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by Pedro A. Idarraga 4 months ago in fact or fiction

First 700 pages (Finished Novel)

Photo by Elvis Bekmanis on Unsplash

Naming the location where everything that follows took place would only exonerate other places just as culpable of atrocities such as those described here and perhaps worse. You might say, “Oh see, that’s not us, that all happens in other places.” No, what follows is an eye-opener to the disregard of basic human decency that is ignored by those who perpetrate brutalities daily. These culprits either choose to remain ignorant or close their eyes to what transpires right underneath their noses. They turn a blind eye because they have resigned themselves to a status quo of cowardice that keeps them precariously safe in an existence riddled with misery, hopelessness, and ignorance.

“Stop questioning what can’t be change; we are here because the almighty wants us here.” As usual, when it comes to ignorance, religion and the lies upon which all dogmas are based come into play to excuse narrow-mindedness and inexperience. “And that is all you should worry about,” my mother scolded when I asked her about the meaning of life.

“But everyone does different things. Is that what is dictated? Where is it dictated?” I pressed.

She snapped with fury, and in retrospect, I realized it was anger in not knowing and fear of revealing such ignorance to her own child.

“You need to follow your father’s example; provide for your family and respect your elders,” she replied with confusion, knowing the words about to be pronounced would provoke a violent reply.

“You mean I should grow up to be a drunk and beat my kids for no reason?” The slap across my face stung. Nevertheless, it confirmed that she, as well as just about everyone around there, didn’t know what they were talking about.

“Go read or play. You are just a kid; you don’t know anything. When you have a job and a family you will know what life is about.” I should have added, Ooh, you mean live a mediocre and nonsensical existence, as you all do? But saying such would have been pushing it and she would have definitely killed me. I chuckled at the thought.

A city high in altitude, cold and rainy, dreary and foggy, depressing and disgusting; the bird’s morning chirp, rather than celebrating a new day, is more like a lament of sorrow and regret.

I often fearfully wondered if indeed there was nothing else, and, in horror, imagined growing up there, old, bitter and frustrated. Always longing, wanting, craving, but never achieving anything, and a shiver would run down my spine. But no, that would have been someone else, someone more cowardly — a conformist, with less imagination and ambition. No, I could not endure the dread and disgust produced by that place. Escape would have taken place in one way or another; remaining there was not an option. But as a young kid, uncertain of everything and unable to realize that in order to not be hurt or bothered, the source of said discomfort had to be escaped. For the time being, I clung to the belief that perhaps there was no fairness. From time to time though, reality is as shocking as a slap across the face and it screams, “Open your eyes and see the ugliness before you! Accept it! Do something about what is causing pain!” Later in life, I would shiver in fear and dismay at what life might have been, had destiny not been grabbed by the horns one night and without a third parties’ involvement forging my own destiny.

* * * * *

A majestic view, rich in fauna and flora, meets tourists and fascinates them with the rustic beauty throughout this city — the nation’s capital, the epicenter of everything that transpires in this nation of reckless, bible thumping fools. But for those who stay, the fascination soon ends and gives way to a maddening reality riddled with resentment, violence, envy, and a criminally sarcastic and perverted humor bordering on sadism. Survival in this deplorable, poverty-stricken and inhumane place is a game of chance. People’s walking pace is fast to avoid being mugged or robbed by the many individuals who roam these streets in search of a quick buck, also to avoid traffic

fact or fiction
Pedro A. Idarraga
Pedro A. Idarraga
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Pedro A. Idarraga

Father, writer, activist

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