Stranger Than Fanfiction

My war isn’t only fought from the shadows. Violence is a last resort, used conservatively and aimed precisely at electronics and other means of creating these literary abominations. I have many methods, but I prefer mockery. It plays to my greatest strengths, and I often find that I’m enjoying myself while I clean up this mess.

For my first post I’m choosing the genre that attracts the worst of the worst. The work that is responsible for the newest wave of mommy porn and one of the major causes, or possibly the most severe symptom, of the current intellectual wasteland that’s consuming American culture. Twilight.

Written by an “award-winning” “author”, Edwardsouthern bella, whose profile displays such compliments as “The Celine Dion of Twilight Fanfiction,” which makes me wonder whether being compared to a horse-faced Canadian is a compliment or a veiled insult. Also notice how every word is bold except fanfiction so that the casual glance only registers “The Celine Dion of Twilight.” “This is the sweetest Sweetward I have ever read” is another one of the accolades she boasts on her profile, which just sounds stupid. And, “Your version of Edward gives Cinderella’s Prince Charming a run for his money.”‘ It isn’t surprising since prince charming is generally more of a plot device than a character.

She’s written a lot of fanfiction but I’m going to focus on  “Love is Stronger than Pride” Set in Seattle with all human characters and doing everything it can to set feminism back a few decades, this travesty is a the brain child of someone that must herself be the brain child of a box of rocks and a doorknob.

Chapter 1 –  Pressed Irises and Other Memories

You indeed read that right, “and other memories.” What better way start out a story than naming the first chapter something that Paris Hilton would title an autobiography?

The women tempted him every time he saw the performance. He was mesmerized by the sway of their hips. No one noticed him as he recorded everything on a small video camera.

I’m already calling bullshit. How would people not notice that he has a camera? And why would they need to? People record performances all the time. Plus, if he wasn’t supposed to be recording, staff would be looking specifically for people who were attempting to video the show. Even dumber still, if this camera doesn’t have a bright LCD screen, it’s probably an analog recorder that uses tapes, which means that it’s not small. Even for a right-brained person like myself, this is too illogical to be ignored.

It was dark in the theater.

As opposed to the kinds of theaters that leave their lights on.

He knew their names.

From the program they distribute at the door to everyone attending the show.

His raging hard on was almost unbearable as he continued to study the women.

Right… We’ve got a guy in a theater, completely fixated on the show, recording it, with a full erection, and nobody notices him. The boundaries of believability aren’t just being stretched. They’re so badly broken that no one with an IQ over 50 could miss these plot holes.

The music was almost as hypnotizing as they were. He came here every time they performed.

Because when someone shows up to every single performance it stands to reason that they’d go completely unnoticed and wouldn’t prompt any kind of investigation.

He would watch this recording over and over while he masturbated and imagined his fantasies.

I figured he was going to do a snotty internet review of it like the worthless piece of shit he is.

For each one of the women, he had a different plot, but each one ended the same way.

So he’s a pervy serial killer. Excuse me while I look shocked.

He was biding his time for now. The first one he wanted to seduce was the red head. She would receive flowers tonight from a secret admirer.

Who will instantly know is a creepy serial killer, because what well rounded grown ass man sends secret admirer flowers? None of them. Here’s a lesson to the ladies who don’t know: when a man is concealing his identity—go figure—he’s hiding something.

His plan would be set in motion.

At this point I’m actually hoping he kills the red haired girl. Despite what the author thinks, the guy obviously stands out like a sore thumb, and he’s got even less tact than Chris Brown. It just doesn’t seem possible that he’d get away with it, and we’d be free of this wildly inconsistent character that hasn’t even spoken a single line of dialogue.

Moving on to the next section.

“That was an excellent performance, tonight, Bella.” Victoria told her this after she gave her a big hug. The ladies were in the dressing room, changing into their street clothes.

Hello, obvious plot fodder, it’s nice to meet you. That’s an original term, by the way. I’m thinking of trademarking it. Also thank you for making sure we knew that they were changing into casual clothes, otherwise I’d have assumed they were getting into wedding dresses. And who could blame me? I still don’t know what the hell is going on.

There was a small after party at a restaurant following their show tonight. Most of the dancers were too excited to go home after a performance. They had all grown very close over the past year.

They have after parties after every performance? Shit, I should become a dancer.

“Thank you, Victoria,” Bella remarked. “Was that a knock at the door?”

No, it wasn’t. If there was a knock at the door, the author would probably have seen fit to have something other than dialogue to introduce it.

She walked over to open it, and there was a delivery man holding an oversized flower bouquet. She took them from him and handed them over to her friend once she read the tag.

“Wow! No one has ever sent me flowers after the show. It’s from a secret admirer. Who would send these to me?”

A pervert. We’ve covered this, honey, try to keep up.

“I don’t know. What about that guy you had coffee with last week?”

If she had coffee with the guy last week, it would be safe to assume she knows his name as well as his face and probably his phone number. Why would he send her “secret admirer” flowers if he’s trying to continue to pursue this woman? It sounds rather counter-productive to send a gift anonymously. I’m starting to suspect that Bella may be an idiot.

Alec? It can’t be him. He wasn’t really interested in me.

“Whoever it is, this person must really be interested in you. I’ve never seen this many flowers in an arrangement. He’s really interested in you, Vicky.”

Yes Bella, it was such a poignant point that it bore repeating.

At this point, Bella goes to the bathroom where we finally find out that they’re belly dancers, and a bunch of mushy shit about how it’s Bella’s calling, and that she’s poured herself into it over a boy who used to send her irises that she’d press and… For fuck’s sake, will the terrible clichés ever end?

She could not stop the traitorous tears that were falling down her cheeks.

I hate when tears commit treason, it’s such a… terrible metaphor when they do.

He was still there, ever present in her heart. There was no way that she would be able to push him away. There were moments when she wanted to do nothing but hate him. But that was impossible because she still loved him, more than she wanted to readily admit. Bella had curled up next to the wall as she thought about him. They had a bright future, filled with possibilities. If only his family had not stood in the way of their love, everything would be different now.

Odds are that’s the longest continuous portion of this work I’ll be reading without commentary.

Victoria walked into the bathroom, gasping when she saw her friend crying on the floor.

“What is the matter, Bella? Are you ok?”

Curled in a ball on the floor, weeping. I’d say that’s par for the course for this mopey pain in the ass so far. So, yes, she’s okay. And would it kill your fucking characters to use a goddamn contraction? Irony intended because we already know this character is going to die soon.

“I will be fine. I just got caught up in a few sad thoughts. It’s nothing that I want to dwell on right now. Are we still going out for a late dinner? I’m starving.”

What late dinner? I thought you were going to the after party along with everyone else? Make up your damn mind.

And with another break we come to the following day.

Detective Edward Cullen was exhausted, but that was a side effect of his job.He ran his fingers through his thick auburn hair as he studied the case file again. There were several reports of a suspicious man harassing women near the fine arts performance hall. He was described as having blonde hair pulled back in a low pony tail, and he looked rather unkempt.

It’s just so convenient that all of a sudden they have descriptions of the guy when we’re told in the very beginning that NO ONE NOTICED HIM, but now they have just about everything but his social security number.

With a city as big as Seattle, it would be challenging to find him based only on this information. There were other cases he needed to pay attention to besides this one.

He knew what it was that drew him to these incidents, though. The woman that he loved with all of his existence could have been harassed by this character.

You don’t say… I wonder who that might be. And how can you love someone “with all of your existence?” Is your existence a sentient organ? If it is, Edward’s must be located somewhere near his ass.

She was at the performance hall frequently because she was an amazing belly dancer.

I spared you the first time, which makes this the second occasion that we’re hearing what an amazing dancer Bella is.

Edward kept every review he could find on Bella Swan’s bi-weekly performances. It was only a matter of time before her career would take off, and then she would leave the city behind.

That’s right, she’s going to leave a major city in America to pursue a lucrative career in… belly dancing, which of course means she’ll move to the suburbs and train middle-aged fat women how to give their husbands nausea.

She had owned him since that day he watched her performance in college. The raw talent she had was visible in every shimmy sway of her hips.

Yes, her dancing is the RAW talent a college boy was interested in… And what is a shimmy sway? Sounds like the name for a small time street corner drug dealer. A shimmy is a sway, so this little gem of a phrase is the double whammy of redundant and ridiculous.

There were plenty of other young men watching her dance, but he felt the urge to claim her as his.

*Vampire Bill voice* BELLA… IS… MINE!

Now I’m curious. Claim her how? Pissing down her leg? Sticking a flagpole on her back? Branding her ass? Repealing the 13th amendment? Shaving his name in her pubes? Forcing her to wear a shirt that says “Property of Edward Cullen”?

They began seeing each other after that day and soon fell happily in love. Bella was the softer side of his life, infusing it with her vibrancy. She supported his dream of becoming a detective, and he loved her fantasies involving hand cuffs and questioning.

That was just so stupid it didn’t even deserve a joke.

Their love was brought crashing down around them by his family. His parents, Carlisle and Esme Cullen, hated her from the moment he brought her home for Sunday brunch. When she told them she was a dance major, his father nearly choked on his Perrier after hearing this.

Perrie: the universal symbol of opulence and snootiness.

It was a disastrous meal, but Edward found a way to brighten her mood. He drove to a flower shop and bought every iris they had in stock for her. She had mentioned they were her favorite flower. Every week, he brought her at least one bouquet of them. It had become one of their traditions.

Throughout their long relationship, no doubt. A man bringing his woman flowers. Now there’s a unique and interesting concept. Please, tell me more!

They had forbidden him to see her because they felt she was below him. Bella came from a working class family, and, in his parents’ eyes, they were below the Cullens.

And Police detective isn’t a working class job? Don’t they have worse issues at hand here, like how to get a high class lady to take interest in their son whose greatest ambition is to become a lowly law enforcement agent?

This infuriated him. The woman of his dreams was everything to him, and the fact that his parents thought she was below him made Edward feel white hot angry.

At least he’s not green hot angry. The last thing Seattle needs is a visit from the Hulk with a conspicuously immaculate bouffant hairdo.

They added injury to the situation by tampering with his opportunity to fulfill his career dreams. Carlisle threatened to tell the special law enforcement division various lies about his son’s past.

And them being a group that deals specifically with sorting out truth from lies, this would have been an effective strategy.

He would never have the chance to become an investigator if they believed any of these falsehoods.

Because, naturally, if you just make a phone call to the police academy and tell them whatever lie you want about a cadet, they would automatically believe you without looking into it and kick that cadet to the curb. Isn’t that what’s at the heart of police work? “Just take your word for it?”

Edward remembered the day he told Bella all of this information, and it crushed her to see him loose his opportunity.

But… he didn’t… they just threatened him. And on that note, why would they threaten to ruin their son’s life? Perrier makes people evil, is what I always say.

She loved him so deeply that she was willing to sacrifice herself in order for him to realize his goal. Neither one of them wanted to walk away, but there was no way she could live with her self if he lost this.

Sacrifice herself? Under most circumstances, that would involve dying to save another. What a substantive sacrifice it is to walk away from a relationship because you’re ruining the life of the other person with your trashy, non-Perrier-guzzling ways.

So there’s a little more Edward melodrama before his phone rings and the chief wants to see him in his office. The chief partners him with Emmett McCarty.

Emmett McCarty was eager to take on any new assignment. He and Edward trained at the academy, and they worked well together. It was not uncommon for them to be paired for assignments.

They were “paired for assignments?” Not that I expected extensive research for this piece of drivel, but has she never even seen Law and Order? Detectives are not randomly paired with each other like square dancing at the saloon. They have set partners with whom they work every case.

Emmett had a sarcastic wit that added a touch of levity to Edward’s serious manner.

Good. It’s about time we had a character that could breathe some life into this slog.

They walked out of the building together silently toward the parking lot.

The two of them go outside and jump in the car, where they talk about girls. Particularly Emmett’s girlfriend, and how he wants to ask her to move in.

“Rose would have to be seriously in love with you to live with you, Emmett. Your place is always a mess. Does she know that you are incorrigible?”

Given this author’s dismal word choice so far, I highly doubt we have anything but a thesaurus to thank for the word incorrigible.

“That’s just part of the Emmett McCarty Shizzazle. I made that one up myself, Ed.”


“Shizzazle? If you weren’t one of my friends, I swear I’d drop you off at the hospital to let them observe you. I think we’re here.”

Jesus Horatio Christos… I think this was the author’s attempt to show Emmett’s sarcastic wit. No, honey, no. Abort, abort now, you’re not cut out for humor. It’s going to be a disaster if you continue down this path.

So they arrive at the apartment and find Victoria dead.

The victim was tied to the bed wearing a jeweled bra. Edward looked over her as he put on gloves to examine her.

That’s not his job…

She had on a layered, gauzy skirt that was low on her hips. He checked her nails to see if she had anything under them.

Also not his job.

There were stab marks across her chest. Once he obtained a plastic bag, he untied her wrists…

*Weapons-grade facepalm*

This is all the work of a coroner or a medical examiner, or a crime scene investigator. Detectives are not trained to handle this type of evidence, especially not in a big city with bloated numbers of public servants eager to prove that their job has a purpose.

…Emmett was taking various pictures of the scene when he noticed something under her bed.

“Ed, what is that near your left foot? It has a square shaped and I think it’s black.”

…Do I really need to say anything about how stupid this line is?

They find the video tape that was conveniently removed from the camera and tossed under the bed. I’m not sure why it would be out of the camera, I don’t know many people who just happen to have a VHS player sitting around in their apartments anymore, not to mention that this was supposed to be a small camera so there doesn’t seem to be any feasible reason that this tape should have been removed at all unless it was left on purpose, which would be a stupid move by a murderer with an erection and who is so non-descript that he went unnoticed unlike the creepy guy who was reported to police outside the theatre for harassing women.


We transition back to Bella for a few paragraphs. She’s driving to the theater to dance away her woes. As it turns out, she had spent part of the evening with Victoria and her secret admirer at a bar. She didn’t catch his name, or his face, just that he was filling her friend with liquor and that she seemed happy.

She drives past the scene and wonders if Edward is there, and then we find out for some reason that their manager has been notified before the police have even investigated. It makes perfect sense that they would call her manager before her family. It’s just too stupid, and I’m skipping the whole section.

Once they had returned to the department, Edward was eager to see what was in the tape. They gave the chief a full report of the scene, as well as the forensics department.

It’s so frustrating how little this person knows about police procedure.

The paperwork was filled out with every detail they could find. Now they were ready to see if the tape had any useful information.

The screen was dark, and the camera wobbled. There was the voice of a man talking about how excited he was to see his girls.

And still “No one noticed him!” I know I’m harping on that line a lot, but when everything else about the character is extraordinarily noticeable it’s hard to comprehend the circumstance where they’d go unseen.

A heavy curtain was pulled back to reveal a stage with six women on it. The music began playing an exotic rhythm of drum beats and horns. The man was groaning almost as if he was pleasuring himself while watching this performance.

More fuel for the “went unnoticed” fire.

Edward watched the dancers on the stage with rapt attention. They were belly dancing, and he was captivated by the brunette with long hair. She was the only one he noticed.

I can’t decide if that’s more or less creepy than our cameraman.

“That’s her, the victim. She’s next to the one with the long brown hair,”…

Long brown hair being a rare trait in humans, I can imagine why there would be only one person matching that description in the troupe.

They finished watching the tape, and it was turned over to forensics for them to get fingerprints off it.

This should have been done at the scene and before you shoved the damn thing into a player, but at least for once we’ve got the correct department doing the correct work.

Edward sat in the chair still lost on thought. He had seen her again, and his love for her was coming back with a vengeance. There was another aspect to this. He walked over to the chief.

“This guy kept talking about his girls. He’s going to keep coming back for more, sir. I don’t think he’s satisfied with just one.”

“What are you trying to tell me, Cullen? Do you think we have a stalker situation?”

How did this oblivious fuck become the chief?

“Yes, sir. It’s our duty to keep them safe and protected. If that were my wife up there, I’d want to make certain that she was out of harm’s way.” This was not the first time he had wished Bella was his wife.

This wife comparison is so ludicrous it borders on lunacy. You’re supposed to protect them regardless of whether they’re your wife or not. Yes, yes, we know it was just the hook to stick it in there that Edward wished Bella were his wife. So romantic! *gag* Incidentally, considering Edward isn’t looking at ANYTHING ELSE on the video, he’s sure to do a bang up job of this investigation.

There are a few more stupid lines of dialogue, and then Edward and Emmett head over to the studio.

The music was loud, just the way she needed it to be right now. Her circle steps and torso rotations were the envy of the other dancers. When the music changed, Bella picked up her zils, which to the everyday person were called finger cymbals.

Then why didn’t you just call them finger cymbals? Or better yet, call them zils and describe them so that the reader would understand that they are finger cymbals. You don’t have to be a snooty bitch about it (the irony of that statement is completely intended.) And how is Bella different from an “everyday person?” Does being a belly dancer give you super powers or something?

They fit snuggly around her thumb and middle finger. She held them in front of her body as she practiced the Egyptian basic. The emphasis on the bounce and sway of her hips was seductive. Her arms moved up to frame her face. She could feel every note of the music cascading over her as she moved over the stage.

I know that a lot of these twilight fanfictions are extremely Mary Sue, but this one is actually pretty vague. No, I’m kidding, it’s not vague at all, this is obviously written by a woman who’s tried belly dancing and isn’t very good at it, so to compensate she’s written a character—and I use the term loosely as this Bella is about as interesting as a game of blackjack with a deck comprised only of face cards—who is amazing at the very thing that she herself isn’t.

The images of the past day came rushing over her, as well as thoughts of Edward. She had to push him away from her mind. There was still a part of him deep within her soul, and it tore her apart to know he was still so close in all aspects of that word. Had he finally moved on from her?

First world problems much?

Bella had to turn away from this and focus on the Arabic music that pounded through the speakers. One of the songs Victoria used to practice came on. The delicate sounds of the single reed instrument in the melody were haunting. The intensity was exactly what she had loved about this song.

The delicate and intense sounds of a single reed melody… I’ll just let that sink in.

She could see her friend rotating her torso and giving the crowd their money’s worth at any performance. Next to Bella, she was one of the rising stars, and her future was unlimited.

Once again, what future is there in bi-weekly belly dancing? There isn’t one, unless you mean stripping, in which case you’d find an eager and paying audience.

So the music stops, and we get treated to this beautiful bit of dialogue.

“I’ve been watching you, Bella, and your dancing is only improving. You did not have to come today. I know how hard you all are taking Victoria’s death.”

Men being creepy as they watch the women from a distance. I’m sensing a pattern here.

“I could not sit around and do nothing today. Dancing is my way of handling whatever reality throws my way. Did it really surprise you that I came here?”

“To tell you the truth, I’m glad you came here because there are some officers that want to speak with you and the rest of the troupe. You can meet with them in my office in a few minutes.”

“What are the police here for, Philip? Do they think we had some involvement in Victoria’s death?’

“They did not mention that to me, but they said it was important to see each one of you.”

“I’ll be upstairs in a little bit. I need to cool off.”

“Thank you, Bella.”

She walked into the main dressing room to change her clothes. The shower would have to wait until she returned home. She brushed through her brown tresses and sprayed it over with dry shampoo. A little lip gloss and a dab of her signature perfume, Pure Seduction, and she was set to go see the boys in blue.

Yes, thank you for that detailed description of Bella’s hygiene (or lack thereof) routine, down to the extremely corny name of her perfume, which I’d venture to guess it’s quite popular with Seattle’s street walkers.

It did not hurt that she wanted to brighten their day by sitting near a beautiful woman. It might give them a slight thrill.

I’m glad to see Bella isn’t a conceited, stuck up bitch who thinks that sitting next to her is always the highlight of any man’s day. Oh wait…

She walked up to the second floor, and the sound of a booming laugh startled her. Bella was not expecting to hear that coming from a police officer.

It’s a widely known fact that police officers don’t laugh.

The next sound was even less expected as she heard it when she was standing ready to open the door. It was Edward’s voice, the sound that never left her mind, and she stood frozen before she could turn the door knob. He was there, closer than he had been to her in years. How could she face him, and what did he have to tell her? This would surely only open up the wounds that time had tried to close up.

Before she could open the door, Emmett pushed it in her direction. He looked down on her and could not fight the smile that crossed his face. “Hey pretty lady! You’ve had us waiting here too long. Come on inside.” He closed the door behind her. “Hey Ed, you have to see this woman. If I did not have Rose to love on, I swear I’d be on her like white on rice”

Now, if Bella had said that she didn’t expect THIS from a police officer, I’d be on her side. A detective inappropriately hitting on someone they’re interviewing in the process of investigating a murder case? That wouldn’t get your ass fired at all!

Before he could turn completely around, the scent of her perfume came over him.

He’d recognize the scent of an unwashed hooker anywhere.

Edward had not smelled that in years,

I call bullshit. Is this perfume custom-made for Bella? Or does it smell so strongly of dried semen and stale liquor that no other woman in Seattle would wear the foul thing, therefore allowing for this idiotic statement that Edward hasn’t smelled it in years. Or maybe he just needs to get out more.

but he knew automatically it was Bella. Once he saw her face across the room, the time they had spent apart had vanished. She looked more exotic and enchanting than she had in college. The pull between them had done nothing but increase ten-fold. She was taken by how he still retained the ability to make her melt with just a glance.

And cue Gone with the Wind music.

“Officer McCarty, you mentioned that you needed to look over the hall and the entrance. Would you like to do that now?”

“Yes sir, Philip. Tell me; are all the dancers this good looking? I might have to come for a show.”

Another candidate for creepy stalker?

They walked out, leaving Bella and Edward alone in the office. The memories washed over them. He walked closer to her and the pace of her breathing increased. She wanted to reach out and touch his face, to caress his skin to see if it was as soft as she remembered it. The desire to pull her in to his embrace was overwhelming. As Edward stared into her endless brown eyes, he saw longing and sadness. He wanted to take away her pain.

“I’ve missed you, Bella. More than I could ever express.”

All official police questioning begin like this.

“We can’t do this, Edward. Just tell me what you came here to let me know. Then we can both just walk away before this gets out of hand.”

How would this “get out of hand?” Are they going to end up wrestling if they stay in the same room too long?

“Don’t go,” he said. “I need to talk to you. I’m concerned about your safety, and I want to protect you from danger.” Just like that, he had cast his spell over her once again. She was powerless against the fight she was putting up against him. He led her to a chair and sat across from her. His green eyes beckoned her with their quiet longing. The fire was growing inside once again.

Emmett should have talked him out of that habanero guacamole last night.

I don’t feel like I need to tell you, this was amazing. It definitely crosses into so-bad-it’s-good territory, and in my opinion, it’s one of my favorite bad fanfictions. It’s campy and stupid, dripping with contrived melodrama and overblown yet insignificant problems. It’s clearly the product of an obnoxious “author” with a bad case of the Mary Sues, and I simply love it.

If you liked my review follow my blog. If you hated it, you should also follow it. Feel free to yell at me in the comments and send me nastygrams, but I only accept death threats on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating Fridays.

Keep track of me on Google+ for updates on my readings of fanfictions, the first being of this one in particular. If there’s a fanfiction of any genre you’d like to see me review, please let me know about it and I’ll take a look. Have fun reading!


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