I am powerful hungover. Forgive me my lack of the usual subtlety and written finesse.
CHAPTER TWENTY IS BAD AND STEPHENIE MEYER SHOULD FEEL BAD.
Surprise surprise, since there is a festival going on in Volterra, traffic is a major pain. This leaves room for Bella to notice how close to noon it’s getting, and moan Alice’s name a lot. No, really.
“Alice,” I moaned. […]
“Alice,” I whispered urgently.
See? The fanfic practically writes itself.
Red is the theme for the festival of Saint Marcus. And vampire fangs. Yeah, I know. Alice bribes the guy at the gate with some cash–a fat roll with a thousand dollar bill on the outside, to be exact. Never mind that the US Treasury stopped distributing $1,000 bills in 1969, and that these bills were primarily used for bank transfers before there were electronic devices to facilitate such things. No, Alice has a thousand dollar bill–and she’s just handing them out. That’s how important it is to find Edward!
Before you say “Maybe it was $1,000 Italian?”, Italy switched to the euro in 2002, and those only go to €500. Again, five minutes on Google would have explained all of this. Why didn’t Alice just hand him a thick roll of Benjamins? Why the useless inclusion of a thousand dollar bill there is no way she would have?
And for that matter, there is a big show of how she has to put on a glove to hand him the money, to keep from glittering all over the place. How did she manage to steal the Porsche? Was it waiting in a shady grove for her? Did she keep an umbrella over her at all times?
So, of course, the guard lets Lucy and Ethel through. Alice makes some comment about “They’re everywhere!” and urges Bella to run for the Palazzo del Priori, because she’s only got two minutes to keep Edward from outing himself.
Ah, then follows four pages of Bella intensely trying to push her way through a crowd of celebrating Italians. Woo. She finally sees him standing in the shadow of an alleyway, shirtless, eyes closed, arms spread, ready to get out there and be dazzling.
Well, thankfully for everyone, Bella slams into him just before he can join the festivities. How many people wouldn’t have thought he was just in costume? That he’d poured glitter all over himself? Oh, I’m sorry, he’s just so supernaturally beautiful that of course everyone would realize he must not be human. Which only leaves vampires, duh.
Edward opens his eyes, sees Bella in his arms, and promptly assumes he’s dead. If only, big guy.
It was very strange, for I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole.
Aww that’s so stupid and unhealthy I could just send you a card and ask to be your bridesmaid at the wedding. Should I bring my own mountain lion, or will the reception be catered?
Edward quotes Romeo or something and I nearly barf. No, really, hangover, remember? Bella finally gets the dumbass to realize that they’re not dead but they’re going to be soon because the Volturi are still around. Two robed goons appear, and Edward throws Bella against the wall and braces himself against her. To protect her, I’m sure. They make thinly veiled threats at each other before demanding that Edward come with them, and bring the cheeseburger, too. Then Alice shows up, and there’s uh, some more useless posturing, before a little girl vampire appears and demands everyone follow her.
This is pretty intense, you guys.
Alice catches Edward up via telepathy as they walk. They are led to a manhole. Alice drops down first, ready to catch Bella. Of course, this scares the piss out of Bella, because she is absolutely freaking useless.
I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see the darkness, scrunching them together in terror, clamping my mouth shut so I wouldn’t scream.
Good lord, what? You know, when you close your eyes “against the darkness,” it’s still just as dark. Also, I can’t be the only one tired of Bella’s screaming. I bet The Joy of Painting would give her nightmares.
They are led through the tunnel. Bella panics because omg it’s sooooo dark. Edward keeps his arms around her and kisses her in places while no one is looking. Bella convinces herself it’s just guilt, because obviously he doesn’t want her, obviously.
The path beneath our feet continued to slant downward, taking us deeper into the ground, and it made me claustrophobic. Only Edward’s hand, soothing against my face, kept me from screaming out loud.
GOOD FREAKING GOD, WOULD YOU TAKE A VALIUM AND RELAX ALREADY
They get to a door and oh man what could possibly be on the other side. A psychologist, maybe? Some nice men with a white jacket for Bella to wear? A grizzly?