Wardo angsts and fusses—oh, what does it all mean? And what does Bella think of me? And it could be good, I suppose, but it’s not, and I just want him to get on with it.
So he does, but it’s not any better, because then we get the dramatic reveal of the other half of Alice’s vision, the other not-choice that Wardo and Bella have: Wardo with the Evil Red Eyes of Doom holding Bella’s lifeless corpse
We end on this:
This could not be allowed. There had to be a way to circumvent the future. I would not let Alice’s visions direct me. I could choose a different path. There was always a choice.
There had to be.
Uh-huh. Yeah. I think I’d like to flank that with this quote, too, with regards as to why Bella can’t be with Jacob.
The worst part is that I saw the whole thing — our whole life. And I want it bad, Jake, I want it all. I want to stay right here and never move. I want to love you and make you happy. And I can’t, and it’s killing me. It’s like Sam and Emily, Jake — I never had a choice. I always knew nothing would change. Maybe that’s why I was fighting against you so hard.
Eclipse, Chapter 26.
You guys catch all that? The angstful irony of Wardo supposedly fighting against the inevitable, and Bella waxing deep about their Destined Romance? Okay—keeping the above in mind, I’d like to close on this, from an interview with SMeyer herself in Vogue:
“Like the idea of freedom of choice—that there's no place that someone can put you that you can't choose a different way," she says, speaking like the Sunday-school teacher she is.
MY. FAT. ASS.
Well, that’s all she wrote—me, not SMeyer, unfortunately—so I’ll be back next time with more Bella again in Chapter 5: Invitations!
( Chapter 5 - Invitations )