Star-Cross’d Vampires

Not to be too dramatic in an angsty teenage way, but the end truly is imminent. Last week, I was in Barnes & Noble, when I saw it.

A huge display of Twilight books and memorabilia.

Big deal, you may reply. True, true. But wait–there’s more.

Below the Team Jacob and Team Edward pennants and the books and the calendars and…(I could go on)…was a smaller display. More New Moon books, I thought. If only it were that.

Instead, a closer look at the black covers emblazoned with tantalizing red and white flowers revealed none other than Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights.*

Travesty. Outrage. Take your pick.

After the initial furor subsided, I thought with some amusement about the scene which might ensue if an unsuspecting girl age 10-15 should be duped into opening one of the above-named books by the mistaken belief that it contained bonus Twilight footage or a compilation of Edward’s secret diary entries.

Just for fun, I picture the tableau unfolding something like this…

“Mom!!!” Tina bursts into the home office, her shoulder-length brown hair spilling across her face. She skids to a stop, breathing heavily. “Something’s wrong with Bella!” she gasps.

Mom looks up from her computer. Tina’s tone is desperate, and tears are already forming in her eyes. “What’s the matter?” Mom asks carefully, steeling herself for the flood. Tina hasn’t looked this distraught since the day Dumbledore died.

Tina slams a book down on the nearest surface, sending a shower of papers fluttering to the floor. “This!” she exclaims dramatically, gesturing to the book.

Mom is not surprised to see the black cover with the brilliant scarlet flower in full bloom. Similar books and memorabilia have engulfed her daughter’s room for months. She sighs. “What happened?”

With a frown, Tina picks up the book and thumbs through it. “Aunt Laura gave me this book for Christmas. She said it was a new sequel to Twilight, whatever that means.” She stops, flips back a few pages, and continues. “But look — Bella’s talking all funny,” she says, reading out loud: “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” She looks up, clearly frustrated. “But she didn’t like to move,” she says with a pout. “And — and — “

Mom’s mouth twitches. She briefly wonders how long she can keep this going. “Tina — ” She hesitates.

Tina doesn’t wait for her to finish. “What I don’t get,” she says, tossing the book on a stack of office supplies and brushing her hair back from her eyes, “Is whether Jacob or Edward is helping her fly, and why they had to stick pins in her eyes to do it!”

Mom studies her fingernails attentively.

Tina doesn’t seem to notice. She keeps picking the book up and setting it down. “I think she must have had some kind of poison,” she says firmly. “Maybe the Volturi were trying to transport her secretly to Italy, and all the werewolves and vampires time traveled there instead.”

“Maybe so,” Mom murmurs, biting her lip.

“That’s it!” Tina snaps her fingers. “That’s what gave them amnesia, so they don’t remember their names!” She finishes triumphantly, beaming.

Nodding, still studiously looking away, Mom says in a choked voice, “Sounds interesting, sweetheart. Aunt Laura will be glad you liked it.”

“There’s just one thing,” Tina says slowly, staring at the cover of the book. “I don’t get why Stephanie Meyer subtitled it ‘William Shakespeare.'”

That’s just how I picture it.

*Humor aside, if Twilight-esque covers or Bella’s stamp of approval encourages teens to read classic literature, well…maybe it’s worth it. Maybe. 🙂


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