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 serene mist hung low over the mountain. Green grass blades kissed the tiny droplets of water and drooped low by their weight - purified by them. Gentle winds danced with the leaves and rustled the foliage. Exuberant sunrays filtered through the mist and fell on the dusty country track, welcoming and moist. She peered outside the window and marveled at the beauty that was creation.
    “It’s such a beautiful morning,” she said and shut the windows. “But it’s just so comfy inside.” She wrapped a blanket around herself. “Tomorrow I’ll definitely go running.” She reassured herself again that day.

This is my entry to this week's Friday Fictioneers based on the below picture prompt. You can check out the other amazing FF stories below.

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