Chapter Fourteen watches you sleep
ADVERB COUNT: 52, back to normal.
BELLA LIKE-O-METER: I think it’s politically incorrect to make fun of her at this point.
Let’s talk about vampires.
The head of House Cullen, a manpire named Carlisle, found Edward dying of the Spanish influenza in 1918. Edward was 17 at the time. Edward’s parents were already dead, and Edward himself on the way out. So Carlisle takes a bite. Edward says he saved him.
This Carlisle vamp is described as very humane, the most compassionate of all of them. Being turned into a vampire is left at being “very, very painful.” Edward also divulges that Carlisle acted out of loneliness–he chose Edward because no one would miss him were he to become an immortal creature of the night, and, well, Carlisle wanted a son.
I’m not really sure how to take this. Carlisle, a vampire, was lonely, so he made a 17-year-old boy go through the painful process of vampirization, and also possibly damning him to eternal suffering and torture in the darkest pits of Hell for being one of the Devil’s black army. That’s, uh, that’s really noble of you, Carl. I’m sure Heaven would have blown anyway.
Esme, Edward’s “mom,” supposedly fell from a cliff. She was brought to the morgue even though her heart was still beating. There’s so much wrong here I’m not sure where to start. She “fell” from the cliff? Right. And people couldn’t find pulses at the beginning of the 20th century? Okay. Carlisle chomps her and now he has a wife.
Rosalie was meant to be Edward’s girlfriend. That’s right. Carlisle specifically bit her so Edward could have a playmate. This is reaching epic levels of sick and wrong. I’m supposed to respect and adore this manpire for playing God with people’s lives, because he just really wanted to play house?
Emmett was rescued by Rosalie. Apparently a bear was about to eat him. Irony! They fell in love and get married every few years. I don’t get that either.
Alice and Jasper are by far the most interesting. All we get on Jasper is that he belonged to another “family,” a different kind of family. I guess he means either another vampire clan that actually ate people like they’re supposed to or maybe Jasper was a crackbaby? Who knows. Jasper got randomly depressed and wandered on his own, something I’m sure Bella sympathizes with, and Alice found him. Alice is a clairvoyant, it seems, and she knew to seek out Jasper, and then the Cullens. Alice’s visions are “most sensitive to non-humans.” Remember that. It’s going to be important and really stupid in the second book.
Alice, for some reason, has no memory of her life before she was Embraced chomped on. She woke up alone. This–this is interesting! Why don’t we have a book about Alice? I’m tired of reading about Swoony McFallsalot.
Vampires, we learn, are nomads. Makes sense. Apparently most of them prefer the north, because of the constant cloud cover. Again, the sparkling. Edward is worried about causing traffic accidents and spontaneous Pride Parades.
I am actually a little disappointed when they reach Bella’s house and stop the discussion of other vampires. I want to know more about Cullen’s Stepford vamps! This family puts the “fun” in “dysfunctional.” Edward lets himself in, which is just weird enough for Bella to actually notice.
“The door was unlocked?”
“No, I used the key from under the eave.”
I stepped inside, flicked on the porch light, and turned to look at him with my eyebrows raised. I was sure I’d never used that key in front of him.
“I was curious about you.”
“You spied on me?” But somehow I couldn’t infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered.
She was flattered. She was flattered. She was flattered that he broke into her home, snuck into her room, and stared at her, at night.
HARE FRICKING KRISHNA, WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH THIS GIRL?
“How often did you come here?”
“I come here almost every night.”
I whirled, stunned. “Why?”
“You’re interesting when you sleep.” He spoke matter-of-factly. “You talk.”
“No!” I gasped, heat flooding my face all the way to my hairline.
She doesn’t call the cops. She doesn’t order him off her property. She doesn’t change her locks, ask her father how to use a pistol, get a dog, get a restraining order, she doesn’t even cuss.
She’s embarrassed that he’s heard her talking in her sleep.
There is absolutely and completely no. hope. for this character. I hope she dies of exsanguination and nobody freaking cares. I hope she is brutally murdered by a cougar-emulating vampire before she can freaking breed.
I’m trying not to just sob at this point, because I know this doesn’t happen. I know she breeds.
Dad Charlie comes home, and Edward vacates. Charlies asks why Bella isn’t going to the dance with that nice Mike Newton kid. The audience just sighs and shakes their heads. Bella rushes upstairs after telling her father that she’s going to bed DON’T CHECK ON ME see you tomorrow SERIOUSLY DON’T COME UPSTAIRS. Edward is waiting for her, of course, on her bed, naturally. She orders him to stay put while she showers. Oh, goody, a paragraph about Bella brushing her teeth, showering, brushing her hair, and oh god oh god I’m having an aneurysm.
Edward and Bella, two teenagers in love and totally hot for each other, keep each other up all night, in her bed… talking.
They talk. Yep. No kissing. No petting. They don’t have sex. They talk.
Has Stephenie ever been a teenager?
Bella gets around to asking Edward why he bothers with eating animals, if it’s so hard to resist human blood. He responds with this:
“… But you see, just because we’ve been… dealt a certain hand… it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above–to conquer the boundaries of a destiny none of us wanted.”
Hold up, I thought Carlisle saved you? You know, from dying a natural death? And now you’re in a wonderful happy family that totally loves you and stuff?
I’m so freaking confused.
Anyway, here’s a breakdown of everyone’s super vampire powers:
- Edward can read minds.
- Alice can see the future (sort of.)
- Emmett is super strong.
- Jasper has empathy manipulation–he can make people feel certain emotions.
- Rosalie is… uh… super stubborn, apparently.
- Esme loves passionately. Wait, these are getting sort of lame.
- Carlisle is incredibly compassionate. What?
Okay, I guess they can’t all be winners? I think my vampire superpower would be the ability to read Twilight and not puke all over it!
Wait, there’s more. Where do vampires come from? They have to have started somewhere.
“Well, where do you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn’t we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or, if you don’t believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?”
Um. Yes. Yes, that is hard to believe. Considering that you are Satan’s children, unclean spirits residing in desecrated bodies, that your very existence is a mockery of the light of God’s creations, yes, yes it is bloody well hard to believe that a loving, divine being created you.
Also, creationist vampires? What the hell, SMeyer?
Bella questions Rosalie and Emmett getting married, and finally asks if it’s “the same as it is for humans.” Edward answers yes, it is much the same.
“Was there a purpose behind your curiosity?”
“Well, I did wonder… about you and me… someday…”
He was instantly serious, I could tell by the sudden stillness of his body. I froze too, reacting automatically.
“I don’t think that… that… would be possible for us.”
Edward awkwardly tries to explain that he’s just so strong and powerful and dangerous that he could totally accidentally kill her. He has to focus on controlling himself to keep from crushing her skull in. I empathize with you, man, I feel a powerful urge to crush her skull myself. But what does this have to do with marrying her? Also, wouldn’t the more pressing concern be that you are going to be 17 forever?
He seemed to deliberate for a moment. “I’m curious now, though,” he said, his voice light again. “Have you ever…?” He trailed off suggestively.
…Been married? What?
She blushes and immediately denies it. Oh. Ohhhhh wait! They’re talking about sex. Why the hell didn’t they say “sex?”
“Edward, will we ever have sex?” “No baby, I’m sorry, I’ll accidentally cave your skull in.”
I guess vampires wait until marriage. Because they’re really concerned with upholding God’s law after, you know, being willingly embraced into the life of a blood-sucking light-abhorring monster.
Good Lord, I hate this book.