Felix’s sandals slapped against the cobblestone path that snaked its way from the heart of Chicxulub all the way to its crumbling docks. His legs burned, as if his muscles had been doused and set ablaze. At the tip of the dock, Frederick Lamont flicked his cigarette into the still waters of the Mexican Gulf.
The tall, pale professor from Miskatonic University waited with crossed arms, his fine leather shoes tapping impatiently on the plank floors. Behind him, the sky began to grow dark.
Felix handed him the old tome and bent over to catch his breath.
“Did anyone see you, boy?” Lamont asked.
“Yes,” Felix said gasping. He stood and turned toward town. The chorus of voices began to rise in the distance like the buzzing of angry hornets. “The priest saw me take the codex.”
“Damn,” Lamont said through grit teeth. “There’s no time.” He began flipping through the book’s tattered pages, biting down on his lip until a small sliver of blood trickled down his chin.
“What’s so important about that book?” Felix said.
“Don’t you know your own town’s history?” Lamont said as his eyes darted madly across the pages.
Felix shrugged. “My mamá says that book is never to be read or discussed”
“That’s why you and all your ilk will remain ignorant and subservient to people like me. Because you don’t understand the very treasures you have under your very noses.”
Felix said nothing. Lamont offered the boy a quick glimpse and pursed his lips.
“Oh, I suppose I can tell you a little secret,” he said smiling, tracing his fingers through lines of faded text.
“Long ago, a Spanish Galleon sunk in these waters. One sailor survived, swimming into town and relaying his story to the local priest who transcribed his account into this very codex.”
The drone of angry voices drew nearer, filling the streets behind them.
Lamont continued. “The sailor’s account described an enormous creature that rose from the depths, bearing the tentacled face of an octopus and the body of a humanoid man. It sprouted mammoth wings from its back, which it wrathfully flapped, causing a tempest to capsize the ship.”
“Like a Mayan god?” Felix asked.
Lamont shook his head, his eyes never breaking away from the book. “I don’t think it’s some silly jungle myth, boy. I think we’re dealing with something real. Something alien and powerful.”
A crowd of people marched down the road, their steps and shouts now a unified cacophony.
Lamont began flipping through the book indiscriminately, creasing its pages and ripping away threads of stitched binding. “We stand on the very site of a large-scale global event. We are in the heart of the Chicxulub crater, where a celestial body crashed into the Earth sixty-six million years ago. It wiped out nearly all life on the planet, but I know it wasn’t just some asteroid.”
The priest along with the town’s elders stepped onto the docks. They waved machetes and torches in the air like some offering to the gods.
Felix felt beads of sweat accumulate on his head. “Sir, I think I’m going to get in trouble. I see my mamá coming. Can I just have my money now?”
Lamont grimaced as his fingers raked across the book, flipping page after page. “The sailor made mention to the priest the beasts name, which it repeatedly bellowed out to the crew before they were destroyed. I must find its name so that I may call it. To call it is to unleash its power. To unleash its power is to in essence become a god.” He looked up at Felix, his eyes now bursting with rivers of broken blood vessels. Felix stepped back. Lamont jabbed his finger on the book, drool seeping from the corner of his mouth. “I’ve found it! By God, I’ve found it!”
“Don’t proceed any further,” the priest said wrapping an arm around Felix, gently nudging him behind his own body. Felix’s mother quickly approached and pulled him toward her, her wrinkled face frowning, scolding him with a fury no words could ever convey.
“You’re all too late,” Lamont said. He turned toward the Gulf’s waters and closed his eyes. “K’utulu! K’utulu! K’utulu!”
The earth trembled, sending many townsfolk tumbling into the water. Felix fell, slamming his head on the planks of the dock. As he looked up, the waters began to bubble like soup in a pot. Then, a large monster sprang from the ocean, towering over the entire town like a small mountain.
Lamont raised his arms in joy. “Rise Lord K’utulu. Set your eyes upon me, that I am your master.”
The beast opened its eyes. Like fiery embers, they were filled with rage. Countless tentacles writhed along its mouth, as it shrieked like an angered beast. It opened leathery wings akin to those of a bat.
“Mireya,” the priest said looking at Felix’s mother. “It is time, curandera.”
Felix’s mother nodded and raised her arms to the heavens. She chanted hushed words in a language he couldn’t understand, as if uttering some ancient secret to the wind.
Then, the sky cracked with thunder and a burst of fire lit the night.
The crowd pointed to the sky and gasped. Felix turned to look. There, a feathered serpent descended from the heavens like a shooting star.
“Kukulkan!” the people shouted in unison.
Felix recognized the name. Kukulkan, the great Mayan god.
The serpent uncoiled itself revealing its true size. Felix surmised it spanned the length of a great, winding river. Just that instant, Kukulkan spotted the water beast and hissed.
K’utulu roared and clawed at the air in response.
The townsfolk screamed, running back toward Chicxulub.
“Come,” Felix’s mother said, “we must go.” She squeezed his hand and pulled him away from the docks.
Kukulkan then closed its wings and dove downward, flying like a spear. K’utulu opened its maw to scream, but Kukulkan pierced through its heart before it made a sound. K’utulu’s eyes rolled behind its massive head, and fell backwards into the Gulf, sending up a geyser of water into the air. The shockwave rolled through the docks, splintering the wood in a mighty explosion that cast Lamont into the depths of the sea, the codex alongside him.
Kukulkan shot forth from the water and flew back into the heavens, vanishing into the darkness of the night.
After a moment the waves began to sway gently, until they became still and quiet filled Chicxulub once more. The townsfolk gazed thankfully upon the sky one last time and turned back home.
Felix’s mother placed a soft hand on his shoulder as she led him back to town.
“There are secrets, mijo” she said to him at last, “that have more value locked away in the depths of our hearts, than do all the riches in the world secured in our palms.”
Felix held her hand and nodded. It would be a lesson he knew he would never forget.
Pedro Iniguez lives in Eagle Rock, California, a quiet community in Northeast Los Angeles. He spends most of his time reading, writing, and painting. His work can be found in various magazines and anthologies such as: Space and Time Magazine, Crossed Genres, Dig Two Graves, and Writers of Mystery and Imagination. His novel Control Theory, and his collection Synthetic Dawns & Crimson Dusks are now available. He can be found online at: pedroiniguezauthor.com