| Excerpt From An Unlimited Cage
Mfune is imprisoned at the third monorail
stop in Adventure World- right next to the Wild West Fort. To find him you must turn left,
away from the tourists onto an unmarked trail. It leads to a small concrete building that
holds a shabby display of apes.
First you walk past a
wilted chimpanzee, then a sour old gorilla, then a frowsy orangutan. And there, at the
end, is a cage marked "Dissident. Very rare. Believed, in fact, to be the last of his
kind." You have reached the home of Anson Mfune.
John Chwa waited for
the walk signal and thought about Mfune. He did not cross the street, though there was no
traffic and he was president in any case. The price of jaywalking was three hundred pounds
or ten days in prison, and the security camera made sure of it.
He never broke a law
that he himself had made. To do so would be Third World. He would no sooner break one of
his own laws than he would surround himself with bodyguards, or buy a limousine, or permit
his official portrait to be displayed in public. Chwa drove a Honda. But mostly he walked.
And it was by foot and
subway that the president set out for Adventure World, where the last of his enemies
He rode under shining
plazas and tower blocks, clean orderly streets and causeways.
No one following his
path above ground would have guessed they were in Africa. This was how he liked things.
At New Harbor Station
he transferred to a double-deck commuter train. But first he stopped to admire some
None of the people
hurrying past him on their way to work acted as though they knew who he was. This was also
how he liked things.
One poster showed a
pair of smiling businessmen, with teeth as big as Chwa's head.
prosperity is growing day by day!" One of these pleasant fellows remarked.
"It's all part of
our country's economic miracle!" The other one replied.
Chwa smiled himself,
and nodded. These things were expensive, but he could see that they were worth it.
The other poster was
smaller, but much more costly, for it was changed every day. It showed a life-sized
photograph of a man whom a security camera had caught failing to flush a public urinal
before the timer went off. He was a small, plump person with a weak chin and a moustache.
His suit was rumpled, his tie askew as if from an exhausting day at work. The policemen on
either side had to support his weight. His eyes looked like a scared little boy's.
A caption read:
"Should Have Flushed, Mr. Ron Mufasa of 38 Stubbins Terrace!"
Chwa had seen this
picture before- it was on the front page of the Gazette in the usual place. But now it
reminded him of Mfune.
Mfune, whom he had
destroyed years ago. Mfune, who had defeated him