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Henry: Mayan Skedaddle

With the help of Kyle O. Watt, my staff electronics expert, I converted my industrial-sized document shredder into a time machine. I have enjoyed using it to travel back in time, but on my two most recent trips, I arrived partially shredded.

The first time it malfunctioned I found myself in the center of a battlefield in the Transvaal on August 15, 1900 during the Second Boer War. My left arm was shredded, but the severe bleeding allowed me to fit in quite splendidly with my comrades-in-arms.

The second malfunction was a different story. I appeared suddenly on the altar at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981 just as Lady Diana Spencer said “I do,” in response to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had just asked her if she took the Prince of Wales to be her lawfully wedded husband. My sliced and diced neck and head must have been quite a sight, because Prince Charles harrumphed loudly and demanded his personal Beefeaters escort me out of St. Paul’s. They tossed me into the Thames. It was awkward and embarrassing.

My man Kyle went right to work. As it turned out, the shredder/time machine only required a slight adjustment. Kyle proclaimed it fit for service. I asked him to set it for an afternoon arrival at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula in 900 C.E.

I found myself transported to the summit of the Temple of Kukulkan, the Mayan deity depicted as a feathered serpent. The Temple is better known as El Castillo, the massive pyramid where many a Mayan prisoner’s heart throbbed momentarily after being ripped from its protective rib cage by the presiding High Priest.

I sat down on the statue of the reclining Chac Mool and looked down on the city. As I expected, there was a massive evacuation underway—scantily clad Mayans were headed out of town. I was so engrossed in the diaspora I didn’t notice the short guy in the multi-colored robe and magnificent plumed headdress until he nudged me to make room for him on the Chac Mool stool. I slid over and nodded to him. He looked down his sloped forehead and prominent nose at me, but his eyes softened. I could tell he needed to talk. I introduced myself.

Izzy: And I am High Priest Ixchel Itzamna, Keeper of the Sacred Cenote, Guardian of the Temple of Kukulkan. You may call me Izzy.

Henry: Hey! Man, you sneaked up on me. Where were you?

Izzy: In the sacred green room, preparing for my next human sacrifice. It appears my show is cancelled, however. Witness my vast audience getting the hell out of Dodge.

Henry: Experts in my day are not sure why the Mayan cities were abandoned. Some say overpopulation, foreign invasion, a peasant revolt, an epidemic, or a drought that lasted over two hundred years. They’re all over the map.

Izzy: That is so much armadillo kaka. Two reasons these Mayan peasants leave: real estate prices are ridiculous, and suburbanites are fed up with the commute. A two bedroom stone cottage with nice dirt floor is now over a thousand cocoa beans and three jade necklaces. Ridiculous! And we Mayans have short legs and no domesticated animals. Peasants in the suburb are so exhausted from walking everywhere, they are too tired to come in to watch me crack open an Aztec chest and rip out a beating heart. It’s killing my business.

Henry: Sorry, Izzy. But I bet you’ll be back on your feet in your next city.

Izzy: Ha! You know how long it takes to build a pyramid like this? Besides, my heart is not in it.

Henry: Well, I better be going.

Izzy: Perhaps you should stay a little longer.

I noticed Izzy fingering his obsidian machete and eyeballing my chest. I hopped off Chac Mool and leapt through the portal whence I came, a shivering hologram framed by a writhing feathered serpent carved from Yucatan limestone.

In seconds I was back home, unshredded. My heart pounded, reminding me how very happy I was to still have it with me.

Mike-HenryMichael Henry is a HottyToddy.com contributor and can be reached at smichaelhenry@yahoo.com. A graduate of Tulane and Virginia Law School, Henry published his seventh novel, Finding Ishmael, in April, 2014.

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