Maxaqtacca Book 1 and Book 2 (part)
The Mayans face death at the hands of Hernán Cortez, but Hesan loves peace more than the prospect of fighting for his people. However, he inadvertently captures a Spanish soldier and is thrust into a wacky chain of events outside his control. Even as the Spanish army marches against them, Hesan discovers a special gift that will ultimately save his people from Cortez.
Lejo’s blue eyes pierced the terra firma in the distance, searching for a sign of Hesan’s return. It was now late afternoon, maybe two or three hours before the sun would set, and the village was starting preparations for the evening meal, which would start with or without his older brother. He looked again. Still, nothing was visible for miles…just sand, dirt, and cacti. And then, beyond what was immediately visible, desert began shyly merging with jungle until the heavily forested Sierra Madre Mountains filled the horizon. Hesan was definitely going to be late getting home. He climbed back down the ladder that led to the top of the palisade.
Waiting for him at the bottom was his mother, Sinaj. “Have you seen Hesan?” she asked casually. She was not really worried, because Hesan’s hunting trips customarily lasted much longer than he was even aware. Sinaj absentmindedly smoothed her mousy brown hair, seeming to be well at ease. However, Lejo knew that if she got angry, a stern streak of fire would invariably flare up.
“Why, of course I’ve seen Hesan. He’s my own brother!” he replied, knowing that his mother could be easily amused—or annoyed, whichever happened first—by his quaint teasing.
With condescending toleration, Sinaj asked him again more specifically, “Do you have any idea where he is at this moment?”
“Nope,” Lejo replied, with faked cheer. Then he sighed. This meant no fresh game for dinner. “I wonder what’s taking him so long. Maybe he’s busy chasing some deer. He probably found something at the very end of the route.”
Mother and son sighed, both knowing the truth. Hesan would be late again.
A head popped into view from behind a hut. Estevan, who was also concerned about his son’s tardiness, asked Lejo and his wife, “Seen any sign of Hesan yet?”
“You can look for yourself, if you’d like. I didn’t see anyone.”
Estevan availed himself of the ladder and climbed most of the way up to the palisade, but before he stepped on top of the wall, he called out, “Here he is! He’s coming, but he’s got a…a horse, and there’s something—no wait, someone on the horse!”
“What?!” Sinaj exclaimed.
“Can I see?” Lejo asked at the same time.
“No, Lejo, you need to get back to your lessons.”
“Aww, father, do I have to?”
“Yes. You’re not even supposed to be looking for Hesan right now. You’re supposed to be learning to sew!”
“Well, could I borrow your hat?”
“It’s an important skill to learn, and—what? My chief’s headdress for special occasions? Why on earth would you want that?” Estevan stopped himself. “On second thought, I don’t want to know. Just don’t get it dirty or anything.”