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 Dish Best Served Cold

    "You have no idea how long I've waited for this opportunity," he said, moving closer cautiously, with a smirk on his face. "I've lain sleeplessly on filthy streets, grimy and hungry; all because I knew you were still alive. And now I'm here in front of you," he said brandishing a knife from his back pocket. He raised the knife in the air and brought it down hard, cutting right through the bloodied meat with vehement precision as everyone watched expectantly. He made the best sashimi the judge had ever tasted.

This post is a part of Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction prompt. The word this week was "Waiting". Please click on the link to read more stories inspired by this prompt. Submissions Collection

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