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Bolivian Zebra and Vice Stew

Level: Chef
Your basket:
Main Ingredients:
traffic guard
whole turkey
netflix queue

Spice Pack:
1/8 tablespoon of frustration
1/2 whisper of remorse

“Despite the costume, this isn’t a position to be taken lightly, Alfonso.

“I know that,” Alfonso said, his voice muffled by the headpiece of his zebra costume.

“We started doing this because pedestrians were getting mowed down all over La Paz. Guts splattered on the pavement like mashed cranberries. The cebritas make people smile, yeah, but no one’s gonna be smiling if they’ve got the grill of a Honda jammed in their ribs.” The chief cebrita motioned across the crosswalk to the butcher shop on the other side. Slabs of beef, stacked like carnivore library books, sat in the window, along with a suckling pig and a whole turkey. “This crosswalk is especially busy around this time of day. Lots of women on the way from their homes to the butcher. They’re counting on you to keep them safe.”

“I know, sir.” Alfonso clenched his fists inside the hoof-shaped gloves. “It’s not that complicated. I’m not an idiot.”

“Yes, but you’ve been known to get… distracted.”

“I told you, I kicked the stuff in prison.” Hidden behind the equid façade, Alfonso’s eyes flicked to the far corner of the street.

“Just don’t let me regret hiring you for this. Even your parole officer had her doubts.”

Alfonso pulled off his headpiece to meet the chief’s eyes.

“I told you; I’ve got this under control. Why don’t you go check your Netflix queue or something? You’ve gotta have something better to do than hover over me.”

The chief sighed and gently placed the zebra head back onto Alfonso. He let his hands rest on the young man’s shoulders for a few seconds.

“I’m just looking out for you, kid. And the city. I wanna see you turn your life around, but I know it’s tough for a zebra to change his stripes.” Alfonso could imagine the chief smiling behind his own headpiece, and somehow that pissed him off even more.

“I won’t let you down, sir.”

The chief nodded and handed Alfonso a small black-and-white-striped flag before walking off, his fabric tail swinging behind him.

As soon as the chief was out of sight, Alfonso looked back to the corner where he knew his drug dealer was due to meet him. As he abandoned the crosswalk, he felt, for just a moment, that his costume should have been a jackass.
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