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Projection Room Voices: Starting Media in 3...2...1...

Chapter 4

ZeldaQueen: When we last left off in Hush, Hush, Nora was driving home and hit a Teen Movie Slasher Villain, who proceeded to pummel the car until she got the fuck out of there. Ready, Ket?

Ket: *Groans* no.

ZeldaQueen: Excellent! :D Then here we go!

This chapter starts off as something of a rarity - the opening of it actually is a good follow-up to the ending of the last chapter. Nora is speeding towards the center of town, scared out of her mind. As soon as she stops the car, she gets Vee on the phone and starts babbling about what just happened. I will give Fitzpatrick credit, Nora actually sounds freaked out here. I know that later in the series we won’t be so lucky, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

Vee gets Nora to calm down enough to say what happened, and Nora manages to say that “
He jumped in front of the car!

Ket: Not only jumped in front of it, but punched the shit out of it. Why? ...I ‘unno.

ZeldaQueen: Reasons, Ket. And meanwhile, Vee hears this and somehow comes to the conclusion that Nora hit a frigging deer. Uh… when I refer to animals like deer, I tend to call them “it” unless I know for certain which sex it is. Am I alone in that?

Ket: You’re not, but male deer have antlers, so...maybe she thinks Nora plowed a twelve point buck?

ZeldaQueen: It’s hard to say. She immediately figures it was a deer, then asks if Nora was all right, then starts worrying more about the state of her car.

Ket: Which I still don’t get why Nora drove HER car home instead of just staying over, if the fog was that bad.

ZeldaQueen: Because then we wouldn’t have gotten the previous slasher villain scene, dur! *reads ahead* Oh, I think they heard you. After Nora continues to have a believable freak-out, complete with seriously wondering if she should tell Vee what happened or if she’s just going nuts, she asks if she can spend the night at Vee’s place. Which turns out to be no problem at all.

Ket: Which makes this whole thing completely pointless.

ZeldaQueen: After some description of the roads to Vee’s place, which make little sense since we’re told the streets with no indication as to how they fit into the town, Nora reaches her destination. She describes how she has to kick the door to get out because of how mangled it is, and do keep this in mind for a second.

Despite freaking out over the phone, Nora finds Vee calmly sitting on her bed, listening to music and writing in a notebook. If my friend called me up late at night and was freaking out over hitting something with my car, I’d probably be camped out on the porch until they showed up. Of course, I’d probably have done that regardless, since my parents are light sleepers and having a friend randomly stay the night when it’s already dark would have gone over like a lead balloon. Were my parents weird in that way, or is this evidence of Vee’s parents not existing?

Ket: My mom wouldn’t be cool with a friend staying over on a school night, but if we were quiet and because she’d just been in a car accident, she’d probably let it slide.

ZeldaQueen: But she’d have actually woken up and come to see what was going on when you let the friend in, right?

Ket: Eh. Depends. She’s a pretty heavy sleeper.

ZeldaQueen: Ah, okay.

Vee snarkily asks if she should get it over with and check on her car or wait until she’s had some sleep. Again, that really doesn’t jive with her previous behavior. She then decides to check the car out anyway.

Ket: Vee, why are you being such a bitch? If something jumped out in front of her car, it’s not her fault. Be glad that your friend is okay, and the car isn’t so damaged that it’s undrivable, you ungrateful ass-sucker.

ZeldaQueen: Granted, Vee doesn’t seem to actually blame Nora for it. But she still is disgustingly callous about Nora being so freaked out. And given how Vee’s going to be acting later in the series… yeah, she’s a terrible friend.

Ket: I’m just thinking that if my best friend was in this situation, I’d run out and meet her at the car to make sure she was okay.

ZeldaQueen: True. One would think Vee would have done that much at least, if she was as good a friend as we’re to believe.

Vee and Nora troop outside to inspect the car, and we get… a horror movie twist.

When we got outside, I stared at the Neon for a long moment. It wasn't a warm night, but the weather wasn't the cause of the goose bumps rippling over my arms. No smashed driver's-side window. No bend in the door.

‘Something's not right,’ I said. But Vee wasn't listening. She was busy inspecting every square inch of the Neon.

I stepped forward and poked the driver's-side window. Solid glass. I closed my eyes. When I reopened them, the window was still intact.

I walked around the back of the car. I'd completed almost a full circle when I came up short.

A fine crack bisected the windshield.

Vee saw it at the same time. "Are you sure it wasn't a squirrel?"

My mind flashed back to the lethal eyes behind the ski mask. They were so black I couldn't distinguish the pupils from the irises. Black like ...


Ket: So...what I’m getting from this is that Patch stepped out into the road, beat up the car, and then fixed it. To what point and purpose? Just to freak Nora out? To make her think she’s crazy?

ZeldaQueen: Not exactly. Do you want me to spoil?

Ket: No, let’s have the readers find out when we get there.

ZeldaQueen: Alrighty. For now, let’s tally up the counts.


For that stupid “it wasn’t a warm night but that wasn’t why I had goose bumps” line.


“Something’s not right”, you don’t say?


For Vee’s stupid joke about her hitting a squirrel.

Ket: Though the idea of a squirrel landing spread-eagle on her windshield and freaking her out is kind of hilarious.

ZeldaQueen: Sounds like either a trailer for a Dreamworks film or a car insurance commercial.

ZeldaQueen: So Vee focuses only on how her car has minimal damage, yay, and Nora starts wondering if she’s actually insane. She tries to convince herself that no, she really was attacked, but then finds that she’s having trouble creating a clear mental image of what her attacker looked like.

You know, this is probably the best the series has ever blurred the line between whether or not something was supernaturally done or just a regular occurrence. She had a frightening experience and now there’s no evidence for it at all. She saw the guy, but it was during a storm and she was focused on getting gaway from him. It’s understandable that she didn’t get a clear image of him.

Ket: Breathe it in, folks. Hell, rub your faces in it. It’s never going to get this well-written again.

ZeldaQueen On the other hand, this makes the whole “he has eyes JUST LIKE PATCH’S” thing pretty dumb. She apparently is able to perfectly recognize the eyes of a guy who she saw (A) in the dark and (B) while running away from, and somehow realized they were EXACTLY like the eyes of the guy she saw a handful of times in the past few days. Right.

Ket: Still, we gotta take what we can get with this series.

ZeldaQueen: This is true. And speaking of which, scene change! We jump from Nora freaking out over the attack to her and Vee sitting in a bistro the next morning, having a breakfast of steamed milk before school. Because that’s not mood whiplash at all! Also, I still find it weird to buy that they had enough time before school to stop at a sit-down place for breakfast, especially since they show no signs of being in a hurry.

Nora is still upset about the previous night, understandably (she also apparently somehow borrowed Vee’s clothes, even though Vee’s supposed to have a vastly different body size and shape than her). Vee notices none of this, since she is partaking in her favorite past time - ogling cute boys.


Specifically, she’s ogling some teenage boy in a green sweater, who she whispers to Nora is “
estimating your long legs through your jeans”.


Ket: Does that sound to you like he’s trying to measure the length of her legs?

ZeldaQueen: Maybe he forgot to do his math homework last night?

Also, am I the only one who thinks it’s kind of awkward and creepy that Vee’s gleefully telling Nora, “That hot guy is staring at your legs!” What next, is she going to tell Nora who’s checking out her ass?

Ket: My guess is that she’s trying to get Nora laid.

ZeldaQueen: Which is awkward and creepy, especially since Nora’s just sitting there like an empty husk, staring at the wall.

Vee squees a bit over how Green Sweater Guy gives her a “
little two-finger military salute”. Here’s a fun game - run a Google search on “two finger salute” and see what comes up from that. I’m sure our British viewers can already guess. Vee apparently gets bored quickly of Green Sweater Guy though, because she turns her attention towards his previously-unmentioned companion - “Mr. Green Sweater looks normal, but his wingman looks hard-core bad boy. Emits a certain don't-mess-with-me signal. Tell me he doesn't look like Dracula's spawn. Tell me I'm imagining things.


Ket: So bad that you didn’t even notice him until now, apparently.

ZeldaQueen: We’re going to see that getting ignored is par for the course with this character. For now, you may be wondering what, precisely, this “spawn of Dracula” looks like. Behold.

Lifting my eyes just high enough to get a look at him without appearing that I was, I took in his fine-boned, handsome face. Blond hair hung at his shoulders. Eyes the color of chrome. Unshaven. Impeccably dressed in a tailored jacket over his green sweater and dark designer jeans.

ZeldaQueen: That doesn’t scream “gothic horror” to me. That’s… I don’t know, preppy wonderboy?

Ket: Also, if you never read the book, this is how Jonathan Harker describes the count the first time he sees him:

…a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white mustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere,

And later:

His face was a strong—a very strong—aquiline, with a high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils …The mouth, as far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years,

Not quite the same as unshaven prep.

ZeldaQueen: Vee’s standards for her claim seem to be that he has deep-set eyes, a widow’s peak, and a tall, lanky build.

Ket: Dracula has a lot of kids running around, then.

ZeldaQueen: Well, considering how many Hammer Horror movies he was in…

Oh, and we get a pointless aside, informing us that “
Vee is closing in on six feet tall, but she has a thing for heels. High heels. She also has a thing about not dating shorter guys.” Is it just, me or, does that sentence make it sound like Vee’s only tall because of her high heels? Six feet is very tall for the average high school girl, isn’t it?

Ket: It’s very tall for an adult woman as well. I’m just confused why this came up. Is she upset that the guy is tall but somehow looks like Dracula?

ZeldaQueen: No, she refuses to date shorter men, which makes one wonder why she zooms in on so many guys. I can’t believe she finds a lot who measure up to that. She seems to think that she and this guy are compatible because they’re of similar height.

Ket: To be fair, the tall women I have known generally don’t like to date shorter guys. Especially the ones that like to wear heels.

ZeldaQueen: Well, like I said, this all is pretty pointless. I’m just bringing it up here because… uh, let’s just say this’ll be coming back to bite us in the bums in the fourth book.

Ket: You assume I wouldn’t have escaped to Mexico by the fourth book.

ZeldaQueen: I have great faith in your Houdini-esque escapist abilities. I have even greater faith in my bloodhounds.

Ket: *Groans*

ZeldaQueen: Vee finally catches on that Nora has contributed fuck-all to the conversation and starts complaining because gawd, is she still upset she hit an animal or something? Dude. Vee. SHUT UP. I once had a lovely freak-out because I hit someone while doing a driving simulator! It wasn’t even a living being! My high school had the equivalent of an arcade game set up, with a fake car interior and screens, and had students drive through different environments. I did perfectly fine on all of them, but went a little too fast in the suburban neighborhood and hit someone who jumped into the road unexpectedly. When the simulation was shut off, I was shaking and babbling because OH MY GOD I HIT SOMEONE WHAT IF THIS WAS A REAL CAR AND THAT WAS A REAL PERSON I MIGHT HAVE HIT THEM OH GOD!

Ket: Hey, I don’t blame you. I’m a bit older than you so we didn’t have that, but I’ve freaked out before because I thought I hit a squirrel or a cat.

ZeldaQueen: Oh God, if I thought I hit an animal, I don’t know what I’d do. Try not to drive into a tree as a knee-jerk reaction, I guess. So yeah, Vee, hitting an animal can be plenty traumatic. Be supportive of your friend or kindly shut up!

We get some interesting development on the actual mystery as Nora realizes that her memory of the attack was so disjointed that now she’s not certain she hadn’t actually run into a deer. That’s quickly brushed aside, however, as the Two Hot Guys come over and Vee starts squeeing.

Ket: Of course the interesting part is immediately dismissed. It’s pretty horrifying to know that Patch can brainscrew her that badly.

ZeldaQueen: You’ll see just how it goes.

Vee continues to be creepy, telling Nora, “
Mr. Green Sweater is getting out of his seat. Now that's a body that hits the gym regularly. He is definitely making his way toward us, his eyes pursuing the real estate, your real estate, that is.” Yeah, Vee, thanks. You want to just lead me through how that’s innuendo?


Ket: It sounds like she’s narrating a nature show. “Mister Green Sweater is making his way towards us, with the look of mating in his eyes….”

ZeldaQueen: If only it were a nature show narrated instead by Benedict Cumberbatch. One about pengwings penglings penguins.

Ket: I’d rather listen to him instead of dealing with more of this book.

ZeldaQueen: Oh God, me too. Or watch him doing the ice bucket challenge. You know he did it three times, right?

Ket: I didn’t, actually. I was too busy sulking that Mark Ruffalo never did it.

ZeldaQueen: I highly recommend watching his to make up for it. The first time has him strip. You don’t see anything, but still.

Right. This sporking. *sighs*

Mr. Green Sweater strolls over, and Nora helpfully informs us that he’s blond-haired, blue-eyed, and has a generally pleasant demeanor. Vee introduces herself and Nora to him, for some reason only giving her own first name but introducing Nora with her full name. I’m… not sure what that’s supposed to signify. Is Vee supposed to be pushing to introduce Nora to this guy because she thinks he’s interested in her friend?

Ket: Considering how much she was excited that Green Sweater Man was looking at her legs? I’d say so.

ZeldaQueen: Well, Nora isn’t pleased by it. I can understand not liking Vee pushing her at this guy, but of all things, Nora is pissy about the full-name introduction.

I did not appreciate her tagging on my last name, feeling that it violated an unspoken contract between girls, let alone best friends, upon meeting unknown boys.

ZeldaQueen: ...Is this some unspoken contract I was unaware of? I’m generally not comfortable with giving my last name to a guy I just met, but I’d be just as upset if a male friend gave it as if a female one did.

Ket: It’s kind of weird of her to do, but in school, you generally end up knowing your classmates’ last names anyway? It’s not like it’s a secret. A proper introduction does include a last name, but most high school students don’t follow that etiquette.

ZeldaQueen: These guys don’t go to their school, at least not right now.
Ket: I assumed they’re students from their school, but I have to ask: do these to even matter? Oh, wait, let me guess. They’re angels. Or at least, Dracula’s son is.

ZeldaQueen: Dude, you have no idea how close you are with that guess.

Ket: *Rubs face* not like it’s hard to guess this childish plot.

ZeldaQueen: That’s true. But that all is for later. Right now, the boy introduces himself as Elliot Saunders and simply refers to his friend as Jules. Elliot shakes Nora’s hand, which she complains about for being “
too formal” and Jules, who rightly is unimpressed with this fuckwittery, is incredibly uninterested and flops down in a chair. We’re reminded that he’s incredibly tall by Nora telling us that he “dwarf[ed] the chair”. Can...that happen if you’re sitting in it?

Blah, blah, Vee finds out exactly how tall Jules is (six foot four, for anyone who cares) and Elliot offers to buy something for the girls. Nora insists that she’s fine and Vee, who I swear is every obnoxious female stereotype ever, overturns this and says that they both would like cream-filled doughnuts.

Ket: ...honestly, all I can focus on now is how much I would like a cream-filled donut.

ZeldaQueen: Same. Care for me to pull some out of my magic hat?

Ket: Hell yeah!

ZeldaQueen: Alrighty *roots around* Chocolate or vanilla creme?

Ket: Vanilla, please!

ZeldaQueen: Alrighty! *procures one for Ket and one for herself* Dig in! *noms*

Nora reminds Vee that she’s on a diet and Vee makes an unfunny quip about how vanilla beans are brown fruits. Someone, save me from this book.


Ket: Aren’t you two idiots supposed to be heading to school anyway? *Licking the cream out of her donut.*

ZeldaQueen: Tell me if you want more donuts. And yeah. How early did they get here?!? Most of the cafes and shops in my high school’s area don’t open that early!

Ket: We didn’t have anything like this in my high school, but come on, now!

ZeldaQueen: Jules instantly becomes my favorite character in this book by closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose over this inane dialogue.

Ket: Jules, I think you and me need to run away from this story, Dracula-boy.

ZeldaQueen: I’d second that motion, especially given what goes on later in this series. He and Leila would get along well, I think.

Anywho, I don’t blame him one bit for being annoyed, especially since Nora is hand-holding through stuff like this.

He had a charming, outgoing personality that didn't fade into the background. If I wasn't feeling so shaken, I might have actually taken an interest. In friendship, maybe more.


ZeldaQueen: Thanks, Fitzpatrick, ever so. I never would have guessed he was the romantic rival, were it not for that.

Ket: Well, if Elliot is the rival, sign me up for Team Elliot. I don’t care if he ends up being a demon--he has to be better than Patch.

ZeldaQueen: Indeed. At least if he reaches Patch-levels of horrible, there’s the consolation that you can kick him in the balls.

Vee starts grilling Jules on where he goes to school and, yep, he and Elliot are preps! They go to an exclusive private school in Portland

Ket: I forgot there’s a Portland in Maine. I’m still planning on the two of us running away with Jules, though.

ZeldaQueen: I doubt Jules will argue with you, seeing as Vee’s questions are clearly freaking him out. She licks some milk off of her finger, which I guess is her trying to be erotic, and then all but outright states that she is mooning over him because she thinks he’s rich. Stay classy, Vee.

Ket: Oh, that’s creepy. At least try to pretend that you care about his personality!

ZeldaQueen: And she’s in high school. Gold digging. But it’s okay, because that sort of thing is fine and respectable! Enjoying sex, wearing foundation, and being a cheerleader are the worst things you can do, if you recall. Just ask Marcie Miller.

Ket: I wear foundation, and enjoy sex. Can’t say I was ever a cheerleader, but hey, I’d wear the outfit if my Owner wanted me to. So, shut up, Fitzpatrick.

ZeldaQueen: Just wait until the second book. That’s some of the most judgemental bullhonkey I’ve ever read on this side of House of Night.

Anywho, Elliot returns with the donuts and casually drops how he is, as of that day, transferring to their high school. Huh, that might have meant something if we hadn’t just met him five sentences ago.

Ket: Well, isn’t THAT convenient!

ZeldaQueen: Indeed! Of course, Vee just sees it as an opportunity to moon over Elliot and drop some very obvious hints that he ought to ask one of them to the upcoming dance. Again, Vee, stay classy.


Ket: So, is Jules transferring too?

ZeldaQueen: No, just Elliot.

Ket: Somehow, that’s even more suspicious to me.

ZeldaQueen: Now Ket, how could you ever think those two are suspicious? Don’t they just seem like nice, normal students, with nothing out of the ordinary about them?

Ket: Yes, random sweater boy who happens to be transferring to Nora’s school that day, and his best friend, Alucard, are not suspicious at all.

ZeldaQueen: Well, you’re smarter than Fitzpatrick seems to think you are, in that case.

So yeah, Nora tries to get out of there by saying she and Vee have a biology test to study for, which Vee calls bull on. Nora makes up another excuse, all while acting like leaving an awkward situation is the most rude thing ever and how it’s so impolite of her to brush of Elliot. Sweetie, I think at this point he and Jules would thank you for getting Vee away from them.

Ket: So they can go back to making out.

ZeldaQueen: Again, that sounds eerily close to what actually is revealed later on.

Ket: Now I’m interested!

ZeldaQueen: Hey, anything to get us through this!

So yeah, Nora wishes Elliot a good first day, drags Vee out, and GOD DAMN, we instantly jump to the end of her day at school. *rubs neck* Talk about whiplash! And no, I’m not exaggerating! Just take a look!

’I hope you have a really great first day, and maybe we'll see you at lunch,’ I told Elliot. Then I dragged Vee up by her elbow and steered her out the door.

The school day was almost over, only biology left, and after a quick stop by my locker to exchange books, I headed to class.

ZeldaQueen: Lordy, but Meyer would be proud of that!

Ket: By that description, I was half-expecting Nora to slam Vee into a wall.

ZeldaQueen: If only. Instead, we get more komedy about how Vee is counting the cinnamon in Hot Tamales as a red fruit.


She asks if Nora is seriously worried that Patch is stalking her, saying that she was only joking about it in the library, you see!

Ket: No, she was just kidding about Patch knowing all that shit about her that he shouldn’t without stalking her.

ZeldaQueen: Nonsense. You heard it right here, the very idea that Patch has been stalking Nora is a silly thing that was only proposed as a joke. Obviously he hasn’t really been giving warning signs and we shouldn’t take his behavior seriously as something to be alarmed by. *seethes*

Ket: *Slaps Vee with the Spatula*

ZeldaQueen: Speaking of Patch, who shows up at this minute but he who we dream of throwing to fire ants? He enters the scene by rather condescendingly shooing Vee from his seat (they’re in biology class, yeah it’s confusing) with a “
My seat, if you don't mind.


Ket: (Vee) Actually, I do mind. So why don’t you go fuck yourself over that way?

ZeldaQueen: Oh, it gets worse. Despite apparently using a pleasant enough tone, Patch just stares creepily after Vee as she leaves. Nora even notes that Vee can’t seem to leave quickly enough for him. I’m sure witnesses just make things more difficult for him.


Ket: Maybe this is my violent nature, but is it wrong for me to wish that Bella, Ana, or Nora would just stab the male lead in the eyeball and not date them?

ZeldaQueen: Well, I’d say it’s more than justified once we learn exactly what shit Patch has been up to.

Ket: (Patch) *Heavy breathing* I’ve been stealing your used Kleenex.

ZeldaQueen: ...Worse, but we’ll find out later. For now, Patch apparently decides to rival Grey in the stupid and insincere compliments department when he tells Nora, “
Looking good as always”. Something like that would be a perfectly fine compliment in other circumstances, but given how he’s been making many sleazy remarks about her appearance? Yeah, he can just fuck off.

Ket: I assumed he’s just being an insincere ass, as usual.

ZeldaQueen: Well, for all the other bullshit he pulls, he at least is consistent in admiring Nora’s appearance. That’s really not a good thing though, considering that it gives him plenty of ammo to make inappropriate comments to her, just like the one upcoming.

Nora thanks Patch for the compliment without thinking and then berates herself for it because she hopes that he’ll leave her alone if she ignores him (where was this attitude with the homework assignment?) and because she doesn’t want him to think she likes his compliments. She insists to us that she doesn’t, “
... for the most part”. Because if she secretly likes it, that makes it okay, right?

Ket: *Massaging her temples* no, it doesn’t. Yeah, I get the “hot jerk” deal, but someone out and out stalking you goes WAY beyond just being a jerk. I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot.

ZeldaQueen: And the following conversation demonstrates both that and our discussion on his inappropriate comments very well.

‘You smell good too,’ said Patch.

‘It's called a shower.’ I was staring straight ahead. When he didn't answer, I turned sideways. ‘Soap. Shampoo. Hot water.’

‘Naked. I know the drill.’

Ket: So much for ignoring him. Way to lob him a softball for talking about you naked!

ZeldaQueen: And way for Patch to sound like Hannibal Lecter! “I love the way you smell, Nora. I think your liver will go well with some fava beans and a nice glass of Chiantil.”

Ket: More like Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in Perfume. If you haven’t heard if it, it’s about a serial killer that kills certain girls to collect their scent for perfumes.

ZeldaQueen: That does sound appropriate for him.


And we get another couple of counts.


Because look at what a bad boy Patch is, talking about nekkid chicks!


And because yeah, not only was that meant to be funny, but it’ll later be brought up as a bonding moment in their… uh, developing relationship.

Before anything more can be said (that is, before Nora can have any chance to actually get some of her own back), the bell rings and Coach tells everyone to put away their textbooks because they’re having a practice quiz for the quiz on Friday. Uh… do many classes do this?

Ket: We did practice quizzes in school, yes. Usually as a litmus to see where the whole class was in regards to the upcoming actual quiz.

ZeldaQueen: I guess I’m a confused that they’re having a quiz of any significance at all. Didn’t they just start the unit a couple of days ago?

Ket: I don’t know what they’re having a quiz about, because all we saw was their asinine assignment and a very poor lecture. Maybe it’s on the lecture? But there wasn’t enough there, I wouldn’t think…

ZeldaQueen: Fitzpatrick must know something we don’t, since we’re told that Nora answers the questions with “
a rhythmic outpouring of memorized facts” and writes enough so that she gets writer’s cramp.

Ket: About what? Does this quiz have a point, or is it just “school has quizzes!”?

ZeldaQueen: Oh, it has a point. When Nora pauses in her quiz-answering, Patch leans in to comment on how she looks tired and asks if she had a rough night. How this isn’t noticed by the teacher, I have no clue. Nora ignores this or it just doesn’t register with her or something, and instead she tells him she saw him at the library. Nora, you’re doing a stellar job ignoring this asshat. Patch, meanwhile, continues to earn our hatred by saying that seeing - stalking - her at the library was the highlight of that evening.


Ket: You know, I’m thinking back to stabbing him in the eye. Hey, Patch! Wanna see a magic trick?

ZeldaQueen: Dude, bring in Fawkes the Phoenix!

Ket: I’m perfectly fine with the Joker putting a pencil through Patch’s eye.

ZeldaQueen: I know. Fawkes also put out the eyes of the basilisk, so he’s pretty handy for it as well. Although the Joker would probably keep doing stuff to Patch, so… yeah, that’s sounding like the better option here.

Nora, in a rare fit of intelligence, asks if he followed her there. His response? He tips back his head and laughs at her.


Ket: And I’m guessing that Coach doesn’t notice that, either.

ZeldaQueen: Coach just seems to notice them talking in general, since Nora has to cut the conversation off as she senses him staring at her. Because of course only she’s the one who’s going to get in trouble. It’s not like Patch is being equally loud and obvious here.

Ket: You’d think he’d at least ask what the dipshit was laughing about.

ZeldaQueen: He only publicly humiliates Nora, remember? Although I’d like to point out that Patch and Nora are now talking to one another during a quiz. In any halfway sane world, that would, at the very least, raise suspicions that they’re cheating and giving each other answers on the test. That, in turn, would throw Coach’s “Patch is participating in class sitting next to you!” argument on its head, since it now looks like Patch’s grades are improving because he’s getting Nora to feed him the answers. You know, the same reason Coach refused to let Nora sit next to Vee!


Ket: I remember having to sit at the teacher’s desk before to finish a quiz because my seatmate and I were being too chatty.

ZeldaQueen: Shame we aren’t in a world where reality like that has any place.

Nora turns back to her quiz - seriously, how long is this thing? - but stops again when she glances up and “
[is] surprised to find Patch already watching me”. Nora? Patch is always staring at you. This is not new.

Ket: *Flatly* Watcher. Get it?

ZeldaQueen: ...But we’re going to see that he wasn’t one of the Watchers.

Ket: Because the logic has been so solid and consistent so far?

ZeldaQueen: Good point. Let’s just give it a few points…


I’d just like to say that having someone stare at me continuously like that creeps me the fuck out, whether or not they’re already shady.

Ket: I’m sure that’s his purpose--to unnerve her.

ZeldaQueen: Well, if that’s his intent, he only half succeeds. Nora’s horrified… of the fact that when she sees his “
bizarrely attractive smile”, her heart goes pit-a-pat.

Ket: All I can picture is him smiling like this:

ZeldaQueen: I’m picturing Truth, from Fullmetal Alchemist

ZeldaQueen: Although I’m sure Truth, at least, would seal Patch away forever.

Nora’s so surprised by her hormones ramping up that she drops her pencil. Patch picks it up off the ground and we get the cliched bit where she takes it back and is all aglow from touching him. She continues to try to get him to say whether or not he was the one who attacked the car last night and he continues to not give her a straight answer. He again comments on how she seems frazzled and she holds our hands to tell us how he seems concerned but isn’t really since she can see the glint of his eyes or whatever.


Ket: How is this supposed to make me cheer for this pairing? You’re telling me that Patch attacked her car and is mocking her about it. I’m just hoping she gets the Angel Blade from Supernatural and kills him.

ZeldaQueen: From what I can figure, after sifting through the rest of the bullshit that is their relationship, Fitzpatrick probably intended for this to be a case where Patch actually does feel some degree of concern towards Nora. That seems to be her favorite way of writing Bad Boys being romantic - have them be complete and utter assholes, but then have then show the slightest hint of basic decency or care so the heroine can leap on it like a dog with a bone.

Ket: Am I just not getting this because I’m not a teenager? I know there are teenagers on this comm, and I know that they recoil with horror like I do when male leads act like this. Who the hell is this supposed to be for?

ZeldaQueen: Considering Fitzpatrick - who wrote this in her twenties - has stated repeatedly that Patch is the guy she wished she dated in high school… uh… I guess the answer is the same as asking who Twilight is really for. The suethor and anyone else who happens to want to come along for the ride.

Coach, at this point, specifically tells Nora off for talking and says nothing at all to Patch. By now, it’s really not even that Coach himself is an asshole. The world just seems to blatantly favor Patch while using Nora as a punching bag.

Ket: I assume Coach is brainfucked at this point, but it just makes this all the more frustrating to read.

ZeldaQueen: According to Patch, he only fucked with Coach’s mind on one issue. Other than that, Coach is just an asshole. Considering that he’s based on a teacher Fitzpatrick actually had (complete with him asking her the whole “ideal traits in a mate” thing), that might explain a few things.

Ket: Because she’s basing teacher this on a real person, she’s probably exaggerating every bad trait about him to the millionth degree.

ZeldaQueen: Well, in an interview, she said how she copied a lot of stuff into Hush, Hush from her diaries in high school, which she used to get back into her mindset as a teenaer. It’s not unlikely that if she didn’t remember her high school years too well, ving stuff she wrote during her teen years as a reference caused a lot of stuff to be blown out of proportion.

Ket: I remember my classmates more than my teachers, except for the teachers I either really liked or really hated, but I never had one that actively let another classmate sexually harass me.

ZeldaQueen: That, I think, was made up wholecloth for the… uh, romance.

Speaking of which! After the quiz is collected, we jump to the end of class. Omph, that was abrupt! Nora asks Patch to wait up to talk to her about something. She then tells him that Coach didn’t listen when she asked him to separate them, so maybe Patch could go ask Coach instead! Because hey, Coach will listen to Patch, right?

I will repeat this, folks. She just went to Patch - the boy she thinks may be stalking her and who has been actively taking delight in mocking and harassing her - and seriously asking him to do something that will move her away from him and keep him from harassing her more.



Ket: Nora, how could you possibly think this would be a good idea? You’ve admitted that he’s getting to you, which will just make his dick stiff.

ZeldaQueen: Oh, it gets dumber. Patch does what every single one of us guessed immediately that he’d do and tells Nora nope, he wants to keep sitting next to her. Her main argument to try to convince him otherwise?

’I know you don't want to sit next to me any more than I want to sit next to you. I think Coach might consider changing our seats if you talk to him. If you explain the situation-’

‘The situation?’

‘We're not-compatible.’

He rubbed a hand over his jaw, a calculating gesture I'd grown accustomed to in only a few short days of knowing him. ‘We're not?’

‘I'm not announcing groundbreaking news here.’

Ket: Not compatible is the smallest of your worries! How about “I know you’re following me and I am going to stab you in self-defense if I see your face again”?



ZeldaQueen: Not only that, but he doesn’t want to sit next to her? REALLY? Nora. Baby. Sweetheart. Cupcake. HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF ATTENTION TO THIS ASSHOLE? He clearly LOVES sitting next to you! As I pointed out, IT MAKES IT EASIER FOR HIM TO HARASS YOU!


Ket: It’s pretty obvious that you’re just a wounded mouse, and he’s a very intent cat.

ZeldaQueen: Yes, as evidenced by the way he’s responding to her in the most dickishly smug way possible.


Patch drudges back up that bullshit list of traits he wants in a mate and gleefully tells Nora that she matches it and thus they are compatible!

Ket: Yeah, but she never said that you are her ideal mate, Patch! ...no, I’m not calling you “Patch” anymore, because that’s the name an adorable puppy would have. You’re “Rag” now.

ZeldaQueen: Nora does point that out, or at least I think she tries to. All she actually says in retort is, “
Take that back.


Ket: Oh, come on! Are you five?!

ZeldaQueen: At this point, I wouldn’t rule it out.

Patch repeats the list of traits and asks Nora if she disagrees that she fits them. I certainly would, but that’s really not the issue here, fuckhead. Nora doesn’t actually point this out, but instead holds our hand over how he’s clearly trying to get a rise out of her and is succeeding.


Ket: Okay, so you realize that. The logical thing to do would be to say you don’t care about his list, you want nothing to do with him, and to either make the request himself or you will get the principal--or even the police--involved. But since Nora is a moron, I’m guessing she’s just going to fume and stamp her feet.

ZeldaQueen: You guess correctly. She also tries yet again to talk Patch into getting Coach to switch their seats, despite the fact that he’s made it incredibly clear that HE FUCKING ISN’T GOING TO, DO SOMETHING ELSE NORA!


Lord Almighty, something tells me that Nora never heard the saying, “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results”.

Ket: *Rubs face* Gods and angels above. I know we have a good selection of writers here, and if any of you want to write a young adult novel, or even better, a young adult romance, I will give you one of my ovaries if you write a book where there’s a character like Rag. The catch is that you have to set it up like he’s the romantic lead, but have him be the villain and have the female lead have a backbone and pick a nice guy. Or be a lesbian. Or be single.

ZeldaQueen: *is keeping that challenge in mind*

Ket: Left or right. I’m not picky about which ovary you want.

ZeldaQueen: I’ll think about it when the time comes.

Patch brings up the possibility of sitting next to Vee, which sounds creepily like he’s telling Nora that if he’s not next to her, he’ll be right there creeping on her friend.


Ket: Oh, heeeeell no! You threaten me, I might take it. You threaten someone I love, and they’ll never find your body.

ZeldaQueen: Not here, nope. Instead, it’s played for komedy, since Vee chooses that very instant to show up.


Upon hearing them talking about her, she gives the mysterious comment of, “
I'm not going to press my luck.” Um, okay?


Ket: Maybe she’s smart enough to know that she’s off the firing range when it comes to Rag?

ZeldaQueen: The book would be much better if that were the case. Instead, she just asks Nora if she’s interrupting something. Nora, probably trying to salvage what dignity she has left, says she was asking Patch the reading homework. Vee replies that the reading assignment is clearly on the blackboard and that Nora no doubt has read it already, because obviously Nora is someone who’s so on-the-ball. This is, of course, meant to be funny because Fitzpatrick seems to find making Nora the world’s biggest Butt Monkey to be utterly hilarious.


Patch certainly seems to agree, since this causes him to laugh at her.


Ket: So...am I supposed to be laughing too? Because I just want to punch Rag again.

ZeldaQueen: I want to punch him and I want to punch Nora for her idiocy. For that? She spouts off this.

Patch laughed, seemingly sharing a private joke with himself. Not for the first time, I wished I knew what he was thinking. Because sometimes I was positive these private jokes had everything to do with me.

Ket: They do. He’s laughing at you being worthless and pathetic.


ZeldaQueen: Even ignoring that obvious explanation, Nora? Honey? You think he’s stalking you! If he starts laughing at a comment about your personal habits and you think he’s watching every little thing you’re doing, this should lead to a conclusion along the lines of, “He’s thinking of something he saw me doing in private, DO NOT WANT!”


Ket: Or he’s just thinking of how much of an idiot she is.

ZeldaQueen: Too true, if only because he laughs at something involving her and she only has the faintest suspicion that his source of amusement has something to do with her. I swear, there are bowling balls sharper than this girl!

 photo anigif_enhanced-buzz-1185-1422645125-28.gif

ZeldaQueen: Patch moseys off, but not before cheekily asking Nora if she’s done asking him questions and winking at her. For some reason, Nora acts like his winking at her is the most outrageous thing he’s done yet. Honey, this isn’t the 1930s.

Ket: Following you to the library? Eh. Winking? Scandalous!


ZeldaQueen: Once Patch is out of earshot, Vee announces that she has great news. No, not that she was going to write an article in the school paper to expose Coach’s harassment. Her “great news” is that she read Coach’s class roster (okay…) and found out that Patch’s last name is “Cipriano”. That’s a fitting last name for a fallen angel. And no, it’s not a human name he adopted. This is treated as his real name.[‘Kay!]

Ket: I looked this up to see if it has a significant meaning. All of the famous people I can find with it are actually Hispanic, Portuguese, or Brazilian. However, there is a Cipriano family in Southern Italy that involved with the mafia there. I assume that she picked a last name that at least sounded Italian, which I’m fine with since Rome is really where the Catholic Church began, and still part of Abrahamic tradition.

ZeldaQueen: This site does trace the family name of Cipriano from Italy to its first records in North America. I’ve also seen a few baby name sites that list it as a Spanish and/or Italian name (although since it can be used as both a given and a surname, it’s difficult to say which the sites are referring to). Hilariously, this site says that people with the name Cipriano “have a deep inner need for quiet, and a desire to understand and analyze the world they live in, and to learn the deeper truths” and “tend to be orderly and dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service. They value truth, justice, and discipline, and may be quick-tempered with those who do not. Their practical nature makes them good at managing and saving money, and at building things in the material world. Because of their focus on order and practicality, they may seem overly cautious and conservative at times.”

While Patch may seem calm and patient, he’s as opposite of that description as you can get, particularly with the managing and saving money part (he seems to live hand-to-mouth through things like gambling).

On a less amusing note, Cipriano is also the surname of a Portugese girl who was murdered by her mother and uncle, believed to be because she witnessed an incestuous relationship between the two. While Fitzpatrick probably didn’t know that...yeah.

Ket: While your character’s last name doesn’t have to mean anything special, you should probably research it! ...by the way, just for some trivia about how stupid I am, my last name means “pillow” in Japanese because I’m a moron and misspelled the word for “completely darkness/total blindness” (Makura vs Makkura). By the time I realized this, I’d been calling myself “Ket Makura” for years.

ZeldaQueen: My last name means that I’m female royalty. :P

Ket: Way better than “Pillow”!

ZeldaQueen: Hey, don’t sell yourself short. Pillows are comfy and snuggly and few can sleep without ‘em!

Ket: True, and I am snuggly.

ZeldaQueen: Yay!

Nora asks why she should care what Patch’s last name is. Vee says that since they know it, they can start stalking him now! Okay, she doesn’t actually word it like that, but she she might as well.

’Everybody knows students are required to register prescription drugs with the nurse's office.’ She tugged at the front pocket of my backpack, where I kept my iron pills. "Likewise, everybody knows the nurse's office is conveniently located inside the front office, where, as it happens, student files are also kept.’

Ket: Wait, wait, back up the trolley. So we know Rag’s last name. Does that mean that Patch’s given name is actually “Patch”?!

ZeldaQueen: We’ll find out later that no, it isn’t. By that, I mean we find it out by the very end of the second book. In this book, we do find out that Patch is a (very stupid) nickname, but nobody at the school acts like it is.

Ket: So in other words, I’ll learn what it is long after I’ve stopped caring.

ZeldaQueen: Which is par for the course here, really.

I, meanwhile, am wondering about the layout of this school. The nurse’s office is in the same office as the student records? Do...schools do that? My high school gave the nurse’s office its own room. Actually, there might even have been two connected rooms, since there were a few beds for “sick” students to sleep on and skip class.

Ket: My high school didn’t have a school nurse, but the student records were in a locked room in the same little office grouping as the administrator and principal.

ZeldaQueen: We’re going to see in the next chapter that that’s how it is at Nora’s school as well. So apparently her school has the nurse’s office stuck in the principal’s office. Also, in my last sporking of this chapter, I was informed that iron pills can, in fact, be registered as prescription drugs. What isn’t explained, however, is why Nora’s planning to get away with registering them now. It’s near the end of the school year and she’s clearly been taken them for some time. Don’t drugs have to be registered at a school when the student starts taking them?


Ket: If they’re held by the school, I suppose. I just don’t see a point in her doing it.

ZeldaQueen: So she can get into the nurse’s office and then break into the student records to look up all of Patch’s information.

Ket: Which you would think that the student records would be in a locked drawer.

ZeldaQueen: Which… well, we’ll get to that when we spork the next chapter. Suffice to say, Vee seems confident she can get past a locked door using the vaguest of Mission Impossible re-enactments.


Ket: If you plan is to get into the nurse’s office, why not fake being sick instead?

ZeldaQueen: Because, Ket, Reasons. Also, I don’t think Fitzpatrick thought of something that mundane.


Also, they just found this guy’s...uh, full name. Why in the ever-loving Jimminy Christmas don’t they think to first do something less extreme? You know, like Google it! Nora has a computer, it takes all of five seconds, and you’d think two students who work at a paper would be good at searching the internet for information! It seems to me that it’d be more logical to do the things you can pull off quickly and without risk of suspension/arrest before doing the blatantly illegal shit!


Ket: Wait. Why do they want to get Patch’s student record in the first place? What good will it do them?

ZeldaQueen: Like I said, they want to stalk him and look up interesting dirt on him. Vee later expresses an interest in the possibility that he has an arrest record.

Ket: If he has an arrest record, it’s sealed. Unless he has committed a heinous crime and has been tried as an adult, all of his crimes as a minor are in sealed record.

ZeldaQueen: I doubt Fitzpatrick knew that. She seems to forget half the time that he’s actually supposed to be in the body of a teenager. Really, I get the feeling that this is just done as a form of author appeal to Fitzpatrick. She wanted Nora and Vee to be Teen Detectives and have a scene of them breaking in somewhere to dig up secret info and forgot to see if it made sense.

Ket: But it makes no sense. If the school knows he has a criminal record, the school won’t care. And if Vee prints it, Patch could sue her for defamation of character. Also, why do they need to dig up dirt when his behavior is more than enough?!

ZeldaQueen: Vee wants to do it because she’s a buybody who enjoys rooting through people’s information. Nora’s doing it because she’s too spineless to back down. And not a God-fucking-damned thing in this series makes a lick of sense, which is why I had a breakdown and had to stop the first time I tried to spork through it!

Vee gleefully tells Nora that it’s “
[t]ime to do some real sleuthing”. God, but I’m irritated by that word.


Ket: Zelda.

ZeldaQueen: Yes?

Ket: Please punch me until I’m unconscious and I don’t have to read this anymore.

ZeldaQueen: I’ll do it after we reach the chapter on the angel mythos, because that’s why you agreed to do this in the first place. Don’t pretend you forgot. There’s still a hole in Time and Space that you ripped through with your spatula when this sporking began.

Ket: *Sighs* fuck.

ZeldaQueen: Well, there is some good news!

Ket: Nora grows a brain and or spine?

ZeldaQueen: Nope. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. Also, the chapter ended so we can take a break.

Ket: Finally. But the next chapter is going to be worse.

ZeldaQueen: It’s going to be dumb, at least. We must have ice cream with us.

Ket: And booze. Ice cream and booze is becoming a theme for us.

ZeldaQueen: Well, whatever works.

SAY WHAT? - 37

Onward to: Chapter 5
Back to: Chapter 3 - Part 2
Return to: Table Of Contents

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-15 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aikaterini.livejournal.com
I still don’t understand what the purpose of prolonging Nora’s suffering and discomfort is. Even when Stephenie Meyer made her characters be pointlessly petty and cruel to Leah Clearwater, Mike Newton, etc., they were at least side characters that we weren’t supposed to root for. Nora is our *protagonist.* So, why are we supposed to laugh at her along with Patch and Vee? Or if we’re not, if we’re supposed to sympathize with her, why are we supposed to like Patch, the chief source of her torment? Why does Nora never get a break? Why does she end up with him in the end?

I just don’t get it.

Unless, sadly, this is the same thing that I wondered about when it came to Jace. That the “fantasy” here is of just being the object of a hot guy’s attention. Doesn’t matter how horrible he is, doesn’t matter if he treats you like dirt and never says a kind word to you, all that matters is that he’s a boy and he’s hot and he’s focused on you.

And if that’s what the supposed ‘fantasy’ is, then that’s just pathetic and sad.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-15 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
"I still don’t understand what the purpose of prolonging Nora’s suffering and discomfort is. Even when Stephenie Meyer made her characters be pointlessly petty and cruel to Leah Clearwater, Mike Newton, etc., they were at least side characters that we weren’t supposed to root for. Nora is our *protagonist.* So, why are we supposed to laugh at her along with Patch and Vee? Or if we’re not, if we’re supposed to sympathize with her, why are we supposed to like Patch, the chief source of her torment? Why does Nora never get a break? Why does she end up with him in the end?"

Some of the cases are, from what I can tell, intended as komedy. Things like Patch laughing at Nora when she's stuck on Marcie's roof, that sort of thing.

On the other hand, it's not funny because so much emphasis is placed on her being upset by it. She's constantly described as having her ears burning, her face flushing, wanting to hide, etc. It's not like, say, a comedy where a character has something humiliating happen and they walk it off.

My best bet is that Fitzpatrick has some sort of humiliation kink. That's the best reason I can think of. I mean, I can think of other reasons why her character is constantly belittled and mocked by the guy she admitted was the sort of person she dreamed of dating in high school, but I REALLY don't want to dwell on that.


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