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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 76 of 252

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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VII: Day/Page 76 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . She’d seen fresh fish, mollusks, and crustaceans beautifully displayed on ice and garnished with seaweed at a shop back on the promenade, so the seafood had to come from somewhere, and it certainly wasn’t from here. This was a dock for pleasure ships and playboys, not industry or work. The working port must be further south, she reasoned, since she had not passed it coming down.

She continues south along the beach. In time the buildings thin, become sparse, and look more and more dilapidated. Some have broken windows, others are completely boarded shut. Not many people are present now, and still no sign of a fishing port.

(This doesn’t look right.)

She can see the empty beach curving to her left for a mile or so, but then an outcrop of rocks blocks her view beyond. She resolves to walk as far as the outcrop. (If I still can’t see anything from there, then I’ll go back to town.)

She continues walking.

More abandoned buildings. More windows boarded up. More dry weeds snaking through cracked cement. A couple of miles back the elegant, palm-lined boulevard with mosaic tiles ended abruptly into a meager asphalt road, and now the meager road gave way to sand. There were no more buildings, and no more people; only a few empty wind-blasted straw-thatch huts lined the rutted dirt road along the beach. Even the occasional palm tree looked sad and forlorn, bent, but not yet broken.

(This is definitely not right.)

She trudges on. The sun directly overhead, beating down. Hot. The rocky outcrop shimmers like a mirage in the wavy heat on the horizon.

It is past one o’clock when Sofia reaches the base of the outcrop. What she had initially thought from a distance with her crummy eyesight to be a moderate-sized wall of rocks lined across the beach, turned out to be a massive barricade of boulders piled several stories high, running far out into the sea on her left, and deep into the jungle a mile off to her right.

There was no way around the boulders that she could see, so she begins climbing. While climbing, she catches whiffs of acrid smoke and garbage. The warm, curdled odor of sewage assaults her.

(Damn, that stinks! This part of the city really sucks.)

The sun sears her back. Black beach-flies harry her face. She shakes her head, using her long hair like a horse’s mane to clear her tormentors away. In an instant the flies are back; buzzing in her eyes, alighting on her lips, scratching at her ears and driving her crazy. Not until she pulls herself onto the summit of rocky boulders are the flies blown away by the strong gust of a foul wind.

There is no fishing port visible on the other side. But in that instant, standing on the summit of the boulder embankment with a sickening stench blowing past her, horrified at the incredulous sprawl now splayed out before her, Sofia forgot all about needing a boat.

(Oh my god… What is that monstrosity! Could that really be real?)


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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