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Enshrined

Your panel has your photograph and records your ancestry. More details than an Oscar, then. It’s usually gold as well, but smaller.

The few square centimeters in the big glass shelf your panel is displayed costs around ten thousand, with the price depending on how close to the front the space is. Perhaps the lease justifies the price. A fragment of you for your descendants for eternity! The size and the opulence of the place probably helps sales. The architecture seems about right, for a place like this; it’s really quite new. Maybe it’s easier to believe in forever here, where there’s no noticeable deterioration; even the relics are new.

The number in the shelf should hit the thousands soon, if it hasn’t already. Multiply that by the dozens of relations, divide by the number of days in a year, and the place should be overflowing. “It’s in row six, but it’s at eye level,” says an eldest daughter modestly. She knows her family isn’t front row. Front row rites take longer anyway. Big affairs like that mean everyone better be there. Money can’t buy a center space though, not even in advance; that’s strictly first-come, first-serve.

Maybe some of the front-rowers might have preferred a quiet corner? The chants and bells might be discreet, but several times a day must grate.

I felt like I’d breathed less in the morning; admittedly I only realized this after I left. Maybe there was less oxygen in the air, what with all the burning.

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