Knowledge of Good and Evil-

It was all too easy to forget that Coraline had been to Hell. That she knew all of its tricks, all of its wonders. That she had seen clothespin dragonflies buzzing over her bed and blinded a doughy, larval monstrosity in the guise of her father. That she had felt the terror of a small uncomfortable room and was visited through dream by the impossible daisy-eating figures of the infinite. That she had tasted the sweetness of the apple without biting the bitter, poisonous core. That she knew far more about temptation than he could ever imagine.

And that's why Wybie would never dream that she knew what she was doing when she slept over and wore his shorts and his baggy-oil stained shirt as pajamas. When she gave him Indian burns that left his arm tingling hours after and his head buzzing with the memory of the strength in her skinny arms. When she threw notes at his hair in class with unflattering drawings of the history teacher and perverse commentary that would make Beelzebub blush. When she wore her green gloves with her orange-striped swimsuit. When she wore his skeleton gloves with her orange-striped swimsuit. When she smiled the devil's smile. But she knew exactly what she was doing.

And she wanted to do worse.

She kissed him in ways that left him dazed and wondering whether he had wandered into the portal unknowingly, if he to had come to Hell, staring at the ecstatic brownness of Coraline's eyes in search for metallic black, scouring her pupils for buttonholes. He wondered if she was a figment of temptation. She led his hands to her navel and upwards under her sweater, like a snake coiled in knitted wool, and sighed happily at the resulting flush in his cheeks. She touched her leg to his at the movies, and then rubbed her scraped and naked knee against the denim covering his. Slowly. She charted an exploration under the shiny red lapels of his tuxedo the night after prom, hands tangling in his bowtie and around his cummerbund. She made certain he knew what she wanted.

Coraline had been to Hell. She had tasted soot and sugar, vinegar and wine, ecstasy most foul. She knew what temptation was. She knew the reasons to resist it. And the reasons to give in.