Mama tells the rest of this story better than I do, mostly because she remembers it. I toddled off to the kitchen as Clifton tried to explain what had happened. Mama invited our guest into the parlor as she tried to understand what the heck Clifton was babbling about. At some point, Daddy came in and Clifton launched into yet another, somehow even more confusing, account.
Essie, the lady who cooked for us on the weeknights, had given me a cup of iced tea and sent me toddling back to Mama. Sucking on my sippy cup, I climbed into our guest’s lap. She and I waited patiently for the chaos to settle down. I suspect she was waiting for that – I seem to recall enjoying the spectacle of two flustered adults trying to calm and understand an excited eight year old.
I next remember being in the dining room trying to get someone to pass the biscuits. I was sitting between our guest and Daddy. Clifton was hogging the biscuits and our guest was explaining to my now thoroughly confused parents what had actually happened. I strongly suspect that had she explained earlier my parents would have kicked her out and called the cops. But once sitting at our table she was unquestionably a guest, no matter how insane.
Daddy finally settled the biscuit issue by putting two on my plate. I finished everything green as required then ate the first one. Bored with the grown up stuff, I excuse myself and toddled off with my second biscuit.
I remember wandering out on the porch and looking out over the pasture at the moonless night. I finished off my biscuit and went back to the door. I found the most wonderful looking thing – it was a huge spear leaning beside the door post. I don’t remember knocking it over, although I must have. My next memory is of sitting on the porch cradling that poor blade in my lap like a baby and crying.
Mama scooped me up and searched every inch of me. Our guest grabbed the spear but then looked confused as she announced there was no blood on it. Mama had put me down for a closer inspection and I squirmed away. I pointed at the spear and yelled, "Broken! It broken! Fix!"
Our guest looked even more confused as Mama grabbed me again. By this time Daddy had realized that I hadn’t been cut which confused him even more. I was inconsolable, crying for the broken spear.
Finally, Mama put me down again and I went back to our guest. She held the blade well away from me but I kept pointing at the shank. "Broken! Fix!"
She seemed to understand and slowly began to unwind the binding that held the head to the shaft. Just as I’d said, the spear head was broken at the shank, well below the binding and not at all visible with the binding in place. Our guest promised to get the spear fixed as soon as possible.
I don’t remember any more after that. Mama says if it hadn’t been for that broken spear they never would have believed Nyota when she told them I had a special talent. Nyota says the spear wasn’t what she was talking about since she suspected even then I might be a slayer. Gunda, the spear, only remembers breaking as he was used to slay the werewolf that was attacking Clifton and telling me to tell Nyota so she wouldn’t rely on him while he was broken.
I guess I should explain. Our guest, Nyota is from Africa, either Kenya or the Congo, I forget which. She has family in Arkansas and Texas. She was traveling with her cousins from Dallas to Montgomery when she started sensing the wolf a couple days earlier. Her cousins waited for her at the motel while she went hunting. You have to understand – she couldn’t very well ignore a creature like that under normal circumstances but certainly not when she had come all the way from Africa to met the Mistress. She used the trip to visit family, too, of course but the main purpose was to go to Montgomery. She would have been ashamed to do that if she’d passed a black wolf by – so she says. Truth is, Nyota couldn’t let a creature like that get away – it’s not in her. She’s a Huntress, which is a type of True Slayer.
I know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense yet but it will. That’s how it is with slayers – we find out at the oddest times and usually only in bits an pieces. If you think it’s confusing to read, you ought to try living this way!