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A Serpent Among Us


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Matias Alvaro

” Funcionó?”(Did it work?)

That was a valid question. Did it? The entity hoped so. What a damper it would be on his first day in the mortal realm if he came out wrong? Too long had he been preparing for this. Too many resources depleted. If he had failed, it would be another century before they could try again, and the entity was not a patient ethereal being; a terrible trait passed on from his father.

” Mi maestro? Estás entre nosotros?”(My Master? Are you among us?)
Eyelids slid open to reveal a dim light shining above him through the murky, crimson liquid. Bones were stiff. Flesh itched. Muscles twitched. Joints were sore. The entity was expecting much more pain from a body that only moments ago had materialized. It had seemed the nine chosen to become his vessel were of optimal condition. The pseudo-rigor mortis took only moments to wear off. What he assumed was a hand reached upwards toward the light and out of the thick liquid.

The sensation brought a smile to his unseen visage. He could feel. The air was cold as was the stone he grasped. Another hand reached out. With little effort the man pulled himself forward toward the light. His senses were bombarded with the bright illumination of the room, the gasps of the beings who surround his stone tub, the lungs in his chest inflating for the first time with a searing burn, the sweet smell of blood, all of it was too much. And he loved it.

Black slits in yellow hues glanced around the room. Torches lit the borders of the round room while a single chandelier lingered overhead. Surrounding him were twenty or so mortals wearing black cloaks splattered with what he assumed to be the blood of the sacrificed. Finally, he looked down to his brand new body. Skin was tanned with strong muscles underneath. His fingers explored all over, feeling every new sensation. So, this was what it was like to have a body?

”Nuestro maestro ha venido! Tezcatlipoca está sobre nosotros!” (Our master has come! Tezcatlipoca is upon us!)

Hearty laughter escaped the being which was soon followed by the cheering of all others in the room. Some got down on their knees and bowed. Some danced. Others hugged. Even when the cheering ended, their lord continued to laugh. All eyes returned to the man as he stood from his tub, arms outspread. When the laughter stopped, his eyes gazed upon his sheep. How silly of them. So trusting. So easily manipulated.

” Gracias a todos por su dedicación a mi causa. Gracias a ustedes, puedo caminar entre ustedes en carne y hueso. “(Thank you all for your dedication to my cause. It is thanks to you, I may walk among you all in flesh and blood. ) There was more cheering. Some even chanted what they believed to be his name. The anticipation was killing him. ” Sin embargo, hay un pequeño detalle que olvidé mencionar.”( However, there is one small detail I forgot to mention.) His legs lifted and over the stone tub, his crimson covered hands touching the faces of two nearby worshipers. On his face was a gentle smile the two accepted without hesitation. Then, in an instant, there were a set of snaps followed by silence. The two bodies fell to the floor; lifeless. ” Yo no soy Tezcatlipoca. Soy su hijo, Xiuhcoatl ... y tengo hambre.”( I am not Tezcatlipoca. I am his son, Xiuhcoatl… and I am hungry.)

Before anyone could react all flames in the room blew out leaving the worshippers in darkness. The sheep began to panic. The air began to fill with terror as they all began to search for the exit frantically. Xiuhcoatl picked them off one by one. Their panic and fear made his heart race in excitement. One after the other he dug his large, viper-like fangs into his victims. They struggled to get away but his jaws were strong and lined with rows of hooked fangs that refused to give. Some he killed just for the thrill of it. While draining what he believes to be a woman there was a sudden sharp pain in his back. A loud moan escaped from the creature’s fanged mouth. His hand reached back to remove the knife that had been used to dispose of the bodies for his own; how ironic.

” Un luchador. Gracias por mi primera sensación de dolor. Es tan maravilloso como pensé que sería.”( A fighter. Thank you for my first sensation of pain. It’s as wonderful as I thought it would be.) The woman’s screams turned to gurgles of anguish as the man dug the knife into her throat. He placed a bloodied finger to her lips, shushing her.
Ahora, ahora, señorita, no pelee. Regocíjate de que hayas ayudado a alimentar al nuevo rey de este mundo.”
( Now, now, miss, don’t fight it. Rejoice in the fact you have helped feed this world’s new king.) A patronizing chuckled left his chest as he abandoned the woman on the cold hard ground. It didn’t take long for all but one of his sheep to be left standing. The man’s hyperventilation gave away his position in a corner just inches away from the door. So close, yet so far.

Xiuhcoatl crouched in front of the whimpering being, studying his reactions and bodily functions. Humans reacted to fear in such a pitiful way. For years he watched as an intangible entity with no effect on the physical world. Despite his centuries of studying, nothing compared to being up close, to tasting the fear in the air. It was truly intoxicating.

”Pst.” The man screamed. He began to push himself up against the stone wall as if it could save him. ” Cuál es tu nombre, amigo?”(What is your name, friend?) The man whimpered more, begging to be let go only to be met with a firm grip to his neck. He gagged. ’Matias, Matias Alvaro,’ he choked out. A sickening grin slithered across the monster’s visage. ” Gracias. Te honraré tomando tu nombre como mío.”( Thank you. I shall honor you by taking your name as my own.) There was one more whimper then a sickening rip and pop. Over the new Matias’ shoulder flew the old one’s head.
With his business over he licked his fingers clean of any blood, enjoying what little bit he could before he had to head out into the new world. Next to the exit he grabbed the clothing the sheep had hanged for him, just as he commanded. A simple black jacket and jeans. The man made a mental note to find the nearest body of water to clean himself off in; humans would not react well to a man covered in blood walking about.

The door outside opened, assaulting the man with bright sunlight. His eyes burned causing him to step into the darkness of the room. Despite all his preparation, he was not perfect. The sunlight was still hostile towards his body and he was far from immortal. No matter. It was only a matter of time.
Before attempting to venture outside again he checked the pockets of all his victims for anything useful. A few bodies in he discovered a pair of black sunglasses. With a smile he placed the shades over his eyes then thanked the unresponsive body.

Finally, it was his time. The world may not have been his just yet, but the demi-god had all the time in the world.

It was just a matter of time.
January 08, 2018 03:49 pm
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