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

Whispering softly.

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

In Yopico,

In Tenochtitlán.

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.

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