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

Farewell Letter

Madras
15th August

Dear John,
    I hope this letter finds you in good health. All of us here at the office are well and in high spirits. John, as much as I respected your right to hold an opinion and valued you professionally as my supervisor, your argument that 'Indians are uncultured and incapable of ruling themselves' never found favour with your predominantly Indian staff. Please find attached the new political map of the world (with India as its newest independent nation).

Yours faithfully,
Aaharen Nayakan


PS: We're glad you left.








15th August is India's Independence Day. I got all fired up before writing this one and then realised that 26th January(Republic Day) might be a better day for the letter, but hell with historical accuracies; it's Independence Day!

This letter is a response to Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction word MAPS and the photo prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for 15th August - combined - because I'm lazy. Please do check out the other submissions for these two prompts. You'll find some really great stories. The two images belong to Tuesday Johnson and Jan Wayne Fields respetively

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