No living soul remembers the beginning of the Burrito Wars . All that those unfortunate souls left alive know is that, day-by-day, they must do what it takes to survive. Every moment is danger, every second an opportunity to flee. Every day, the streets run reddish-brown with blood and mild Chipotle sauce.
Everyone knows that, from the beginning, the Brothers were involved. The Brothers’ original names are lost to time, their smiling, moustachioed faces emblazoned in black and gold on the front of their fortress the only image of them. They brought the war; they established superiority in the land known as Burrito Street, with all of their stainless steel and shiny black tiling and novelty foosball tables. From the beginning, they asserted dominance over the lowly independent burrito vendors of Burrito Street. Year after year after year, the Brothers crushed the competition under their snakeskin-cloven heels, asserting dominance and monopolizing the burrito trade. Over time, their outlet became a beacon of burrito worship, an obsidian obelisk rising into the night sky, covered in plastic menu boards and tacky Mexican art. Surrounding it was a wasteland; a quagmire of corpses, cerveza bottles and refried beans.
The Brothers were not always evil. Domineering, sure, but not evil. They built their own temple to the burrito, welcoming their competitors with open hands and warm smiles. They fed starving children and they took part in community outreach programs; they even established the Burrito Council, an organisation aimed at providing equitable representation to every burrito vendor. This would prove to be their downfall.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. And if there’s one undeniable image of absolute power, it’s a mound of shredded meat – choice of chicken, beef or pork – covered in stringy cheese, watery tomato sauce and canned beans, all wrapped up in a warm-soggy tortilla. So the Brothers learnt, as the power became too much for them. They tried to expand too much, even trying to buy into the illustrious fried chicken game. As well all know, fried chicken power is a completely different kind of power, and the Brothers were laughed away by the more-established fast food purveyors. The experience left the Brothers bitter and angry, most of all Garcia, always the wild one of the two. He took out his rage on fellow Burrito lovers. One after the other, the burrito men and women of Burrito Street started disappearing, one after the other, their bodies only found days later in ditches or abandoned buildings. Salsa was spread across their bodies in fine wavy lines. Verde, Chipotle, Valentina; the sauce didn’t matter. What mattered was the Brothers’ declaration of war.
One day, Guzman, always the most level-headed of the two, arrived at work one morning to find a mysterious white truck parked beside the store. Guzman was already nervous almost every day; he knew burrito vendors were disappearing, and he suspected Garcia was involved. The pressure had reached breaking point for Guzman, who could barely make it through a shift without his hands shaking and sweat staining his green apron. Nevertheless, the passion for burritos stayed strong in Guzman’s heart, and he kept going. The truck, though, was too much of a weird occurrence to let slide.
Garcia was already in the store when Guzman arrived, pouring some kind of mysterious chemical into the sour cream while laughin maniacally. Guzman sidled up to him as quietly as he could, his left hand holding his right to keep them still.
“Garcia, I, uh, noticed that big white truck parked out the back,” Garcia warbled in a cracked voice. “Do you, you know, know anything about it?”
Garcia spun around violently, spraying sour cream all over the walls and Guzman’s new green apron. “WHAT DO YOU THINK IT’S THERE FOR, GUZMAN? ARE YOU SOME KIND OF IDIOT?”
Guzman had spent his whole life being abused and ordered around by Garcia, but the tone that he had taken on recently filled Guzman with fear. He reeled back at Garcia’s mad screaming.
“IT’S UP TO ME TO SAVE THIS BUSINESS! IT’S UP TO ME TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE KNOW THE TRUE POWER OF THE BURRITO!”
On “burrito”, Garcia’s fist slammed down on the bain-marie. Green, brown, white and red substances flew all over the store, coating everything with the finely-balanced flavours of the perfect burrito.
“Garcia, what are you doing? The store opens in seven minutes, what are the customers going to…
“FUCK THE CUSTOMERS,” Garcia screamed, “AND FUCK YOU TO. YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT TRUCK IS FULL OF, LITTLE BROTHER? IT’S FULL OF GOLD! GREEN, DECIDOUS GOLD!”
With that, Garcia bolted out of the back of the store, his burrito-stained hands flailing behind him. When Guzman reached him, he was already trying to pry the door open with a tyre iron.
“Garcia, why don’t you just open the door?”
“GUZMAN, OPENING DOORS IF FOR PUSSIES AND COMMUNISTS!”
The door sprang off its hinges and flew towards Guzman, who trusted in his skills from the Mexican Special Forces to dodge it ably. As he returned to his feet, his eyes caught a glimpse of shiny, wet green, and as he moved closer, thousands of wooden crates, each one stacked to the top with avocadoes, appeared before him.
“What-what is this? Garcia, have you lost your mind?”
“WHAT IS THIS? WHY, THIS IS THE FUTURE OF OUR LITTLE STORE, LITTLE BROTHER! WITH MILLIONS OF AVOCADOES AT OUR DISPOSAL, WE’LL DESTROY OUR COMPETITORS AND TAKE OUT RIGHTFUL PLACE AS GREAT BURRITO GODS!”
TO BE CONTINUED