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In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind. Stephen Hawking





Dorito Burn
September 25, 2016 by Peter Castillo – Leave a comment at the end.

The pinkish walls of the rugged tunnel were drenched in a slick clear substance. The walls also contracted and expanded. The tunnel was alive. A wave of a caramel colored liquid temporarily flooded the tunnel, then disappeared down the shaft. Afterwards, only the slick clear liquid covered the contracting and expanding walls.

The tunnel remained clear until an arrow shaped object rushed through the opening. It was as if it was sucked in by a vacuum. Before the sharp object disappeared down the shaft, the pointed tip scraped the side of the wall. Blood pooled through the gash made by the jagged wedge. This is the definition of a Dorito Burn.

On a sunny afternoon in the Chase family garage, Mr. Chase was busy tinkering under the hood of his pristine black 1969 Corvette Stingray. The vanity plate read, ‘HERDAD.’ A look into the home, the kitchen, dining room, and living room were quiet. Up the stairs to the second floor, chukka, chukka, chukka sounds came from a room with an opened door. Inside the room, Mrs. Chase was busy sewing garments.

Mrs. Chase was so focused on her work, that she didn’t hear a faint voice call out, “Mom.” A moment later, nineteen-year-old Shelly stepped into the room. “Mom, hello,” Shelly said.

The sound of the sewing machine was too loud for Shelly to talk over. She noticed the plug in the outlet, so she pulled on the cable. The sewing machine stopped. “What the hell,” Mrs. Chase said. She turned and saw her daughter with a smile and the cable in her hand. “Shelly, I have no time to play. I have to get these costumes ready for my theatre group.”

“Well, I just wanted to ask you if you saw my purple blouse?”

“It’s folded in the laundry room along with your cheerleading uniform. I swear, you and those Doritos; you get that orange food coloring over everything you wear. You’ve been like that since you were small.”

“I could eat Doritos all day, you know that.”

“Hmm, you get your obsession from your father. He has his ridiculous muscle car. He claims to be so careful with it. I betted him if gets one scratch on it, he has to get rid of it.”

“Good luck with that. Well, I have a date with this guy I met at school. We’re just going to the movies then grab a bite.”

“Have a good time, dear.”

Later that night, Shelly seemed bored in the passenger seat as she popped a Dorito into her mouth. Her date, a rogue type, was at the wheel as he drove through a quiet canyon road. Shelly folded her Dorito bag and placed it on the dashboard. She wiped her fingertips of the orange stuff, then she licked the residue. “Where are we going?” Shelly said.

“No worries, babe. I’m taking you to this spot where we can get a great view of the city.”

“Okay, I’ll see your spot for a few minutes, then we’ll call it a night. I have things to do tomorrow.”

“No worries, babe.”

Farther up the road, the rogue kid pulled into a cul-de-sac that overlooked the city lights. After he parked the car, he turned to face Shelly. “Well, what do you think, babe? Is this nice or what?”

Shelly faced forward and shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, it’s kinda nice, but I really have to get home.”

The kid leaned in for kiss. “Oh, come on, babe; don’t be like that.”

Shelly pushed the kid away from her. “Whoa, easy there; that’s not gonna happen. Can you just take me home?”

The kid’s face crunched in anger and he held up his fist. “Hey, I paid for everything and I was totally cool all night! The least you could do is put out.”

“I can’t believe you just said that to me. Look, I'll be willing to forget it if you just take me home right now.”

“The hell with you! Get out of my car! You can walk home.”

Shelly started slapping the kid, but he held his arms up and blocked every shot. “You don’t treat me like that!” Shelly said. She noticed the keys were still in the ignition. She quickly snatched the ring then hopped out of the car. The kid hopped out on his side.

A few feet away from the car, Shelly dangled the keys over the edge of the cliff. The kid inched his way toward her. “I’ll teach you why you don't leave a lady on the side of the road. If I walk, you walk.”  

“Wait, don’t do that. I don’t have a spare keys.”

“Well then I hope you can handle the hike. I know I can.”

The kid’s face crunched again as he charged at Shelly. “Give me those damn keys!” In a fast succession of reactions, Shelly tossed the keys over the cliff, then the kid pushed her after them. Shelly screamed once, then all that was heard was a couple of thumps, then silence.

The kid peeked over the cliff, but all he could see was darkness. “Damn,” he said. He went back to his car and sat in the passenger seat for a few minutes. Eventually, he banged on the dashboard. “Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!” He held his forehead against the dash for a few moments. When he pried his head up, he stared out the windshield. He grabbed Shelly’s Doritos and his soda cup he had in the holder. He stepped out of the car, slammed the door, then headed for the road.

As the kid walked along the downward winding canyon road, he took a sip from his soda. After he got down to the last drop, he threw the cup to the ground. From his pocket, he pulled Shelly’s Dorito bag. He pulled a chip then placed it in his mouth. After he bit down a couple times he began to cough heavily and uncontrollably. He didn’t notice he stumbled into the road.

A set of headlights attached to a dark car whipped around the bend. As the kid tried to control his cough, he noticed the vanity plate on the car read, ‘HERDAD.’ The hit from the Stingray sent the kid up into the air like a rag doll. When he fell to the ground, he was a twisted broken pile of flesh. The black steel machine spun out then stopped in the middle of the road. There was front end damage on the car.