A Story by SheActsLikeSummer

I stare past the horizon, gazing into the deep reds and magnificent oranges that fade into the sky in a wonderful blend of colours. A loud, echoing boom wakes me from my reverie. I look around, gaining my bearings on reality once more. People have begun to file out of their homes; a trickling stream of individuals. I tie back a loose strand of hair and join what has now become a steady flowing river.

                We make our way up a gentle slope; the only sounds are our footsteps on loose gravel, the few crickets that have begun to sing, and the continuous boom echoing in my ears. As we make it up the small, mild slope we have a view of the temple. I can almost see the sound waves resonating through the temple walls as we get closer.

The priest stands three steps up on the pyramid like structure, surrounded by the symbols of the five sun gods. He motions for us to kneel and in one synchronized movement every person of the village gathered here, gets to their knees.

“Welcome.” The man’s voice is booming, powerful. “Let’s waste no time,” he says in that same grand voice. “Kenny,” he turns his attention to a small boy dressed in a light purple tunic, “the name?”

The boy scurries towards him like a frightened mouse. The crowd around me draws in a quick breath. Everyone is waiting, the suspense almost too great to endure. But today the anticipation feels heightened, more suspenseful than any other day for reasons unknown. Kenny’s small head passes under the fifth sun symbol, he’s quickly closing in on the priest.

“Hurry up my boy, hand me the name.” It’s obvious he’s growing impatient; it’s never taken this long before.

Kenny has now reached the stocky figure of the priest and he hands him, with tiny, delicate fingers, a slip of paper. The priest’s hands are like a giants next to Kenny’s as he opens his palm out to the child. With his bulky fingers he meddles with the paper before he manages to unfold it. His eyes skim over the words and once more breaths are held as if we have been piled into a tight lock container.

The priest’s mouth curves into an O. “Olivia Vander-bar,” he bellows.

I scrunch up my eyes tightly and roll my hands into fists. This can’t be happening. It can’t be.

Two large, hazy figures walk over to me, grabbing me by the shoulders and pulling me to my feet. I don’t protest. This is supposed to be an honour. And maybe not just any honour, but the greatest honour anyone can receive.

The men drag me up the steep stairs; my knees buckling underneath me. They drag me past the priest, past the little boy in the purple tunic.

Only now has the fear completely registered and my senses seem to have magnified. I hear every breath that is taken, every quiet rustle of linen, and the sound of someone trying to conceal a loud cough. I feel every scratch running down my shins, the rough stone digging into my legs, my knees. I see every nook, each cranny on the temples surface, each scar on the back of one of the men’s legs. Their shoes, falling apart, shredding at the toes. And the smell; an over whelming stench of human blood.

I’m pushed forward, my head making sharp contact with the stone chopping block. It sends blasts of pain through my body, ricocheting through every vein, rebounding off my bones, whirling through the marrow. I try to stand up, using my upper body strength to pull my frail body to my feet. I tuck my hair behind my ear and tighten the strings on my tunic, under my bust.

The priest has caught up with us. He now stands on a small stage, looming high above me as I’m pushed to the ground once more. He starts to chant the words of the ancients, a language that means nothing to me.

Dry hands press my head to the cold stone block. I breathe deeply, letting the breath go slowly. I will be reason the sun rises tomorrow. I will be the reason it rises the next day and the day after that. I will be the reason the crops will flourish and the flowers will bloom. I will be the-

I feel the cool metal slicing through my neck, the impact my head makes as it falls to the ground, detached from my body. I feel the trickling of blood as it glides down my cheeks, leaving crimson lines down my face. The sky is a dark, navy blue. Two stars shine brightly, easily seen above their dark background. The moon is a tiny sliver, a luminescent white.

Well, at least it’s a nice view.

© 2012 SheActsLikeSummer

Author's Note

Please Review! I'd love to know what you think about it and what I can do to improve it. Oh and the names (lol) are a work in progress. What kind of Aztec names their kid Lenny and Olivia Vander-bar? Ha ha~

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Wow thats good i don't understand why people did that in the first place i like how she thinks "i will be the reason why the sun rises tomorrow"

Posted 8 Years Ago

First suggestions:
Paragraph 2: I can "hear" the sound waves resonating.. (you can't see sound waves :( )
Paragraph 11: "The men drag me... past." I think there would be better flow if you had said drag me past the little boy and then the priest.. (I may be wrong here. I thought the priest was farther away.)
Another thing, it is unclear as to the setting (position of the priest towards the end) maybe I just read it wrong in my rush.. Look into that :D
The line "The moon is a tiny sliver, a luminescent white." seems kinda awkward too me... do you need the "a" there? Probably it is for some reason that I fail to pick up.

Very well done! Shows great command of language throughout. Nice imagery to show the reader.. That is very important. I personally liked the "ricocheting through every vein" (not copying from the person before me) I just feel that is a gem of a sentence.
The plot was extraordinary. It really reminded me of Hunger Games at first. Cleverly maintained the reader curiosity using "And maybe not just any honour, but the greatest honour anyone can receive." I felt that really captivates the readers and leaves them questioning.

The ending was incredible (also). The nice progression or rather change in the character's view. More like when one gives up to fate kinda thing... with the "nice view" the character's trait to sacrifice for crops and others is displayed and is in a sense inspirational. (I found it to be motivational. "Live for others" kinda attitude)

Nice read. Thanks for sharing it... Most importantly, keep them coming! I wanna read more !!!

Posted 8 Years Ago

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. This was fantastic. When you said, "It sends blasts of pain through my body, ricocheting through every vein, rebounding off my bones, whirling through the marrow." I really felt it in my stomach...I actually felt fear and anxiety. Great job.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on April 10, 2012
Last Updated on April 10, 2012
Tags: story, sacrifice, Aztec, priest, temple




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