A shrill alarm broke through Anna’s haze of a dream. She opened one groggy eye to peek at her little alarm clock.
“Uggghhh! Few more minutes please.” She cried in a muffled voice, to no one in particular.
If only it were that easy; she would have turned the time again and again for a few more hours of peaceful sleep.
She pushed off her covers and dragged her feet sluggishly over to the washroom. Standing under the creaky shower, she prayed for a warm bath that remained elusive. Her humble studio apartment had little to boast about. But it was much better than any of the foster homes that she had been to. Her incessant nightmares had ensured a short stint in most homes.
Her last address was that of a homeless shelter that taught her more than life ever could. And she paid back the courtesy by volunteering the evening shift. The mornings, she sweated it out at a cafe. She donned a fleece pullover over her faithful, worn out denims and hopped down the steps two at a time. Wading through the morning rush, she entered the cafe through the back door.
All the regular patrons were seated already. She quickly changed into her uniform and circled the tables filling up the coffee mugs.
“Alistair! Good morning.”
“Oh Regina, I love your new hairdo.”
Ana smiled and greeted every single patron and rounded the corner to the last seat against the window.
“Mackey! Hey, we missed you the past couple of weeks. You vanished in thin air.”
Mackey was a couple of years older than Ana. His shiny black locks, obsidian eyes with flecks of amber, dimpled smile and a physique that belonged on a magazine cover made her sigh dreamily. But alas, all he cared for was his piles of research papers. Ana had a feeling that he wasn’t interested in any girl..at all. She had caught him glancing covertly at Pete the cafe supervisor confirming her heart break. She quietly swept the broken pieces under the proverbial carpet and brought him his regular decaf. She couldn’t help but notice the reams of sketches scattered all over the table. She nudged aside what looked like a monster crocodile, only to come face to face with a severed head rolling down the steps of an ancient temple.
An involuntary shudder coursed through her spine looking at the bizarre and gory sketches.
“What are these pictures? Are you into some medieval video games?”
Mackey pulled back his inky locks and tied it at his nape. The only answer to her question was a nonchalant shrug. “Yeah, kind of.” He shoved it all in his satchel and smiled at her. “Why don’t you join me for a coffee?”
“Uh-huh. Can’t. I’m working right now.” She sighed with a delicate shrug.
“Yes, I mean after your shift.” Mackey quipped.
“I’ve the evening shift at the homeless shelter. It will be midnight by the time I’m done.”
“Sure. I’ll meet you outside the centre at midnight then.” He said with a bright smile showing his perfect teeth. His sudden interest in her was unnerving especially when she knew he wasn’t interested in her romantically.
Come on Ana, have you become so jaded? Can’t he be just a good friend to you. She mentally rolled her eyes at herself.
“Yes, sure. Why not? I know an all-day cafe a couple of blocks down the shelter. We could go there.” She beamed. Also, she turned twenty one at the stroke of midnight. It would be a welcome change not to spend her birthday alone.
“Great! I’ll see you then.” He winked and shuffled out of the cafe without a backward glance.
“Hmm, that was weird,” mused Ana.
That evening, after clocking out of the cafe, she jogged down to the shelter. She huddled in her oversized jacket drawing her hoodie close. It was chilly. Flecks of snow peppered the path. The wind picked up, humming a melancholic tune. It lifted the dead, dried leaves, pirouetting them one last time in a dance of glory, before merging with the dust. It was an evening like any other. But there was something off today. The shadows seemed longer, the rustling more than the leaves, and the sound of the wind too eerie.
Ana quickened her pace and entered the grim, dark foyer of the shelter. She brisk-walked through the empty corridors towards the canteen. She had the serving duty today. After ladling up countless soups for over an hour and cleaning the service counter, she finally filled up her own plate and walked to farthest side where Bob sat alone. Bob was in his sixties, a permanent fixture at the shelter since she could remember.
“Hey! You are still having your meal? Are you like counting your grains before you eat?” Ana mocked him playfully before taking the chair beside him.
Bob chuckled, a deep, hollow sound that reverberated inside him before emanating out. He gave her a side hug and a wide smile that brought a twinkle to his murky, black eyes.
“Little one, I was waiting for you. Here, open this.” He pushed a haphazardly wrapped gift in her hands.
Ana slowly unwrapped the gift. Her breath hitched as a small golden object peeped from within. It was a charm shaped like a delicate flower attached to a thin, gold chain.
“What’s this? Bob, is it real gold? How did you get this?”
Bob lifted the chain from the box and touched the flower venerably. Misty eyed, he turned to Ana. “Don’t fret, it is not too expensive. I bought it from a pawn shop. You deserve a special gift for your birthday Little one.”
“Oh, this is beautiful Bob! I shall treasure it always,” she gushed and placed it around her neck.
They had a humble but hearty meal and caught up on the day. It was almost midnight when Ana remembered that she was supposed to meet Mackey. As she got ready to leave, Bob insisted to see her out.
Mackey was waiting for her leaning against his car. He smiled widely but faltered when he saw Bob alongside her. The two men eyed each other suspiciously. Ana introduced them and they jerked their heads curtly. Ana felt hostility and anticipation thick in the air.
“Goodbye Bob, I’ll see you tomorrow,” she waved and walked over to the passenger side. But just as she reached the door, a heavy weight slammed her against the car. A swirling mass of black smoke engulfed her. She could sense rapid movement around her. Mackey’s muffled shouts and Bob indignant voice sounded far away. A face materialised through the depths of the dark smoke surrounding her. The putrid smell of decay emanating from the shrouded figure choked her, two empty sockets stared at her. Something about the spectre was familiar, wrenched up from the depths of her nightmares.
The pressure made her feel light-headed; black spots covered her vision. A shimmer of animal hide and a distant, ear-splitting scream were her last memories before she succumbed to the darkness.
“What did you do? I swear to God if she doesn’t wake up in the next few minutes….”
“Shut your mouth boy! Nothing will happen to her. I’ve protected her so far.”
Ana pried her eyes open gingerly. She fought the remnants of darkness to look around. A familiar room stared back at her. She got up in a flash.
“This is my house. How did we get here? Why are you guys shouting? And wh..where are the Dementors? Did they suck away my soul?” She peeped inside her sweatshirt.
“Dementors? Little one, we are not in some Harry Potter movie.” Bob chuckled harshly and slumped back on the creaky couch.
She took one look at Bob and then at Mackey. They knew something which she didn’t. She got up from the couch, folded her hands sternly and stared daggers at them.
Bob ran a tired hand over his face. He was old, but today he looked ancient.
“I am not Bob. My name is Zuma. I am an old soul Ana, literally. Hell, I’m not even from this millennia. I am sort of a time traveler.”
Ana’s eyes widened. “How old are you? Where are you from Bob..um Zuma? And how do you know those zombie things that attacked me?”
“Take a seat Ana. This is more about you than me.” Bob insisted but Ana refused.
“I was born in the year 1041 in the city of Aztlan, the place where the Aztecs originated. Aztlan was the most prosperous of cities. I served as a Guardian of the city. Something happened back then, in the year 1064. A series of events that destroyed our homeland. The once harmonious tribes fought a violent war and fled the city, the royals were massacred, and a curse from our reigning god obliterated Aztlan. I survived only because of my ability to time travel. I became the Guardian of the lost. Over the centuries I’ve looked after the lost souls that were reborn. And you my dear are one of us. One of the original Aztecs. Someone of importance, I’m sure because your attackers today, were not mere zombies. They were a piece of the Aztec army. Back in the age, the ranks in the army were decided by the number of captives one collected in war. And they were the Jaguar Elites, the highest ranked warriors of Aztlan, who have resurfaced after a millennium.” Bob announced solemnly.
Ana sat back with a thump. It was too much information for her to assimilate.
“But I don’t understand. Why do they want to capture me? And why now?”
Bob shrugged. “I reckon you are a missing piece of our history. There must be some unfinished business in your past life. And we can’t ignore the uncanny coincidence of the attack with your twenty-first birthday.”
Ana gulped nervously. She looked at Mackey who stood stiffly in a corner not moving an inch but listening intently.
Bob interrupted her thoughts. “Little one, I’m afraid there is only one way to find out. We must travel back in time to know who you were in your past life and what was the unfinished business. Until then the vicious attacks won’t stop.”
“Ana no! You are not going anywhere with this man. I don’t trust him.” Mackey roared for the first time. He turned her to face him.
Ana could see sincerity seeping through his eyes. He genuinely cared for her, not in a romantic way but the concern was clear for her to see.
“Mackey, I’ve known Bob for a few years now. He won’t hurt me. But what happened today was real, and not a figment of my imagination. And Bob seems to be the only one who knows something about it. And besides, I have nothing to lose. No one to come back to.” Ana added morosely.
“I am coming with you. I can’t let you go alone.” Mackey insisted. Bob grumbled but Ana was beyond resisting. She didn’t want to face the ghoulish dead army again, whatever it takes to stop them.
“Okay, so how do we do it? Is there an invisible portal that we walk through? Or an old shoe or goblet that will suck us in a vortex through space and time.” As the initial tremors subsided, Ana seemed to be pumped up for the new adventure.
Bob shook his head in dismay. “This is not some boy-wizard movie. There are no invisible gateways or portal objects strewn around. You both are to be my baggage as I time travel. It is ancient magic learned with intense meditation and rigorous practice and not available freely to stumble upon,” Bob huffed indignantly.
“Okay..okay. Dude, chill!” Ana raised her hands in surrender. “Let’s do this. Lost city, ancient curses, army of dead, here I come.” She clapped excitedly.
Two sets of obsidian eyes stared at her.
“Ana, this is not an adventure movie or a video game. We do not have retakes or extra lives here.” Bob chastised.
“Come here, Little one. Hold my hand. And you too pretty boy if you so insist.” Bob extended his hands and the others clasped them tightly. He whispered some ancient chants which were hard to decipher. Ana felt butterflies bungee jump in her stomach. She shuffled from foot to foot. The slow buildup was killing her. She almost burst out a laugh as the impossibility of the situation sunk in. She was holding hands with Bob the homeless guy and Mackey the cafe geek and waiting in line to travel across centuries. Just as she turned around to see if there were hidden cameras and crew that would jump out and laugh at her, she felt a tug deep inside her. Her breath whooshed out and she felt a twist, tug and squeeze all over. A dark pall clouded over her vision as she slipped into her worst nightmare.
Blood and more blood everywhere, bathing her from head to toe. An unearthly wail rang in the air as she held a headless corpse in her lap, her hands extended in futility, trying to catch the head rolling down the steep steps of the temple. She spied a movement through the corner of her eye. A bloodied broad-saw raised high up over her head for a second blow. Blood dripped from its blade into her widened eyes just before she closed them waiting for the blow. “Anacaona!!!!” A deep, husky voice roared somewhere far off.
Her blood curdling scream was drowned by the roaring waves.
“Ana! Ana! Wake up. Are you alright?” She heard Mackey’s disturbed voice shaking her awake.
“Where am I? What place is this? Did our time-machine crash land in Hawaii?” She looked around confused. Silver sand stretched endlessly, shimmering like glass dust under a bright red sun. Waves were particularly violent as they lashed against the shore with unrestrained fury.
“Where is Bob?” She looked around the inhospitable shore.
“This is the Nayaritian coast off Mexico, Little one. Welcome to the year 1064,” came a booming voice.
Ana turned towards it only to stumble back in surprise. Bob sauntered towards them, but he looked nothing like him. A headdress of long, colorful plumes adorned his forehead, large gold earplugs and gold jewellery shone around his tanned face. A turquoise mantle affixed at his nape and a hip cloth were the only clothing he wore. His feet were encased in sandals. He stood proud and strong holding a spear and a shield.
“Bob is that you? Whoa.. you look different. Very tan and fit.” Ana stuttered her compliments.
Mackey stood beside her, his face cast in stone. Ana couldn’t understand his hostility towards Bob. She grabbed his elbow and pulled him onwards.
“Let’s make haste. We don’t have much time here. Let us finish our task and leave,” Bob urged them on to a canoe resting on the shore.
“How did you get this canoe? And your costume?” Ana asked puzzled.
“I have my sources across all centuries, Ana.”
They pushed the canoe in the frothing waves and jumped in. They journeyed towards the elusive island city of Aztlan.
Ana’s head spun with a jumble of thoughts and feelings. She felt a tug inside her, pulling her towards the island. The nightmare was fresh on her mind. Never had it been so vivid before. Was it just a dream or an excerpt from a past life? Was her unfinished task to save the headless man from her dreams? Ana felt nauseated thinking of the gory details and from the violent rocking of the canoe.
Mackey pulled her towards him and put a hand around her protectively. Ana sighed as a surge of warmth and comfort passed through her. Her equation with Mackey was another mystery. His fierce protectiveness and concern unnerved her. Why should he care? Her musings were rudely interrupted by a huge splash that threatened to overturn the canoe. Ana held on tight to the edge and swiped her wet tendrils away from her eyes. She opened them only to see the most bizarre sight, straight from the pits of hell. A humongous sea monster bellowed loudly at them. He was part crocodile, with shiny scales like a fish and a hind like a squat toad. Every surface of his body was covered with sharp spiked teeth.
Mackey whispered reverently “Cipactli.”
Ana remembered the sketches that Mackey carried to the café. Her eyes widened with shock looking at the mythical monster in all its glory.
Bob was trying to poke it with his spear while continuously humming incantations. She prayed that he knew a way to pacify the monster. The alternative was ending up as his appetisers. Ana cowered as the monster raised a webbed hand to swipe them off the face of earth. She heard a roar and a splash followed by a deafening silence. Her heart thundered in her ears.
“Ana, are you alright little one?” Bob knelt in front of her holding her shivering body. Her eyes flashed open to see them alone in the canoe.
“Wh..where is MmmmMackeyy?” She knew the answer before Bob shook his head, confirming her worst fear. A sense of déjà vu hit her.
“I didn’t see what happened Ana. One moment he was standing beside me and the next he was gone.” Bob seemed resigned.
“We have to find him Bob. He was here because of me. I cannot let anything happen to him.” Ana seemed ready to jump in the turbulent waters.
“No Ana, listen to me,” he shook her vigorously. “We have to get out of here before we lose our lives too. It wasn’t any mere sea monster. It was the sea monster, one from the legends, Cipactli. He is immortal and can never be defeated. Let’s get to the shore while we can.”
Ana sat numbly, briny drops rolling down her cheeks. Her heart howled in pain, but her lips struggled to emit a sound.
“Aztlan!” came a wistful sound from beside her. Bob’s eyes shone with unshed tears as he beheld his homeland. He waded the canoe with renewed vigour until they reached the golden sands of Aztlan.
He jumped out of the canoe and fell on his knees, bowing and fervently praying.
Ana unfolded her drenched, tired form and dragged herself to the shore. The pull she felt intensified as if she had stepped into a magnetic field. Her mind conjured sepia images of a gurgling stream, of children running in a meadow, of a middle-aged couple holding each other lovingly as they laughed at the antics of the kids, a young girl with flowing raven tresses gazing at a warrior with an eagle headdress. Chaos and bloodshed splattering the golden city, bodies dismembered and rolling down the temple and the same voice calling out “Anacaona!”
“Ana? Ana? Let’s go.” Bob spurred her on. They trudged across the sandy shore to enter a dense canopy of a rainforest. Thick foliage stretched high and wide. The trees rustled, swaying in the strong breeze sprinkling them with tiny water droplets. A divine petrichor emanated from the mossy forest floor. Twines hung low, festooning across the thick barks of the giant trees. Ana would have stood still to appreciate the ethereal beauty but for the grim reality she was facing. Her heart wept for her friend. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t realise that Bob had halted in his tracks. Ana walked straight into him and smacked her face on his back. She peeked around him to see the reason for his abrupt stop.
What she saw would amaze her all her life.
Several young children, a couple of feet in height, with long, woven hair and silvery tunics. Their resemblance to wood elfs was uncanny. However, upon closer look Ana realised their faces were old and wrinkled. They smiled serenely.
“Chaneque!” whispered Bob. “Ana, don’t be fooled by their kind faces. They are wood sprites who thrive on your soul, rendering you mad and lost. No matter what happens, don’t leave my side. I’ll try to get rid of them with an ancient chant.”
Ana nodded listlessly. Grief, fatigue, and surprise had rendered her speechless. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t look away from their elven faces.
Bob was chanting an old Aztec incantation.
She felt the world dissolve around her, her senses focused on the Chaneques. They beckoned her to follow them. Without a thought she took a few steps towards them and followed their path, ambling through forest. Their silver aura guided her deep into the heart of the forest, where the trees grew so high that they eclipsed the sunlight. It was dark, damp and musky as Ana walked gingerly to avoid tripping over a loose root. So engrossed was she in her surroundings that she didn’t realise the sudden drop in the landscape leading to a bottomless pit.
Her foot slipped over the edge and before she could scream or hold on for support a muscular arm grabbed her and she slumped against a sinewy torso. With her heart in her mouth, she slowly raised her eyes from the tanned, heaving chest over the tightly strung muscles of his neck, a strong square jaw, full lips thinned into a frown, over a regal nose into the eyes the color of pure, molten gold. Her flickered over the eagle headdress before fusing back on him. A lost memory returned like a punch in her gut.
Her lips formed words as if they had a mind of their own.
“Necalli?” her voice hoarse with emotion.
Those golden eyes widened in shock and recognition.
“Anacaona?” came a tortured, husky whisper straight from her dreams.
He stumbled back as if slapped. “No, it is not possible. Is this a cruel dream? You died in front of my eyes struck by the lightning.”
Ana listened to his rambling, but her mind was busy sewing the torn tapestry of her memories. Bits and pieces had returned.
Before any of them could delve further a rain of arrows showered them. Necalli’s battle instincts kicked in and he pushed Ana on the ground covering her with his body.
The darkness was punctuated with orbs of fire suspended in the air. Ana and Necalli stood up cautiously staring at the intruders.
“Bob? Zuma!” Ana exclaimed staring aghast at the one leading the attack. He was flanked on both sides by towering warriors wearing Jaguar skin around their shoulder. They weren’t the ghoulish creatures who had attacked Ana just a couple of nights ago but were the original elite warriors in all their glory.
“Little one, come over to me. We have a task to finish.” Bob cajoled her.
Ana couldn’t reconcile her Bob with the man standing in front of her. Gone was the kindly man with loving eyes. His demeanour reeked of intense hatred and his eyes spewed venom at her. Even his words of endearment were laced with dislike.
“You are not my Bob. You seem different.”
“Yes, Little one, I’m no Bob. As I said I’m Zuma. The guardian of Aztlan and the chief of the Jaguar elites.” He scoffed at her.
“These were your people. You set them on me that night?” Pieces of the puzzle were falling in place.
“Yes. Of course. You needed a nudge to travel back to Aztlan. Never thought that pretty boy would tag along. But I’m happy he did. He made a perfect snack for the Cipactli. Saved me from sacrificing my limb to pacify the monster.”
Ana’s fury knew no bounds. Bob had killed Mackey! Threw him overboard to the monster.
“Why? What did we do to you? Or what did I do to you in my past life? I know there is some connection.” She felt a surge of courage as Necalli pressed his palm against her back in a show of strength.
“Everything!” He spit out. “Your father was my elder brother. Meek, kind, wise king. He should not have been the one to rule Aztlan. But he was crowned the king just because he was the elder one. To add salt to my injuries, he sent me away to faraway lands to fight and loot and married the only woman I ever loved. When I returned after several years, she had already borne him two children. Namacuix, your brother and Anacaona, that is you.
That is when I decided I’ll destroy your family and rule Aztlan. I turned the once harmonious tribes against each other, created chaos and discord to unsettle your father. I murdered your parents in their sleep and blamed the revolting tribes for it. Your brother inherited the throne by birthright. So, I planned to sacrifice him at the altar atop the temple. He was too naive to understand that he was being led to his death. I thought my work was done. But YOU arrived at the altar just as my broad-saw hacked his head off. You meant nothing to me. I had plans to sell you off as a slave to the highest bidder but I could just as easily kill you with another blow. But I underestimated your power or blessing I should say. Before I could hack you to your death, a lightning struck the altar, burning you and your brother to ash. A voice thundered – Huitzilopochtli, our patron god. I had dared to kill the Aztlan heir. He cursed me with immortality but banished me from my homeland, from Aztlan.
I spent centuries finding a way back, a loophole to circumvent the curse. I prayed to all the deities and mythical creatures. That’s when I came to know my mistake. You see, after killing your brother I should have been the Aztlan heir, being the last male progeny of our bloodline. But I killed the wrong heir. There was something wrong with your brother. He might have been the illegitimate bastard sired by my brother. You were the heir to Aztlan! The first female to rule the legendary city of gold. I had to wait for you to live out all your lives to finally kill you once and for all. There will be no mistake this time.” He muttered ominously.
Ana reeled as the sudden influx of information hit her like a freight train. Necalli held her up, drawing her close.
“I see you two have re-united. Necalli was your brother’s best friend and you both were so deep in love with each other that it nauseated me. I hate to break you up for a second time, but we have work to do.”
The Jaguar elites advanced on Ana & Necalli, but suddenly a row of warriors emerged from behind them, all with the eagle bearings – Necalli’s Eagle warriors. Chaos ensued as the highly skilled units launched an attack at each other. Ana lost sight of Necalli in the melee. A rough hand grabbed her from behind. Bob remained unscathed. He along with a trusted few Jaguars dragged Ana from the forest to the city. The temple rose against the setting sun like an ominous shadow. Bob continued dragging her up the steep steps. Ana stopped resisting for a while and clung onto his arm for dear life. One misstep and she would end up at the bottom of the pyramid in a pile of mangled bones. The alternative was not too enticing as the high altar came into view.
Bob dropped her unceremoniously at the base of the altar and tied her hands and feet with a coarse rope.
One of his minions handed him the broad-saw. Ana gulped in fear. Not the way she wanted to die. Where was the lightning when she wanted one? Ana gave a mirthless chuckle.
Choices choices.. burnt crisp by a lightning or hacked away with a monster saw. How is a girl supposed to choose? She did the only thing she could think of. Buy time, try to untie the ropes, and pray Necalli could save her this time around.
“You know I preferred you as Bob the homeless guy.”
“But that’s the irony Little one, I was always the homeless guy. But no more. This time I’ve made sure to hoodwink even the patron gods. The necklace charm I gave you is enchanted to make you undetectable. Your blessings have run out Anacaona. Prepare to die.”
As he raised his broad-saw a flurry of movement caught her eye and she screamed in disbelief.
Bob halted his action and stared back at Mackey in disbelief.
“How is it possible? How did you survive the Cipactli?”
“Don’t think you are the only one who knows incantations. And you forget that Cipactli is the protector god of the sea. It is us mortals that make them into monsters when all they are trying to do is protect their habitat.”
Necalli had made quick work of the other warrior. Bob had Ana by the cuff with the broad-saw readied against her. Mackey and Necalli circled them like hungry wolves.
“You’ve lost again, Father.” Mackey’s words left them all dumbfounded.
“Who are you?” Bob whispered.
“I’m Namacuix, your illegitimate son. My mother was with child when you left for war. Your elder brother married her to save her from ostracization. You never saw anything beyond your hatred and anger. You never paid me any heed. I was the meek, naïve boy you loathed. You killed your only son, father. The wrong heir.”
This piece of news deflated Bob like a ruptured balloon. For a moment, Ana thought that Bob had reconsidered her fate upon hearing about his son. But instead, he gnashed his teeth and raised his saw to mete out the fatal blow.
She would never know till the end of her time, what made her do it. But Ana suddenly slammed her body weight into Bob. The heavy broad-saw and his distraction caused him to lose his balance and he tumbled over the edge of the altar, hurtling down the steep steps to the bottom. His inability to steer the sharp weapon away from his body, caused it to embed itself in his torso, hacking him halfway through.
Mackey, Necalli and Ana stared at the gory sight in horror, one which would haunt them to their last days.
Ana dressed in a loose blouse and skirt, tied with a golden sash stood against the setting sun. Necalli, or Neco as she fondly called him stood by her side holding her close. The newly weds had eyes only for each other. They gazed up at the altar upon the temple. The high priests placed a gold embellished headdress upon Namacuix. They placed a turquoise blue mantle woven with golden threads and bejeweled with jade and gold beads.
“It was very generous of you to give up your birthright and handover the reins of Aztlan to Namacuix. Knowing his orientation, you know he would not carry forward the bloodline in the traditional way.” Necalli said.
“It is time we challenge the traditional ways of inheriting based on bloodline rather than capabilities. Namacuix is better suited to be the king. And do not fret husband, I shall serve Aztlan in my own way.” Ana smiled serenely as they gazed upon the prosperous city of gold that would remain inked in history for millennia.
Aztlan: A mythical island believed to be the origin of the Aztec empire.
Zuma: Aztec name which means “Lord frowns in anger”
Anacaona: Aztec name which means “the golden flower”
Necalli: Aztec name which means “battle”
Namacuix: Aztec name which means “king”
Cipactli: A primeval sea monster in Aztec mythology
Chaneque: Small, spritelike legendary creatures from the Mexican folklore.
Huitzilopochtli: Aztec god of the Sun and the War.
Author’s Note: The story is inspired by the Mexican folklore. This is a fictional take on the mythical island of Aztlan. All characters mentioned herein are fictional and have no historic relevance.
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