Chapter 6: Her Role

Her eyes slowly adjusted - letting her take in the scene before her. The candlelight and dust created a swirling haze around the people inside. Sweeping her eyes across the room, she saw them all. There stood Gray Man, Mayor Groveston, Ms. Polts (librarian), Ms. Lariatta (teacher) and Officer Samuels. Then, there, in the corner she spotted Gabe. One of the few in the town near her age. He was cowering beneath a shelf. Puzzled at the scene unfolding before her, Jule, centered her attention on the adults.

Numb from the cold, she statically watched the leaders of town before her join together and discuss something she didn't fully comprehend.

"She's reaching an age when she should know about her place. Her town," clicked Ms. Polts in a stern, chastising tone. "Jule will accept her new role. She is no longer a child. If we don't continue our way of life in this place, we'll all face..."

Polts may have continued, but Jule was too lost in thought on this point. Intently considering how she could possibly help in maintaining the town. What did that mean? Thoughts in her mind swirled, and she couldn't imagine this role.

Interrupting the plausible possibilities that flowed through Jule's mind, Gray Man spoke gruffly as in his usual manner. "Maintain life. They have other communities for this, Lettice."

"You know just as well as I do that if we do not continue playing an active role - a CRITICAL role...," her voice hit a shrill that shrank Jule back into her heels as she realized that sitting on her haunches had caused her knees to go numb. "...we'll be eliminated. If we do not fulfill their needs, another community will.

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