Earlier today we learned a whole heap about vampires, like the fact that they sparkle in the sunlight. And Edward showed off how strong and fast he is. Now it's time for a little bit more vampire education in Chapter Fourteen: Mind Over Matter.
We get loads of information on Twilight vampires along with the creepy revelation that Edward has been watching Bella sleep for ages. Bella is understandably weirded out by this, but only for a couple of minutes, then she gets over it and invites him to her room to talk and watch her sleep some more.
Thoughts as I read:
I'm shocked! This chapter has a three word title! 'Mind over matter' is Edward's motto for being around Bella. Or perhaps it'll be how she approaches being around him. My money's on Edward saying this line somewhere in the chapter.
He could drive well, when he kept the speed reasonable, I had to admit.
I could almost like Edward if he keeps this behaviour up. Less weird & creepy = way more likeable Edward.
We get a little clue to how old Edward is here as well. I've been wondering about that. He claims to have liked the music of the fifties and eighties so he's quite old. I've been guessing that he'd been born in the mid- to late-1800s.
Despite him being much nicer right now, Bella is still concerned about upsetting him and causing another mood swing. Bella, that's not normal, honey.
Barely a page into the chapter and we get a shedload of information. Edward was born in Chicago in 1901, so I wasn't far wrong really. He was turned at the age of seventeen by Carlisle who was his doctor, treating him for Spanish Flu. Poor Edward had been orphaned by this point and Carlisle decided to save him because no one would miss him (and presumably notice that all the patients were suddenly very anaemic). It's quite a heartwarming story, if the thought of being made immortal when you're barely out of puberty makes you feel warm fuzzies.
Apparently turning Edward required Carlisle to show a lot of restraint, presumably not to go too far and just eat him. It was painful for Edward. We don't get any more information than that though. I hope we do at some point. I'm gruesome enough to want all the gory details.
Carlisle's responsible for most of the others as well; Esme was a near death after a cliff fall, Rosalie was intended to be Edward's companion, Emmett was almost killed by a bear. Carlisle has standards; he'll only turn someone who is dying. A vampire with morals.
They've got to move around a fair bit because otherwise people will notice, hey, that Cullen family is looking awfully good considering they've been here for forty years. If they claim that the teens are younger then they're able to stay in one place for longer. I'd imagine they'd have to change their names every so often as well, otherwise surely the schools would try contacting their last school and notice that they've already graduated before.
Then we learn that Alice and Jasper are different. They weren't from Carlisle, in fact Jasper lived with another group at one point. Oh, and Alice can see the future and knows when other vampires are near, especially when those other vampires might cause trouble. That's a handy skill to have. I wonder why some vampires have these special powers but not others.
Not all vampires can live near humans like our friendly neighbour vampires, the Cullens. It's also important to find the right place to live as well; they can't live anywhere too sunny otherwise the whole sparkly skin thing will give them away and dazzle the neighbours. This is where the myth about them only going out at night came from. I do like that we've got a nod back to the traditional vampire myth.
Edward then explains that Alice is a mystery. She doesn't even know who she used to be. So did she choose the name Alice or was that the one thing of her past that she does remember? I hope we get into this in more detail in the future books, I do love a dark past.
It doesn't seem like he has to be invited into Bella's house. He asks if he can come in which might be a subtle nod to another important part of the vampire myth; but I'm not sure that Stephenie Meyer can actually do subtle so I'm more inclined to believe that part of vampire lore is being overlooked.
Okay, just when I thought Edward was getting less weird, he shatters that illusion. He's been coming into Bella's room and watching her sleep! What! Well, I guess he definitely didn't need to be invited in then! Bella is suitably shocked by this revelation.
Then she gets embarrassed because she's said his name in her sleep. Before we can dwell on this too long, Charlie shows up and Edward vanishes. Oh well, Bella, just set your alarm for midnight and you'll be able to see him when he comes for his late night visit. Meanwhile Charlie tries to be all fatherly and probe into Bella's love life:
"Well, you're too good for them all, anyway. Wait till you get to college to start looking." Every father's dream, that his daughter will be out of the house before the hormones kick in.
Edward is waiting for Bella in her room. Hopefully Charlie won't sneak up to check on her otherwise he might get a bit of a surprise! Bella leaves her boyfriend alone in her room to shower and change into scruffy jammies. She frets about her look for a moment but I'm sure he's seen her wearing a lot worse over the last few weeks.
There's some talking and teenage smooching on the bed. A little bit risky considering Bella's ready for bed and Edward could happily nom on her neck right now! Edward even goes on about how hard this is for him, but he's fairly confident that he'll be able to leave if it all gets to be too much. Yeah Edward, but is that before or after you've sucked all her blood out?
He basically tells her he loves her:
"Isn't it supposed to be like this?" He smiled. "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?"
And as if that wasn't romantic enough, he goes on to tell her that he first started his nocturnal visits when she rejected Mike's invitation to the dance. Oh, and he gets jealous at any mention of Bella and Mike. Sexy, Edward, sexy.
Edward comments on the fact that he's been alone for the last ninety years because for most of that time Bella hadn't been born. Eww. That's weird. It also makes the age difference between me and Mr Click look like practically nothing. Bella's snogging a really old guy!
They're briefly interrupted by Charlie coming in to check on Bella. I'm guessing this is because he's heard voices coming from her room and the law enforcement officer in him wants to know what's going on. He doesn't stay long and during this time Edward disappears again, then he comes back and offers to sing Bella to sleep (and compliments her on her small). This is romance, girls.
Bella's allowed to ask him more questions about being a vampire, since he's still on an upswing at the moment. He tells her that he wants to stay as human as he can, which is nice in theory but I wonder how it will work in practice if he has to keep going up mountains to kill bears whenever Bella gets to be too much.
We do get some information about the extra powers but there's not really an answer, just a theory of Carlisle's. He thinks they bring their strongest traits from their past life with them into their new one, but they get amplified. These become their greatest strengths. They're like blood-sucking X-Men.
Edward promises to stay with Bella all night. That is, with her actually being aware of his presence in her room rather than the usual way he stops all night.
Bella's got time for one last question, this time it's about Emmett and Rosalie's marriage. She's wondering about sex, though she doesn't come out and say it in so many words. Looks like that'll be off the cards for Bella and Edward. They're also both virgins as well, making Edward the hundred-year-old virgin. Tough break, Edward, stuck in a permanent state of teenage angst and never able to get some. That sucks.
All the same, he reassures her that he does find her attractive 'in that way' at which point Bella falls asleep, bringing us to the traditional end of the chapter.
Aside from the weird stalkeriness of this chapter, I have quite enjoyed finding out about how vampires in Twilight work. It's great to finally get more answers than questions. But if I ever found out a guy had been watching me sleep after coming into my bedroom uninvited, well, he wouldn't be doing it again!
And now just a few questions raised by this chapter:
- Just what happens when someone is turned into a vampire?
- Why do some vampires have extra powers but not others?
- Do vampires keep their names when they're turned or do they get new ones?
- Do vampires have to change their names each time they move?