Chapter Eighteen: Instruction
Better Title: Everyone Smells
Edward carries Bella through the forest to the vampire/werewolf meeting, which is taking place in the clearing where the Cullen baseball games are played. Because if you're going to have a top secret monster meeting, it's best to do it out in the open where the world, and Google Earth, can see. (Sarcasm hand is raised.) While looking at the clearing, Bella feels a tinge of nostalgia for the old baseball field, and remembers that the first game was interrupted by James, Laurent, and Victoria back in book one.
Bella, the world's greatest detective, suddenly realizes that Victoria is probably behind the vampire army. She tells Edward this revelation, and at first he doubts there's a connection, because even after a century of life experience and education, he's still as dumb as a salt shaker, and twice as dull.
He thinks the Victoria thing through, and finally says to Bella, "It's possible."
Can we stop the bus for a moment? I'm trying really, really hard not to pick on Alice and her power. But this entire Victoria nonsense is frustrating. For some reason, Victoria has the ability to escape situations. The vampires couldn't catch her. The werewolves lost her trail. She's a slippery one. I'll accept that.
But Alice should be able to see Victoria, right? I mean, Alice is already looking for the Italian Volturi to come to America, so distance is no issue. We know that the members of the vampire army are changing their minds on purpose, to mess with Alice's powers. But that doesn't mean Victoria isn't making other decisions every minute of the day. When Victoria decides to comb her hair, wouldn't Alice see that? When Victoria decides to watch Glee, wouldn't Alice see that too? The point is, Alice should see Victoria doing things—not necessarily evil, menacing things, but normal everyday things.
So shouldn't Alice know exactly where Victoria is right now based on these mundane decisions? And wouldn't she see Victoria in Seattle? And thus, wouldn't everyone know that Victoria is behind the attack?
Anyway, Super-Smart Bella figures out that Victoria is behind this villainy. No one seems to care, and the meeting continues. The vampires are chilling around the clearing, and Alice is acting bratty because the werewolves are approaching, and it messes with her psychic ability. Do you know what else messes with Alice's psychic ability? Logic and common sense.
Because the werewolves are coming in wolf form, Edward says he will need to translate their thoughts. Does this mean Edward can read the minds of animals too? I would love that power, because then I would know if the birds are really mocking me, or just looking at me because I'm handsome.
And then everything becomes spooky and awesome as the werewolves arrive. There are more wolves than before. Ten in all. They're so cool! They're huge, and scary, and I bet they could do anything they wanted.
They say you can't fold a piece of paper more than eight times. Well, I bet the werewolves could fold a piece of paper fifteen times, and then the paper would become so compacted and dense that it would create a black hole, and then the werewolves would eat the black hole and save us all, and then they'd get cosmic powers because they all had black holes in their bodies, and then…and then…I want to be werewolf so bad! [Flexing calf muscles until there's a popping noise behind my eye.] Ouch.
Even Emmett is impressed by the werewolves and says, "Damn." Emmett! Hi Emmett! Hey Emmett, do you like to play street hockey? I don't. I'm scared of the ball. But if you like to play, then I'll play too. You should pick me for your team. I'm good. Honest! But I don't want to play goalie…unless you want me to play goalie. Do you want to play Nintendo instead? Say yes, please.
In the dark night, Bella can only see the eyes of the wolves as they enter the clearing. Carlisle greets the mighty werewolves, and Edward translates the wolf-thoughts. The wolves ask about the newborn vampire army, and Carlisle explains that these vampires are not like the Cullens. They are crazy and strong, just like Sigourney Weaver when she wakes up in the morning. (Don't ask how I know this.)
Carlisle tells the wolves that in four days, the evil vampires will cross the mountains and arrive here in the morning. The wolves agree to watch Jasper's presentation on how to kill newborn vampires. And with that, Jasper takes center stage.
After weeks and weeks of waiting, everyone will finally learn the secret to killing newborn vampires. This is going to be amazing. This is going to be fascinating. There must be some secret trick, like maybe you need to stab them in the eye. Oh boy. Oh boy. This is going to be good!
And then Jasper says that to kill a newborn vampire, you need to be fast.
Wait. That's it? Hold on. My book is probably broken. The pages of this chapter in which Jasper shows everyone how to stab a newborn vampire in the eye must be missing.
Crap. My book is intact.
Be fast? That's the trick? That's what Jasper has been waiting to tell us? Really? Be fast? I could have told you that. I wonder what Jasper's trick is for making a delicious blueberry muffin.
JASPER: Use batter. Blueberries too.
You might think I'm exaggerating. But here are Jasper's word-for-word instructions:
"As long as you come at them from the side, and keep moving, they'll be too confused to respond effectively."
You don't need a special dagger or a magic rope. You don't need a fancy bullet or a sword made of angel bones. You just need to be fast…and hit them sideways. Well, I'm glad Jasper waited to tell everyone this helpful information. Had he mentioned it earlier, I'm sure Emmett would have crushed Jasper's dumb blond head in a vice. I know I would have, if I had a vice.
With the complex, wildly inventive strategy explained, Jasper challenges Emmett to a sparring match, to show everyone what he means about being fast. Jasper races around in a blur as Emmett tries to catch him. Finally, Jasper grabs him from behind, and Emmett loses. (Boo!)
I love watching the vampires practice, but what does this teach anyone? Were the vampire going to fight slowly against the evil vampires?
EDWARD: OK, when we fight the bad guys, I'm going to casually walk up to them and poke them directly in the nose.
ESME: And I shall stroll toward one of them, and slap his forehead.
ROSALIE: I will just stand still and wait for them to come to me. Then I will kill them with kisses and hugs.
JASPER: NO! You fools! That will never work!
Maybe I was excepting too much. But Jasper's explanation has let me down worse than the time I learned my imaginary friend Knick-Knack was really just some old perverted ghost.
Emmett, of course, wants a rematch, but first Jasper wants to show Bella that Alice can take care of herself. Was Bella really worried about Alice? I know Alice is a good friend, but I think Bella is more concerned with, you know, Bella. Maybe instead of showing how fast and furious Alice can be, they should be dumping Bella on a plane to Antarctica where it's safe. Or showing Bella how to use a flame thrower. Or giving her a can of pepper spray. Something. Anything. But don't have Alice prancing around, showing off when trouble is afoot.
When the vampires kill Bella, I'm sure her last words will be, "I’m super glad to die knowing Alice can take care of herself. I love Mike Newton! Gurgle."
Jasper and Alice spar, and Alice wins because she's so damn cute, spunky, and quick. (Boo!) The wolves watch and are impressed with Alice's speed and agility. And then Edward and Jasper spar. It's meant to be epic, because these dudes are evenly matched in terms of strength and speed, but I found this battle boring.
I know. I know. I'm being a Bella by complaining about action when all I wanted from this book was action. I'm sorry. I'll try to enjoy this moment. Maybe Jasper will slay Edward by mistake. That would be kind of cool. I guess.
The Jasper/Edward smackdown ends in a draw. (Boo!) The rest of the Cullens practice fighting, as Jasper gives instructions like a basketball coach. After a while, the training session ends.
Jasper tells everyone there will be more practice tomorrow, and the wolves agree to come back to watch and learn. Werewolf Sam thinks it would be best to get the scent of all the good vampires, to avoid any confusion when the war begins. Carlisle says this is a good idea, and allows the wolves to sniff the Cullens.
Now, Sam! Quick! Bite off Edward's man-parts!
Of course, Sam doesn't bite Edward. (Boo!) As the wolves mingle with the vampires, Bella can see the werewolves more clearly. She recognizes Sam as the giant black wolf, and picks out the new werewolves, who are less graceful than the others. She spots the reddish-brown wolf, and knows this is Jacob.
Wolf Jacob smiles, sort of, and Bella giggles. The two share a moment together, as Bella pets Wolf Jacob and he licks her face. Dude! We talked about your kisses! Do we need to have another chat? 'Cause I've got a few hours to kill, and a freezer filled with pizza bagels.
This time, however, Bella doesn't punch Jacob, but playfully says, "Ew," and jumps away. She can't help but laugh, and Wolf Jacob and Bella seem to be having a good ole time. I like that.
Edward doesn’t. He takes Bella's hand and asks if she's ready to go, as if she's a little kid who wants to leave a boring dinner party. Then Wolf Jacob sends Edward a mind-thought, and Edward says, "It's more complicated than that. Don't concern yourself; I'll make sure it's safe."
Bella wants to know what they are talking about. I think I figured it out.
JACOB MIND-THOUGHT: Anyone can write a lullaby. All you need to do is make a song, and then make it worse.
EDWARD: It's more complicated than that.
JACOB MIND-THOUGHT: Are you worried that Bella will find your Hello Kitty pillow-pal?
EDWARD: Don't concern yourself; I'll make sure it's safe.
Wolf Jacob darts off into the woods with the other wolves, and comes back moments later in human form wearing sweat slacks, or sweatpants, as the unsophisticated call them. He wants to speak for himself, without Edward translating. Or maybe he just wants Edward to get a good glimpse of his nude upper body, as the moonlight splashes against his chest, illuminating each muscle as if it were a work of art, his abs so defined they cast deep shadows across his stomach, like storm clouds throbbing in the night's…n'mind. (Yep. I'm still straight.)
Jake is worried about Bella's safety during the war. He wants her to stay at La Push with the two new werewolves Collin and Brady. Edward isn't keen on the idea, because the evil vampires will know to look for Bella at La Push. This makes Bella worry for her father's safety, but Jacob says Charlie will be safe because he will be with Billy.
What?! This doesn't make sense, and not because Billy is in a wheelchair. I've seen Murderball. I know how tough wheeled-warriors can be. But Billy is old, and not a werewolf. How will he stop a vampire attack? And why wouldn't the evil vampires go after Charlie? He must smell somewhat like Bella, right? And shouldn't Victoria know that Charlie could be used as a hostage to nab Bella? And shouldn't Jacob and Edward be a bit more concerned with Charlie's safety? Maybe send him on a trip to Antarctica…with Bella?! Why is Bella still here?!? Why?!?
Why is even the coolest chapter in this book making me weep?
But Dead-Ed doesn't even suggest sending Bella and Charlie away on a plane. Instead, he and Jacob think of ways to keep Bella hidden in the forest without the e-vamps smelling her freesia scent.
Edward says they can't hide her yet, because Alice doesn't know which way the e-vamps will be coming from, adding, "We're not sure exactly which path they'll take, because they don't know yet."
I want you to keep that sentence in mind, because I will mention it exactly 164 words from now.
Jacob theorizes that his werewolf stench will hide Bella's odor from the army, and Edward thinks he might be right. So if Jacob carries Bella someplace safe, the bad guys wouldn't be able to follow Bella's stank. Good idea. (Sarcasm hand is not raised.)
They put this theory to the test as Jacob carries Bella into the woods, and the Cullens try to follow the scent. The plan works. As long as Bella doesn't touch a leaf or tree limb, the vampires only smell Jacob.
And then Jasper comes up with a plan. Bella should leave a false trail for the e-vamps to follow that will lead right into the baseball clearing, where the Cullens and the werewolves will be waiting. Good idea. (Sarcasm hand is not raised.)
Alice says the plan will work. Once Jasper decided on the plan, she got a vision of the plan succeeding. Neat, right? That makes perfect sense. (Sarcasm hand raised!)
Just 164 words ago, I mentioned that Edward said they have no idea which way the vampires will attack. They e-vamps haven't made up their mind.s If the e-vamps have not decided how to attack Bella, how could Alice have a vision of Jasper's plan working? How!?
No one seems to care besides me and my Alice Sucks Notebook.
Jacob has another thought about where to place Bella during the actual fight. He suggests that the new werewolf named Seth watch over her at a hiding place. Seth will offer protection, and will help to hide her scent. Plus, if Seth remains in wolf form, he will be able to know what's happening in the fight by reading the minds of the other wolves. I agree. Good idea. (Sarcasm hand not raised.)
Edward says, "It's a good idea."
That sound you just heard was me hitting my head with my shoe in frustration.
Edward has consistently said that werewolves are volatile and vicious, and has fretted if Bella so much as talked to a werewolf in human form over the phone. Now, he's not only allowing Bella to hang out with one of the werewolves, but agreeing that the werewolf must remain in wolf form. Plus it's a new werewolf, one who may not have the best control over his werewolf anger. And Edward is pretty much saying, "Tra-la-la. Werewolves are neat and wonderful. Tra-la-la."
Edward was wrong to prejudge the werewolves, and I know Seth will not harm Bella. But Ed-dork changed his mind instantly. Year and years of hatred vanish in a flash, without any explanation. It's like saying, "Avatar sucks. I hate that movie," for months and months, and then one day, without warning, changing your tune and saying, "Avatar is all right, and should protect Bella."
That sound you just heard was me hitting my head with my other shoe (the one with the sloppy, barely attached sole).
The chapter ends, but not before I go back and reread the part about the werewolves approaching the clearing.
Glowers: 0 (Book Total 12)
Murmurs: 5 (Book total 49)
The fight begins!
EVIL VAMPIRE: Now, little Bella. You are mine! [RUSHES TOWARDS BELLA]
EVIL VAMPIRE: What the hell? No! Don't attack me sideways! Anything but sideways! And not so fast. Please slow down! Argh!
[EVIL VAMPIRE DIES. REST OF VAMPIRE ARMY COMMITS SUICIDE INSTEAD OF FACING THE SPEED AND LETHAL SIDEWAYS ATTACK OF JASPER.]
QUIL: My girlfriend is two years old. I just want to make sure everyone knows that. I cannot stress this fact enough. She is two, and I love her. I don't see age, only beauty. If you have a problem with that, then I say good day to you, sir, and move on with my life.
More LOLs are in store here!