Reviews for Goodnight, Noises Everywhere
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.
"I am."
"You came back."
"I did."
"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.’
Renee Aubin chapter 11 . 12/3/2021
Quite a story about how the sleepy town of Forks turned into ‘a Clockwork Orange world’. Bella sure got her own experience of that. But how would you really believe it, if you didn’t see for yourself?

Good reflection on school: ‘I'd give anything to be bored out of my mind and half-asleep and itching for the bell to ring. Boredom was a luxury. If you were bored, it meant you weren't afraid, that all your needs were met but being entertained.’

Amazing imagination: ‘I watched the sun go down until darkness fell completely. With no electricity and no stars in the sky, you may as well have had your eyes closed. I wouldn't go anywhere here now, not until sunrise, not familiar enough with the floorplan to be able to wander confidently in the dark the way I could at home.’

Whew, a (long past) moment of lightness: ‘…honestly, getting guidance from Charlie on the finer points of bitchery and its uses in self-defense could lead only to the both of us lying on the floor, clutching our bellies and wheezing from laughter.’

She decides to walk home from the high school in the pitch dark? And she does manage to pull it off.

Boy, if I had to survive in a situation like that, I guess I’d quickly get over my pickiness about food.

‘"I'll find you," I said, swallowing hard, "even if you end up killing me."
Now that I'd experienced being with another sentient creature again, I knew I couldn't survive long completely alone.’
Renee Aubin chapter 10 . 12/3/2021
Excellent, when she’s wondering whether she regretted giving him the blood and triggering his "wild animal" nature:
‘If I'd been given the offer to trade my solitary life for a few moments of tenderness, of companionship, I would have made the same decision. No regrets.’

Wow, when he catches up to her:
‘I'd closed my eyes, thinking it would be easier, or the right thing to do. But I found in this last moment that I didn't want to go like this, to slip into forever in the dark behind the veils of my eyelids. I would open my eyes. I would say goodbye to the sun. I let my eyes open, hungrily taking in everything around me, even the face of my killer.’

(I’ve even read this before and I’m wondering how she survives this moment!)

Well described: ‘… his body shook, his fingers piercing through the thin fabric of my shirt, easily slipping inside the smooth flesh underneath as if my skin were as fragile as eggshell, as porous as if it were made of vapor.’

What a tense action scene, and the moment of decision seems to come when she says she forgives him. He believes he has the strength not to follow her if she would just run away. And then she’s unbelievably dense about taking his advice. But then this Bella hasn’t had the benefit of endless hours of Edward telling her he doesn’t want to be a monster.
Renee Aubin chapter 9 . 12/3/2021
When she offers her blood:
"I never … we didn't feed from people," he said. "I don't know what will happen if I drink this. I don't know what that will make me."
Of course Edward would fight her on this! But apparently this Edward didn't have a rebellious period and hasn't done this before.

Sounds like a typical Edward-Bella disagreement:
‘“I could not bear it if I took from you."
"But I've taken it from myself already," I said, growing angrier with his strange morality.’

Well imagined, when she makes the scrape on her chin bleed:
‘I heard something like a growl come from Edward, and his eyes were finally open, black as night. He looked like an animal. "Edward?" I asked, but it seemed as though he could no longer hear me.
If he hadn't been so exhausted, I'm sure he would have killed me right there, but his lunge at me was slow enough for me to dodge.’
Not surprisingly, she had to go to an extreme to get him to accept her gift.

She ‘watched with fascination as life seemed to flow from his face down his neck and into the rest of his body. He had no idea I was in the room—for him the entire world now consisted only of him and the bag in his hands.’

Ooh, great use of the canon line:
‘A tiny smile danced at the corners of his mouth, and with a smooth, cruel voice I didn't recognize, he said, "Bella, you really shouldn't have done that."
He rose slowly to his feet, but before I could celebrate how my blood had brought him strength, he said just one word:
Renee Aubin chapter 8 . 12/3/2021
This is such an interesting twist on their relationship. She’s the only one who can keep him strong enough to be a real companion. If he changes her, they both starve.

Good description of how the change of having Edward around, even though it was hugely positive, was unnerving to her.

Re Renee and her tanning: ‘Now I knew she'd been right all along—what good would it have done to cover up head to toe, to slather herself with SPF 100, if the virus was going to take her in a few years anyway?’
Reminds me of the Redd Foxx quote, that “in a few years all these health nuts are going to feel like idiots, lying in the hospital dying of nothing”.

What a switch, Edward spending most of his time lying down from weakness, being the “sleeping” one in the partnership.

That’s great that Bella figured out a way for Edward to have some of her blood without having to bite her himself. Thank goodness she had participated in a blood drive.
I always thought Edward should have gotten some of her blood in canon, for a “special treat”. I agreed with Aro that not (safely) feeding from her was “a waste” of a great gift.
Renee Aubin chapter 7 . 12/3/2021
It’s still shocking that Edward has become this frail:
"Forgive me," he said, slumping over on the couch. "I can't sit up any longer."
Later when she asks for a hug:
"Then come here, Bella, for I am too weak to come to you."

Grim, and only getting grimmer: ‘…so desperate for joy as our classes grew smaller and smaller as people became ill, died, or simply moved away, hoping somehow to outrun the illness.’

It’s so hard to read the stories of each of the Cullens succumbing.

Amazing, what happened to Alice:
“Jasper was startled by a noise outside. He dropped her hand in surprise. As soon as their skin-to-skin connection was lost, she slipped away.”

And then Jasper: “Jasper was beside himself, naturally. He … built Alice a great funeral pyre, and then he jumped into the flames with her body in his arms.”
He might be the only one that really got to make a choice.

Sigh: ‘And the other coven, they tried not to feed, knowing it would mean their death. But they simply grew too hungry to care anymore. 'What kind of living is this?' they said, leaving for what would be their last hunt, even as I begged them not to go.’

Being the last two sentient beings on earth, that sure cuts through all the uncertainty of making new relationships. They’re just together now, period.
Renee Aubin chapter 6 . 12/3/2021
It makes sense that she could feel this way:
‘I couldn't explain the sudden warmth I felt knowing that he'd wanted to … consume me. Me, out of all the others.’
(What is wrong with me?)

Huh, this sheds a little more light on that day:
"I ran away, and my family came with me. I knew I couldn't stay near you, because I would kill you. I controlled myself for those moments when you were near enough for me to twist your head, kill you quickly … but how would I be the next day? Or the next?”

The reason Edward came back to Forks now:
"I wanted to know if I'd still feel you, that raw desire, even as I walked over the place where you were laid to rest."

OK, what the heck happened to the stars? Has the earth’s atmosphere gotten too murky? That would explain the weaker sun too.
Renee Aubin chapter 5 . 12/3/2021
What a condition Edward has devolved into. Hard to imagine.

A favorite line:
‘I wanted to stop and lie down in the middle of the road and cry, cry as I hadn't really let myself yet, because if I cried as much as I wanted, I'd never be able to stop. No, I only let out some tears, just enough so I wouldn't drown.’

Great idea that Bella had edited Edward out of her memory of that first Biology class. Until… ‘And then a feather's touch, cold fingertips on my cheek, and like a flash, there was a new memory, so sharp it cut into my brain like a scalpel.’

Vivid: ‘His hand hovered near my face, and I wondered if he would actually touch me. It trembled, and I could see each tendon of the skeletal hand. It would have been terrifying if his face hadn't been so pitiable.’
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