The pit behind the priest filled with bodies. They were all willing sacrifices. But each one that threw themselves in filled his assistant with more doubt.

The incantation still showed no signs of working.

Over the hills, at the edge of the horizon, the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan rose from the canopy of the jungle. The torches burned all over their temples in the night.

Our families had been taken as sacrifices for their gods, and the plan was to have them meet one of ours.

The priest mumbled the words, taking in breath as an afterthought. His red and black painted face seemed like the gods themselves. The adornments he wore were stone, with a single gold ring in the septum of his nose.

Another martyr. A local father whose children were taken, most likely being sacrificed at this moment. His children were beautiful and kind. The Aztec’s favorite.

The father stepped to the edge of the pit of bodies, turned towards the capital city he loathed, and shouted.

“Death to them all!” he screamed.

With two hands he plunged the sacrificial stone dagger into his belly, screaming in pain. The priest’s assistant finished him quickly with an obsidian hatchet. The blow landed squarely in the man’s face and his body fell backwards with the others.

Still no reaction from the gods.

“Master, there are over 20 bodies now. Are we sure we are doing everything correctly?” the assistant spoke, wiping his brow of sweat.

“The appearance of a god demands a godly sacrifice. They will reveal themselves when they are pleased. We keep going,” the priest shouted, breaking the incantation.

Satisfied that he was heard and understood, the priest returned to his mutterings as the next willing martyr stood at the edge of the pit.

The same yell, the dagger to the belly, a scream and then the assistant’s hatchet.

No lightning, no thunder, no clouds. Nothing stirred save for the death throes of the last few martyrs.

“Master, we must stop! This is too much! Even for the gods this is excessive!” the assistant went to his master, clawing at his robes.

“We mustn’t stop! Otherwise these souls brave the afterlife for no cause! I will not stop as long as there are willing martyrs!” he cast the assistant back to his place.

Another martyr, and another. With tears of exasperation the assistant counted thirty bodies now.

“It’s not working,” the priest said, pondering.

“Yes! Finally you understand!” the assistant fell to his knees.

“I know what needs to be done.”

The priest ran to the dagger and readied himself at the edge of the mass grave.

“Master! No! I beg of you! Stop this madness!”

“Remember to tell Chikra, slay them all. All must suffer.”

With tears forming in the assistant’s eyes the priest plunged the dagger into his belly, screaming in pain. Blood flowed from the wound. The hatchet met his face and the assistant simply let go. The priest fell into the pit behind him, the hatchet remaining in his skull.

Almost as soon as his body fell among the others a blood-red mist began to form. It collected in the middle and drifted above the corpses.

The assistant dropped to his knees in astonishment. His body was rife with fire and fear, adrenaline but relief. While the formation of a god was the desired result of the carnage, this would be the first time a mortal witnessed the arrival of a deity.

The mist swirled, rueful and terrible. In a moment it solidified and standing one hundred feet tall was Chikra the Mayan embodiment of vengeance.

Its sickly green flesh, gold jewelry, and headdress. The red eyes burned with the flames of thirty one souls bound by hatred.

It leaned downward to the assistant.

“What would you have me do?”

The voice echoed through the jungle basin, shaking the trees, sending the night birds into a frenzy, and a nauseating vibration through the assistant’s body.

“Slay them all!” he pointed at the city, “All must suffer! Slay them all!”

Chikra stood, nodded and crashed its way toward the city. Like a boy playing with ants, it smite them with no mercy.

The pyramids crumbled, the people screamed, and the assistant passed into a peaceful rest.

That night stood as the end of the Aztecs, and the Mayans.