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Third Prize for Flash Fiction 2014

Reservation

Vishal Gupta

The morning rays penetrated through him. The cool water tickled his back, as he wiped a bead of sweat from his filtrum*. “How alike?” he thought, carrying fifty rupees worth of labour on his shoulders. The train was already at the station, he wondered why the mustached uniformed man wouldn’t let him board the train. His load kept getting heavier with each passing moment. What would he not give to curl himself up in a corner and go to sleep.

He looked at the weathered blue seats. He had walked almost the entire night with water on his back, just to catch this train. He was remembering his journey when the doors opened.

He pushed and rushed in and finally reached the blessed seat he eyed so wistfully. He discovered a stained handkerchief. A mark of reservation in an unreserved compartment. He closed his eyes.

Glossary:

Filtrum: A porous material through which a liquid or gas is passed in order to separate the fluid from suspended particulate matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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