Numbers

When we returned home, there was a

letter sitting on the mat. I recognised

the lavish blue crest. It was from the

welfare department. Any communication

from them always made me shiver. I tore

open the envelope and scanned the

neatly printed page. Our meagre

allowance was to be axed in half. I felt

beads of perspiration forming on my

forehead. The final paragraph was about

an appeal process. But it made no sense

at all. I thought of phoning and pleading.

Of composing an email begging for

reconsideration. But I knew they were

inhuman. I was just a number in their

crazy system. I didn’t know how I’d

break this to William. That there’d be

fewer provisions on the table.

Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist

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