“We don’t need them,” Mina snapped.
If you recall, Mina’s hung up on being Kammani’s number one priestess, and rather disapproves of Bun and Gen, let alone the main cast. I think she might be the villain here?
“We’re really good at posters and stuff like that,” Gen said, still looking confused but game. “We’ll be your right-hand women.”
“No.” Mina’s face twisted as the girls folded their blanket to go. “I serve at your right hand.”
No seriously, I think she might be the villain.
Mina reached out her hand and closed it into a fist, and Baby collapsed.
What did the poodle ever do to you?!
The poodle’s dead, by the way, but 3 sentences later, Kammani resurrects her, so it’s all good. She claims the tiara is bad for poodles and Bun and Gen rush off, cuddling their dogs and cooing over them.
Thankfully, Kammani is a bigger badass:
“You disobeyed me,” Kammani said to Mina, putting enough chill into her voice to drop the temperature ten degrees.
They then have a brief showdown that reminds me heavily of the (much better) shapeshifting duel from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which can be read here courtesy of Scans Daily (the guy with the black speech bubbles is our protagonist).
“I am Death; it is my nature to end things,” Mina said […]
“I am Life,” Kammani said, drawing closer, “and it is time you learned to respect me. […] All things come from me.”
“All things end with me,” Mina whispered back.
“You think that is true? […] Then end me” […]
She met Mina’s eyes, saw the girl try, saw the death behind the irises, but it was only a cold wind, sufficient to collapse an ancient dog, freeze a houseplant. “Even at the height of your power you could not harm me, Minawurtum. You serve me. If you do not, I will end you.”
She then suffocates Mina with her dark sorcery. Ouch. As someone who has vivid memories of lacking air, that’s just not a fun place to be. I guess it’s supposed to be comedic, though, because a moment later we’re back to Kammani and her battle against the strange words modern English uses:
“I bring this world life and I bring this world death[…] do you understand?”
She’d nod if I said I brought this world a Dunkin Donut and a Slurpee, Kammani thought, and then wondered what the hell a Dunkin Donut and a Slurpee were.
[…]”I hate this world,” she told Umma, and comforted herself with planning its domination.
Meanwhile, Bikka found the joy that is Cheetos I almost feel like this will be significant later. Like maybe she’ll change her mind because Cheetos? You can’t mess with perfection, after all. I don’t even like cheese and I like Cheetos.
I’m still not really feeling too well, and the next bit has plotdumping, so I’m going to break here on this scene break instead of finishing the chapter. If I don’t focus too much on how long this book is going to go, I’ll be able to get some rest, I hope.