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Once Upon a Chicle in Mexico



El Gringo walked down the boardwalk. The waves were crashing into the sands. Wind blew his dark brown hair across his face. He walked ahead of me casually, but I knew his blue eyes were darting back and forth between the beach and the buildings along the road. His hands seemed like they gently swayed to the front and to the back. Looking closer as I walked behind him, I saw them shaking. His unbuttoned Kahuna shirt flapped in the wind. The straw fedora he usually wore was in one of his hands.

I ran up next to him. “Uh,” I started. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to take back what’s rightfully yours,” he muttered.

“Come on! Let’s just leave it alone.” I protested.

“I’m not letting justice go unserved.” He turned to me with a snarl.

When the boardwalk intersected the street that led to the small old chapel, we turned to walk side by side. El Gringo’s leather shoes scrapped on the asphalt leading to the white building with the arch that held a single bell. My running shoes just squished under my weight. Sweat was building up around the collar of my t-shirt. My camo cargo shorts were beginning to chafe my crotch.

The boys sitting on the steps of the church covered their eyes since the sun was now at our backs. A breeze kicked up dust as we walked towards them. El Gringo’s face looked harder than I had ever seen it. His upper lip quivered with rage. A bead of sweat rolled down his forehead over his eyebrow down his nose and fell onto his white tank top.

Their eyes went wide when they saw us stop directly in front of them. We cast shadows down on them.

Someone began plucking at a guitar from one of the homes near us.

“Niños!” he shouted. He pointed at me with his thumb. “My amigo here…”

“Si señor?” one asked. He came up to us with big brown eyes.

“He asked for spearmint not peppermint!” El Gringo roared.

The boy’s lips quivered. He fished in his small bag and brought out a package of aqua colored gum. I handed the white package back to him.

“Lo siento señor,” he said to me.

El Gringo turned toward the setting sun. He placed his straw hat on his head and began walking back to the beach. I watched him disappear down the road. He walked with the swagger that justice had been served.

This story was written by Tyson Abaroa. While waiting for his beta readers to finally submit their feedback, he posts some smaller pieces of work on tysonabaroa.com. He loves imagining ways to put more story in less words.
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