A lesson and a present from Auntie T
"This is a sort of late name day present for you. Now," she went on, taking the locket in hand. "I'm going to show you a secret. Pay close attention, Caterina Maria Brigitte!"Those old, rough fingers pressed one of the wooden rosettes that ornamented the case. Cat was surprised when the locket popped open again, this time in the back.
"See how it opens? See?"
Cat examined the newly revealed second compartment. Inside was a gleam.
"It's a Protector for you now that you are growing to be a woman. Take it out, but be very careful."
It took Cat a moment to extract the object. It turned out to be an extremely thin blade, almost a needle, set on a small section of horn.
"If anyone ever tries to harm you, just fetch it out. Keep it in your hand like this," Auntie T demonstrated, palming the blade so that it disappeared. "Then take it like so," she said, her fingers moving deftly, "and do this!"
In a flash the gleaming point was against Cat's neck. She sat still, hoping that Auntie T would be very, very careful.
"There, where the big vein swells! Don't hesitate, just jab it in. If you cut that vein, they won't trouble you for much longer."
~~ Juliet Waldron
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