"Hey Sally!" My mate Billy swaggered up to our little clan. Well. I call us little.
"Billy!" We shake hands warmly. He gives me a gentle poke in the belly.
"How big are you?" And in a more serious voice; "You shouldn't be allowed to be Chosen. It's not fair. You're at a disadvantage point now, at eight months."
"Well, if I'm Chosen, then I'm Chosen and that's the way it's going to have to be!" I tried my hardest to sound care-free, but Billy still seemed concerned. Thankfully, Mister stepped in and started asking him about his family.
"Shit! It's Lillian. I'm going to have to go." Lillian was his girlfriend and a bossy one too. I waved him off, and then herded the family towards the Sacred Tipi.
I know the 'Sacred Tipi' is a pretty stupid name, but this ex-medicine man-and-woman couple from one of the late (very late) Native American tribes live there. They moved here in search of immortality, and immortality is what they got. As well as a permanent job in return. All the over-eighteen-year-olds were brought one by one into the Sacred Tipi to be told their fate by the Medicine Man and Woman, more commonly known as the Indians. I had survived the last twenty-five years, but this time I might not be so lucky.
"Shit," I was whispering all the way there. "Shit, shit, shit." The pain was unbearable. I could feel the bile rising in my throat as I tried to choke it back unsuccessfully. I had to go behind a bush to throw up. Once I had finished, I caught up to Mister and the kids. Meggie was looking around, looking around for (presumably) me. I put on my sweetest smile and tapped her on the shoulder. She saw through the grin like it was a sheet of clear glass and folded her arms. God, I thought, her looks can kill so badly! Well, I know where she gets it from, and Mister's as sweet as pie all of the time. Her dirty look hardened and my smile was turned upside down.
"You know what." What? I didn't speak! But I knew she knew I knew what she meant. "Please? Don't give me that. You were sick just then, weren't you? Yes. I knew it." Was I crazy or was my daughter just having a conversation with my mind?
"Look Mummy! It's the Tipi! The Sacred Tipi!" Lucinda was bouncing up and down, and Janice was hanging onto her arm.
"Mummy!" Marcus hung onto my arm. I looked. There it was. The Tipi that would take me to my death.