Blogging New Moon: Part 20
Chapter Twenty: Volterra
Better Title: Dear Jacob, Italy Sucks. Wish You Were Here.
I wasn't going to blog about this chapter, because honestly, not much happens. (Bella runs through a fountain and is reunited with Edward. But for all the buildup, it's not very emotional or exciting.) So instead, I was going to use this opportunity to discuss other topics, such as gingivitis, ninja socks, vampire-vampire bats (vampire bites that were bitten by vampires), and whether or not the first person to make popcorn was frightened. But I'm sure most of you would rather hear my thoughts on New Moon. With that said, let's get on with the story.
Alice and Bella are stuck in traffic, trying to get into the city walls of Volterra. Thanks to the St. Marcus festival, the cars are backed up, and some people are parking along the side of the road. But time is running out. Soon the clock will strike noon and Edward will walk out into the sun and sparkle with all his might!
I've been itching for some action in these books for some time. In fact, you could argue that I whine about the lack of thrills and chills just as Bella whines about the lack of Edward and touching. Now that we finally have an exciting few pages, I should be happy, right? But I'm not.
First, there are no werewolves. Not even Embry.
Second, without reading any spoilers at all, I know things will work out in the end. Stephenie Meyer doesn't seem like the type of author who would put her characters in real mortal danger. (Another reason why I enjoyed the later Harry Potter books was that J.K. Rowling trusted her story enough to let key players die. It made everything in those books much more exciting.)
Third, I don't care that much about Edward.
Jacob and the werewolves showed me that this book is at its best without vampires. As pretty as Italy is, I'd much rather be back at La Push with the wolves, the muffins, and the yet-to-be-mentioned jetpacks.
This brings up a pretty big question: Why do so many young women think Edward is super great? Sure, he looks good. And he's passionate. But am I the only one who thinks he's the most boring literary character since The Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George? Judging by the book's popularity and all the fandom, I'm clearly in the minority on this. I must be missing something. If anyone could please explain why I should care about Edward, I would greatly appreciate it.
Anyway, the story continues as Alice tries to drive through a blocked off access road. But a security guard stops her. She thinks Bella may have to run up the hill to the plaza, and tells Bella to look for Edward waiting in the shadows beneath the clock tower. For fun, I'm going to ask this one more time: Why doesn't Eddie hop out of the shadows right now?
I don't think he wants to commit suicide. The over-dramatic doofus just wants attention. This is like the time in elementary school when I gave myself a black eye, hoping that the girls would think it was cool. Or the time I went to Italy to kill myself in the most ridiculous manner possible, after learning from an unreliable source that my ex-girlfriend committed suicide.
As the security guard approaches, Alice positions the car so that her face is hidden in shadows. How convenient, don't you think? The guard explains that only tour buses are allowed past this point, but Alice uses her charming personality and vampire glamor to woo the guard. Plus, she gives him a "thousand dollar bill."
At the risk of nitpicking, there is no $1,000 bill in U.S. currency or in Euros. And 1,000 Italian lira is about 75 cents in American money. So this guard is either really stupid and doesn't know much about money, or he's very poor and needs whatever funds he can scrounge up to buy half a potato for dinner.
Needless to say, the guard lets Alice and Bella drive past and they follow the narrow road up to the plaza. Alice eventually gets as close to the clock tower as the road will allow, and tells Bella to make a run for it.
Bella shoves and pushes her way through the people. She finally sees an opening in the crowd and darts through it and into a fountain. She sloshes through the water and hops out the other side. The clock tower begins to chime, and Bella screams Edward's name. This all so cinematic. I can almost see this part of the movie in my mind. Only in my mind, the song Yakety Sax is playing. (Listen and then tell me that song wouldn't be perfect for this scene.)
Bella bumps into more people and sees the dark alley ahead, but can't see Edward through the crowd. She continues to scream his name and finally sees him in the alley, but he doesn't see her. Plot question #988: Why doesn't Edward smell Bella? I thought vampires had super smelling abilities, and Bella was the stinkiest human on the planet.
Edward is about to step into the sun. He took his shirt off to add to the sparkly effect of his skin, or because he was tired of explaining why his hip T-shirt slogan, "Vegetarians Eat Bears," was funny.
Bella looks at Edward and tells us, "I'd never seen anything more beautiful." (I guess she's never seen a Pixar movie or the way I parallel park.) The fact that Edward ditched her a few months ago doesn't seem to matter any more. She runs and screams, but Edward still has his eyes (and his nose?) shut. I imagine he's probably thinking:
"Well, this is it. I guess I'll never know how LOST will end, or what villain will be in the third Batman movie. I hope it's not the Riddler. That would be weak. OK, time to get this over with. In three…two…"
Bella runs right into Edward as he takes a step, and it knocks the wind out of her. Eddie opens his eyes, and assumes that he's already dead because Bella is here with him, and because he's an idiot. He's shocked that he didn't feel a thing, and Bella keeps trying to tell him they're both still alive. Eddie still thinks he's dead, and is happy with how quick the transition was. He quotes Romeo and Juliet and acts delighted to be deceased.
When I die and end up in the afterlife, I won't be quoting Shakespeare right away. Instead I'll spend my first few moments of eternity looking for my old dog Max. Then I will travel back to Earth and haunt my murderer until justice is served. Then I'll eat a literal mountain of pancakes while learning the truth about aliens. Then I'll play basketball with Abe Lincoln, Bruce Lee, and Kurt Cobain. And then I'll quote Shakespeare…to the dinosaurs.
Eventually Edward listens to Bella and realizes that they're not dead. There is no big moment of passion or kissy-kissy time. He senses something and snaps back into his moody, protective mode. Two members of the Volturi guard, Felix and Demetri, approach Edward and Bella. ("Felix and Demetri" sounds like a horrible indie band, or an awesome pair of pet goldfish.)
They want to take Edward somewhere, and mention that it's not very safe for vampires to be out in the plaza with the sun shining so bright. He agrees to go with them, and tells Bella to enjoy the festival. But the guards want her to come along. Edward says no, and things become tense. Demetri and Felix block the exit to the plaza and force Edward and Bella deeper into the alley. Alice appears behind Edward and evens the odds against Demetri and Felix. We might get a vampire fight after all. (Just kidding. Of course we won't.)
The guards once again ask Edward to come with them, but he he won't go. Emmett, if you're reading this, now is your time to pop out of the shadows with your silent but lethal fire sword. Jacob, you can come too. Bring muffins.
Suddenly, a spooky vampire girl named Jane shows up and stops the bickering. Though she looks like a little kid, she's one of the Volturi. And everyone, including Edward and Alice, obeys her, as if she's in charge of the universe.
If all of the Volturi are weird kids, then things might become interesting. I like the idea of creepy vampire children. They're unsettling and eerie, just like ventriloquist dummies and evil sea horses. Plus, they can lurk in places adult-sized vampires can't enter, such as the cabinet beneath the sink and the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. For the record, here is the current list of my favorite types of vampires:
1. The vampires from Blade 2 that have giant mouths.
2. Emmett (w/ sword)
3. Child vampires
4. Emmett (w/o sword)
5. Count Duckula
Jane leads the group to what looks like a dead end, but there's a hole in the ground that everyone drops into. They enter a series of cold underground tunnels. Edward holds onto Bella tightly and, using his free hand, rubs his thumb all over her mouth. I guess this is passionate and romantic. But it sounds a bit odd, as if Eddie is using Bella's head as a bowling ball.
When not thumbing her mouth, Edward kisses Bella's forehead as the guards lead them along. She is happy that Edward "wants" her again. After he high-tailed it out of Forks, she wasn't sure if he stopped loving her. Bella wants to ask him questions. (Probably such as, "Why did you leave?", "Why do you always run away from problems?", and "Is it OK if I kiss Emmett sometimes?") But now is not the time or place.
The dark tunnel stretches on, and Bella can't get her bearings in the dim light. Plus, her clothes are still wet from her romp in the fountain, so she's shivering. Edward realizes that his cold body temperature isn't helping Bella's chills, but she won't let him loosen his grip on her shoulders. Good move, Bella. You better hold on to him, because I assume his plan to get out of this mess involves running away to Canada without you.
They eventually stop at a gate in the tunnel and walk through a large wooden door. We don't find out what's on the other side, but Bella relaxes when she sees it, while Edward tenses up.
Prediction: On the other side of the door, they find Jacob, who has killed all of the Volturi vampires. He looks at Bella and says, "Hey Bells. Thought I'd save your life since Dead-ward was too busy poking your mouth with his thumb. You wanna go grab some spaghetti? I'll bring the lawn chairs. Ha-ha." He then looks at Edward and says, "Oh. Sorry Dead-ward. That's sort of an inside joke. You wouldn't understand."
Edward tries to make fun of Jacob's ratty sneakers, but the joke comes out sounding desperate. No one laughs, and Edward runs away towards the sunlight screaming, "I'm really going to do it this time. I swear! You'll be sorry when I'm dead."