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The Stakehouse

I stood outside the Stakehouse, not knowing whether i should enter. A long line snaked from in front of the doors to where i stood. Even at a distance, It looked intimidating with its tall roof and massive doors, and i felt puny. I latched on to the tail of that line and felt its magnetic pull.

I had all the ID cards i needed. The one from birth, the two from when i legally became an adult and the newest, fanciest one that promised the sun, the moon, the stars and the cold glare of identification by microchip and CCTV.

As the earth kept revolving round the sun, the heat got fiercer. Every choice, at the end of this line, had a cost to it. Unlike Newtonian Physics, though, every action would not carry an equal and opposite reaction. Here, the added effect of every action would make the conditions possible for an exponential reaction. The heat was fierce.

By the time i stood at the doors where the first of many people checked the papers i was carrying thoroughly and me just a little less thoroughly, a part of me had melted into the black, tarred road.

Papers checked, i shuffled forward. I was stopped. A wand beeped and booped before the man handling it allowed me to pass. The sweat was pouring down now and the plastic bag threatened to succumb to it soon. I carefully made multiple folds of the bag and put it in me pocket.

Lines snaked in different directions. I was directed to one with a flick of a wrist.

Beeps, boops and two signatures later, i stood in a small room with a high ceiling. It was cooler in here. I was a number with words attached to them. From one table to another i was directed, bowing low, signing, proving this number had a name and a face.

I put the laminated card in the bag and waited, head bowed. Permission was given to stand in front of the newest ‘4EVeryhuMan’. It held the promise of change, possibly in the way an abbatoir signals change for cattle.

I booped, it beeped and moved on from the Stakehouse.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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