From the first scene of the book, it was obvious that Christine and Heed were not very fond of each other when Christine compares Heed to being a "high-heeled snake" (24), implying that Heed was sly and had a history of planning devious plots against Christine. Then again a few pages later, Morrison uses a metaphor comparing both Christine and Heed as "rigid vipers" which begins to illustrate a negative image of both of the women (37). The use of the word "vipers" instead of just "snakes" creates a more vicious tone and the venomous tension between the two women is almost palpable. But, towards the end of the book, during the falling action, Christine again compares Heed to a snake when she decides to go look for Heed at the abandoned hotel "...to stop the snake and her minion from destroying the balance of her, [Christine's] life" (165), and then also on the following page when she compares her to "an insane viper" (167). Christine's various snake comparisons represent her fear of Heed. And, even though Christine is always viewed as the violent one that had brought out the "switchblade" against Heed at Cosey's funeral, but underneath her tough skin she was just a defenseless mouse cowering against the viper living upstairs.