Friday, February 5, 2010

An Abridged Account by alchemilla mollis

An Abridged Account

alchemilla mollis




An Abridged Account of the Sexual History of Edward Cullen, as told to Bella Swan. Edward recounts a somewhat disastrous history of encounters with women through the 20th century, as Bella become more and more impatient to have an encounter of their own.


I am a terrible reader. However, once I find one which catches my fancy, I remain fiercely loyal once I’m hooked. Over time I start to sound like a broken record, recommending the same story over and over again—but, you see, I just can’t imagine anyone reading anything else. This habit of mine seems to have leaked into other aspects of my personal life; for instance, I can’t seem to watch more than one television show during any given length of time. Just as I hang on Mad Men’s every painstaking, slow-moving minute each autumn, I tend to marinate myself in only one story at a time. I am fully aware I am capable of reading more, but yet I find myself unwilling.

I saw alchemilla mollis’s “An Abridged Account” recommended somewhere—I cannot recall exactly where as I try to remember—but regardless, I was enchanted by the summary. As it turned out, “An Abridged Account” is an abridged title. Its full title is, “An Abridged Account of the Sexual History of Edward Cullen as Told to Bella Swan.” The words “sexual history” and “Edward Cullen” immediately captivated me.

“An Abridged Account” begins with our favorite petulant heroine detailing to Edward the events of her first kiss. It’s a terribly human moment for our pair—rather than talk of lions and lambs and soul mates, conversation such as these are the crux of every relationship, and sorely lacking from Meyer’s version. What begins as an innocent conversation transgresses into Edward relaying his disastrous first kiss. I found the prospect of reading about Edward’s prior conquests interesting—but as I read more, I found something else: I found Edward and Bella interesting.

This is canon Edward and Bella vastly improved by alchemilla mollis’s talent for the written word. The author has transformed our beloved couple into something natural, playful and believable—something I believe was not written nearly as beautifully in canon. I’d always found Meyer’s descriptions of Edward and Bella to be fairly lifeless—stilted and stiff, even. The meadow scene in chapter five of “An Abridged Account” provides an entirely new lens on canon. After reading it, I truly believed Edward and Bella would be together forever, despite Bella’s ever-growing curiosity over Edward’s historic romps with Tanya.

What I find truly delightful about this story is the ease in which it’s told—nothing seems clunky or out of place. The storytelling is masterful and subtle. Bella and Edward’s dialogue is truly a joy to take in, like savoring every last morsel of some delectable treat. This story is for a true Twilight fan, not a fanfiction fan. Every so often, I hear cries that not nearly enough stories in the fandom stay true to the spirit of canon and still manage to add fascinating new layers. To those looking for it: this is the story. This is the one.

I should preface this by saying that if you're a wussperv, yer gonna wanna go ahead and mosey on to another fic. Run along now, don't dilly dally.

For those that aren't wusspervs, well, this story is probably for you. I should have known that "an abridged account of the sexual history of Edward Cullen" wouldn't be good for a wussperv, but someone *cough Hopey cough* told me that it "wasn't that bad." And, while she was definitely right in regards to the writing of this fic (which was done well), it's crystal clear that Hopey does not wear wussperv pants...the plotline of this fic totally broke my heart.

This is an AU set after NM has taken place, and Bella is dead set on getting Edward to fess up to his past sexual encounters. The canon Edward who hadn't see a vag in 107 years? Yeah, he's not here. This Edward knows one (inside and out...) and is fully aware on how to, er, work it.

The author takes us on a journey in both past and present - present being Bella coercing him to spill his guts on his past endeavors while trying to get them to jump those hurdles themselves, and the past being those actual endeavors. The author takes us through in Edward's eyes his different encounters, and I will admit, the first two were pretty funny at the end. Of course, getting to the end was what hurt. ;)

The last endeavor (which has been the past 5 or 6 chapters) was...err...more difficult to read. It involves Tanya, and I'm pretty sure that's all I have to say. ;)

While I enjoyed the writing of this fic, and even the idea she explored about Edward not being as chaste as we were lead to believe, I will say that it is not for those that want Edward with only Bella. But, if that doesn't bother you in the least, then you'll probably enjoy what the writer has done with this fic.

I think this story, is really well-written. I think the author takes us right into the heart & emotion of both characters. That is why I think that this story pierced straight through my wussperv heart. I have to call turpentine. Regretfully so, as I know its an amazing story. But I bow out. One of my hard limits was breached. . .

Never before in the history of this blog has a story incited as much discussion or debate as An Abridged Account. Mostly it was us non-wussperv's encouraging the wussperv's to try it. And whadda know, they tried it...for the most part. I have to start by giving props to the wussperv's for going outside their comfort zone to read this story.

Now I can get down to business and discuss the story. It's been a long time since a story has made me fall in love with it, has gotten me excited and eager for updates and wondering on pins & needles what is going to happen next. An Abridged Account had me enthralled from the 1st chapter. I simply love it.

It's very well written and original while including canon-ish characteristics. The flow and narrative are beautiful, while remaining real and honest. Like my cohorts it never sat well with me that Edward had NO experience with the opposite sex before Bella came along. Surely there had to be SOMETHING?!?!? Well alchemilla mollis explores Edward's sexual background here while staying true to the books in that he'sa virgin and has never truly been in love until Bella.

What I think I love most is that Edward, during his trial and tribulations with the opposite sex before Bella, thinks that each time this is it, it's love, but realizes soon after each encounter that it's not love. It's lust and curiosity and there is something lacking, some essential thing missing from each. Edward realizes that Bella is what missing. It makes my cold dead heart aww and squee.

Now Bella responds like any teenage girl in love would. She's jealous and curious and wants to know what exactly Edward has done before her. He's had such a long existence that surely something happened before her. She doesn't react well to Consuela at first, but time passes in the fic and a more mature Bella ask Edward to relay the tale. She handles it well, or better than she did at first. Proving to Edward that she can be mature and adult about their sex life and all the responsibilities that come with it. But Edward is still giving her the "abridged" version, leaving out certain things as to not upset her. Personally I think he's being a douche, he should just tell her. I think she could handle it, but maybe not. I'll just have to wait and see.

Edward and Bella have their own encounters in this story. The Meadow scene is so fucking good, it's hard to even describe. Let's just say, it's what I was hoping for at the end of Eclipse, but better (note: E&B have NOT had sex yet in this story, both are still virgins). With Edward realizing Bella's maturity and ability to handle his past like an adult they push their physical relationship further. Bella is more forward with her wants and what she would like for them to do. Edward's mind often drifts towards Bella's body and what he wants to do to it, especially during Manhunt.


Oh. My. God. How much do I fucking LOVE Manhunt? A ton! It's the perfect game for the vamps to play. I want more Manhunt. The Manhunt chapters were light, but serious at the same time. While Edward is trying to avoid the rest of the vamps, he and Bella have an honest discussion and Edward is trying to make out with her at the same time. It's pure Win.

I loved the Tanya/Alaska chapters. I think the Denali sisters that alchemilla mollis created are great. The running rhyming commentary in Edward's head made me giggle and laugh as I read. It showed just how young he was/is.

The story left off with several things up in the air. I want to see what's going on in the Vanquish? Will Eddie let her do it, or will he put on the brakes? What exactly is a "Safe Sex Bedroom"? Will Edward ever completely tell the tale, or will it always be abridged?

5 out of 5 sheer purple bras from moi.

It should be said first that I never believed or appreciated that Edward's sexual past would have been as chaste as SMeyer painted it as. It's not that I don't respect her vision – obviously I do, or I wouldn't spend so much time immersed with her characters – it's just that this one piece of information sort of always nags at my brain. Really? Really? A perpetually 17-year-old male that can read every mind he encounters, is subjected to the sexual habits of his non-blood family, and he's done almost nothing?

So it should come as no surprise that An Abridged Account felt like the story I'd been waiting for.

Chapter 1 made my heart pang, because Edward has a thought about Miss Harrow. When he thinks:

THIS! he thought, this feeling must surely be what love is.

I just could totally relate. Who hasn't had a crush like that? The first time you feel those butterflies and decide you're in love.

But oh, does it turn out terribly for poor Edward, and Miss Harrow; my empathy for her is great. She believes God has punished her for her sinful thoughts of Edward, a student. Can you imagine the lifelong impact of something like that? I also really loved the way the author tied this incident back in to Bella and Edward. Beautiful and haunting. The last line made me giggle, which was a nice ending.

Twelve years later, Chapter 2 finds us in an Argentinian bar with Emmett, Edward, and Julio. I loved the banter between Edward and Emmett, especially once Consuela approaches Edward.

I giggled again at the end of the chapter, when Bella comments on Edward never brushing his teeth. I also loved how time advanced almost a year from chapter 1 to 2; it's a subtle reference in one line that could be easily missed, but it was a nice touch.

The end of chapter 3 had me both laughing and very, very worried. Thankfully, chapter 4 filled in the gaps of information and I could breathe a little easier. Chapter 4 was both hot and heartbreaking. Lots of interesting info in chapter 5.

The beginning of chapter 6 was full of Edward and Rose bonding and banter that made me giggle, and had more good information in it. I literally LOLed at this, in chapter 6:

“Yeah,” cracked Emmett. “I’ve heard there are vampires in there.”

Most of chapter 6 was anxiety-filled, but with a sweet ending. Contrasting with 6 is 7, which is a thrilling race for most of the chapter, and then heart clenching for the last third.

There is so much exhilarating action in chapter 8, that you almost forget what Alice said. Then it smacks you right upside the head, and heart. Chapter 9 wasn't any easier to read, the tension palpable.

Chapter 11 and 12 clear up a lot of things, but oh man, I am still on the edge of my seat for the next update! Love this story so far; the writing is good, there's an actual plot and explanation, and I've enjoyed every encounter Edward has had. He's learned and grown from them, and they weren't overly explicit.

5/5 sheer purple bras

sigh. If you're not interested in a long in the tooth bitch fit - skip my review.

I fought tooth and mother humping nail to not read this. I wanted to use my fancy that Hopey made us WPs but I caved. Hope knew I'd like her writing, Kathy agreed and Emmy & Bri both said it was going to kill me.

They were all a little bit right.

I am ridiculous when it comes to reading anything labeled canon. If you label it that I expect it to be SM's canon written by you. The underlying roots are canon ie: you've added layers, but not changed what was originally established. This isn't canon (at least not to me), it's AU, MILDLY OOC with a lot of canon flair. Once my ass got over that it wasn't truly 'canon' and just a great new take on AU, I was *okay* and proceeded (WITH CAUTION).

Edward's got a sexual past. No big deal. Yes, you read that right. I don't care (once I deemed it AU) that he had previous encounters. I could even (almost) justify his reasoning for them, this wasn't my issue. For all intents and purposes (or intensive porpoises) he's still a virgin. Meaning, Part A didn't fit into Slot B in anyone.

I really enjoy the manner that Alchemilla writes his history, especially each time period/experience having their own little flashback nugget. You see it all quite clearly thanks to her expressive writing and storytelling.

Chapter 4, her version of the meadow, is stifling hot and really, really well done and true to form with these characterizations. I'm eager to see how she progresses their relationship further especially since these walls are being chiseled away bit by bit.

Plus, I really want to see Bella light a tree on fire and shove it unceremoniously up Tanya's ass.
So what was my problem then? Keep in mind. None of my problems are with the story. I really enjoy it. It's the interpretation of the story/characters/explanations that I'm aggravated with.


Again, it's not the story I'm perturbed at, it's the reaction to the story that has me miffed.
Lies thanks to omission are still lies. Look, I like Edward just as much (probably not) as everyone else but honestly. I'm tired of him getting a free pass with everything. He cheats, he's forgiven, he's a douchecanoe, he's forgiven. She gets pissy with his fuckery and she's a bitch. WTF.

In AAA specifically, Bella would still be elbow deep in vat of clueless pudding if she didn't browbeat him for an explanation of his past. Again, I reiterate, it's not his past that annoys me it's the manner by which they discover it. Same goes for her. She didn't tell him about whatshisface with the fish tongue either.

Second issue: On top of the fact that readers are PISSED at Bella and for what? Because she asked? Because she's 'not allowed to be upset over something that happened well before she was even born?' I don't think she's pissed off about that, I think she's upset that he basically omitted (read:lied) about how much experience he had. She's a 17 year old girl from TODAY dating an Edwardian born vampire who up until a few weeks ago lead her to believe he was wearing a fucking garlic scented chastity belt and that his wang never saw the light of day. She's horny and wants to move forward and her more experience boyfriend is cockblocking her at every turn.

I LOVED the chapter where she argues back with him. I was reading it with fucking pom poms and a megaphone hoping she'd junkpunch him. I've never read a story where I wanted him to get his ass kicked so much. (Yes, I know there are far more deserving Edward's that should have their asses kicked but I don't read those)

My point is, that for as much as I pissed, moaned and bitched about the story. I do honestly really enjoy it. Yes, it kind of sucks to read that old Eddie has a not-so-vanilla past but it does make for a great read.

I hope like all hell that Bella sticks to her guns and mounts her a vamp, pulls one over on Tanya and comes out on top.

4/5 flaming tree trunks up Tanya's ass.

Amidst much discussion, I wasn't sure how I was going to react to this fic. Our resident wusspervs tend to band together and then there's the rest of us. It's been a long time since a fic has made me chuckle in so many parts as this one. And there's so much good story there too, and well-written to boot.

I'm of the same mind as Kathy that it seemed almost impossible and unthinkable that Edward, who is forever seventeen, would have had NO sexual experience to think of. Regardless of his staunch Victorian upbringing, one would think he would have changed a little with the times and acted out some of the things he heard in his head.

This story brings us that alternate reality that just, to me, makes so much more sense. Now, I'm not one who has issues with Bella or Edward being with other people, so I wasn't squicked out by that. What I did find was a wonderfully written story that explores just what Edward might have done and how things worked out. I don't want to say too much or give anything away, aside from the fact that my lovely, pervy cohorts have covered it well, but if you're not a WP, this story is an excellent choice for an interesting look at Edward's sexual past. I shall be anxiously awaiting the next update!

4.5 out of 5 sheer purple bras from me

Oh my fuck, I am seriously dying over here having finished the latest chapter of An Abridged Account. After reading some of the emails amongst the PP discussing this fic, I'll admit to being a tad bit afraid to start. But, wanting to give it a chance, I dove in. And fell in love.

AAA is just that. Well, that and more. It starts with Bella and Edward in their meadow, going over the story of Edward's first kiss. What's that you say? His first kiss was not with Bella?

*gasp* Well...all I can say is that I never really liked the notion of Edward having NO experience whatsoever. Isn't a vampire's nature...animalistic? And isn't sex, in its many forms, just that? A primal need? To think that Edward has never attempted anything in his many years of existence never sat well. So, where was I? Oh yes, his first kiss. Well, let's just say things didn't end so well. Bella is really better off having an Edward who had at least tried before.

From there, Edward's retelling moves to another experience with a "almost" with a busty mujer de la Argentina. I never fully appreciated how careful Canon Edward had to be in the series. I mean, I know he mentioned it. And there was the incident with the bed frame bsns...but in AAA there is a moment where, well, I don't want to ruin it. And thus, he has "almost sex."

Bella and Edward in the meadow. Ung. Ung. Ung.

And then...the bomb drops. Tanya and the rest of the of the Denali clan show up. Edward gets weird. Tanya is a bitch. There's this awesomely awesome game called Manhunt (seriously, so inventive and really fun to read). And all the while Edward's actions and thoughts get more...naughty. Like, mmm naughty. Like, almost makes me forget that something bad is going to happen.

So of course, chapter 8 comes along and a piece of me dies. I'm not a wussperv, but I still get that pain in my chest where my heart is clenching and that oh shit did that really have to happen feeling comes on. Still, I enjoyed it. Ha, masochist. There is angst, and some may believe Edward doesn't need to share his sexual past. Only, when Bella hears a partial truth, everything is much, MUCH worse. Much worse.

The latest update leaves us with the complete story, HOPEFULLY not abridged, so that Edward and Bella can move on. And fuck fuck fuckity fuck. At least, that's my hope. I cannot wait for more!

4 out of 5 sheer purple bras

I feel like I need to give you a peptalk before you head over to read this fic, because let's face it, you are going to read it. You don't have to play coy with me. I'm a whore, and I do not judge. Let's be honest when it is all said in done, Wusperv or not, you are going to at least peek at it and you should. In fact, for the love of all that is holy you have to at least read through chapter four...cause I had to change my pants after that fuckhotness. In fact, give me a second while I reread it.

*sound of panting* where were we? Oh yeah, peptalk. Here goes:

The types of fan fiction that I love to read are stories that further expand on characters and/or the universe/history that was left unexplored by canon. This story fulfills both of these spades.

Edward Cullen's sexual history prior to I have your attention? Yeah, I thought so. If this fascinates, titillates or intrigues you, than my friend this is the fic for you. I don't care if you are big ol' Wusperv that is at this very moment drawing hearts around your Bella/Edward twitter avatar, you should give this story a read.

I took a peek at Nina's review and I totally agree with her that there is an inequity in fandom when it comes to the treatment of Edward verses the treatment of Bella. I can explain it very easily; we love Edward, and we cut the one's that we love a hell of a lot of slack. Yes, it is really that simple.

That's why I'm telling you to go read this story, because while it does feature a rather feisty Bella (that I kinda like. Shock! Horror!) the heart of this story, to me, is about Edward. Oh...Edward. He is earnest, sweet and so fucking clueless. He's a virgin, but not just physically.

This story goes a long way to give you insight into who Edward was before Forks, and as a Edward fangirl, I am ALL about that. See, I do understand the hesitance (or intense resistance) to seeing Edward with anyone but Bella. I, personally, have no issue with it, but I do feel for my tenderhearted Wuspervs who begin to shake like an angry kitten at the mere mention of the “T” word (*whispers* Tanya), which is why I must very lovingly say “put on the big girl pants” and read this fucking story.

To love someone is to allow them to be a fully develop person, to see all of their mistakes and flaws, and still love him. Every mistake he makes is a lesson learned and it brought him closer to the Edward that we know and love. When you love someone you hold his hand, soothe his worried brow, and maybe even give him a swift kick in the ass for being a bit of a arrogant know-it-all (baby, that shit, right there, is canon).

In the flashbacks, we get to see a young, even more idealistic Edward who is so heartbreakingly naïve, part of my soul is forever marked by the painful ending of his first crush. I was in love with Edward before, but after reading that flashback, I was head over heels for him. I love seeing Edward being clumsy, well intentioned and guilt-ridden.

While these flashbacks give you a lot of (yummy for me, scary for others) backstory on Edward (and other Cullen family members) they also serve to help us see how Edward develops/refines his views of love and sex. I think it also helps us see the root of Edward's intense, rigorous adherence to least for the start of the story. *smirk*

When you get down to the heart of this story it's about fear, perception and faith. Edward and Bella have their own, very different fears around sex. They also have their own preconceived notions about sex, but all of this could be dealt with, rather easily, if they just had faith in the strength of their love for each other.

I'm telling you this, because they both make mistakes and may upset you as you read, but you need to understand that they are on a journey that, I believe, will have a very rewarding, and well earned HEA.

That's right the non-canon shipping, angst whore has got her fingers and toes crossed for the damn Happily Ever After. Don't tell anyone, Team Evil will make me burn my membership card.

I admit, I initially had issues with the first few chapters of this story, but not for wussperv reasons. alchemilla classifies it as canon, but the characters were acting so OOC that it distracted me. Once I re-classified it in my head as AU, the story and characters made sense to me. While is was hard to see Edward having sexual experiences before he met Bella, it is perfectly feasible that he did so. If you have no prior experience with love, after all, how do you know it when you see it? I was really intrigued by the concept of Edward's previous sexual history, and alchemilla doesn't disappoint.

That being said, once I got into this story, I truly enjoyed it. Edward is recounting his sexual history for Bella, albeit an abridged one, as the title states. The way in which he tells her about these encounters is akin to foreplay, and the result is one hot and bothered Bella. When she decides to take matters into her own hands to ramp up their sexual repertoire, the result is a sheer purple bra, held in place with a silk ribbon that only needs to be untied to unleash her breasts. Add to that a matching pair of panties, a flowy skirt, a trip to their beautiful meadow with a picnic that includes red wine, and PRESTO! you have an instant recipe for one very hot makeout scene. For me, the scene is intensified by what Edward and Bella leave undone rather than what they accomplish. It is the promise of things to come that is just ten levels of fuckhot.

In between the abridged stories, alchemilla weaves in a family game called "Manhunt," which is like a vamp version of hide and seek. It's extremely clever, fun, and the banter between teams is so well done. I don't want to spoil it by giving away details, but it only adds to the depth of the story. It's like a delightful little ramble that allows the reader to catch their breath.

Naturally, Tanya appears as one of Edward's sexual encounters, but it takes several chapters for us to get the full story from Edward's perspective. The Denalis come to visit Forks while Bella is conveniently in Jacksonville visiting her mother. After they trade some racy text messages, the net result of their meadow encounter, Bella decides to come home early and surprise Edward. She then has the opportunity to meet all of the Denalis, and Tanya makes no effort to hide her animosity towards Bella, or her ardor for Edward. This results in a three-way game of "He said, she said." Of course Tanya plants a bomb in Bella's mind, stating that Edward is "...a lovely mouthful." The end result? Edward is forced to give Bella the unabridged account of his liaison with Tanya as they depart Forks and share a very tense drive across the country together to get to Dartmouth.

Because of the way she draws out the story, it is rife with UST from both Bella and Edward. The promise of what is to come has me eagerly awaiting chapter 13. I absolutely cannot wait for the "safe sex bedroom" to appear in their New Hampshire home once they reach Dartmouth! UNG.

4/5 Sheer purple bras from me


peeling-a-fig said...

How can I thank you guys enough? You've thrown my little fic out there and lots of lovely ladies (I presume) are hitting it and reviewing. I'm beside myself with pleasure, like Bella on a blanket in a meadow.

I had no idea you were wrangling and debating and discussing it among yourselves either. Fabulous!

Thanks for the shoutouts in the sidebars too. Sheer purple bras -- I guess I should consider getting one myself.

Much happiness,