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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Twenty-One)

Wow. I had forgotten what a horrible, unforgivable cliffhanger I ended on last time. Oops. Sorry about that. Well, without further ado. 

Here we go again.

Chapter Thirteen

Alternate motive: “Edward in the sunlight was shocking. I couldn’t get used to it, though I'd been staring at him all afternoon.”

This had nothing to do with his stupidly shiny skin, of course. I just find his gorgeous arm hair absolutely fascinating for some reason.

Get the shovel!: “His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday's hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.”

Thar be diamonds in that there skin! Get the shovels, boys! We’re going on a mining expedition. That boy oughta be worth millions.

MILLIONS, I SAY! Muahahaha!

Comparisons: “The meadow, so spectacular to me at first, paled next to his magnificence.”

And his magnificence paled next to my marvelous ability to superfluously overstate my incredulity at the grandeur of his awe-inspiring visage. 

Careful now: “Hesitantly, always afraid, even now, that he would disappear like a mirage, too beautiful to be real... hesitantly, I reached out one finger and stroked the back of his shimmering hand, where it lay within my reach.”

Carefully, I, with much care, inserted, with my keyboard, as many commas as I, under my own power, reasonably could... because I wanted, wished, longed for, the sentence, which I wrote, in my novel, to be as long and awkward as possible.

In the details: “I lightly trailed my hand over the perfect muscles of his arm, followed the faint pattern of bluish veins inside the crease at his elbow.”

Once again, Steph displays a frankly amazing ability to make her descriptions feel creepy, obsessive, and unappealing instead of desirable. Here’s a hint: very few people find elbow creases attractive, much less the veins within them. Yeesh.

“I stared at his slightly bent nose and admired the greasy sheen which covered the deep black pores scattered all over his skin. I wanted to reach out and touch the tiny hair that was sticking out of his left nostril and caress it as if it would leave me forever if I didn’t.”

Sound about right?

Case in point: “I smelled his cool breath in my face. Sweet, delicious, the scent made my mouth water.”

Eew! Case in freakin’ point. That’s disgusting!

Who finds these passages attractive? Most of them sound more like awkward anatomy lessons than loving descriptions of a significant other, and then there’s sentences like these that just come off as freakish.

His breath shouldn’t be cool in the first place, but that’s not even the worst part. Have you ever smelled anyone’s breath that was sweet and delicious? How about mouth-watering?

Mouth-watering breath? Really? 


Screwy metaphor: “He'd never been less human... or more beautiful. Face ashen, eyes wide, I sat like a bird locked in the eyes of a snake.”

Yeah, except the bird is supposed to be deathly afraid of the snake, not madly in love with it. Steph’s bird has a bloody death wish.

I was going to spend more time making fun of this metaphor, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s actually fairly appropriate.

Ancient silliness, more like: “His expression slowly folded into a mask of ancient sadness.”

I’d help you, but I left my mask of ancient happiness in the car. Sorry. I underestimated the amount of brooding we’d be doing this afternoon. My mistake.

Truth telling: I won’t bother you with the actual quotes here, as they’re long and just as intolerable as ever. Suffice it to say that Edward and Bella are now having a conversation that more or less perfectly recites the reasons why their relationship is a staggeringly unhealthy thing that shouldn’t be let anywhere near our children save maybe as an example of what NOT to do.

Unhealthy obsession? Check. Two people that know better but go ahead and do it anyway? Check. A guy taking advantage of a girl? Check. Plenty of potential for abuse? Check. The girl knowing this and loving it instead of being terrified? Sadly, check.

Again, Steph demonstrates a remarkable talent for self-awareness.

I really do hope that our children aren’t as suggestible as the media often portrays them to be. I honestly don’t know if they are, but I do know I feel intensely uncomfortable with the fact that this story is serving as an example to untold millions of young people. I’m not going to shout doom and gloom and the ruination of common sense, but even if it doesn’t amount to much, which is certainly the outcome I hope for, it definitely can’t be a good thing.

Much better: “‘So what you're saying is, I'm your brand of heroin?’ I teased, trying to lighten the mood.”

Oh great. That certainly makes their unhealthy relationship far more palatable. Work drugs into the mix. That’ll do nicely. Good work, Steph. 

FYI: Edward is now spending a rather numbing number of paragraphs describing his actions from earlier in the story. This is Steph’s attempt to explain why Edward was (and mostly still is) such a schizophrenic psychopath. 

It’s also a perfect example of what happens when your story has never even so much as heard of the concept of good pacing. Paragraph upon paragraph of boring one-sided exposition to explain away completely incomprehensible and mystifying behavior earlier in the story? Sure, that sounds like a great idea!

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort. It shows a rather surprising attempt by Steph to actually explain herself and make her story cohesive. Feels a bit like putting a Band-Aid on a severed limb, sure, but she’s trying at least, bless her cute little heart.

Convenient summary: If, after all of this, you still have doubts as to whether their relationship is an unhealthy example. If, somehow, you still think that maybe it’s innocuous and I’m making too big a deal of things, then Steph herself has stepped in to change your mind. Read this one little sentence and see if it doesn’t instantly and perfectly sum up everything that is horribly wrong with this relationship: 

“And I was filled with compassion for his suffering, even now, as he confessed his craving to take my life.”

Yeah. Chew on that one for a while. Until next time. Whenever that may be.

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