A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VIII: Day/Page 87 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . 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 demanded that the Captain escort her back to town, and he would have willingly complied. But the Private was right too, she did not act like she was from New Favela City either, which made him uneasy. His was a black or white world, and she seemed to be neither. She was different. And different, from his experience, was dangerous. In a dog-eat-dog world it was best to bite first at anything different, and bite hard.
At the police station Sofia is placed in a cement-walled interrogation room with video cameras in each of the corners, and a one-way mirror on a side wall. Bolted to the cement floor in the center of the room is a plain steel table, and on each side of the table are metal chairs. Sofia sits in the chair facing the door. To her right she spots a small bench, some towels, rope, and a bucket of water. (What is that for, I wonder?)
She glances at her watch; it is almost three o’clock. (I don’t have time for this crap. I’ve got to get out of here. Only about twenty hours left.)
The Captain is alone in the room with her, standing across the table from her with one boot propped on the chair. “Nice watch,” he says.
She understands him. “Thank you.”
“Where did you get it?”
“I—I buy.” More words were flowing. “I buy boat,” she blurts out, suddenly remembering the word for boat.
“You bought a boat?”
She shakes her head. “No. I buy boat need.”
Maybe the Private is right, thinks the Captain. Maybe she is retarded. Can’t put a sentence together to save her life; yet what little she says, she says without an accent, so she must be from around here. Or maybe she’s a rebel leader, and this ruse is part of her cover. That must be it.
“Oh, I see. You need to buy a boat—is that it?”
Sofia smiles and nods her head excitedly. “Yes, I see,” she repeats. “I need to buy a boat.” (Good. Now we’re getting somewhere.)
She pulls out the bills from the bank. “I need to buy a boat—where?”
The Captain hungrily eyes the money. “Where can you buy a boat? Is that what you’re asking?”
Sofia nods, repeating the Captain’s words. “Where can I buy a boat?—is what I asking.”
“I don’t know. There are lots of different boats. Some big ones, some small. Some motored, some not. What kind do you need, and what for?”
Sofia shakes her head. He was speaking too quickly again.
“Why—you—need—boat?” he asks, emphasizing each word.
“Ah.” She understands, but lacks the words to explain, so she shakes her head instead. (I can’t possibly explain all that.)
“Don’t want to tell me, huh? Ok, then where did you get the money?”
No response. . . .
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