Ikasa was like that tiny gangly kid in your class that just figured out she had arms and legs. You know the type, big head, big feet, big hands, maybe fifty pounds if you got her to hold all her schoolbooks like a respectable kid, but she was a Spider, and that meant she was part of the crowd that though schoolbooks were for sitting on when you were fishing so you didn't get no dirt up your pants. She liked to try lassoing thunderstorms when it was that time of the year and went swimming in places with "no swimming" signs just to see why someone wouldn't want someone else to go swimming where they pleased. She also had a habit of taking her neighbor's hoppers out and forgetting to bring them back, which is okay, really, because they didn't get much exercise otherwise and they knew the way home.
At first, Ikasa did not know what to say when Gramma Spider gave her a dead box turtle. The old woman had brought it by in the late hours, long after her parents had sequestered themselves into their bedroom and the harsh lights in the hallway had been clicked off. She said that she knew Ikasa had seen strange things in the earth, vestiges of ancient machines and hollow memory, and had communed with spirits that had forgotten more than either of them would ever know. She said also that she knew Ikasa was a white-haired witch, and that meant she was the kind of person the world machine rotated around, the kind of person who would grind into their future like a train slams into a cow. The turtle radiated with mana, with family power, meaning, and authority. Gramma had said that it contained the most shameful secret of the Spider family within. Whatever shame it contained was heavy and rattled when she shook it.