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Blogging Twilight: Part 20

Blogging Twilight: Part 20

Dan Bergstein is reading Twilight and blogging about it. Need to catch up? Previous posts are here. Need to join what is possibly the best Facebook group in history? Go here.

Chapter Twenty-Two

For about 400 pages, this novel was a bit boring. Then, faster than you could say "plot," a cross-country chase began, and mothers were held hostage. It's tough to keep everything straight. Here's what I think is going on:

Bella is still waiting in the hotel room with Alice. Soon, the girls and Jasper will head out to the airport, where Edward, Emmett, and Carlisle will arrive to escort Bella to a new hiding spot. She plans to run away from the Cullens at the airport, go meet James, and give her life to protect everyone else. Victoria is...doing something evil, presumably. (Maybe she's killing children or recommending Bride Wars to people at the video store.)

I know I stressed this point before, but you have six vampires—including one who is so in love with Bella that he would rip out his own uvula to protect her—up against one cheesy, over-dramatic baddie. Why don't the vamps just go after James instead of all the sneaking around? It doesn't make sense. I understand that Bella's mom is in danger, but surely a battle plan could be worked out that would save everyone and destroy the evil James. Are the Cullens really this weak?

While waiting in the hotel room, Alice suddenly acts mysterious. She's getting another vision from the future, this one involving Bella in the mystery room. Jasper returns and Alice snaps out of it. She offers Bella some breakfast, but Bella says she'd rather eat at the airport. She senses that Alice wants her to leave the room. Alice needs to tell Jasper some bad news, and doesn't want Bella around to hear it. When Bella leaves, I assume Alice whispers to Jasper, "Bella's going to die and the parents from Jon and Kate Plus Eight will file for divorce in the summer of 2009. So sad. Don't tell Bella. She loves that show."

By seven in the morning, they are heading out to the airport, in the daylight. On the ride there, Bella asks how Alice's superpower works. Alice says she can only see the future once someone has made a decision. So she can't tell if you will win the lottery unless you decide to win the lottery. (Which I have.) The future that Alice sees is not definite, because new decisions can be made before the outcome is reached. This explains why Alice didn't see Bella in the spooky VCR room with James until Bella decided to go to him.

They arrive at the airport and park in the garage. Alice and Jasper look at the departure board to find a good flight for Bella to leave on.

Maybe people in Arizona sparkle all the time. How else could a group of shimmering vampires arrive at the airport without getting odd looks? If you've ever been to an airport, you know that most of the walls consist of huge windows overlooking the runway, so it would be tough to avoid the sun. But I've never been to the airport in Phoenix; perhaps it's underground, underwater, or hidden under drop cloths.

Alice and Jasper keep a close eye on Bella, and Bella gives Alice the note she wrote a few hours ago. After waiting for Edward's plane, Bella realizes she only has 30 minutes to escape before he arrives and hauls her off to the hiding place. If she's ever going to save her mom, she needs to leave Alice and Jasper quickly.

She says she wants to get breakfast, and Alice jumps at the chance to accompany her. But Bella rejects this idea, saying it would be better if Jasper came instead because he can calm her down. Jasper escorts her past a few food stands. The sneaky Bella then says she needs to use the women's room. She's familiar enough with this airport to know that the bathroom has two entrances, and she runs through the restroom to get out the other side before Jasper realizes he's been tricked.

She darts through the airport and finally makes her way outside, where she hops into a hotel shuttle. At the hotel, she jumps into a cab, gives the cabbie $80, and tells him to drive to her mom's house.

On the way, she fantasizes about what life would be like if she went away with Edward forever. She dreams about spending the rest of her days with him in some faraway place where no one would find them. Of course, if she did end up with Edward, she would eventually realize that living together won't always be magical. Like every couple, the two would get on each other's nerves and start arguing:

BELLA: But I did the dishes last night!
EDWARD: I don't see why I need to do the dishes. I don't even use dishes!
BELLA: Oh, believe me, I know all about your diet. Waking up to bear breath in the morning lost its charm years ago.
EDWARD: You used to love my breath. I can't take this. I'm going out for a while.
BELLA: Fine. Go make out with your sister.
EDWARD: Stop it. We're just friends. Rosalie means nothing to me.
BELLA: Then why does she always comment on your Facebook page?
EDWARD: I can't control that. She does what she wants. You want me to not be friends with my sister?
BELLA: I should have married Eric.
EDWARD: I can't talk to you when you're like this. Emmett's waiting for me. We're going to get a pig drunk and then drink its blood to get a buzz. We done here?
BELLA: You tell me, Eddie. You tell me.

The cab driver pulls up to Bella's house, and she rushes inside to find the phone number left by James. She dials it, and James answers. She asks if her mother is OK, and James assures her that Renee will be just fine as long as Bella follows his instructions. He tells her to go to the ballet studio, and she runs out the door.

I'm not a villain, so it's unfair of me to criticize James. But why didn't he just ambush her at the house? What's so important about this ballet studio? When Bella gets there, I assume she'll find a note that says, "Go to the Eiffel Tower two moons from now. Unlock the puzzle box to find the next clue. Hint: The red crow dines on alabaster. Be seeing you..."

Bella thinks about her mom while sprinting to the ballet studio, and wishes she were back home in Forks. She enters the abandoned studio. She can hear her mom's voice and runs towards it only to realize that she's actually hearing a recording of her mom talking.

It turns out that James enjoys tricking people. Bella's mom was safe this whole time in Florida, and James just used a clip from an old home movie to lure Bella. She is relieved to know that her mom is fine, but still plans on sacrificing herself to save everyone else. With her mind made up, she no longer feels anxious and scared, but confident. James asks if Edward will avenge her death, and she says she told him to stay away. Apparently she thinks she's the boss of Edward. (All the more reason why living together will end badly.)

James says killing Bella is too easy. He was expecting Edward to show up and try to save her. This guy really enjoys a challenge. He goes on and on for a few paragraphs about how evil and tricky he and Victoria are. He explains how he tracked Bella to Phoenix with Vickie's help. He's like a James Bond villain, filling in all the information we need in order to understand how he got there. But to be honest, I don't really care how he got there, and just assumed he used his vampire powers or an iPhone app to track her down.

He then tells Bella that his goal wasn't to simply kill her, but to kill Edward, too. He wants a vampire fight (as do we all) and thought that Edward was sure to try and rescue Bella. He plans on torturing Bella to death to send Edward a message. James wants to make the suffering lasts as long as possible and plans to videotape the whole thing for Edward.

It seems that James hates vampires who hang out with humans. A long time ago, he was about to kill a young woman, but another vampire stopped him, and transformed that woman into a vampire before James could drink her blood. Before becoming a vampire, this woman was living in an asylum because she had visions and everyone thought she was nuts. That woman (are you sitting down?) was Alice. (You can stand up again.) So this attack on Bella is more personal than expected.

James says once he's done with Bella, he will call Edward and tell him where to find her body. Bella is frozen with terror. She was willing to die, but torture is a different matter. James looks at her with a creepy, big smile as he thinks about all the ways to torment her. If he's smart, he will know how to really make Bella suffer: Force her to play volleyball while dancing.

Bella finally gathers up enough courage to make a run for it, but James is much too fast. He trips her and her head smashes into one of the many mirrors. Now I understand why James picked the ballet studio for his confrontation: It's more dramatic and atmospheric. Other choices he probably considered for the main event:

  • Abandoned doll factory
  • Abandoned amusement park
  • Abandoned mannequin repair facility
  • Post-apocalyptic White House
  • Shoe store that doesn't get much business so everyone there seems sad
  • Warehouse that stores old recordings of children laughing.

The injured Bella tries to crawl to the door. James breaks her leg and knocks her into more mirrors. She notices her wounds are bleeding, and he senses the blood. He gets his hungry eyes, and Bella is glad, because this means his appetite won't allow him to draw out the torture.

She in bad shape. This must be the scene mentioned in the prologue. The hunter approaches poor Bella, and her last line of defense is to hold up her hands to protect her face. She closes her eyes, and the chapter ends.

Predictions: Bella opens her eyes, and James tells her that Carlisle is actually his father. Quite the coincidence, huh? Also, Esme was his step-mom, and Emmett and James went to the same elementary school, but they never really hung out. Also Jasper sold James his first pair of rollerblades and Rosalie and James are the same person. See, everyone's connected. It's just like LOST.

Want more Dan on Twilight? Here you go.

Topics: Books
Tags: twilight, blogging twilight, cartoons

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