The World’s Most Boring Vampires Are Hunting Beau: Life and Death Chapters 19 and 20

Posted on December 4, 2015 by

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Previously in Twilight/Life and Death, new characters showed up and immediately wanted to kill the narrator. Then they all ran away, and are now playing hide and go seek tag.

More so than you would think

More so than you would think

Life and Death Chapter 19: Goodbyes

Beau and Edythe go to Charlie’s house to pack, as part of their plan involves Archie and Jessamine taking Beau to Phoenix to hide. This is the plan because this way they can avoid much social fallout, since it would be something of a scandal if Beau and Edythe suddenly disappeared without telling anyone. Note that I said “much” social fallout, because, uh, remember Beau’s last brilliant feat of social engineering was getting his friend to ask out his friend instead of him vis a vis reenacting a goddamn soap opera?

I suddenly knew what I was going to do, and I was already horrified at myself.

Oh shit.

Charlie’s face appeared in the hallway. “Beau?”
“Leave me alone,” I snapped. […] “I’m going home!” […]
“So I guess your date didn’t go so well.” Charlie’s voice was confused but calmer.
“Ugh, stay out of it, Charlie,” I growled.

Even Charlie is calling bullshit on the logic of this scene that’s flimsy even by “because teenagers”:

“Did she break up with you?”
“I broke up with her.” […]
“Why?” Charlie asked, surprised. “I thought you really liked this girl.”
“I do— too much.”
“Um…   that’s not how that works, son.”

Charlie asks some pretty logical questions, all things considered.

“Are you doing drugs, Beau?”

Still more so than you would think.

Still more so than you would think

Detailing his lie, Beau vents that he and Edythe talked about the future, getting married, and having kids. Charlie has a perfectly reasonable reaction to hearing that his teenage son’s first date apparently involved talking about getting married and having kids.

“If I don’t run now, I’ll never get out!”
“Beau, you can’t leave now,” he whispered. “It’s nighttime.”

Charlie tries to calm Beau down by telling him that if he at least just waits a week, his mother will be back in Arizona. This is new information to Beau, but he’s committed to his not-get-murdered-by-vampires plan, so he seals the deal with a truly damning “I really, really hate Forks!” and then departs. Which is particularly amusing if you’ve forgotten that this book takes place in a town called Forks.

Beau gets back to the car with the others, and then there’s a weirdly incredibly convoluted sequence where they’re in the car, but Archie can sense that the vampire that wants to kill Beau is nearby, so then they leave the car, go home, get in other cars… I have no idea. There’s a lot of cars. Some other stuff that doesn’t make much sense also happens:

  • Beau and Earnest trade shirts to throw off the scent, which I’m sure will be a very long-lasting ruse to the creatures that can travel at light speed or whatever.
  • Some of the Cullen family is also, like, having tea or whatever with the one vampire from the new group who isn’t interested in hunting down Beau, until he decides he still isn’t interesting in hunting down Beau, and goes to Alaska. No one thinks this is weird.
  • The Cullens agree they have to kill the other two vampires, which they explain is only possible by “tear[ing] her to shreds, and then burn[ing] the pieces”

Jessamine and Archie take Beau to Arizona. Jessamine assures Beau that he’s worth all this trouble. If this already seems weird now, just wait until next chapter.

Chapter 20: Impatience

Now hiding in a hotel room in Phoenix with Archie and Jessamine, the vampires that are hunting Beau don’t show up in this chapter either.

I made Archie keep up a strange stream-of-consciousness future watch all night long. […] As long as the future never put Edythe and Joss in the same place, I’d been able to keep breathing.

So basically we’re reading a book where nothing is happening, but there’s a character telling us that elsewhere nothing is happening. My favorite.

Once again, more so than you would think

Once again, more so than you would think

To be fair, obviously this isn’t a chapter focusing on adrenaline-pumping action, so once Archie gives Beau an update on the nonaction (no one has found or attacked anyone – woo!) it’s time for VAMPIRE BONDING. Which is great, because now that we’re stuck with these two new characters, it’s a good time to give them actual characters.

“Our only fear is losing you. […] I’d do this anyway,” Archie added. “Even if Edythe hadn’t ask me to.” [sic]
“Why?”
He grinned. “It’s hard to explain without sounding slightly schizo-phrenic… [sic, again, seriously how rushed was this book?] Time doesn’t mean the same thing to me that it does to you”

Um, yes, we kind of get the idea now that vampires live for a long time. This is not hard to explain at all.

“The first second you became a part of Edythe’s life, for me it was like we’d already spent hundreds of hours together.”

Okay, nevermind. This is nonsense. Sorry I doubted you, Twilight.

“We’re friends?” I asked, my voice full of wonder.
“Best friends,” he told me.

This is how every single interaction in this book should have gone down, but didn't.

This is how every single interaction in this book should have gone down, but didn’t.

It was funny how I was suddenly comfortable with Archie.

Writing Tip: This doesn’t work for the reader, though.

Here’s the best part: all of this was added to Life and Death. So this is one of those scenes that Stephanie Meyer really, really wished she wrote this way in the first place, after ten years of getting to think about it. For some reason.

Eventually, Beau gets them to talk about the hypothetical situation that they could end this problem if he were to become a vampire. They explain that vampires have a nonlethal venom that incapacitates whatever they bite, and if it spreads through the bloodstream but the heart keeps beating, then the change will eventually, painfully happen. They also talk about how immortality, describing it with, “There are slower ways to suffer”, which sinks in as Beau kind of finally realizes this is pretty serious.

If… if ever, someday, Edythe wanted me that way… what would that mean for Mom? What would that mean for Charlie?
There were so many things to think about. Things I didn’t even know I didn’t know to think about.

Always a relevant gif on this blog

Always a relevant gif on this blog

Suddenly, Archie gets a new, vague vision that eventually the tracker vampire will go to a “mirror room”. In the original Twilight, Bella figures out this is a ballet studio because she used to take dance lessons when she was a child.

“It looks like a place where my mom used to teach dance lessons”

You had one job, Stephanie “it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female— it’s still the same story” Meyer. Apparently one thing that would have unrecognizably changed the story is a boy doing ballet.

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