The short story of Myakka’s journey to adulthood in the Mayan culture of A.D. 800 was a precursor event leading to Book I in the Ancestor Series of Adventure-thrillers.
Chapter One: AD 0812
The powerful city-state of Caracol, nestled in the cool hilly plateau country of Belize, west of the Maya Mountains, lays isolated from its larger sister states of Copan to the south, in the Honduras of today, and Tikal to the west in present day Guatemala. The cultural splendors of the Mayan civilization are at their zenith.
Over the caldron fires of the ritual pit, high above the central plaza atop the largest pyramid, the diluted sap of the javorri tree, the yellow-gold liquid of Oneness, simmers in two ocher crucibles. Here, worship of the long lost, Toltec mystics, the Founders, and other mythical ancestors takes place along with ceremonies involving rites of passage and the marriage ritual. Today a maiden, seeking adult status and the right to marry, is positioned on the presentation pedestal next to the pit. The streets below are packed with city people as well as the peasantry summoned from the cultivated lands and forested valleys a hundred miles around, all the way to the Caribbean Sea.
Myakka is adorned in white linen, a fine gold and jade necklace gleaming at her throat. Matching bracelets, of intricately webbed, leather bands imbedded with green gemstones and fixed in gold settings, circle her wrists. Long, black hair is braided and pulled back in the supplicated Mayan style of the adolescent female. Filled with the exhilaration of youth, petrified by the cold fear of the coming battle with the unknown, and smitten with lustful longings for a young man, at fourteen, she stands and waits.
Acrid smoke from the pits blows across her face; she squints around a constant stream of tears. The eerie rise and fall of the chanting and wailing below ceases abruptly. Chimes and clapping cymbals ring out from the top of the pyramid, the signal for the low humming to begin. Progressively increasing in intensity, the hum rises to culminate in a roaring scream that initiates the vision quest ritual.
Shivering in the chill evening breeze, Myakka gazes over the thousands of candles that light the streets, like spokes of a wheel, all leading to the plaza surrounding the ceremonial pyramid. It has been sixty-two years since the last attempt by a female to face the adult vision quest and the marriage challenge at the same time.
A bright, full moon lights up a cloudless sky as three, eight-foot tall figures glide out from the back side of the pyramid, becoming visible to the crowds as they approach the edge of the fire- pit. Their dress represents them as the spotted jaguar, the green, thorned palm, and the blue, wind-torn sky. They take her by the arms and back of the neck, pulling her off the pedestal to the very edge of the fire-rim for all to see.
Dark purple, vermilion, and shades of red and orange, filter through the stringy clouds that hang like curtains in the distant horizon above the after-glow of the descending sun. The priests throw handfuls of cinnamon spice into the pit that burst into crackling blue and green sparklers rising high above the ceremony. A piercing, screeching scream from some hidden recess behind the priests accompanies this symbol of an expanding life, and is instantly followed by the slow gathering of unearthly moaning from below.
The priests take turns presenting the ocher, javorri crucible out to the crowd, and then in front of them all, Myakka defiantly takes the harsh, thick liquid down in gulps that sear her throat and spread molten lava in her gut. The overflow mixed with her retching spills down her white dress, but she stands straight without fainting. Perhaps she would be successful. Many had failed.
The jaguar priest offers the golden bowl of javorri paste. She rubs it into her hair and over her arms and face. The moaning ceases. Without warning the priests rip off her beautiful ceremonial dress, exposing small, almond-centered breasts, shapely long back, and muscled haunches. She is tall and lean, clearly favoring the long forgotten ancient ones.
The priests apply the paste to her chest, breasts, back, and legs, and roughly forcing the parting of her thighs, disdainfully spread the paste to her cleft. They lift and carry her body, ridged in fear, to the base of a giant palm tree that marks one end of the overhanging terrace. The priest of the thorned palm lashes her tightly to the trunk for all to see in glistening, naked wetness. The moaning ceases.