Golden Flower

by Alicia Lynch

Anacanoa(ah-naa-caa-no-wah) ran swiftly through the forest, praying to Huitzilopochtli,(hoo-wit-zill-poach-ta-li) the hummingbird god of war and the sun, as she ran. Huitzilopochtli needed a sacrifice every year, or else the sun wouldn’t shine. I don’t care if the sun wont shine for the next thousand years, he will not be sacrificed! She thought. Anacanoa knew that if he was sacrificed, her heart would surely die at the altar along with him.

Tecocol(teh-coh-col) and Anacanoa shared a bond many Aztecs had never known. They had been playmates when they were just babies, grew to be best friends, and soon fell in love, unbeknownst to their parents and the rest of the tribe. They laughed about how it seemed they had been chosen for each other by the gods; soul mates from the time they were born. Tecocol called her his golden flower, due to her honey golden skin, and she called him her tender Teco. Anacanoa was now twenty-five, and was determined to live the rest of her life with her beloved Teco.

Anacanoa ran barefoot through the forest, with her ragged skirt slit up to her thigh, and her tan sleeveless tunic. Her clothes teared as she rushed past bushes as fast as she could run. Her golden face was hard and determined, her green eyes focused on the horizon, and her long black hair whipped and tangled behind her. She could faintly hear the tribe’s drums, they were preparing for the sacrifice. She had heard from her little sister that Teco was randomly chosen to be the sacrifice of the year just that night, and Anacanoa had sped off towards the altar as soon as she heard.

She was was to the temple, and caught sight of the altar perched on top. The Chief stood with his mask on at the top of the structure. Tecocol was painted blue, blindfolded, tied up, and held by two guards. Chief Acamapichtli(ah-cah-mah-peech-ta-lee) was starting to recite the sacred sacrifice words. Anacanoa gave a burst of energy to her legs, and started to push through the crowd of almost a hundred Aztec people gathered to watch the sacrifice. She shoved her people out of the way, eyes focused on Tecocol. The speech came to an end, and Tecocol was brought before the altar and laid with his back arched over the tall rectangular stone, chest facing the sky. Anacanoa became panic stricken, and tears started streaming down her face as she ran faster. She got to the bottom of the temple and screamed as loud as she could. “TECOCOL!!”

She started to climb up the stairs of the temple with guards at her heels. Tecocol’s head perked up. “Ana?!?”

Anacanoa lost all sense of composure, screaming and crying her way to the steps.

“ANACANOA!” he yelled, after recognizing her agonized shrieks, trying to get up.

The guards pushed him back down and said, “It is for the gods.”

Anacanoa was halfway up the temple when the guards tackled her, almost causing them all to fall down the steps, but were saved by more guards. They held her wrists behind her back and started dragging her back down towards the crowd. Chief Acamapichtli raised the sacred white ragged blade, that had been wiped clean of blood every year, up over Tecocol’s heart with both hands. Anacanoa let out a last scream. “TECOCOL!”

Anacanoa felt a drop of water fall on her cheek, and she stopped screaming to look up at the sky. Earlier it had been red and orange, but now started to dull into a grayish blue. Rain began to drip slowly from the heavens, and Anacanoa’s tears turned to those of joy. Thank the gods, he is safe.

Quetzalcoatl(cu-et-zahl-coa-tel), the feathered serpent god and son of Top Goddess COATLICUE, had come with rain to save her Tecocol. The Chief slowly lowered the blade to his side, then handed it to one of the guards. Chief Acamapichtli spoke to the crowd saying, “Quetzalcoatl has come to change Huitzilopochtli’s plans. He has come to tell us there is no need for a sacrifice this year, it will be a year of rain.”

The chief helped up Tecocol from the altar and a guard handed him a clay pot of water. The chief poured the water over Tecocol, and with help from the rain, the blue paint was washed away. Tecocol was untied and unblindfolded. As soon as he could see, he ran to his Anacanoa. The guards who had been holding her let her go, and she ran towards him. They met halfway down the stairs, and enfolded each other in a deep, passionate kiss. Anacanoa looked into Tecocol’s chocolate eyes and whispered, “The gods are with us.”

Tecocol whispered back into her emerald eyes, “Indeed they are, my golden flower.”

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