You Do The Math

Two stations D and L are 530km apart, on an almost straight line. A train 270m long, leaves D towards L, at 6:00am at about 40 km/hr. An hour later, another train 350m long, leaves L towards D, at about 35 km/hr. Both trains cross at the border.

Shortly after crossing the border, both trains slow down and are made to stop. The passengers are asked to alight — men who spent their lives toiling to build the houses they’re being forced to flee; women who made those houses, homes, homes they’re being forced to flee; the old who never knew more than one nation; one nation that is suddenly just two countries; the young who know no countries, because they were yet to walk the second street in their own towns and villages.

All these passengers walk. Hungry, thirsty, hunched under the weight of loss, barefoot upon soil — their soil — in contention in someone else’s fight. They have no claim on that soil now. They only want one claim. It is to their breaths, now hot and heavy, gaining pace, forming turbulent cyclones in their empty bellies, occasionally finding utterance in the cry of a child. They boarded their trains not hoping for a future, but fleeing persecution for their pasts.

They are made to stand in a line, under the scorching heat of one last sun, in front of other people. These are people who until a few months ago, could not have been distinguished from their own neighbours. Now they’re people with their own hunger and thirst and staring eyes that neither blink nor flinch, people with strange names on their lips and machine guns in their hands, which they know how to use.

The year is 1947.
Those passengers do not make it to the stations for which they set off, alive.

Therefore, prove the existence of God.
Show your work.

One thought on “You Do The Math

  1. Missy 2.0 Reply

    Woah. I really really REALLY like your writing style. I want to be able to write half so well. Beware, you are now my idol.

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