by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Creatures 9.12 (2) Summary
How It All Goes Down
- A voice in Ethan's head (not his conscience, but a more spooky, telepathic voice) tells him "It's not worth it" (9.12.3), but he rushes off to pursue Lena anyway.
- Ethan barely has to touch the gate to Ravenwood for it to swing open. Wait a second—does Macon Ravenwood just keep his gates well-greased, or is Ethan an expected guest? Hmmm.
- Ethan grabs Lena's knocker… the giant brass ring hanging from a lion's mouth on her front door. No answer.
- How to open a locked door? Ethan must have played a lot of video games, because he starts looking for a secret button.
- Perhaps a moon is the key. Yeah, that's the ticket. Ethan presses the crescent moon on the lintel, and lo and behold, it turns out to be a secret button. The front door opens, and Ethan goes inside.
- Even though the outside windows are covered with vines, light still streams through, illuminating the house's interior.
- Ravenwood Manor is packed with modern furniture, more IKEA than Tara plantation.
- The only creature inside is a giant jet-black dog—or maybe it's a wolf. It's wearing a leather collar with a silver moon charm dangling from it. Neither dog nor collar came from Petco, so Ethan gets out of there, and quick.
- We're not sure why Ethan doesn't just run back to the car, but he books it down a nearby garden path instead.
- The smell of lemon trees hangs in the air. Rosemary, too. Whoa.
- Beyond the bushes, someone is crying. Surprise, surprise, it's Lena.
- Ethan and Lena talk a bit—some of it verbal, some of it not. Turns out they can communicate with one another telepathically at times. No big deal.
- While talking, Lena idly shapes clouds in the air with her hands. A handy trick for parties, by the way.
- Lena and Ethan share their love for books. Ethan keeps Tolstoy, Salinger, and Vonnegut under his bed. (Their books, not their dead bodies.) Lena likes poetry, especially Charles Bukowski.
- When Ethan asks her about the window, Lena confesses, "Things like that just happen to me, sometimes. I can't control it" (9.12.102). Maybe she's kind of like Carrie? We're not sure yet. All we're saying is that John Travolta should stay away from Lena just in case.
- Now Ethan and Lena admit they had both been dreaming about one another. And somehow, their conversation isn't as terribly awkward as you might expect after this unusual revelation.
- While he's holding Lena's hand, Ethan picks up something from the rock he's sitting on. And, just like that, he finds himself transported to another world.
- "I was in the garden, but not in the garden. And the smell of lemons changed, into the smell of smoke" (9.12.119).
- Here's what's going on in this strange vision: someone named Genevieve is running through swampy ground while everything around her burns. She's surrounded by fire and gunshots.
- Union soldiers are burning down plantation homes. Okay, so we know our little group hallucination is also a Civil War flashback. It's all very Gone with the Wind.
- The flashback is at a place called Greenbrier. Genevieve's mother had successfully grown lemons on the plantation even though they normally didn't survive cold South Carolina winters. So it seems the place is magic all the way down to its soil.
- Okay, back to reality.
- It turns out Ethan had touched an old cameo, which doubles as a locket.
- The two human sparklers realize that Greenbrier must be the plantation next door to Ravenwood. It burned down during the Civil War and never was rebuilt.
- Inside the locket is an inscription. It says "Greenbrier, February 11th, 1865,"which also happens to be Lena's birthday. Well, not the year. Lena's 15, not 150.
- The locket has two sets of initials on the back: ECW & GKD. Ethan's initials are ELW, so he thinks they so totally have something to do with him.
- Already addicted, Ethan wants to have another flashback, but when they try to trigger it again… nothing happens.
- Now Lena reveals some of her mystery: she tells Ethan that her birthday is in 151 days. Aha. So she was counting down to her birthday.
- But then she tells him that she might not be here after those 151 days, when she turns sixteen.
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