INTRODUCTION TO THE THIRD CHAPTER
My apologies for not updating this sooner, dear readers, but I have been distracted by the many personal and professional demands upon my time. The small-minded idiots at work, my so-called "managers," refuse to give me a moments peace, and insist on hounding me with a never-ending list of tedious chores they expect me to complete. Haven't I done enough for them? And then there are all the other things I have to do, like clean my kitchen, and . . . no, no I won't lie to you dear readers. I will save the make-believe for my tale-telling. The truth is, I have not written Chapter 3 because I have been distraught.
What has brought this on? Nothing less than betrayal. The betrayal of someone I thought I could count on, someone I thought was a true friend.
You may recall that, back in Chapter 1, my friend Laura was assisting me, pushing my fictioneering to ever-greater heights. Chapter 2 started off well but then, toward the end, everything went wrong. Laura became suddenly critical of me. I responded in kind and, I'm sorry to say, hurtful emails were exchanged. "Too sensitive," she says. "Unable to take criticism." As if! I have spent a lot of time in deep personal reflection, and have eaten a great deal of ice cream, and I can now say with confidence that I don't need her help anyway, as you will see, when I write this, the third chapter, all by myself, with no help at all.
MORE OF THE STORY, WRITTEN ENTIRELY BY ME, WITH NO HELP AT ALL
Bella, who was a 3.0 GPA, and could have done better if she applied herself, cried herself to sleep. She couldn't understand why no one loved her, why they insisted on criticizing her, and then, when she responded to their criticism, on calling her too sensitive. That night she woke up in the middle of the night, groggy at first, but then she remembered the hurtful words of a "friend," and cried herself to sleep again.
She dreamed of rejection. And bacon.
When Bella got to school the next morning everyone was talking about the upcoming football game against Riverdale. Even the new students, like Willow and Hermione, were taking part in the conversation. Bella saw them talking to some of the other new girls who had recently moved to town, who were named Veronica Mars and Maeby Funke.
"Have you seen Riverdale's quarterback, Moose?" Veronica Mars asked. "That guy is unstoppable."
Bella avoided them all. She was in no mood to talk. She did not want to talk to anyone, but still it bothered her when no one tried to talk to her. Why didn't they want to talk to her? What was wrong with her, anyway?
"It doesn't matter," she said. "I can do this all by myself, with no help at all."
After home room--in room 316, near the cafeteria--she went to the bathroom, and cried until she threw up.
In a stall in the bathroom, the mysterious figure who had been watching Bella earlier--I mentioned that that would be an important plot point, remember--continued to watch her.
Meanwhile, in faraway Transylvania, which is somewhere in Europe, it was a dark and stormy night. In the middle of the fog-enshrouded moors, in a spooky old castle, the Vampire High Council came to order.
On a throne on an elevated dais sat a dark be-caped figure: the King of the Vampires, Dracula. At his side sat Marceline, the Vampire Queen.
"Tell me, lackey," Dracula said to his lackey, in a low menacing tone, "How goes our plan to enslave the land known as 'America'?"
"The plan proceeds apace, sir," said the lackey, who was sweating, because he was frightened. "We have spies there now."
"What of our son?" Marceline asked. There were two holes in her neck. "What of my dear boy Edward?"
"Edward is in Fork City," the lackey said.
"Fork City?" Dracula said, frowning. "Where the hell is that?"
"I believe it's somewhere near Riverdale, sir."
"Riverdale?" Marceline asked. "I hear they have a pretty bad-ass quarterback."
At that very moment Bella was in the bathroom, cleaning the vomit off her face. She heard a noise. Out of the corner of her eye she saw something move. She whirled around, and saw that her friend Laura had walked into the bathroom.
"Oh," Bella said, "It's you."
The previous day Bella and Laura had gotten into an argument, when Laura had accused Bella of plagiarism, when Bella was just making a creative use of Wikipedia, which is, after all, a public resource.
"Listen, I was thinking," Laura said. "I was entirely wrong. I never should have criticized you. And I'm really sorry for those things I said in those emails, about how you're too sensitive and you can't take criticism. Really, I'm the one who should be criticized, not you. Never you."
Bella smiled. "It's okay," she said generously. "I forgive you, Laura." They hugged.
Now that they were both happy, and friends again forever, they walked out . . .
No. No, I'm sorry, I can't do this. I thought it would be therapeutic to, you know, work out some of my feelings in this story, and I think my emotional turmoil has been a good match, and has led to some exciting characterization for Bella, but this, this scene is a lie. Laura and I have not hugged and made up . . . I said some hurtful things in that email exchange, and Laura is still angry at me.
LAURA! I'M SORRY, LAURA! CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?!?!?! I CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!