The twinkling of the night’s first star was dwarfed by the glimmer in adventurist Tony Cheddar’s eyes as he gazed out onto the horizon. The sky became scorched as the sun made its way below the dense Amazonian treeline. Nestled between the Achubunko River and Mount Dungan sat a vacant stretch of land that extended far past any human’s sight. Though the ground was scarred from centuries of civilization, it now laid silent, dormant; beckoning the next great chapter of mankind to begin. “This is it,” whispered Cheddar through his sagging mustache, soaked from the humidity. “This is Peanut Butter City.” Having searched for nearly two decades, Tony was sure that this was the spot where myth and legend would grasp each others’ gonads.
A band of battle-hardened mercenaries stood rigidly behind Cheddar as he clumsily placed one foot in front of the other, descending down an ancient staircase leading to the barren plain. He ruminated on all that had led up until this point. His grandfather’s death by fate’s grim hand, his father’s death by his grandfather’s sweaty hand, his half-brother’s death by his own hand, and above all, that wizard’s curse. Possibilities of paradise raced through Tony’s mind as quickly as a viper’s fangs pierce a fat man’s flesh. This land represented a fresh start and a second shot at realizing nirvana on Earth.
“We’ll set up camp here,” announced Tony to his men. “Construction begins tomorrow, so rest up. You’re all part of something now. Something important.” The men proceeded to pitch their tents, warm their wieners over a modest fire, and catch a few brief moments of slumber. There were six total. Yoseph Grolo, Tad Puuwembuhwee, Joef Jash, Spyder Crupski, Ünchin the Great, and Roger Foote. Rough-and-tumble characters from the outskirts of nowhere. These men were paid to traverse the planet’s most dangerous playing fields, but this was an entirely different ballgame. Cheddar had not led the expedition so far out of society’s grasp merely for sport. No, this was destiny.
Tony Cheddar came from a long line of influential men and women. His twentieth great grandfather invented the recipe for Creepy Crawler goop, his aunt bakes the best banana bread in Willow County, and on that steamy day deep within the rainforest, Tony would seal a position his family’s legacy. He was to build the greatest empire known to man, animal, or dust particle. As a young lad he dreamed of someday laying the brickwork for a utopia. He would call it Peanut Butter City for one reason and one reason alone…he really, really fucking loved peanut butter. Anyone who disputed this universal truth would be dealt with, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Whether he was spreading it on toast, eating it with a spoon, or injecting it directly into his cerebral cortex, Cheddar loved P.B. What he didn’t love, however, was humanity and its blaring flaws. From his birth, Tony was privileged. He was brought to exotic, extravagant places and had every whim catered to. This gave him a lot of time to observe and at the end of the day, he simply could not make sense of why there was so much suffering in the world. He lived comfortably, so why shouldn’t everyone? That is what he asked as he would lay awake until the break of dawn, drawing up blueprints, praying that his selfless vision may one day come to life.
After Cheddar and the mercenaries finished slaughtering the legions of zombie voodoo shamans that had risen from a nearby burial site, they got straight to work. Months passed in what seemed like mere moments as shovels collided with soil. Pickaxes sent sparks flying as they chiseled away at sheer cliff faces. Slowly, but surely, Peanut Butter City began to take its glorious shape. This was the first step of a journey. The sprout of a mighty oak. The beginning of the end.
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