The Rocking Chair, and What Audrina Found There

Audrina doesn’t know why she doesn’t just head back to bed, but she doesn’t, and she seats herself in the rocking chair in an attempt to finally get some answers. Rock, rock, rocking, she gets herself into the proper state and starts to have a vision. For simplicity, I’m just going to refer to the First & Best as Audrina, without qualifiers. And I’ll be getting through this part as quickly as possible, because…yowsa. It’ll be a short recap, because it feels weird to write this part and then get snarky.

It’s Audrina’s ninth birthday, and she’s excited about going home after school because she’s going to have a big birthday party.  Although Lucky has specifically told her not ever to walk home through the woods, Audrina doesn’t want to ride the school bus because Spencer Longtree and his posse of bullies also ride the bus, and they call her names and tell her that she’s ugly. In order to avoid this, especially on her birthday, Audrina decides to take the path through the woods home. It starts to rain, which dismays her since she’s wearing her party clothes (a silk dress and lacy petticoat) and Lucky will be less than pleased if Audrina isn’t perfectly turned out at her party. Not to mention, silk dress? On a nine-year old? To school? Yikes. If that were nine-year old me, that thing’d be covered in sandwich crumbs and pencil shavings and paint and dirt and grass stains. I’m clumsy.

Audrina starts running to avoid the rain, but she stops when she hears laughter behind her. She turns and sees Spencer and his friends coming out from behind some bushes. She tries to run away from them, but one of them grabs her by her long hair and pulls her back. She screams at them to be let go, but Spencer taunts her by saying that she won’t be so high and mighty once she’s been had, and other pleasant things. Audrina threatens to curse them all, saying that Whitefern women with hair like hers are witches, and she screams curses at them. This throws the boys for a moment and Audrina is about to take the opportunity to run when another boy stands up from behind the bushes and Audrina recognizes him. She screams at him to help her, but he runs away. Her chance to escape gone, the boys assault Audrina.

Our Audrina comes back to herself in the playroom and is horrified by what she just saw. The boy in the woods who ran away was Arden. Audrina realizes that she’s been lied to her whole life–the First & Best Audrina was not nine years older than her, and that mysterious something that Arden has always said that he needs to make up for is the fact that he left her sister to be raped and murdered in the woods. Audrina’s memory was full of holes because she knew that, and was trying to block it out. Damian too contributed to her mental state by forcing her to sit in the rocking chair and relive those moments. Audrina gets up, preparing to go back to her room and confront Arden.

As she runs down the hall, one of the gaslights comes on and startles her. A flashlight is shined into her eyes, and as she’s stumbling about disoriented, another flashlight comes on–this one with a prism held in front of it, so that she’s blinded. She screams at Arden, asking if he’s come to finish what they started (oh honey, Arden doesn’t have the brains for something like this), and she flails about the hallway, dazzled by the dozens of prisms that have been strung along it as more lights are turned on. As she passes the stairs, she feels hands hit her back, and down she goes.

And blackness.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Shannon says:

    I’m kind of surprised that she saw prisms near the stairway and immediately thought of Arden and not the person who’s been constantly playing with prisms throughout the book.

    Also, HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE Arden.

  2. trappedintheattic says:

    I just want to shake her. “Audrina. There are TWO possibilities here: the person who always plays with prisms, and the person who hates your guts. Arden sucks, but is neither.”

  3. bookslide says:

    Ugh, Arden, but…COME ON, Audrina.

    So at this point, she still thinks she had a sister? Whose memories she can acquire on a rocking chair?

  4. trappedintheattic says:

    Yes. Yes she does. Oh Audrina.

  5. Lindsay Is All Jacked Up On Mt. Dew says:

    Dude, first off, who send their kid to school in a a silk dress and lacy petticoat. I would have ruined that in about .01 seconds.

    Oh,, der, I typed that before I continued and saw you said the same thing! Great minds and all that.

    Those stairs are the debil

  6. How’d my WordPress account get up there? Weird

  7. trappedintheattic says:

    WordPress does that sometimes.

    As for the dress, it’s just another low point in Lucky’s parenting. I mean, when your nine-year old begs to wear her party dress to school, you say “No.” Or “Okay, but if it gets messed up, you’ll have to wear your blue dress, I’m not doing laundry this afternoon.” But this is Lucky we’re talking about, so who can expect that?

  8. SexyBookworm says:

    Bookslide…I believe Audrina was so traumatized by the rape and by all of the lies she’d been told, that she lost all sense of reality.

    It was safer to continue living a lie than to deal with the painful truth and the memories of what she endured.

    As to the silk dress and petticoats…well, this IS V.C. Andrews. *chuckle* She was all about the glamour. She would never have one of her heroines stepping out in a Plain Jane outfit of t-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops…even if the heroine is a little girl. IMO, that shows that she really cared about the portrayal of her characters. She didn’t want them to be ordinary/boring/forgettable in any way. She wanted them to be special.

    It is more fun to read about impractical, unrealistic people and the things they do. Reading about beautiful people in old-fashioned surroundings puts a twinkle in my eye.

    I would’ve ruined the dress too. I loved beautiful clothes as a kid. I had lots of pretty clothes. But like most children, I was very accident-prone and clumsy. My mom preferred to pull out the frilly stuff on special occasions only. I was rarely allowed to wear jeans as a kid but that became my “uniform” once I hit puberty because I was self-conscious about people noticing my developing body. It isn’t fun being 11 years old with big hips and no boobs.

    Wasn’t the rape scene horrible?

  9. Dafne Gutierrez says:

    For the rape scene I have no idea why but I am fixiated on the idea that Vera sent the boys after Audrina. I may be confusing books. And: WHAT KIND OF CHILDREN RAPE OTHER CHILDREN OF 9 FREAKING YEARS OLD????!!!!!!! That- was the biggest thing I could not believe. Also, if she was blinded then why continue on walking? I would have just sat down rather than try to walk. Oh Audrina, I shake my head at you

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