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

College Reunion

    Raghav sat gravely on the steps of his alma mater. “I wish you were here, Shireen. We promised each other that,” he said, staring at the swaying red and green trees. “Ten years ago this day, standing on that podium, hand in hand, we were so happy. We felt invincible. We thought nothing could change us. We were so naive.” He looked at her lifeless image on his laptop and wished that it would move and talk to him. “I miss you.”
    “Then why the hell didn’t you call the babysitter!?” blasted her voice from the speaker.
    “Because you never told me to!” he shouted back.

This post is a part of Friday Fictioneers - a weekly picture prompt for a story of 100 words. Head over here to read more stories, or add your own if you feel like it.

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