Blogging Eclipse: Part 9
Chapter Nine: Target
Better Title: Edward and Jacob are BFFs
Not much happened in the first 196 pages of this book, as Bella bounced back and forth between Edward and Jacob like some sort of whiny, unhappy tennis ball. So imagine my surprise when Stephenie Meyer unleashes a literary gimmick called "plot development" in this chapter, and the story finally moved forward. Plus, Emmett shows up! Emmett's back! Hi Emmett!
The chapter begins with Bella returning home from her sleepover/hostage situation. Jacob called while she was away, hoping to apologize for what he said the other day. Bella is still ticked off, and isn't ready to let him off the hook. So far, it sounds like a typical chapter. But just when you think Bella will go on for a few dozen pages about friendship and forever buddies, things pick up.
She goes to her room and collects laundry, noticing that a few articles of clothing are missing. At first she suspects Alice tossed the clothes in the hamper before kidnapping her. But the clothes are nowhere to be found. She asks her dad if he went into her room while she was gone, and he says he didn't. Thus begins the mystery of the missing clothes!
OK. So maybe this isn't exactly the world's greatest thriller. But after reading eight chapters of Bella saying, "I like you. No, now I hate you," even a little bit of suspense is more than welcome. Heck, if this chapter were simply twenty pages of Charlie trying to make popcorn without burning it, I would be on the edge of my seat. Did I mention that Emmett is going to show up? Because he is. And he's even going to say words!
Edward rings the doorbell, and Bella answers as her dad watches TV. Edward holds his finger to his lips in a "be quiet" gesture, and uses his vampire speed to race into the house and scope things out. He then pulls Bella into the kitchen. Charlie assumes they are having a fight. But Edward has some scary news. Someone (or something) has been in Bella's house and stolen her clothes.
Edward doesn't recognize the scent. So that rules out Victoria. And it wasn't one of the werewolves, because werewolves don't stalk young girls and steal their clothes like perverts. (That's obvious vampire behavior.) Bella worries that it was one of the Volturi vampires coming to check up on her and make sure she was turned into a vampire. Please tell me it's Marcus (giggle).
Edward wants Bella to go with him back to the Cullen house to sort this out. But Bella panics, worried for Charlie's safety. Then Edward says the best thing he has ever said. He picks up his cell phone, dials a number, and simply says, "Emmett."
Oh! Hell! Yes!
With that simple word, you know that Emmett "The Pain Maker" Cullen will make sure Charlie is safe. Oh, and Jasper comes too.
After Edward arranges for Emmett and Jasper to watch over Charlie, he takes Bella to his house, where he wants to have a chat with Alice, because Alice should have seen a vision of the intruder before s/he intruded. Finally, maybe we'll get some answers about Alice's super powers! (Just kidding. Alice's powers are never explained. At all.)
At the Cullen Compound, the vampires all look worried and stressed. Alice knows that Edward is angry. She tries to defend herself, saying that it's impossible to watch the entire world with her psychic powers. She is already focusing on the Italian Volturi Vamps, Victoria, and Bella, and she doesn't have enough psychic juice left to keep an eye on Bella's house 24/7. She also claims that if Bella were in any danger, she would have seen a vision of that. (Although, wouldn't Bella need to decide to be in danger for Alice's powers to work?)
The idea that this culprit got past Alice's defenses upsets Edward. How did the villain do it? I'm guessing the evil vampire is pretty sneaky. Maybe the e-vamp didn't decide to invade Bella's privacy, and simply did it by accident. That way, Alice wouldn't have a vision. Or perhaps he keeps a baby werewolf in his pocket as a way to shield himself from Alice's powers.
The group tries to figure out who would be after Bella. It's not Victoria, because the scent is wrong. It wasn't Aro, because Alice is keeping a close watch on him. It may have been another Volturi, acting on his or her own. Maybe the creepy, child-like Jane. But why would Jane want to terrorize Bella? And it's probably not Marcus, because Marcus is way too busy back in Italy, using his (giggle) powers to (giggle) look at relationships. (It's a very important job, no doubt.)
No one can come up with a reasonable answer. But to me, it's very obvious who was after Bella: Mike Newton. He has lusted after Bella since she first showed up in Forks. And I always suspected he was a serial killer. Of all the people in this book, Newton is the one who would love to get a hold of Bella's dirty clothes. Mystery solved! Just call me Sherlock Bergstein. (Kidding. Don't call me that. It will confuse my goldfish, who has the same name, and then eight weeks of fish-training would go down the tubes.)
Emmett and Jasper return. The Pain Maker says they tracked the scent but it seems the vampire hopped in a car and sped away. Emmett gives Edward a leaf that has the vampire's scent on it. Edward doesn’t recognize it. So maybe it's not Mike Newton. It could be Mike Newton wearing cologne or a suit made from the flesh of his victims.
Or it's that vampire from Seattle that was mentioned in passing earlier in the book. I'll bet $5 that it's the Seattle vampire. I'm so smart. Call me Batman Bergstein! (Kidding. Don’t call me that. Doing so will power up my voice-activated computer.)
Bella worries, and asks that the Cullens transform her into a vampire right away. She thinks this is the only way to keep everyone safe. But Carlisle and the gang refuse, telling Bella she has nothing to worry about. Really? Some vampire was just nosing around in her underpants pile while the Cullens were having a slumber party; I think she has every right to be nervous. If Bella were on fire, Carlisle would simply say, "Don't worry, Bella. You'll be fine. We're all going to watch over you as you burn. There, there, child."
Alice then promises, "It's all going to be fine, Bella." Yeah right. Like I'm going to trust the psychic who can't see dogs. Bella, hop on Emmett's back and ride to the werewolves. It's your only hope!
Edward takes the nervous Bella home. He says one of his family members will be watching over the house, so she will be safe. Bella goes to bed. As she listens to the heavy rain falling, she feels guilty that one of the Cullens must stand in the rain and watch over her house. But instead of going outside and handing the unlucky bloodsucker an umbrella, she goes to sleep as Edward sings her a lullaby. How inconsiderate.
The next day, she tells Edward that she is going to call Jacob and make amends. Edward acts as though this doesn't bother him. In fact, he seems totally cool with the idea of Bella being friends with a werewolf. Bella tells us, "It seemed like Edward really was over the whole anti-werewolf thing." Huh?
By "anti-werewolf thing" does she mean the rivalry that has lasted for centuries? The years and years of hatred, fighting, name-calling, and feuding? All of that anger and rage goes out the window because Edward changed his mind? And he changed his mind because…well, we never really know. (Cough Meyer-wrote-herself-into-a-corner Cough). One day Ed hates werewolves. The next day, he thinks they're swell.
This would be like me waking up tomorrow and screaming, "Olives are tasty and not gross balls of briny rubber!" That's not going to happen. People don't change their minds about their deep-rooted ideology overnight. The Revolutionary War didn't end because the British thought things over and said, "Hey, America is pretty neat. Let's go home." Star Wars didn't end with the Emperor saying, "I love Jedis!" And Harry Potter didn't end with Voldemort sighing, "Muggles ain't that bad. What's up with my nose, anyway?" This doesn't make sense, and it makes me angry.
I want my werewolf/vampire war! I want to see Sam beat the living crap out of Jasper. I want to see Esme drive a tanker truck filled with gas into Sam's house. I want to see Embry choke slam Carlisle into a boulder. I want to see Emmett enter the battle by leaping from a helicopter with a hatchet in each hand, and a big ol' grin on his face. And I want to see Edward curled up behind a tree trying to defend himself with a lullaby as Jacob "The Thunder" Black emerges from the fog.
But if I can't have that, I guess a werewolf/vampire team-up wouldn't be too horrible.
Bella calls Jacob, and before she can say a thing, he launches into a excited apology. He's sorry for saying what he said, and will do anything to make it up to her. She forgives him, and he asks her to come over and hang out. Bella tells him that now is not a good time. She's about to explain the intruder situation, but Edward asks for the phone. She hands it over to Eddie, and he begins to chat politely with Jacob.
Unfortunately, we only hear Edward's side of the conversation, so I had to use my imagination to fill in what Jacob said. Below are Edward's exact words from the book, coupled with how I envision Jacob responded.
EDWARD: Hello Jacob.
JACOB: What's up, Ed-turd?
EDWARD: Someone was here—not a scent I know.
JACOB: Why don't you write a lullaby about it?
EDWARD: Has your pack come across anything new?
JACOB: Man, I don't know. When we're soaring above the trees with our jetpacks, we see all kinds of crazy crap. Bring Bella over to my house. I want to kiss her.
EDWARD: Here's the crux, Jacob. I won't be letting Bella out of my sight till I get this taken care of. It's nothing personal—
JACOB: No, here's the crux, crux-boy. I can name all the state capitals. I bet you can't.
EDWARD: You might be right—
JACOB: I know I'm right, monkey-muncher. Now why don't you shut the hell up and give me $50, or else I'll cram a lit match in your eye.
EDWARD: That's an interesting suggestion. We're quite willing to renegotiate. If Sam is amenable.
JACOB: Oh, I think Sam will be "amendable." You sound like a d-bag.
EDWARD: Thank you.
JACOB: Are you taking Bella to the see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel?
EDWARD: I'd planned to go alone, actually. And leave her with the others.
JACOB: You're such a fan boy. I bet you'll love the movie.
EDWARD: I'll try to consider it objectively. As objectively as I'm capable of.
JACOB: I wish hotdogs were flat like hamburgers.
EDWARD: That's not a half-bad idea. When?
JACOB: All the time, I guess. You sound scared. [IN MOCKING TONE] Do you want me to come over and hold your hand?
EDWARD: No, that's fine. I'd like a chance to follow the trail personally, anyway.
JACOB: How long does it take you to tie your shoes?
EDWARD: Ten minutes.
JACOB: Say "certainly" or I'll kill your brain.
JACOB: Put Bella back on the phone, so I can French kiss her with my voice.
Edward then gives the phone back to Bella. My version of the conversation might not be 100% accurate, but the monsters do seem to be teaming up. And that means Emmett and Jacob will team up! You can almost smell the jetpack fumes mixed with sword-polish in the air. This will be awesome! Though I'm probably getting my hopes up, and when Jacob and Emmett do unite for justice, it will not involve dynamite, nunchucks, swords, and flying kicks. Still…a man can hope. You can't take that away from me. Please don't take that away from me. Please?
Jacob tells Bella that she might see a giant wolf lurking near her house, because he's going to check things out. He says he'll be at her house in a few minutes. And like that (SNAPS FINGERS) this book finally has a plot.
Glowers: 1 (Book Total 8)
Murmurs: 2 (Book Total 26)
The werewolves and the vampires get along wonderfully. They have pool parties, go shopping together, and even form a bowling team. Things are going so great that Bella feels left out. To make matters worse, the monsters start making fun of her behind her back.
SAM: And then Bella was curled up in a ball in the forest when I found her. I'm not kidding! She was literally curled up.
ESME: Ha! That's such a Bella thing to do. What a melodramatic dork.
ROSALIE: Hey guys. Guys. Guess who I am, OK? Ready? "Waah! I can have babies and eat food. My life is horrible. Waah!"
[EVERYONE BURSTS OUT LAUGHING]
QUIL: You should have seen her on the motorcycle. I've seen toddlers with better balance. And I would know. I'm dating one!
EDWARD: This one time, we were touching faces, and she had this glob of spit in the corner of her mouth, and I…
[BELLA COMES WALKING INTO THE ROOM]
BELLA: Hey guys. What's up.
EDWARD: Oh. Uh…nothing. We were just making plans to take down the evil vampire. You know….monster business.
BELLA: Oh. OK.
[BELLA LEAVES THE ROOM]
EDWARD: So anyway, this dollop of spittle is like, staring at me. It was so gross! I named the spit glob "Leroy."
For more belly laughs, go here!