To Hell in a Handbasket

It was a very nice basket, Yeri had to admit.

It was pretty, well-woven, and tidy, and it was just large enough that he could fit in it.  Not particularly a hand-basket, if you were really going to think about the term as such.

Then again, most baskets were not man-sized, most baskets did not have lids, and most of them did not have wheels. 

He didn’t know if the saying had come first or this strange tradition, but when the Verifiers came through, they came through with a train of these baskets, and when they left, more of the baskets were full.

They had a quota, or so it was said, and they were going to meet it whether or not people could be Verified.  So they came through and took people every year. Nobody knew where they took them, how they picked people, why they took them in baskets.  Nobody knew anything except that it was a five-day trip to the Office to be Verified, and none of them could bother with that, so they all hoped to be lucky.

Yeri had gotten out of it the last four years.  He supposed it was only a matter of time until he got caught – Half their town wasn’t Verifiable.  They were too poor for that sort of thing, too busy, too tired.  They were generations too poor, too tired, and the Verifiers knew it.  The general consensus was that they came to his town and towns like it when they needed to fill their quota, and picked people at random.

Today it was him, and here he was in a basket on wheels, sitting as comfortably as he could manage, knees up to his chest, going, or so the rumors said, to Hell.

Written to today’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt.

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One thought on “To Hell in a Handbasket

  1. But what is the verification-with-a-capital-V for? I can understand travel being expensive. With poverty, simply not being where you’re supposed to be — for at least ten days, assuming they come back! — is also expensive: employers are often unforgiving, and deadlines must be met.

    I’m assuming, at least, that people do in fact return, but with hazy or no memory of the process. If the people taken don’t come back, how is it that the villages don’t get depopulated?

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