Thirty-Seven, a lowly member of the Working Mass is framed for a crime he did not commit and sent to Hell, a desert prison owned by the government and ruled by a man calling himself Satan, along with his wife, Suicide. This Number Speaks is an allegory confronting death and the struggle of ability over self-aggrandisement.
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This Number Speaks
This is a futuristic dystopian allegory.
He was home. After the incident in the courtyard, Thirty-Seven was feeling worse than he had ever felt in his life. 192 had been gracious enough to give him the rest of the day off. He had given Thirty-Seven a red disc with the number ‘37’ printed on it in gold foil and told him to follow the red lights through the red door at the far end of the courtyard.
“You can get cleaned up and come back tomorrow when you feel better.” The words sounded like roaring applause mocking an awful performance, but Thirty-Seven smiled and did as he was told.
Meanwhile, the entire smoking scene was being shown around the Marshal’s offices on hand held circular video screens with ripping laughter from one room after another, office after office.
Through the red door at the end of the courtyard, Thirty-Seven found a long hallway with several red doors lining each side. Each door bore a number and next to each door were the thin familiar slits, which served as keyholes.
The glowing red stripe beneath his feet stretched off down the hall and arced off, stopping in front of a door about forty meters down the hall on the right. He followed the line eagerly, each step gaining an imperceptibly slight momentum. 17, 19, 21, he passed the doors in greater strides. 23, 27, 31, the numbers flew by. 33, 35, and here it was: 37. Elation flooded his world in this instant. It was as if his whole life had been meticulously designed to inexorably draw him towards this point in space and time, and he knew this to be true.
With anxious nerves, he slipped the disk into the slit. The door clicked and fell open a few centimeters, swinging slightly into the room. He pushed the door and stepped inside.
He was in a white cube whose entire ceiling was illuminated. Each wall was exactly six meters long and six meters high, with a single door in the center of each. Each door was white, except the red one he had just entered through. There was a slit on this side of the wall as well, next to the red door. The red disc was protruding halfway from it. He removed the disc from the slit, closed the door and examined the room.
Along the wall opposite the red door was a white dining table and three chairs were arranged perfectly to the right of that wall’s door. To the left a huge couch folded around the corner covering the entire distance between two doors on two walls. In front of the huge couch was a huge circular table, low enough to rest one’s feet on when lounging on the sofa. All the furniture was snow white.
Through the three white doors he found a washroom to the left. There was a bedroom in the center and a kitchen off to the right. Above the large bed in his room two huge digits declared the owner of this room. He was Home.