A 21st Century world, where Aztec human sacrifices are generally accepted as a necessity.
He wrote on the back of a postcard.
"I'm in Oaxaca (Pronounced "Wah-Hah-Kah") Mexico,
on the first Tuesday in February. I'm enjoying very
warm days, very hot food and good cold beer.
Wish you were here.
23 year old Frank Sandrell thought;
This new El Cacique Premiero of the Aztecs received his Investiture on New Years Day. He's been going around the Country, performing sacrifices in all the major Cities. He arrived in Oaxaca today, just like I did. While I'm here, he'll actually be immolating a devout Aztec maiden under the midday sun; presenting her as an offering to Los Teochacos, keeping them satisfied, so they will continue "to sustain the World and all that is therein".
Local people from all over the region had been crowding into the city to witness the event; so had a very large number of turistas. Not one hotel room in town was now available. Frank was glad he'd made his airline and hotel reservations back in October.
The time was around 8 in the evening. The postcard he'd just signed lay on the table beside a painted glass lamp containing a burning candle. He sat in an outdoor restaurante, beneath the ceiling of a brightly lit arcade, across the street from the Main Plaza of Oaxaca Mexico. The local people called the Plaza "El Zocalo".
Frank was seated alone, having a dinner of burritos pollos, aros, y frijoles refritos, along with a mug of Cerveza Tres Equis. The sound of performing mariachis came from tables at the far end of the arcade. They sang the traditional "Los Tres Caballeros". Across the street in the Zocalo, a different band performed "Guadalajara". The different tunes performed at the same time filled the warm evening air with melodious confusion.
At the table next to his, three stylishly dressed Oaxacan girls in their late teens sat chatting amiably while drinking cervezas of the Bohemia brand. They had straight black hair, tan complexions and full, firm figures.
One of the girls called out and pointed. "Mira! Hay El Cacique Premiero!"
Everyone in the seats around them looked where she was pointing. Frank saw an unsmiling, casually dressed middle aged Mexican hombre, with thinning hair and glasses, moving around the tables in the arcade. If he hadn't been pointed out, Frank would not have noticed him.
As the man walked past the stylish girls' table, the three spoke respectfully. "Buenas noches Cacique."
He replied, still not smiling. "Buenas noches senoritas."
He continued moving past the other tables, where all the local people respectfully greeted the Supreme High Priest of all the Aztecs.
He stopped beside a table, where a blonde haired, full figured American woman in her early twenties was seated beside a local Oaxacan hombre, who looked to be around her age. They were both casually dressed, and had glasses of cerveza in front of them. They'd both been enjoying the evening. Now they both became very serious. El Cacique Premiero conversed quietly with the woman who had a calm demeanor, while her companion sat there looking very uneasy.
Frank had seen her that morning on the flight from Mexico City. Tonight she wore a tee-shirt with the words "Daughters of Jephthah" printed in front of her large firm breasts.
Jephthah, he thought, was the Israelite Judge who's recorded in the Bible, as having sacrificed his own teenage daughter to the Lord. Now, the organization named after her, helps recruit teenage American girls, to come to Mexico and continue the tradition as Aztec sacrificial maidens.
Frank now returned his attention to the postcard he'd just signed, turned it over and looked at the picture.
The picture on the front of the postcard showed the nearby Teochacali of Oaxaca. Unlike the massive stepped pyramids that were found in many locations in Mexico, the sacred structures in the Oaxaca region were modest in size. This one, that stood sparkling in the sunlight on the north side of the Plaza Sacredo, was a two story high flat topped, four sided pyramid. It was not that much higher than the surrounding pastel colored stucco buildings with red tile roofs. A grand stairway ascended along its front, from the landscaped grounds to the flat apex, where a freshly sacrificed Mexican maiden lay stretched out across the stone of sacrifice.
She'd been photographed from a good distance away. There were other postcards for sale all over Mexico, showing close ups of many sacrificed maidens, in full lurid detail, but Frank wanted to be careful about which ones he'd send to people back home. Too many of those postcard photos give the false idea that while Mexico's a very fascinating place to visit, it's just too dangerous; especially for young women.
The fact is that for most visitors it's perfectly safe, even on Days of Sacrifice. All any visitor has to do is treat the people and their beliefs with honest respect. Another thing that every visitor should make clear, is what religion he or she practices. As long as the visitor states that he or she is not a practicing Aztec, he or she will be safe from being sacrificed. That's what Frank had always done, and he'd never been in any trouble.
Should I be doing more than that? He wondered. I am supposed to be a committed Christian. I should let people know that the Lord is the only true God, and that Los Teochacos are not "the same being, only called by a different name, and worshipped differently". The ones they worship are in reality deceitful demons. But if I told that to an Aztec, I might get myself in trouble.
What about talking to people who aren't Aztecs? Should I say something to that Daughter of Jephthah at the table over there, who was just speaking with the Gran Cacique? I'm sure she's heard the criticism before.
The Daughters of Jephthah call themselves "A Bible based organization". They point out that the Lord did not speak one word of criticism, when Jephthah sacrificed his own daughter. However, the offerings required by the Law of Moses consisted only of animals, not teenage girls. Whatever they say about themselves, the Daughters of Jephthah are in reality an heretical cult.
Frank put down the postcard, and returned to his meal.
Now one of the teenage girls at the table next to his noticed the Berlitz Spanish/English Dictionary on the table beside his plate. She smiled at him and spoke in a friendly tone.
"Good night." She said, "Are you American?"
"Yes." He smiled back. "My name is Frank."
"Hola Frank. My name is Yolanda. She is Pilar, and she is Juanita. We'd like to practice talk English with you."
"Thank you." He said, "Would you all like to join me?"
They came over and sat around the table, bringing their glasses of cerveza with them.
Yolanda asked, "So how do you like Mexico so far, Frank?"
"Oh," he said, "it's beautiful. Hay muy hermosa."
"'Bonita'." All three girls had spoken in unison, correcting his Spanish. Then they giggled.
He repeated the word, "'Bonita'."
They giggled again.
Now Pilar spoke, "Have you come to attend the Sacrifice tomorrow?"
He looked around. The Cacique Premiero was no longer speaking with the blonde woman, and no longer in sight.
"Well," he told the girls, "I hadn't intended to. I'm here on vacation, as un turisto. I had no idea that any sacrifice would be taking place here in Oaxaca, until I arrived at the Aeropuerto this morning."
She asked with a pleading voice, "Well are you going to attend?"
He spoke honestly, "I'm really not sure."
"Oh please do!" She spoke with intensity, while Yolanda and Juanita nodded with smiling eagerness.
"Oh sure." He said, "If it's that important to you, why not? It ought to be very interesting."
"Good. I'd like you to be there to watch. Tomorrow at midday, I might be going to el Paraiso."
When she said that, he was totally caught off guard.
"You might be going to Paradise? Are you one of the maidens who're gonna take the risk of being sacrificed?"
"Si." She grinned and nodded along with the other two.
She spoke proudly, "Tomorrow at midday, I am going to risk being sacrificed by El Cacique Premiero himself!"
That was when the arcade's mariachi band came up to the table.
The Leader said, "Pardoneme senor. Would you and the senoritas like us to play a cancion for you?"
Frank looked at the girls. They nodded.
"What song would you like to hear?"
He wasn't sure. He was still too startled to think of anything to say.
He forced himself to say something. "I'm not sure what the titles of any mariachi songs are."
Now Juanita said, "'La Bikina'."
The other two agreed, "'La Bikina'."
Frank went along with them and repeated, "'La Bikina'."
Then the men in the broad sombreros and colorful outfits surrounded them. They began strumming their guitars; playing their trumpets and trombones, while loudly serenading all four of them in a cheerful tone. The girls and Frank sat there tapping their feet on the floor tiles, and their fingers on the table, in time to the lively beat.
As the performance went on, Frank felt a girl's hand on top of his. Pilar had reached across the table, and was gripping his fingers, while smiling sweetly. He smiled back.
Then the serenade ended. The four of them along with everyone else at the tables under the arcade applauded. Frank paid the Band Leader, and the Band went on to the table with the blonde woman and her local companion. Then Frank and the girls went back to their cervezas and conversation.
Pilar again reached out, and gripped the fingers of his left hand in hers.
"Frank." She said, "I want to make foqi with you tonight."
"What!" He hadn't expected her to come right out and say it!
"Foqifoqi. You nice looking man, and I want you to give me foqifoqi tonight."
Now she, Yolanda and Juanita all grinned at him lustily.
He cautiously looked around. Then he leaned forward and lowered his voice. "You're not asking for dinero, are you?"
Now Yolanda told him, "No, don't get the wrong idea. We are not putas. We are good girls. I am a good girl, so is Juanita and so is Pilar."
Pilar told him, "I am a good girl. Tomorrow at midday, I might be sacrificed. Tomorrow night I might be a dead girl; so tonight I want to make foqifoqi with a nice looking man."
"Oh I see."
Pilar gave him a seductive smile, "Would you like to make foqi with me tonight Frank?"
He told them, "I thought that sacrificial maidens were supposed to be virgins."
Juanita chuckled. "If that was so, there would be so few sacrifices, that the whole universe would be in total chaos."
Then all three of them laughed again.
Frank and the girls remained at the arcade restaurante for another hour and a half. Then he and Pilar got up from the table; so did Yolanda and Juanita. He paid the bill. Then he and Pilar departed from the bright lights and lively music of the mariachis. They went along a dimly lit street. The other two girls walked along beside them.
He asked Yolanda, "What are you two doing? You're not planning to join in, are you?"
All three of them laughed.
Then Yolanda told him, "It's not what you think. You see, Juanita and I are Pilar's duenas."
"Si. She will risk being sacrificed, and we have decided to escort her, and see to it that she doesn't...how do you call it?"
Juanita told him, "We are supposed to see to it that she doesn't 'Be a wussy and run away'."
Pilar sighed, and rolled her eyes in annoyance. "I do not like the implication. It means that people think that I would actually do something so disgraceful. If I did, I'd end up in jail."
Juanita told her, "Nobody thinks that way about you Pilar. It's just part of the tradicion." She spoke to Frank. "Sacrificial maidens escort each other everywhere as duenas."
Pilar looked at Frank, and spoke with indignation, "Anybody who would act so disgracefully would never be chosen as a sacrificial maiden in the first place. Anyone who did would end up in jail."
Yolanda said, "Sorry amiga, we know you are a brave girl, but that is the tradicion, and it must be observed."
They walked along a quiet, dark and narrow street, on a sidewalk only wide enough for one pedestrian at a time. After going three blocks, they stepped inside a small hotel, where the girls had already rented a room.
As Pilar and Frank headed toward the room, along a dimly lit corridor, the door to another room opened. The blonde woman, who'd been speaking with the Cacique Premiero, stepped out of the doorway, still wearing the Daughters of Jephthah tee-shirt. She was still accompanied by the hombre who'd sat beside her. They both had satisfied smiles on their faces.
Pilar and Frank went to their hotel room, stepped inside, and locked the door.
Pilar told him, "Don't turn on the light. It will be much more romantic, if we are just silhouettes."
In the dim illumination that came through the window, they went into each other's arms, and kissed for a while. Then they both stripped to the waist, and went into each other's arms again. They then removed their lower garments, got into the bed and under the covers.
She lay on her back with her legs spread wide apart, while Frank lay on top of her, thrusting into her, while she purred rhythmically.
"Ahhhy! Ahhhy! Ahhhy! Ahhhy! Ahhhy! Ahhhy! Good foqui. Ahhhhy!"
This isn't love. Frank thought, We're just two pieces of meat rubbing against each other. I'm moving my warm piece of hard salami back and forth inside of her, where she's gripping it good and tight, hot and wet.
Pilar made an orgasmic cry. "Uh! Ahhhhy!
They lay there grinning, indulging in the pleasure of the situation, until the orgasm wore off. Then they went at it again.
They'd spent an hour making foqifoqi, and then left the hotel room, and left the hotel. When they went outside, the three girls and Frank stood on the sidewalk beside the entrance.
Pilar told her friends, "Frank makes muy bueno foqifoqi. If I am sacrificed tomorrow and you want to be bad girls, he's good."
He said, "Gracias. I think."
Then all three of them laughed.
Juanita asked him, "Are you coming to the Sacrifices tomorrow?"
"I don't think so."
Pilar sounded disappointed. "Why not? You can go to the Lotteria Office and place a bet on me, so if I am the one who is sacrificed, you will receive eleven times as much in the payoff."
He told her, "But after what just went on with us, I like you too much. I not only don't want to watch something bad happening to you, I don't want to make any money off of it."
"But it is not a bad thing." She pleaded, "I will be going to el Paraiso. There is no better thing than that."
"Oh I understand your beliefs, but I just don't want to see your body getting slashed open, and your beating heart ripped out; not even by El Cacique Premiero himself. I also don't want to place a bet, based on the hope that you'll be the one who dies. I'd rather remember you as you are tonight."
She smiled, "Oh Frank. That is a very sweet thing to say. If I am the one who is sacrificed, when I get to el Paraiso, I will ask los Teochacos to do good things for you. I will also ask my amigas here to give you my cabezita (shrunken head) for buena suerte (good luck)."
She came over, and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek.
Now Juanita told him, "If you don't want to bet on Pilar, you can place it on Yolanda or me. We will also be taking the risk."
Then all three brave Aztec good girls said "Buenas noches." Turned around and walked off together into the night.