Madame Mervin, Hammer of Sues (das_mervin) wrote,
Madame Mervin, Hammer of Sues

New Moon Notes: Chapters 19-20

Alice returned, Jacob bitched, and now Wardo thinks Bella’s dead. And you know what that means—ROADTRIP! They’re goin’ to Italy!

Last section’s Paul tally: 3

*skips right into it*

Chapter 19 – Hate

You bet I do.

Bella and Alice make their miracle two-minute reservation flight just in time, while I sit here with my head in my hands because, once again, Alice—the sparkling vampire—is running around IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. Am I just supposed to assume that it’s cloudy no matter where they go, that vampires are just like Ziggy and carry their own personal storm over their heads? And that the sun won’t shine into the windows of the plane and reveal that Alice is of the sparkling skin? Bella is all antsy and anxious, bouncing up and down in her seat like she really has to pee, and Alice tells her to calm down because “it’s faster than running”. Still hasn’t explained why it isn’t faster than Wardo, who’s got more distance to cover and a more crowded place to get away from…but, hey, when I’m this far into it, I might as well just…let it slide…

No, I won’t. Meyer, it’s bullshit. And you can’t make me believe it OR accept it.

So, they take off, and even before they’re allowed to take out their electronics Alice makes a phone call (and Bella’s…something prevents the stewardess from telling her to put that shit away. Maybe it’s a Mary Sue Death Glare? I don’t know—but, as I don’t know, it doesn’t warrant a Paul)—using, apparently, not her cell phone, but a phone on the plane, attached to the back of the seat in front of her. Which aren’t available in coach class.

Basically…Alice made sure to get the highest class possible on any flight while planning this last minute trip to save Edward’s life. I shouldn’t be surprised—God forbid a Cullen have anything but the BEST, regardless of the situation. I mean, saving Wardo is important, but not nearly as important as flaunting your money.

*spits* Dirty, filthy Suethor.

Anyway, Alice calls Jasper, and tells him that Wardo’s plans are rather nebulous at this point so she can’t pin down what he’s going to do. Not going to mention the things he’s considering to call attention to himself yet—not until later. Alice also tells Jasper to keep Emmett and Rosalie away, along with himself, because Wardo will know they’re coming—the only way to save Wardo’s stupid ass is to basically shove Bella under his nose, but she’s not even optimistic about that. Then she begs Jasper to not come after her and promises that “one way or another, [she’ll] get out”. And then she hangs up and makes a big deal out of revealing that she lied to Jasper. Wanna know why?

"Two reasons," she whispered, her eyes still closed. "The first I told him. We could try to stop Edward ourselves—if Emmett could get his hands on him, we might be able to stop him long enough to convince him you're alive. But we can't sneak up on Edward. And if he sees us coming for him, he'll just act that much faster. He'll throw a Buick through a wall or something, and the Volturi will take him down.

"That's the second reason of course, the reason I couldn't say to Jasper. Because if they're there and the Volturi kill Edward, they'll fight them. Bella." She opened her eyes and stared at me, beseeching. "If there were any chance we could win… if there were a way that the four of us could save my brother by fighting for him, maybe it would be different. But we can't, and, Bella, I can't lose Jasper like that."

I realized why her eyes begged for my understanding. She was protecting Jasper, at our expense, and maybe at Edward's, too. I understood, and I did not think badly of her. I nodded.

*stands up* Just ignoring my waving hand is not going to get me to put it down, Meyer!

And it’s only a quick question—um, why do we never see the men do this? The woman is always the one who does everything in her power, is willing to sacrifice her own life, to save the man. The man is not allowed to do the same—and if he considers death without his love, it’s wrong and awful and terrible. He MUST stay alive.

Wanna explain that, Meyer?

Bella asks why hearing somebody’s thoughts that she’s alive wouldn’t work, and then—oh, geez. Sorry for a quote right after that one, but… *is pained*

Not that there was any justification, either way. I still couldn't believe that he was capable of reacting like this. It made no sense! I remembered with painful clarity his words that day on the sofa, while we watched Romeo and Juliet kill themselves, one after the other. I wasn't going to live without you, he'd said, as if it should be such an obvious conclusion. But the words he had spoken in the forest as he'd left me had canceled all that out—forcefully.

Bella, you are too stupid to live. End of story.

Anyway, Alice exposits that people can lie with their thoughts, thinking something over what the truth is in order to confuse him. She expresses concern for Bella, who continues her SELFLESS!!!!111!!11 routine by insisting that nobody need worry about her. Alice then further elaborates by saying she lied to Jasper when she said she’d get out before the Volturi killed her (and frankly, if the Volturi are such SRS BZNS as they’re made out to be, Jasper is royally stupid if he believed her). Then she asks just what’s so great about the Volturi, i.e., she cannot comprehend anybody more powerful than the Cullens. Bella really hates the idea of somebody being better in any way than what she aspires to be, doesn’t she?

Well, this question prompts Story Time. You know—one of those times where the entire plot comes grinding to a halt so Meyer can clear her throat, hold a flashlight under her chin, and deliver a badly-written and ridiculously narrated backstory. Yeah, here we go again. Alice spares a glare at the guy across the aisle, who was eavesdropping, and then launches into her story.

Alice asks what Bella already knows regarding the Volturi, and she replies that she knows they’re very old, very powerful, and pretty much like royalty—the kind that you don’t want to piss off. Naturally, that response is all the reason in the world to extol the virtues of the Cullens, right?

"We Cullens are unique in more ways than you know. It's… abnormal for so many of us to live together in peace. It's the same for Tanya's family in the north, and Carlisle speculates that abstaining makes it easier for us to be civilized, to form bonds based on love rather than survival or convenience. Even James's little coven of three was unusually large—and you saw how easily Laurent left them. Our kind travel alone, or in pairs, as a general rule. Carlisle's family is the biggest in existence, as far as I know, with the one exception. The Volturi."

Having been told all about Midnight Sun, the last (unfinished) installment in the Twilight series, I think it’s safe to say that the Cullens pretty much do every single thing they do just to make sure that they are the best and the most unique and the most special in all the land, from the way they spend their money to how many people they have in their coven to what they eat. Seriously—if you don’t eat human blood, you’re more civilized and can form proper, loving bonds? Give me a break. Meyer, you do realize that if you not only don’t give eating animals any downsides, but also give it lots of perks, it really, really doesn’t make any sense for the Cullens to be exceptions to the whole “Drink Human Blood” campaign that the vampires run. Killing animals would actually be much easier and make a whole lot of sense these days, because you don’t have to worry about accidentally getting caught and covering up your crimes. But no, we must have the other vampires be EEEEVVVIIIILLLL, and so all we hear is that they just drink human blood because they can, and then dream up some excuse that it makes them mean—which is totally circular logic. Do they eat people because they’re mean, or does eating people make them mean?

Whatever—it’s crap.

Anyway—Alice continues Story Time to remind us of the original three—Aro, Caius, and Marcus, the ones that were presented in a picture in Carlisle’s study in the first book. Alice says that they later grew to five, adding on two females (notice that it’s always “females”, but never “males”?), and don’t get your hopes up that this is a step in the right direction regarding female empowerment, that thing these novels decidedly lack. They didn’t add the two girl vamps as equals—they’re wives, there to look pretty. We never hear much about them at all. Where was I? Oh, yes—Alice continues to explain things by saying that it’s probably their age that lets them live together in har-mon-y. Because, after all, remember—they’re not civilized, because they are Catholics eat humans. We do learn that they are over three-thousand years old (which is kind of odd, given that two of them have decidedly Roman names—really, I think that’s just another allegory for ROMAN Catholics), and that Aro and Marcus are apparently “talented”—what, one of the head dudes doesn’t have a gift? That doesn’t make much sense—wouldn’t it hold that for him to be involved in holding power, he’d have to have some kind of advantage? Well, anyway, then Alice says, “Or maybe it’s just their love of power that binds them together. Royalty is an apt description.

Yeah. About the power bit…well, I’d better save it.

Bella inserts herself, asking why five are so dangerous, and Alice says “that doesn’t include their guard”. There are apparently nine permanent members, and they have some that change. They all have gifts, because that’s how Aro picks them. So, I’m getting the impression that Aro is a collector.

Yeah. About the collecting bit…well, I’d better save it.

Alice says that they are pretty peaceful most of the time, because nobody makes an effort to really make them mad, so the Volturi just sit around in their city and only leave it when they need to go do something. Bella is confused, Alice decides to glare at the businessman again (Alice, are you getting off on this? Stop glaring at the man, he’s not listening), and says that the Volturi have pretty much decided that they are in charge and that they enforce the rules and punish anybody who doesn’t do what they want.

Bella gets outraged upon hearing this. Desire to know why?

"Shouldn't somebody have mentioned this to me earlier?" I whispered angrily. "I mean, I wanted to be a… to be one of you! Shouldn't somebody have explained the rules to me?"

Entitlement whore.

Alice laughs at Bella and says there’s really only one rule that they have to follow and gives Bella the chance to maybe guess what it is. Come on, Bella’s a little (well, a lot) thick, Alice, just tell her. She hears me, and says the rule is basically “Don’t Get Caught”.

Yeah. About the whole rule-enforcement bit…well, I’d better save it.

Alice says that vampires pretty much police themselves most of the time, but in the rare occasion that they don’t, the Volturi are the ones who come in and squash the upstart. Which brings us back to now—Wardo is planning on doing just that, and in Volterra right in front of them all. The Volturi are apparently totally protective about where they live and are willing to do anything to defend it, and that includes killing anyone who breaks the rules in their city. She also says that it is “probably the safest city in the world—from vampire attack at the very least”. Bella asks how this is possible, as they have to eat, and Alice says that they bring in humans from the outside. It’s apparently most of the guards’ hobby to go out and pick up spare people to nom on, as they don’t spend too much of their time protecting the city and their secrecy—which brings us again back to Wardo. Again.

Bella remarks that it is easy to say Wardo’s name now, and we find out why:

I wasn't sure what the difference was. Maybe because I wasn't really planning on living much longer without seeing him. Or at all, if we were too late. It was comforting to know that I would have an easy out.

And yet again—we’re supposed to think the cliff dive wasn’t a suicide attempt.

Alice remarks that the Volturi haven’t encountered “a lot of suicidal vampires”, so this is kind of a new situation. Bella whines about that, and Meyer spells it out to us that what she did was “a cry of pain”, because, remember, folks—only the women may be suicidal at the thought of losing Their Man. A guy cannot kill himself—he’s under obligation to stay alive and try to move on.

Alice says that they are really going to try to survive, and Bella’s very positive about the Volturi killing BOTH OF THEM if they don’t succeed. Okay, Bella, I’m fine with you perfectly willing to go off and die—I encourage it, actually, because I have hopes that you might succeed. But you are now perfectly fine with somebody ELSE dying because of your stupidity?

You selfish little bastard.

Alice tells her to stop with that attitude (hear hear), because if she doesn’t, they are turning this van around right now. Bella sniffs and is extremely irritating, and Alice promptly goes into a trance to keep an eye on Wardo.

Bella spends her time staring at Alice, because that’s what she does—stares at vampires. Bella angsts for a bit, fights against the PAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN, and then a movie is shown on the plane. Bella is so upset she can’t tell what kind of film it is. Well, that was informative. And it is precisely the kind of condensing long periods of time into a few sentences that I hate.

Then they land in New York City, and Bella wakes Alice, who informs us that Wardo is trying to decide how he wants to ask the Volturi to kill him. Well, there you go.

So they get onto their next plane, and off they go. Alice goes back into her trance, leaving Bella to once again wangst. And what do you think she wangsts about? Multiple choice, folks:

A) Edward killing himself
B) Leaving Jacob and hurting him
C) Herself

Yeah, I really shouldn’t have to tell you what the answer is. Her main wangst problem is whether or not she even wants to live, because, after all, even if they save Wardo, he doesn’t want her, right, so he’ll just leave again. Save the headdesking for later, folks. Bella then falls asleep, but fortunately for us and for Paul, we don’t have a symbolic dream. Alice wakes her up shortly afterward, and she’s pleased. Turns out the Volturi are going to tell Wardo no. Insert a brief moment of Alice dazzling an attendant, and then Alice launches into exposition mode again. She says that the Volturi would actually rather have Wardo join their little group, to which Wardo will reply with colorful invective.

Then I guess Bella gets tired of everybody talking about somebody who isn’t her, so she wheels the subject back to herself and asks why Alice can see some things perfectly well, but others not so much. I’ll sum up her explanation in one word, folks: convenience. Or, if you prefer, contrivance. Whichever, it works. Might want to use both at the same time. Bella deems this the greatest time to bring up the fact that she isn’t a vampire, even though she really wanted to be. She whines on that vein for a while, and then we get this. Sorry for the big quote, but it needs to be in here:

"Actually, Bella…" She hesitated, and then seemed to make a choice. "Honestly, I think it's all gotten beyond ridiculous. I'm debating whether to just change you myself."

I stared at her, frozen with shock. Instantly, my mind resisted her words. I couldn't afford that kind of hope if she changed her mind.

"Did I scare you?" she wondered. "I thought that's what you wanted."

"I do!" I gasped. "Oh, Alice, do it now! I could help you so much—and I wouldn't slow you down. Bite me!"

"Shh," she cautioned. The attendant was looking in our direction again. "Try to be reasonable," she whispered. "We don't have enough time. We have to get into Volterra tomorrow. You'd be writhing in pain for days." She made a face. "And I don't think the other passengers would react well."

I bit my lip. "If you don't do it now, you'll change your mind."

"No." She frowned, her expression unhappy. "I don't think I will. He'll be furious, but what will he be able to do about it?"

My heart beat faster. "Nothing at all."

She laughed quietly, and then sighed. "You have too much faith in me, Bella. I'm not sure that I can. I'll probably just end up killing you."

"I'll take my chances."

I love it when Meyer shows her butt like this.

She has been beating the audience over the head with the fact that Bella is definitely going to kill herself or something to that effect no matter what happens in Volterra. She really wants to drive it home that Wardo is pretty much her life and all she cares about and that she’s nothing without Her Man. Bella lives for Wardo, and will die for Wardo.

Pretty impressive how fast she completely forgot about him the minute the possibility of being turned into a vampire was brought up, don’t you think? I mean, Alice told her that she’d be out for days and wouldn’t be able to save Wardo—did that give her pause? No, it did not—she continued begging to be bitten right there on the plane. She completely forgot about Wardo in favor of being changed into a vampire.

No, Meyer—Wardo is not Bella’s true love. He is a means to an end—she feels no differently about him than she does about everybody else. You are not fooling me in the slightest—there has only ever been room for one person in Bella’s heart. Got a response to that, Meyer?

Ah, I see, you do. After Alice tells her that they have to at least survive the Volturi before they can even consider turning Bella, she says this:

If Alice made good on her promise—and if she didn't kill me—then Edward could run after his distractions all he wanted, and I could follow. I wouldn't let him be distracted. Maybe, when I was beautiful and strong, he wouldn't want distractions.

So, your response is to drive home the fact that Bella doesn’t think of vampirism as a way to be with Wardo for forever, but as a way to be beautiful and strong—and then to turn right around and say that the best use to these abilities would be to slaver around for all eternity after someone who she thinks isn’t at all interested in her.

That’s…that’s great, Meyer. *pats*

Alice tells Bella to go to sleep, and then goes into a trance again. Bella has another insta-sleep moment (or maybe it’s just that she always does exactly what a vampire tells her to do), and when she wakes up again, she finds out that the Volturi told Wardo no, but she’s not happy (neither am I—they’re still on the plane, and Wardo is already freaking there and has had an audience?! What, did he use all those untold billions that the Cullens have to hire himself a private SR-71?!). That means Wardo’s got a plan to force the Volturi’s hand. Bella asks what plans those were. I’ll bet you wanna see those plans, don’t you?

"There was a bad hour," she whispered. "He'd decided to go hunting."

She looked at me, seeing the comprehension in my face.

"In the city," she explained. "It got very close. He changed his mind at the last minute."

"He wouldn't want to disappoint Carlisle," I mumbled. Not at the end.


Wait a second—back up.

Wardo’s first thought to make the Volturi kill him…was to go out and slaughter a bunch of innocent people in public? And what stayed his hand from doing that was NOT the fact that they were innocent people and it would be wrong to just go out and kill them, but because he didn’t want somebody to think badly of him?

And you expect me to believe that he’s totally reformed from that time he was out killing humans, and that he was only out killing “bad guys”? You expect me to believe that he’s sorry for doing that?

Fuck you, Meyer. And fuck you too, Wardo, you murdering bastard.

Alice then tells Bella his plan—he’s gonna just go out in the sun in front of a crowd. That means the Volturi will descend upon him and kill him, to “keep their city inconspicuous”.

*puts away straw and paper* Well, maybe if you’d just call on me and stop ignoring me when I raise my hand, Meyer, I wouldn’t have to fire spitwads at you to get your attention!

Here’s my question: How is the Volturi descending upon Wardo and publicly executing him—meaning tearing him apart and lighting the pieces on fire—going to be any less conspicuous than him publicly sparkling? We hear a description of somebody tearing a vampire to pieces in Eclipse—it’s loud, noisy, and doesn’t sound human. And they’re going to be doing it fast, not slow—basically, I think you’re trying to tell me that they’ll move so fast nobody will notice they were even there, which is total BS, because I don’t care how fact they move, that’ll make noise, and they can’t make fire burn faster.

Another question: I know Aro’s ability. He probably knew what Wardo was thinking. Um, then why did they allow it to go that far, if they are that protective of their city?

So, in other words, Meyer, this makes no sense. Again.

Alice informs us that Wardo is going to be melodramatic (after having the nerve to tell Bella not to be that way back in the beginning) and time it so that he leaps out into the sun not only in the main plaza, but also at noon when the sun will be overhead. Yeah, melodramatic—I think that describes this pretty well—not to mention contrived (AGAIN), to give Our Heroine (or is it Heroin?) time to arrive and save the day. And then, when they land…wherever it is they’re landing (Meyer implies it’s in France—why they would fly to France to get to Italy is beyond me, and don’t expect me to believe that wonderful and perfect and staggeringly rich Alice Cullen couldn’t get a direct flight into Rome), and Alice decides to steal a car. We get an actual scene break at this point, instead of just condensing everything into a sentence or two—thank you, Meyer, I’m eternally grateful. /sarcasm

We open back up with Alice in possession of her contraband.

A Porsche, to be exact. Because they’re fast.

I’d also like to point out they are also conspicuous—even Meyer knows it, because everybody is staring at them. Smart move, Alice—steal a car that everybody will look at and that is flashy and pretty unmistakable. I hope your ass gets caught—but I know it won’t. I’m not stupid.

Bella points out that this was a very bad car to steal, and Alice scoffs, even as she starts zipping through traffic like a nut. Meyer, I don’t care if they are vampires—just because vampires drive well and have heightened senses does not mean they can disobey the laws of physics, goddammit.

Oh, who am I kidding. Of course they can.

Bella admires the view for a moment, informing us that they were apparently landing somewhere near or in Florence—if that’s the case, why did the intercom first announce the destination in French and then in English, without saying a word in Italian?—then asks what Alice sees. She sees a bunch of people, along with red flags, and then we discover that there is a celebration going on in Volterra—it’s Saint Marcus Day, a holiday devoted to Marcus of the Volturi (dear God, can they get any more Catholic?!), celebrating his triumph over the vampire scourge of Volterra so many years ago (and one more cool thing that Meyer pissed down her leg due to her lack of research and talent—it could have been marginally interesting to find a REAL saint of antiquity and claim that he was based on a vampire), implying that Wardo picked an extra-dramatic date to sparkle out in public.

And speaking of sparkling out in public, isn’t Alice doing just that? Oh, wait—I’m sure Meyer’s pulling the old “Well, the windows are tinted!” routine again. It didn’t work in Twilight, and it doesn’t work here. She’s sparkling in public, end of story.

So, they drive really fast, Wardo’s definitely waiting until noon, and the Volturi are…pretty much going to let him try to publicly sparkle rather than just say, “Okay, fine, we get it—you wanna die. Don’t make a scene, you idiot, just come here and we’ll tear your head off.”

Contrivance or convenience—take your pick.

Alice says that she’s going to get Bella as close as possible to where Wardo’s sitting and planning on walking out into the sun so he’ll see Bella first, not Alice. Alice tells Bella not to trip—because yes, now is a good time to remind the audience about Bella’s cutesy clumsiness. Yeah—Jar Jar was cuter than Bella when it came to klutziness.

And then Alice points to St. Peter’s the city on top of a hill, and Bella immediately becomes afraid of it. *slaps forehead* Bella, you felt no fear whatsoever when you learned Wardo and the rest of the Cullens were vampires, and that was well before you even knew they didn’t eat people!

Alice announces that it’s the Vatican Volterra, and the chapter ends on that rather dull note.

Right—I do have a question before we go on to the next chapter…

Um…what did the title of the chapter have to do with the chapter itself? Was it relating to the hatred of the Catholics, or…what? Seriously—I am at a complete loss. At least Airhead’s chapter titles related in some way to the chapter content, even if it was stupid—this, not so much.

Chapter 20 – Volterra

They start driving up the hill to the Vatican—no, I’m not putting up a pretense any longer, it’s the Vatican and they’re the Catholics and Aro’s the Pope and we all know it—and then the road gets too crowded for Alice to drive like a maniac. Bella starts whining, but they continue on, and then realize that nobody’s being allowed to drive into the city today. Well, that would be a problem, except this is Happy Land, and I’m sure they’ll find a way.

Bella notices that it is windy outside, though I don’t know why that matters to us. She also notices that there is red everywhere—no doubt to make sure that we understand the Catholics are eeeeeeeeevil and that the red represents blood (or the College of Cardinals, one) yadda yadda yadda ARE WE THERE YET? Alice tells Bella that she may have to go in alone if whatever she’s planning to do with the guard up ahead doesn’t work. She gives her specific instructions and tells her to ask around for “Palazzo dei Priori”—the clock tower, for those of us that don’t speak Italian. Anyone who does—that accurate? Volterra is in northern Italy, if that helps. Anyway, Alice emphasizes that she has to get his attention as fast as possible.

So, Alice and Bella arrive at the front of the line, and, of course, the best way to not get stopped and delayed is to make a big show of trying to get into the city and run down the guard. Fortunately, he holds his ground, and Alice stops, digging around in her bag. The guard comes up to the window and, of course, we have to mention how WOWED he is by Alice’s untold beauty—doesn’t matter what the situation is, Bella always has to note that the vampires are indeed The Beautiful People (I personally think that he was dazzled because she was totally just sparkling in the sunlight—fail, Meyer). He tells them that the city is closed to anybody who ain’t on a tour bus, and Alice gives him a sly smile and sticks something into his hand. We find out that it is a “thick roll of money”, and that “the outside bill was a thousand dollar bill”.

Psh. Such crass, noveau-riche slobs, flaunting their money like Draco Malfoy. Somehow, I feel that this is a reflection of Meyer herself and her newfound fortune. Not to mention that, you know, they don’t make $1000 bills anymore. Sorry—that’s not a reflection of being rich, that you carry those around—it’s an issue of deliberately being conspicuous (not to mention an issue of contrivance—again).

We have some “humorous” banter, and then the guard lets them through. Naturally, nobody says anything. It’s Happy Land, after all. Alice drives straight into the city, and I swear, she’s on the verge of just plowing through the crowds—I’m sure Bella wouldn’t object. I mean, after all, I’m sure killing innocent civilians is entirely forgivable so long as it was done in the name of saving Wardo (I mean, it was when Wardo did it for no reason at all, so why wouldn’t it be okay here?). Finally, Alice stops the car and tells Bella where to run, and then gets all pissy and says: “They’re everywhere?” Well, what did you expect? They’re all sitting calmly and waiting around for Wardo to attempt a public sparkling—of course they’re going to be everywhere.

Bella pauses at the thought of being surrounded by the Catholics (so much for her desperation to get to her One Twu Wub), but Alice shoves her out and tells her to get to Wardo as fast as she can. Bella starts shoving fat people out of her way and running as fast as she can across the square, and then we have a brief pause for your Stifling Symbology Second, featuring a woman with a red scarf holding a child that’s wearing a plastic set of vampire fangs. Thank you, this has been your Stifling Symbology Second.

So, Bella’s still shoving the crowd around, and they are all shaking their fists and being very stereotypically Italian—I’m sure someday they’ll return the favor. And then there’s a break in the crowd—mostly because there’s a fountain there. And so, Bella jumps into it and starts running through the water. At this point, “Chariots of Fire” started playing in my head, and I imagined the whole thing in slow motion. Or maybe I should just put it to the Benny Hill Theme. Either way, it helped to dull the pain.

Anyway. She gets through the fountain, and I’m surprised a cop hasn’t pulled her aside yet for being a public nuisance. Unfortunately, the clock tower starts chiming, and my God, it’s something straight out of Disney’s Cinderella. Bella starts screaming Wardo’s name, and we get an overly elaborate description of people around her every time the bell tolls. You mean I’m gonna have to sit through twelve of these?! Bella starts bawling as she shoves her way through the crowd, and—good LORD, this goes on forever! *skims* Yadda yadda yadda, Bella’s running, babies are crying, bell is tolling—

There, there’s Wardo. And guess what Bella does IMMEDIATELY. The situation is grim, he’s a few bell tolls away from flinging himself into the sunlight, so, naturally, Bella thinks this the moment she sees him: “It was really him, no hallucination this time. And I realized that my delusions were more flawed than I'd realized; they'd never done him justice.

So, ultimately, Meyer, what matters most in this relationship is the fact that Wardo is hot. We know it, you know it, we all know it—why don’t you just come out and say it, rather than talking about how your romance trumps all others?

Wardo happens to be shirtless in this scene, for maximum sparkling. It is not important. Nowhere near important. I actually have a feeling she got him shirtless for the same reason that Airhead got Sirius shirtless in Year 7:

Silently, she walked up behind her uncle. Sweat glistened off his bare back. It was rather hot out, so he’d taken off his shirt (Sirius shirtless ::happy sigh:: you know I had to do it) and was now mopping the sweat off his forehead with it.

You could probably argue that, as I said up there, he took it off for maximum sparklage. But I have a feeling it wasn’t. *reads ahead* No, it wasn’t. It was ostensibly for maximum sparklage, but, considering Bella’s reaction…

I'd never seen anything more beautiful—even as I ran, gasping and screaming, I could appreciate that. And the last seven months meant nothing. And his words in the forest meant nothing. And it did not matter if he did not want me. I would never want anything but him, no matter how long I lived.

…it’s for maximum hawt, for her own personal drooling.

Well, you know what? I don’t think Wardo’s hawt. And that’s because in the course of reading these books, I never developed a mental image of him at all—that should tell you how bad you SUCK, Meyer. You spend probably 50% to 75% of these books talking about how gorgeous and wonderful and sexy and handsome and perfect Wardo is, but I STILL don’t have any idea what he looks like (well, unless maybe he looks like this). *flips Meyer off*

So, we have our last slow-motion scene, Wardo slowly stepping towards the light. Go, Wardo, go into the light…move towards the light…there is peace and serenity in the light… Actually, with you, I think it’d be more prudent to have the power of Christ compel you. But none of that works, and Bella smacks into him before he manages to shimmy into the sun.

And that’s when things get incredibly stupid. Wardo…thinks…he’s dead. And he continues to think this for a good page or two. It’s all SO stupid and idiotic. I’ll spare you the majority of the quotes in this section—gotta save those for when BELLA has HER moment like this—and, as she always makes sure that anything anybody else does, she can do better, hers lasts almost a whole CHAPTER.

So, Wardo thinks he’s dead, makes it clear that he’s rather surprised to discover that “Carlisle was right” regarding the afterlife, because, you know, he thinks he’s dead and that Bella’s dead too, and that’s why he sees her. He fondles Bella for a bit, and it’s only natural he believe he’s in heaven, because, you know, in heaven, Bella would definitely be screaming for him to get back into the shadows, and everybody knows heaven is set at the Vatican—er, Volterra. And, while I said I would keep the quotes regarding Wardo to a minimum, you can’t make this shit up regarding Bella:

It was very strange, for I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect—not healed, but as if there had been no wound in the first place.

Resentment? Feelings hurt? Anger? Betrayal? Distrust? Strife? A fight, maybe?


Moving on.

Wardo talks about how the Catholics are just THAT GOOD, because, dude, it’s like he didn’t even get killed, they were so good! Bella talks about how awesome he is again, because that’s all she’s good for, and that’s when Wardo starts quoting Romeo and Juliet. The quote chosen is rather stupid, because Bella describes Wardo’s voice as being like honey, and then the quote he picks says Juliet’s, AKA Bella’s, breath is like honey. So, I guess we’re all honey-mouths. Good to know. Not to mention that the quote is Romeo to Juliet, saying that even in death, she’s beautiful, and Wardo thinks this is some kind of hallucination or heaven or, in the next line, hell. Whatever.

Bella reiterates the importance of getting the hell out of there, and—oh, Christ, he STILL doesn’t get it! It takes the Catholics actually showing up for him to get it!

And show up they do. Wardo does a ballet move and shoves Bella up against the alley wall (RAPE!!!), and then—I can’t believe this—Wardo tries to handwave the situation. The Catholics say they should discuss this elsewhere, and Wardo gets pissy because he didn’t technically break any rules. The one called Felix is rather rude, but the other one tries to be polite. Wardo tells Bella to go out and enjoy the festival, and then Felix tells Wardo to bring her along, too, and leers. Because, you know, they’re evil. Has Meyer made that clear yet? Well, don’t worry—she’ll make that VERY clear soon enough.

Oh, and the Catholics can wander about in the sun because they’re wearing cloaks. Huge, grey cloaks that cover every bit of skin. No, that’s not suspicious at all.

Anyway—after Felix McLeer does his thing, Wardo goes all dramatic prairie dog and prepares to FIGHT TO THE DEATH, because that’ll surely dispel this already tense situation. Bella inserts herself again, and Wardo shushes her—well, back to business as usual, I suppose. Mr. Manners insists that Aro just wants to talk again. Wardo insists Bella goes free, and Mr. Manners says that they “do have rules to obey,” which I find funny because it seems to be that you only have rules so you can break them. We finally find out Mr. Manners is named Demetri, and Wardo continues to be a bitch and make things difficult—because everybody knows that, when you’re in trouble, the best thing to do is exacerbate the situation. Felix McLeer totally gets pumped for the fight, Demetri Manners is all head-shakingly patronizing about the whole thing, and they move in to basically make a huge scene in front of all of these humans—secrecy my ASS.

That’s when Alice shows up. She’s all cheerful and polite and buoyant. Felix McLeer gets peeved, because “apparently, they didn’t like even numbers”. Did Meyer mention that they’re evil? They’re evil. And now they’re bullies, too. Evil bullies. Did Meyer mention that? They are—they’re evil bullying Catholics, always down on the Mormons.

So, Demetri Manners finally realizes, “Oh, yeah, there’s a crowd of humans behind us, isn’t there?” He clearly wasn’t chosen for his brains—but was anybody in these books? He tries to diffuse the situation, and Wardo is STILL being a belligerent asshole, insisting that they go free with no repercussions whatsoever and refusing any requests to talk this over. That’s when another Catholic shows up. It’s a girl, but she’s apparently fairly androgynous. Bella only knew she was a girl because “the face was too pretty for a boy”. You don’t say? And, naturally, we have to spend a good long paragraph DESCRIBING said beauty. I’ll spare you. After she shows up, Wardo pretty much gives up. We find out our newcomer’s name is Jane. She insists that they follow along, and Felix McLeer is now Felix McSmirk. Because he’s evil. They go along with her down the alley, and as they go, Wardo asks what Alice is doing here. She says she made a mistake and came to fix it. He asks what happened, and Alice pretty much tells him the story in her head. Wardo disapproves, because Bella doing something without his permission is the worst thing evar, amirite?

They reach the end of the alley, and they all jump in a hole in the wall. Bella is all nervous at first, but, after a brief moment of Felix McSmug (evil), she jumps and Alice catches her. And off they go again, Bella clinging to Wardo’s waist like a leech and Wardo clinging right back. And this behavior STILL doesn’t clue her in that he’s still in love with her and was lying:

For now, it felt like he wanted me, and that was enough to offset the horror of the subterranean tunnel and the prowling vampires behind us. It was probably no more than guilt—the same guilt that compelled him to come here to die when he'd believed that it was his fault that I'd killed myself. But I felt his lips press silently against my forehead, and I didn't care what the motivation was. At least I could be with him again before I died. That was better than a long life.

Normally, I’d be screaming that this is due to her idiocy, but actually, I’m not chalking it up to that this time. It’s not stupidity—not mostly. It’s just more of this submissive, sexist crap that Meyer is constantly writing. Wardo said he didn’t love her—The Man Hath Spoken. It must be true!

Oh, and Bella? What did Wardo do when he thought you died? He tried to kill himself. So, if you do in fact die after this incident, what do you think is going to happen? His heart will go on, or something?

Bella really wants to know how it’s all going to go down, but she can’t talk because puny wimmin should be seen and not heard because there’s no way she could have a discreet conversation surrounded by a bunch of vampires. So she’s quiet as they go deeper and deeper underground, and the place really starts to resemble a sewer. Are you getting the impression that the evil Volturi Catholics are evil yet? It’s getting cold, too, but, as Bella’s a weiner, she keeps clinging to Wardo’s icy side anyway. Felix McIrritated is making it quite clear that, even though the trip seems fast to Bella, she’s making them move at an incredibly slow pace—although given just how slow a pace Bella’s mind moves, it only seems appropriate here.

Just as you’re about ready to rip your eyeballs out from boredom, because there’s only so much excitement you can put into a group of people walking in a dank sewer that doesn’t even have a giant spider residing within, they finally reach the end of the tunnel and go inside a thick wooden door. Bella relaxes, Wardo tenses.

And that’s it for Chapter 20.

The Volturi Catholics are evil. EVIL! Do you think they’re evil yet?! EVIL!!!

See you next time for Chapter 21 – Verdict.

Stinger: “"I do!" I gasped. "Oh, Alice, do it now! I could help you so much—and I wouldn't slow you down. Bite me!"”

( Chapter 21 - Verdict )

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