Junio ​​2022 Concurso de The Ink Well: A journey into the past

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Alex, a twenty-five year old single sociologist, had arrived in the afternoon in Mexico City and from there she had gone to the town of Texcoco where she would meet her friends the following morning. She had just finished dinner and was lying on the bed of the room she had booked in a small but very nice hotel, when she felt she was suffocating, she could not breathe, scared she barely had time to get out of the room and fainted.

When she woke up she was in her room with an oxygen mask and a doctor attending her.

“Don't worry, it's nothing serious, she just got altitude sickness. Surely you have low hemoglobin and Texcoco is at 2250 meters above sea level where the oxygen pressure in the air is lower. Just take it easy for the first few days while your body gets used to it.”

Alex sat up and the doctor removed his mask, he could breathe better.

“Thank you Doctor, you were very kind, I was really scared.”

“Don't worry and enjoy your stay in Mexico.”

That was Alexandra's first experience on her trip to a country she had longed to see and now had the opportunity to do so. She had met some young Mexicans at a work meeting in Caracas and they had invited her to spend her vacation in Mexico, her dream destination. She didn't think twice and raised the money to make the trip.

It was cold in the morning, they were in autumn, an ideal time to visit some of the most interesting tourist destinations, such as the pyramids of Teotihuacán, one of the most important archaeological treasures. She was waiting for her friends to arrive at the hotel reception, they had agreed that they would pick her up in an hour so she had time to have a big glass of coffee with milk for breakfast, she had been surprised by its size and some chicken rolls, they were only a little bit spicy, the girl who waited on her told her, but she already knew how that little bit was for Mexicans, but she liked them even though she was not used to the spicy taste.

Miguel, Jose and Maria Dolores arrived punctually at the hotel and greeted Alex with hugs and kisses. They were all very happy to be together again. On the road to Mexico City, Miguel was driving his jeep while they were chatting, remembering the people they had met in Caracas and how well they had been treated, taking them on a tour of beautiful places in the capital and the central coast.

“We have already planned the places we are going to show you and of course Teotihuacan is a must, we know it is your favorite destination," said María Dolores hugging her. “You will love it”.

They arrived at the house where Maria Dolores lived, Alex would stay there all the days they would spend in the city, they did not allow him to stay in a hotel, no matter how much she insisted.

“Here only my mother and I live here, don't worry, she is a very loving and kind woman, and I'm not saying that because she is my mother, right guys.”

“Mrs. Ximena is a sunshine”, exclaims José, “and an excellent cook.”

That day they took the opportunity to visit some places in the city, the historic center of the city and the ruins of Aztec temples on which the cathedral was built. They visited the market with its multicolored handicrafts that amazed Alex, who did not stop buying.

The next day they would visit the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, so Alex was very excited and that night she had some very strange dreams, she was climbing up a staircase with many steps until she reached a stone, there was a man with a mask with feathers and in his hand he had a knife. At that moment he woke up sweating with a feeling of anguish and fear.

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The trip to the archaeological site was short and when she got out of the car, Alexandra felt a very powerful energy, she felt transported to a bygone era, walking along the road of the dead and seeing with her own eyes the details carved on the walls of the pyramids. She ran her hands along those rock walls.

His friends told him the story of this place, of what its name meant in Aztec, "Place where the gods were made" or "The city of the gods. But who were these gods? Where did they come from? Alex was fascinated with the story she was hearing and had also read since she first became interested in this place.
As she was walking Miguel was talking “We are going up to the pyramid of the Sun, where they made human sacrifices. It is the highest in this city and has 260 steps, you can imagine how exercised those who climbed up and down frequently were. I think they were the priests who performed the sacred rituals.”

When they reached the steps of the pyramid, they began to climb little by little and in each of the breaks they stopped to see the city and take pictures. The sky was very clear and the sun was shining on the buildings. As they went up Alex felt that he was losing strength as if he felt that something strange would happen to him, but he could not stop, he had to get to the end where the stone of the sacrifices was.

“You look a little tired, but don't worry, I'm tired too”, says Maria Dolores.

The four friends reached the top of the pyramid quite tired but happy. Alex was very tired, but as she approached the stone she felt an energy coming from the sky, the human figure with the head of a feathered serpent that she had seen in her dream was standing in front of her and in a moment she felt her soul detach from her body and move away towards the sun.

Miguel had held Alex just before she fainted. María Dolores and José approached and tried to revive her. ¡Alex!, ¡Alex! wake up please.

A man in the audience came over and lifted her legs. “She needs oxygen to her brain. Give her room and let her breathe.”

Alex opened her eyes, but the sun's rays did not let her see the person in front of her, but she recognized his voice, it was the same doctor who had treated her at the hotel.

“I see that the altitude has affected you again," he said helping her to stand up, "I think you are going to have to have a blood test, your hemoglobin must be very low.”

Maria Dolores was also helping her up. “¡What a relief!, are you feeling better now? What a scare you gave us, if Miguel didn't hold you up you would have hit your head very hard.”

“Thank you for helping us. You are a doctor, aren't you?”

Alex, now recovered from his fainting, answered. “Yes José, he is a doctor and he was the one who treated me at the hotel. Thank you very much doctor and what a coincidence that he was here at this moment.”

“Sometimes those coincidences have a purpose, I am glad to have helped you and I hope you continue enjoying your visit to my country. And he said goodbye and walked away.”

Alex returned to Caracas, a week after having known other wonderful places in Mexico, with such a rich and interesting culture. She was grateful to her friends who made her feel very well. But what impressed her most about this trip was undoubtedly the experience she had in Teotihuacan, the city of the gods, which she was sure was not due to the lack of oxygen, but that she had had a supernatural experience, a spiritual connection with the past.

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Thanks for reading



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This story could have gone in so many directions that would have rendered it routine. However, you resisted temptation. For example, Alex could have fallen in love with the doctor. That would have made this a soap. Alex could have awakened from a dream. That would have made this a cliche. But Alex had a more genuine experience, one that seems real to us but that also allows us to share the exotic with her. She is free to imagine that at the top of the mountain she made a connection with past ages. Or...the good doctor might be correct: she has very low hemoglobin.

Great story @popurri. Thank you for entering this in the June contest. We appreciate very much that you consistently support other authors in the community with your comments.

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Hello @theinkwell. I really liked your comments. The love between Alex and the doctor for a moment I thought about it but I discarded it because it didn't seem to me the most important thing in the story and I focused on the spiritual connection which is a very interesting topic and above all in the place, where the story is set.
Regards

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One might wonder if Alex's bouts of dizziness is actually triggered by the weather or by the gods. Maybe the strange doctor is some sort of guide for her.

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Hello @stellageorge, thank you very much for your comment. That's a very good interpretation, I thought so too at the time of writing it.
Regards

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