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

P for Prize

The final match of the national junior level chess championship had just concluded and the prize distribution ceremony had just commenced. Aiden, a first time participant and the surprise winner of the championship, stood shyly on the podium watching the audience, mostly composed of family members of the contestants and a few chess enthusiasts heartily cheering each player as they would collect the award. Finally the host announced Aiden’s name. The audience kept clapping enthusiastically, but then all of a sudden most of them stopped. Aiden looked at the host, who looked back almost guiltily at him. He turned quizzically towards his interpreter. “In addition to the cash prize, the sponsors are also giving away their brand’s latest headphones,” she signed. Aiden chortled relievedly and signed at her, “Tell them that I’ll be gifting it to my sister.” Then he turned towards the audience and signed to his sister, “Sorry I forgot to wish you on your birthday. See? God wanted me to gift you something.”

This is part of the Peatoozee™ challenge series (yes, I made up the challenge)

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