Gray Democracy

by J.C McElheny

Fred tapped his foot on the broken concrete curb watching as the stream of cars flew past. Smart Cars straight out of the factories of Japan were mixed with Mustangs and other symbols of power. Dusty, old pieces of crap on wheels rattled passed as well, spewing acrid smoke and backfiring sporadically.

"Ah, the fruits of Capitalism." Fred said to himself striking a philosophical pose. This was offset by the donut hole that sat half eaten and forgotten in his other hand, his ripped and dirty jeans, and his baggy white tee shirt that proclaimed "Rhode Island Rocks" In faded green lettering.

"Umm.. Excuse me." said a thin voice from over his shoulder. He spun around to see a balding man in a stained grey jumpsuit who was trying to pull his black poodle away from a No Parking sign which it seemed intent on sniffing.

"Is this Cedar Avenue?"

"No." Replied Fred gruffly. "Oh." Said the stranger. "Have a nice day." Fred grunted. He hated people like that.

The sky was the color of old steel and it made the two story concrete buildings that lined the cracked and pitted street seem even more gloomy. A few crooked bill boards loudly advertised beer and car insurance and the gutters were filled with brackish rain water from the day before. "What a pointless place." Fred muttered as he jumped back, only getting slightly soaked by sludge as a dusty old Nissan Sentra drove too close to the curb. Fred executed a rude hand gesture at cracked mirror of the Nissan and tossed his ruined pastry into the sludge. If this is what you call freedom, than I don't want to see oppression. Wow, democracy has sure gone down hill since Ben Franklin, of this Fred was sure.

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