A Forgettable Pair: Chapter 2
So here we are at chapter 2. For those of you living in a vacuum my indignation and downright disgust at this work may not be apparent if you don’t go back and read my review of the first chapter of this fanfiction, so I highly recommend you do that.https://thefanficassassin.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/a-forgettable-pair-chapter-1/
Also check out the parody readings I did of this atrocity.
This fic, An Unforgettable Pair, is a Twilight Fanfiction set around a Bella and Edward who were affected in the 9/11 terrorist attack. It’s an atrocity in a lot more ways than one, as I hope to illustrate in this review.
Because after dedicating an entire chapter to boring morning sex we were all clamoring for the story to continue.
I walked back inside, and flipped the T.V on as I headed into the kitchen. Still feeling a bit odd, I loaded the dishes into the dishwasher and turned it on.
Compelling stuff. If my seat had an edge, I’d be on it. I’ll leave the more intelligent of you to ponder the meaning of that statement because I’m an asshole.
I walked into the bedroom and looked over at the unmade bed, I thought about Edward lying on top of me, naked and sweaty.
Who wouldn’t think that? I know it’s what I think about when I look at my unmade bed.
How intense his eyes looked as he looked down into my eyes.
This sentence appropriately makes fun of itself in how poorly written it is, but if I let everything be appropriately criticized, that wouldn’t be too funny, would it? Only eyes are capable of looking, unless otherwise clarified, and therefore you don’t need to specify what amazing green orbs you’re talking about because saying he looks at something implies his eyes are involved. If not, she probably means his third eye, which we all know is blind.
I could feel the blush creep up my cheeks as I bent over to pick up Edward s shirt from where it dropped last night.
Seriously, she’s ready to swoon over a shirt?
I pressed it up to my nose and inhaled his unique scent.
Like B.O. and child prostitutes.
Mmm, he smelled so good, like cinnamon and soap.
Cinnamon and soap? Seriously? Who wants their man dabbing pungent spices behind their ears? Worse still, who could stand the stench of a guy who smells so strongly of soap that it overpowers the obnoxiously oppressive smell of cinnamon? Fucking hell, don’t let me get stuck on an elevator with that guy.
My phone chiming, alerting me that I had a message, pulled me out of my thoughts.
Liar. I think we’ve already established that this Bella isn’t even remotely capable of thought.
I went over to the dresser to pick up my phone, and I looked down at it to see a text from Edward.
“Love, I m sitting at my desk thinking of you this morning. I love making love to you before work. I can t wait to see you tonight. I love you, My Sweet Bella. XOXO Edward”
2001 text message? Who was sending texts in 2001? The technology existed, but nobody was using it. I showed this in my video, and this text took me about 7 minutes to write on an old cell phone. So giving Edward some proficiency, it’s fair to say that he spent at least 5 minutes writing this damn thing which means that in the time it took Bella to load the dish washer and pick up Edward’s shirt for a cinnamon-and-soapgasm, Edward has had time to drive from New Jersey (presumably) all the way to the WTC and then spend 5 minutes on a text. We’re all thinking it—I’m just saying it. The person who wrote this has never ridden around Manhattan during morning rush.
I smiled at his cheesiness as I quickly texted him back.
“Quickly texted” seems like a 2001 oxymoron.
“Edward, I love when we make love in the mornings too. Wish you were here now. I love you too. See ya tonight. XOXO Bella”
These texts are ridiculous. How the author didn’t think about how absurd these would have been to send is beyond me. People weren’t texting in 2001, and if they did they weren’t texting in full sentences or signing their names to them. This is just really bad writing and normally I’d get angry about it, but I know what’s coming and I’ll have plenty of reason to be angry soon.
I finished straightening the bedroom and made the bed. I stepped out onto the balcony just as the phone rang. I picked it up and was greeted with Alice s hyper voice.
I just love the overdetailing of mundane tasks that add nothing to the story, don’t advance the plot, and simply, don’t fucking matter. It adds that dash of boring to a story that’s already ripe with it. Bella straightened up the bedroom. Bella made the bed. Riveting…
How can someone be so peppy so early in the morning? I thought as I pulled the phone from my ear and switched it over to speakerphone.
I’d laugh about the terrible reminder that it’s early in the morning and that it’s probably the 11th day of the month, but let’s face it, I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to support the belief that this author does subtlety well, as I’ll illustrate in a moment.
“Hey Alice”, I said as I sat in the chair, moving my sketchbook to the table.
“Bella, are you going to be able to meet me for lunch today around one o clock?” she asked.
There are many questions that start with why that popped into my head, but let’s read on so none of them will be answered.
“Yeah, I should be done with my appointment by then,” I said as I watched a low flying plane pass overhead.
Oh, dear god.
“Great,” she exclaimed joyfully. “What kind of appointment?”she asked.
Instead of “exclaiming mournfully.”
“Your being quite nosy this morning, aren t you Alice?: I said a bit sarcastically.
“Yep, I always am,” she said laughing, “And you love me for it.”
“Sure, you think I do,” I said with a chuckle. “But seriously, Alice, my appointment is no big deal. I just have to get my birth control shot.”
9/11 and a birth control shot, subtle. This is exactly what I’m talking about with tragedy poaching. I’ll bet that Bella misses her appointment and either gets pregnant, or has a pregnancy scare, nothing groundbreaking or even remotely interesting there. But the kind of people who use tragic events as a spring board to drama are perfectly happy to let the blame of the character’s troubles fall on “the tragic events of 9/11” leaving the rest of the story a hollow husk that no one would be interested in reading if not for the simulated drama of the tragedy.
“Oh, okay, Bella,” she said before she gasped, “Did you see that plane hit into Emmett s building?”
Well that was fast, or was it? The way I’m looking at things, it took longer for the low flying plane that passed overhead to get to Manhattan than it took for Edward to get there in a car. This is also probably the end of my jokes for this review. There may be some humorous ravings that happen, but for the rest of this review, I expect to be rabid.
“No, but I did hear something,” I said as I looked across the river to see black smoke coming from the building.
Notice that the author barely describes the devastation, because since everyone remembers what it looked like, she can be lazy and piggyback on history.
“Oh, my God Alice, what s happening?” I asked frantically.
“I don t know, Bella, but I am going to try to call Jasper,” she said as she hung up the phone.
I stood there looking at the towers, panic beginning to rise within me. I didn t know what to do.
I didn t know if I should try to call Edward, or just wait. I was confused and scared. What was going on?
“A plane had just slammed into a building within the range of my ability to see. I was confused and scared by it.” If there was anything at all that could piss me off more than the use of this horrible event as a pathetic excuse to get yourself some attention, it would have to be doing it badly. She isn’t playing up the tension well. Of course she’s fucking scared, everyone with a TV was fucking scared! People in other countries were fucking scared!
I grabbed the phone and dialed Edward s office number. It went straight to voicemail.
Not good, I thought to myself as I let the fear and panic take over.
He could just be in a meeting, or in the bathroom. Just calm down, I thought to myself as I went back out on the balcony.
Not the thoughts of a person who has “let fear and panic take over.”
I looked at the buildings, the smoke was thick, and black. I could hear the sounds of firetrucks in the distance.
Really, you could hear the fire trucks from Manhattan and across the Hudson? Forgive me for being skeptical but, NO, YOU FUCKING COULDN’T.
This is so not good, I thought to myself as I dialed Edward s number again.
But this time I was greeted with the most wonderful voice ever.
I feel so much relief now that I know that Edward, who at this point hasn’t been established to be working in the towers even though we all know he is or there wouldn’t be a story here, is okay and sounding as wonderful as ever.
“Good Morning, this is Edward Cullen. How may I help you?” he said.
That’s right. Business as usual. He could not have possibly heard the plane slam into the building next to his.
“Edward, oh my God,” I said as I let out the breath that I was holding. “Did you see the plane that hit Emmett s building?”
I’m going to illustrate the point I’m trying to make. Pretend you don’t know who Emmett is, which will be really easy if you actually don’t. Now put this character who’s been mentioned only by name and nothing else in mortal danger. Do you care? I thought not. I didn’t either.
So not only is this drama banking on the emotions of a real life tragedy, but also the fondness the reader has for a side character from a young adult paranormal romance series. Let’s be honest with ourselves—fanfiction is inherently lazy, even if only slightly. As a writer, you’re using someone else’s well-established characters, or at the very least their appearance, and building them a different story. That’s fine for the most part. We like fanfiction not because it’s incredibly creative, but because we don’t want the characters to whom we feel close to go away.
This isn’t that, though. This is an example of how absolutely devoid of any real depth this story is. It isn’t surprising, engaging, or moving. Having distanced myself from the tragedy being poached, I could care less about any of this because it comes through loud and clear in the writing that the author doesn’t, either.
“Bella, calm down,” he said in his velvety voice. “They told us about it and we are all fine. They are in communication with the north tower. Right now, they said we are to stay put, “he said calmly.
“I tried to call you and you didn t answer. I was so scared that something happened,” I said frantically.
“It s okay, Love. I was down in Jasper s office helping him with something,” he said.
As I stood talking to Edward and looking out across the water, I watched in horror as a plane slammed into the South tower, a few floors above where Edward s office was.
As I said before, I just can’t care. This author hasn’t inspired anything that could even remotely be called “emotion” in me. These one-dimensional characters are flaccid and boring, and if asked what part Bella has played in the story so far, I’d have to answer, “Well, she’s in it, but that’s about it.” It’s like I heard fellow masked crusader Todd in the Shadows said once about Chris Brown: “Chris Brown is a great dancer, and as a singer, he’s a great dancer.” http://blip.tv/todds-pop-song-reviews
I could hear people yelling and cursing. “Edward,” I said.
“Yes, Bella,” he said as calmly as he could.
“Are you okay?” I asked him. I was trying not to let the fear overtake me. It was quite frightening to see both the towers with smoke billowing out of them.
Thank you for the reminder that the towers are burning. I had actually forgotten.
“Bella, Love, I need to go now! We are being called to evacuate the building,” he said frantically. “I will call you as soon as I can.”
“Edward, I love you. Be safe,” I said quickly.
“I will and I love you too, Bella,” he said as the line went dead.
Staring across the water, I said a silent prayer for all of the people in the towers, and especially for Edward, Jasper and Emmett.
First of all, prayer is the worst thing you can do to fix a bad situation. It’s tantamount to doing nothing and hoping your chosen deity takes a break from giving AIDS to starving African children long enough to solve what is most likely a minor inconvenience for you.
Also, if that line about African children pissed you off, good. That’s tragedy poaching, too. How did I do?
It was a quarter after nine, on a beautiful day in September.
That is a very odd statement. In the middle of what seems to be an otherwise “somber” paragraph. I fail to see how someone would think it a “beautiful day” while staring at the towers burning. “Beautiful” is not a word that would come to my mind at the sight of that horror.
This is surreal. What was going on? I thought to myself as I crumbled to the floor and let the tears flow as the fear finally gripped a hold of me.
I don t know how long I sat there, just staring and hugging my knees to my chest, but I finally got up and ran to the my front door.
When I opened it, Alice was standing there with tears streaming down her face.
“Bella, that plane hit their building, too. What the hell?” she said through her tears.
Ugh. “What the hell?” Is this what constitutes hysterics? I don’t know what else I can do to understand this line as the author intended for it to be understood. I burned my Totino’s pizza the other day even though I left it in the oven for the recommended amount of time. I too exclaimed, “what the hell!” Somehow, I don’t feel both events are remotely close in a “life-changing” scale, yet I had the same words of dismay.
This can only mean one thing: this author is not skilled at conveying someone’s reaction to a horrific incident. Pizza burning <<<<<< Towers burning.
“I don t know, Alice,” I said looking into her tear stained face. “All I know is this is not good.”
Beautiful wordsmithing there. Two planes smashed into the World Trade Center, and your expert assessment is that “this is not good.” A masterful conclusion, Sherlock! Jesus titty-fucking Christ…
Suddenly the odd feeling that I had all morning made sense. The thought hit me and I barely heard Alice asking what we should do.
Contrived—motherfucking contrived—bullshit. She had a feeling, which most would attribute to gas, and wham! Disaster. Could you be any more predictable? No, of course you couldn’t.
As if on autopilot, I answered her, “I m not sure, Alice,” I said, “Maybe try to get into the city, or stay here. I just don t know, ” I said in a defeated tone.
“Bella,” Alice said, “I think we should try to go into the city. What if we never get the chance to see them again?” she said through more tears.
“Oh my God! I don t even want to think about never seeing Edward again,” I said as I thought about him.
I couldn t handle never seeing that smirk he always had, that crazy hair of his, or the way he always knew how to touch me.
And now I lose my shit. You, author, are the one who was banking on my remembering that this was a real life event so you deserve the fuck out of this criticism. This is what you want me to be thinking of…
Thousands of people’s lives are in real mortal danger, and all Bella can concern herself with is seeing her boyfriend again because of HOW GOOD HE FUCKS HER! ARE YOU FUCKING JOKING? SERIOUSLY, EVEN IF THIS WAS ONLY ONE PERSON—EDWARD—I CAN’T IMAGINE THE LEVEL OF SELF-CENTEREDNESS AND SHALLOW PERSPECTIVE THAT THIS CHARACTER CHOSE TO HAVE ON SUCH A DIRE CIRCUMSTANCE. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IN THE FUCK YOU EXPECTED PEOPLE WOULD THINK OF THIS CHARACTER WHEN THEY READ THIS LINE? DID YOU THINK THEY’D SAY, “Hmm, indeed. In this situation, I would also be concerned about how much I’d miss the way my man plows me.”
FUCK OFF, BELLA! AND I REALLY MEAN THAT. THIS IS, BY FAR THE MOST DISGUSTING AND STRAIGHT UP DISTURBING THING I’VE EVER READ AND I REVIEWED THAT HARRY POTTER FUCKING SIRIUS BLACK FANFIC. IF ANYONE HAD DOUBTS IN THEIR MINDS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THIS 9/11 BACKDROP HAD ANY REAL SUBSTANCE IN THE STORY OR IMPORTANCE TO THE AUTHOR, THAT SHOULD DAMN WELL BE GONE, BECAUSE THE ANSWER IS NONE AT ALL.
As an American, this cheap attempt at exploiting such a far-reaching tragedy for the sake of broad emotional appeal without the necessity of creating it turns my stomach.
I felt Alice pulling me toward the door.
“Bella, I ll drive,” she said as she picked up my purse and cell phone from the table by the door.
As we were walking to the car, we heard this loud, rumbling sound, and several people yelling.
We looked up to see the South tower of the World Trade Center crumble to the ground with a huge cloud of white ash flowing up into the air.
I fell to my knees and mumbled Edward s name as I hit the sidewalk.
Everything faded to black before my eyes.
I don’t even want to deal with the issues in that last bit. I try not to let myself get out of control, but this was unavoidable. I rarely see such an obvious disrespect for those killed in a tragic event. Even with some of the deplorable and controversial art that was made about this subject, it still meant something. This story is meaningless drivel, a sad and pitiful fantasy that should never have seen the light of day.
There is a quote from Roger Ebert’s review of the 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave that I think sums up my opinion of this fic almost perfectly:
“This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures, because it is made artlessly. It flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering. As a critic, I have never condemned the use of violence in films if I felt the filmmakers had an artistic reason for employing it. I Spit on Your Gravedoes not. It is a geek show. I wonder if its exhibitors saw it before they decided to play it, and if they felt as unclean afterward as I did.”
That last line sums up how I felt as I read this fic: unclean. I need a shower. That might be in my next video, so stay tuned!