Hold onto your hats, kids, because it’s about to get strange up in here.
Recap: Last time, Abby had run out on her math professor sweetie after having sex for the first time ever when he insisted that everything was wrong and stormed out of the room. All the awkwards were happening.
It is now 5:30pm; the girls are finished at the coffeehouse, now preparing for the evening’s “dog training course”, which they now know to be the hotbed of a cult forming around the goddess Kammani Gula. Abby was “subdued” but did not tell anyone what was wrong and generally doesn’t seem to be severely upset, so they’re letting her keep her secret for now.
Shar votes that they just not attend the 6pm meeting. Daisy, who if you recall is infatuated with Noah, insists that Kammani can’t be all bad if Noah works for her. Because all women get silly over boys and blatantly ignore reality if it shines a poor light on their new flame’s judgement skills.
Shar, being infatuated with Sam, focuses her objection on Sam’s information: he doesn’t know what Kammani wants or what the tonic does, therefore, the situation must be dire indeed, because her crush mistrusts it.
A movement in the doorway caught her eye, and she saw a man in a ski mask, a gun in his hand.
Sorry, I’m sitting here thinking about the nature of relationships and whether the book is trying to imply that it’s good or right to immediately base your assessment of a situation around the few times your new crush has mentioned it, and whether that’s too close to Debi Perl’s ideas about letting the man make every decision, and then bam. Masked gunman. Bravo, book, I did not expect that!
The dogs to the rescue! Bowser, Wolfie, Bailey, and Milton attack the gunman. Surprisingly, none of them get shot! Instead, Abby melts the gun with her mind, causing the gunman to throw it; Daisy spins it into a Frisbee and Shar shatters it.
Because… I don’t know. Where is this book going?! Into X-men territory apparently. They just somehow know how to use their powers now, after a couple days of weird experiences. Okay then! Moving on!
Bowser sits on the guy’s chest to pin him and Milton unmasks him. The gunman turns out to be Doug, who is acting on Mina’s orders because he’s on the outs with Kammani because he smacked her ass on the way out the door. Mina’s learning how to use her powers as well; she killed his car battery, and his credit score, and his penis, and now is trying to get him to make it up to them by killing Abby’s coffeehouse. Despite Shar’s continued doubts, the girls let him go and head to the meeting, bringing along some of Abby’s cookies and Daisy’s pen.
Vera made it to this meeting! She drinks some tonic rapidly, bringing her up to speed with the rest of the cast. Mina nibbles one of the Desire Cookies and her True Colors start shining through:
“You! Move!” [...]
“I’m sorry?” Vera said, sounding surprised.
“I need to be seated at my goddess’s left hand,” Mina said.
[...]“Oh, well,” Vera said. “Squash is so comfortable, do you think you could …?” and she motioned genially to the empty seat between her and Shar.
“No,” Mina said, her voice laced with a deep contempt that went surprisingly well with her business suit. “You are weak.” She shot a look directly at Daisy. “Those who are weak do not deserve to be at my goddess’s hand.”
(Contempt is in style this season, ladies and gents! It’s the new accessory craze that’s sweeping the nation; it goes well with heels or loafers, and matches the black briefcase and pink pocket square perfectly.)
Vera moves to sit with our heroines instead, letting Mina have the place she desires, and insists that Abby is incredibly lovely, which for some reason sets off my creepy vibe a little. She learns that Squash can talk, and takes it in stride. Meanwhile, the girls decide to down more tonic to increase their powers.
Daisy tasted it and the impact hit her hard. It was at least twice as potent as it had been on Thursday, and where it had been delicious before, now it was irresistible. Power, Daisy thought, and drank it down.
(That’s not the end of that sentence; the sentence goes on to talk about Kammani arriving in what I feel is an awkward transition. It reads better if you cut the sentence where I’ve stopped quoting, let the impact of the words sink in a little before changing topics.)
Now that they’ve had more tonic, Sam seems to glow slightly; Shar glows slightly blue, and Abby amber. Gen and Bun have a “wispy haze” instead of a glow, Gen in yellow and Bun in orange; Vera is green, Mina purple, and since Daisy is our viewpoint at the moment we don’t get to know her color yet.
Kammani calls Gen up to the stage and puts a beaded dog collar on her. Shar calls it an “investiture” without explaining; Google tells me that’s the ceremony in which honors or rank are invested into someone. Daisy notices that when collared, there’s a glow that matches the aura of the person being collared, seeming to come from the subordinate and going into Kammani; presumably, she’s drawing power from them in exchange for the rank she’s conferring on them. When it’s Abby’s turn, all three girls lean back, clearly refusing to go. Vera is next:
Kammani gave Vera her collar and put her hands over Vera’s head. The light flashed, green this time, and Vera cried out and stumbled down the steps, staggering into the middle of the circle, her hand over her heart, struggling for breath.
“Oh… oh…” She blinked twice, and then the faint greenish glow around her flickered and died and she collapsed.
Wait, what?! What is this book doing? This is fatal now?! Did she just have a heart attack?! Apparently so; Shar calls 911, Kammani commands her to get back up, but Sam pronounces her dead. Well. Her glow should probably have been red, or at least her shirt.
The investiture breaks up; the girls go back to comfort each other, and adopt Squash into their group of dogs. Noah offers to fetch Squash’s things, and while he’s gone, the girls find a bunch of those miniature bottles of booze and some ordinary beverages to use as mixers and settle in to get drunk.
All three mothers seem to know what’s going on; Daisy points out that her mom abandoned her dog so she’d not end up caught up in this mess, and Abby’s mom calls herself “The Real Estate Goddess”. I guess their grandmothers were the original priestesses? They seem to be implying that their grandmothers knew the most, then their mothers, and now the three of them are clueless. Except only Shar’s grandmother was dug up from a tomb. So maybe I’m misunderstanding here.
They end the chapter by coming up with the best of drunken plans: Shar should coax info out of Sam by sleeping with him.
Stay tuned next time! Until then, the secret catchphrase is “Glittery HooHa”.