A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VIII: Day/Page 86 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . “No documents? Then what are you doing out here?”
Ping! The word she has been struggling to find pops into view in her mind. She grabs it. “Lost! I lost.” (Whew—now maybe they’ll let me go.)
“Lost? You’re on a beach. How can you be lost on a beach?”
(Or—maybe not.) “Lost. I lost,” repeats Sofia.
“Yes, so you said. I got it. But why did you go down to the border?”
“I lost,” says Sofia again.
The Bulldog furrows his brow, glances over at the boyish soldier.
“Maybe she’s retarded,” he says. “Poor thing.”
“Or, maybe she escaped from New Favela City,” says the Bulldog.
“I doubt it, Captain. Look at what she’s wearing. Those clothes and jewelry—they cost money. I don’t think she could have been—”
“You don’t think at all, Private, that’s your problem. You lack an imagination. Maybe she stole the clothes and jewelry. All slackers steal. Maybe she is planning a rebellion.” Turning to Sofia, “Is that what you did? Stole the clothes and are sneaking into town to start a rebellion?”
Sofia shrugs. (You speak way too fast. I can’t understand a thing.)
“I don’t think so, Captain. Look at her—she’s beautiful.”
“You have a lot to learn, boy. Stealing is easy for beautiful women, especially slackers.” Back to Sofia, “Isn’t that right? Stealing is easy for slackers like you.”
More words clicks into place. “I nothing no steal.”
“You ‘nothing no steal’, huh?”
“See! I told you she was retarded,” says the Private. “What a shame. Has a face and body like that, but no pilot light burning upstairs.”
“Shut up, Private, and let me handle this. Lady, do you understand anything that I’m saying to you?”
Another word clicks. “I nothing no understand.”
“You ‘nothing no understand’? Mm… Let me see if I got this right. You nothing no understand and nothing no steal—is that it? Well, I ‘nothing no believe.’ What do you think of that?” He winks at the Private with a smirky grin.
The Private looks confused; he didn’t get it. Sofia looks confused too.
Annoyed that his pun fell flat, he growls, “Put her in the cage, then call the border patrol and tell them we got her. We’ll take over from here.”
The Private gently ushers Sofia into the truck’s back seat, surrounded on all sides with metal bars, and locks her in. After a quick call to the border patrol he turns the truck around and drives back to town, with the Bulldog Captain studying Sofia in the rearview mirror.
(This sucks! I don’t have time to screw around with these guys—unless maybe they can help me get a boat. What’s the word for boat?)
The military police in Bellapraia are part of the group of Pros who serve and defend the Ones. They are both lap dog and guard dog, helping them keep 90% of the population at bay. And it is a role they defend jealously, knowing that only the arbitrary graces of the Ones keep them from slipping down the economic slope into the miserable dregs below.
As the Captain studies Sofia he could tell she was not a One, with or without the marker. She looked and dressed like a One, but lacked the inbred arrogance and contempt that so often came with a lifetime of privilege and exemption. A real One would have . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
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