Chapter 11: Interrogations
What a charming opening chapter title for a story featuring an abusive boyfriend who monitors his girlfriend’s every move. Strikingly appropriate—one point to Mrs. Meyer’s House for good characterization.
Said chapter opens with a breaking news story on the television. There is a small mention of a wanted rapist and murderer having appeared, drugged, tied up, and unconscious at a police station in Oregon. Sure enough, it was the leader of the merry little band who attempted to assault Miss Swan the night before. Naturally, as a Sue of her calibre, she would have a run-in with such a serious criminal. The story warrants only a very small mention, and while Cullen tries to sound relieved about it, as he doesn’t want a reminder of the events to distress or upset his precious delicate snowflake angel, honestly, as delivered with his usual smug pomposity, he sounds affronted that his Good Deed didn’t receive a ticker-tape parade at the very least.
Really, though, I found the whole event enormously amusing. Said rapist is wanted in Texas and Oklahoma and, as this is Mrs. Meyer’s world, what better way to show that the gentleman in question is inherently evil than to make him ethnic? Sure enough, “Lonnie” was short for “Alonzo.” He’s clearly a filthy Mexican—and in so making him, she’s made him Evil. Only…she failed. She’s so steeped in Anglo-Saxon Mormonism that she couldn’t even manage to sully herself to the point to make him convincingly Mexican. His full name? Alonzo Calderas Wallace. How very Hispanic. One hundred points from your House, Mrs. Meyer, for sheer stupidity.
Cullen takes a small sliver of his time out of obsessing over Miss Swan to savour the notion of the Not!Mexican in question being extradited to that Texas—a miserable southern cesspool filled with small-minded twerps and where “the death penalty is so popular”. What a nice, forgiving, good Mormon boy he is. And pray tell, Cullen—what makes those Southern yokels so deserving of your contempt for executing their criminals after due process of law while you yourself have no qualms about doing so on your own personal authority serving as judge, jury, and executioner? We never find out, of course, because after once again revelling in the thought of death for the individual who had the nerve to annoy him, Cullen goes right back to thinking about “what is most important”. Yes, Miss Swan, of course. Despite the fact that he only just slunk from skulking in her room an hour ago, he is already itching to see the object of his erotomania once more. Miss Alice Cullen thinks this is sweet and shoos him along, telling him to take their Mormon-Mobile and that the rest of their obnoxious gaggle will drive themselves to school today.
Before he goes, Miss Cullen expresses her petulant desire to be allowed to speak to Miss Swan, which naturally prompts all sorts of fury and possessiveness on the part of Cullen. He ponders that Miss Swan, being an idiot, will have no qualms associating with a top predator interested in eating her. How fortunate it is that she has Cullen for her keeper, because, as he observes, “[w]hat Bella wanted and what was best for Bella were two very separate things”.
Indeed—what Bella wants is perfection and immortality with her sparkling fashion accessory boyfriend, but what she most sorely needs is a swift kick in the pants and a dose of reality. However, I’m afraid that what is good for the irritating little goose is just as good for our glittery gander: What Cullen clearly wants is his docile little female upon whom he can impose his will, but what he needs—what he deserves—is to be suspended by his thumbs while lampreys nibble his tiny twinkling testicles.
Cullen parks in Miss Swan’s driveway and lies in wait for her—a quintessential image of a stalker in any film dealing with the subject, I must say. He obsesses over what she will do upon seeing him again; true to form his thoughts are mostly concern for himself and how he will look today. Chalk up vanity to his ever-growing list of sins and vices.
He spies on her from outside; while it is yet another instance of every minute detail from the companion book in this series being slavishly recapped, it also paints a picture of an outrageously and dangerously obsessed individual who would notice such minutiae. Any points Mrs. Meyer might have garnered for this disturbingly masterful piece of characterization are promptly negated by the fact that it was not only unintentional, but actually counter to what she had envisioned (at least, I would like to think that is the case; after what I’ve been through in my own universe and even the real world, I simply cannot take the thought that this is in fact what she truly wants—although if her avatar is any indication, that is indeed the truth).
Cullen admonishes Miss Swan to himself for running late—I’m sure she’ll find herself “falling down the stairs” in the future in punishment. The vapid cow in question finally makes her fashionably late appearance. Cullen immediately notes that she wearing something that does not flatter her figure. Truthfully, he sounds annoyed that she is not displaying herself for his pleasure. Then he has to inform us that it is probably a good thing for the sake of his self control, since he had found himself having such dreadfully naughty thoughts about her—apparently for the first time in his life, too, having been conveniently homosexual for the past 100 years.
I feel the need to point out that in pondering his fears in pursuing Miss Swan, Cullen states that “[He] would break her”. That is intended to be an argument against his inclinations, but frankly, sounds like a threat, much like the Russian boxer from Rocky IV.
Miss Swan is all dewily overjoyed to see that her keeper has returned; the actually decent bit of imagery wherein she stops in surprise and “her knees locking like a startled colt’s” is overshadowed by that revoltingly cliché and Sands-esque bit of drivel as Cullen waxes poetic over “the melted chocolate of her eyes”. Thank God neither Sands nor Mervin were here to witness that.
Cullen, with a semblance of politeness, asks her to ride with him, making sure to tell us that he is giving her a choice in the matter, how kind of him, unlike the manner in which he self-admittedly denied her that right when it came to joining him for dinner the previous evening. Miss Swan of course replies in the affirmative, and as usual her acquiescence sends Cullen into a near-swoon of joy—how lovely for him to have found such an easily lead and compliant female for him to bend to his will. As is evidenced by his continued insistence that, despite the fact that Miss Swan is in considerable danger and that his dalliance will only end badly for her, he’s happy anyway because he’s currently getting what he wants out of the situation. I’m terribly sorry, Miss Swan, but the only epic romance going on in this published fanfiction is between Cullen and himself.
With a pretty bit of symbolism of Cullen’s obsessive desire to keep Miss Swan safely wrapped up and locked away from harm, he tells her that he brought her his very own jacket to warm her to make up for the one that she left with her little friend the previous evening. Please note that his turn of phrase is decidedly not that of someone “from another time”, as both Miss Swan and Mrs. Meyer insist is the case with Cullen. “I didn’t want you to get sick or something” is exactly the sort of banal and inarticulate speech I would expect of the undeniably modern (and incredibly dull) Messrs. Potter or Weasley.
Miss Swan insists that she is not so delicate to warrant this attention. Cullen disparagingly mocks this assertion to himself, but stares Miss Swan into submission, and “she put the coat on before [he] had to resort to commanding or coaxing”. I confess to having trouble mustering up any emotion beyond revulsion for his unmitigated arrogance and outrageously proprietary and controlling behaviour in the face of the fact that Miss Swan is clearly perfectly happy with the status quo. As it is, I’ll leave it to the lot of you to comment on that pretty piece of civility and won’t trouble myself any further with it.
Miss Swan seems content to sit in silence as they drive to school, but of course Cullen’s wishes take precedence over hers, so he proceeds to try and draw her out—clumsily, I might add, but not in an endearing, nervous boy sort of way, but rather in an obnoxious, condescending manner. He disparages her as a matter of course, mocks her humanity while informing us all how unique and amazing she is for being too stupid to react as any sane individual would when confronted with a top predator, and expresses his irritation with her for her not telling him every thought she is thinking, baring her innermost secrets without “edit[ing]”. I am left to only silently contemplate what it is that attracts women to the most arrogant, self-entitled, spoiled, and cruel men that the world has to offer.
Sands: Yeah. Can’t imagine what it could be, Snape. Wealth, influence, seriously good looks, power, and that allure that maybe, just MAYBE, said stupid females can change us for the better? It’s certainly not THAT. *smirks*
Snape: *harrumphs in annoyed disgust before going back to his recapping*
The situation does not improve—when Miss Swan attempts to placate the madman holding her hostage by admitting that she does in fact bend nearly completely to his wishes and edits very little, Cullen’s immediate response is to sinisterly begin to obsess over what little she doesn’t tell him, and the manner of his admission honestly sounds rather angry that she deny him any part of herself for his perusal.
Cullen then has a random and strange little interlude wherein he replays all of their utterly pointless and passionless conversation, and in a flash of brilliance, comes to the conclusion that what Miss Swan is hiding from him must clearly be “the depth of her feelings about [him]”. Once again—if this was in fact a story from the point of view of an obsessive lunatic, that would be a delightful piece of characterization, showing his manic tendencies to draw the most outrageous conclusions from even the slightest interaction with the object of his madness—perhaps she is also hinting that she would be very impressed with him if he would shoot the president. But then I am most unpleasantly reminded of the truth behind it all—that rather than anything remotely interesting, this is merely a case of both poor storytelling and poor writing. There is nothing in any of the text of either book thus far that would let this knob-gobbling psychopath come to this conclusion. He has done so simply because that is what the author wishes him to think, showing us how in synch her beloved characters are by having them have no personality separate from the other, to the point that she is doing nothing but repeating the exact same story as her first book.
We suddenly find ourselves at the school—seems that Mrs. Meyer neglected to inform her readers what was going on outside of her circular masturbation over her two characters. We must take the time to point out that the rest of the Cullens have arrived in one of their other cars—which happens to be an outrageously expensive piece of work, that Cullen smirkingly calls “ostentatious” and clearly does not mean that in any sort of derogatory fashion. I am forcibly reminded of certain wealthy students flaunting their top-of-the-line broomsticks in the faces of the other students as a means to assure themselves and everyone else that they are, in fact, superior to those around them and most certainly do not have small penises. Cullen then has the effrontery to, while standing right next to that piece of overcompensation, insist that all his family try to blend in as humans. Cullen, if bullshit were music, you'd be the London Symphony Orchestra.
Miss Swan rightly points out that the Cullens are failing miserably in this endeavour; he is merely condescendingly amused by this, and proceeds to treat her as if she is made of glass, getting annoyed when she does not sit docilely by and wait for him to allow her to exit the car by opening the door for her—but he’ll educate her on her new role soon enough, and “she was just going to have to get used to being treated with more courtesy, and get used to it soon”. Good thing that her wants and wishes don’t really matter to you, then, isn’t it? Close your mouth, Cullen, before someone sticks an apple in it.
Their revolting and flat little repartee is interrupted by the marvelling of the female population—oh, my, the drab and unprepossessing (read, the incredibly beautiful Mrs. Meyer who all those nasty blondes disparaged her only because they were jealous and isn’t she just going to show them now) has apparently snagged the school’s most eligible bachelor (and I use that moniker in the sense as it was ascribed to certain male celebrities in years past who never seemed to display any interest in women and were uniformly secretive and circumspect about any dalliances).
Cullen eye-rollingly tells himself to be polite to Miss Swan’s friends, even the ones he thinks are unworthy of her (meaning, pretty much anyone who isn’t himself). Mrs. Meyer, if one has to remind oneself to be polite, then the implication is that he is naturally not polite. Despite your insistence, Mrs. Meyer, your little masturbatory fantasy fails the chivalry test.
Cullen comes down from on high to speak to the plebeians, and is wryly amused and disappointed in himself for no longer being an object of terror to the local humans. I’ve not decided if he is a genuine sadist or if he is merely deeply insecure in himself that he feels the need to frighten all those around him.
We’re forced to listen to Mrs. Meyer fap to her own creation by the thoughts of Miss Stanley as she rhapsodizes over the perfection that is Cullen. Pardon me while I evacuate my stomach.
Cullen provides a bit of revolting humour, upon being spurred by Miss Stanley’s (read, Mrs. Meyer’s) bout of fantasising over him, by first thinking of Miss Swan in such a fashion, and then prudely admonishing himself over all of the “many wrong ways [he wants] Bella”. I suspect the way he wants her is in keeping with his not-so-latent homosexuality. Or would, if Mormons could acknowledge such a thing.
Then he is disturbing again, obsessing over every detail of Miss Swan removing his coat and putting on her own that her friend brought her. That in itself could likely be written off as Mrs. Meyer’s execrable prose, but when coupled with his reaction to it becomes a great deal more sinister. Seeing an excuse to get his hands on her (it’s ostensibly his “chivalry” coming to the fore, but I think I’ve made my feelings on that clear), he moves to assist Miss Swan with said coats. He is first put out that she returns his, hoping that she would keep a “token” of him—a symbol of ownership, if you will. However, she does not see his move towards her, and so “she handed [him] the jacket, and put her arms through her own, without looking up to see that [his] hands were extended to assist. [He] frowned at that, and then controlled [his] expression before she noticed it.” Demanding her constant attention, becoming angry when she does not pay him constant attention, and faking his natural reactions to keep her compliant. What a delightful little package of controlling male you are, Cullen. Kindly toss a large boulder tied to your ankle from a cliff (and don’t worry—Miss Swan will no doubt follow you shortly).
Cullen smugly informs Miss Swan that her little friend is planning to attack in class and demand to know all the sordid details of her so-called relationship with Cullen. I hope she has access to large quantities of caffeine. When Miss Swan asks him to tell her what she’s going to ask, he smirkingly refuses to. Only Cullen may know another’s innermost thoughts—it’s acceptable when he does it, particularly when it’s for the noble cause of allowing him to spy on Miss Swan without her being able to prepare a response—she is not allowed to guard herself in any way against him.
However, Cullen magnanimously allows her some information, and Miss Swan actually asks him how to respond—it is at times difficult to hate Cullen’s controlling behaviour when it is so obvious that it is exactly what the little baggage wants—who are we to begrudge her her dysfunction?
I am then forced to rescind my statement—it becomes very easy to hate Cullen when he kindly provides her some coaching—but stops short and informs her that he will be monitoring her conversations for the rest of the day. I fear that I have none of the feminine outrage that this behaviour tends to inspire in the female population, but rest assured, ladies, I am quite capable of being disgusted with this miserable excuse for a man, as well as being baffled that this arrogant, restrictive, and controlling pissant is apparently the object of desire for so many addlepated teenagers (including those who are 35 years old—like his creator).
Cullen happily retreats, laughing as he enjoys Miss Swan’s shock and dismay at his reaction—True Love, clearly. The entire rest of the school (who we’ve heard nothing about—as with so many other things, Mrs. Meyer fails to create a convincing setting or a character who is supposedly empathetic with those around him) has nothing better to do than speculate over Mrs. Meyer’s brainless little avatar and her stalker in sparkling armour. He ignores them because they are beneath him and instead puts on his jacket so that he may sniff Miss Swan’s smell on it—in lieu of her underpants, I imagine.
We spend the rest of the compressed morning listening to Cullen obsessively outline every detail of Miss Swan’s morning. Yes, once again, not only are we forced to endure a regurgitated mass of copied Twilight text, we are also reminded of the depths of Cullen’s obsession. Really, when the swine himself says that watching Miss Swan “was becoming natural—as automatic as breathing”, I think that it is safe to say that he is well beyond a mere healthy interest. The only thing he has shown a deeper and more obsessive attachment to is his own person. On the other hand, given that vampires in this universe don’t breath, perhaps he is admitting that this behaviour is not normal—that, or Mrs. Meyer has once again forgotten her own canon.
If this wasn’t enough, Cullen has lapsed back into his complete and utter bastard persona, belittling and denigrating humans to an absolutely ridiculous extreme. He accidentally frightens one of his fellow classmates in response to eavesdropping on Miss Swan once again crushing the hopes of the boys that follow her, and he finds himself quite pleased by it. However, I have to admit that I find that not nearly as disgusting as his behaviour towards one Miss Angela Weber—you may recall that she alone was deemed worth to be Miss Swan’s friend—so rather than simply cut off her association with Miss Swan, Cullen here plans to pay her the immense compliment of paying her off, something that “[he] assumed…would be easy; like any other human, there must be some bauble or toy she wanted particularly”. Cullen, are you not aware that there are more than enough people in the world to hate already? Must you insist on working so hard to give us another?
And Mrs. Meyer is in league with him—you should hear the disgusting slop that she tries to force-feed us to show what a wonderful and worthy person Miss Weber is. It’s a veritable fount of Mormon propaganda, describing the girl in such glowing terms as “sweet”, “content”, and “maternal”.
All those things that I would guess from this writing that Mrs. Meyer isn’t.
It is finally time for Cullen’s much anticipated eavesdropping. He’s focusing his entire being on Miss Stanley in the class that she shares with Miss Swan, using her as his remote video camera to stalk his object of obsession. There is a throwaway piece of narration that is very telling here, too: Cullen is fervently hoping that Miss Stanley will “pay attention, really try to read Bella’s face for [him]”. Meaning…you can’t, Cullen? That despite this One True Deep and Abiding Love, a mere acquaintance of Miss Swan’s is better at reading her than you are?
I believe the vernacular for describing this situation is “Fail”.
We are forced once again to listen to Mrs. Meyer pushing her button through Miss Stanley as she rhapsodizes over Cullen before Miss Swan makes her appearance in class. When she finally does, Cullen observes that she does not look happy with the thought of the upcoming conversation, as she knows that Cullen will be listening in…and this, of course, pleases him. If I studied psychology, I might consider this bizarre fantasy of Mrs. Meyer’s interesting. As I did not, I merely find it disgusting.
We now have the same idiotic conversation from the companion piece, faithfully copied and pasted here, only now in Italics to show that Cullen is listening through Miss Stanley’s head. The only difference here is that it is interspersed with Miss Stanley slavering after Cullen and being pointlessly derogatory towards Miss Swan in true Scary Sue fashion, and that we are forced to listen to the usual round of Cullen ascribing non-existent virtues to Miss Swan and dissecting and assigning meaning to her every move. And it takes six pages to do this. As it is pure, unadulterated agony, I will spare you. I will, however, mention that all the principle characters, including Cullen, speak and think like middle-school girls—which is once more indicative of both Mrs. Meyer’s characterisation skills and mental age. Beyond that, the conversation is pointless—Cullen makes all the same observations and reaches all the same conclusions that he already had from Miss Swan—meaning that her feelings and behaviour clearly had nothing to do with it, and they are all his own wishes and fantasies. Miss Swan is merely the personality-less object upon which he projects them. Convenient for him to be able to mould her into what he wants—because he can’t marry himself.
The next class period is compressed into two paragraphs, which consist mostly of mentions of how pathetic and lowly the humans around Cullen are, and a brief mention of Mr. Newton—apparently, Cullen considers him is lucky to be alive. Tell me, Mrs. Meyer, has this desire to hump the leg of an axe-murderer been a lifelong ambition of yours, or does it spring solely from your apparent dissatisfaction with your blandly vanilla Mormon marriage? Not to mention that there is a continuity error between this one and the companion piece with regards to the students’ class schedules—illustrating the lack of importance to the “story” and effort put into the background. The only redeeming feature of this tiny interlude is a reminder that one Emmett Cullen is still very much the “Growing Up Cullen” character, hating gym class because “throwing games was an affront to his personal philosophy”. Well, this entire farce is an affront to both my sensibilities and my stomach, but that doesn’t stop this epileptic seizure on Mrs. Meyer’s keyboard.
And that concludes the chapter—well, it does and it doesn’t. That is because the entire remaining half of this 30-page chapter (incidentally, the largest one in this unfinished symphony of pain) is devoted to Cullen and Miss Swan’s pointless, plotless, and meaningless conversation over lunch. I wish I were joking—but I am sorry to say that I am entirely serious. Half of the chapter is nothing but going over that same banal, idiotic, completely-without-substance conversation that we were already unwillingly dragged through once before. Only this time it’s worse, because it’s interspersed with Cullen’s running commentary—that same dry, arrogant, toneless narration in which he assures us of Miss Swan’s virtues, belittles her feelings and her humanity, lies to her, wangsts over…well, nothing, plots death and murder against any boy who so much as looks at Miss Swan, tries (and fails) to make us believe that he is sexually attracted to Miss Swan—essentially, all the same rage-inducing hippogriff shite as before, and all with verbage as inflated as Mrs. Meyer’s Joseph Smith blow-up doll.
As such, I’m ignoring it—I refuse to have anything to do with it, and you should thank me for the consideration. It’s utter garbage—a perfect blend of horseshit, bullshit, and chickenshit, and perhaps the ultimate nadir of writing that I have ever seen—and given the fact that I spent sixteen years as a teacher as well as moonlighting as a badfic sporker, you should have no difficultly in comprehending the abyssal depths to which this writing has sunk. There are several points that could be addressed, I suppose, as particularly outstanding examples of poor writing, poor characterisation, poor messages, or outright lack of reality—but you won’t hear it from me. In fact, I quit.
*takes out his wand and blasts the text to kingdom come*
Mrs. Hyde: Dammit, what the hell are you doing? You’re only halfway through that!
Snape: Wrong. I am finished. I am leaving—if I don’t find myself back on my beach—for the duration—drinking my Bahama Mama while watching the topless native girls dancing in the next five seconds, so help me God I will forcibly Side-Along you and Sands at once and leave you both Splinched together at the hip!
Mrs. Hyde: All right, all right! There’s no need to become violent over this! *magics away*
Well, that was the penultimate chapter, guys—only one more to go, and I’m determined to get through it on my own. So, I’ll be seeing you later for one last Midnight Sun hurrah with Chapter 12: Complications!
( Chapter 12 - Complications )