'Democracy: By the people, for the people.'

It is Election Day. Everyone has been up from early. Either you were up woken up by the noise on the street or you were the noise on the street. You vote.

The radio is muttering scores of names and numbers. There is a break in excitement between the bar under the eaves of the square and the hot night air. And Constable Brown didn't need anymore excitement after today.

He sinks lower in his stool, and contemplates his hand. Another two bills gone. He taps a finger on the formica and Miss Mavis grunts in reply. Miss Mavis, a burly, bearded woman twice his size stops polishing a glass and pours white liquid into it. Brown swishes the alcohol around in his mouth and swallows loudly. Brown knows that after today, he deserved a lil' drink. And no one could do a firewater like Miss Mavis. Flies pulse around the bar.

The officer's day had gone by in a whir of dust and shouting and cussing and pushing. People just didn't seem to appreciate Good, Honest Service to One's Country anymore. The dots on the pearly dominoes in his hand begin to swirl. He winces as the clear liquid burns down his throat and neck, but he is excited. Constable Brown finally has a good hand.

Outside in the square, the lights are too bright and the music is too loud, and he's sure there's some sort of crime being committed, but this sweet water jus' too sweet at the moment. The mass of bodies is pushing and waving flags and sweating. A clear patch of street exists only between the marginally straight line dividing the newly-formed masses of red and green. The children watch in quiet, confused awe under the eaves of the square, observing. Suddenly, a hush sweeps over the square. Everyone looks up to the pocked billboard screen that will show the results. The shaking camera shows another fete just like this one, but with a platform with important people on it. And the grand decision is disclosed and the crowd is in uproar.

Brown, intoxicated by the excitement, is on a roll. Only one domino left. He taps his finger on the counter.

A boy saunters up to his fuming comrade under the eaves of the square to receive his end of the bet. His flashing smile turns to a frown and there is a brief struggle, then a bang.

The crowd scatters in frantic pandemonium. Everyone has watched the news before, so everyone knows exactly how to act. The killer makes a dash up some side alley, and he is the only one going in any particular direction. And he knows it. The rest of the crowd is a gurgling mass, seismically spitting out screaming people in every direction. Except in the direction of the killer. And everyone knows it. Once removed from the initial point of focus, the braver ones form a layer of eyes around the victim, whose limbs are now being tugged at odd angles by his delirious relatives. His blood forms a little puddle on the street that soaks their jeans. This is logical. He supported the red party, so naturally his blood would be red…

The constable stops in mid-domino-slap when, through his haze of alcohol, he remembers that he needs to go outside to instill Public Order. He looks at the domino in his hand and gently lays it down on the table. No triumphant win or anything like that. Just the snake eyes looking back at him. Game bang up. He taps his hat to Miss Mavis and steps outside. Miss Mavis keeps polishing her glasses.

The next day Brown is under the eaves again and reading the newspaper. The flies whir around his head but he manages to ignore them. It's been a really hard day. Dominoes find themselves unappealing. As his eyes graze over the pictures, he recognizes someone. A starchy, wide-eyed photograph of the victim from the night before is in the newspaper. "Chevaughn Reid," he reads to himself. His death notice says something about a sunrise and a sunset, and 'gone too soon.' Chevaughn is wearing a polo shirt that is neither red nor green, but grey. The newspaper does not print in colour. Officer Brown closes the newspaper and taps on the formica. "One more, Miss Mavis."

Thus passes another election in the island nation.

Long live democracy.