The whistle sounded softly in the thick darkness of the night. Grandma Sarah woke instantly, the warning signal jolting her from slumber.
“Wh-e-e-e-et! Wh-e-e-e-et!” Few heard the call. But those whose ears were trained turned in their beds, shook off the covers, and made ready to do battle. The warning meant that dark things were creeping out of the Garbage Dump to do damage somewhere. Danger had breached the Surround that protected Bright City.
Wh-e-e-e-et! Wh-e-e-e-et! It was the whistle for the Grandma Vigilantes.
Grandma Sarah dressed quickly in the deepest-of-midnight blue pants, which she yanked up over her wrinkled legs and then, with one more tug, up far above her waist. Over her head she pulled a matching cable knit sweater for warmth. Tucking her white hair beneath a knit stocking cap, she tied the laces on solid black shoes with thick flat heels. Double knots—no need tripping while on the streets. She patted her pants pockets. Yes, there was a big box of strikes.
Careful to keep her balance, she strapped around her left knee the most important weapon of all, her ever ready beeper. Steadying herself with a sturdy walking cane in her right hand, she cautiously touched that knee to the ground, setting off the beeper. She bowed her head closely to listen. B-z-z-z-z-z—z-z-z-z–. B-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z. Ah, good! The battery was still strong, the signal low but clear. She was ready to take her place on night patrol.