by Amanda Helms
The wordslinger first came into Lasthope on the back of a scarab the size of a large pony, during the worst flaying-wind storm in a generation.
Mind, we didn’t know then that she was a wordslinger, or even that she was a she. I didn’t witness it direct, but later one of our regulars told me of her, all bundled up in hat and gloves and too-big cloak, on account of them winds, you see. She climbed off her scarab with the stiffness of someone too long in the saddle. But like any rider worth her salt, she saw to her mount afore she came into the saloon, which is where I first saw her myself.
Me and Ruby were on a break, letting my babe Arlie grab at and occasionally suck on the tassels of our gowns. Spurs jangling, the wordslinger ambled to the bar as she pulled back her cloak–she had two canteens slung on her belt, one on each side–then, slowly removed her hat and, slower yet, peeled off her gloves. Waiting to see if anyone’d comment on her color, I reckon, for the raggedy leather of her attire was just a few shades lighter than her own skin.