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The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion Part 2: Ouija Woman

September 17, 2010

(Yes, I want you to get that stuck in your head to the tune of “Witchy Woman.”  You’re welcome.)

The chapter opens up with Our Demi-Heroine Bonnie relating her dream to a skeptical Meredith, who snarks that Bonnie is mixing her dreams with some authors–Carroll and King, to be exact.  Hey, you know what?  MOUSE SANDWICH, Meredith.  Cut the girl some slack.

Bonnie awkwardly leads Meredith to her surprise party doom at  Caroline’s and almost gives it away with her inability to hide any of her emotions.  In fact, if emotions were tangible, and Bonnie would want to hide one, she’d be the kind of person who’d be very obviously holding something behind her back, whistling, rocking on her feet.  In fact, she even SAYS “fiddle-dee-dee” at one point.

I’d like to know more about Bonnie’s parents, wouldn’t you?  Who raised this exposed nerve?

Caroline has decorated in style–and to match her outfit, of course.  Oh, CAROLINE.  Sue is there, a mite twitchy, and we get some back story on her.  “Nobody could hate Sue,” we’re told.  Of course they can’t; she’s a minor character but she’s still blonde.

If Sue is a mite twitchy, Vickie Bennett is mighty twitchy, albeit for good reasons.  Vickie is our Heroine Substitute; bad things happen to her so they don’t have to happen to the main characters, God forbid.  I’m going to pretend that Vickie isn’t just awkward at the party because she’s been damaged by her time being Katherine’s butt-monkey, but because the author actually thought to add to Vickie’s character by showing her insecurities about losing her place in the social strata (“bad girl”) and trying to define her place in a new one (“popular people”).  But…yeah, don’t let me try to fool you.  This is all about Vickie being a little Renfield.

Caroline takes advantage of the situation by making Vickie play photographer.  Bonnie has another creep-out moment with the Polaroid of the non-Vickie guests and sees Elena in Sue’s place, but an Elena who has something to say to her.

Meredith and Bonnie get a moment alone as Caroline makes–of course–Death By Chocolate.  They exchange some words about the part–Meredith is Not Pleased–and Bonnie tries to find the bright side, like the chocolate.  And Vickie regaining a social life, which Meredith blows off, since Vickie is about as calm as a cat with a plastic bag stuck on its head.  And then Bonnie says the most ridiculous thing, that “at least. . . it isn’t [Meredith’s] real birthday,” but we find out that it IS, indeed.  See, back when Meredith’s grandfather went all Vickie Bennett, it just happened to occur on Meredith’s birthday.  So they’ve been celebrating it a week early ever since.

Am I wrong, or does this make no sense?  I thought Meredith was attacked as a tween, but that she and Elena and Bonnie had been bffs for years before that.  So the kids just didn’t notice when Meredith changed her birthday one year?  In fact, it even flat-out says “we’ve been best friends since first grade.”  Keeping it a secret when it’s on your license, as Meredith says it is–wait, what?  Weird.  So Meredith never held out her license for anyone to see the picture like we ALL did in high school?  Sloppy!

The party moves smoothly from there on, with the presents and the chocolate and all, and eventually everyone’s tucked into their sleeping bags and Sue asks Meredith about Alaric.  If this book had been written post-Twilight, we probably would’ve gotten an inventory of all of Meredith’s presents, but at least then we’d get a better sense of her character by what she enjoys receiving.  Anyway, Alaric’s in Russia looking for post-Cold War psychics, or seeing about psychic experiments held during the Cold War, or SOMETHING, and we’re told that Meredith basically put him on hold till she finished high school, which will be in two weeks.  Good for her.  She also says she’s been accepted to Duke (where Alaric is doing post-grad work) and he wants her to go there.  DOUBLE GOOD FOR HER.

Bonnie is pleased at Meredith’s reluctance, BECAUSE SHE WANTED HER TO GO TO BOONIE JUNIOR COLLEGE WITH HER AND, YOU KNOW, TURN DOWN ONE OF THE BEST SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY.  She also jumps to the conclusion that Meredith would get engaged or married or something right out of high school, when she apparently has more sense than the typical college girl by putting off some older dude till she’s at least eighteen.

Sigh.

Bonnie.

It’s okay.

People can leave Fell’s Church.

The name is made up, by the way, like Fell’s Church.  There’s no Boone Junior College.  In case you were wondering.  But Duke is totes real.

Bonnie ruminates on how committing is dumb when you’re young (go Bonnie!) and then of course Sue has to challenge her by bringing up Stefan.  Isn’t Stefan worth being faithful to?

NO, SUE.  NO NO NO NO NO.

I mean, yeah, faithful in the don’t cheat sense.  But not faithful in the get-engaged-in-high-school-and-ignore-the-vampire/mortal-issues-entirely sense.

Then we get what’s either supposed to be Bonnie’s view of the situation or (likely more accurately) the author’s, which is that they were all famous now as True Wuvs, and “[Elena] had died to save them both, and to redeem their love.”  You know, if “redeem” means “send one after the other like a little puppy dog who doesn’t want to leave the house but feel obligated to follow and love its abuser.”

Bonnie defaults to saying that Stefan was right FOR ELENA (no he wasn’t) and now that it’s late, everyone feels like they can talk about the beautiful blonde elephant in the room.  We have to hear them gush overdramatically about her (“so much more alive than other people”; “[h]er flame burned brighter”–ugh, Meredith, really??), but they ARE teenagers so I suppose they get a pass.  And Caroline’s entire offering to this conversation is that she wasn’t one you could ignore.  Oh.  How nice.  I guess at least five years of friendship doesn’t matter when you’re petty and obnoxious.

Then they’re all “We could die at any second” and “I feel like she’s still with us” and Bonnie relates her dream, which cows everyone because we all know Bonnie is the psychic one in this series.  Sue asks if Bonnie can work some mojo, but Bonnie hates trances, so they settle on a Ouija board, which of course Caroline has.

[Not to digress, but Ouija boards freak me the heck out, even before reading this book as a tween.  When I was about ten or so, we went up to Michigan to stay with my aunt for a while, and my cousins were friends with the kids who lived in the house behind theirs.  They had a Ouija board.  This also happened to be the summer after Witchboard came out, and we must’ve watched it half a dozen times on cable.  THESE TWO THINGS ARE NOT A GOOD COMBINATION.  So I have no doubt this scene freaked me out more than most.]

Caroline sends Vickie to get it, and Bonnie berates her for treating Vickie like a slave.  Caroline is still doing her noblesse oblige routine, but is cut off by the sounds of Vickie screaming.  Vickie thought something grabbed her from the closet, but Meredith rationalizes it by saying that the sleeves of the coat might’ve become tangled around her, giving the impression of grabbing.  That would make sense, Meredith, if you didn’t live in a town rife with psychic and mystical goings-on.  Occam’s Razor in Fell’s Church tends toward something wicked this way a’comin’.

They all get their fingers on the board, and it says something dim about how no one could move it because the pressure was coming from all sides–um, what?  Yes you can.  The cousins and their friends did it all the time.  You just have to be subtle about the pressure.

Anyway, the planchette moves and identifies itself as Elena.  Bonnie and Meredith are getting a vibe; Caroline is vibe-free.  She makes a snotty comment and the planchette spells out some snotty, Elena-like stuff too, thus verifying the presence of Our Dead Heroine.  I’ll sum up for you because everything Elena says can be told in a few lines: They’re in danger, they should leave the house, there’s a summoning spell with two ingredients, the first of which is—cut off by something evil, drowning out Elena with letters to spell out fun things like “mouse” and “mud” and “kill.”

The girls start freaking and the lights go out.

The girls start freaking even more.

End chapter.

Next up: I haven’t read ahead, and I don’t remember.  Maybe there’s a diner.  Not that anyone outside of New Jersey knows what a diner is anyway.

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