Synaesthesia Magazine Science & Numbers - Page 70

A Prime Candidate

41: the number of times she had travelled around the sun.

13: the number on the door she lived behind.

11: the number of times she had crossed the threshold of that door in the past year.

3: the number of children she had borne.

19: the age of the boy who swerved too late.

0: the number of her children still alive.

0. Round, swelling, like infinity. Looping endlessly.

Not like those other numbers: 41, 13, 11, 3, 19. Spiky numbers, prime, unyielding.

Infinity isn’t a number, he said, it’s a marker.

A marker of what? she said.

The place where all the numbers are, he said.

All the numbers. She liked that. She thought about the numbers in her life.

Do it, she said, show me all the numbers.

So, he said, I’ve looked at your case and you’re a prime candidate for the cure.

The cure, she said. How does it work?

I show you infinity, he said, all the numbers. Everything and nothing. It’s beautiful and it’s terrible. And when there is nothing but all the numbers in your head, the pain will be gone. Think about it, he said, no more pain.

She thought about it.

So he did.

Rachael Dunlop is an award-winning writer of both short stories and flash-fiction, and a serial starter of novels. Her stories have been published in various anthologies and on the Ether Books reading app. Despite living in a very big house, she has given up on having a room of her own and seeks the Muse from her kitchen table.

A Prime Candidate