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Contestant Name: Anum Fatima

Topic: Voices

She had moved in the second-floor flat of this old building 5 days back through a local real estate agent. This looked like the best hiding place for a few days, at least, until she could get her visa application approved. She meant to flee the country for good.

The signs of life from the houses all around her were reassuring. It was the best thing about old localities; there were always a huge number of people living in every apartment. She could always hear children laughing, playing, and fighting; people going up or down the stairs; women chatting away; furniture being dragged across the floor. There were smells of cooking food wafting from who-knows-whose kitchen. They all seem to socialize and cook all round the clock.

To keep her profile low and avoid any unpleasant situation, she made no attempt to peek outside or communicate with her friendly-sounding neighbors. She was sure nobody knew the flat was occupied. She didn’t see anyone, making sure nobody saw her.

Today, on the 5th day, she suddenly felt the ground shudder and before she realized it was an earthquake, the roof fell on her head.


News Anchor: “An old, dilapidated building in the North of the city couldn’t survive the minor jolts of earthquake yesterday. It had been empty since Partition. Only one unidentified woman’s body has been found from the rubble.”

Total words: 230

This is a short story entry by PLB member Anum Fatima.

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