Well, as I suspected, Sands would not come out and play again. At least, not for a while. So I put him back with Snape and I’m sure those two are fighting and bitching at each other. They’re much happier for it.
That leaves me to pick it up where he left off. I’ll try and keep it…kind of concise, but you know me. It’s not in character for me to brush the stuff off the way that Sands does. I care, and way too much. *shame*
Enough of that. Off we go.
Chapter 16 – Epoch
Surprise surprise—we open up with a big fat Bella whine. She’s whining about how she has nothing to wear. More specifically, she is whining that she has nothing that will “make [her] look beautiful and grown up. Something that said special occasion.” Considering she’s trying to find a shirt that matches that hiddy khaki skirt she’s obsessed with because Wardo approves of its beigeness? No wonder she can’t find anything that matches.
She whines because of the vampire that stole her red blouse—yeah, remember that? As it’s being randomly brought up again out of nowhere, I think we can safely say this has PLOT POINT!!!!! written all over it. Bella, in her fury, punches her wall with her good hand, because she is apparently looking to break it as well. Anybody ever tell Meyer that it’s a bad thing to punch walls? Oh boy—now Alice has shown up, taking the Wardo approach to entering the Swan household. Meaning she just came in through Bella’s window. Is that some kind of metaphor, Meyer? Bella’s “window” is open to anybody who can force it open? Anyway, Alice comes bearing gifts, as usual. Her random visions gave her the image of Bella not finding anything to wear, and, as this one makes no sense whatsoever, I’m going to ignore it. Bella reluctantly thanks Alice for saving her bacon—after all, thanking somebody for doing you a favor is a fucking nightmare, as Miz Vito would say—and Alice replies that “it’s nice to get something right for a change”, and that Bella doesn’t “known how irritating it is—missing things the way [she has] been. [She feels] so useless. So…normal.” And then she does a huge dramatic (and totally genuine) cringe of horror.
I’ll just leave that untouched.
Well, except for this:
Bella calls her out on her bullshit for once, but I do not appreciate it nor do I commend her, because A) she’s doing it in a humorous light, B) Bella also actively hates being normal, and C) she said “ugh” again.
Alice has a good laugh, and then says, “Well, at least this makes up for missing your annoying thief—now I just have to figure out what I’m not seeing in Seattle.”
Which causes Bella to finally have a revelation that the vampire in Seattle making the newborns is probably the same one who stole all of her stuff.
*rubs forehead* You know, I hate it when people find a convoluted and completely random way to mention something in order for one of their characters to have the shocking revelation. The dialogue doesn’t flow right, it’s not natural, and we all know it’s forced. It’s BAD WRITING.
Oh—and it makes the characters all look dumb as a box of hair, given that we the readers have been screaming the obvious SINCE BACK IN NEW MOON!!! Seriously! We learned what the plot of Eclipse would be back in New Moon when we heard about Victoria wanting to kill Bella! We know it’s her! We know everything being done now relates to her wanting Bella dead! Why don’t THESE people get it?!
Right. Because Meyer is padding the book. I know, I know.
While Bella stands stock still in dramatic shock, Alice waves the outfit under Bella’s nose, saying that she “picked blue, because [she knew] it’s Edward’s favorite”.
Okay, that just pissed me off more than the bullshit up there.
You know, it’s the subtle things about Wardo’s abusive nature that freak me out and make me mad. Yeah, there’s the obvious, like the dismantling of her car, always describing his grip as a restraint when she tries to do something he doesn’t approve of—but then there is stuff like this. This is like his giving her the warning look when she had an unauthorized Coke in New Moon. It’s much more sinister. Bella is only allowed to wear what Wardo likes her to wear. Even worse? He’s got her friends trained to cater to his desires as well. Alice didn’t choose this because Bella would like it—she chose it because Wardo would like it. If you dig deep down, you could find an even worse underlying subtlety here. Bella wanted to wear red for her graduation. However, red is a loud, brazen color. However, the shirt was stolen, stripping Bella of that particular “strength”, and Wardo is quick to find a way to assert himself and a color he approves of in its place—blue. Calm and submissive and diminutive. Something that does not call attention to her. And something that he likes. Fortunately, most of that can be tossed out, as Meyer isn’t capable of writing something like that. But the part about Wardo asserting himself can’t.
*looks at the above paragraph* Dammit. I just can’t state my point and move on, can I?
So, we have some irritating dialogue that is supposed to be funny, as Alice thinks Bella is talking about the shirt instead of vampires, but it’s not funny at all because it just makes me hate Alice. Bella finally just tells her that, obviously, the vampire in Seattle is the same one who broke into her room. Alice demands to know just what the hell she’s talking about. And here’s what Bella is talking about.
"Remember what Edward said? About someone using the holes in your vision to keep you from seeing the newborns? And then what you said before, about the timing being too perfect—how careful my thief was to make no contact, as if he knew you would see that. I think you were right, Alice, I think he did know. I think he was using those holes, too. And what are the odds that two different people not only know enough about you to do that, but also decided to do it at exactly the same time? No way. It's one person. The same one. The one who is making the army is the one who stole my scent."
So, in conclusion?
These people are fucking idiots. Just read that again—this is supposed to be a huge revelation, a big shocker, and I’m supposed to think Bella is oh-so-smart for figuring it out.
That’s just so incredibly stupid.
Then Alice freezes up, and Bella actually counts how long she’s still for absolutely no reason. Seriously—it’s the most pointless insertion ever. And even after this huge shock, Bella vacantly decides to time Alice’s blue screen of death? Alice concedes, and then they draw another conclusion that the scent was stolen so all the newborns would know who to sniff out, meaning the whole army was created strictly to kill Bella.
*raises hand* No, Meyer, I’m not going to call out the Sueness of Bella because every vampire’s life revolves around her in some way. Thanks.
I’m calling out the idiocy of Victoria.
We all know it’s Victoria. And so, she’s creating a vampire army strictly to kill Bella so she can get back at Wardo. It’s in the text—this is all about Bella. The rest of the Cullens aren’t targets and don’t even factor into the situation. These newborns are all supposed to go eat Bella.
…except the Cullens are going to fight tooth and nail to protect Bella, and the newborns will more than likely tear through them as a result in order to get to Bella. Meaning Wardo would die before she got to kill Bella. Rendering the vengeance a moot point.
So…what is the point, exactly? Care to answer, Victoria? Or rather, Meyer?
Well, now is as good a time as any for Bella to pull the faux-selfless card—she hasn’t done that in a while. She immediately talks about how she’s actually relieved that the vampire army is actually out to kill her, because that means the Cullens aren’t the targets. I can’t tell you how much that sort of stuff disgusts me—not to mention that it’s like she forgets that all of the Cullens are willing to die for her, they worship her so. Alice informs her of such, but then Charlie interrupts by beating on her door and telling her they’re going to be late. Bella waves him off, and Alice says she’s gotta dash, because Wardo’s coming and if he reads Alice’s mind and hears about a whole vampire army coming down to eat his property, he’ll shit another brick city. Alice orders her to put on the shirt she bought her for no reason—Meyer really gets off on having vampires order her avatar around—and then we find out that it’s actually a…sweater that she bought her. So, a blue sweater and a khaki skirt is what makes Bella look all grown up and sophisticated. Graduations like this typically require semi-formal, you know. That’s clearly not—just grown up in the sense that it makes her look like a secretary. They also graduate in yellow robes in Forks, apparently. There’s one point that Bella and I agree on—that’s ugly.
So, downstairs she goes, and Charlie is busy being stoic. Fortunately for him, Bella is paying pretty much no attention to him. Wardo arrives shortly after, and they all hop into Charlie’s cruiser and go to graduation. The paragraph explaining this is far too disgusting to simply paraphrase.
Charlie had gotten stubborn last week when he'd learned that I was intending to ride with Edward to the graduation ceremony. And I could see his point—parents should have some rights come graduation day. I'd conceded with good grace, and Edward had cheerfully suggested that we all go together. Since Carlisle and Esme had no problem with this, Charlie couldn’t come up with a compelling objection; he’d agreed with poor grace. And now Edward rode in the backseat of my father's police car, behind the fiberglass divider, with an amused expression—probably due to my father's amused expression, and the grin that widened every time Charlie stole a glance at Edward in his rearview mirror. Which almost certainly meant that Charlie was imagining things that would get him in trouble with me if he said them out loud.
I’ve got a compelling objection for you, Charlie. And why don’t I elaborate upon it in fic form, eh? Haven’t done something like that in a while.
“I’ve an excellent idea,” said Edward, pleasantly calm. “I know Carlisle and Esme wouldn’t mind if I rode with you, Bella—I believe it would be acceptable for all of us to ride together, wouldn’t it?”
I didn’t bother suppressing my smirk—I knew Edward had Charlie there. I turned to look at him, only to find him looking stonily at Edward.
“No—I don’t believe that would be acceptable,” Charlie said icily. “Since you seem unable to take hints, I’ll just spell it out for you: I would like to actually spend a little time with my daughter alone for a change. That means without you.”
“Dad,” I said warningly. I thought we’d finally gotten past this ridiculousness…
“Bella, if you use that patronizing tone with me one more time, you can just stay home tonight,” Charlie said sharply.
I blinked, shocked by his tone.
“Charlie, it’s Bella’s graduation,” Edward soothed. “I don’t think we should fight—”
“I agree. So why don’t you just politely agree to allow me a little time with my daughter, and kindly remember that there are people in her life other than you? I know she doesn’t like to be reminded of that—” he shot a fierce glare at me, “—but I do exist, and I love my daughter. So, if you don’t mind, I am taking the last day I’ll ever have with her before she undoubtedly runs off with you and shuts everyone else out of her life.” He saw me opening my mouth to protest, and quickly spoke over me. “We’ve already had the discussion about your ‘independence’, Bella. Turning eighteen doesn’t automatically make you able to do whatever you want and somehow magically emancipate you.” He stabbed a finger at Edward. “I don’t want him in my cruiser—I never invited him in the first place. I want to have a chance to talk with you for once without him hovering over my shoulder.”
Charlie rose, gripping his coffee cup in one hand. “And that’s all I have to say about that,” he said firmly, and then turned and left the kitchen before anybody could say anything else.
Not my best, but it’s been a while, and all.
But, since that didn’t happen…
So, that’s pretty much the trip. Suddenly, we’re at the school. Wardo helps Bella out of the car, because she’s a delicate and fragile wimmins, and tells her how gorgeous she is. Well, naturally—she’s wearing Wardo-approved clothes. But then Charlie shoves his way between Bella and Wardo, and she claims that “he meant [it] to be subtle”. Personally? I doubt it. There is no way to subtlety suggest that Wardo go away so Charlie can spend a little time with his daughter. People who deliberately monopolize their SO’s time ignore subtlety, because it’s easy to pretend they didn’t notice.
Charlie reminds Bella that this is a big moment, and then gets a bit misty thinking about his daughter being all grown up (physically, anyway—mentally, she’s still a whiny spoiled brat stuck at about age thirteen). I laugh, because he says “it’s the real world for [her] now” and mentions college. Wake up, Charlie. However, Charlie being emotional is just so inconvenient for Bella, so she whines at him. He quickly works to accommodate her—anything to stop the whining. Charlie commends her for going to the party, and Wardo stares at the sky. Then Wardo and Bella head into the gym.
They’re quickly organized in alphabetical order, and Wardo is a total drama queen because oh, he has to go up with the C’s and can’t stay glued to Bella’s side for an hour or two, woe. Fortunately, Bella has Jessica to keep her company. Suddenly, she’s all smiles and la-dee-da let’s pretend these last few months never happened.
Bella really doesn’t have much time for this sudden (REALLY sudden) attempt to renew the friendship or at least graduate on a good note. She pretty much ignores Jessica and uses the usual staple of derogatory words to describe any of her actions, and seeing as I’ve read three books thus far of Bella doing this with regards to anyone who isn’t her or a Cullen, it pretty much just kind of washes over me like sewage that’s been out in the summer sun for two weeks, so it’s easy to ignore.
And then the graduation is summed up in half a page, consisting mostly her mocking Eric, who is the valedictorian, and her thinking about herself.
*rubs head* Meyer…if you don’t want to write the graduation, don’t write it. Find a tasteful and well-written way to just skip it. You are so bad at this. Just DON’T WRITE IT. Not having it is much more preferable to what is essentially, “And then we graduated. Eric sucks, all about me.”
Well, not all about her. The majority of the graduation ceremony takes about half a page. But we’re treated to an equal amount of space simply describing two of the Cullens walking across the stage. She hilariously talks about how they are the only ones who make the bright yellow robes look nice—or rather, are the only ones who look pretty in them.
Dude! They are pure white! They look like EGGS!
So, when Bella gets up to graduate, she has a little cheering section in the crowd consisting of Jacob and Billy and Charlie. *shoots BFD!Jacob on general principle* Then, we have some seriously bad repetition, even for Meyer.
"Congratulations, Miss Stanley," he mumbled as Jess took hers.
"Congratulations, Miss Swan," he mumbled to me, pressing the diploma into my good hand.
"Thanks," I murmured.
And that was it.
Ouch. We also have a very abrupt ending to the ceremony.
Bella also not only doesn’t realize that Jessica is crying—yes, it’s hard to tell somebody is crying when they are wiping their red-rimmed eyes repeatedly—and the way Meyer is being so condescending with regards to Jessica being all weepy about high school ending is really pissing me off, because it’s more than evident in her high-school wish-fulfillment fantasy as well as her actions in reality that Meyer’s own life pretty much ENDED with high school.
Jessica hugs Bella, then runs off. Bella looks about for Alice, but Wardo appears out of nowhere and immediately attaches himself to her (surprise). He wants to know why she’s still all nervous, and who she’s looking for. Turns out Alice ran out the instant she got her diploma. Which prompts Bella to do something incredibly stupid and pretty much negate the whole point of what Alice was doing—trying to make sure Wardo doesn’t know about the vampire army going after Bella, because he’ll freak out and make a
Bella just tells him what the big secret is because he narrowed his eyes at her. That, and she’s hoping his tantrum will cause the graduation party will be cancelled.
That’s just grand, Bella. Really.
Anyway, Wardo pales—Meyer really doesn’t even try for continuity, even regarding her own canon, does she?—and Bella once again rides that dead horse for all it’s worth, talking about how great it is that the vampire army isn’t coming for the Cullens and that means we can all breathe easy, right? I just want to shake her until her teeth rattle, because Wardo is EXTREMELY POSSESSIVE OF YOU, DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT HE’S GOING TO BUST A NUT?
Bella does some face-touching (*dry* nice foreshadowing) to try and calm him down, but then Charlie arrives and he dares boot Edward to the side so he can give his daughter a hug and congratulate her.
Meyer, I hate you. Just let it be known now. I hate you, and I hope Marten eats your smug clown face.
Hey! I’m entitled to a little vitriol, here!
So Wardo is about to throw a huge tantrum right there, gonna get so mad he’ll start breaking stuff. Um…I don’t think a guy with anger issues like this is good. And the fact that he’s terrifying you should tell you a lot, Bella. But it doesn’t, because Bella here was born without a brainstem. Charlie offers to take her out to eat for her graduation and treat her, suggesting a restaurant he likes first because it’s probably the first thing on his mind. Naturally, Bella whines that she doesn’t like it, but agrees anyway in hopes that we’ll think she’s selfless. We don’t. Charlie politely extends an offer to Wardo, who is a bitch because how DARE someone think of touching his property. Charlie is taken aback, and Bella takes some time out of her busy schedule of bashing Charlie to bash Charlie some more, once again repeating that Wardo “was always more polite than Charlie deserved”. Yeah, I’ve already made my thoughts clear on that particular statement, you little shit.
But no time for that! Wardo suddenly beats a hasty retreat so he can go rip apart trees in private. Charlie asks if Bella and Wardo are fighting, and Bella tells him to butt out, and they go eat. Bella is utterly disgusting and ungrateful and bitchy throughout the entire meal. Meyer, it is one thing to write your character as horrified and sickened by the prospect of a bunch of killer vampires coming for her. This is not that. She does nothing but COMPLAIN. As far as I can tell, she’s not nervous at all. She’s just her usual bitchy self, bemoaning her fate and hoping the readers will sympathize with her.
But she does tell us that Wardo is watching her from the bushes while they eat. Charming.
Bella complains some more, and then dinner finally ends. Yes, this is as laundry-listed and emotionless as it sounds. Bella runs outside while Charlie bids farewell to everybody who was at the restaurant with them, and then Unexpected Wardo is Unexpected and immediately and tenderly crushes Bella against his side. Wardo says that now he’s all calmed down, and this totally reads as if he just unleashed his fury upon her, and now they are kissing and making up, because he just lost control—right down to her blaming herself for his tantrum. No joke.
After reassuring her that he’ll follow her wherever she goes—and this is any different from what you usually do how?—Charlie shows up, but does not become suspicious when Bella first claims to be anxious to get to the party to help Alice set everything up, and then later drags her feet about actually attending the party. Smalltalk ensues, including Charlie admitting that he feels inadequate as a father, but then Bella tells him that he’s done great and that she’s “really glad [she] came to live with [him]. It was the best idea [she] ever had.”
Which is revolting, because she’s not talking about him at all and we all know it.
So, Charlie says he doesn’t agree, and points out her still-splinted hand. Oh, right—remember that? The one I didn’t recap ‘cause it pissed me off so bad? Somehow, the ensuing conversation does not placate me in the slightest:
"I never thought I needed to teach you how to throw a punch. Guess I was wrong about that."
"I thought you were on Jacob's side?"
"No matter what side I'm on, if someone kisses you without your permission, you should be able to make your feelings clear without hurting yourself. You didn't keep your thumb inside your fist, did you?"
"No, Dad. That's kind of sweet in a weird way, but I don't think lessons would have helped. Jacob's head is really hard."
Charlie laughed. "Hit him in the gut next time."
"Next time?" I asked incredulously.
"Aw, don't be too hard on the kid. He’s young."
"He's still your friend."
Nope. Not placated in the slightest. There is so much wrong with that, I think I could probably write an eighty-page thesis on it. So I’m going to take the Sands route for a change—I’m going to pretty much skate over that, otherwise we’ll be here all day, and nobody wants that. That said?
Suddenly they are driving. When did we get into the car? Bella whines that she doesn’t really know what to do about this situation, and Charlie offers up some completely unhelpful advice. They then find that the trees three miles away from where the Cullens live have been wrapped “in thousands of twinkle lights”. Which just sounds stupid, really—just as stupid as everything twinkly and sparkly is in this dreck. Bella bitches about Alice, while Charlie is impressed. I’m personally impressed by the wasteful and conspicuous consumption. Charlie then drops Bella off, and she “[marches] up the stairs to endure [her] party”.
Oh. That’s a great note to end the chapter on, Meyer.
See you guys next time with Chapter 17 – Alliance.
Stinger: “"Aw, don't be too hard on the kid. He’s young."”
( Chapter 17 - Alliance )