Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Wolf Gift--chapter 17

First off...

Go buy it. Please.
If there is one thing I really hate, it is telling customers at work my name.

You have already defeated my meager dignity by demanding I keep your water full and de-crumb your table peroidically. Allow me to keep one social barrier between us. If you become a regular, that's different. If this is your first time here? DO NOT CALL ME BY MY FUCKING NAME.

Because it is a matter of identity, as in retaining one's own. As in not becoming something to be mauled by somebody else.

Which is why this chapter, my loyal blog-readers? THIS CHAPTER CREEPS ME THE FUCK OUT.

Ruben is sitting outside Laura's house, watching her.

THIS IS NOT OKAY. This is not okay, this is not okay THIS IS NOT FUCKING OKAY.

Even better, he follows her to a nice little cafe up the road a little.

Ruben walks up to her. Laura has never seen him human, so when he sits down at her table without her reaction is a polite version of "fuck off!"

This paragraph happens:

Reuben didn’t answer. There was no waiter visible in the back of the restaurant just now. Only a couple of other tables were occupied.
At this point? I get up. I find a waiter. I request politely to be taken to the waiter's break room while the cops are summoned, because blog readers? THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Laura figures out that Ruben is a reporter, and decides that he's searching for info on the Wolf Man. Now scared out of her mind, Laura elects to leave.

Ruben stops her.

See, he knows he has to go back to the World's Perfect Mansion, but he'd rather not leave without taking his new toy with him. That toy being Laura. Who is so scared of him right now she's trying to leave the restaruant.

Have I mentioned yet that this is not okay?

And then he tells Laura that he was with her last night, and she's like "Oh. Well. Okay then." And she sits down.

Because, you know, having a boyfriend that stalks you is perfectly alright.


Ruben gives her a couple more facts you could probably scrape off the internet re: Wolf man, and then tells her he's going back to his GREAT BIG FUCKING MANSION, would she like to go with? She says sure.

Because having a stalker is a compliment.

They start driving off (in. Ruben's. Porsche) and Laura starts laughing. Because Laughter is always a sign of good humor, and not panic at being in a strange car with a strange man heading off into a strange town.

Laura thinks Ruben is the handsomest man she's ever seen.

The last guy she was involved with (according to the book) drowned himself and her two kids as revenge for her leaving him.

She shouldn't be getting in that fucking car.

And that's not a judgement on Laura as a person. I do not think she's a stupid idiot female for going with a dangerous alpha male. I think she's a badly written character being driven by an author who wants the main character to have something to fuck for a while. This is the psychological equivalent of Don't Touch the Funnel Cloud. HUMAN BEINGS DON'T WORK THIS WAY. Damaged people do not work this way. Women who endure bad shit develop instincts. These instincts can be pretty good at telling us to get out of dodge. Bad men can manipulate these instincts and put us into a submissive reaction, rather than a fight-or-flight one, but Ruben hasn't had enough time to do that. I firmly believe that if Laura were a real human being? She would not be getting in Ruben's car. 

Maybe in another couple of weeks, but not right away.

Anne Rice cannot handle the psychology of a damaged psyche. She understood that a woman would have to be severely wounded to accept Wolf!Ruben without comment. She failed to understand everything else. Folks, elbows don't bend like knees, fire doesn't do cold, and damaged women don't drop in exalted submission whenever an alpha-male walks into the room.  Writing any of these things as if they are true means that you've failed majorly as a writer and you need to go home and do it again.

Hey, there hasn't been any puke-worthy dialogue in a while.

“You know,” she said with the utmost sincerity. “In the story of the prince and the frog, there’s always a frog. This story  …   it has no frog.” 

“Hmmm. It’s a different story, Laura,” he responded. “It’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” 
“No, it’s not,” she said reprovingly. “I don’t think it’s that story at all. It’s not ‘Beauty and the Beast’ either. Maybe it’s a new story.”
I'd say "Stop putting words in your character's mouths" but all Laura would be saying is "AAAAAHHHHHHH"

The chapter ends with a kiss. And I swear to god if the word "Sweet" is applied to sexual tension with Laura one more time I'm gonna go light a whole pile of gummy bears on fire.


  1. Soooo, why doesn't he just introduce himself before he sits down? "Hi, my name is Reuben McRichdouche. I'm the not-werewolf anwolf-may who's been shagging you senseless."

    Or would that just make too much sense?

  2. Oh god I hated that last bit about the stories and this being a new one.

    And yeah, I can't fault Laura for the author's mistakes either. Kind of like how I don't hate Narcissus from NiC the way I do the other various rapists in the series simply because the author clearly wrote him just be A BIG EDGY BUNDLE OF HOMOPHOBIC BULLSHIT and that actually automatically endears me to him just on principle, much like how I tend to automatically be on the side of the various women she tries to convince us are all awful slutty bitchy insert-sexist-slur-here types UNLIKE OUR DELIGHTFUL ANITA OF COURSE.

    I've actually even got a headcanon about how Narcissus actually never did a thing to JC that wasn't totally consensual bondage and JC was actually manipulating Richard and Anita when he 'accidentally leaked' those memories...because JC proved himself very early on as quite the chessmaster, and there's still a lot of instances in the current books that suggest he's pulling her strings and everyone elses, though I doubt LKH realizes she's writing that...then again, I have to hope...so it doesn't seem farfetched to me at all that he'd throw Narci under the boss as the bad guy if he had something to gain from it. Not that Narci still wasn't a shitty terribad leader for the Chimera thing...

    So yeah. When authors make a bad character, I tend not to blame the character but instead find in-universe ways to make the character a good one instead. Good meaning not morally, but as in good in terms of writing. Or at least make them make SENSE.

    1. My problem with doing the head-cannon thing to Laura is...there is NO WAY to make her choices anything other than severely physically dangerous. The urge to please being displayed here is so fucking dangerous I can't even.

      This makes Bella Swan look well adjusted.

      I have spent my ENTIRE LIFE dealing with this exact psychological issue. I've watched my mother have the same struggle with guys. Laura's choices make perfect sense to me. I've made similar choices. One of them ended with my being sexually assualted in a stranger's truck.

      Having Anne Rice turn the co-dependant dial up to 9000 and then praise it as being a beautiful and lovely thing makes me want to hit something.