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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 63 of 252

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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VI: Day/Page 63 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .  Sofia points to the little wasted girl with spindly limbs sitting on the dirt floor looking up at them. She holds the coin up, points again to the child, then forces the coin into the woman’s palm and folds her fingers over it. (Look, I can see you are a proud woman, but your daughter is starving, so shelve your pride for a minute and take the damn coin. There is no shame in that. Please!)

“Please!” Sofia says, having recognized the word when the woman said it moments earlier.

Tears well up in the woman’s eyes and cut a path down the grime on her face. She tries speaking, but no words come out, just a weak, cracking sound, as if something inside her were breaking.

(You’re a kind woman who deserves better than this. I wish there was more I could do. Thank you.) “Thank you,” says Sofia, bowing once more. She then pulls back the frayed plastic curtain and steps out into the harsh bright light. Others are now trickling out of their huts into the narrow dirt roads and tight alleyways that interweave the warren of hovels in the sprawling slum. Life is returning to normal.

Sofia turns east towards the coast, unable to fathom how such a society can possibly possess nuclear weapons.

(The sheer cost, and resources, and infrastructure needed to develop and maintain nuclear weaponry is staggering compared to the abject poverty and complete lack of societal infrastructure I see all around. For a fraction of what it costs to build and test just one atomic bomb this entire cesspool of a village could be cleaned up, rebuilt, and its broken citizens made whole. I don’t understand how their priorities can be so totally screwed up!)

The fact that any class-1 society could purposefully relegate its citizens, and so many innocent children, to such debilitating privation and need confounded her. Even the most vicious creatures in nature kill their prey quickly. But these condemned beings, Sofia observed, were being deliberately excruciated for a lifetime—from wanton conception to dismal end—aware only of misery, degradation, and want. Sofia had studied examples of such morally-bankrupt species before, but it was different witnessing the unmitigated brutality firsthand. This was real. This was true. Here was a slice of objective reality she had never before perceived.


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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