|Reviews for Goodnight, Noises Everywhere|
| fanfictionalcolic chapter 25 . 7/12
Very strange and disturbing story but wonderfully creative and well written
| Renee Aubin chapter 25 . 12/13/2021
I bet it would be the simple things we would miss most: ‘Oh god, ice. I remembered ice. I loved ice.’
Hmm. ‘Lost in the memory, I could smell the bread toasting, the feel of the cool countertop against my stomach as I unscrewed the lid of the peanut butter jar while Charlie sat at the table behind me, rustling the paper and gurgling a happy, tuneless song. I wished I'd known then how precious these tiny moments were at the time.’
‘I fell to the ground face first, arms spread wide on Charlie's grave. "Goodbye, Charlie," I said, imagining the soft grass on my cheek was his evening stubble. "Maybe I'll see you soon."’
A gut punch. And yet somehow hopeful.
‘The sun seemed to draw closer and closer to us, filling more of the sky every time I awoke. I slept when I was tired, never sure if I had become nocturnal or if my body's clock was able to stay the same despite my changing environs. I wondered if this was what it was like to be a vampire, where your life stretched out into just one long day that lasted forever.’
Nicely imagined: ‘He sputtered a little at first, but then drank greedily, gaining strength as the bag emptied. It was amazing watching his transformation, his reawakening. I'd seen this only once before, since he'd been so careful after that first time to be far from me when he fed.’
What a situation, after she sort of force-feeds him and he leaves:
‘I didn't want to sleep, in case he returned. I was hungry but didn't want to move—what if he came back and couldn't find me? Of course I knew he could probably follow my scent, but everything felt unsure to me now.
It was the first I'd been alone in a while, and I didn't know if he'd be back. We no longer had the doorframe to mark our days. We didn't have sunsets to tell us when one day shifted to the next.’
Oh my goodness: ‘No matter how horrible my life had become, somehow there was always something else that could be taken away: sunsets, scratches in wood marking the time, Edward. Just when I thought I'd already lost everything, I found there was always more to lose.’
And thank the goddess she changes her mind at the last moment. ‘It turned out that this wasn't the way I wanted to die.’
The end reminded me of how their lovemaking would make the meadow bloom. Only this time, their orgasm brought on the final paroxysm of the earth.
A fitting finale: ‘"I love you, now and forever," I said, feeling not bitter or angry, but grateful, full of awe, that I had been able to find him, find such love in this shell of a world.’
I don’t read much apocalyptic fiction, but from this example I can see how deeply juicy it can be. How it can throw into relief how much we have right now, if only we would see it. Thanks so much for this “tale of doom”, and for leaving it where we can find it.
I might check out the movie, but I couldn't possibly appreciate it as much as this tale cleverly framed with canon Edward and Bella.
| Renee Aubin chapter 24 . 12/13/2021
Oh geez what an awful option: ‘But Edward could pull the trigger for me. If I asked him to, he wouldn't deny me anything.’
How could she even fleetingly imagine asking that of him?
Sigh: ‘…his eyes seemed so sad, sad that I wouldn't choose forever, even with him.’
Wow, to have gotten clues about what would actually happen from Billy’s journal, and from Carlisle’s ravings. Back in the “before time”, anyone who had predicted this would have been dismissed as mad anyway, no matter how right they were.
Oof: ‘How would we live day to day, not knowing if it would be our last?’
I HATE when someone asks another to promise them something before telling them what it is! Happened in canon too, of course, Bella’s favorite “gotcha”.
She is sure she wants to choose her own time to die. Great reuse of the canon line:
‘I'd rather you kill me than just be gone, like, poof, smashed under the hand of God. It'll be like I never existed.’
This brings up so many thoughts about our lives as they are, how true all this is anyway.
Well, it sounds like they’ve settled on the best strategy they can think of:
"Yes, I promise to … to kill you if we feel the earthquake coming. If I'm even right about that. Now you have to promise, too."
I didn't need him to tell me what he wanted from me. "I promise to stay by your side and not try to harm myself. I will live for you."
| Renee Aubin chapter 23 . 12/13/2021
When I see the prompt at the beginning of each chapter, I wonder how on earth you’re going to fit that theme AND advance the story. But somehow you always do!
This is remarkable: ‘How old was I now? I didn't even know.’ But seeing the empty pantry is certainly a wake-up call. As if she needed one!
Amazing: ‘I had let that last year of my old life run out, crossing off the days one by one. When I got to December 31, my stomach dropped as if I were looking over the edge of a steep cliff. This was the end of measured time.’
It really was!
When she won’t tell him what’s worrying her,
"I know you're lying," he said simply as he wrapped his arms around me. "I can't force you to tell me the truth. I wish you'd trust me with … whatever it is, but I respect your privacy. We don't have to talk about it."
That is so much more adult than anything we got in canon.
Nice: "I missed the sound of your breath when you sleep. I tried to remember it in the dark, lying on Carlisle's flat rock, but I just couldn't get it right."
This must be a relief after running around and around the Mobius strip:
‘Edward's voice and touch were like curare on the tip of a poison dart, paralyzing the synapses in my brain from firing.’
Your story doesn’t have a ton of dialog, but what’s there is very good:
"Is it boring for you?" I asked. "Lying here in the dark when you can't talk to me?"
"No," he said, smiling. "And who says I can't talk to you? I talk to you all night."
"Do you?" I mumbled through a yawn. "What do you say?"
"Well, now, that's between me and Sleeping Bella."
Well imagined: ‘This all felt so normal, light and easy. My brain wasn't all the way awake yet, still occupying that in-between place where it couldn't remember the heaviness of waking life. And then there it was, like having the breath knocked out of you from falling hard on the ground.’
What a puzzle, whether to become a vampire. And this time, it’s Edward who brings it up – that’s different! But if the only blood source is gone, they just sort of fade away together? And what would it be like to have newborn bloodlust with no blood? Shudder, no good options!
| Renee Aubin chapter 22 . 12/12/2021
Before I forget to say it, I’m so glad you finished this story even though you blew past the Twilight 25 deadline. It was so worth it.
This is probably good advice for anybody, any time: ‘When I chose to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, when hope filled my breast and I decided just to enjoy the gift the universe had given me, my life glimmered again…’
Beautifully said: ‘If I were small enough, a candle flame could be an entire universe to me. … I willed myself to be as small, smaller, than the wick, surrounded on all sides by fire, slowly consumed, but this was my purpose: to be consumed.’
Interesting comparison between human menstrual cycles and the way this Edward waxed and waned over the course of 60 days.
Wow: ‘And unlike in my previous existence, the blood that would flow from me would nourish life. He lived because of me, because of my body. And I lived because of him, his beautiful soul.’
Another way in which this combination of circumstances made a real relationship possible for them.
Deep breath: ‘He came back. He always came back. And, knowing that, I was able to resist the call of the cold steel on my desk, the final exit.’
Jeez, every one of the people who died had a moment like this: ‘Jacob's bag was in the corner. I wondered if he'd just tossed it there when he'd gotten home from school, not realizing that it was the last time he'd go.’
More good words: ‘…handing him the messenger bag with its precious cargo, bits of me that had flowed right through my heart.’
These simple routines are so heartbreaking:
‘"I'm closing my eyes now," I'd say, and we both knew that was the signal. I'd close my eyes and count to ten, as if we were just playing a game of hide-and-seek.
When I'd open my eyes, he would already be gone from my field of vision.’
His letters are a clever idea, as is the way she wrings every drop of juice from them.
Oh gosh, the story of the time they went to the meadow too late in his feeding cycle, was just harrowing. Their little bubble could have ended, one way or another.
Interesting: ‘The flowers bloomed around us, bright and audacious, defiant. But always poisonous. Nothing edible.’
I forget how many poisonous flowers there are. Makes sense for their evolution, though – if someone grazes them, they won’t make seeds.
And thank you for not leaving us to wonder if they ever did manage to have sex. Makes sense that the best time would be when he's getting weaker.
Good one: ‘The thought of Edward wondering which fork was right for bison made me snicker.’
Yes, this would be a relief:
‘It was nice when we could tease each other, be petty. It was so normal, or as normal as a freak girl and a vampire could be in a world in which they were its only inhabitants.’
The giant question looming over them (actually Bella already asked it): How long can this go on? I’m on pins and needles wondering how it will end.
| Renee Aubin chapter 21 . 12/12/2021
“We are both anomalies. We shouldn't be here. So why question the logic of why our kissing makes the flowers grow? It's fantasy enough that we are both here, alive, at all."
A good perspective: “I've been living in the same frozen moment since I watched my father die.”
Oof, I can see why she works hard to avoid these moments:
‘Most of the time my mind seemed to shield me from the enormity of everything that had happened over the last year or so, but every now and again I'd get a flash in my brain, a snapshot of the tininess of me against the whole of time and space, and I'd wonder why, why, why I was chosen to be the one left behind.’
When she (almost hysterically) wonders whether she dreamed Edward up,
‘He touched the faded puncture wounds he'd made there the first time I'd tried to make him feed. "I'm real," he said again, tracing the scar with a cool finger. "I did that to you." He placed his hand over my heart. "You can't see the scars inside, but I made those too."’
She’s looking so hard for a solid place to stand in this insane world, I guess this is it.
Well shoot, this is a startling perspective on OUR world: ‘I missed hummingbirds, but at the same time I was glad for them that they were gone. What kind of life was it, to beat your wings so quickly that you had to eat constantly? Every moment was exhausting, and only about survival.’
Bella wishes she’d known him in the “before” time, but Edward says “this was the only way we'd be together."
That made my mind grind to a halt for a minute. He's right, he wouldn't have come back, at the risk of killing her, if he thought she was still alive. A thoroughly messed-up set of circumstances, but at least they do have each other now.
I like that Bella doesn’t say what she thinks would make him happy. ‘I'd lost too much to lie.’
Aww: “we are the only ones left, and we don't know what tomorrow will bring, and I know at least that when we kiss, your heart is happy."
But then she has a change of heart: ‘I looked at him with my new eyes. "I would choose you. I would choose this."’
Her new way of looking at things is a relief for her as well.
| Renee Aubin chapter 20 . 12/5/2021
Good image: ‘"You're here, you're here, you're here," I repeated like a heartbeat against his chest…’
Oof, when Edward says he went “home”, ‘I could feel him turn inside himself, hiding in a tiny corner of his mind.’ It must have been rough.
"I guess I didn't let myself miss you, really miss you, until you were back. Until it was safe to miss you, because you'd be right here. So just … let me mourn while you hold me, so my heart can fill up again as I finally let it drain out."
A drawback of having sharp senses under these circumstances: "Bella, I've never smelled the air so empty of life. It frightened me.”
This is such a relief for Bella: "But now we know, right? We know we can do this. You didn't hurt me, and you're strong again, aren't you?"
Interesting that the Quileute diagrams remind Edward of something Carlisle noticed. Maybe there were people and cultures all around the world that saw something was seriously wrong.
Amazing idea. After they’ve made out on the blanket for a while, ‘Where just moments before there had been only tiny white flowers, one red poppy stood, proudly displaying its petals at the sun.’ Makes me think of fertility cults in very old (probably matriarchal) cultures.
Fun that when she thinks about “more than kissing”, he hears her heart race and teases her.
‘He stopped pressing for answers, just stared at me and grinned like an idiot.
"Shut up," I said.’
| Renee Aubin chapter 19 . 12/5/2021
Every chapter I’m marveling about how this story followed a series of prompts. I can see making a loose collection of one-shots, but a cohesive story with a strong throughline? I’m shaking my head in amazement!
I like that she decides now is the time to begin keeping track of the days, so she knows how long he’s been gone. But this is hard:
‘Every morning I would say, "You're real," but Edward would not answer me. I'd say, "You came back," but he wasn't here. I'd say, "Why are you here?" but he wasn't. I'd say, "You were going to kill me," and I would see again the image of him running away from me to stop himself from doing it.’
I’m worried about the ‘each faint sunrise’ part. Is something happening to the sun and stars, or is it earth’s atmosphere?
I don’t blame her at all for playing around with Charlie’s gun. At least she doesn’t decide to play Russian roulette.
Actually, memorizing some great literature is a good use of her time. (Or mine, for that matter. Huh.)
Amazing when she finds Billy’s notebook! She remembers Billy saying to Charlie
“I wanted you to have this, to read over what we've seen. Just so you can make informed decisions. I know you trust us and know us and might take us seriously. No one else not of our people would care to listen."
I wonder if Charlie ever even read the whole thing?
And of course that’s when Edward turns up. Good words:
‘"I've come back," he said as I stared at him, afraid that if I breathed, he would disappear, that only my stillness and concentration kept his molecules together.’
| Renee Aubin chapter 18 . 12/4/2021
This would make a great first line for a fantasy book: ‘And so began some of the happiest days of my new life, the life that began after the end of the world.’
Amazing illumination of canon: "In a way, Bella, what you are experiencing now was a lot like what I went through when I was first transformed. My previous life was gone, and there was no returning. I couldn't remember any of it. It was too easy to believe I'd always been this way, this monster, this murderer. But I decided I would believe in the good, in the past, as painful as it was to remember, knowing I'd lost it forever."
Sniffle: ‘I realized that the pain of Charlie's absence was sort of a privilege. It meant that I had known this great man, had loved and had been loved by him. I would wear my grief as a badge, grateful for the pain, even if it made it harder every morning to wake up and pretend my life was normal.’
Terrific: "Oh, no, Edward, you make it okay to wake up," I said. "I used to live just because Charlie worked so hard to make sure I'd survive. I wanted to die, but I owed it to him. I knew he'd be disappointed, somehow. But there was no joy. I have joy now, at least little slivers of it."
As she says a moment later, it’s more than she ever thought she’d have again.
Such an interesting turn in their relationship when she has to convince him to feed again.
‘He still protested weakly, but it was his very weakness that made me push him. I needed him alert and strong.’
A good bargain: "I'll eat the apple," I said. "But only if you promise you'll feed."
And at last her heartbreaking plea: "Please," I whispered. "You're all I have left."
Like canon Edward, he’s so irritatingly precise about what he'll agree to:
“Just promise to come back."
"I can't. I don't know what will happen."
It's so hard to make him understand that it's the intention she wants to hear.
I like this: ‘I tapped the bandage on my arm, feeling slightly comforted that part of me traveled with him wherever he went, like the faded photograph of his mother's face in his pocket.’
| Renee Aubin chapter 17 . 12/4/2021
That’s a funny thought about “dream logic” not including simple body functions like needing to eat or pee.
Nice: "Stay with me in this dream, if you still believe it to be a dream," he said, holding his hand out. "Walk with me."
I like the idea of leaving strands of Bella’s hair wrapped around the apple tree branch, as a beacon for Edward’s nose.
OMG, the ocean full of dead fish. Perhaps the worst image so far. Poor Charlie and Bella.
Sigh, at least some comforts still “work”: ‘Dutifully he crawled into my bed, wrapping his arms around me, and I never knew my bed could be such a place of comfort. It had been a place of rest for a time, and then a place I dreaded, and now, it was something different, transformed as the field we'd slept in the night before.’
| Renee Aubin chapter 16 . 12/4/2021
‘It had been so long since I'd eaten anything fresh, anything not completely soft and mush. But if I ate the apple, it would be gone. Its scent would be lost, and who knew if there'd ever be another one?’
My friend used to say that if you don’t use / eat / wear something precious, you might as well not have it at all.
I actually WOULD worry about this: “What if it ruins my memory of what apples tasted like?" Considering the conditions under which it grew, it would be surprising if it were a normal apple. It's amazing too to think of the number of literary references to apples, from Adam and Eve to Snow White to Twilight.
This line made me laugh out loud:
"I'm guessing you never had to open cans in your human life."
"Not so much," he mumbled. "Went straight from stuff in butcher paper to pulsing jugulars."
He’s not wrong about this either: “This little puck of foulness has no relation to those fresh fish." Charlie would have agreed.
How fun that he made her a spoon from the tuna can lid.
‘It was strange and a little sad how much our expectations had changed, how what we needed to be happy had devolved to such basic things.’
Or maybe it would be good for ALL of us to be happy over simple things!
Very affecting: ‘I peered into his dark eyes tinged with red, eyes from a nightmare. But in their place, I imagined other eyes, warm and amber and full of goodness, and then I had to drop my gaze because I felt like my soul was seeping out.’
Oh my gosh, you gave them a meadow! It’s easy enough to imagine the flowers were fed by their life energy.
| Renee Aubin chapter 15 . 12/4/2021
Kinda dark, huh? ‘But all good things come to an end; only nightmares spin out into eternity.’
Cool idea that in the pitch dark Edward can see the heat Bella’s body radiates.
This made me smile, talking about whether it’s boring watching Bella sleep:
"On the contrary," Edward laughed. "Your heart beats. You breathe. You are the only creature on earth who does these things. You're an anomaly."
Well said: ‘Patterns, habits, rituals—I needed them to divide this monotonous forever into bearable pieces.’
Seems like it would be true of vampires facing forever too.
Good banter, re human walking speed:
‘”It's like the dreams I remember from when I was human, the ones where you're trying to run away from something, and it's as if your feet are mired in glue."
"So you're saying that walking with me is like a living nightmare?"
"You would look at it that way, wouldn't you?" he said, a smile creeping onto his face.
This is a remarkable line from Edward:
"I was beginning to think I'd only imagined that smell," I said, still cupping the apple reverently in my hands.
Edward looked at me and said, "Now you know what I felt when I saw you again."
| Renee Aubin chapter 14 . 12/4/2021
A lovely ritual gets started here:
‘"You're real," I said.
"You came back."
"Why are you here?" I asked.
"Because I couldn't stay away from you."
I felt as though we were reciting lines from the Baltimore catechism.’
In the conversation about whether Bella should have pushed the bag of blood on him, this is a particularly sweet line from Edward: “You were generous with your heart and your body.”
Very canon Edward: “I couldn't bear to leave Washington, not when I knew you were within its borders."
A sharp edge for a mind reader:
“It's been silent out there for a long time now. I used to pray for silence, for the stilling of all the noise in my head. I was so foolish."
Totally understandable that she would feel this way now: “If you need to leave, promise me you'll kill me first."
Hmm, the dilemma for Edward hasn’t changed: "Do you think I could live with myself if I harmed you, Bella?" he asked softly. "Why do you think I left Forks in the first place? And why I begged you to run away?"
Good for Bella!
"I will stay as long as I can be strong around you," he said. "And you will promise not to harm yourself."
"I promise no such thing," I said. "I still have a say over my life.”
Convincing: "Is this misery for you?"
"Every time your heart beats, I am grateful to be here, even if I had to watch my family die."
Calvin and Hobbes is the perfect choice for the apocalypse!
Interesting, after Edward has all his questions about the comic's premise:
‘"Just read it," I said, rolling my eyes. I was annoyed, but it was strangely wonderful to feel annoyed, to feel such a shallow emotion. It was like junk food for my soul.’
Huh, like comic relief.
Nice, after Bella’s willow vow: "I was bound to you before now," he said. "You just couldn't see it."
What a great first kiss!
| Renee Aubin chapter 13 . 12/3/2021
This must make her feel better for the moment:
‘…if I squeezed my eyes shut hard I could pretend that it was just a late rainstorm that had knocked out the power. Charlie wasn't home from work yet, and it was a normal day. Just a blackout, and when Charlie came home, we would sit on the living room rug and try to play Scrabble by candlelight.’
So many memories connected to Charlie’s Scrabble board. She must have been pretty desperate to take it outside in the rain and pretend to play Scrabble with him.
Gosh it’s surprising she doesn’t break down like this far more often:
‘I began to sob, and I screamed as loudly as I could toward the skies. "Why me?" I cried. "I hate this. I hate being alive. I hate being the only one left. Goddammit!" It was sort of liberating to shout at the top of my lungs, knowing I wouldn't disturb anyone, that there was no one left to disturb.’
She must be afraid of drowning once she starts to cry.
Sniffle, Edward hears her (of course he does), and offers to be her reason to live.
Hmm, do they not have any firewood for the fireplace? They could at least be as comfortable as in the Dark Ages, with a fire in the house while it's raining.
Aww, finally we get Edward singing her to sleep!
| Renee Aubin chapter 12 . 12/3/2021
She has to expend so much energy monitoring her own sanity:
‘The pain was proof I hadn't imagined it all. He had been here.’
Somehow this is one of the worst things to watch, trees dying off one by one. That would really make me feel alone.
Her last visit with Jacob was sure bittersweet.
Boy this is an improvement over canon Charlie, re Jacob: “ He wanted you to feel something for him that you didn't, and you were being honest—with yourself and with him."
Hmm, and why had rain become so infrequent? Well, given that in our world most of the West coast is in the grip of a multi-year drought, it’s not hard to believe. And there's nothing to say that two catastrophes can't overlap!
Ah, signs of Edward – not surprisingly, doing things to help take care of her.
Sigh, such a simple thing: ‘I listened to the rain tap against the roof and the windows, glad for the sound, glad not to be sitting in silence.’