It’s a loooooooong chapter today, so everyone buckle up, grab something nice to drink, and load up something good to look at. Or something to vent your hate at to avoid angrily tweeting at Hamilton herself. Honestly, without my Hiddles spam and access to cult television, I’d have said some truly awful things to her.
Inger and Anita drive up a country road towards a ‘fake log cabin that was bigger than any real cabin had ever been’. If it’s a fake log cabin, doesn’t that still make it a cabin?
Too much glass, the yard naked dirt the color of rust.
I have read that sentence over and over but I simply can’t get my head round it. I think the words ‘yard’ and ‘naked’ need to be swapped for it to make sense.
Anita gets out of her car, not after Inger apparently attempts to open the door and she ponders about the sense behind opening a car door for someone, apparently not having heard of this thing we mere mortals call ‘manners’. Sometimes it’s just polite to open the door for someone. They head inside the fake cabin, which is apparently unused, and we all get to meet Mr. Oliver.
He was a small man, almost a midget or a dwarf. I wanted to say dwarf, but he didn’t have the jaw or the shortened arms. He looked well formed under his tailored suit.
Yes, dwarves can be identified by how misshapen they appear.
If the character is just short and does not have the medical condition of dwarfism, why not just say that they’re short? Why describe them as being ‘almost a midget’? And the use of the word ‘midget’ means the book gets a big fat ABLEISM sticker because ‘midget’ is incredibly offensive to dwarves.
He had almost no chin and a sloping forehead, which drew attention to the wide nose and the prominent eyebrow ridge.
Oh, is that why you think he’s a dwarf? You are such a lovely inclusive person Anita.
His dark hair was cut one hair at a time, expensive and blow-dried.
His hair was cut one single hair at a time? All 108,000 hairs on his head was cut individually, one at a time? It must take forever to cut his hair. It takes two and a half hours to cut mine and I thought that was excessive.
He was small, but he didn’t think it was a defect. I liked that. I felt the same way.
You just had to use the word ‘defect’, didn’t you. Couldn’t have phrased it any other way, could you. Eugh.
Mr. Oliver must have some serious magical mojo because Anita is actually smiling at him. He must be super-powerful to make her miserable arse happy. He looks alive and sounds alive, but Anita can sense otherwise and she screams at him until she gets her own way. He smiles and talks about how her powers as a necromancer mean that she can see through his artifice.
It’s a shame that necromancy is a means of divination, using raised spirits to foretell the future. It’s not generic black magic-y death power. ‘Mancy’ means prophecy; it’s why the official terms for divination processes all end in ‘mancy’ (such as ailuromancy, the art of telling the future about the weather using the movements of cats, myromancy which is telling the future from the behaviour of ants, and favomancy, the art of telling the future based on how beans fall).
“No, Ms. Blake, the dead respond to you, all the dead. Even I feel the pull.”
They want to tell you the sports scores and that there’ll be a black president.
Mr. Oliver blathers on about how powerful she is and how amazing she is and that her potential power could affect vampires and her power is why JC is attracted to her. She’s the most powerful necromancer he’s seen in years and it’s a super rare talent and no human has been able to rival her in centuries.
Basically, Mr. Oliver is ‘older than time itself’ (really? REALLY?) and he is the plan. He’s so powerful he can just sweep in and become Master of the City. Except not, because JC is hidden from him. Why is he able to hide so well from a creature older than time and more powerful than everyone else? Because SHUT UP, that’s why. Anita refuses to help.
“You are the most stubborn human I have met in a very long time. I like stubborn people; they get things done.”
… I would argue, but I am a stubborn bitch myself and I get shit done. Anita, on the other hand, is almost incapable of finding her own buttocks with both hands.
Mr. Oliver doesn’t think vampires ought to be legal citizens, which is why he’s going to be Master of the City and then… yeah, that’s going to make a difference on national law.
“They are too powerful to be allowed to spread unchecked. They will take over the human race much quicker through legislation and voting rights than they ever could through violence.”
And here I call TIME OUT because vampires can’t take over the world. Sure, they can in theory but unfortunately, they need blood to survive (or at least human energy). If they take over the world, turn a majority into vampires chomp chomp, there will not be enough humans to feed on. If vampires have any intelligence (although, in this series that’d be a stretch), they can only live as a minority because while their food supply replenishes slowly. It takes twenty something years for a human to fully mature. There’s really no way to farm them successfully if you’re wanting world domination.
… I’ve thought about this too much. Plus, vampires don’t really create much culture, do they? All they do is sit around sexily, drink blood and angst. They don’t write that many operas or dance to euro pop. God, it must be dull to be a vampire.
“St. Louis is a hotbed of political activity and entrepreneurial vampires. They must be stopped. We are predators, Ms. Blake; nothing we do can change that. We must go back to being hunted or the human race is doomed. Surely you see that.”
Go back to being hunted? Oh, Mr. Oliver is a vampire, the oldest living vampire, and he thinks there ought to be more checks and balances. Well, I agree with that part at least, even if I think he’s a bit dumb.
Inger, who is actually his human servant, shows Anita out when she refuses to give up JC. Inger is actually 700 hundred years old himself and Anita starts to wonder about how old Mr. Olivier is.
“He’s older than a thousand years.”
He told you he’s older than time. I think time definitely started more than a thousand years ago, Anita. She starts thinking about the reconstructed skull of a Homo erectus she saw once in university and then it hits her – Mr. Oliver is a Homo erectus. He’s over a million years old.
Well, strictly speaking, Homo erectus lived on Earth from 1.8 million to 300,000 years ago. So it jump straight to a million years is not necessarily right.
My thoughts on having a prehistoric vampire? Uh…. I guess it’s a interesting idea but the whole million years thing seems a little… well, strictly speaking, kinda silly. I mean, come on, a million years? I find a few thousand years a bit of a stretch, without the vampire devolving a little and becoming something very unhuman. But maybe Mr. Oliver will become something interesting. He might have a really good plotline.
And then a woman with fangs breaks into the house. Just like that. O-kay. She has golden iris eyes, retractable fangs and a split tongue. So, she’s a woman who can turn into a snake woman then. Inger and Anita fight her and she falls to the ground, where her legs become a serpant’s tail.
She’s a lamia, a race thought to be extinct, and she’s kept by Mr. Oliver to stop her from going crazy or something. Lamia are child eating demons, and snakes are only mentioned in relation to them in a poem by Keats from 1819. Lamia is a queen of Libya in Greek mythology and later became a type of demon in Greek folklore. They are not snake-like in folklore.
Why is she with Mr. Oliver? Because he can ‘call’ snakes. I can’t remember if calling has been mentioned before, but seeing as I can’t remember being angry about it, it probably hasn’t. So, yeah, this calling thing. What hell?
I’d met my first lamia and perhaps the oldest living creature in the world. A red-fucking letter day.
Mr. Oliver is a vampire. He isn’t a living creature.
That was surprisingly okay, for a long chapter, ableism and silliness over lamias aside.
Plus, didn’t Humans Against Vampires notice that Inger was a vampire servant?