Waking up to the stares of a dozen flayers.
Blazing torches line the rows of stairs.
Night has fallen over the the temple of Yopico.
Once a man, free to be
Now he lives in slavery.
Tied to a stone ten times his girth
Here, in the mire of the earth.
But he won’t know this tragedy much longer.
Scanning the room, his mind begins to wander
Across halls he had to pass
Knowing this would be his last
That his life would end this day
He prayed and wept.
Bound to this stone
Here in Yopico, lamenting in the depths.
And a flayer now approaches
The words becoming lead as they are falling
Like the beads of nervous sweat,
To the bottom of a chest where a heart is nestled yet,
That heart will soon belong to Xipe Totec.
And of the ritual whispers, the only word the captive knew
Was the horrifying name of Xipe Totec, “He Who Renews”.
And the flayers whispers quickly grew
To shouts among the host
Of that dark temple
Stone arrows then were carried
To the mark where they were buried
In the flesh of this poor man.
A skin they’d soon be wearing…
Once the last arrow was fired,
And the slave had since expired,
The master flayer took a stone knife to the victim.
And with a subtle swipe, he made the first incision.
Out came the heart of the fallen man
And the master flayer, with knife in hand,
Swiped across the heavy, hanging body.
And scored from head to feet
The very skin, and in one piece
He removed it from it’s owner, to be worn again.
And the master flayer turned to face the rest.
The flayed flesh upon his shoulders, dripping wet.
In the blood of the last ritual
To Xipe Totec.