Friday, 21 August 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 22

Yay! Both Chapter-by-Chapter posts are scheduled before Friday. I feel like we should crack open a bottle of something bubbly and some cake to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Now we've got that out the way, let's recap what happened in the last chapter of Twilight. The tracker, James, made contact with Bella to let her know that he has her mum. He gives her very strict instructions on what she has to do next, namely getting away from Alice and Jasper so she can make her way, alone, to her mother's house.

On with Chapter 22: Hide-And-Seek

What Happens?

Bella manages to escape from Alice and Jasper at the airport. She follows the instructions from the tracker which leads her to the dance studio. The tracker reveals Renee is safe, cold comfort since he starts attacking Bella shortly afterwards.

Thoughts as I read:

I'm guessing this chapter's title describes Bella's meeting with the tracker. Or maybe trying to get away from Alice and Jasper. I suspect there's going to be a lot of seeking going on.

In the hotel room, Alice is having another vision. It's clearly about Bella. She probably saw Bella leaving them and going to the tracker. Whatever she saw, I don't think she's going to admit it to Bella, especially as she claims that she just saw the same room again. It seems like Bella's developing some super senses of her own now, since she knows that Alice wants her out of the room to discuss Bella with Jasper. Bella obliges.

Jasper uses his powers to calm Bella and soon they're on their way to the airport. This is the perfect time for Bella to ask how the visions work. I'm glad she's asked because I've been wondering this myself. Some things that Alice sees are certain, like forecasting weather. I take exception to this, since not even the weather forecasters are particularly certain about what the weather will do from one day to the next. People are harder for visions since they're more swift to change their minds, these visions are more flexible as people change their minds.

So presumably she's seen Bella in the mirror room, since that's what Bella's decided to do now. Now that they know she's going to try it, it'll be harder for her to do it as they'll be expecting her to make a break and can be prepared to stop her.

At the airport Bella waits for the chance to get away:

Alice and Jasper spent a long time looking at the departing flights board. I could hear them discussing the pros and cons of New York, Atlanta, Chicago. Places I'd never seen. And would never see.

She gives Alice the letter to her 'mum'. They wait some more. Eventually it looks like the plane will land early so Bella says she wants food and needs Jasper to go with her to help her stay calm. Nice one, Bella.

And then comes her opportunity for escape: the ladies toilets. Specifically this particular loos because there are two exits. That's convenient. This enables her to slip away from Jasper without him noticing her making her getaway. And she does, running all the way and miraculously not killing herself or anyone else. It's odd how in P.E. she can't run to save her life and yet when she is running to save someone else's life, she manages it without a hiccough.

She manages to hop onto a shuttle to 'the Hyatt' which I guess is a hotel. There she gets into a cab, which she takes her to Scottsdale, this is where her mum's house is. She's got twenty minutes to kill so she imagines she's with Edward at the airport; meeting him again, travelling into hiding, being with him. It occupies her until they reach the house.

As she was told, there's a number waiting by the phone for her. I'm wondering whether or nor Alice has realised what Bella is up because I'm sure once she figures it out they won't take that long to get to her. I can't imagine they would hang around the airport once Bella doesn't come out of the toilets and they can move really fast when they want to.

My fingers stumbled over the keypad, making mistakes. I had to hang up and start again. I concentrated only on the buttons this time, carefully pressing each one in turn.

My job is basically dialling numbers and I have days like this. In the last week double numbers have been giving me especial trouble.

She gets there eventually and is given instructions to go to the dance studio, which we kind of already knew anyway. So that's where she heads, having a few memories of better times on the way, better times when a vampire wasn't about to eat her.

The sun was hot on my skin, too bright as it bounced off the white concrete and blinded me. I felt dangerously exposed. More fiercely than I would have dreamed I was capable of, I wished for the green, protective forests of Forks… of home.

She's changed her tune now.

At the studio the door is unlocked though the building's closed for summer. Why take the trouble to go there? Why not stay in the house? It seems like once you've got Bella to her mother's house alone, you could do what you wanted to there, rather than having her run off somewhere else. The other vampires could catch up with her in that time and go after the tracker instead.

She hears her mum's voice as soon as she gets to the dance studio, but it's on a tape playing on the TV. And there's our friend the tracker. Turns out he never had her mum at all, he's just been using the video tapes to lead Bella on. Well, that's kind of a relief, though probably not so much for Bella considering she's about to get eaten.

Bella is actually relieved by this because that means she's not going to bring any more harm to her family. James will do what he wants with her and then just move on somewhere else. Does Bella really think that her being eaten isn't going to hurt her family? Will her parents not be devastated by her death?

Whatever, Bella is feeling very noble. She's also asked Edward not to do anything for revenge. The conversation she and James are having actually makes more sense than most of the conversations between her and Edward. So Meyer can write conversations, she just can't write conversations between Bella and Edward that make sense.

The tracker explains how he came to be here. He had Victoria investigate her, taunting her about her human predictability. Victoria figured out where she was when Edward got on a plane. Well done, Edward, you've really dropped her in it. James is even planning on leaving a note of his own for Edward, in the form of a video to encourage him to get revenge. Apparently James wants to have the pleasure of getting rid of Edward next.

Somehow the reason he's doing this is because of Alice. She was his prey once who got away from him. Does that mean that he was the one who turned Alice? I want to read Alice's story! It seems so much more interesting than all this stuff with Bella and Edward. James still wants Alice but he's willing to get over her if he can have Bella instead. Personally I'd rather we had more of Alice than Bella.

Then James compliments Bella on her smell. It's floral, apparently.

And then it's time for the attack. Bella tries to get away but it's no use. He throws her into the mirrors to stop her. They shatter and he's pleased because that'll make his video more dramatic. While she's lying there he stands on her and breaks her leg, because he's seriously evil. Then he hits her and cuts her head open on the glass. It's all very violent.

Let it be quick now, was all I could hope as the flow of blood from my head sucked my consciousness away with it. My eyes were closing.
I heard, as if from underwater, the final growl of the hunter. I could see, through the long tunnels my eyes had become, his dark shape coming toward me. With my last effort, my hand instinctively raised to protect my face. My eyes closed, and I drifted.

This chapter wasn't too bad, though it's a little bit contrived with Bella getting away from Jasper at the airport. I also don't get why the tracker felt the need for Bella to go from her mum's house to the dance studio when he could've just got her at the house. He's really gone to a lot of trouble to draw her out. And she's obviously not going to die because I'm fairly certain she's going to crop up in the rest of the series.

Very few questions in this chapter now, I think things are finally being resolved:

  • Why did James feel the need to go to the dance studio instead of just staying at Renee's house?
  • Does Bella not think that her parents will be hurt by her death?
  • Was James the one who turned Alice into a vampire?

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