Anyway, take over, Hyde.
Chapter 8: Ghost
Hey-yo, everybody! We’re back to Midnight Sun!
Well, last chapter was one of those interlude chapters, where we saw what Wardo was doing off screen while Bella was off at La Push. Turns out that he was, in fact, acting out scenes from the popular sitcom “Growing Up Cullen” between his stalking episodes. It’s canon, guys. Despite the obvious lulz, we ended on a sour note wherein Wardo realized that the fact that Jasper’s non-vegetarian friends from Mexico were coming to visit gave him the perfect excuse to stalk Bella even more.
And does he ever. This chapter, also not a chapter title from Twilight, is ostensibly another off-the-Twilight-screen look at what Wardo was doing on those sunny days between Bella visiting La Push and Port Angeles. Only…it isn’t. Because just you guess what he was doing for those days? That’s right! STALKING BELLA. This is just “Chapter 7: Nightmare” of Twilight from Wardo’s POV, with really no new material or events—I guess it warrants a different title because they don’t ever actually interact in this one. I don’t know what makes it worse—that is another lame copy/paste job where we have to obsessively see every detail of Bella’s life again, or the fact that Wardo was there, lurking in the bushes FOR EVERY SINGLE MOMENT THAT WE SAW IN TWILIGHT.
Anyway. We open up with Wardo telling us that he didn’t really see the visiting vamps at all, because he was off stalking Bella the whole time they were visiting. And I do mean the whole time—to the point that he “only went home at all so Esme wouldn’t worry”. Aside from the obvious sickness in the implication that he followed Bella nonstop for days on end, I have to ask—why the hell would she worry? You’re an immortal invincible marble statue! What on earth is going to happen? I know this is just another instance of Mommy Esme being a total doormat and panicking if her entire family isn’t within viewing distance at all times—but seriously. Come on, SMeyer. Give me a break.
Well, she hasn’t so far, so why should she now?
And she totally doesn’t—because yes, Wardo was lurking in shadows and bushes for every sunny day that he wasn’t in school, “follow[ing] the object of [his] love and obsession”—you’re half right there, Wardo—and using the minds of everyone around her to spy on her, and totally fantasizing about touching her.
Wardo angsts that it’s so hard to stay away from school now that Bella’s there, because it makes stalking her hard and stuff, but since she likes the sun then he just has to like it too. Or rather, it’s “in [his] good graces”, because bestowing his regard upon anything is just the ultimate commendation he can give. Asshole.
Poor, whipping-boy Mike shows up again, and Wardo tells us that he got to totally get off on Bella crushing him again as he watches from the trees. Mike comes up to talk to Bella, as usual, and all of the sudden, Wardo almost respects him for the way he keeps coming back for more abuse, rather than wanting to shatter his bones. Bella’s sitting outside, and Wardo rhapsodizes over the red in her hair that the sun brings out. I think I’ve made my feelings clear on having to listen to obsessive cataloguing of an SIs appearance. Not to mention that when Wardo does it, it comes across as mega-creepy, rather than just standard Suethor fare, because of his obvious and self-admitted obsession.
As an aside, can anyone think of someone else involved with/related to this series who might have reddish hair in the sunlight?
Yeah, me neither. I don’t know what I was thinking of.
So, Mike trots up, all oblivious to the fact that his life could end at any moment, while Wardo is out there agonizing that he can’t rush in and do…something. He never says what, but given the tenor of his previous sentiments towards Mike, I have no doubt that it was violent. Bella, of course, strings Mike along, getting him all pumped up and making Wardo spaz. Mike also notices the red in Bella’s hair, because sure, that’s the sort of thing a normal teenaged male hormone-factory notices. He has the nerve to touch
Bella the doormat “cringe[s]” away from Mike’s hand, which Wardo just loves (and sorry, I just got the thoroughly unpleasant impression that he likes to see Bella cringe), and Mike waffles around, giving Bella the chance to be smug about having her homework all done, and then Mike asks her out.
Wardo flips, of course, breaking another tree and barely restraining himself from running over there and kidnapping Bella away from that “boy that [he] hated so much in this moment that [he] could kill him and enjoy it”.
I think I’ve explained why this is not romantic. Apparently SMeyer wasn’t listening the first time. This is not teenaged angst and jealousy, woman, nor is it yearning, unrequited love. That is sociopathy and obsession, a fit of insane rage spawned by possessive jealousy that prompts him to want to kill someone for no reason other than he had the nerve to talk to your property—and not only would he not feel bad about it, but he’d like it. And given that he has killed before and easily could again? WRONG.
Once again, I am baffled by the fact that SMeyer actively wants this in a man. I’m starting to wonder if maybe she doesn’t have some kind of snuff fetish, in that her ideal man would be prone to such fits of violence to indulge her fantasy.
Anyway, Bella says no without saying no again (and SMeyer fails again, talking about how Wardo is suddenly able to breathe again—YOUR VAMPS DON’T BREATHE, IDIOT! CAN YOU NOT EVEN KEEP YOUR OWN CRAP CANON STRAIGHT??!!). Mike immediately fusses that it’s over Wardo, which despite the fact that it is, doesn’t really make sense, given their limited interactions thus far. But neither does this pastede-on-yey love, either, so whatever. Bella clues Mike in on the fact that Jessica likes him—apparently her asking him out wasn’t enough of a giveaway. Again, the side characters must be made rock-stupid in order to make Bella look like she has a brain. She threatens him with death if he tells Jessica that she was the one who ratted him out, and of course the mere idea of delicate, vulnerable, fragile Bella threatening anyone is enough to send Wardo into spasms of laughter. Asshole.
Mike is just struck dumb by this revelation, and both Bella and Wardo are condescending about it, and I had to stick my finger down my throat when Wardo had to take this moment to inform us of how “unselfish” Bella is yet again for absolutely no reason. Bella takes the opportunity to cut and run, still without actually having told Mike that she’s not interested.
So Mike wanders stupidly off, and as far as he’s concerned, the two girls are pretty much “interchangeable to him”.
It’s because he’s a shallow loser, not because neither girl actually has a personality, or anything—or him, for that matter. So we all hate him now, right? Right.
Anyway, Wardo doesn’t want to listen to him playing out the same old “vulgar” fantasies with Jessica now, rather than Bella (if it was Bella he was still thinking about, he would, because he likes imagining killing this poor kid). Honestly, I really have to stop and say that this is ridiculous—Mike has given every indication of honestly fancying Bella, being largely nice and attentive and flattering and actually inviting her out—certainly more than PMSing Wardo has done—and not just trying to get into her pants or something. And yet we’re supposed to believe that all he really wanted was a female, and didn’t care which one at all. Right.
I guess this is just another route of dumbing down one character to make the SI shine—his interest had to be as deep as a sieve in order for Wardo’s obsession-after-four-conversations to even remotely resemble love.
So Wardo “curls up against the cool trunk of an enormous madrone tree” outside, which really sounds seriously emo and exactly something GUC Wardo would do (and, even though I nearly suffered a heart attack from seeing a hint that Meyer actually did some research to come up with the name of that tree, it still sounds like she’s shoving it in our faces to show off how much she knows and how knowledgeable she is when a pine tree—or just a tree—would’ve worked just as well), and spends the rest of the day snooping in people’s heads. He condescendingly remarks that Angela is the only person worthy of being Bella’s friend (which is creepy foreshadowing of his later actions in Eclipse—you know, him choosing who she can and cannot see as a friend), and ponders how he can thank her for it. And if you’ve been keeping up with Mervin’s recaps, then you know how SMeyer rewards the good little wimmins in her stories. Just you wait and see.
Anyway, Wardo watches, spies, and stalks all day, and SMeyer tells us outright how Bella looks sad, which is obviously because the Cullen Table (and while there are no caps like that, you know that’s how she, he, and everyone else in this universe thinks of it) is empty. He finds out that Bella has plans for a girls night, which changes when Mike asks Jessica out in place of Bella, and Wardo is all automatically “plan[ing] his surveillance”.
DO PEOPLE HONESTLY NOT SEE WHY THIS IS NOT RIGHT?!!
Do I even need to keep asking that?
So, since she’s not going out, Wardo runs straight to her home, prowling the woods along the way for Bad Guys who might come too near his
So, he’s lurking and agonizing because she isn’t in his sight, when lo, out she comes with a blanket. Yeah—remember that scene in Twilight Chapter 7 when she goes outside to read and falls asleep? Yep. Wardo was there the whole time. Sweet, isn’t it?
He spies on her and spots her reading Austen. She’s obviously Special and Unique because she likes the classics. We get a ridiculous read-through of her every move, with lots of filler detail, and her thoughts in the Twilight version are translated into over-exaggerated movements so Wardo can see them and obsess over them. We all know that she’s being hissy over the Austen male leads having names too close to “Edward” (and we know that this is some kind of pathetic attempt on SMeyer’s part to tell us how wonderful Wardo is, just like those famous romantic heroes, only better), and then she throws the book aside and has a narcoleptic fit and goes to sleep.
Then we have a nice continuity error in the midst of Wardo being creepy again. As we all may recall, Bella is having A SYMBOLIC DREAM.
As per the usual contrivance, she of course talks in her sleep (or rather “mumble[s]”, and if you’ve read the Airhead Sporkings, you know how I feel about that word), and Wardo of course can’t resist getting up in her business to listen. Um, excuse me? You could read the text of her book from up in the tall tree and have all these super-duper senses and crap, and yet you can’t hear her from up there?
Guess you must have had in those same earplugs that Alice did when James called.
But, since Wardo has apparently gone deaf, he, yes, crawls right down out of the tree and gets right up in her business, looming over her as she sleeps
Guess the chapter title “Nightmare” in Twilight was appropriate, huh?
He wangsts and frets, even admitting how he was a condescending asshole towards Emmett and Jasper for misbehaving and taking risks, even though he’s risking getting caught right now for public sparkling, but that’s not about to stop him! I myself am more disgusted that he’s thinking about all they ways that this could get him in trouble, but never stopping to consider Bella’s feelings or privacy about this. Par for the course, I guess.
Bella is apparently very oily, because Wardo can see his “rainbow sparkles (LOL) reflected onto her skin”. This prompts him to wangst about how different they are, woe and all that, and is about to slink off back into the bushes, but then she makes noise. So he stays, stealing her book and ratting through it to see what she was reading, and WHAMMO, SMeyer apparently realized that Bella is supposed to smell like bacon or something, so we’re back to that nonsense again. Although it’s creepier, because Wardo says that the reason he wants to eat her again is because he was getting used to it, being close to her, but now “[he] had been away from her for too long”. Oh, boy. Just what he needs—yet another excuse to stalk her.
Wardo is of course thrilled when Bella suddenly says his name in her sleep, but then she says “Edmund” too, and he’s thrown into blackest despair because she wasn’t dreaming about him but rather about the book characters. He’s all emo about it and creeps “back into the cover of the shadows—where [he] belonged”. Call me back in when the angels are done weeping on the barren wasteland of your soul.
He watches her out there the whole time until Charlie comes home, musing about how Beautiful and Unique and Special she is the whole time, which is just great. Charlie is, of course, just as obsessed with Bella’s well-being as is every male in this town, and even when it’s actually reasonable in the context of her father, it’s so ham-fisted and just like every other boy that it pisses me off.
He stays outside the house and spies, listening to their conversations and hears that Bella is planning to go to Port Angeles. Wardo is immediately up in arms—Jasper didn’t tell the non-veggie vamps to stay away from there, so he’d better stalk her on her trip, too!
Like you needed an excuse, asshole. He’d have to go anyway, even if they weren’t there, to protect her from anything else, all those pitiful “human dangers” that could never hurt him, but might mar his precious vulnerable Bella. He hears her worry about Charlie having to cook for himself since men can’t cook, lol, and has to tell us that he was right, that “she was a caretaker”.
Gawd, I’m sick of these random insertions of Bella’s non-existent virtues, put in Wardo’s mouth just so SMeyer can wank to it.
I should have been mad or scared at this next bit, really, but I just couldn’t muster any outrage in the face of…well, see for yourselves.
And then I left, knowing I would return when she was asleep.
I would not trespass on her privacy the way a peeping tom would have. I was there for her protection, not to leer at her the way Mike Newton no doubt would, were he agile enough to move through the treetops the way I could. I would not treat her so crassly.
I should be mad—he’s being a condescending asshole, as usual, putting Mike Newton down for sins he’s never committed (as well as just for being a lowly human) just to make himself feel better, all the while holding himself up as a model of virtue. I should be scared, because that quiet insistence that he was there for her safety was really quite frightening, really something that a stalker would think.
Yeah. I wasn’t either of those things.
Anyway, Wardo runs home, and we have a tiny bit of Emmett Awesomeness, because apparently the vamps are playing football, and he left Wardo a note to come join them. Please to be aware of the fact that they are all there—that the supposedly mean, non-veggie vamps who are a threat to Special Snowflake Bella will be there, so Wardo will know they aren’t eating her and knows that they’re being watched, and that she’s safe.
See, now the above quote is pissing me off. Don’t try and tell me that it’s only for her safety, you stalking asshole.
This time, his breaking and entering to watch her sleep, as well as his stalking her the next day, “the last day the sun would hold [him] prisoner” and keep him from stalking Bella outright, is nicely condensed. I guess SMeyer’s tapped out her lack-luster talent in finding ways to describe Wardo stalking Bella, or finding ways to describe how Unique and Special she is.
So, we have all the filler cut out, and we just get the really irritating stuff. Wardo breaks into her room, describes how gorgeous she is, watches her thrash and listens to her badmouth Forks even in her sleep. Then at school the next day, she is all pathetic because the Cullens aren’t there, and Wardo has to tell us how selfless she is again, “put[ting] her friends’ enjoyment above that of her own”, which I can honestly say is utter crap. He said that with regards to the possibility of her canceling the Port Angeles trip, a trip that we know for a fact she only agreed to so she could use the other girls for a ride to get a book to research/obsess over the Cullens. SUCK IT, WARDO. AND YOU TOO, SMEYER.
So no, Bella doesn’t cancel, so Wardo runs home to get his car. Peter and Charlotte are there, so Wardo decides to give the girls “an hour head start”, which freaked me right the hell out—now it sounds like he’s genuinely hunting them.
But this bit here with the two non-vegetarians is a study in irritation—for me, at least. Wardo is first condescending, thinking how “hideous” it’s going to be to have to drive like a lowly human. He sort of brushes off everyone when they say hello, because he’s an asshole, and then we have to get a list of that stupid mental dialogue of his, not sensing people’s feelings and emotions and thoughts, but just listening like they’re talking to him. Rose speaks for all of us with, “Ugh, he’s back.” Esme, who I officially hate, is all concerned, because she doesn’t know how her little imagined love story is working out for Wardo—note that there is no concern for Bella in there. Alice is annoying, all perky and cheerful about being controlled and dominated by Wardo as well, what with him forbidding her to
“You’re pathetic. I can’t believe you missed the game last night to watch someone sleep…”
—and I would so do him for that. Jasper ignores Wardo, and the little entitlement-whore asshole actually gets pissy about it, can you believe it?
And then we get this:
What a strange creature, the Alice-sized, white blonde Charlotte was thinking. And he was so normal and pleasant the last time we met.
Peter’s thoughts were in sync with hers, as was usually the case.
It must be the animals. The lack of human blood drives them mad eventually, he was concluding. His hair was just as fair as hers, and almost as long. They were very similar—except for size, he was almost as tall as Jasper—in both look and thought. A well-matched pair, I’d always thought.
Okay—let’s have one of Mervin’s little Lists of What’s Off-Pissing with this Picture, hmm?
- Gawd, here we go again. The One True Love Sealed in the Temple for Time and All Eternity. They look alike, they think alike—hell, who needs individuality and independence? Just find someone else to cling to so you don’t have to define yourself outside of a couple.
- Hold on—wasn’t Jasper turned and went through all that fighting in Mexico? He was an exception, turned on the Texas border before Maria’s coven got big, and then after that, they were down to start their newborn army on the Pacific coast—in Culiacán, if I’m not mistaken, and I hope Snape and Sands stake her. So how the hell do we have these two painfully Anglo and Aryan vampires here? If they were supposed to be some more of those throwaway newborns, why wasn’t she just changing the locals? Oh, of course—silly Rabbit, Perfect Sparkling Mormon Vampires can’t be ethnic! Tee hee! Even the ostensibly Mexican Maria is white as driven snow, too, ‘cause now she’s a vampire! *disgusted*
- And just to round things off, SMeyer must have realized that with all the stalking going on, she hadn’t managed to piss down her leg a potentially awesome bit of plot in a while. Well, she set about to rectify that situation. You may recall here, in Mervin’s recap of New Moon, that she (with a little input from me) had a nice big rant about why the Volturi suck as villains—that they have no motivation and are just Evil for the sake of being Evil. Well, here we have that again. We’re told time and time again that other vamps—particularly those nasty Catholic ones—have it out for the Cullens. But it’s never explained why. But here SMeyer tossed out something that could have been an actually reason for her characters to behave like they do, rather than just being Evil for the hell of it. The business about the animal blood. Maybe other vamps think it’s disgusting. Maybe they think that vamps who eat animals are some kind of deviated preverts (that would stick with the traditional vamping = sexing thing). Maybe they think that they’ll contaminate other vampires with their deviant behavior. Or maybe they fear that the Cullens will stage an uprising and force them to eat animals too. Any of these things would give a real reason for other vamps to be so hostile to the Cullens—and actual character motivation. But no, we can’t have people thinking the Cullens are anything but Perfect and Wonderful (they are Mormons, after all). So her little throwaway comment about animal blood somehow weakening or messing up the Cullens is tossed out there—and promptly forgotten.
So, Wardo sits there and plays music so he won’t have to talk to anyone, just thinking of “the girl”—his property—some more, until Peter and Charlotte say goodbye. They mention that Jasper apparently is still willing to talk to Maria—more evidence that the Cullens don’t have any problems whatsoever with the vamps who eat people, just do their eating animals thing to be smug bastards about it. They say goodbye and head out. Rosalie is awesome and calls Wardo an “idiot”, and Emmett is Awesome and calls him a “madman”, Emse pisses me off by still being all concerned for the “poor boy”, and Alice tells Wardo to stop being so ridiculous, because Peter and Charlotte aren’t going towards Port Angeles, so Bella will be safe.
Wardo ignores that and leaves to run out and get in his car to follow Bella anyway, and ends on a nice creepy note, getting all relaxed and in a better mood with the thought that he is “getting closer to Bella with every mile that flew under [his] tires”.
And with that, we’re done. I’ll see you all with the next chapter—and it’s a doozy, believe me, as I’m sure you can tell from the title—Chapter 9: Port Angeles.
( Chapter 9 - Port Angeles )