There is an ancient legend; the sun, born of the moon, will bear forth the warrior and the key. This legend appeared on a peculiar looking map of which scholars from civilizations of old could not decipher; therefore it fell to insignificance – believed to be powerful but uninterpretable. However I solved it at the age of five during my first millennium of training. Grandmother was the moon, Mama the sun, sister the warrior, and I…well, I was the key.
I accepted my role for it gave me purpose and made my loneliness seem like a means to an end. It confirmed that I would never be like my older sister no matter how hard I tried. I was in awe of Kitten for she was everything I was not; a bundle of joy and amusement for many – a girl admired wherever she went. A warrior needs to be bold, quick, and clever and a key just is until there is something to unlock.
The legend made sense because as key my talents had to be hidden. I knew to be guarded for a slip up could result in questions and too many of those meant leaving for yet another home where said questions wouldn’t follow. While Mama was afraid for me (and at times of me) Kitten was not. She was confident in her ability to confront and defeat any demon or angel who might drop by in order to better make my acquaintance. That is the way of the warrior.
Though admittedly dissimilar, my humanity isn’t so different; as I grew older I grew wiser. The beliefs I was so certain of in the bluster of my youth proved not quite as precise. At 108 years young (as people tend to say in this century) I realized I was wrong in my interpretation of the legend. Was I purposely led astray? Not that it changed anything beyond my perception…and maybe hurt my pride a tiny bit. However I never told my sister the truth, even as she lied dying surrounded by her children and their children and so forth (oh, the seeds she had scattered). I didn’t know how she would react and that alone persuaded me to keep my own confidence. She was always proud to be the warrior.
Fact is I am the warrior and she the key.
The answer was in her blood. Mine was too pure, the frequency too refined, but Kitten’s was just right. In medical tests the abnormalities that flowed in her veins were masked so no questions were asked when she donated blood throughout her travels.
I believe as her body was dying, the linage that made us different became stronger within her. It was she who first heard Tanisha (who later became Dr. T) break the boundaries of the universe with a righteous scream. I was alone sitting at Kitten’s hospital bedside that rainy afternoon. She was asleep when her heart rate quicken then her eyes popped open. She screeched “What was that?” A second later I heard it too. It is hard to describe the sound a soul makes when it decides to reject what fate has given it to pursue something not planned in the stars, but once you hear it you never forget it.
“That’s the sound of someone shattering the world,” I replied giving her a reassuring smile.
She turned her head to me with a glimmer in her eye, much like when she was a child and up to some naughty hijinks, “So that’s what it’s like in your head.”
Westerfield © 2013