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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 51 of 252

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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VI: Day/Page 51 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .  Drawn by the sad feeble flame, and something more, the emerald-green moth flutters through the jungle, enters the broken-down shack, and comes to rest on the crate near the candle.

“Nossa,” says an ancient haggard cadaverous woman in filthy tattered rags, sitting cross-legged on the spongy banana-leaf carpet. There is little flesh on her withered bones. Her eyes are sunken and sallow, her face and neck as wizened as desiccated fruit. All her teeth are missing or broken, and a matted hoary mane of hair hangs limp upon her scraggly shoulders like soggy grey strands from a dirty mop.

The fact that the old woman is not dead yet is a testament to the vigor she once had, and the sprit she still does. But enough is enough, sometimes, and of late the poor old wretch has been praying to her god to let her die, to extinguish the flame, to grant her just that one small favor as recompense for her interminable life of pain. Cast out from the pack because of her feebleness and age, abandoned to die alone and unwanted in the jungle, she prayed nightly for this deadly dispensation, this one and final time.

But her god has not heard her plaintive wail; or has heard it, but is preoccupied with other woeful mourns and not yet had a chance to attend to hers; or her god has heard the sorrowful woman’s plea and simply chooses to ignore it. Whatever the unfathomable reason, the haggardly woman’s appeal for merciful death has gone unheeded, and life stubbornly clings to her anguished, sinewy bones.

The elders of her church often said that to pray for death is a sin; that regardless of how much sorrow, misery, and lament life heaps upon one’s frail shoulders, that it is their duty to cheerfully bear the burden; and if not cheerfully, then stoically at least, and preferably in silence, too. Apparently nothing grates on the nerves of their god as much as a bunch of whiners.

Each of us have a role to play in the grand symphony of life, the elders of her church would say, and it is not for her to dispute the inerrant orchestration of that plan. She must accept god’s munificence and will, irrespective of the affliction and misfortune it might bring, while meekly enduring the bountiful ills. Hers was not to question and wonder why, but rather merely to be, and die.

The wizened old woman knew this, she believed this completely, yet she yearned for gentle death’s release all the same. Perhaps that is why her god ignored her plaint, because the only thing worse than wailing whiners is the peevish supplication and pitiful praying of those wanting the rules of the game to be changed.

The withered wretch reaches out a bent gnarled finger. . .


Available on Amazon , Barnes & NobleKobo, and Smashwords in Digital and Paperback versions.

 This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James    All rights reserved


About Gregory James

After 20 years working and living overseas, I returned to the US and was disgusted by how partisan and polarized the country had become. Civility and compromise are now quaint things of the past, replaced by intolerance and the rule of extremes. So I gave up a lucrative career for staring at blank pages and searching for words, in the hope that words might help enact change. Stupid. . . . I know! But after 9 months of labor I birthed forth a book, entitled ONE PERCENT SOLUTION. Reminiscent of Vonnegut, with a dash of Saramago and Fforde, this humorous, satirical, often irreverent romp mocks the absurd we accept to be normal, ridicules the ridiculously low bar we set, and challenges all of us to demand more of ourselves by making light of what is sacred that shackles us.


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