Z for Zero-sum (Part I)

Freida Dantas stepped out of the queue to look around. The machine wasn’t that far from here–only a few hundred more. She looked behind. The queue went on for as long as she could see. She too had started from the end of the queue many hours ago. The machine took only a second to judge, so the queue had kept moving continuously. But she worried if there were more hopefuls in the queue than seconds in a day. She had been queueing up religiously for her pronouncement every day since she had died.

She’d learned of the system the day she had arrived at the purgatory. Learned is probably not the best word to describe the process. She had woken up in the purgatory a week ago knowing about it instinctively, with no recollection of her prior life. She knew exactly when and where to queue up for the machine. The machine would tell her if it was her time to ascend to the heaven yet. She’d witnessed thousands of ascensions on her first day. The ascendants one after the other had stood under the

Freaky Night

        It was dark. He was sitting listlessly on the sofa, waiting for his wife to prepare the bed. Oil lamps flickered in the palatial room. She walked in playfully, and gracefully, dressed regally in a sari.

        He stared at his homely wife in disbelief, as she walked across the room totally oblivious to him. She radiated like he had never seen her radiate in the three years of their marriage. She walked to the table and picked up the dish. She looked utterly gorgeous. Maybe it was the isolation, maybe the boredom of a dead phone, or just the atmosphere finally kicking in, but he felt excited to see his wife.

        "Am I really looking at my wife? Or are you some angel from heaven?", he asked.

        She looked at him—puzzled—as if he were the last person she would expect to see in the room; but in a moment, her eyes lit up, and her smile stretched ear to ear. She licked some ice-cream off of the dish, and glanced lustfully at him. She looked ferocious.

        She kept the dish away and took off her earrings. She kept them by the phone. 'The night is going to be adventurous', he thought, as she waved away her drape.

        "You look so gorgeous in that sari, babe. Even the dead Maharajahs of this palace would wake up just to see you once!", he said.

        The smile vanished, and her intent eyes turned angry. She stomped out of the room. He chased after her, but even as he reached the door, she had disappeared into the darkness.

        He turned back. His wife was standing behind him in her pajamas.

        "What happened?", she asked. "You look terrified."

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
This weekend we have a picture prompt for writing.

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