When Spencer had been a boy, a young boy, she would come to their island on occasion, her braids longer than any of the women on the island, her accent deeper, her speech patterns more mystical, magical. They called her the witch, but Spencer thought she was like those gods and goddesses in the sky, the water, the ones he read stories about in the children's books imported from England. He would call her, "Lady, lady," and she would say, "Boy, boy."
When he was seven the skies opened and the sea swallowed land and boats and a goodly half the village and when she came back after that, Spencer could smell the fear of the villagers, their yearning to have her far, far away. Spencer's mother said, "Come," but by that time the Lady had already seen Spencer, caught him in the periphery of her vision. Spencer stayed where he was. He knew, somehow, that running from a woman who could tear the skies from their resting place, stir the sea into a boil, would not be defeated by a child with legs shorter than hers, not if that child was what she wanted.
She bent down to his level and he looked in her eyes, dark as the waves of the storm had been, more tossed. She asked, "The storm, did it scare you?"
Spencer knew he was supposed to have been scared, thought perhaps the correct answer was yes, a nod of the head. He said, "It was...pretty."
She laughed then, her teeth uneven, the lilt of her laughter even more so. "Careful the things you see, boy."
Spencer nodded. In that moment, all he saw was her.