Since I am in Las Vegas this week to get married, I asked a few people to write about the following topic:

What Happens in Vegas…
Pick one of your favorite characters (or a group of your favorite characters). Describe what kind of trouble they would get into if they spent one week in Las Vegas.

In return, Thea and Ana of one of my favorite blogs, The Book Smugglers, wrote this hilarious story about what would happen if Edward Cullen from Twilight was sent to Vegas to undergo some behavior modification treatment under the tutelage of five literary leading men (Rhett Butler, James Bond, Batman, Sirius Black, and Dracula). I’d advise not drinking anything while reading this unless you want to clean up a sprayed liquid mess…

The Education of Edward Cullen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Edward Cullen is a pansy. We know it, you know it, everyone over the age of twelve knows it. As a vampire, he sucks (actually, he doesn’t. He only drinks blood from animals). As a man, he subscribes to the ‘Stalk-Them-Until-They-Can’t-Say-No’ school of wooing. In fact, he is such a creepy little wuss that even literary characters have no respect for the guy. With no hope in sight for the Emo-est vampire in existence, a small but prestigious organization decided to intervene.

This is the story of Edward Cullen as he is taken under the tutelage of…The Five.

Headed by Rhett Butler, the group is formed by some of literature’s most luminary leading men – Batman, Dracula, James Bond and Sirius Black. The Five’s mission? To take Edward Cullen under their wing and reshape the twat into a True Hero (or at least something a little less twatty). The best place to carry on the mission? Las Vegas, baby (of course).

And here is an exclusive account, day by day of what happened when Butler’s Five took Edward Cullen to Las Vegas.

This is the Education of Edward Cullen.

Day One – Lessons on Smooth Behavior: Final Assessment by James Bond (Agent 007)

I met the student today and wasn’t terribly impressed. Edward seems to be a nice chap but without any signs of sophistication. It is unbelievable that he has been around for almost a century and all that he can do is to pout and stare.

After I managed to get him into a bearable outfit (with the help of Mr Armani), we hit the bar at The Venetian. As a test, I told him to order a drink and he asked for Pina Coladas – The bartender could only stare in disbelief as I proceeded to explain the difference between a pina colada and a Vodka Martini, the drink of a real man. The strangest thing is that Edward doesn’t even drink anything, so the beverages were entirely for show. And he chose to be debonair with a pina colada. It was then and there that I knew I was in for a true challenge.

After our short lesson at the bar, we moved to the Casino where I tried my best to teach Edward on how to approach a woman without burning his stare through her face. It is all about a smooth approach and innuendos. It all went down the drain from the there, as he insisted that The Stare Till She Say Yes is the best and logical approach. It is no wonder that he is still a virgin. Most of the lovely ladies moved away from us and as the last one he made a move on, threw her drink at his face shouting “weirdo” I decided to call it a day.

I believe it is a lost cause.

I can only hope that Sirius Black will have a better day tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I should contact M. and tell her that I need a new pen-knife since I lost mine when Edward thought I was carrying a stake in my pocket and threw it away.

Day 2 – Lessons on Being Friends with Werewolves: Excerpt from Rita Skeeter’s ‘Daily Prophet’ interview with Sirius Black & Remus Lupin

“…after winning the Quidditch World Cup. In other news, wizard heroes exonerated for their part against He Who Shall Not Be Named (too easily let off the hook, in this reporter’s estimation) Sirius Black and Remus Lupin are back from an exotic trip overseas to muggle-paradise Las Vegas.

In an exclusive interview with yours truly, investigative genius and reporter extraordinaire, Sirius and Lupin revealed their intentions behind travelling to that cesspool of corruption!

“It was all because of a strange vampire boy from a small muggle town. Rhett [reporter’s note: None other than the delectable muggle hero, Rhett Buter] contacted me with the irresistible offer to promote werewolf awareness and improve relationships towards those afflicted with lycanthropy. Apparently this vampire boy had taken issue with the local wolf pack to the point of true danger. Naturally, Remus and I could not refuse and seized the opportunity to talk some sense into the poor lad.” Sirius’s eyes clouded over as he recalled the times he and his cherished friend Remus suffered as boys at Hogwarts, running free on nights of the full moon.

Remus added, “It was all for naught, unfortunately. We tried to talk to Edward about stepping out of his comfort zone and to see werewolves as people first, suffering from a horrible affliction. It’s something Edward of all people should have understood, tortured self-loathing vampire as he is – -”

At this, Sirius Black muttered with a look of pure menace on his furrowed brow, “You mean twat, is what he is.”

Remus then replied, “Now, Sirius, that’s not fair. Lycanthrope relations are strained even in our world, and some of that prejudice is understandable.”

Waving a hand dismissively, the angered Black continued, “That may be so, Remus, but Edward was impossible. I had half a mind to fix him with a nasty spell. In any case, we both realized that Edward’s fixation – especially with some poor young wolf, James? Jacob, was it? – was never going to change. So we enjoyed a so called magic show with two blokes in white glitter, had a good laugh, and apparated back here.”

So there you have it. Remember you heard it here, from Rita Skeeter, first. In the next column I discuss baby names for the next possible child from scarred hero, Harry Potter…”

Day 3 – Vampirism 101 with Dracula: the Count’s account to Rhett Butter as overheard by a passerby in a Bellagio bar

“The pupil and I met after dark at the roof top of the Bellagio. As we looked down at the people walking the Strip I felt the overwhelming urge to go hunting but alas, the Mission took precedent, as you know. As the First and Most Prominent Vampire, I took upon myself to turn this sorry excuse of a vampire into a Real Vampyr. The first part of the lesson was the most important one. Vampires drink blood to stay alive – from humans. Females, preferably. It is cause for much grievance amongst us, vampires that this Cullen family has spread false rumours that vampirism is a disease and that sucking blood from animals is an honourable form of living. Trying to explain about Power and the three rules of sucking blood (Dazzle then, Suckle them, Leave them) proved to be a complete waste of time. I proceeded to talk about shape shifting and how to amass power from nature – how a true vampire can control the weather and the animals and even shift into a bat or a wolf and that running in the forest and playing baseball with your pals are not all that he can do with his awesome powers.

He looked at me completely disgusted as though the mere idea of all this power disturbed him. Youth, these days – it is complete beyond me how we vampires, have been de-fanged by literature. It makes me sad and I wished at that moment, to go back home and spend some time with my beloved Three. Still, one last lesson needed to be taught but when I mentioned how Earth from his homeland needed to be used in order to secure his survival as he slept through the day, he only gasped in horror and said something about how it was during the day that he sparkled the best.

I quit right there and then and flew down to feed and play a strange variation of poker. I know not what happened to Edward after I left but I have no wish to set my eyes upon him again. ”

Day 4 – Lessons on how to Brood Without Being a Bitch: Video Testimonial from Bruce Wayne/Batman

BRUCE/BATMAN TO CAMERA: Edward Cullen. What a nightmare. Rhett called me with an intriguing prospect. Apparently this kid had some angst issues. Immortal, no human ties, etc ad nauseam. Normally I’d pass on Rhett’s offer, but he said that the kid’s use of the brooding anti-hero shtick was giving folks like me a bad name.

With that in mind, I fired up the batmobile and made a trip to Vegas. I also had some intel on the Riddler running a scam through Circus Circus, so I’d be killing two Edwards with one stone, so to speak. I set forward to meet Edward at the Mandalay Bay, where I found a reluctant boy with ridiculous hair glaring at everyone that walked by. I think he was wearing lipstick. I’m not sure.

I told the kid to walk with me. Took him to the Aquarium for symbolic measure. Sharks in their natural habitat. I told the kid that he, like the sharks in the tank, was a natural predator. Appeal is already on his side with the dangerous aura that our brand of hero share, so there isn’t any need to make ourselves stick out any more than we already do. I explained to him the virtues of blending in and of hiding in plain sight. But he was having none of it. Had the distinct impression that my words were falling on willfully deaf ears.

I also tried to talk to him about childhood trauma and how lucky he is to have a family that truly cares for him. By this point, I knew there was no way to get through to the kid. He seemed more interested in studying his reflection in the aquarium glass than actually listening to any of my advice. At that point I was interrupted with a call about Edward – I mean Edward Nigma – moving out through the Circus Circus casino causing general mayhem. I decided to leave the preening peacock to his brooding so that I could take care of business. And that’s the last I heard of him.

Day 5 – In which Edward and Rhett Butler have a one-to-one on How to Seduce a Woman

*excerpt from Butler’s journal*

“..and then I asked him how he usually approached a woman, to which he replied that he didn’t. He usually stays very still, lips pouting, eyes glistening, intensely staring at the young ladies until they come to HIM. I then asked what next, and he says he would play the “I can’t be with you, I am too dangerous” card. He seems to think that playing hard to get is the best attack, when coupled with the Stalk and Stare of course.

I explained that this is not how a woman likes to be courted.

He then interrupted me to say something about a woman called Bella which seems to think he is the Real Deal. I told him to forget about this Bella- he is 200 years old, she is 17. End of story. Plus, I know how it is to be obsessed with a singular woman. Been there, done that. And stalking really doesn’t work out too well.

He seems not to have the faintest idea on how to engage in Witty Banter either. He is far too serious and brooding and doesn’t seem to understand that a crooked smile goes a long way. Still, I tried to instil some levity in him, but that didn’t work either. Later on, I tried my best to teach how to read people so that we could hit the casinos and play a couple of hands but his need to behave like a creep is ingrained.

Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for lost causes once they are really and truly lost. I’ll keep at it with Edward for as long as it takes. As for Scarlett, well, she seems to be enjoying herself at the Orleans…”


After the week with The Five, Edward Cullen was never seen again. Rumours say he tried to out-sparkle the Disco Ball in Studio 54 at the MGM Grand, but the exertion was too much and he exploded, covering surprised and delighted clubgoers in a brilliant shower of glitter. Others say that he “disappeared” the same way that Holden Caulfield and Werther (the two previous pupils that The Five unsuccessfully attempted to educate) did.

The Five were dismantled after that week. They realised that the old adage, “Once a pansy, always a pansy” was in fact true. Batman proceeded to fight crime. Sirius Black continues to fight for Lycanthrope Tolerance with dear friend Remus Lupin. Dracula went back to Transylvania. James Bond remained in Vegas playing the casinos and the ladies.

It is said that Rhett Butler found out that Scarlet O’Hara was looking for a new husband as she conned her way through the casinos, and that he took her up on her offer and they got married again in the Chapel of Love on the same day that Kristen married her fiancée! According to local reports, the four of them went out celebrating together in what has been described as “the wildest night Sin City has even seen.” And that, dear friends, is the happiest ending anyone could have asked for.


Thanks for the story, Ana and Thea! I nearly died when I read this. The end was especially fitting because I bought my nail polish for the wedding about 2 hours before I received this in my email. The name of the nail polish? Frankly Scarlet.

Tomorrow there will be another edition of What Happens in Vegas by Seanan McGuire, author of the forthcoming novel Rosemary and Rue.