I had arrived in town two days before the business meeting with the intent of doing some sightseeing.
Everyone imagines of course that travelling to business conventions is either a romantic, exotic, or exciting means to earn a living.
That is likely because they hear the word "Travel" and vistas of unexplored territories immediately surge into their mental imagery and
their imaginations fail to explore the ramifications of living out of a suitcase.
Besides which, the affairs of business transactions are seldom entertaining no matter where the venue.
The weather had looked threatening from the onset,
but this one day represented fully half of my free time in this southern American city.
I was determined not to lose an opportunity because of the possibility of inclement weather,
so I set off on foot to explore a bit of the downtown area.
And so I found myself well off the beaten path when it began to rain.
It rained not a little, it rained heavily.
And I dashed across a narrow street and into an impressive stone and masonry building
which I supposed was either a banking institution or a courthouse.
As it happened, it was neither, for as I shook the rain off in the foyer and gazed about,
I realized that I had entered what appeared to be a museum of some kind.
"Natural History? Anthropology?"
I mused aloud to myself as I peered into glass cases containing primitive weaponry of some kind.
"And what on earth is this? Where is it? What purpose did it serve?"
I was staring up at a panoramic display of what could only have been the archeological remains of a pyramid.
To judge by the photograph one would have to say that the original, if it indeed was a pyramid, was in something of a shambles.
As a point of fact, were in not for the masonry model housed in its case beneath the mural,
I would have had some difficulty knowing just what it was.
Even so, I still had no real idea of what purpose it served in the society in which it was constructed.
"It's early whatever it may have been," I murmured absractedly to myself,
"These weapons have blades edged with a mineral of some sort?"
"It is obsidian," a voice came from somewhere behind me. "Excuse me, but I couldn't help but overhear."
I started slightly as I had been absorbed in the displays and hadn't realized that there was anyone else in the room.
"Pardon me! I just ran in out of the rain!"
"Yes, we are subject to deluges this time of year. Come! The opening ceremony in about to get underway!"
"You did come for the convention, did you not?"
"Well yes, but ... "
"Then please come this way! You are the last to arrive and we have been awaiting your arrival!"
"Thankyou, but ..."
There seemed little point in making further protest ...
My host had obviously mistaken him for someone else.
But what the heck! My own business meetings didn't start 'til day after tomorrow ...
Besides which, my curiosity was aroused and if I found it a dull affair,
I could either sneak out during a break or simply get up and leave on some pretext.
We walked along a long corridor.
The conference rooms were well away from the display area
and the walls were devoid of either artifacts or even of any decor to speak of.
And now they angled down into a basement of some kind.
Lord! What a dark, dank and dreary place this was!
Now my host was hauling open a heavy wooden door.
And behind there was the low lighting level typical of any theater.
I paused at the threshhold, blinking my eyes for a moment while my vision adjusted.
In a way I was reminded of the old medical amphitheater in the basement of the hospital
where I had been employed during the summers and weekends of my college years.
The old amphitheater was wood paneled, dark, austere and forbidding,
looking for all the world like the set of a Frakenstein movie.
Why, even the old custodian had looked like Boris Karloff, for Heaven's Sake!
And so I was prepared for something in the same order as my host did his best to find me an empty seat.
After a fruitless seardh, my host ushered me to a place on what appeared to be a marble bench
and indicated that I was to sit down and make myself as comfortable as I could under the circustances.
It sounded like a contradiction of terms until I discovered that the bench was not of stone after all,
but of a plexiglas construction that was not at all uncomfortable.
There were a good number of other people in the audience,
but the amphitheater was not so overcrowded that there was any problem with visibility.
I looked down into the theater and thought of the wooden lectern or portable stretcher tables I remembered from years past.
Here there was an examining table of some sort of dark material as was everything else visible in the room,
and apparently permanently mounted on the floor.
"They are well prepared in case of fire," I thought quizzically,
for I'd noted an extensive sprinkler system mounted overhead,
as well as a number of drains in the floor around the examining table.
My host had disappeared while I was settling in
and it was not long before the figure of a man made his entrance on the floor of the theater.
The audience quieted down quickly and I was not at all surprized to see
that the man on stage was none other than the host who had greeted me earlier.
"I am indeed pleased so see so many of you gathered here at this meeting of the few and the faithful," our host intoned.
"Our last guest has arrived after being somewhat delayed due to the inclemency of the weather,
and our opening ceremony will be getting underway momentarily.
Even as I speak my assistants are seeing that all is in readiness and that our offering is properly prepared."
As our host moved off-stage into the wings, two females were maling their entrance ...
with the woman, who I presumed would play the role of the Priestess,
offering a brief explanation of the process to the her intended victim.
The priestess was wrapped in what may have been a bath towel.
I rather suspected that this was done so that she would not steal any amount of attention
from the woman who was to play the role of the victim ...
And in her case, she wore nothing other than her original wrapping ..
A well-founded individual, she nothing at all to disguise the fact
that hers was one extraordinarily voluptuous female figure.
The woman lay back upon the altar while the Priestess continued to reassure her victim
that was a well-tested procedure that promised to hurt very little - if at all!
The Priestess placed her palmn on the woman's chest,
and ran her hand down between her breasts ...
As though she were tracing the path that her knife would take ...
And the victim's chest swelled in anticipation of when and where the first thrust would come.
The priestess clasped her knife between her palms as she uttered a strange incantation ...
As though she were beseeching the Goddess of Death to find her offering worthy ...
I could easily offered my assurances that indeed she was!
But I thought it prudent at the time to be still and keep my opinions to myself ...
With the prliminaries over, the ritual began in earnest,
and the audience murmured in awe as the Priestess pressed her blade against her subject's full breast,
her motion suggesting that she was about to slice away the erect nipple!
But the woman's breast was to remian intact - at least for the moment ...
As the Priestess pulled the knife away and once again implored the Goddess
to find her offering worthy of acceptance ...
And once again I was tempted to offer my assurance that the offering was entirely acceptable!
But as before, I was able to restrain myself and uttered not a word ...
Now the priesteess raised her knife and, using both hands,
she aimed her blade downward, sighting I was certain upon her victim's navel ...
The cruel blade found its mark ...
And plunged its way into the woman's belly ...
And I was rather surprized that the Priestess did not see fit to sink her knife to the hilt ...
I could tell by the expression on her face that the Priestess was well-practiced in her work.
This was no wanton slaughter that I was witnessing, but a thoroughly methodical and calculated killing!
Still using a great deal of care,
the Priestess chanced pushing her blade deeper into her victim's belly ...
In my opinion, she not have worried overmuch ...
Her victim was certainly built to take it!
The audience, which had raised shouts of jubilation as the knife plunged downward,
was now suddenly nearly silent, with only an occasional murmur of awe or appreciation ...
The better to hear the cries of the victim as the Priestess rocked the blade of her knife in the woman's belly.
Being as it was still early in the ceremonial sacrificial process,
the woman still had the strength to howl in agony
as the priestess carved her guts
by gently rocking the blade in her victim's belly ...
The view from my vantage point was quite good,
but still I could not quite decide whether the blade had passed through the victim's navel ...
There were monitors placed overhead about the auditorium,
and I had supposed when I noticed them,
that they were to provide a better view for those who were seated further back in the auditorium.
In this, I was wrong.
I had failed to notice that this was not a single-camera operation,
and the monitors were provided to display the scene on the stage from various angles ...
Quite a distubingly pleasing enhancement of the overall experience!
The Priestess eased the sacred blade from the woman's belly and her victim's lush body bucked and heaved its protest ...
The Priestess raised her knife ...
Which wavered slightly as it hovered over the victim's belly
as though she were either refreshing her grip
or was uncertain of the location of her next thrust.
Perhaps a thrust through this great big breast? The Priestess considered for a moment
as the tip of her blade tittilated the nipple ...
The Sacred Blade is certainly long enough ...
But - No!
That would bring the ceremony to an end all too quickly!
The sacrificial victim moved her arms,
as though she were suggesting to the Priestess where the next thrust should be placed ...
And I became aware, and perhaps for the first time, that the victim was entirely unrestrained!
Had she come to this altar voluntarily?
If so ...
How on earth was anyone able to accomplish that?
Once again the Priestess raised her knife,
as her victim braced herself in preparation for a second probing thrust deep into her lower belly ...
Other than for the gutteral cries of the victim,
the audience was remarkably quiet.
So silent were they in fact,
that I was certain that I could hear hiss of the blade
as it carved its way again into the woman's belly ...
As the Priestess continued to ply her knife,
the man standing in the wings cleared his throat,
and the following monolog ensued.
"You are all of course entirely familiar with the history of the Toltec Nation and its descendants,
so I see little need to go into any undue detail at this time as this is neither the time nor the place."
"In this opening ceremony we are gathered during this week of atonement
that we may pay homage to the gods of our ancestors."
"And in this, Georgia has graciously submitted herself to our own small ritual.
You are of course all familiar with the historic aspects of the obsidian blade
and the particular use to which it was most often put."
"The priests of our ancestors were often men in a hurry.
Quite often they found themselves in the position of having literally dozens
of chests to rend and hearts to tear asunder.
Today of course it has become regrettably difficult to obtain
either a suitable offering or the proper setting in which to offer it."
"But this turn of events has provided us a certain advantage I am at some pains to point out.
Likewise we have learned across all the many sheaves of years
that it is not entirely necessary to offer the heart of the woman
but only her blood."
"And in rather stark contrast to the rituals gone before
we have found in our experience that rather than a decisive slash to open her chest,
it is distinctly more desirable that she survive for as long a time as is humanly possible."
"We believe that this makes our ceremonial offering more pleasing to the gods,
while at the same time making a greater spectacle for those who are gathered in attendance."
"You have noted long ere this that Georgia is the possessor of a fine full bosom.
Whether they are entirely natural or have been somehow artificially enhanced
is of little import for they are in either instance undeniably her own."
"Now then, as to the sacrifice itself,
you may have observed that the ministrations of our Priestess to her victim
have been confined to the regions of her belly rather than to the breasts ..."
"This is simply due to the fact that when the bosom is butchered,
much of the esthetic value of the offering is lost,
and our ceremony takes on many of the more unpleasant aspects of mere butchery ...
A slaughterhouse ...
The woman's screams had all but ceased.
Her magnificent body had ceased its arching ...
And her bosom,
though but moments ago swelling to what seemed to be almost impossible heights, heaved no more ...
And the audience craned their necks, leaning forward for a better view.
I sat as one transfixed at the sight of all blood ...
Blood that had spurted from the woman's wounds as if from a geyser ...
Blood that had pooled in her belly to cascade over her rib cage,
creating a large puddle on the floor beneath the altar ...
I could scarcely credit that which I had witnessed!
And the victim's cries still rang in my ears even when they had subsided
to a series of chesty alto grunts which I always seem to find to be so stimulating -
Somewhat to my own chagrin.
"Good Grief!" The Priestess interrupted suddenly.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?!"
"Well ... That it to say ... No, Melody! I lost track of the time myself! I suppose we did run a bit over ..."
"And I had a HOT date tonight, too!
And here I've gone and stood up a date I've been workin' on for the last three weeks!"
"Ahem! Well! Please excuse the interruption, if you will!"
Now then ... Where was I?
"Oh, yes! Of course!
The audience was shuffling about as they rose from their seats and made ready to leave the theater.
"Now then, any of you who may wish to continue to research a particular area of interest
is of course entirely welcome to do so
by a closer examination of the various articles and artifacts on display in the museum,"
Our host announced to his guests as we took their departure.
I loitered about in the museum, pretending as best I could to be fascinated by the things on display.
But in reality, my morbid curiosity was demanding to know what they were going to do with that magnificent corpse?
The last of the audience bid each other goodnight and mades their way out the exi,
I thought I heard voices coming from back inside the auditorium ...
"Well, that's a wrap, Georgia!
Time for the dead to rise and shine!"
"There was a pretty good turnout tonight, wasn't there Max?" A feminine voice came in reply.
"Better than either one of us expected ... It being such nasty weather and all ...
The woman chucked with pleasure.
"What struck you funny, Georgia?"
"Oh, I was just thinking ...
Next week it's Melody's turn to be the victim!
And, boy! Is she ever gonna get it!"