Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Snarky Twilight, Master Document

As additions and revisions and whatnot are made this post will change to keep up with them.  In theory at least, but for the moment I wanted to accomplish two things:
  1. Get everything in one place
  2. Allow me to see the gaps.
And thus, Snarky Twilight, the Master Document (hideously formatted as it is):

(As of May 20th 2013 I'm trying a new formatting style, anything that is a direct quote from the original will be in bold, things would otherwise be bold for emphasis will instead be underlined.)


Bible Quote

[Clearly Twilight is in need of more snarking and perhaps it might cheer me up, so Bella be my guide and we'll see where this goes. Bella, what part of your story should we be looking at?]
Bella: Well the whole thing is pretty bad. I suppose we could start with the start.
[That's a good idea, but which start? The start or the start or the start?]
Bella: I'd say the first start.
[In that case we need God in here.]
*God enters*
God: What will you be needing?
[You to repeat yourself.]
Bella: Genesis 2:17.
God: What version?
Bella: King James.
*God pulls out a King James Bible and reading glasses.*
God: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.
Bella: I call bullshit.
God: *offers Bella the book* That's what it says, you can check for yourself.
Bella: First off, Adam didn't die on the day that he ate the fruit.
God: It was a-
Bella: Second, the reason for the quote, and the apple on the cover, is that my story is supposed to be the story of eating just such a fruit, but that would mean that I was in Eden when in reality I will have been in Forks when this whole thing comes to pass. Forks is not Eden. I've been ripped off!
God: Why are you yelling at me?
Bella: Because I've been cheated. I didn't get a chance to eat of the fruit of life and become like unto a God, I didn't get to live in a paradisaical garden, I didn't get to meet a talking snake, I didn't get knowledge of good and evil, I was never offered a fruit basket, I did not set foot in a prelapsarian world, all I got was Edward Fracking Cullen. I've been ripped off.*
God: Yeah, but that's not my fault. I didn't write the book.
Bella: Well can't you do something about it?
God: No more than you.
Bella: Wait... what can I do?
God: Be yourself.


* Manuscript e sharply diverges from other traditions here, instead ending the section as follows:
Bella: Because I've been cheated. I didn't get a chance to eat of the fruit of life and become like unto a God, I didn't get to live in a paradisaical garden, I didn't even get to meet a talking snake. 
[What about Jessica?] 
Jessica: What are you accusing me of? I never tried to tempt Bella. You can't blame her involvement with the Cullens on me. 
God: He's talking about you being a lizard person. 
Jessica: Oh. Ok. 
Jessica: Wait! I'm a mammal. Look at my curly hair. 
Bella: Yes, it's very pretty. Besides, anyone with limbs can't be a snake regardless of whether or not they're reptilian. 
God: Can I go now? 
Bella: If I ate from the fruit, why didn't I get some kind of knowledge of good and evil? 
God: Pop quiz: Two people want to get married because they love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. They're both adults of sound mind. Neither one is hiding existing relationships from the other. There is complete consent. They are not closely related. Should they be allowed to marry? 
Bella: Sure. 
God: Don't you want to know about their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political views before you answer? 
Bella: No. 
God: Your knowledge of good and evil is fine. 
Jessica: That was the most blatant insertion of an author's political views I've seen since... never mind. I just remembered what series I'm from.

[So, I'm not used to doing Narration in Snarky Twilight, but in the original this segment is entirely narration, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  Narration is in italics.]

I'd never given much thought to how I would die, except, you know, when there was an out of control van speeding right at me across an icy parking lot, at that point I put some thought into the possibility that I would die by van. And then there was that time in Port Angles when I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be thinking of the possibility of death, but by then I was kind of ignoring what I was supposed to do, and naturally when one finds out they're being hunted by a deadly vampire a certain amount of thought does tend to move in a death-ward direction even if you're not really all that worried, and even something as simple as looking at a tide pool can be fraught with danger if you're written in such a way as to be incapable of walking across even a smooth surface with out falling. If I hadn't considered death, or at least serious injury, then I wouldn't have been nearly so careful and might well have encountered one or the other.
So I have actually, on occasion, given a degree of thought to the question of how I was going to die. Anyway, the thought didn't dwell too much on something like this, though I did have some opportunity to think about it on the way over, but truth be told I'm pretty sure I'm not going to die here. For one thing, I'm the narrator, for another, this scene doesn't actually appear in the book. If I really were going to die, you'd think the lead up would merit a mention, but since this supposed realization that I'm going to die can be safely omitted I'm pretty sure I live. Also, the hunter across the room from me is hardly the most formidable foe I've faced in these pages. I'd had to deal with someone worse than him in my dating life. So that takes some of the threat out of it.
Currently Nameless Hunter: Who?
Bella: The male lead.
CNH: Really?
Bella: You don't even compare.
CNH: But I kill people. For fun.
Bella: An entirely informed attribute if ever there was one. How many people have you killed onscreen?
CNH: That's not fair. I've killed lots of people.
Bella: If you say so. Do you want me to get back to the narration so we can move onto the actual book, or discuss the relative merits of offscreen killing and onscreen abuse?
CNH: Narrate so I can eat you.
Bella: That's really not going to happen.
There was a certain nobility in dying to save someone else, if that was really what was happening but I seriously had my doubts. In fact I found this entire sequence frustratingly dull. I was hoping for a cross country chase, instead I got a phone call saying, basically, “Come over here and let me kill you or I'll kill someone you care about,” oh the incredible drama. I thought vampire stories were supposed to involve movement and train schedules and suspense and evasion and chases and whatnot.
And in case I oversold, let me assure you that the conversation on the phone was much more boring than my paraphrase made it out to be. So now here I am, with someone who may or may not be holding someone I care about hostage. I'm not supposed to say who on account of suspense and mystery, but it really isn't suspenseful or mysterious.
Anyway, I knew at this point that I wouldn't be in this situation if I'd never gone to Forks, but I don't regret going to Forks because I'd seen things you would never imagine and oh my God I love my truck. It is a fantastic truck. I should write an ode to that truck.
CNH: It's a stupid truck.
Bella: And now you have to die, but I'm going to finish my narration first.
When life offers you a dream so far beyond your expectations, the prospect of it never having happened is more troubling than the prospect of death. Plus, as I said, I'm pretty sure I'm not about to die.
CNH: We'll see about that.
Bella: Yes, we will.
The currently nameless hunter smiled in a way that I think was meant to appear friendly as he sauntered forward to try to kill me. There was no way I was going to let him succeed.

Chapter 1

My mother drove me to the Airport, because it was important from a narrative standpoint to show what I was giving up at least briefly, and by briefly I mean two sentences, separated by a whole lot of making the town the book would take place in, a small town unused to fame and picked by the author because it had the distinction of being rained upon more than anywhere else in the country, seem like some dreary dismal hell.

The weather in Phoenix, the city I was leaving behind, was clear skies and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, that's twenty three point eight-repeating for all our friends in the godless metric system, and around about two hundred ninety seven point zero three eight repeating in Kelvin for all the scientist types reading this delightful little tome.

I can't tell you much about the car, except that it had windows which were rolled down.  I'm guessing not a convertible (because in that case why not put the top down).

As for where I was going: Forks. See the story goes like this, and this is how the story goes:

Once upon a time I was born.  In Forks one would imagine.  At that time my parents were married so I'm totally not a bastard.  A couple months later my mother fled Hell-that-is-Forks taking me with her.  After that I had to spend a month there every summer with my father who rather likes Hell-that-is-Forks.  Until I was 14.  At the age of fourteen I put my foot down and explained to my father how it was going to be.

Because fourteen year olds can totally do that to their parents.

So instead of spending one month in Hell-that-is-Forks we spent two weeks together in California.  Nice switch, I think.

So that was the situation for the past three summers, but now in this the eighteenth year of my life (that being the year when I was seventeen) and the year of the author's lord two thousand five, I decided to exile myself there -without explanation to anyone.  Not even myself, not yet at least- because the book is set in Forks and if I don't go there the book can't very well happen.  My mother doesn't understand this.  Her non-understanding is like clockwork.  I predict two paragraphs.

I loved Phoenix, even if in my head it has been Pah-ho-nix ever since that stupid commercial.  I loved the sun and the blistering heat.  I don't know why I loved these things as one with as fair a complexion as mine (it'll be compared to albinism, just you wait and see) probably can't be out in the sun too much without serious burns and "blistering" is seldom a good thing.  But the book says, in no uncertain terms, that I loved the sun and the blistering heat.  Also the vigorous sprawling city which I leave as an exercise to the reader.

With the exception of the sun, I don't think any of this will come up again so feel free to ignore it and instead pay attention to my mother breaking the silence with the words, "Bella, you don't have to do this."  See.  I told you.  Also of note is that this was the thousandth time she said it.  One could assume an expression, one probably should, but I'm going to go with the alternate interpretation that she said it precisely 1000 times, this being the last one.  It was said outside the plane, ticket already purchased, boarding in progress, my time to go.  So I tried, again, to set her straight.

The book was urging me to lie and say that I wanted to, but that's because the book was trying to ignore its own culpability in the decision.  I wasn't going to let it off that easily, "No, mom, I do.  I'm the main character and the book takes place in Forks.  If I don't go to Forks then there is no book and none of us get to exist at all.  For the good of everyone in the story I really do need to go."

And I appraised my mother.  She looks like me.  Notice how I haven't described what I look like at all?  For all you know I'm a green alien with purple tentacles coming out of my nose and ears.  So what have you really learned about my mother's appearance?  Nothing.  You have learned that we're one of the families where resemblance is passed down, which is not always the case.  Identical grandparents do happen, but not as often as writers would like.

Anyway, the exceptions to her looking like me are that she has short hair and laugh lines.  Thus presumably I have long hair and lack laugh lines.  But tentacles are still a possibility given all of the description thrown out thus far.

More than appraising her looks, which I have presumably gotten used to in my seventeen plus years of life, I was appraising her character.  Not so much in an ethos sort of way, more in a, "Once I'm gone will she waste away to nothing?" sort of way. Nota Bene that she is the only person from Phoenix that I had any kind of a relationship with worthy of so much as a letter afterward.

This relationship was the reverse of what you'd expect in recent years and I gather that before that my grandmother was involved.  Anyway, for the longest time I was basically raising her.  I made sure that the bills got paid, I made sure there was food, I made sure there was gas in the car, I was the one she called when she was hopelessly lost on some road or other.  The book wants me to call her loving, erratic, and harebrained.  Two negative adjectives for one positive.

Anyway, that worry didn't require serious consideration because now she had Phil.  Phil short for Phillip  an ancient Greek name (think father of Alex the Great) that came into the lexicon of this book by being the name of one the twelve Apostles.  Religion might not have an overt presence in this book, but turn over a stone and you will find it.

So anyway with horse lover (that's what "Phillip" means) there I could leave guilt free, and yet still...

Mom: Tell Charlie I said, 'Hi.'
Bella: You are aware that he has an internet connection and a passing familiarity with email, right?
Mom: You're supposed to say, "I will."
Bella: Ok, I will, but I don't see why you can't just tell him yourself.
Mom: I'll see you soon.
Bella: Can you define "see" and "soon" in ways that sound comforting instead of like you've got a video surveillance network set up?
Mom: Pretty sure I'm not actually going to see you any time soon.
Bella: Ok...
Mom: You can come home whenever you want -- I'll come right back as soon as you need me.

Ok, first off: she has traditionally been the one to need me, not the other way around.  Second, "home" here is ill defined.  The city?  Ok, that makes sense.  The house?  She should probably sell that.  Third, I could see in her eyes how much of a hassle it would be for her to actually follow through on that promise.

Bella: Don't worry about me.  I want this.  For some strange value of "want" you weren't previously aware of.  It'll be great. *pause* Or this book will suck.  Either way. *Pause* I love you, Mom.

And then I got on the plane and she disappeared from the story for the time being.


[large gap]


Chapter 3



[This is the first bit of Snarky Twilight ever written, well before the idea it would be a series came to mind and also before I went to the original text and read every word myself, it isn't entirely accurate as a result and will doubtless require revision]
Just before I heard the shattering crunch of the van folding around the truck bed, Edward hit me, hard.

Bella: (She's in real pain, but this is as much an expression of disapproval as pain, she draws the word out when she speaks it): Ow.
Edward: Quiet, I'm trying to save you.
Bella: I get that, but did you have bounce my head off the pavement like a basketball?
Edward: I'm saving you, shut up.
Bella: If you're saving me how come we're still in the path of the van?
Edward: Because this way I get to show off my inhuman powers.
Bella: You already did that just by getting to me so quickly.
Edward: I was right next to you.
Bella: Were not.
Edward: Was too.
Bella: (fed up, pointing) Van.

Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face, the large hands fitting providentially into a deep dent in the side of the van's body.

Bella: We're on slippery ice, why didn't we go flying backwards?
Edward: My foot is on your truck.

I turned to see a giant dent in my truck, Edward's left foot planted directly in the middle of it.

Bella: (Sarcastic) Great.

[end part that definitely needs revisions]




[At the hospital]

Bella: Edward pulled me out of the way. And by pulled I mean pushed. And by pushed I mean shoved. And by shoved I mean rammed.
Tyler: Edward?
Bella: Edward Cullen -- he was standing right next to me.
Tyler: And you say that with utter disdain because?
Bella: Did you see him next to me?
Tyler: No.
Bella: Did you see him four cars down from me?
Tyler: Now that you mention it...
Bella: And yet he assures me that he was right next to me.
Tyler: So this is being used as an obvious sign that something strange is going on with he of the multiple eyecolors?
Bella: It seems that way, but I don't see the point. He stopped the van with his hands, damaging the car behind us in the process in a way that likely would have killed a human being, and then he held your van off the ground one handed. At this point I'd say his cover is blown.
Tyler: Well if you focused on the other impossibilities he wouldn't be able to so easily dismiss them in a gas lighting kind of way. Surely they've left physical evidence, where as who can say where he was standing? It's his word against your head injury.
Bella: I suppose. Is there something else you wanted to say?
Tyler: I looked this up on the internet and apparently I'm going to make it my life's mission to make things up to you in pushy and controlling ways.
Bella: If I said that everything is fine and you can stop worrying would that stop you from doing that?
Tyler: I don't think so. Apparently my whole purpose here is to become a jerk with the best of intentions.
Bella: I've already got two or three of those in my life.
Tyler: I'm sorry.


[small gap but still at the hospital]

Carlisle: Actually, most of the school seems to be in the waiting room.
Bella: Isn't a bit odd that they'd all come here over the three of us?
Carlisle: Well, in fairness, you three weren't the only students here. We've had several kids come in with minor injuries, and a few more serious cases, due to the myriad car accidents today. Why wasn't school canceled, by the way?
Bella: You're asking me? I just got here.
Edward: Well don't look at me.
Carlisle: (sighs) There must be a reason. Then again, a school that lets the students all leave to crowd a hospital waiting room might very well be the only place in the United States that doesn't know to call off classes when it's icy. A delay would have been enough, once the salt has a chance to work on the roads everything will be fine, but no. They had to fill my beds with teenagers and teachers.
Bella: Finished yet?
Carlisle: Yes, actually. (Writes something on Bella's chart.) I mean no offense, but I hope I don't have to see you again. It sounds like you were extremely lucky this time.
Bella: (Spoken flatly:) Lucky Edward happened to be standing next to me.
Edward: (Gives Bella a "what the hell" look for making it obvious she's lying.)
Carlisle: Before I respond to that, let me ask you something. Would it be more suspicious if I responded with overenthusiastic backslapping for the person who I want you to think is my son, or if I mumbled halfhearted agreement and then ignored you in favor of Tyler's paperwork?
Bella: Definitely the second.
Carlisle: Oh, right, standing next to you... lucky. (Starts shuffling through paperwork and walks to Tyler's bed.)


[Edward and Bella are talking in the hospital, Edward has broken his promise to explain things to Bella, told her she is delusional, and assured her that no one will believe her, she explains that she has no intention of telling anyone, Edward asks, "Then why does it matter?" and that is where this scene diverges from canonical Twilight.]

Edward: Then why does it matter?
Bella: You want it spelled out for you?
Edward: It would help.
Bella: You lied to me. You tried to gaslight me. You lied to me.
Edward: You already said that.
Bella: It was a separate instance. You made a promise you never intended to keep. You had me lie for you, you lied to me, you lied to me, more gaslighting, you were a dismissive asshole, you lied to me.
Edward: So?
Bella: So what possible reason do I have have to keep on lying for you?
Edward: Don't know, don't care, I'm just going to shoot myself in the foot more by sending off signals that convince you that you're definitely onto something.
Bella: You do realize that, right here right now, I'm already on your side keeping your secret for you and the only thing that you could possibly do to threaten your situation is to convince me that's a bad idea.
Edward: If we get along and we're nice to each other there will be no tension. We need tension.
Bella: You are such an ass.
Edward: See? Tension.




Chapter 4



[in the school parking lot]

Bella: Hey, Eric.
Eric: Hi, Bella. *pause* Listen, before I go on with this, do you know anything about the setting?
Bella: [Starts to unlock her truck] How so?
Eric: Well is it light or dark? Is the lot crowded or full? That sort of thing.
Bella: All I know is that I saw you being all tall and dark. Beyond that I've got nothing.
Eric: I'm tall? I thought I was short.
Bella: So did I. *pause* I suppose if you need to know we could do some checking.
[Bella and Eric pull out their cellphones to do research]
Bella: It says here that this school gets out at 3:15 at the absolute latest. So if we just figure out what time of year it is...
Eric: It says here that the dates in these books are literally impossible-
Bella: No surprise.
Eric: but you started school on January 18th.
Bella: I've been here for a few short weeks so it must be around
Eric: Midwinter.
Bella: Exactly. [Looks at phone] So sunset is sometime between 5 and 6 PM. [shows Eric smart phone]
Eric: Which means that it's … uh
Bella: Anywhere from two hours and 13 minutes to two hours and twenty four minutes until sunset. But that still doesn't tell us whether it's dark. With thick enough clouds midday can be pretty dark. [shrugs and returns attention to unlocking truck] Why did you want to know?
Eric: I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be a creepy stalker or if I'm supposed to be a reasonable human being. I was hoping context would help.
Bella: I might be able to help you there. It says that I stopped being afraid when I realized it was you, and I'm not really paying attention to you now.
Eric: So I'm not a stalker?
Bella: I wouldn't go that far. I'm just not threatened.
Eric: What's a non-threatening stalker? Is that even possible?
Bella: No idea, but if you don't get on with it I'm going to unlock this door, get in my truck, and drive off. In fact, I'm paying more attention to the lock than I am to you.
Eric: Ok. Here goes: I was just wondering … if you would go to the spring dance with me?
Bella: [turning away from the lock] Hold it. We just established that only a few short, emphasis on SHORT, weeks had passed since January 18th, right?
Eric: Yeah.
Bella: And the dance coming up in two weeks is the spring dance.
Eric: Yup.
Bella: And spring, as it is defined in the United States, doesn't even start until more than eight, almost nine, weeks after January 18th.
Eric: That's about the size of it.
Bella: In what world is a few weeks plus two almost nine weeks? That's not short. That's two thirds of a season.
Eric: I think you're counting the two weeks in your-
Bella: Ok, more than half a season. Point remains: it's not short. I could memorize someone's voice in that time, there's no reason to think it too short for familiarity. It can't have been almost seven weeks. So that means that either the spring dance is in winter or ... or the seasons are shorter than they should be. In what world does this make sense?
Eric: I didn't make the rules.
Bella: Speaking of the rules: the dance.
Eric: What about the dance?
Bella: It's the girl's choice dance?
Eric: It is.
Bella: Aren't you breaking the rules by asking me?
Eric: Are you saying that I'm not a girl?
Bella: I believe that I am.
Eric: Then yes, I'm breaking the rules.
Bella: Well it doesn't matter. I'll be in Seattle.
Eric: Maybe next time.
Bella: Sure. *pause* But please be aware that when I say, “Sure,” it is not intended to be a factual statement.
Eric: Ok. I have to go slouching now. See you later.
Bella: Later.

[Eric leaves, Bella gets into her truck and tries to leave, Edward cuts her off and then stops, creating a traffic jam. Tyler, in his new car, is stuck behind Bella's truck.]

Bella: Thank you so much, jerkface.
Tyler: Who are you talking to?
Bella: Edward *points*, why are you not in your car?
Tyler: Edward isn't going to move until the plot progresses. *pause* So, you remember how I said I looked it up online and found out I was going to become a controlling jerk?
Bella: Yeah, I remember.
Tyler: Well that starts now. I'm here to get you to ask me to the spring dance.
Bella: Are you a girl?
Tyler: Not that I know of.
Bella: Then that's cheating.
Tyler: Yes, but it's cheating with the veneer of not cheating on it. I'm not asking you to the dance directly, I'm phrasing it around the idea that you're the one to ask. 'Will you ask me to the spring dance?' It's both cheating and dishonest about being cheating.
Bella: I'm going to be out of town.
Tyler: I know. Mike told me.
Bella: Then what the fuck?
Tyler: My only purpose in this novel is to be a jerk who thinks he means well. I wish it were not so, but it is. Sorry.
Bella: Being a jerk is one thing, but why would you ... I mean ... I don't even. What?
Tyler: I was thinking that you told Mike you'd be out of town to let him down easy but you were somehow so scatterbrained as not to realize that going with someone else would sort of defeat the purpose because then he'd see you at the dance and realize you just lied to him breeding a level of conflict and discomfort in your circle of friends that you have not known previously which is saying something given that most of your friends are guys who hate each other on account of only being there in hopes of getting you. I was likewise assuming that, no matter who else you might reject, you'd obviously go with me because ... clearly. Like I said, I only exist to be a jerk.
Bella: Done yet?
Tyler: Unfortunately no. There's one more thing I have to do, but before I do *points to Edward* jerkface, as you call him, is listening in on my point of view right now, possibly with popcorn, so if you'd like to say something to him about trapping you here, if you say it to me he'll hear it.

[very long angry rant]

Tyler: A railroad spike?
Bella: I don't care what the author says, there has to be something humans can do to kill those things. There has to be.
Tyler: I don't know, the author controls reality.
Bella: Then why are they in hiding?
Tyler: Good point. Anyway, I have to go. Are you ready for my closing bit of jerkness?
Bella: Shoot.
Tyler: That's cool. We still have prom.

[Tyler walks away]

Bella: [looking at Edward] Do I detect a hint of nervousness in your present laughing? Good.




Chapter 5



[In the school lunchroom.]

Jessica: I'm talking, I'm talking, I'm talking.
Bella: I'm ignoring you, I'm ignoring you, I'm ignoring you.
Jessica: Edward isn't at his table.
Bella: I know, I'm just going to have lemonade and sulk.
Jessica: You do that a lot, do you ever actually eat?
Bella: I don't know, I'm pretty damned hungry because I skip so many meals. I'm thinking that when the author isn't looking I'm going to have a steak or two.
Jessica: Edward is staring at you again. He does that a lot.
Bella: I thought he wasn't at his table.
Jessica: He isn't. He's at someone else's table.
Bella: How could there be an empty table for him to move to?
Jessica: I think that table belonged to freshmen, he probably scared them all away.
Bella: How?
Jessica: Death threats would be my guess. Why is he beckoning to you?
Bella: I have no idea, earlier today he insulted me and my truck-
Jessica: But you love that truck.
Bella: I do love that truck.
Jessica: That would be like when the Klingons insulted the Enterprise in front of Scotty.
Bella: Good episode.
Jessica: One of the best.
Bella: Anyway, after the initial volley, and during the main sequence of the insult fest he convinced me to let him take me on my trip to Seattle.
Jessica: Are you sure that's a good idea?
Bella: I'm pretty sure it's not, but I do what the plot demands.
Jessica: I'm glad I'm not a main character.
Bella: I'd better go. If anyone asks, and that includes you, I'm officially speculating that he needs help with biology homework.
Jessica: Because that makes so much sense.
Bella: I didn't write the line, I just recited it.
Jessica: I'm definitely glad I'm not a main character.

[Bella walks over to Edward's table]

Edward: Why don't you sit with me today?
Bella: Would you prefer this be alphabetic or chronological?
Edward: Sit.
Bella: I'm thinking about making an annotated bound copy of my dissertation of why I shouldn't sit with you.
Edward: Sit damn it!
Bella: What if I say, "No"?
Edward: You have to sit. I beckoned, you came, I said sit, you have to sit. That's how it works.
Bella: You're forgetting your place. You don't control me, the narrative does. I may have to do what the book says I do, but I sure as hell don't have to do it on your schedule.
Bella: *sits* and I'm not convinced that the narrative has total control. I'm looking into possibilities.
Bella: Rail spike. *Edward flinches* Now then, what did you want?
Edward: Well . . . I decided as long as I was going to Hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.
Bella: First, you're well on your way. If you're worried about not making the cut, let me lay any fears to rest. You've definitely proven that you have the qualifications to be accepted into that prestigious institution. Second, I have no idea what you mean by that in this particular context.
Edward: I know.
Bella: So it's not that you suck at communication, it's that you're being an ass. Good to know.
Edward: I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you.
Bella: Livestock gets stolen. I'm not a pet goat. They're probably worried for me because I'm sitting with the biggest jerk in all of school. Anyway, they'll survive. Get on with it.
Edward: I may not give you back, though.
Bella: There's your mistake: thinking you have a choice in the matter. I'm not property. Now, like I said, get on with it. Why did you want me here?
Edward: I told you -- I got tired of trying to stay away from you. So I'm giving up.
Bella: Giving up? Giving up what? And for how long? Is this Lent? I thought it was-
Edward: I'm serious.
Bella: I'm not. I don't think I could stand to be serious. This story would be soul crushing if I took it seriously, and you're a big part of that you bastard. Now then, what are you giving up?
Edward: Giving up trying to be good.
Bella: You been trying to *breaks down laughing*
Edward: Yes, I've been trying.
Bella: You've been doing a really crappy job of it.
Edward: This is serious.
Bella: Yes it is. You seriously suck at being good. A mediocre villain I could understand, but this is you trying to be good? You suck, and I'm not referring to your fangs or any other of the vampirey things you do a ludicrously bad job of hiding.
Edward: We're perfectly good at hiding what we are *Bella laughs* and I did not suck at being good. I was doing a great job.
Bella: Please, you sucked like a Dyson.

[And so on.]




[at the nurse's office]

Bella: You were right.
Edward: I usually am -- but about what in particular this time?
Bella: What?
Edward: I'm usually-
*Bella laughs*
Edward: I am.
Bella: No you're not.
Edward: Yes, I-
Bella: You're never right.
Bella: Name one time that you've been right.
Edward: Well there was the... and I... and then... um.
Bella: See?
Edward: (Spoken quickly, somewhere between desperate and triumphant) I said that you suffer more than you let on.
Bella: You mean when I was all, "Woe is me, Forks is Hell on earth, I am in soul crushing agony," because I moved to a cloudy place of my own free will? Yeah, it was so much worse than I was letting on. Hell on earth doesn't even begin to describe how horrible it is to get a free truck, have random people appear out of nowhere to support me when I don't even bother to hear their names, and become the most popular kid in school. The tortures of Cocytus don't even begin to compare to Forks. Judas comforts himself from his position of being gnawed on by Satan by telling himself, "Well at least I don't have it as bad as Bella Swan."
Bella: Oh yeah. You called that one perfectly.
Edward: Can we start over?
Bella: Sure. *pause* Ready?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: You were right this one time.
Edward: Hey!
Bella: If you don't get on message we're going to have to start over again.
Edward: Fine. About what was I right?
Bella: Sometimes ditching is healthy.
Edward: That was anticlimactic.
Bella: It wouldn't have been if you'd toned your ego down in the first place.
Edward: Whatever.
Edward: You know you scared me.
Bella: God, I hope so.
Edward: I thought Newton was dragging your dead body off to bury it in the woods.
Bella: Just because you want to doesn't mean everyone does.
Edward: That's not fair, I don't.
Bella: Oh really, vampire breath? You're saying that you don't think about killing me.
Edward: Well...
Bella: Be honest.
Edward: I'd probably burn your body rather than bury it.
Bella: That's the first time I've every actually believed you were telling the truth. See, was that so hard?
Edward: Yes. Now where was I?
Bella: You were pretending Mike was just like you and he was dragging my body off into the woods for burial, which I note doesn't make any sense given that we weren't moving at the time. He wasn't even in a good position to drag.
Edward: So, commentary aside, we were a the part where I thought you were dead?
Bella: Yes.
Edward: Honestly -- I've seen corpses with better color.
Bella: Says the boy who looks like his face has never known sunlight.
Edward: You're calling me a troglodyte?
Bella: No. I would never insult cave dwellers so. I'm just saying you look like one.
Edward: Are you trying to make me kill you?
Bella: Are you so incapable of taking responsibility for your actions that if you kill me you'll honestly consider it my fault?
Edward: I thought you were dead I thought Mike was dragging you off for burial in the woods.
Bella: Even though we weren't moving.
Edward: Even though you weren't moving.
Edward: I was concerned that I might have to avenge your murder.
Bella: Have to? Have? So even when you're killing Mike, it's still my fault.
Edward: I didn't say that.
Bella: No, you didn't. But you made damn sure to indicate it wasn't your fault.
Edward: Well I'm not just going to say, "Hi. I'm a bloodthirsty killer looking for any excuse to off someone."
Bella: Why not?
Edward: Well ... because you don't say things like that.
Bella: Even if it's true?
Edward: It's not true!
Bella: Could have fooled me.
Edward: I'm not interested in discussing- My spider senses are telling me that Mike is coming back with another patient. Get out now.
*Door opens*
Bella: Why would I- *sniffs* getting out now.
*They leave*
Edward: You actually listened to me.
Bella: Yeah, I need to stop doing that.

[small gap]

[In the parking lot]
[Partial credit has to go to TRiG for linking to a version of this, but I think some of it is due to Bella simply being fed up.  The pain text scene has Edward grabbing her by the clothing and dragging her across the parking lot, then threatening to do it again if she tried to escape.  There comes a point where you have to change your story even if you haven't heard the song..]

*Edward yanks Bella by her jacket, Bella responds with an elbow to his face. Unfortunately, Edward -being a sparkle vampire- is unfazed while Bella is the one to end up hurt.*
Bella: Motherfucker!
Edward: Do you think I'm going to let you drive in your condition? 
Bella: First off, I don't expect you to let me do anything. I'm going home. You don't have a say in the matter. Second, you may be forgetting that that my condition went away, we tricked the nurse because I didn't feel like going to gym. I note that the lying was entirely your idea so if you think you're occupying some sort of high ground think again. You're like a weight around my ankle pulling me down to deeper depths. I don't have to go, I could easily fight it and refuse your influence, but sometimes, as now, I go along anyway and I have to live with that. I shouldn't do it, I do anyway, and I take responsibility for it but that doesn't change the fact that you've got no standing to be acting superior.
- - - Third. You're a vampire. My truck: made of wood*. If you don't start respecting my personal space very soon I will kill you with my truck. I will pick it up and drop it on your head if I have to, and don't say I can't because that truck and I have done impossible things together before. We altered the laws of physics just so that the chains on the tires would be hidden until the proper time. Do you have any concept of what's involved in that? We looked at the molecules making up the universe and said, "I know that every law you are subject to says you should be vibrating this way and thus creating sounds and motions that indicate there are chains on the tires, but we'd prefer if you vibrated this other way which flies in the face of 13 billion years of established physical law.
- - - And it worked. That truck and I have done a lot together and if need be we'll add vampire destruction to that list of things because, as near as I can tell, it's high time this town had bit of pest control.
Edward: It doesn't matter what you say. The plot says that we ride in my car.
Bella: Well we've already established that ditching is healthy. I'm ditching. The plot will have to do without me today.
Edward: I'm still holding on to your jacket.
Bella: And if you make use of that fact I will run a scorched earth campaign on this entire narrative. I will tear this story apart page by page, line by line, word by word. And I've just decided that I won't actually kill you with a truck.
Bella: Tell me, are you familiar with the concept of, 'To the pain'?
*Edward lets go.*
Bella walks to her truck. She caresses the hood.
Bella: Hey truck, did you miss me? We are going to have fun today.


*It was the made in the last year they used wooden blocks as bed supports. Would that help in killing a vampire? No. Do I think it makes for a great line to use against Edward? Yes.

* * *

Edward returns to his car, and watches Bella drive away.
Bella: I've had some time to think it over and-
Edward: What the Hell?!
Bella: Do you overreact to everything? I've had some time to-
Edward: How the Hell did you get here?
Bella: By plane. A four hour flight to Seattle, an hour to Port Angles, then an hour drive to Forks. We established all of this in the first chapter and this is a really weird time to be rehashing the logistics of it all. Now as I was-
Edward: No. How did you get in the passenger seat of my car?
Bella: Through the door. Is that what you're so worked up about?
Edward: But you just drove away.
Bella: Did I? I suppose I did. Anyway, I've had some time to think things over and-
Edward: You can't drive away and be in my car-
Bella: Evidence points to the contrary, and if you interrupt me again you'll make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Edward: Fine. What did you want to say?
Bella: What I wanted to say is that I've had a long time to think about what you said about the plot, and needing to progress it, and so forth. I took some time off, I did some soul searching, I met someone, someone who showed me that non-human men are capable of treating me with dignity and respect, I traveled, I deposed some dictators, saved some worlds.
- - - I've seen things you couldn't possibly imagine, though some of them were disappointing. Went to both shoulders of Orion, no attack ships on fire. Was very much let down. Still there was wonder there that I wish you could have seen. I wish you could have seen the vastness of space or the inside of a nebula, I wish you could see freedom emerge on a distant world or a march of lungfish pushing themselves up onto the land. I wish you could have sampled the sound of a black hole with me.
- - - I wish you could have because if you did then you'd finally understand how small you truly are. Sad little king of a sad little hill. I wish you could, if only for an instant, grasp the scope of the universe we find ourselves in because if you did then you'd understand how misplaced your arrogance is.
- - - And what I've come to realize is that I don't have to be here. There are any number of stories I could walk onto, there are any number of places I could go, any number of things I could do. I have options.
- - - But you don't.
- - - You're not welcome there. No one has a need of an insignificant bully who thinks he's the most important person in the world. No one is thinking, "What this story could use is some more Edward Cullen." You're nothing, and the truly sad thing is that it doesn't have to be that way.
- - - You could be the most important person in the world, just as anyone could be, and the only thing holding you back is the fact that you're convinced you already are. You're not. If you'd recognize that then you could change for the better, but as you are you're trapped in prison of self aggrandizing mediocrity. You've twisted yourself into a ball of meaningless arrogance and spite. You're nothing more than a petulant child who is so convinced he's already grown up that he never bothered to learn what growing up actually means.
- - - I pity you.
- - - Jessica is going to be a biochemist when she grows up. Eric wants to be a computer programmer specializing in games that can be used to teach children advanced mathematics in a way that's actually fun. Mike plans to run a local business. Angela is going to be a novelist. They're all going to be something, they're going to do something, they're going to matter. When will you start to matter? When are you going to make something of yourself?
- - - What do you want to be when you grow up Edward? You've had more time to ponder the question than most people have to live a life. Do you have any goals? No. And what have you done in that time? Nothing. Apart from saving me from the van, something the narrative forced you to do, can you name a single moment in your life when you actually mattered?
Bella: So what I've decided is this. This story is my home and I'm not going to leave it right now because of someone like you. But if you want me to take you seriously, you had better convince me you're someone worth taking seriously. If you want me to listen to you then you're going to start saying some things that are worth hearing. If you want me to go along with the plot you had better show me that the plot is worthwhile.
- - - I care about the story enough that I'd rather not leave you in charge, but don't think that I can't leave. If I decide that I don't like it here, I have plenty of places I can go. Wheres and whens that are just waiting for exploring. 
- - - I pity you, and that means I'm willing to try to help you improve, but don't confuse pity with licence. If you ever try to drag me around again I will test how vampires react to suns by dropping you into one.
- - - And, finally, I don't care what Claude says, Clair de Lune was better when it was Promenade Sentimentale. It's a damn shame he never released the original.
*Bella gets out of the car*
Bella (speaking through the window): If you want to be a main character try to be more interesting the inanimate objects in the story.
*Bella walks to her truck, which is not parked where it was earlier, and drives away.*
Edward finds his voice again: What. The. Fuck?


Chapter 6

[Recap: In defiance of the narrative, Bella drove herself home meaning that Alice didn't need to drop of Bella's truck.  Credit must be given to Meow for the idea this is built around.]

*Bella hears knocking on her window*
*She looks to see a girl outside of it. (Remember that this is a second story window)*
*Bella opens the window.
Girl: Hi.
Bella (confused): Hi.
Girl: I'm Alice
Bella: Hi, Alice.  I'm Bella.
Alice: I know.
Bella: I figured you would, why are you knocking on my window instead of my door?
Alice: Style.
Bella: Come on in.
*Alice climbs through the window*
Alice: Thanks.
Bella: You must be freezing, the rain is pounding out there.
Alice: Yes it is. Does that seem odd to you?
Bella: Why would it be odd?
Alice: Well this climate doesn't have pounding rain.
Bella: I wouldn't know, I'm from Arizona.
Alice: Anyway, you're probably wondering why I came.
Bella: It crossed my mind.
Alice: I was supposed to bring your truck back to you.
Bella: That's nice, but already have my truck.
Alice: I know. But the thing is... the thing is that I don't actually get to do much in this story, good women being invisible and all, so I was really looking forward to finally getting a chance to do something. So I was wondering...
*Alice looks down, and bites her lip (but not in a vampire way, just the way the humans do sometimes)*
Alice: I was wondering if I could borrow your truck so that I could bring it back.
Bella: You want to take my truck away for the sole purpose of bringing it right back again?
Alice: Yes! That's exactly what I want.
Bella (suspicious): Is your brother going to be involved in this?
Alice: Not in the least. This is all me, that's why I was looking forward to it.
Bella: I keep the keys by the door downstairs.
Alice: Thank you.
*Alice hugs Bella*
Alice: Thank you so much.
*Alice runs out of the room and down the stairs. Soon after the truck's engine roars to life and drives away.*

*Bella watches by the window, wondering if it was a good idea to give the keys to time and space to someone she doesn't really know. When her truck comes back into view it isn't touching the ground. Alice is holding it aloft, dancing to unheard music, the wires from headphones visible, though the headphones themselves are hidden under her hair.*

*Bella smiles*

*Alice reaches the house and gently, and silently, sets the truck down. Then dances her way back in the direction whence she came.*


Lauren: Bella, I was just talking to Tyler about the Cullens for no real reason except so that I could tell you that I was talking about them, be overheard, and thus establish that the natives know more about them than the rest of us. So, it's too bad that none of them came out? Didn't anyone think to invite them?
Sam: You mean Dr. Carlisle Cullen's family?
Lauren: Yes. As a high school student talking to other high school students I was absolutely thinking of them in terms of their father. Isn't it a shame that we didn't drag an adult out here?
Sam: There's no need to be rude about it.
Lauren: Actually, as a fish-eyed nasal-voiced blonde, my character revolves around me being bitchy.
Sam: Whatever, the Cullens don't come here.
Bella: Why n-
Sam: Could you not tell from my tone of voice that the matter is closed?
Tyler: There are too many people in this conversation, Lauren, let's talk about a CD.
Lauren: Ok.
Bella: That's really not-
Lauren: We're fine.

*awkward silence permeated only by hints of Lauren and Tyler's not quite audible conversation*
Bella: Jacob, would you like to go for a walk?
Jacob: Ok.
*They start walking.*
Jacob: I know you hate Forks, how are you holding up?
Bella: I was doing pretty bad, but the truck and I have been having some good times these past few days.
Jacob: That's nice.
*Bella checks that Sam is far enough away to be unlikely to hear, and doesn't seem to be paying attention.*
Bella: I only asked you away from the others so that I could try to get information about the Cullens out of you via sneaky and indirect ways.
Jacob: They're vampires who came here before.
Bella: That was easy.
Jacob: There's more. They don't eat people so we let them live. We're werewolves, by the way.
Bella: That's interesting.
Jacob: I'm not supposed to tell you any of this because it violates the treaty to tell pale-faces, and your face is rather pale, but I cannot take seriously anything that involves the term "pale-face"
Bella: So...
Jacob: It's not that the term is historically inaccurate, it has been used and there is a slim chance it might have somehow found its way into such a treaty, though it seems to me that other terms would have been better suited -especially given the paleness of the vampire's faces, but using it in the here and now in this novel feels like I'm just being another in a long line of poorly thought out Native American stereotypes that pervade popular culture. Even more so when one considers context.
Bella: What term would you use?
Jacob: Well, personally, I'd use hokwat'* though that term technically includes all non-natives regardless of skin color.
Bella: So the treaty allows you to tell outsiders as long as their faces aren't pale?
Jacob: I don't actually know, I've never read the treaty myself. I just know that I'm supposed to say "pale-face" as in, "If they would promise to stay off our lands, we wouldn't expose them to the pale-faces."
Bella: That seems like some pretty bad dialog.
Jacob: That's what I thought.
Bella: I mean you could just say, 'your people' or 'Europeans' or something.
Jacob: Or 'others'. 'Others' would work just fine.
Bella: Yes it would. You know, this conversation is going a lot better than I thought it would.
Jacob: In theory I'm only telling you all of it because I don't believe a word of it in spite of my great grandfather being the one to sign the treaty, and the perfectly preserved legend that was passed down including at least some of the vampires' names.
Bella: You're a werewolf and you don't believe it?
Jacob: I'm not a werewolf yet. That happens next book. Right now I'm a potential werewolf who has yet to awaken into a state of wolfiness.
Bella: Anything else I should know?
Jacob: Not only is this not the first time Carlisle came here, it isn't the second either, he was here at least once before your people showed up.
Bella: When did my people first show up again?
Jacob: The first official contact was a treaty signing in 1855 but really we could date it to the 1700s.
Bella: Which does Vampiry McVampire predate?
Jacob: No one tells me these things. And I'm just about out of information. Unless you want to try to steal our legends to try to argue that Noah's Ark must have totally been a real occurrence.
Bella: I have no interest in doing that.
Jacob: Then my job is finished here.
Bella: Ok, so...
Jacob: Wait, I just remembered. Don't mention any of this to your dad. He's already pissed off that some members of the tribe are avoiding the hospital to avoid Carlisle.
Bella: Why would he be pissed about that?
Jacob: I have no idea, but asking just makes him mad.
Bella: Well I won't tell.
Jacob: So, do you think we're a bunch of superstitious natives?
Bella: I think you were written that way, but no. You seem to be perfectly normal people laboring under the weight of bad storytelling just like the rest of us.
*Mike appears at a distance*
Mike: There you are-
Jacob: Yes. Here I am. Have you been looking for long?
Mike: I was talking to Bella.
Jacob: I know. [to Bella:] Is that your boyfriend?
Bella: He thinks he is.
Jacob: That must be rough.
Bella: The worst part is that he's only second place on the jerk scale.
Jacob: That sucks. *Pause* Jacob: If I visited you when I got my license, would that make you feel better or worse?
Bella: Better if you realize that I'm just interested in you as a friend, worse if you become my fifth suitor.
*Mike reaches them, Jessica is trailing behind*
Mike: Where have you been?
Jacob: Well I've been-
Mike: Bella, where have you been?
Bella: Isn't it obvious?
Mike: Explain it to me.
Bella: You're not Edward, and I don't see why you want to try to be him. Can't you set your sights higher?
Jessica: Why am I even in this scene?
Mike: Because I'm so awesome I have have a hot girl who pines after me constantly.
Jessica: *flat sarcasm* Yes. How could I have forgotten about your awesomeness. It is so very apparent.
Mike: Bella, where have you been?
Bella: Well I've been to Phoenix, and Seattle and Port Angeles and Forks and-
Mike: That's not what I meant.
Bella: I was just getting to the fun part.
Mike: Where have you been today on this beach?
Bella: I've been on this beach. Which you just said. If you already know the answer why bother asking the question?
Jessica: Maybe you should tell Bella why we were looking for her.
Mike: Where have you been?
Jessica: Bella, the skies are about to open up and from them will fall a deluge of discrete units of liquid water known as "rain drops" and if idiot here doesn't get on with it soon we'll all get very wet.
Mike: Just tell me what you've been doing!
Jacob: Do you have to put up with this all the time?
Bella: *to Jacob* More or less. *to Mike* Jacob here was just providing an exposition dump.
Mike: Was that so hard?
Jacob and Jessica, in unison: She shouldn't have to explain herself to you in the first place. *pause* Jacob and Jessica: Jinx!
Jacob: I'm Jacob.
Jessica: I'm Jessica.
Mike: I'm going to be sick. Let's get off the damn beach.
Jacob: [To Bella:] It was nice to see you again.
Bella: Yeah, it was.
Jacob: [To Jessica:] It was nice to meet you.
Jessica: You too.
Mike: It's already raining.
Jessica: Only because you refused to go until you got your stupid question answered.
*The three exit stage wherever-the-car-is*
* That's not exactly how it's spelled. There's mark over the o and the w should be sort of small and floating, but I don't know how to do special characters. Anyway, it says it's pronounced "Ho-quaht".


Chapter 7



[For those unfamiliar, Joshua is the computer from War Games.]

Computer: Greetings, Bella. How are you feeling today? Bella: I'm fine. How are you? Computer: Excellent. Shall we play a game? Bella: No, right now I want you to look up information on vampires. Computer: Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess? Bella: Not today, Joshua. Computer: Perhaps tomorrow? Bella: Perhaps. Today I want to know about vampires. Computer: Google records indicate that there are 401,000 books which include the word "vampire" and 4,510 magazines. Bella: I figured that would be the case. In the dream vampire boy was glowing, what do you have about glowing vampires? Computer: Google records include 4,440 books and magazines that contain the words "vampire" and "glow". Bella: There seem to be a lot of fours involved. Do any of them look interesting? Computer: The Vampire: A Casebook includes an article titled, “Forensic Pathology and the European Vampire,” which notes that the Greeks distinguished different types of revenants based on characteristics associated with actual dead bodies and two such words appear to be related to glowing. It then cites "The Chemistry of Death" to note that the glowing of dead remains is most often the result of contamination by luminous bacteria. Bella: That is interesting. Anything else? Computer: The article also opens with a quote by Rouseau. Bella: What is the quote? Computer: “If there is in this world a well-attested account, it is that of the vampires. Nothing is lacking: official reports, affidavits of well-known people, of surgeons, of priests, of magistrates; the judicial proof is most complete. And with all that, who is there who believes in vampires? Bella: Well, I believe in vampires, but only because I'm in a book about vampires. In the dream vampire-boy had black eyes, something he has also done on occasion in real life, anything on that? Computer: Google records include 1,550 books and magazines that include the word “vampire” and the phrase “black eyes” many of the first results are from Anne Rice. Bella: Ok, let's see. Is there anything else? *thinks for a moment* Are there any records of vampires being referred to as “cold ones”? Computer: Google records indicate that there are 256 books and magazines containing the word “vampire” and the phrase “cold ones” however, most of those do not appear to actually contain the phrase “cold ones” and some do not even contain the word “vampire”. Of the books that do contain both terms, the term “cold ones” is does not appear to be applied to vampires. Bella: Anything linking the Quileute people to werewolves? Computer: Google's top result is Hunter S. Thomson's The Rum Diary. Google is confused. Bella: [to no one:] Ok, this was all pointless. I'm not even sure why I was supposed to look up things on Google if I was already told, flat out, that the Cullens are vampires. Anyway, I gave it a shot, nothing came of it, I give up. [to the computer:] How about a nice game of chess?

[at the picnic benches outside the cafeteria]

Bella: I mostly worked on my essay. Well, that, and communed with nature, and had a dream that included some blatant symbolism and overblown foreshadowing. But the essay is what I'm going to focus on for the moment.
*Mike introduces his face to his hand*
Mike: Oh yeah -- that's due Thursday, right?
Bella: I don't actually know for sure, but I'm going to say Wednesday.
Mike: That's not good... What are you writing yours on?
Bella: Are you planning on stealing my ideas?
Mike: Come on, just tell me.
Bella: I'm preforming a statistical analysis on the frequency of verbs used as broken down by gender and then compared to the works of other contemporary authors in an effort to see how Shakespeare compares to the standards of his time with respect to misogyny.
*Mike stares a Bella as if she just spoke medieval Italian*
Mike: I guess I’ll have to get to work on that tonight. *sad pause* I was going to ask if you wanted to go out.
Bella: Oh?
Mike: Well we could go out for dinner or something... and I could work on it later.
Bella: Mike.
Mike: Yes, Bella?
Bella: When was the last time that we had a conversation that wasn't ruined by the awkwardness produced by you trying to convince me to go out with you in spite of my singular lack of interest in such a thing?
Mike: I... uh... well...
Bella: And how many times have I turned you down?
Mike: I've lost count.
Bella: Me too.
Mike: So that's a-
Bella: And what part of, "You creepy bastard, I don't want to go out with you," do you not understand?
Mike: Mostly the part where I'm creepy. I'm pretty sure that I act well within the standards of my-
Bella: That's part of the problem. Stop acting like Edward.
Mike: Is that it, you want to go out with Edward instead of me?
Bella: No. I don't want to go out with you because I think you're an ass. In the absence of Edward, you'd still be an ass.
Mike: But, Bella...
Bella: Ok, fine, how about this? For reasons that defy all comprehension, Jessica seems quite taken with you, so I don't want to hurt her feelings because all things considered I value her friendship a lot more than I value the time I've spent with you.
Mike: Really? Because Jessica told me that I was being a condescending ass and she wouldn't be interested in me unless I reformed.
Bella: Did she indeed?
Mike: Yeah.
*Bella smiles*
Bella: Pretty sure that's not in the script. I'm proud of her. Now go away. *looks at watch* Actually, I have to go away, it's time for class. *later* Jessica: Bella? Are you alright?
Bella: I don't know. Do I look like "Desolation hit me with crippling strength"?
Jessica: What does that even mean?
Bella: I have no idea, but it's in the text.
Jessica: I thought you were ignoring the text.
Bella: I was thinking that if I rewarded it when Edward was away, and rebelled against it when Edward was close by, maybe it would eventually create a Pavlovian association which might eventually lead to the text trying to keep Edward away from me more often.
Jessica: Could that actually work?
Bella: I have no idea, but I figured it was worth a try. I'm just worried that being so happy that Edward isn't here will show through when I'm supposed to be looking down and gloomy and whatnot.
Jessica: Well don't worry, you look whatnot and gloomy and down.
*Bella tries not to smile*
Bella: Thanks. *Bella sits next to Angela, Jessica next to Mike, who appears to be making a small effort to be less of an ass* Angela: So how goes the paper?
Bella: It's done.
Angela: Did you have any problems collecting the data?
Bella: Some. It was just plain tedious so finally I just asked Joshua to do the data collection for me. I figure that if I have a computer that can analyze language I might as well make use of him for language analysis.
Angela: Makes sense. Did you use him for the comparison as well?
Bella: I used him to compute the figures I used for the comparison, but the actual contrasting and comparing I did on my own.
Angela: Sounds good.
Bella: Are you going to ask about my conclusion?
Angela: Not right now. -- *Bella and Charlie are watching television together* Bella: You don't like this.
Charlie: True.
Bella: I don't like this.
Charlie: Also true.
Bella: Why are we watching this?
Charlie: Because to find something that we both like would require us to communicate in some way and further serve as a point of commonality over which we both might bond, that in turn would create a sense of connection between us that could eventually lead to us caring about one another which would be problematic when the time came for you to leave me forever without so much as warning me that you'll never be coming back.
Bella: So the crappy quality of our relationship is a matter of narrative convenience?
Charlie: Pretty much. Did you want popcorn?
Bella: No.
Bella: How do you feel about playing chess?
Charlie: Not a big fan.
Bella: Connect four?
Charlie: Nope.
Bella: Checkers?
Charlie: Not really in the mood.
Bella: I have a go board that was carved in the 13th century by a monk from 2052 who became stranded when his trans-flux capacitor short circuited as a result of comet dust getting into the workings. He spent five years there earning a living doing wood carving while trying to reconnect with his heritage before I arrived with the tools he needed to fix his time machine. He gave me the board as a thank you and I've never had a chance to play a game on it. How you would you like a nice game go?
Charlie: That sounds good to me. (later, talking while playing) Bella: So Jessica and Angela asked me to go dress shopping with them tomorrow night.
Charlie: Dress shopping?
Bella: For the dance.
*Charlie examines the board carefully*
Charlie: This would be the dance you're not going to?
*Charlie places his piece*
Bella: That's the one.
*Bella and Charlie quickly place half a dozen pieces in turn, then the pace reverts to the mean*
Charlie: You are aware that it's a school night, right?
Bella: I'm ahead on my work and I'll be back in time for a full night's sleep.
Charlie: And you're planning to stay with them while you're there?
Bella: Yes, why?
Charlie: Because they know which parts of the city are safe.
Bella: I'm the narrator, I'll be fine.
Charlie: Bad things happen to narrators all the time.
Bella: This book isn't going to win a Newbery Medal.
Charlie: Of course not. That's for children's books, this is young adult.
Bella: How about you, will you be ok for food?
Charlie: I would assume so, I didn't starve to death in the 17 years I was on my own.
Bella: That may be true, but do you have any idea how you managed that feat?
Charlie: No, it's not in the book.
Bella: I'll make you some sandwiches.
Charlie: Is that really necessary? I know I'm supposed to be a bad cook but what are the odds I can't make sandwiches?
Bella: What are the odds I can't walk across a flat surface?
Charlie: Ok, but I honestly feel uneasy about you having to do all the food preparation.
Bella: Well then I'll teach you some time. -



Chapter 8


Jessica: So we got our dress shopping done way sooner than expected.
Angela: Probably because we don't have that much experience with this, I mean who goes dress shopping right before an extremely minor dance?
Jessica: And the thing is...
Angela: We have no idea what to do now.
Bella: That's ok, I can feel the plot calling me elsewhere.
Jessica: You can?
Bella: Yeah, so I'll just head over this way and I'll catch up with you later.
Jessica: Is that wise?
Bella: I'll be fine.
Angela: Are you sure, because we could come with you.
Bella: You two enjoy yourselves, I'm clearly supposed to wander off on my own into the dangerous wilds of this residential small town.
Jessica: Ok, but be careful.
Bella *pats cylindrical case she's brought with her* I'm armed. I also have a cell phone and martial arts training. And, more than that, I'm the narrator.
Angela: You're sure?
Bella: Yes.
Angela *takes Jessica by the hand* Then lets go! *Angela and Jessica leave* *Bella goes to a store, waits outside* Storekeeper: Are you going to come in or not?
Bella: I'm conflicted. On the one hand I'm trying to reward the narrative when it keeps a certain character away from me. It wants me to be dismissive of you and move on. So that means I shouldn't come in. On the other hand part of me is screaming that you're just the kind of person who might have useful information, and the narrative and I don't like each other all that much, so maybe I should come in.
Storekeeper: Useful information about what?
Bella: *somewhat nervous, half expecting to be laughed at* Vampires?
Storekeeper: The kind we have around here?
Bella: Yeah.
Storekeeper: Pale as bleach with disconcerting purple scar-like circles under their eyes, perfectly comfortable in daytime but avoid direct sunlight, super fast, super strong, eyes that change color, and a superiority complex that seems like it could only have come from from over the top hyperbole?
Bella: Those are the ones.
Storekeeper: I know nothing about those vampires. I'm the wrong stereotype I'm afraid. Perhaps you should try someone less white.
Bella: I actually already have, but thanks for you time.
Storekeeper: No problem.
Bella: It was nice talking to you.
Storekeeper: You too. *Bella wanders into the nonexistent warehouse district* Bella: Phone, where am I?
Phone: You are off the edge of the map. Here there be monsters.
Bella: That's nice.
Phone: Also, you happen to be heading South South West, even though way back is North North East.
Bella: So I should turn around.
Phone: Continue in your present direction and have and unpleasant meeting in three lines.
Bella: Ok
Four Random Men: We're talking to each other too loud.
One of them: Hey, there!
Bella: Hello. (to phone:) That wasn't that unpleasant.
Phone: It's not over yet.
One of them: Hey, wait!
Bella: Sorry, just following the narrative.
Phone: Turn east now.
Bella: Before coming here I examined satellite reconnaissance of the entire area-
Phone: Why?
Bella: You have your hobbies, I have mine. Anyway, this layout is impossible. The warehouses, the barbed wire fence, the area behind the fence, none of this can be here.
Phone: I told you you were off the edge of the map. Have an unpleasant realization in one line.
Bella: I think I'm being followed.
Phone: Turn north at next intersection.
Bella: Thank you, I could have figured that out in my own.
*upon turning north*
Phone: Realize you were being herded all this time.
Bella: And how could they have been herding me given that they took no steps to control which way I turned at the intersections we passed.
Phone: No idea.
Men in front of Bella: There you are!
Men behind Bella: Yeah. We took a little detour.
Phone: Get sick of narrative and go off script.
Bella: Phone, shut up.
Phone: If I shut up, you will not be able to hear me any more. Are you sure you want me to shut up?
Bella: Yes.
*Bella mumbles about phones always asking if you want them to do the thing you just told them to do*
Bella: Creepy guys, it's been fun, but I'm ready to call this whole adventure to an end now.
Creepy guy in front of Bella: Don't be like that, sugar.
Bella: See, you're still on the script, but I'm off it. Seriously, I'm done now. I'm not playing anymore. You don't have to either. You have a choice. You can walk away now.
Jerk 1: Why would we do that?
Bella: I'm the narrator. Do you even have names?
Jerk 2: What does it matter if we have names?
Bella: Who do you think has a better chance of surviving, the one telling the story, or the unnamed characters threatening the protagonist?
Jerk 3: We're big scary men! You're just a girl.
Bella: I've toppled empires.
Jerk 1: You're bluffing.
Bella: Why would I bluff? I know when my parents were married, I know where I've spent every summer, I have a birthdate and a hair color, I've traded insults with vampires and traveled the stars, I've seen triplet moons and sailed amoungst the clouds, I once delivered a semi-mammalian squid-like thing because the doctor was out and I've rescued beautiful creatures from ravening princesses. I'm the protagonist, I do things. Do you even have back stories?
Jerk 4: It doesn't matter if we have back stories. There are four of us and only one of you.
*Bella readies her cylindrical case*
Bella: Don't say I didn't warn you.
Jerk 3: *extremely sarcastic* Oooh. What've you got there?
Bella: A pocket full of kryptonite.
*The men approach*
*Suddenly a silver Volvo screeches onto the scene*
*Bella uses the confusion created to hit one of the jerks with the case*
Edward: *Furious* Get in!
Bella: What are you doing here?
*Bella elbows a man approaching her from behind*
Bella: Are you responsible for all this?
Edward: Of course not, get in!
*Bella hits a third man with her case*
Bella: But I don't actually trust you.
Edward: Don't be stupid, I'm here to rescue you.
*The fourth man comes at Bella, she uses his momentum against him and in moments he's on the ground*
Bella: Luke Skywalker you are not.
Edward *even more furious* Get in!
Bella: Remember what I said the last time you tried to threaten me into a car?

*By the end of the fight Bella has restrained the four men via crafty deployment zip ties. She's on the phone with her father* Bella: No, I'm not tuning into a vigilante. ... I was just out for a walk. ... Look can you just call whoever and have them send someone over? ... I'm not sure, it seems to be a non-existent warehouse district. ... *checks street signs* It is on the corner of Unrealistic and Creepy. How did you ... Uh-huh. Ok. I'll be waiting.
*Bella puts phone away*
Edward: My way was better.
Bella: Your way would have left them free to do horrible things to other people.
Edward: Who cares about other people?
Bella: I do.
Edward: Well what about me? I'm furious and in a rage and I might kill someone.
Bella: It's always all about you, isn't it?
Edward: Yes!
Bella: Well if I can keep from killing them you can too.
Edward: You don't count.
Bella: And you wonder why I don't like you.
Edward: You need to distract me from my totally angst inducing deadly predator/possessive love interest rage.
Bella: If you kill anyone today I'll kick you ass.
Edward: You really don't understand the concept of-
Bella: And then drop you into the sun.
Bella: The sun, you see, is very hot. 5505 c at the surface. Which I think is just wrong. We need to find a way to raise it's temperature by 50 c. Then it would be 5555 which is much nicer looking. Anyway, the point is that if I drop you into it the experience won't be a pleasant one.
Edward: Can't you prattle about something else?
Bella: You know, *shows Edward cylinder* I haven't had a compelling reason to use this yet, and you're making me very tempted. -
Probably apocryphal:
[For context, Edward has just used his super sexy powers on the hostess at a restaurant.  These powers have previously been established to be so strong that Bella cannot speak words with more than one syllable or hold a thought in her head when he uses them on her.  Also, recall, that Edward can read the minds of everyone other than Bella, thus knows exactly the effect his super sexy powers have on people such as the hostess.  Most of the lines in what follows are canonical Twilight.]
Bella: You really shouldn’t do that to people. It’s hardly fair.
Edward: Do what?
Bella: *rolls eyes* Use your vampiric powers of glamour and beauty to force them into hypersexualized states of wanting to go along with whatever you say. She's probably masturbating in a broom closet right now just so that she can deal with the next people without the pent up need for release you've created in her.
*Edward looks confused*
Bella: Oh, come on. You have to know the effect you have on people.
Edward: I dazzle people?
Bella: You know damn well you do you mind reading jackass. 
(The above is probably apocryphal as I wasn't going to focus on the dazzling in that scene.)
But it is clearly Snarky-Bella, apocryphal or not.


Chapter 9


Bella: My mind doesn't work right? I'm a freak?
Edward: I hear voices in my mind and you're worried that you're the freak.
Bella: Thank you so much for appropriating my insecurities and doing it in the most condescending way possible.
Edward: It's what I'm here for.
Bella: You're holding something back.
Edward: Like what?
Bella: I don't know. You're the one holding it back. *pause* But you know more about not being able to read minds than you're telling me.
Edward: You can't just stick to the narrative, can you?
Bella: What do you know?
Edward: Why should I-
Bella: WHAT?
Edward: Ok. Fine. Your dad has the same thing going on, just not as strong as you. I can only hear his thoughts a little.
Bella: So it's probably a hereditary thing which isn't that strange but you were going to let me go on thinking that I was the only one on earth who had it thus giving the impression that I was a freakish freaky freak and driving my self esteem through the floor?
Edward: I want you isolated.
Edward: There are only two ways this relationship will end. Either I'll murder you, which I'm well practiced at, or I'll force you to leave everyone and everything you love. In the first case it's better if people aren't wondering what happened to you. In the second it's better if you don't have any strong relationships. In either case if I can convince you that you are an oddity unlike any other human being and in so doing make you cut yourself off from the rest of humanity things work out better for me.
Edward: So, yes, I would love for you to think you're a freak. If we can also mix in some depression, some self loathing, and a general distaste for the rest of humanity then everything will be perfect for me.
Edward: I mean it'll suck for you. But that's the plan: Make your life so generally horrible that I'm the only source of joy in it. Then you'll need me like a drug. It'll be nothing like a loving relationship, but the chemical dependency that will force you to stay with me suits my purposes just fine. After all, there's nothing about you as a person I like, I just keep you around for the smell.


Edward: You haven't asked me the most important question yet.
Bella: While that is a complete sentence its function is almost on the level of an introductory clause, and yet you've followed it with nothing. In other words: get to the point.
Edward: Aren't you concerned about my diet?
Bella: You could starve for all I care. But, "about your diet," isn't a question I could really ask, so I'm thinking that's not "the most important question".
Edward: Don't you want to know if I drink blood?
Bella: You think that's the most important question?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: Seriously?
Edward: How is it not the most important question?
Bella: Isn't it more important to ask whether you kill for your meals? Do you get it from the source or from a blood bank? What flavor of blood do you drink? Have you ever had octopus blood? I've heard it's green. Where is your blood drawn from? Does it come from willing or unwilling hosts? Is the manner of sucking closer to that of a bat or a mosquito? What effects are visited upon the hosts when you lap directly from the source? Have you ever killed anyone?
Bella: Don't these all seem to be more important questions? Hell, I drink blood. What does that tell you about me? Nothing. As it so happens I only drink my own blood and then only when I've been wounded, and then only as a byproduct of tending wounds in the lack of proper first aid or when I'm simply trying not to make a mess. Which should go to show you that how and why one goes about drinking blood is more important than the fact that one drinks it.
Edward: I hate you.
Bella: *shrugs* Well, I hate you. (Somewhat cheerful:) Glad we're on the same page.


Some more of manuscript e
[That which is in Bold Italics is from the original text, presented without modification or omission.]
"Don't go into the woods alone."
I stared a him in blank confusion, "Why?"
He frowned, his eyes were tight as he stared passed me out the window.
"I'm not always the most dangerous thing out there."
A noise made me turn my head and I saw figures emerge from the woods, talking loudly, still too far away to make out shapes or faces but voices I could manage, in fragments. Lauren was amoung them because I heard her say, "And that's why I don't invite relatives to lasertag." 
Some more discussion I couldn't hear and then Jessica, "I thought the little one was kind of cute." 
Someone said something inaudible but it must have been a request for clarification because she said, "The one with the tentacles on his," and she dropped out of hearing. 
"Is that why you went easy on him?" Angela asked.
"I just thought it was unfair to claim the highground just because we have claws and he didn't"
Lauren said, "You never give me the same consideration."
Jessica, "They lost anyway."
Angela, "And were sore losers."
Lauren: Which is why I don't invite family to lasertag.
Angela: How am I supposed to get this gunk out of my fur?"
Lauren: It'll rinse. Failing that use Dawn.
Jessica: I don't foresee any problems once I'm with a shower.
Angela: Easy for you two say, you have scales. It's all in my fur.
Lauren: We should probably let featherboy know made the right choice to not come.
Jessica: Hey! Car.
The figures seemed to change, one shrank, another evidenced hair where before I had seen none, the last seemed to resemble an sea creature somewhat less, not the the resemblance had every seemed all that strong in the first place, and all of the shapes became more human. Soon I was able to recognize them as Angela, Jessica, and Lauren. 
And they all seemed to be covered in a disgusting fibrous slime. "Hi Bella," Jessica said when they reached us leaving a glop of ick on the window, as she put her hand to it. "Glad you made it back safely, but you missed out on all the fun." 
Lauren added, "And the use of an unnecessary defensive mechanism by sore losers," shaking some of slime off her arms, but mot stubbornly remained. 
Angela said, "We'd love to stay and chat, but we all need to shower." 
And with that they walked away, the only evidence remaining the slime trails leading out of the woods, and a slimy handprint on the window. 
After a long silence Edward said, "Let's leave it at that."
[giant gap]

Chapter 11



Mike: Do you want to be a team?
*More pause*
*the silence continues*
Mike: What are you doing?
Bella: I'm parsing every possible meaning of the word "want" in this context. Do I want to be on a badminton team? No. I'd rather be raising sheep in New Zealand. Given that that's not likely and I'll either be on a team or standing alone by myself until the teacher has to remedy the situation thus drawing even more attention to me, do I want to be on a team more than the alternative? Sure, why not?
Bella: If I am to be on a team, do I want to be on a team with you? No, not really. Given that you're the only person likely to be willing to be on a team with me of your own free will, would I rather be on a team with you than someone who was being forced? Maybe. I guess. Taking suffering on myself so that others do not have to is something I'm sort of used to at this point.
Bella: Does a willingness to endure being on a team with you, and the fallout that is sure to follow as surely as the night follows the day because you have shown a total lack of willingness to change and become a better character than your writer would have you, actually constitute "want"? Not sure.
Bella: Does the fact that I fully expect you to live down to my lowest expectations indicate that I've internalized the idea that men are unchanging forces of ick, or does it mean that I've gotten a feel for the kind of novel that I'm in? Not sure. I'll have to think on that more.
Mike: So that's a "yes" then?
Bella: If it isn't, it's close enough for badminton teams.
Mike: Don't worry, I'll keep out of your way.
Bella: I wish you would, but somehow I doubt that. I would be pleasantly surprised if you proved me wrong.
* * *
Mike: So.
Bella: Mike, that's an introduction. You're supposed to follow it with something.
Mike: You and Cullen, huh?
Bella: Me and Cullen what?
Mike: Uh...
Bella: If you want a proper answer, then ask a proper question.
Mike: You're in love?
Bella: Have you ever seen any sign of that emotion pass between us, even once?
Mike: Well... no. But you are dating, right?
Bella: What business of yours would it be if that were true?
Mike: I don't like it.
Bella: You don't like the hypothetical possibility that I might be dating someone?
Mike: I just don't like it.
Bella: Any particular reason why?
Mike: He looks at you like . . . like you’re something to eat.
Bella: That probably has something to do with the fact that he's a vampire.
*Mike is left speechless*
*Bella walks to the locker room*
* * *
*Edward is waiting for Bella*
Edward: You're supposed to say, "Hi."
Bella: I'm supposed to do a lot of things.
Edward: You're supposed to breathlessly say-
Bella: If I spend all my time breathless I'll get hypoxia.
Edward: *angry* How was Gym?
Bella: Fine.
Edward: Rea-
Bella: And that is all you ever need know.
*Edward does a thing with his eyes*
*Bella looks over her shoulder*
*Mike is walking away*
Bella: What?
Edward: Newton’s getting on my nerves.
Bella: And your nerves are the only ones that matter. Is that it?


Bella *weary* Are you finished asking me questions yet?
Edward: Not in the least, are you finished giving me one word-- Shit.
Bella: What?
Edward: I just realized that the book says I am finished for now.
Bella: And you always do what the book tells you to do, don't you?
Edward: Your father will be home soon.
Bella: I've not forgotten.
Edward: But the book says-
Bella: I don't care what the book says, I'm not going to forget that my father exists until you remind me. It doesn't work that way. Now, how late it is?
Edward: It's twilight.
Bella: It's always Twilight.
Edward: No. Not Twilight the book, twilight the time of day.
Bella: I could tell that just by having my eyes open, why would you feel the need to share that?
Edward: It's the safest time of day for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way... the end of another day. The return of night. Darkness is so predictable, don't you think?
Bella: Clearly you've never met the Vashta Nerada. Predictable is not the name that comes to mind. The darkness hides from us a whole new world right here on earth, the desert comes to life, the forest can finally bustle, the bats come out. Have you ever stood in the dark on a dock under the canopy of stars watching the bats fly all around you as they kept the insect population under control? The water calm below you, only the gentlest of waves rocking the dock and disrupting the near perfect mirror of the stars above. The milky way like a stain across the sky, a million pinpricks of light, each of them another sun, except for a few that are in fact galaxys, just so far away they appear as little more than stars to us.
Bella: Without the dark we'd never see the stars. It's a shame that there's nowhere in the entire continental United States without light pollution. I'd love for it to be dark enough to get a really good view of the stars.
Bella: Not that you can see the stars here at all, on most nights.
*Edward laughs*
Bella: Yeah, it's always funny when something that gives me joy is kept away from me.
Edward: Charlie will be here in a few minutes, so unless you want to tell him that you'll be with me Sunday...
Bella: Sure, why not?
Edward: Uh, that's not what you're supposed to say.
Bella: Since when do I say what I'm supposed to say?
Edward: The writing makes clear that we're supposed to be keeping this a secret.
Bella: And you always do what you're supposed to do, don't you.
Edward: Yes. And you should too. We're characters, not the author.
Bella: Who says I can't auth?
Edward: I don't know... REALITY maybe?
Bella: Whose reality?
Edward: Screw it, I'm getting out of here and -- Not good.
Bella: What?
Edward: Another complication. *Edward starts to leave.  A different car pulls up* Charlie's around the corner.
*Edward leaves*
Jacob: Hey Bella!
Bella: Jacob?
*Jacob gets out, Bella looks in and sees Jacob's father.  Charlie's car pulls up.*


Chapter 12

Charlie: Billy!
Charlie: I'm going to pretend that I didn't see you behind the wheel, Jake.
Jacob: I'm going to pretend that I'm not shocked and appalled by your lack of knowledge of when we get our permits on the reservation.
Charlie: Crap. Sorry.
Billy: Besides, I have to get around somehow.

*They all get into the house by various means*

Charlie: This is a surprise.
Billy: It's been too long. I hope it's not a bad time.
Charlie: No, not at all. I think that the beginning of a chapter is always a great time to show up. Do tell me you'll stay for the game.
Jacob: I think that's part of the plan, otherwise I have no idea why the author decided to break our TV.
Charlie: Say what?
Jacob: Everything was going fine and then all of a sudden, after ignoring our very existence for chapters on end, the author made it part of the story that our TV was broken last week.
Billy: And, of course, Jacob was anxious to see Bella again.
Bella: I'm leaving this room in the only way a woman is permitted to leave. I'm going to the kitchen. And I'm doing it on the pretense that it is for someone else's benefit rather than my own. Are you hungry?
Jacob: Sorry, but no. We ate before we came.
Bella: Charlie?
Charlie: If it'll make you more comfortable, I can be as hungry or full as you want me to be.
Bella: Thanks, Charlie.
Charlie: What are parents for if not to blame your own decisions on when the culture tells you you need a justification beyond, "It's what I want"?
Bella: I'm sure you have use beyond that. Enjoy the game.

*Bella walks to kitchen, Jacob follows. Charlie walks to TV room, Billy follows.*

Jacob: So, how are things?
Bella: Pretty good. *smiles* You know, for once the book and I agree. Your enthusiasm is pretty hard to resist.
Jacob: Does the book say any other nice things about me?
Bella: Loads, but a lot of them play into racial stereotypes.
Jacob: *somewhat glumly* Why am I not surprised?
Bella: *in an obvious 'let's change the subject tone'* How about you, did you finish your car?
Jacob: No, I still need more parts, but thanks for the Master cylinder. We had to borrow the car we came in in.
Bella: If you can make a list, I might be able to scrounge up what you need for yours. It's one of those catch 22s in life that it's far easier to do the traveling necessary to find the parts to fix your car if your car works to bring you the places to look for such parts, but if your car works then it doesn't need to be fixed.
Jacob: Yeah, I've noticed. Speaking of, is there something wrong with the truck?
Bella: Huh?
Jacob: I noticed you weren't using it.
Bella: Yeah, I wish I were. I got a ride from a jerk.
Jacob: Jerk had a nice car, does the jerk have a name? My dad seemed to recognize him.
Bella: The Jerk is named Edward. Edward of the sparkly Cullens.
*Jacob laughs*
Jacob: Well that explains it.
Bella: Explains what?
Jacob: Why he's acting so strange.
Bella: Not a big vampire fan?
Jacob: I think I mentioned at some point that I dismiss all those suspiciously specific legends as superstition and in no way believe that I'm descended from a werewolf or two and thus, do not put stalk in... who the hell am I kidding?
Bella: Well I thought you were doing a good job until you said "put stalk in" instead of "put stock in".
Jacob: Thanks. No. He's not a big vampire fan.
Bella: You think he'll say anything to Charlie?
Jacob: No. Charlie has been known to irrationally take the Cullens side to a disproportionate degree for no apparent reason at the slightest provocation and this reunion is supposed to be about mending the rift one of those past times caused. I don't see the Cullens names being mentioned at all.
Bella: Ok. That's supposed to be good for some reason that is completely lost on me.

Jacob: You know, nothing you or I say from here until the end of the game is actually recorded in the book.
Bella: We're off the edge of the map.
Jacob: Here there be monsters.
Bella: Is there anything you'd like to talk about.
Jacob: Uhhh....
Bella: So that's a yes.
Jacob: So, what my dad said...
Bella: Which thing?
Jacob: The one about me and why we came here.
Bella: That you wanted to see me again?
Jacob: That's the one. It's true, but I was worried that it might have come across as a bit misleading.
Bella: It did have me worried a bit too, but I thought I made things pretty clear last time.
Jacob: You did. Interested in me as a friend, not as a suitor. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that I remembered that. Boundaries are clear, I wanted to see you again because you're my friend.
Bella: Good.
*Jacob looks away, becomes sort of uneasy and vulnerable*
Jacob: That said... you wouldn't happen to... happen to know how Jessica's interest falls, would you?
Bella: Sorry, but no. I have no idea.
Jacob: Because I thought we made a real connection, but maybe that's just because we both thought Mike was being an ass, so I have no idea where we stand and...
Bella: You're going to have to ask her.
Jacob: Oh, I'd love to, but I don't have a car.
Bella: Give me a parts list, I'll see how fast we can get your car fixed, but beyond that this is a conversation that has to take place between you and Jessica.
Bella: Or, you know, I could set up for the two of you to trade phone numbers or something. But fixing the car probably involves less effort on my part.
Jacob: How is that less effort?
Bella: I have to talk to less people. I'd rather drive to Seattle to buy books than talk to a librarian long enough to request a book via inter-library loan.


[The deal in question, by the way, was that Bella would get to drive.]
Bella: We made a deal.
Edward: How could I forget? You made me sign a contract.
Bella: It's not as if I don't have good reason to doubt.
Edward: In triplicate.
Bella: It would have been in blood if yours weren't so flammable. Don't want it burning up.
Edward: On three separate copies.
Bella: For a total of nine signing spaces, I remember.
Edward: Using every name I've ever used.
Bella: Now, now. Just every name you've ever used in a legally binding way.
Edward: And swear an oath upon the waters of the river Styx.
Bella: Due diligence.
Edward: Where did you get the waters of the river Styx?
Bella: From the river Styx.
Edward: But that's in the underworld.
Bella: So it would have been pretty silly of me to not get a bottle of it while I was there. *pause* I mean, how often are you in the underworld?
Edward: Most people not that much, at least not until they're not coming back. Let's get this over with.
*Bella climbs into the driver's seat, reaches over to unlock the other door. Edward mumbles something about hating being a passenger.*
Bella: Where to?
Edward: Put your seat belt on — I’m nervous already.
Bella: First, that's not an answer to the question, second, I always buckle. I was buckled before you finished telling me where to put my seat belt. Now answer the question.
Edward: Take the 101 north.
Bella: Still not an answer to the question.
*The truck roars to life and they begin to move*
Edward: Were you planning to make it out of Forks before nightfall?
Bella: This truck was ruling the road when the designer of your dinky car was still in diapers.
Edward: Why did you suddenly have a pseudo-Scottish accent at the end of that?
*Bella smiles*
Edward: You're quoting Star Trek, aren't you?
Bella: Any respectable vampire who had lived through 1992 would know the episode instantly, more so if they lived through the sixties. Triply so if they'd lived through the rebroadcast in syndication in the 1970s. Were you asleep from World War One to this year?
Edward: The one with whatshisname in-
Bella: Scotty. *beat* His name was Scotty. More properly Montgomery Scott portrayed by James Doohan.
Bella: And the point is this: Respect the truck.
Edward: Yeah, yeah.
Bella: This truck could have you there by yesterday if you'd tell me where we're going.
Edward: Turn right on the 110.
Bella: Still not an answer.
*Truck makes the turn*
Edward: Now we go until the pavement ends.
Bella: And what's where the sidewalk- sorry, pavement- ends?
Edward: A trail.
Bella: We're hiking?
Edward: Is that a problem?
Bella: Depends on the page number.
Edward: Your disability.
Bella: *affecting a male voice with an accent not her own* It just came again! Pop! It comes and goes like magic!
Bella: *a imitating a second male voice with a not her own accent* I’ll tell you our trouble mate; we’re too sober by half! Come on, I will have that drink! I think I’ll just -
Bella first voice: Christ, it’s gone again!
Bella second voice: What is it?! Some kind of deputation from Galactic Alcoholics Anonymous?!
Bella first voice: Whadda you mean by that?
Bella second voice: Well haven’t you noticed? Every time I put down the bottle it appears. And every time I pick it up again it disappears. Look! Look! I put it down… *beat* …there it is.
Bella First voice: It’s back again.
Bella second voice: I pick it up… *beat* …and poof!
Bella first voice: It’s gone.
Bella second voice: Here.
Bella first voice: Gone.
Bella second voice: Here.
Bella first voice: Gone.
Bella second voice: See? It works.
Bella first voice: But that’s mad.
Bella second voice: Well mad it may be mate, but I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not touching another drop of your filthy elderflower stuff ‘til we’re safely out of this solar system….
Edward: Finished?
Bella: For now.
Edward: You were quoting again.
Bella: Do you know what?
Bella: And you slept through Christmas Eve 1978 as well. Is there any part of history you were awake for?
Edward:*in topic changing tones* Don’t worry, it’s only five miles or so, and we’re in no hurry.
Bella: What happened to "Were you planning to make it out of Forks before nightfall?"?
Edward: We did.
Bella: Bastard.
Edward: What are you thinking?
Bella: Just wondering where we're going, you question not answering jerk.
Edward: It's a place I like to go when the weather is nice.
*both look at the thinning clouds*
Bella: Which tells me what but not where.
Edward: Did you want GPS coordinates?
Bella: That would do, or six points in space plus the point of origin.
Edward: Stargate.
Bella: That's still on the air today, you get no credit for calling that one.
Edward: Whatever.
*Bella returns her attention to the weather*
Bella: Charlie said it would be warm today.
Edward: And did you tell Charlie what you were up to?
Bella: Of course.
*Edward facepalms*
Edward: You were supposed to- this whole confrontation is supposed to be based on- For the love of God Bella! Did you at least make it so Jessica is unaware we're together?
Bella: Now why would I do a thing like-
Edward: We're characters in a story, we have to do what the story says, you're supposed to make it so no one knows we're together then I get all-
Bella: We don't have to do anything, start taking responsibility for your own actions.
Edward: How many people know?
Bella: I told various people on 18 different continents spread across six different worlds that you and I would be together. I also told them that if they didn't hear from me afterward they should come looking for you, and advised using a combination of weapons with high penetration, like the type you'd use to hit a graboid through 20 feet of dirt, and flame throwers since vampire innards are so very combustible.
Edward: You told them how to kill me?
Bella: I don't actually think you can kill me, but if you do I will not go unavenged.
Edward: You're supposed to be more concerned about minor inconveniences to me than your own life.
Bella: Not gonna happen.
Bella: Besides, if you lack self control to such a degree that you'd kill the narrator of the story you're in then you're a danger that needs to be dealt with.
* * *

*They reach the end of the road* *Bella gets out, finds it is indeed warm, takes off her top layer and ties it around her waist*
*A door slams, given the amount of doors in the area, it isn't hard to figure out which door or who is doing the slamming*
Bella *while spining around* Hey! *pointing with a whole arm and glaring* Respect the truck!
Edward: This way.
Bella: That's not where the trail is.
Edward: I said there was a trail at the end of the road, not that we were taking it.
Bella: So you're not a liar, just an asshole. *to herself* No trail.
Edward: I won't let you get lost.
Bella: It's not getting lost I worry about.
*Bella notices that Edward is wearing his shirt unbuttoned so he can show off his marble chest and abs, she ignores this*
Edward: Do you want to go home?
Bella: I haven't put up with you for this long just to turn around and go home.
*Bella looks at the lack of trail ahead*
Edward: *his voice gentle for a change* What's wrong?
Bella: And you've forgotten my disability again.


*Edward and Bella reach the meadow*
Bella: Oh, I like this. It's small enough to be cozy and big enough to stretch out. It is *pulls a device from her pocket, uses it to scan the meadow* perfectly round assuming that we count the border as where the ferns are rooted in the ground, extrapolate the rest of the border from those points using a smooth curve, and assume a million decimal places is precision enough.
*Bella turns to Edward*
Bella: I checked that by dividing the diameter by the circumference and comparing the result to one over pi. Normally you'd do the division the other way, but I finished it before I realized it was backwards and one over whatever is the mathematical equivalent of "Strike that, reverse it," when you're dealing with multiplication or division.
Bella: Not that you care. Returning to the meadow now.
*walks to the center*
Bella: It's interesting, the day is clear enough for there to be a shadow, but there's just enough mist to give this place a sort of glow as it scatters the sunlight. Though why that glow is the color of butter is somewhat lost on me. Outside of rise and set sunlight tends to give things a white glow in my experience. Maybe it's just bad writing, regardless, I like it.
Bella: It gives a sort of mystical mythical quality to the whole thing.
Bella: The grass looks soft.
*Bella sits down and begins untying her shoes*
Bella: I think I'll go barefoot.
*removes her shoes, then socks, carefully folds her socks, places them in her shoes, and then puts the shoes neatly side by side*
Bella: *on the ground, surveying the site from a different angle* I like the flowers too. Violet's a good color, yellow's not bad, and the soft white makes a nice contrast to the strangely gilded air which I swear, given the time of day and amount of atmosphere and whatnot should itself be soft white instead of golden butter colored.
*Bella turns to where she expects Edward to be, he isn't there*
Bella: And best of all there's no Edward. I could stay here all week.
Edward: You're supposed to be alarmed by my absence.
Bella *casually as she examines a flower* Oh, yes. I am filled with alarm. Great alarm. Code red. Red alert. Defcon 2 and one moment away from global thermal nuclear annihilation. I'm about to wheel out Dr. Strangelove to get advice on what to do in the face of a doomsday device going off. Ring out the church bells in panic, sound the air raid sirens, alarm has filled me.
Edward: Very funny.
Bella: Did I mention to pull the fire alarm?
Edward: No, but-
Bella: What about the smoke-
Edward: Can we just get on with it?
Bella: Carbon Monoxide alarm?
Edward: Are you finished yet?
*Bella turns her attention to another flower*
Bella: I suppose.
Bella: Where are you?
Edward: Still under the dense shade of the canopy at the edge of the hollow, watching you with cautious eyes.
Bella: Well are you going to show me the vampire sunlight connection?
Edward: You're supposed to encourage me and beckon.
Bella: (sarcastic) Yeah, that'll happen.
*Edward takes a deep breath and then steps out into the bright glow of the midday sun*


Chapter 13

Edward: Well, aren't you at least going to look at me?
Bella: (sounding tired, somewhat annoyed) Oh... right.
*Bella looks at Edward*
Bella: It's a good thing I brought my sunglasses.
*Bella puts on sunglasses*
Edward: Well...?
Bella: Remember the Bond film with Jinx in it?
Edward: Maybe.
Bella: Remember the head henchman who had diamonds stuck in his face because a bomb went off in a briefcase full of diamonds he was examining?
Edward: Is this going somewhere?
Bella: You look like him if the accident had been much, much more severe.


Edward: You know how everyone enjoys different flavors? Some people love chocolate ice cream, others prefer strawberry?
Bella: No. I've lived for seventeen years on this planet... and a few elsewhere; don't ask. I won't tell you. Anyway, seventeen years on this planet and it has never come to my attention that there might be variations in preference when it comes to taste. Tell me, do similar variations exist in preference when it comes to sound? Could that explain the myriad musical styles? Anyway, you were talking taste. It certainly has never occurred to me that people could enjoy different things, I thought that the variety of different types of cuisine was merely an artifact of not having enough of the stuff that everyone universally wanted most to go around.
Edward: Sarcasm.
Bella: You noticed?
Edward: Moving on.
Bella: Yes?
Edward: Sorry about the food analogy — I couldn’t think of another way to explain.
Bella: Clearly a failure of imagination on your part.
Edward: Come on.
Bella: You know how some people like Star Trek, and some people like Star Wars, and others like things that aren't even in the genre of science fiction?
Edward: Ok, that's one example.
Bella: You know how some people like skiing and others like sailing and others like curling up with a good book?
Edward: Listen-
Bella: You know how some people like blondes, and others like brunettes, and still others like redheads?
Edward: The point is-
Bella: You know how some people prefer missionary while others prefer-
Edward: HEY! Not cool.
Bella: You know how some people prefer jazz while others like concert band sized wind ensemble?
Edward: You already did music.
Bella: That was before you said you couldn't think of anything but food.
Edward: Can we just-
Bella: You know how some people prefer plays, others movies, others books, others comics, others tales told 'round the campfire?
Edward: I think you've made your-
Bella: You know how some people prefer Macs and others prefer anything that isn't a Mac to the extent that Mac has been officially excised from the category of personal computer to the point that PC means, "Not a Mac"?
Edward: This is getting ridiculous.
Bella: You know how some people prefer hands on learning and others prefer more abstract stuff done out of books and on the chalkboard?
Edward: Please stop.
Bella: You know how some people love roses but others prefer geraniums?
Edward: Ok, scent, that's-
Bella: I was talking about the flower as a whole.
Edward: Damn.
Bella: You know how some people love orange while others prefer purple?
Edward: If I surrender now will you stop?
Bella: Unconditional surrender?
Edward: Hell no.
Bella: You know how some people love dogs while others prefer cats?


Edward: Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon, don’t we?
Bella: I wouldn't know. That would require me to: a) know the strongest of us, b) know that they had an addiction, c) note them falling off the wagon, d) put all of that together into a pithy saying, e) see no difference between that and murder. I mean- *doing Arlo Guthrie impression* I mean- I MEAN *beat* when most people fall off the wagon it doesn't result in someone else's death.
Bella: Usually it just results in a logically impossible space ship not being flagged down with a towel. Or something like that.
Edward: Why must you always go off script?
Bella: Because the alternative would be to say something that acknowledged that you might be classed amoungst "the best of us" and I do not hold to that.
Edward: But you're supposed to.
Bella: Do you always do what you're supposed to do?
Edward: YES!
Bella: So I shouldn't have to fear you killing me, right? Because you're not supposed to do that.
Edward: No, you should have that possibility in mind because the book says it's there and the book is what you're supposed to do.
Bella: So the book trumps common sense and morality in terms of "supposed to"?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: I call bullshit.
Edward: You would.
Bella: What you're supposed to do does not include murder so if you always do what you're supposed to I have nothing to fear.
Edward: What I'm supposed to do, as a character, is follow the narrative.
Bella: Always hiding behind the moral shield of, "The narrative says this," or, "The narrative says that," never taking responsibility for your actions.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: I suppose. Where were we?
Edward: The concept of me eating you.
Bella: Ah, yes. *flatly* Are you asking my permission? *melodramatically* I mean is there no hope then?! *pause* How was that?
Edward: Horrible.
Bella: So you agree with me that the script sucks.
Edward: No. Just your delivery.
Bella: I can't take it seriously, and the fault for that rests with the writer.
Edward: What was that you said about responsibility?
Bella: What was that you said about your brothers being murders and then completely glossed over by making it sound like they went down to the pub and had a shot of tequila thus completely erasing the people whose deaths they caused from discussion by means of analogy and a cliched turn of phrase?
Edward: That was in the script.
Bella: Which was by the writer.
*awkward silence*
Bella: So if I accept your claim that the script must be followed the fault lies with whom?
Edward: Can we just-
Bella: Sure. Has all the hope been sucked from the world by your statement that even the best fall off the wagon?
Edward: No, no! Of course there’s hope! I mean, of course I won’t . . .
Bella: You see how strange and out of place that sounds at this point?
Edward: I wasn't finished yet.
Bella: You'd just stopped talking.
Edward: Could you not feel my eyes burning into yours?
Bella: Did you know that I once had tea with Medusa's surviving sisters? *beat* She was one of triplets you know, the only mortal one. So when someone wanted a gorgon head they had to go after her.
Edward: *ignoring the fact the conversation has gone off track* It’s different for us.
Bella: Because we're main characters?
Edward: Yes- no! You're not supposed to know that. You're way too meta. It's different for us because... Emmett . . . these were strangers he happened across. It was a long time ago, and he wasn’t as . . . practiced, as careful, as he is now.
*silence filled with Edward watching Bella intently*
Bella: I'm about to stick to the script. Word for word. Ellipsis for ellipsis. I'm going to do it without sarcasm or playing around. Does that make you happy?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: So if we’d met . . . oh, in a dark alley or something . . .
Edward: It took everything I had not to jump up in the middle of that class full of children and —
*Edward stops and looks away*
Bella: You are aware that I'm the same age as those "children", right, old man?
Edward resumed not having heard: When you walked past me, I could have ruined everything Carlisle has built for us, right then and there.
Bella: It's so nice to know that what Carlisle has built for you ranks above my life or death on your list of priorities.
Edward: *ignoring Bella's comment* If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years-
Bella: Hang on. How can a streak of not killing people possibly be considered "too many years"? If I live a thousand years without a single murder to my name that won't be too many years without a murder. Ditto for a million. Or a hundred million. *beat* Are there vampire dinosaurs?
Edward: Can I finish?
Bella: I'm just imagining a velociraptor, rock hard features, brilliant white plumage, deciding it doesn't give a damn about the masquerade and strolling through Times Square.
Edward: Can I Finish?
Bella: *dismissively, still thinking about vampire dinosaurs* Sure. You can even restart if you want.
Edward: If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the last, well, too many years, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.
*Edward scowls at trees*
Bella: What did the trees ever do to you?
Edward: It's in the book for fuck's sake. I didn't write it.
Bella: Then why follow it?
Edward: Because we're characters. People should know their places and my place is-
Bella: To be an asshole.
Edward: To do what the book says I do.
Bella: Then do it, and hurry up. I'm getting bored.
Edward: Ok.
*pause while Edward takes an unnecessary breath and tries to get in the right frame of mind*
*Edward glances at Bella dimly and they both recall their first meeting lo those many pages ago*
Edward: You must have thought I was possessed.
Bella: That was one of the more charitable interpretations, yes.
Edward: To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me.
Bella: Who says I'm not?
Edward: The fragrance coming off your skin . . . I thought it would make me deranged that first day.
Bella: Most people can control themselves regardless of the particles entering their nasal passages.
Edward: In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone.
Bella: Only a hundred?
Edward: And I fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to them.
Bella: Once more the life of the murder victim doesn't enter into your consideration of whether or not to commit murder.
Edward: I had to run out, to get away before I could speak the words that would make you follow. . .
*Edward pauses to scorch Bella with his eyes*
Bella: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Some of them had more impressive eyes than anything you will ever be able to muster.
*Edward continues to attempt the smolder*
Edward: You would have come.
Bella: No, I wouldn't.
Edward: Yes, you would.
Bella: No.
Edward: You totally would have-
Bella: Let's review the facts here for a moment. One: you were clearly aggressive, maintaining a threatening posture for a full fucking hour. Two: supernatural romance with aspirations, however flat they may have fallen, to romance thriller as evidenced by the prologue. Sorry, the preface. Three: your obviously inhuman form. Four: the fact that you match the profile of evil supernatural thing for the real love interest to save me from much more than that of real love interest. Five: in that hour you only came up with one hundred ways to lure me out while I came up with many times that many ways of getting away from you, labeled them with numbers (in four bases) and letters (in three alphabets) broke them down by type, and subclassified them on a scale of where they would leave you ranging from, "At large in the community," to, "Chopped into little pieces each of them drenched in silver nitrate, UV emitting fluids, essence of garlic, and so forth, locked in separate lead lined boxes, surrounded by symbols of every religion practiced in the last five thousand years, and then dropped into separate concrete foundations spread out over an area with a radius of approximately 200 miles."
Bella: At this point you're just pathetic, but at that first meeting you were downright scary.
Bella: Plus an hour is a long time to think.
Edward: *somewhat shaky at the start, but gaining force throughout* And then, as I tried to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there — in that close, warm little room, the scent was maddening.
Bella: Still blaming my BO for your murderous urges.
Edward: I so very nearly took you then.
Bella: That's comforting. Fortunately I had exit strategies.
Edward: There was only one other frail human there — so easily dealt with.
Bella: She has a name, you know.
Bella: The person whose death you were nearly responsible for just because you wanted to get to succulent me, she has a name. Ms. Cope. Maybe if you focused less on your own murderous desires and inclinations and more on the people you'd be hurting to fulfill them you'd find it easier to resist.
Bella: If all that was holding you back was being worried about ruining the life Carlisle built for you that means you were overlooking a critical factor: if you gave into your urges people would die. Focus on the people. Bring them into your fucking heart if you have one.
Bella: Think about their lives and relations and hopes and dreams and pains and fears. Think about how much they matter. People much older than you who have traveled much more widely than you have yet to meet someone who isn't important.
Bella: Each person is important, and end in themselves, not a means by which you can get the fun smelling blood. Maybe if you focused on that you'd have an easier time staying on the "not-murdering wagon". 
Bella: Failing that, you could always remind yourself that some things smell great but taste horrible.


Edward: Isabella.
Bella: *annoyed* Bella. I go by Bella. You know that. Jackass.
Edward: Bella, I couldn't live with myself if I ever hurt you.
Bella: I assume you mean physically because if if emotional harm were included you wouldn't be able to live with yourself now and you don't seem suicidal.
Edward: *ignoring her* You don't know how it's tortured me.
Bella: No, but I can put an upper bound on things. It hasn't tortured you enough to for you to stop being a complete and utter ass to me, for example.
Edward: Would you STOP That?!
Bella: OK, fine.  Carry on.
Edward: Thank You. *pause* I, um... now... where was I?
Bella: Australia?
Edward: Not funny.
Bella: It might be if you got the reference.
*Edward glares*
Bella: You were talking about how your persistent drive to kill me is way worse for you than it is for me.
Edward: Right. Thanks. *clears throat* The thought of you still cold and white-
Bella: Like a vampire?
Edward: Never to see you blush scarlet again-
Bella: Because me being alive is only important if you can see me being alive, if not for you observing it my survival is meaningless. Also, vampires can't blush. Again the traits you find nice in me are ones which are an artifact of my species, not my personality or actions or opinions. You do realize that the fact you can't hear my thoughts doesn't mean I never think, right?
Edward: to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through by pretenses.
Bella: It's not that hard. Flip a coin, did it land heads or tails rather than balanced on an edge? If yes then Edward is probably being pretentious. If it did land balanced on an edge reconsider your thoughts on life, including Edwards pretenses.
Edward: You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever.
Bella: Except you.
Edward: What?
Bella: Even if I were to accept that I was really so important to you, which would seem massively out of character for you, I would still only be the most important thing to you other than yourself. You've got an ego big enough to rival Jupiter's magnetosphere in size. There's no way I could be competing with that...
        Plus all of the things you've said about my possible death are about how annoying and unwanted it would be for you. Nothing about the fact that being dead would be sort of inconvenient for me.
        Anyway, you know well how I feel. I'm only here to progress the narrative because when the narrative isn't progressed nothing happens, and when nothing happens things get very boring very fast.
        I'm here... which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than suffer soul crushing boredom. Not that I consider myself likely to die here.
Edward *gesturing for Bella to continue* And?
Bella: And what?
Edward: You're supposed to say that you're an idiot.
Bella: Why would I do a thing like that?
*Edward facepalms and sighs*
Edward: You are an idiot.
*awkward pause that is not filled with laughing, instead Bella merely has an angry unblinking stare fixed on Edward*
Edward: And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.
Bella: That is wrong in so many ways. I don't even know where to start. I mean, you've butchered the allusion, you're using the wrong meaning of lie with, you're then jumping from sex to love as though the things that cause people to have sex are identical to the things that cause people to be in love.
         When I tend to think of cross species love I think of the crow and the black cat, but that was familial love and won't suit your purposes so you'd probably want to go with the donkey and the llama or the house cat and the bunny. On the one hand you're clearly an ass, on the other had saying that makes you the donkey is using the wrong definition of ass and an insult to all donkeys
Edward: Finished?
Bella: No.
Edward: Damn.
Bella: The most egregious thing about what you said is the claim that you're in love with me. I have yet to see even the slightest indication of that. You certainly don't respect me and it's hard to love someone you don't respect.

Edward: You are so far off the script.
Bella: You're just evading responding to the fact that you claim to love me in spite of a total lack of respect for me. Things don't add up.
Edward: I'm trying to get on with the narrative.
Bella: If you say so. I think you're trying to compare yourself to a lion because you think that will somehow be favorable when we all know that African wild dogs are really more impressive.
Edward: This isn't a book about ecology.
Bella: Whatever. Carry on *sarcastically* lion.
Edward: What a sick masochistic lion.
Bella: Tell me why you ran from me before.
Edward: You skipped like two lines.
Bella: That's not an answer.
Edward: You know why.
Bella: That's not an answer, either.
Edward: You didn't do anything wrong-
Bella: Well I know that.
Edward: It was my fault.
Bella: I thought you were incapable of uttering those words. Hang on while I etch them into my memory so that they will be preserved for all time.
Edward: You are such an ass.
Bella: I prefer to think of myself as a mirror. I am nice to the nice and mean to the mean.
Edward: Thus absolving yourself of any responsibility.
Bella: No, I take responsibility for it. I even sometimes feel guilty about how I treat you, but whenever I do you do something that reminds me why I treat you that way.
Edward: It's in the book. It's all in the book. It's not up to me, I'm just written that way.
Bella: Thus absolving yourself of any responsibility.
Edward: That's not fair.
Bella: So it's fair when you say it to me but-
Edward: No. It's not fair because when I'm an ass it's because it's in the book, when you're an ass it's because you're doing something not in the book.
Bella: If you stop being an ass because of things in the book, I'll stop being an ass when deviating from the book. Until then I fully intend to give as good as I get. And before you start, I am following the golden rule. If I were following the book when doing so required me to be a jerk I'd wantsomeone to call me on it.
Edward: *confused* Why?
Bella: So I could stop doing it.
Edward: You still fail to understand the distinction between character and author.
Bella: Ok, be a character.
Edward: I... Uh... I lost my place. That's why I was letting this tangent go on for so long.
Bella: *under her breath* 'Letting.' *To Edward* You were going to explain why you ran away like a rat from a sinking ship if the rat had been imbued with the power of the Flash. And by the Flash I don't mean Flash Gordon, though I'm sure you have tales to tell about watching the serials when they first appeared in theaters.
Edward: Ok. Um... Well... *contemplates a momentIt was just how close you were.
Bella: Ok, problem solved. I'll never be close to you again.
Edward: Most humans instinctively shy away from us, are repelled by our alienness...
Bella: I call bullshit. Not ten pages ago you were going on about how your form was that of a lure that attracted humans to you. Now you're telling me that your nature repels them. You can't have both.
Edward: You're getting your continuity all over my angst.
Bella: Your angst is nonsensical.
Edward: That's hardly my fault.
Bella: Sure it is. No one is holding a stake to your heart making you follow what has been written. Hell, I left my rail spike and sledge hammer back in the truck, which is not to say that I'm unarmed, but still.
Edward: *uneasy but trying to ignore her* I wasn't expecting you to come so close. And the smell of your throat.
Bella: That last bit is the opposite of a complete sentence, and I'd be interested in how different my throat really smells when compared to, say, my cheek or the skin covering my collarbone.
Edward: Can you just stay on script this once?
Bella: Ok, as a reward for admitting you were at fault before. Here goes: *flippantlyOk, then.*tucks in chinNo throat exposure.
Edward: *laughsNo, really, it was really more the surprise than anything else.
*Edward touches the side of Bella's neck*
*Bella, without conscious thought, pats the cylindrical case she keeps with her at times such as this, to remind her that while the sledge hammer may be in the truck, she is not unarmed.*
Edward: You see. Perfectly fine.
*Bella forces her heart rate to rise, in keeping with the text*
Edward: The blush on your cheeks is lovely.
*Bella lets her hand fall limply to her lap.*
*Edward holds Bella's face between his hands*
Edward: Be very still.
*Bella pulls away*
Bella: I need a bath.
Edward: I thought that was going well.
Bella: I'm all for giving you a basic human decency cookie for admitting you're at fault, but there are limits.
Edward: But we're supposed to keep this up for three pages.
Bella: Not going to happen.
Edward: Well then that would put us at me carrying you like a backpack.
Bella: And me getting to strangle you. I like it, I'm there, let's do this thing.
Edward: I'm suddenly less than enthused.
Bella: You're the one who's always pushing to do what the book says.
Edward: Yeah, but-
Bella: No but. I'm Yoda, you're Luke, now let me on your back so I can work you till you drop.
Edward: Ok, how does this sequence go?
Bella: 'There must be some kind of way out of here,' said the joker to the thief.
Edward: Right. You have to go.
Bella: Very astute young Skywalker.
Edward: Can I show you something?
Bella: And then I say, 'Show me what?' and you say:
Edward: I’ll show you how I travel in the forest. Don’t worry, you’ll be very safe, and we’ll get to your truck much faster.
Bella: Will you turn into a bat?
Edward: I've heard that before.
Bella: When?
Edward: What?
Bella: When have you heard that before?
Edward: Well, um...
Bella: I mean it seems like something a human would ask a vampire. A freshly turned vampire who didn't know the ins and outs of things would ask, 'Will I turn into a bat?' It's only a non-vampire who would ask, 'Will you turn into a bat?' which leaves me wondering how many non-vampires were aware of your vampiric nature that at least once in your life you had a conversation where the topic of battiness came up.
Edward: Look.
Bella: I'm looking.
Edward: My back story was never really worked out all that well so I'm just working with what I have. And what I have says that I've heard that before. It doesn't say where or when or why or how.
Bella: And you never asked.
Edward: Asked who? The author? She doesn't care about back story.
Bella: You could still ask.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: Is this the part where I get to strangle you?
Edward: Yes.
Bella: then we can get on with it.
Edward: *rote, his enthusiasm killed off by previous conversation* Come on, little coward, climb on my back.
Bella: *as she climbs on his back* Of the two of us I'm the one at greater risk by simply being here, little coward.
*Bella's arms tightly squeezing Edward's neck with a grip that would have suffocated a human*
Edward: Exhilarating, isn't it?
Bella: I have no idea how dogs do it.
Edward: Bella?
Bella: Is that actual concern I hear in your voice?
Edward: Yes, actually.
Bella: Well I do believe I need to lie down. And thanks.
Edward: Oh, sorry.
Bella: You're on the verge of being a sympathetic character, do you think you can keep this up?
Bella: I think I need help, actually. My stranglehold on you seems to have gotten stuck that way by an irrational fear of letting go.
*Edward laughs*
Bella: And I hereby deduct fifty sympathetic character points from sparklepoo.
Edward: How do you feel?
Bella: *to herself* Now he's the computer from Star Trek IV. *to Edward* I'll tell you when my mind and body start communicating again.
Bella: Dizzy, I think.
Edward: Put your head between your knees.
*Bella does so*
Bella: Good advice, you're racking up the sympathetic character points today.
Edward: I guess that wasn't the best idea.
Bella: Admitting being wrong, twice in one day no less. You're on your way to being almost likable. Don't fuck this up. Also, however ill advised it may have been, the ride was interesting.
Edward: Hah! You're as white as a ghost -- no, you're as white as me!
Bella: And you fucked it up. Royally. All of the sympathy you earned has just gone down the drain. How hard would it have been to substitute your own, non-assholic, line for that one?
Edward: It's what's in the book!
Bella: Always the excuses.
Bella: anyway, I think I should have been wearing goggles, and possibly closed my eyes on occasion, but mostly goggles and eyes front should have solved things I think.
Edward: Remember that next time.
Bella: What on earth or any other planet makes you think there will be a next time?
*Edward laughs*
Edward: Open your eyes, Bella.
Bella: I actually quite like them closed, especially with you and your magic brain killing beauty being mere inches away from my face. If I open my eyes I could lose the ability to think.
Edward: Suit yourself.
Bella: What do you want?
Edward: I was thinking while I was running...
Bella: Which means you were thinking for a few minutes. *flatly* Yay. I'm going to hazard a guess that you weren't thinking about safety.
Edward: No. But you weren't supposed to say that.
Bella: Sue me.
Edward: No, I was thinking there was something I wanted to try.
Bella: If it involved kissing me you can forget it.
Edward: But the book says-
Bella: Then kiss the god damn book.
Edward: Just a little kiss.
Bella: No.
Edward: Please?
Bella: You do realize that asking again and again until I break down and say, 'Yes,' isn't the same thing as consent, right?
Edward: This is supposed to be our first kiss.
Bella: Think of it as the first of zero if it makes you feel better. I'm going home.
Edward: Maybe you should let me drive.
Bella: I'm supposed to say, 'Are you insane?' but in truth I fail to see the connection between insanity and your poor decisions that are best explained by your controlling nature.
Edward: I can drive better than you on your best day, you have much slower reflexes.
Bella: Your reliance on reflexes indicates a disturbing lack of understanding of how a truck actually handles. Reflexes alone mean nothing. You need to steer the truck to safety with enough lead time to actually have the truck and what would have placed it in danger not be in the same place at the same time. Defensive driving isn't about reflexes, it's about planning ahead. You need to think in two dimensions of space and one of time and always keep in mind what can happen several moves ahead.
Bella: If you're relying on reflexes you're waiting until the problem is too near in time and space. That's a bad sign.
Edward: Some trust, please, Bella.
Bella: Nope. Not a chance. Trust is earned. You haven't earned it. You've done the opposite.
*Edward grabs Bella*
Bella: If you don't let go I will end you.
Edward: Bella, I’ve already expended a great deal of personal effort at this point to keep you alive. I’m not about to let you behind the wheel of a vehicle when you can’t even walk straight.
Bella: And I'm not about to let someone who doesn't respect my personal space take control of my most prized possession.
Edward: Besides, friends don't let friends drive drunk.
Bella: Ok, that non sequitur needs to be responded to on at least two different levels. First, when have you ever demonstrated anything resembling friendship towards me? Second: Drunk?
Edward: You're intoxicated by my very presence.
Bella: And you by mine, the difference is I don't like it.
Edward: Regardless, I have better reflexes.
Bella: Regardless, if you don't let go I will end you.
*Edward hesitates, unsure of what to do*
Bella: And you're on the verge of being forced to walk home. Think what would happen to the little back-story that you do have. It's supposed to be delivered on the truck ride home. If you're not in the truck it disappears. Poof.
Bella: If you let go now, get in the passenger seat, and don't slam the door, I'll let you keep your back story. If you don't at best you'll be a character without a story, at worst we'll all have to try to figure out what happens to this book when there's no Edward Cullen in it.
Bella: I vote that Alice turns Eric who then sits in on the scenes meant for you but delivers his lines with a bit more respect and grace.
*Edward lets go*
*Bella gets into the driver's seat*

Chapter 14


Bella: You seem more . . . optimistic than usual. I haven't seen you like this before.
Edward: Isn’t it supposed to be like this? *smiles* The glory of first love, and all that. It’s incredible, isn’t it, the difference between reading about something, seeing it in the pictures, and experiencing it?
Bella: I was referring to you not running away after I threatened to kill you, but as to your questions: Never been in love, wouldn't know. How it's supposed to be I also wouldn't know because I'm not a mind reader who's been around for decades compiling, even if unwittingly, a database of what first love is like. I'd have to find such a person and ask them, I wonder where one might be...
Edward: I'm going to ignore you and keep up with my lines.
Bella: Suits me, just do it quickly and then get out.
Edward: For example, the emotion of jealousy. I've read about it a thousand times seen actors portray it in a thousand different plays and movies.
Bella: Experienced it vicariously by reading a thousand different minds.
Edward: Let me finish.
Bella: And I thought it was "pictures", not "movies". Next it'll by "talkies".
Edward: Stop.
Bella: And when you say "a thousand" is it precisely a thousand of each, or one thousand two hundred twenty four there, nine hundred eighty six here?
Edward: Shut Up!
Bella: Touchy?
Charlie: Bells, I heard shouting.
Bella: It's just a vampire, I'll be fine.
Edward: He's not supposed to know I'm here.
Charlie: You sure?
Bella: Yup.
Charlie: I'll be checking to make sure you're sleeping well in in three pages.
Bella: I won't be.
Charlie: See you then.
Edward: Can I finish now?
Bella: Will you refrain from bothering my dad with your shouting?
Edward: I only shouted because... fuck it. (quickly, as someone who is afraid they won't have time to finish.) Jealousy. I believed I understood that one pretty clearly. But it shocked me . . . *grimace* Do you remember the day that Mike asked you to the dance?
Bella: When you were obviously eavesdropping? Yeah. As I recall you started talking to me again when that very class ended.
Edward: I was surprised by the flare of resentment, almost fury, that I felt -- I didn't recognize what it was at first.
Bella: But now you see it as a sign of a controlling attitude and are going to a therapist to get help.
Edward: No.
Bella: Damn.
Edward: I was even more aggravated than usual that I didn't know what you were thinking, why you refused him.
Bella: It's none of your business at all, but I'll indulge you: I did not want to go to the dance.
Edward: You're not supposed to interrupt. This is a monologue.
Bella: That goes on for almost exactly a page. It's too long to listen to you drone without a break.
Edward: AnywayWas it it simply for your friend's sake? Was there someone else? I knew I had no right to care either way.
Bella: Good.
Edward: tried not to care.
Bella: Better.
Edward: And then the line started forming.
*Bella scowls*
Edward: I waited, unreasonably anxious to hear what you would say to them, to watch your expressions.
Bella: Stalker.
Edward: I couldn't--
Bella: Wait. How is this in any way trying not to care? It doesn't sound like you were trying at all.
*Edward ignores her and restarts his sentence*
Edward:I couldn't deny the relief I felt, watching the annoyance on your face.
Bella: Ass-Hole. Seriously, me annoyed makes you relieved? How fucked up can you be?
Edward: I--
Bella: And I note that even after I was annoyed at being asked out twice you forced me to be asked out a third time by starting a traffic jam. And then asked if you could go to Seattle with me in a way that seemed like you were asking me out for time number four.
Edward: I really don't--
Bella: And do you also remember me talking about rail spikes that day
*Edward flinches*
Bella: Look on the desk over there.
*Bella points to a rail spike*
Edward: Moving on.
Bella: Oh do please.
Edward: That was the first night I came here.
Bella: I am totally getting bear traps.
Edward: I wrestled all night, while watching you sleep, with the chasm between what I knew was right, moral, ethical, and what I wanted.
Bella: Like wanting to invade someone's bedroom and knowing that's a serious violation?
Edward: No, not that.
Bella: Also you can't really wrestle with a chasm. Your metaphor is a chimera.
Edward: (In the tone of someone insisting things get back on topic) I knew that if I continued to ignore you as I should, or if I left for a few years, till you were gone, that someday you would say yes to Mike, or someone like him. It made me angry.
Bella: There are not words to describe how fucked up that is. I shall not even try.
Edward: And then, as you were sleeping, you said my name.
Bella: Did I indeed?
Edward: You spoke so clearly, at first I thought you’d woken. But you rolled over restlessly and mumbled my name once more, and sighed.
Bella: Was it a sigh of, "Damn is it going to be hard to come up with a way to kill him"-ness?
Edward: No. It wasn't. Damn it, this is romantic.
Bella: (sarcasm on full) If you say so.
Edward: The feeling that coursed through me then was unnerving, staggering.
Bella: So I'm not the only one who has the freakish reaction to hearing your name.
Edward: And I knew I couldn’t ignore you any longer.
*a moment's silence*
Edward: But jealousy . . . it's such a strange thing. So much more powerful than I would have thought.
Bella: So when I tell you I'm thinking of asking out Jessica...
Edward: You Wouldn't! You Can't!
Bella: (calmly) I'm not.
Charlie: Bells, I heard more shouting.
Bella: Still a vampire, no need for concern.
Charlie: See you in two pages.
Bella: (to Edward) I'm not interested and Jessica already has two suitors that I know of. Three if you count Mike, but who would?
Edward: Mike! Exactly, Mike. That can get us back on topic. So, Jealousy: strange, powerful.  And irrational! Just now, when Charlie asked you about that vile Mike Newton *shakes head angrily*
Bella: Mike is you with less potency. If he's vile, and he certainly is more often than not, think about what that makes you.
Edward: Can we change the topic?
Bella: Ok. I should have known you'd be listening.
Edward: Of course.
Bella: Because it is blatantly obvious that the expectation of privacy in a conversation with my father in our own house is completely irrational. You, the stalker, are like a force of nature such that when you do something awful the only response can be, 'Of course.'
Edward: It's ROMANTIC.
Bella: It's ILLEGAL.
Bella: My dad asking me if I was interested in someone you know for a fact I'm not interested in,That made you feel jealous, though, really?
Edward:I'm new at this; your resurrecting the human in me--
Bella: Only if "human" has been redefined to mean "creepy ass".


Chapter 15

[Bella has previously pondered getting bear traps as a solution to Edward breaking into her room.]

*the sound of a bear trap being set off*
Edward: Fuck! Oh, god, god, god-
Bella: (groggy, only half awake) Which god do you think would care enough about you to answer?
Edward: How the hell did you get one and set it up so fast? And GET IT OFF!
Bella: (falling back into full sleep) You'll wake Charlie. *long pause* Didn't I tell you to stay out of my room?
Edward: (quickly) I was supposed to stay the full night so I had to come back. (insistently) Now get it off.
Bella: (Mostly asleep, barely audible) I'm not supposed to wake up until sunlight, you're the one who's always saying follow... (And she's asleep)

*Dawn comes and Bella shifts in her sleep to cover her eyes with an arm and keep the light at bay. In spite of the that the muted light of the cloudy day eventually wakes her*
Edward: Bear trap.
Bella: Almost entirely sure that that's not supposed to be your first line.
Edward: Metal mouth on my leg that you have somehow fitted with a complex locking mechanism such that I can't open it and is almost inconceivably strong thus meaning I can't pry it open.
Bella: It is from the 29th century, and also designed to be very humane.  I'm not sure whether that's a plus or a minus.  On the one hand, unlike you I'm not sadistic so you not being in terrible pain all over my room for an extended period is arguably a good thing.  On the other hand, this is you that we're talking about.
Edward: GET IT OFF!
Bella: You'll startle Charlie.
Edward: He left an hour ago — after -- This is not the order the lines are supposed to go in.
Bella: Totally not my fault, home invader.
Edward: (doing his best to maintain a non-asshole tone) Would you please get this thing off my leg?
Bella: If you insist.
*Bella pulls out her sonic screwdriver and deactivates the locking mechanism she installed on the bear trap*
Bella: Now, what was it you wanted to talk about?

Edward: "Your hair looks like a haystack..."
Bella: Thick, blonde, and rigid?
Edward: but I like it.
Bella: Meaning you don't like haystacks and consider the first part of your sentence to be an insult. You really did internalize the whole player culture negging thing, didn't you?
Edward: You're trying to set me up because you know my next line is, "Of course."
Bella: (mock innocence) What? Me? Play with the book as written to put you into uncomfortable situations? Never.
Edward: Can we at least try to stay on topic? Is there anything you thought was a dream?
Bella: When you stepped in that bear trap I was sure it was a dream. Except not sure. Considering the possibility is more like it if we're going for accuracy. I had in mind the possibility that it was just a pleasant dream.
Edward: (scoffingYou're not that creative.
Bella: Aren't you an asshole?
Edward: You aren't. [said in such a way that, "that creative" is understood as what she isn't.]
Bella: Excuse me?
*Bella tells a complex narrative about how a crossed wire during a lightning storm led to a video game character gaining sentience, escaping her game onto the internet, successfully lobbying for AI rights, and 35 years later running for, and being elected to, the office of the president of the United States*
Bella: and I made that up on the spot.
Edward: Caring about this: I am not doing it.
Bella: But it was a good story. I mean it could use some polish, but first drafts are always like that.
Edward: It was pointless.
*Bella is visibly pissed off*
Edward: This is the part where you were actually supposed to bring up Charlie.
*Bella glares*
Edward: (annoyed) Fine. (matter of factly) He left an hour ago — after reattaching your battery cables, I might add.
Bella: You might add it, but will you? Additionally, I call bullshit.
Edward: What? That's exposition right from the book, what could possibly be wrong with it?
Bella: Unlike you, Charlie knows better than to disrespect my truck.
Edward: Says wh--
Bella: Unlike you he isn't trying to control my life.
Edward: That's what you-
Bella: Additionally he trusts me so there would be no point.
Edward: Whatever.
Bella: Plus I had to use the truck to get the bear trap.
Edward: (shock) And he let you? (annoyed) That's not AT ALL how Charlie is written. (anger) How the hell do you keep getting people to defy the narrative?
Bella: I prefer to think of myself as showing them that there is a choice, what they do from there is up to them.
Edward: Back on topic. I have to admit I was disappointed. Is that really all it would take to stop you, if you were determined to go?
Bella: If someone sabotaged my truck there is no force in Heaven or on Earth that could stop me from avenging it. Hell is right out. It does not stand a chance of hindering me.
Edward: Uh... that's not what I meant.
Bella: Who says I care what you mean?
Bella: Where were we?
Edward: Uh... you should be deliberating where you stand.
Bella: I'm skipping some lines. I need another human minute. And my minute I mean hour, and by hour I mean day, and by day I mean--
Edward: Month.
Bella: And by month I mean year--
Edward: And by year you mean decade.
Bella: And by decade I mean lifetime.
Edward: I’ll wait. For precisely 60 seconds.
Bella: Then you'll walk in on me brushing my teeth.
*Bella goes to brush her teeth*
*it takes more than 60 seconds; Edward waits anyway*
*Bella returns*
Edward: Welcome back.
Bella: To a bunch of dialog that doesn't make sense as we've firmly established that you were not here all night.
Edward: You're not going to say you love me, are you?
Bella: I would have liked to say I loved the man, but I didn't like to lie.
Edward: You're quoting again.
Bella: Do you know what?
*pause as Edward has no idea what she's quoting*
Bella: Dan Fogelberg is officially added to the list of people, places, and things that you should know about but don't.
Edward: (obvious subject changing): Breakfast time.
*Bella clutches her throat with both hands and stares at him with wide eyes*
*Shock crosses Edward's face.*

Bella: You are such an easy mark.
Edward: Quoting again. Your voice changes when you do it.
Bella: And I'm guessing you again have no idea what I'm quoting. *pause* Yup, no idea. You are a cultural void. Is there anything to suggest that you actually existed in the years between when you became a vampire and today?
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: No, actually. Not going along with the next scene.


*Bella deciding what to wear*
Bella: Heavy armor, or light and agile? Heavy armor, or light and agile?
*she finally decided on light and agile*
*Bella puts on the clothes she wore to Port Angles, what she has come to call her hunting clothes: light, inconspicuous, and no matter how much she tried to wash them the smell of violence still lingered*
*Bella glances in the mirror*
*she sees her hair is "entirely impossible"*
Bella: Hair, you cannot be a Klein bottle in three dimensional space. It simply does not work.
*she pulls it into a ponytail*
Bella: (to narrative) I will not bound. (to Edward) Okay. I'm decent. (under her breath) As if being otherwise has ever stopped you.
Edward: (into her ear) Wrong again.
*Bella pushes him away*
Bella: About what?
Edward: You are utterly indecent--
Bella: We clearly have very different standards of what that word means.
Edward: (continued, not having heard) no one should look so tempting.
Bella: Sexy-fun times tempting, or shrimp on a pizza tempting? Either way, I can change...
*Edward sighs and shakes his head*
Edward: You are so absurd.
Bella: And you are such an ass.
*Edward tries to kiss Bella*
*Bella retaliates with what some would call undue force, but the hearing was ultimately inconclusive and the charges were dropped*
[The narrative resumes]
Edward: Shall I explain how you are tempting me?
Bella: One, I really feel like that should be "tempting to me. The way you said it makes it seem that I'm controlling your emotions and the responsibility for whatever comes to pass lies with me. It does not. It's all on you. Your emotions and urges are yours to control. I do not have magic manipulation powers. That's your brother.
Bella: Two, I'd rather you not. I mean I did when I thought you might use words but if it involves touching me HELL NO.
Edward: That was supposed to be a rhetorical question.
Bella: If you didn't want an answer you shouldn't have asked.
Edward: The TEXT SAYS, "It was clearly a rhetorical question."
Bella: Not so clear to me.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: Let's skip to the next page.
Edward: (angry) Fine. (More neutral) Do you feel sick?
Bella: All the damn time.
Edward: I can't take you anywhere like this.
Bella: You can't take me anywhere period. I move as I choose in ways you could not begin to comprehend if you spent a thousand years trying.
Edward: I call bullshit.
Bella: Whatever, let's just get this scene over with already.
Edward: (smugly) The text says I get to drive.
Bella: The text can go to hell.
[At the house]
Bella: Whoa this story just got meta.
Edward: What?
Bella: Listen to this: "I could hear the river close by, hidden in the obscurity of the forest."
Edward: What does that even mean?
Bella: It means that the river couldn't be found because the forest it winds through is so obscure it can't be looked up. It's like we wandered out of young adult supernatural romance and into an encyclopedia that was very honest about its own shortcomings.
Edward: It doesn't really mean that, does it?
Bella: That or neither the Author nor the Editor understands the English language.
Edward: I'm going with option two.
Bella: Then we're in agreement. Now I'm supposed to "Wow." at your house even though it has the most boring description ever.
Edward: You like it?
Bella: If we ignore the anachronism, the blocky design style, the way it doesn't fit well with the setting, the fact that it's too large, the absurdity, and so forth, then... I suppose it ... has a certain charm.
*Edward tries to pull on Bella's hair*
*Bella glares*
Bella: Don't. Just don't.
*Edward opens Bella's door*
Edward: Ready?
Bella: Never ready; always jumping into things.
Edward: You look lovely.
Bella: (shock) Was that a compliment?
Bella: An actual, not backhanded, no negging, compliment?

Bella: Why is it so white in here?
Alice: It's easier that way.
Bella: Easier? In the middle of a forest??
Alice: Yes, because... I could look into the future to find out but I'll just ask. How are you with bodily function talk?
Bella: I think I do ok.
Alice: Ok. You've noticed how we don't eat.
Bella: Yes.
Alice: Well we don't defecate or urinate either, we just sort of excrete.
Bella: Excrete what?
Alice: Still looking into that, but the thing is that it bleeds the colors from whatever it has prolonged exposure to. If everything weren't white there'd be white spots all over.
Bella: And school isn't affected because?
Alice: Don't delve into anything in this book to deeply. *beat* Well, do, if you want to, but get a degree in molecular biology first and realize that the Author didn't have one.
Bella: You have a theory. Don't you?
Alice: I think human touch, oils and sweat and whatnot, neutralizes the effect. So it's only here, where there are generally no humans, that it's a problem.


Bella: Hey, Carlisle.
Carlisle: Am I still trying to be as suspicious as possible?
Edward: NO! Pay attention the story.
Carlisle: Ok, because last time I was...
Bella: I remember. How are you?
Carlisle: Fine, and you look better than last time.
Bella: Probably because Edward hasn't tackled me recently, bounced my head off the pavement like a basket ball, lied to me, and tried to gaslight me in the recent past.
Carlisle: That would do it.
Carlisle: This is my wife, Esme.
Bella: Why is it hard to focus on you or get a sense what you look like?
Esme: Because my description is sort of impossible. I'm straight and curved, you see.
Bella: That would do it.
Bella: And your clothing, both of your clothes, is impossible to focus on why?
Esme: Because it's impossible too.
Carlisle: The text says the colors match the room.
Esme: But the single most established fact about the room is that it's colorless.
Bella: Meaning no colors match the room.
Esme: Exactly.
Alice: (bored) Hey, Edward.
Edward: You were supposed to come running down the stairs.
Alice: But I already came down to greet Bella.
Edward: You weren't supposed to.
Bella: So what's this I hear about you betting on murder?
Alice: Silly thing. I told them you wouldn't kill Edward.
Edward: (shock) You were betting on whether or not she would kill me?
*Alice nods*


Chapter 16


*Edward tries to strap Bella into the Jeep*
Bella: I am totally capable of putting a harness on myself thank you very much.
Edward: But the book says--
Bella: This is fiction, damn it. In fiction the people who do things by the book are always wrong. It's in real life when going by the book pays off.
Edward: This isn't a crime show.
Bella: Then why am I the badass daughter of the local sheriff who finds herself embroiled in a cobweb of lies and whatnot going back centuries and inextricably linked to *as melodramatically as she can* murder.
Edward: I think you took the wrong details away from the spark notes.
Bella: Next thing you'll be telling me that the Volturi aren't a centuries old cult that engages in human sacrifice.
Edward: That may be a technically accurate way to describe them but it's totally missing the point.
Bella: Says the person who still thinks that appealing to what the book says will have any effect upon me.
Edward: Whatever.
Bella: You know what the book says. The book says "This is a . . . um . . . big Jeep you have." which is totally not sexual innuendo at all.
Edward: It's not!
Bella: Why not?
Edward: It’s Emmett’s.
Bella: Makes sense. The book keeps on saying you have a body like a Greek God, and that means teeny-tiny penis so I guess Emmett gets the fully loaded 747 and you get the puddle jumper.
Bella: Go on. Say it.
Bella: You know you want to. Prove you took anatomy class.
Edward: That's not what "Greek God" means.
Bella: If you're not a Satyr, which you're not, Greek God totally means small genitalia. It's supposed to be a physical symbol of the emotional control you totally lack in all non-symbolic capacities.
Edward: It can mean other things.
Bella: Do you have a beard?
Edward: No.
Bella: Wings like Eros?
Edward: No.
Bella: A bow with which you can shoot plague arrows?
Edward: No.
Bella: Then you're not exactly resembling a Greek God in any other way.
Edward: Can we get on with it?
Bella: By all means. My, what big eyes you have.
Edward: Wrong story.
Bella: It's still your line.
Edward: What? Right. Um... I didn’t think you’d want to run the whole way.
Bella: Which logically means I'll still be running part of the way.
Edward: You’re not going to run.
Bella: For the love of fuck, I’m going to be sick.
Edward: Keep your eyes closed, you’ll be fine.
Bella: So totally not why I'm going to be sick.

* * *

Edward: Sorry, Bella, we have to go on foot from here.
Bella: You know what? I’ll just wait here.
Edward Hmmm . . . It seems I’m going to have to tamper with your memory.
Bella: In several cultures that was outlawed before the death penalty. In others they just kill anyone who so much as suggests doing such a thing with stones.

Edward: It’s over, Bella.
Bella: Sweet! I've got so many other things to do. I can't believe this book is finally over. In my travels met a nice lesbian couple and when the redhead was my age she was a main character too but instead of being stuck in abstinence porn she was saving the world and had been for years.
Edward: I meant the running was over.
Bella: Oh!
Bella: Oh, you’re the only one who’s allowed to get mad?
Edward: I wasn’t mad at you.”
*Bella begins to turn away*
*Edward tries to hold onto her*
Bella: If you don't let go this book will abruptly end in Chapter 15.
*Edward releases her*
Bella: You were mad.
Edward: Yes.
Bella: But you just said —
Edward: That I wasn’t mad at you. Can’t you see that, Bella?
Bella: Not really. All signs really point to me as being the target of your irrational anger.
Edward: Seriously, that's not it.
Bella: Then why?
Edward: I infuriate myself,
Bella: And then take it out on me.
Edward: The way I can’t seem to keep from putting you in danger.
Bella: You could start by actually trying.
Edward: My very existence puts you at risk.
Bella: I think it's more your behavior than your existence.
Edward: Sometimes I truly hate myself.
Bella: With good reason.
Edward: I should be stronger,
Bella: No argument from me there.
Edward: I should be able to —
Bella: Yes, you should.
Edward: I love you
Bella: Could have fooled me.
Edward: It’s a poor excuse for what I’m doing
Bella: It's not an excuse for anything.
Edward: but it’s still true.
Bella: Love is what you do, so I call bullshit.
Edward: Now, please try to behave yourself
Bella: I think you're forgetting which of us has the problem here.

[rest of the book is entirely a gap]


New Moon

[Inspired by an excerpt from The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide.  The excerpt reads:
Sometime during the summer following her junior year, Lauren was approached by an alleged modeling agent in a mall in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He told her she was a natural model, and Lauren agreed with him. The agent told her that if she cut her long hair into a shorter, edgier look and had some high-quality headshots taken, her future would be assured. Lauren followed his instructions -- spending three hundred dollars on a haircut and fifteen grand on pictures taken by the agent’s partner -- and never heard from the agent again.]

Lauren is sitting on the side of the road, dejected. Her previously long hair now short. Bella pulls up in her truck and gets out.
Lauren: (her voice is soft, weary) Hey Bella, I'm not really up for a standoff right now.
Bella: That's ok. I'm not looking for one.
*Bella sits next to Lauren*
Lauren: I've had a bad... week? Month? I don't even know. Everything seemed to be going so well and then it just...
*Lauren hangs her head*
Bella: I know.
*Lauren looks up quickly*
Lauren: You know? How could you know?
*Bella holds up a book*
Bella: It's in the guide.
Lauren: Can I see that?
*Bella hands it over*
Lauren: This is more than half my description. It's like it's the only important thing that ever happened in my life is getting ripped off. What the hell was the point of all this?
Lauren: Please tell me it's relevant to the plot.
Bella: It doesn't seem to be.
Lauren: Fuckernutter.
*Lauren goes back to hanging her head*
Bella: Lauren?
Lauren: Yes?
Bella: I know we're supposed to hate each other, but if there's anything I can do...
Lauren: That's very sweet, but I don't think there is.
Bella: Well is there anything you've been wanting to do?
Lauren: (even sadder) That's the worst part.
Bella: Sorry.
Lauren: No, you don't have to- it's not your fault. You couldn't have known.
Lauren: It's just... I've always wanted to go to Italy, and I saved up enough to get there, but then this guy comes along and he really had me convinced I could be a model. I... I checked. I looked at his website, I scoped out his office, I didn't do as much as I should but he really looked legit and one of the things he said was that he could get me working in Italy. Venice, Florence, Milan, everything I'd ever wanted. So *sniffle* when I needed some money up front I took it out of my savings for the Italy trip because I was going to go there as a model anyway. And-
*Lauren looks at the ground in silence*
*Bella tries to reassure her with a hand on the shoulder*
Lauren: and now I don't have enough to go. I've been looking forward to it for a year.
Bella: Then the solution is obvious.
Lauren: No, it isn't.
Bella: We'll get you to Italy.
Lauren: How?
Bella: In my truck.
*Lauren just looks at Bella*
Bella: I'm serious.
Lauren: You do realize there's an ocean in the way, right?
Bella: You think in such two dimensional ways.
*more of Lauren just looking Bella*
Bella: What? The surface of a sphere is a two dimensional surface. It's not Euclidean but it's... never mind. Let me show you.
*Bella stands up and offers Lauren a hand*
*Lauren doesn't respond*
Bella: I promise I won't bite.
*Lauren accepts and they go to the truck*
*Bella opens the panel in the driver's side floor*
*Lauren looks down the shaft, then under the truck, then back down the shaft*
Lauren: How is this possible?
Bella: Oh that's just the start. Down the ladder, down the hall, hang a right, another hall, and we can start this truck on its way to Italy.
*Bella starts climbing into the truck*
Bella: Where did you want to go first?
*Bella disappears into the truck*
Bella: You coming?
Lauren: (to herself) What the hell. (to Bella) I'm coming.
*Lauren disappears into the truck*
* * *
Lauren: I can't believe I lost fifteen hundred dollars.
Bella: Thousand.
Lauren: What?
Bella: Fifteen thousand dollars.
Lauren: No...
Bella: The guide says fifteen grand.
Lauren: Let me see that.
Lauren: This can't be right. I might have been too excited for due diligence, but I wasn't that overeager and I've never been quite that reckless.
Bella: I have.
Lauren: Yeah, but... but you're the main character in a badly written book. The plot doesn't move if you're not reckless. What happened to me doesn't even factor into the plot.
Bella: Maybe the author just doesn't like you.
Lauren: I'm telling you, I didn't spend that much. *beat* Does this thing have an internet connection?
Bella: Yeah, the computer terminal's over there.
*Lauren goes, the keyboard is taken from a typewriter, she logs into her bank's website*
Lauren: (sounding defeated) Yup. Fifteen thousand less. That's... absurd.
Bella: Maybe they charged you ten times.
Lauren: Or added a zero.
Lauren: How am I going to make that back? That's like 30% of the median annual household income.
Bella: Really?
Lauren: This is 2006 right?
Bella: I think so.
Lauren: Then it's a little over 29.86%, which is like 30%. The median annual household income is 50,233.
Bella: Did not know that.
Lauren: The question remains, how am I supposed to make up a loss like that?
Bella: Well... this is just a suggestion, but... we could rob a bank.
Lauren: What?
Bella: There are these evil Italian vampires, and we're in Italy, and presumably they keep their savings somewhere, so it seems that a logical solution would be to rob a bank.
Lauren: Evil Italian vampires?
Bella: Yeah, I'm not supposed to know about them yet, but
*Bella picks up the official illustrated guide*
Lauren: You've read the guide.
Bella: It makes things more bearable when you know what's coming.

[And then they rob a bank, specifically safe-deposit boxes with diamonds in them. I picture Bella making announcements and Lauren translating them into Italian. She'd start by quoting Serenity, "This is a robbery but we're after is not yours."]


[This was actually written earlier than the above, but would obviously take place after they'd stolen the evil vampires' diamonds:]

"We have millions of dollars in diamonds!"
"I only need 15,000 from my share."
"I just want to get back to where I started."
"Yeah, but... millions of dollars."
"I just want 15,000"
"Come on, you should at least get 100 grand for your troubles."
"Well... ok."

[And then they work out what they'll charge per diamond based on what it takes to get that amount, and are thus selling them at well below their market value.]
The Distant Future
[At a Museum.]

Bella: Truck?
*Runs over to it*
Bella: It is you. I thought I lost you.
Museum worker: You can't touch the exhibits.
Bella: Have you been waiting all this time?
*Bella gets into the truck*
Bella: I missed you so much and-
*Hollow sound*
Bella: Huh? *looks* There shouldn't be a panel here.
Museum Worker: Miss, I have to ask you to get out of the exhibit.
*Bella is now upside down, examining the floor*
Bella: What's under this?
*Bella pulls on the panel*
Museum Worker: You can't do that! Security is on its way already so please make it easy on yourself and-
Museum Worker and Bella in unison as Bella discovers an impossibly large cavity under the floor panel: What the hell?
*Bella disappears in the hole, then pops her head back up*
Bella: I'll just be a minute.
*Bella pulls the panel back into place over the hole, and a locking sound is heard*
*Security arrives, the Museum Worker doesn't even attempt to explain what happened, pretends Bella ran away*
[Inside the truck.]
*Bella walks around a maze of passageways and chambers.*
Bella: You have changed my friend.
*Comes to a control room, a familiar style of hexagonal console made out of the same rusted metal as her truck*
Bella: I like it.
*checks the readouts on the controls*
Bella: Is this because of the coral I left in the glove compartment, by any chance?
Because ... why not? I have no justification for making Bella's truck into a Tardis other than:
1 She's not going to want to travel space and time without her truck.
2 I think it would be cool.
3 Nothing else.

God only knows when

The Doctor: You can't kill a stone.
Bella: No, but you can break it into little pieces and then look away so the former stone will have time to bleed to death.
The Doctor: This stone doesn't break like that.
Bella: Since when does stone not break?
The Doctor: Look, people think that things make sense but when you look at it from a not linear, non-subjective standpoint it's all just this big ball of wibildy wobbly-
Bella: Plot.
The Doctor: Yes. Plot. And the plot says you can't kill a stone.
Bella: So I should just leave my chisel and mallet at home.
The Doctor: Why do you have a... no, I don't want to know.
Bella: So, in conclusion...
The Doctor: Yes?
Bella: If they did turn to stone they'd be incredibly killable, but they don't turn to stone, they turn to something else that is for whatever reason unable to be broken in a way that would kill the angels, and we just call that something else "stone" because single syllable words are convenient. Is that about right?
The Doctor: Yes.
Bella: And you have a British accent in spite of being from Golgafrincham, wait, that's not right, Gallifrey why?
The Doctor: Why does everyone care so much about my accent? (Seriously, how many times did we have to hear, "Well, plenty of planets have a north."?)

[Snarky Twilight Index]

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