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Books, Humor, Satire

ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 78 of 252


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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VIII: Day/Page 78 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . It is a city. There is no better word for it. But a city unlike any other Sofia, or anyone else on her planet, had ever seen or imagined. Here, out beyond no-man’s land, from one end of the valley to the other, was a filthy, vicious, noxious sprawl of wasted canine beings extending to the horizon, huddled tightly together in low, mean structures of mud and plastic, like those in the squalid slum she passed through earlier, but on a scope and scale beyond comprehension. Here, tens of millions of busted broken people lived side by side, shoulder to shoulder, abandoned in a massive foul heap of sludge and scum. High hedges of rotting garbage lined the narrow paths in front of crumbling mud-brick hovels. Thick rivulets of open sewage flowed and pooled unabated, dribbling into the sea. The air visibly moved, given weight and body by dense, billowing clouds of black flies.

And yet half-naked men in ratty shorts walk casually about the squalor. Women wearing rags like Sofia’s old dress squat in the filth and chat, keeping one eye on the grubby little children that scamper about through the garbage. This was normal. This was their life.

Far to her right, where the noxious valley ends and the mountainous jungle begins, overlooking the cesspool of humanity that litters the valley floor, is a tremendous raw red scar gouged deep into the verdant green hills, an open sanguine sore on the land where hundreds of miles of dense, rich tropical rainforest has been slashed and burned and blasted and stripped away for a few paltry grains of gold that could be fashioned into shiny baubles for the privileged class in some far-off land.

And snaking down from this festering wound in the hills, and oozing into the societal flotsam that seethed the valley floor, are thousands of venomous streams and purls, laden with mercury and lead, steeped in cyanide, trickling, gurgling, weeping millions of tons of malevolent bile into the blood of the city below, as recompense for the paltry flecks of gold leeched from the ground above. Here, the poisons of the world saturate flesh, sinew, and bone, wracking the heart and mind and soul of its envenomed people.

This is “New Favela City,” home to 100 million dispossessed beings, more or less; no one really knew or cared. Here was Dribble-Down Theory distilled to its purest form. No longer an abstract theoretical bromide, this was gossamer ideas forged fast into lasting action—the absolute devolution of society back down to the individual level. This was a dog-eat-dog world reduced to the singular dog.

As DDT distilled more of the planet’s wealth into an ever-smaller group of elites, those Alpha-dogs, who were accustomed to having everything their way, began to . . .

 

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW

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

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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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