Charles W. Johnson
The Return

Original: 28 August 1997, Auburn, AL
Current: 25 September 1997, Auburn, AL

This one started out as focused freewriting when I was bored in a study period at high school. I was reading Latin American lit in English and felt like doing something in the vein of magical realism. It's definitely one of my stranger pieces, and makes a lot of obscure allusions to Mexican history and Aztec mythology. I'd explain them here but the footnotes would be almost as long as the vignette and I think they really just take away from it anyway.

- CWJ, 5 November 1998

The Return

Just half a minute ago you walked through the automatic door, and your regal entrance might have been the focus of the lobby but for the blast of cold, conditioned air that assaulted you and broke the presence of your arrival before anyone noticed--except an old burracho with a long nose and slanted eyes. When you caught my glance, you and I each knew everything of the other in a flash of instant recognition. You walked down the hall, pausing and waiting for a clue, some sort of sign. Now you turn around again, and your eyes catch mine, then slip outside, and the sign flashes into your eyes and etches itself into your brain like a photograph. A Sixth Sun with a foreign name shines outside, but an old spectre hangs over everything. Even after the Cristianos came and stomped out all the old temples, even after Cuauhtemoc fell before the Great Imposter, the Smoking Mirror still presides over that pressing mob, in that ancient procession of lies and chaos, now only overlaid upon millions of metropolitan neuroses. Tezcatlipoca still rules the roost here, and even though you've come to change that, there's too much, too many in the way to do this in steps or to build kingdoms peacefully from high-rise hotels. And just now you see that it must all be destroyed, cleansed, scrubbed clean of four centuries of invaders from afar and two before that from within, and then and only then can that flash in your obsidian eyes be realized; then and only then can your Kingdom come; then and only then can You, Quetzalcoatl, assume Your throne again.

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Copyright 1997 by Charles W. Johnson.
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