missabnormal: Welcome back everyone! Here is part two of chapter three! We had to split this into two parts because Ms. Ripley and Ms. Mori needed the break, and it was becoming a drag. But now that we're refreshed, let's continue right ahead!
So the chemistry teacher, Mr. Velt, is annoyed at Bethany and Molly being late, and he gives them a slight reprimand for their tardiness. Bethany then gets a brief introduction from the class by Mr. Velt before she sits down in her desk, which is located next to Molly. Bethany uses this opportunity to analyse her a little.
I saw now that she wore the top button of her school dress undone and large silver hoops in her ears. She had drawn an emery board from her pocket and was filing her nails under the desk, blatantly ignoring our teacher's instructions.
Oh, so she doesn't wear the top button on her uniform? How scandalous! But really, Adornetto. I did not miss that there, you know? Don't think that I'm unaware of the implications of that. And nice, she's totally ignoring the teacher in favour of doing her nails in class.
Ripley: We've barely even gotten to know Molly and I already hate her. Great. *reads on* So Molly tells Bethany not to worry about Mr. Velt and calls him a stiff who just got divorced and insults him for driving a convertible. *deadpan look on her face* Why is she so shallow and condescending about her teacher? Wouldn't anyone be a little bit bitter if they're going through a divorce?
Mako: I really don't like how Molly disrespects her teacher here. He is most likely going through a rough time, but all she cares about is the fact that he's a bitter old man. It's quite irritating to see how catty these characters are. *starts reading* Molly then compliments Bethany's name, saying that while it's old-fashioned, it's still pretty. Bethany thinks that she shouldn't be talking with Molly during class, but she continues talking anyways.
missabnormal: People who talk during class are the kind of people who I hate the most, by the way.
Mako: I agree, it's very disrespectful and annoying. Molly then asks Bethany about where she's from, so Bethany gives a cover story about living with her older brother who is a teacher, and that their parents are overseas diplomats and that they'll come when they can. *looks puzzled* Surely after a while, people will start asking about their parents, won't they?
missabnormal: Yeah. Again, in my novel, my demons have the cover story of being international students! When demons are able to blend in better than angels, you know that there's something wrong!
Ripley: Molly reacts by saying how she's never been overseas but has been to the city. So she went to Atlanta? That isn't very impressive, honestly. But whatever. Molly then starts telling Bethany about how things are a little weird in Venus Cove as of lately.
"How do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, I've lived here my whole life; my grandparents even lived here and ran a local business. And in all that time, nothing really bad has ever happened; there's been an occasional factory fire and some boating accidents- but now..." Molly lowered her voice. "There's been robberies and freak accidents all over the place- there was a flu epidemic last year and six kids died from it."
Ripley: *disbelieving* "The occasional factory fire"? And that's nothing really bad? There's a reason why factories are never in the middle of a town, Adornetto. Factories are generally very unsafe environments, which is why they are built away from a populated area. And on the subject of factory fires, depending on the kind of factory it is, there's a chance of a fire going from a small one to a huge explosion. Need some examples of deadly factory fires and explosions? Here they are!
- the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City
- the Grover Shoe Factory disaster in Brockton, Massachusetts
- the Enschede fireworks disaster in Enschede, the Netherlands
- the Seest fireworks disaster in Kolding, Denmark
- the PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada
- the Benton fireworks disaster in Benton, Tennessee
- the Istanbul fireworks explosion in Istanbul, Turkey
- the Dhaka Tasreen Fashions fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh
- the 2012 Pakistan garment factory fires in both Karachi and Lahore
Note that four of these are fireworks disasters. As many as two hundred people have died in factory disasters and fires, which goes to show just how deadly it is to work in one or even live near one! Yet there are factories all around this small town with a population of three thousand. Yes, I am aware of towns being built for servicing the factory, but those are situated a good distance away from the factory or mill to avoid those sort of catastrophes! And I really hope that those factories are not manufacturing fireworks or anything flammable, or may God help this town.
Mako: And also, if there were more than one factory for Venus Cove, it should be a big city. If there are multiple factories in a major manufacturing site, then a big city is the ideal location. Also, what kind of factories are these? It's important to be able to know these sorts of things before writing things like this.
missabnormal: You're right about that, Ms. Mori. Anyways, Molly then goes onto say that the weird things happening in Venus Cove are robberies, freak accidents, and a flu epidemic the previous year that took the lives of six kids. And then there's also mention of a 'forbidden incident' that happened six months ago. Apparently, some kid climbed up on the school roof to get a basketball, and slipped and fell. *confused* Wait... how the hell can a basketball land on the roof? Unless they threw it up there on purpose, there's no way that a basketball can end up on the roof like that.
Oh well. Now, Molly and Bethany are caught by Mr. Velt. But before Mr. Velt can get angry with Molly for distracting Bethany, this happens.
I channeled a calming energy toward him and watched with satisfaction as he started looking less harangued.
Oh, so you basically mind-raped him?! *starts to get annoyed* You're an angel, Bethany! You should NOT be doing things like this! Yeah, I can't do this. Please, Ms. Ripley?
Ripley: Why not? *sighs and looks through her book* Well, after being mind-raped into complacency, Mr. Velt gives Molly a "tolerant, almost paternal chuckle, which confuses Molly. After another side jab, in which Molly thinks that Mr. Velt is having a mid-life crisis, Mr. Velt starts to turn on the projector, which makes Bethany panic because... *looks disbelieving* she might start glowing in the dark? These are some awful disguises, you know.
Mako: So Bethany excuses herself to go to the bathroom but just stays outside the classroom until he finishes using the projector. And then, she hears a voice asking her if she's lost.
missabnormal: And what do you know? It's our love interest! *grumbles* The biggest douchebag on the planet!
I spun around to see a boy lounging against the lockers opposite the classroom. Even though he looked more formal with his shirt buttoned, tie neatly knotted, and school blazer, there was no mistaking that face or the nut-colored hair flopping over vivid blue eyes. I hadn't expected to run into him again, but now the boy from the pier was standing right in front of me, wearing that same wry smile.
*raises an eyebrow* A wry smile? Really? And that's supposed to make me go "Eeeeeee! He's soooo hot!"? That just makes me believe he's an ass.
Ripley: Honestly, if Hicks had been giving me a wry smile when we woke up from cryo, I wouldn't have been attracted to him at all. What's wrong with a little bit of courtesy?
Mako: It seems like they believe that being rude is attractive. It's quite annoying, actually.
Well, after Bethany reassures him that he's fine, the unnamed boy teases that it's better to learn in the classroom. Bethany turns around, and she suddenly feels an "instant, gut-wrenching physical reaction". *incredulous* Is this supposed to be some sort of love at first sight?
missabnormal: Pretty much. It's trying to show that they have a connection because "OMG HE'S SO HOT". Look, it's okay to have this reaction of utter shock because of how attractive person is, but you can't just try and pass it off as love!
Bethany goes on and describes how he has "the striking good looks of an actor" and the body of a swimmer. You know, I'm a little exhausted with how the male love interest must always be the epitome of manliness. I mean, in my novel, the male love interest of my heroine is not only a demon, but he's actually got feminine features and he likes wearing makeup! Sure, he's both lean and toned, but he doesn't let anyone try and tell him that he can't wear makeup.
And the boy introduces himself! His name is Xavier!
Ripley: After this brief little meeting, Bethany goes back into the classroom, feeling flustered. And then it's time for her gym class, and Bethany gets nervous because she realises that she has to change in front of the other girls. And, I kid you not, the other girls "peeled off their clothes without a second thought and tossed them into lockers or onto the floor". *sighs* Why must girls demonise other girls simply for being more confident?
Mako: Somehow, Molly gets her bra straps tangled and asks Bethany for help. *smiles in amusement* I really hope Adornetto is aware of the lesbian undertones she's writing. Molly then tells Bethany that her hands are really soft and that she must moisturise every night.
Molly asks Bethany whether she met any boys and Bethany tells her about Xavier. She even says that she's glad that he wasn't "a Peter or Rob".
missabnormal: Oh really? The angel, and a Christian angel, believes that the name Peter is disgraceful? Excuse you, Adornetto. Haven't you forgotten about Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ? Not to mention, the Apostle who is considered to be the first pope by the Roman Catholic Church? Jeez, one would think that an angel would be appreciative of people who are named after angels or saints! But no, Peter is apparently a distasteful and stupid name! I can't believe that of all the things... *starts to get annoyed*
*instantly calm* Oh Ruki~ You're so beautiful...
Ripley: *awkwardly* Well, I guess it's my turn now. Anyways, Molly asks which Xavier she's talking about, and Bethany tells her that he's the one with light brown hair and blue eyes, and Molly confirms that this is the love interest. And his name is Xavier Woods, and he's said to be the "school captain". Er, Adornetto? In America, they're known as the 'School President'. 'School captain' is used in former British Empire colonies, so in places like Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe. You know, why couldn't you set this damn story in Australia, it's not like anything would have changed!
Mako: Why is it that these authors can't do proper research for their stories? It's truly baffling. But anyways, Molly warns Bethany not to go after him. When Bethany asks why, Molly tells her that Xavier has baggage, which makes him turn down nearly every girl who asks him out. As it turns out, he used to have a girlfriend named Emily who died in a house fire two years ago, and Xavier is still in mourning because people kept talking about how they were going to be married, even though they were sixteen.
I hate to break it to you, but I don't think sixteen-year-olds are even thinking about marriage. But apparently, they were so in love that it was obvious that they were going to get married.
missabnormal: So then, after Bethany frets about how short the gym uniform is and explains that it'll risk exposing the fact that she has no navel, she just gets changed. And you know what's even more stupid? These angels don't have V-shaped scars when they come to Earth, their wings are still folded on their back!
Once Bethany changes, she joins Molly in applying makeup. But who wears makeup to gym class? Anyways, Molly gives Bethany some lipgloss, and she's confused. She says that"unlike the other girls, I hadn't been experimenting with my mom's cosmetics since I was five". Damn, will this preaching ever stop?! Yeah, I don't wear makeup either, but that doesn't mean I shame girls who wear it!
Then, Molly smells something. Bethany panics for a moment, but it turns out that it smells like rain, which is apparently the natural scent of angels. Then another friend of Molly's, a girl named Taylah, tells her that it wasn't raining.
Ripley: Taylah? Who spells their kid's name like that? Is this Australian?
missabnormal: Most likely.
And now, we've got the drill sergeant who doubles as a high school gym teacher, straight out of a high school movie! *disgusted* I hate this book. I hate it when books and movies always portray high school as some sort of clique-filled place where everyone drops whatever they're doing and goes to prom or football games. Bethany is able to do the exercises and she doesn't even break a sweat because angels don't sweat.
Mako: Molly notices this and says that Bethany must be very fit. *raises an eyebrow* That's called hypohidrosis, Adornetto. It can lead to people having a heat stroke, or even dying. If people noticed this, they'd probably call an ambulance for Bethany, who should at least pretend to be huffing and puffing.
Ripley: And while we're on that subject, we get this.
...added Taylah, tipping the contents of her water bottle down her cleavage. It attracted the attention of a gaggle of boys nearby, who gaped at her. "It's getting hot in here!" she teased, parading past the boys with her now see-through shirt until the gym teacher noticed the spectacle and charged over to us like a raging bull.
Seriously? *annoyed* Don't think that I didn't see what you're doing, Adornetto. Geez, you could easily make a drinking game based on the amount of slut-shaming in this book! But I wouldn't really recommend it, you'd probably land some serious damage on your liver.
missabnormal: Also, where'd the boys come from? Does this school have co-ed gym classes or something? Gah, whatever, we're almost done!
So, Bethany continues her day, hoping to get another look at Xavier and daydreams about him. She tries to remind herself about the mission and tells herself that she won't let him distract her. It would have been a good place to end the chapter, especially without her saying that she's gonna fail.
And we're finally done!
Ripley: Are we free to go?
missabnormal: Yep! You and Ms. Mori are free to go now! Thank you again for your help! I'll call you again in the future!
Mako: See you around!
(she and Ripley leave)
missabnormal: Now that we're done chapter 3, I'll call in some help for chapter 4. And again, I think I know who to get~ (she smiles happily)
Continue to: Chapter 4- Earthbound