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

A letter to my son

May 3, 2014
Dear Son,
    How are you? How are Sanjana and the kids? I hope you all are happy and healthy. Shani isn't giving any more trouble, is he? Don't go hard on him. He just needs more direction. Get everyone to meet me sometime. I miss you all a lot. You didn't even come during the last eclipse. Everything is fine here. I'm enjoying my time.
    I wrote this letter because I wanted to discuss something important. It's about your glow. It seems you are burning too brightly these days. It is summer on the northern hemisphere and everyone is complaining that my Aditya has done this, and my Aditya has done that. I tell them that you're just doing your work, trying to get more clouds in the sky, giving more food to the world. But they still complain.
    Sage Narada told me that the Vaishnao department is looking into sending you an official directive. Apparently most of Lord Vishnu's devotees come from India and the Indians are in the midst of choosing a new leader for their tribe. They are very inconvenienced by your glow. Narada told me to let you know this beforehand so that we can avoid the embarrassment of receiving an official reprimand.
    I know that you are old enough. I should stop interfering with your work, but I worry. I don't want people talking bad about you behind your back.
    Sanjana might not tell you, but I'm sure she doesn't like it either. She is always by your side. You're tanning her really bad. Didn't your father-in-law help you last time? Can't you ask him this time too?
    Again, I hope all is well. Please write back when you get this. I'd love to hear all about what is going on in your life. And think once again about what I said. Glow a bit less.

With Lots of Love,

Your mother,
Aditi

PS: I talked to Anjana. Maruti won't trouble you again. Cute kid, he is.


Disclaimer: This is based on pop-mythology. I do not claim accuracy. I tried to research for this, but there were so many different stories that I decided to wing it. I found this blog post by Journey2Light very useful.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Every weekend, we give out a creative writing prompt to rekindle the love of writing in all you creative writers.

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