Monday, November 4, 2013
The Master Plan Revealed
Itzcoatl, the Obsidian Serpent, son of mighty Quetzalcoatl and soon to be ruler of this sorry mammal-ridden planet, was not pleased. He tromped back and forth across the length of his and Suzy’s kitchen and raged at the stupidity and audacity of the warm-bloodeds. “How dare they even attempt an attack on my person!” he seethed. “What did they hope to accomplish? Suicide?”
His “priests,” Lamar Balboa and Rosa Terranova, remained mostly silent throughout Itzcoatl’s tirade. Tirades were the norm for a god. They avoided looking at him by shooting death-glares at each other. Constrictor Lamar was leery of the “Poison Puta,” and sidewinder Rosa had no use for venomless squeezers. Sadly, they were the only snake-shifters in Talbot’s Peak, and so had been pressed into the service of the snake god.
Lamar hoped to save the planet. He wasn’t sure what Rosa wanted. Husband number 7, maybe.
“It was an accident,” Lamar spoke up now. “It wasn’t directed at you. The local bruja cast a spell and things got out of hand.”
“Yeah,” Rosa chimed in. “It only affected horses’ asses—”
“Horses and asses,” Lamar hurriedly overrode her. He jabbed Rosa hard in the ribs and earned himself a hiss from her and a glare from Itzcoatl. Which would hurt more, he wondered, rattlesnake fangs in the neck or getting immolated? “I don’t know why it affected you. She’s not that good of a witch.”
“Obviously not, to think her little spell would cause a god more than a moment’s distraction. Still, I can’t allow this insult to go unpunished. Swallowing her alive should do the trick.”
“You can’t. I mean, she’s gone. She and her family left town. Hey, your godship, no harm, no foul. She won’t bother you again.”
“Shit,” Rosa muttered. “I ain’t bit a witch in ages.”
“Nevertheless,” Itzcoatl continued, "this incident has brought to my attention the need for decisive action. If one mammal tried to strike at me, others could as well. I must strike first.” He stopped pacing and posed regally before his unwilling—at least in Lamar’s case—minions. “The time has come for me to conquer this world and declare myself its ruler.”
“No!” Lamar said. “I mean, I thought we were going to wait until New Year’s.”
“The time for waiting is done. Let the Age of the Serpent commence. Daughter, fetch my mate.”
“No need.” Itzcoatl’s wife, Suzy, stepped into the kitchen. Lamar had managed to alert her by phone on his way over, after he received the god’s headache-inducing summons. They’d both lived in fear of this moment for close to a year. Suzy assured him she had a plan. It better be a good one, Lamar thought, because I got nada.
“Wife, prepare,” Itzcoatl boomed. “We journey forth to rescue this insipid world from the mammalian plague that infects it. Today dawns the age of the—”
“No. We’re not.”
The Obsidian Serpent shut up in mid-proclamation. He stared down at her, this human woman with the blood of gods who was barely half his size and, compared to him, powerless. Mierda, Lamar thought. She’s going to die. He’s going to flame her right in her own kitchen. The first sacrifice in a bloodbath that would see the destruction of the world.
Itzcoatl stared at her. He did not strike. He did not lash out He’d been married for a while now, and knew better. Instead he asked, with deadly quiet. “And why, my precious golden treasure, must we delay this world’s subjugation yet again?”
She smiled up at him. “Because I’m pregnant.”
# # #
Tongson was not surprised when the fire in the hearth suddenly flared up higher than normal. He settled back in his chair and spoke the ritual greeting. “All hail the mighty Feathered Serpent.” To which he added, “Hello, old friend.”
“Greetings to you and yours, Spirit Bear,” Quetzalcoatl hissed from the fire. “I bring you tidings. The threat of Itzcoatl has ended. His favored mate is with child. They have retired to the Serpent Realm to raise their brood. By the time they return to this plane, if they ever do, centuries will have passed. Perhaps my rash son will have gained maturity in that time. Conquering a world is exhilarating, but ruling it is a bugger.”
“Fatherhood changes a man,” Tongson said. “Let’s hope it changes gods as well. Running after toddlers should curb his impetuosity. Or at least tire him out. So that was Suzy’s plan?”
“The woman knows her man. He’s already annoying the other spirits with his incessant boasting. He’ll be lucky if they let him live long enough to witness the birth. Which reminds me.” The fire dimmed as the Feathered Serpent’s presence withdrew. “I’d better return to the jungle and make sure the rest of my offspring still sleep. We don’t want any of the others awakening and getting ideas. Especially the Rainbow Serpent. She always gets cranky when she’s hungry.”
# # #
“Well, shoot.” Rosa pouted. “What are we supposed to do now?”
“Gee, I dunno,” Lamar said. “Go back to our lives, maybe? I don’t know about you, but I’m going home to fuck my boyfriend silly. Or fuck my silly boyfriend. Either works for me.”
“Easy for you. You got somebody. I’m broke and out of a job. I was looking forward to being the power behind the throne.”
“Forget it. Itzy had a wife for that. Anyway, you know snake gods. They tend to eat their followers. I say we get good and drunk, find a bed buddy and give thanks to every other god out there that the world may belong to the mammals, but it’ll still be here in the morning. If you like, you can start right here.” Lamar began to rummage through the cubboards. “I know where his wife kept the good stuff.”