A friend of mine sent me a copy of their e-version of Twilight last night so I was able to read the next section and up next we have…baseball?
[Edward] “It’s the American pastime.”
But…baseball? I mean, if you were an peaceful, people-loving immortal wouldn’t you spend your time doing something, I don’t know, worthwhile, like trying to cure cancer or helping the poor? I mean, I understand the desire of sports, competition and what not, but…baseball? I mean, of all the sports that exist in the world, baseball? Vampire rugby would awesome and vampire calccio storico would be AMAZING. Baseball?
Anyway, Edward takes Bella home so she can change before the game and introduce Edward to her father to clue him in on the idea that she and Edward are “a thing”. I only look forward to this because the next time Charlie said something along the lines of “Are you sure you don’t want to date a boy from town? I mean, really, really sure?” I was going to have to reach into the book and slap him.
But what they find waiting at home isn’t an empty house or Charlie home early from fishing but Billy and Jacob. Billy tries to go the “He’s just not the one for you” route in a “hey, I’m pretty much a complete stranger but let me tell you how to live your life” sort of way and Bella’s response is, of course, “I don’t care, I DO WHAT I WANT!” Bella shows that she seems to have no problem with lying and eventually Billy and Jacob leave without seeing Charlie. Charlie comes home, Bella drops the news about her hanging out with the Cullens, and Charlie, despite previous positive things said about the Cullens, flips a bit in the most cliche, stereotypical fashion.
Edward and Charlie finally meet and they seem to get along; Charlie does everything but give him a manly punch on the arm as Edward and Bella climb into the world’s largest jeep and head off-roading. Edward and Bella have some more sap in the car, apparently she smells wonderful in the rain (SO MANY SMELLS), before they have their usual “we can’t be cutesy all the time and must now have some kind of mildly irrational fight caused by Edward acting like a douche.”
So, a couple things about vampire baseball:
1. Despite the preternatural strength of the players it is played with a perfectly normal ball and aluminum bat.
2. When a vampire hits a baseball it sounds like a thunderclap. No, seriously, the sound of Emmett hitting the ball “echoed off the mountains.” But the ball and bat are unharmed by such a strong swing and can, in fact, survive an entire game of vampire baseball. Maybe they rub unicorn oil on their sports equipment to imbue it with magical properties?
3. Because of how loud vampire baseball is, it must be played during thunderstorms lest the normal people look at the sky and go, “Where’s all the thunder coming from?”
4. The sound of two vampires running into each other sounds like “the crash of two massive falling boulders”. I will interpret this to mean “heavy, dull, and ultimately boring.”
The game continues until Alice realizes that she totally screwed up her own superpower and the traveling band of vampires that has been hinted at, the ones she thought wouldn’t show up for a while, ARE SHOWING UP RIGHT NOW.
It’s at this point that we get yet another layer of “Hey, that Edward guy? He’s redefining ‘selfish jerk’ in all new and interesting ways!” because apparently he acknowledges the fact that “it was stupid” for him to have Bella hang out with vampires. I mean, this seems like a fairly “Well duh” statement to make considering how often he’s been saying he’s dangerous and how tasty she smells.
The new group, two men and a woman, Laurent, James and Victoria, are all rugged and country compared to the perfectly coiffed Cullens but Meyer still manages to work a “beautiful” into their description. I think it is physically impossible for a vampire in her reality to be anything less than beautiful. Oh what I wouldn’t give for a Nosferatu right now.
These are not your pro-human vampires like Carlisle and company, unless by “pro-human” you mean “I prefer mine sweaty from a futile attempt to flee, panting heavily, and with blood tinged with just a hint of terror.” However, they’re baseball enthusiasts too and interested in playing (wut) and everything seems to be going ok until an errant breeze throws Bella’s delicious scent to the newcomers who do a pretty decent impersonation of Scooby-Doo spotting a Scooby Snack.
Edward makes with the snarling, the new comer James gives Bella a “I’m going to eat that” look, and things get all tense. Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie and Emma lead Laurent back to the house while James and the woman Victoria hang back as Edward, Alice, and Emmett get Bella the hell out of there. No real excuse is given by James and Victoria as to why they don’t go with Carlisle and Co but it’s pretty obvious it’s because they want to gnosh on Bella, made more obvious by Edward pretty much screaming it as soon as they’re out of earshot and heading back in to town. James is a “tracker” vampire, one who lives for the hunt and has something of an obsessive personality because now the one thing he really, really wants to do is feed on Bella. It appears that not only did Edward screw up by bringing the ever deliciously scented Bella to a vampire gathering, he also did the equivalent of holding a nice, thick steak in front of a hungry dog, letting the dog get a good long whiff, and then whipping it away before the dog could sink its teeth into it, i.e. just made the dog a LOT more determined to get that steak, by defending Bella. Of course the alternative was that he could’ve not done any defending but then James would’ve been having a Bella slurpee pretty much on the spot, so damned if you do, really damned if you like hanging out with Edward Cullen for some suicidal, idiotic reason.
There’s a lot of shouting back and forth between Edward, Emmett and Alice, most of whom ignore Bella as she tries to inject her own shouting to almost no effect, about how the tracker is going to keep coming until they kill him dead…er. They come up with a plan, after finally listening to Bella, about how they’re going to not only get her out of Forks without the tracker being able to track her but also protect her father. It seems a little weird that they’d listen to Bella’s plan when you consider that Bella stumbles into potentially lethal situations simply by walking down the street; I’d figure she’d be the LAST person you’d consult on the topic of “keep Bella Swan from dying”.
They manage to get her out of town, while really messing with her dad in the process, and Meyer says that they “make a three day trip into a one day trip” from Forks to Arizona.
Ok, did Meyer not look at a map or has never made that drive? Yes, Washington and Arizona are on opposite sides of the country from each other but let’s consider the situation: you have vampires who don’t need to sleep, can be up during the day, and can drive like maniacs without fear of crashing. I’ve driven from the Bay Area in California to Seattle in fourteen hours and from the Bay Area to Arizona in almost as long (if I’m remembering correctly), both with stops. Doing that drive in one day, while potentially challenging, isn’t impossible if you consider that you have drivers who only need to stop to refill their gas tanks and can drive at twice the normal speed limit with ease.
We learn a little more about vampires during this journey, such as they are venomous. It’s the venom that causes a person to become a vampire, only that most vampires kill the people they bite (because they are overcome with blood lust at the taste of blood) before the venom can turn them into vampires so that’s why most people bitten don’t change. I thought that was kind of a decent explanation for how vampires come to be and why there aren’t more of them. This section ends with Alice getting a revised version of the future where the tracker James has apparently broken off the hunt in Washington to get on a plane and is probably headed to Arizona to end up, at some point, in a dance studio, possibly because Bella, at one point, was in a dance studio. Presumably some future decision of Bella’s will lead her back into a dance studio. Meh.
My thoughts on this section:
1. Vampire baseball is probably one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of and I say that after learning about tazer ball.
2. Meyer has as much consideration for the laws of physics as she does the em dash.
3. Two bodies colliding would sound like two slabs of meat running into each other, not boulders, unless they were made out of stone. #similefail
4. Finally, some action.
Basically, all of the same complaints about the book are still present here, although I did like the description of Phoenix as they drive into the city, that wasn’t bad.
I promise, I will update the adjective count sometime. Just need to be less busy.