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Charmingly wicked half-demon Meda hides form Hell’s army in a school for
demon-hunters—who mistakenly believe she’s a saint. The demons attacked
the school to get Meda and three students helped her to escape.
has done some bad things in her short life, and believes she’s
irredeemable. She’s never had a friend before. Jo is a clever Templar
girl who’s bitter and mean because she was previously badly injured,
and, as a cripple, can never become a “real” demon-hunter. The two
damaged girls can’t help but start respecting each other, then become
friends, as the story goes on. In this scene, they’ve stopped for some
fast food and get toys from a little coin-operated machine. Previously
Meda had met someone that she mentally referred to as “the man behind
the curtain” (there’s Wizard of Oz references throughout) and she
(half-joking) wished for a heart:
I pop open my plastic egg, and inside is a tin heart. Mr. Wizard heard my prayer! But what’s this?
“It’s broken.” Damn you, Mr. Wizard.
peers over my shoulder and plucks it from my hands. “No it’s not.
Haven’t you ever seen these before?” She struggles with the thin cheap
chain, then frees the mass of slick shiny snakes into two necklaces.
Suspended from each is half of a heart, cracked right down the middle.
“See, 'best friend'.”
She hands them to me, and indeed, each heart has one of the words. Great, so I have two broken necklaces.
laughs at my expression and explains. “You take one half and your BFF
gets the other.” She points to where they hang them between us, one from
each of my hands. “You want 'best' or 'friend'?”
“You’re my best friend?” I’m horrified.
She raises an eyebrow. “Oh I’m sorry—you have someone else in mind?”
No. “Wait, I’m your best friend?” An interesting accusation.
snorts. “I think you might be my only friend. I don’t know if you’ve
noticed but…” she drops her voice to a whisper, as if she is imparting
some great secret. I like secrets. “People sometimes find me hard to get
Well, that’s no secret.
“Naw. I don’t see it.” My eyes are wide and innocent.
She laughs. It’s hard to hate someone who so freely embraces their horridness.
“So which do you want?” I ask as I dangle them between us, tin tokens of friendship between a demon and its hunter.
this one,” she snatches up the one that says best, leaving the other
one to me. “I think it best defines me as a person,” she says loftily.
I rub my fingers over the small scratched letters before slipping it around my neck. Friend. I wanted this one anyway.