1982. november 10. (New York City, USA) –
At this hour of the night, all but the most dedicated of pilgrims had left – though torches and braziers still lit up the night, showing the way for the novice priests running around the Serpent Wall. Ahead, on the shadowy mass of the Great Temple, sacrifices were still tumbling down, with the familiar thud of dead bodies coming to rest on the stone at the bottom of the steps. The smell of copal incense hung heavy in the air – and it seemed that everything was right with the world.
Chapter Sixteen: The Gates of the Fifth World
Another splash. I turned towards the ahuizotl – and, with a fright, saw that it was crawling out of the pool.
It was black, as sleek as a fish; but instead of fins, it crawled on four clawed hands. Its wrinkled face was vaguely human: not that of an old man, but that of a child that had stayed for too long in the water; and the eyes were those of eagles or pikes, round and unblinking and filled with frightful intelligence. Its tail was long and sinuous, ending in a small, clawed hand that kept clenching on empty air, a motion that was oddly sickening.