Monday, January 5, 2015

Stroke of Midnight--chapter 18, Yet more Elsie Dinsmore

We are still having sex. With very mixed metaphores:

WE ROLLED OURSELVES IN IT UNTIL WE LOOKED LIKE GREY ghosts. The shine of our magic was dimmed by it like Christmas lights shining through snow.
Are you ghosts or is it Christmas? And why would you want to do this? I have it on pretty good authority that sex on the beach hurts like hell, why would you want to get fine black powder all over everything?

...and what kind of mud are you making right now?

He pressed his hardness against the front of my body and the back of me.
How the fuck is that anatomically possible? I'm it wrapping around her torso? Has he impaled her on his dick? Oh, wait, I get it now. It's a penis Portal gun. Is he using the orange or the blue portal for entry?

My hand found that a second pulse lay in his groin, beating against the palm of my hand.

Amatheon, the dude I couldn't remember last post, refuses to have sex with Merry.

For someone who writes 75% sex, LKH sure seems to hate actually writing about screwing.

But LKH hasn't actively failed with consent for a while.

“I am no longer certain what I mean. I think I would say almost anything, do almost anything, in this moment, if it would make you say yes.”
AAAAANNNNNNNDDDDD there we go. It's not exactly rapy--consensual sex is what they're in the middle of--but there's a very fucked up dynamic here that I'm not sure I want to touch. I'm purposefully not identifying which one of these idiots said it because I don't think the gender involved matters.

This is not romantic. It's not necessarily abusive but I really don't like it. And speaking of shit out of context:

He used his grip on my wrists to swing me around. He flung me to the ground. I barely caught myself with my hands in the dirt, barely kept my face above the ground. I drew breath to protest, but his weight was suddenly on top of me, pressing me to the ground. He jerked me up on my knees , so that I was on all fours. He shoved himself against my body, I think he meant to shove inside me, but the angle wasn’t quite right. and he had to use his hands to move my hips ever so slightly. Again I started to say something, but he had his angle, and he shoved himself inside me, as hard and fast as he could. He shoved himself in until his balls smacked against my ass. I screamed, because he was too hard, and the angle was sharp,
This is still supposed to be consensual sex. This does not read like consensual sex. This doesn't read like anything that should be in the same room as consensual sex.

If you want to write rough consensual sex, break that shit up. Merry could gasp with pleasure or moan or think "WOW this really ought to hurt but I love every second of it" or do something to indicate that she's not being raped by one of her guards. The reason she is not is, once again, LKH cannot stand the idea of women enjoying sex because how the fuck should I know. It's the only thing that is consistant through all her writing. Depections of female pleasure are to be avoided at all cost. And when they do show up, they're short, to the point, and less "female pleasure" and more "This is the noise women make when they're happy, right?"

How the fuck a woman can write this shit, I have yet to understand.

And then Merry asks for a different position because the description up there hurts too fucking much.

You know, this IS your book. You CAN write fantasy sex that doesn't feel like you've just rammed a soda-pop bottle up your vajayjay.

Merry rides him. For a paragraph. Where every sentence starts with the words "I rode".

And then we go from screaming orgasms to assassination attempts? The HELL?

No, no, if this is a real plot thing I'm not protesting. GOD I AM NOT PROTESTING LET US STOP WITH THE PAINFULLY STUPID SEX AND GO ON TO THE PLOT.

Frost and the other Random Assorted Penii drag Merry down the hallway. Amatheon vanished from the astral sex so I'm gonna bet we're about to turn around and find him dead.

And then I'd lose, because it's Galen all bloody and nasty on the floor. Merry cries out his name and that is the end of the chapter.

The next book in this series opens with Elsie being unhappy that her father is being courted by Miss Stephens.

Assuming that there was a good chunk of time between the publishing of this book and the last...why are we just diving in? I mean...usually we get SOMETHING like a buffer. If it weren't for the big-ass Chapter One I wouldn't even realize we've switched shit.

And of course Horace, being the wonderful asshole that he is, asks Elsie why she didn't go to him with her problem, and instead went straight to bed. GOD FORBID THE KID SHOW ANY SIGNS OF BEING INDEPENDANT AND/OR CAPABLE OF SELF-SOOTHING.

"Not half so angry as if you refuse to give me your confidence. I would be glad to know that my little daughter had not a single thought or feeling concealed from me."
The truely terrifying thing is that Martha Finley intended Horace to be an ideal father. This controling piece of shit. An ideal father.


Horace buys Elsie better books than the one Miss Stevens gave her. Note: We never find out what the "trashy" book was, or what these books are. We just know that Horace Disapproves.

Then Elsie refuses to go to a children's party because Horace won't be there...but she heads off to play with the other girls because it gives us a chance to shit on Enna for a while. There aren't many characters in this disgusting series that get shit on as roundly as Enna, so we'd better get used to that.

And then Horace gives Elsie a lecture because she gave a friend a lock of hair as a Christmas present before he told her she couldn't give her own hair away. Giving hair was actually a really well honored tradition back then, and the work they'd make from it was INCREDIBLE.

The clasp says "Lizzy". Apparently, this was Lizzy's hair.
There were two reasons for this. One was because making hair jewelry was a fun hobby. The other was so that if your friend died, you had a part of them forever. They didn't have photographs back then (And when they me, whenever you see a photo of a victorian kid "sleeping"? Yeah, they're not asleep. They're dead.), and hiring a painter was sometimes too expensive. But getting your best friend to lop off a couple curls from the back would give you something pretty you could wear just in case your best friend dies of smallpox/measles/chollera/TB/fire/horse accident/pnumonia/the common cold.

So basically this is Horace saying "No, you can't make a friendship bracelet."

God, he's such a prick.

Elsie stays home from a party to write a letter to her friend.

Horace spends the entire evening correcting her.

"There, you have spelled a word wrong, and I see you have one or two capitals where there should be a small letter; and that last sentence is not perfectly grammatical," he said. "You must let me correct it when you are done, and then you must copy it off more carefully."
Arthur tries to borrow money from Elsie, saying that she could tell her father she bought Christmas presents for the servants.

Oh, yeah, have we forgotten that this family owns slaves? Yeah.

The kids ask Elsie if she will play "Jackstones" with them. She asks Horace, who had told her no several weeks ago, so he makes her go lock herself up in a closet as punishment. She has to sit there for several hours because he forgets all about her.

And of course he chews her out for asking if she can play. Because Horace being nice would probably mean a heart attack or something.

Then she asks him why she can't play.

"Then you had no right to think so. That was one reason, but not the only one. I have heard it said that that play enlarges the knuckles, and I don't choose to have these little hands of mine robbed of their beauty," he added, playfully raising them to his lips.

Yep. GOD FORBID a girl do something that might make her less of a sex object for a man.

ALSO: YES. YES LET US BLAME A DEBILITATING DISEASE ON FUCKING GAMES THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING. Arthritus runs in my family. My grandmother's got it, my mom's getting it, and the other day I had somebody ask me if it's in the family because my knuckles are getting "that look". It's a hereditary disease that has nothing to do with popping knuckles or overworking your hands and EVERYTHING to do with immune systems and genetics.

The chapter ends with Elsie being stressed to the point of tears.

This book. This fucking book.

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