While Ichtaca and Icnoyotl were walking through the streets of Tenochtitlan, going to their home after a very busy day, Hernán Cortés and his men entered the holy city. As Montezuma and his followers greeted Cortés, murmurs started to spread around the city. Ichtaca and Icnoyotl were a long way from their home, when they heard some people in the shops nearby whispering about Spaniards.
“Yes, it’s them,” said one of the Aztec near them. “The Spaniards have arrived.”
“They have entered the city,” said another one. “They are going to destroy it.”
“No they won’t.” denied the first Aztec.
“Why do you think that?” asked the second Aztec.
“Because they are sent by our gods, up in the sky,” replied the second Aztec.
“I don’t believe that,” said the first Aztec, “They would have been much nicer to us and not have destroyed many communities in our country, killed women, children, and men.”
“I do believe what I say, and I think that we did something for our gods to send them down here, in Tenochtitlan.” defended the second Aztec.
After the conversation ended, Ichtaca and Icnoyotl understood that the Spaniards had come to their city, and that the people were fearful of the intruders. So, the two of them advanced in the direction of their home and chose to tell their parents about what was happening in the city. But, when they started to walk again people blocked the way and they couldn’t do anything about it. So, in the end they stopped and waited for the people to disperse. But again luck wasn’t on their side, and more, and more people came and blocked the roads further. As time went by, Ichtaca and Icnoyotl heard people around them speak about the Spanish, and picked up on a conversation that seemed very interesting to listen.
“Do you see them?” asked an Aztec near them.
“No I can’t see them,” replied another Aztec, “How many are there?”
“Some scouts say there are thousands of them!” said a third Aztec.
“No, they are lying, there are only a few hundred” said the first Aztec.
“How can you be sure?” asked the third Aztec.
“I have seen them myself!” replied the first Aztec.
“What lies are you saying? There a lots of them!” said the third Aztec getting infuriated with the stubbornness of the first Aztec.
“Hey! I can see them!” said the second Aztec trying to stop them from fighting and hurting themselves.
“Where are they? Where do you see them?” asked the first Aztec.
“Over there!” replied the second Aztec finally seeing the strangers.
“Where?” inquired the third Aztec.
“Over there on the left!” came the response from the second Aztec.
“Oh! There! Now I can see them!” replied the third Aztec.
Then, Ichtaca and Icnoyotl saw the Spaniards marching through Tenochtitlan as if they were the ones in power, and not the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma. For the protection of the soldiers, all of the infantry were covered in steel armour. Some had swords strapped to their belts, others had crossbows in their hands, and others had guns on their hands, or in their backs.
While Montezuma was walking beside the foreigners, Ichtaca and Icnoyotl were able to catch a glimpse of the Spanish man with a Mayan woman and another Spanish man following the supposed leader of the Spaniards. Brother and sister tried to move near the leaders to try and pick up anything from the conversation. But, they only were able to understand a few things being said, mostly because the strangers were speaking another language unknown to the Aztec. Just after the group disappeared between the crowds Ichtaca and Icnoyotl agreed to go home and tell their parents of what happened and ask them what to do about it.
When Ichtaca and Icnoyotl arrived at their home they didn’t find anyone at home and decided to wait in the living room, 30 minutes later both of their parents entered the main door. Achcauhtli was a very tall man, he was also very lean and athletic from all of the training he did as a guard to protect the royal family. Chicahua instead was a short woman, with a petite body. Receiving their children in the living room surprised both parents. As they sat in front of them and asked why were they there.
“Mom, dad, we came here early because of something we heard and saw when going home,” stated Ichtaca.
“We saw them.” continued Icnoyotl, “We saw the Spanish dad!”
“They are a menace”, said Achcauhtli, “We have to be very careful around them. Children, please don’t separate from each other, and always have an adult around.”
“Yes dad!” chorused Ichtaca and Icnoyotl
“Let me make dinner for all of you, you must all be very tired.” said Chicahua as she made her way to the kitchen.
After taking notice of the warning made by their parents, Ichtaca and Icnoyotl stayed together at all times when not in the house or being with one of their parents. Now, the two of them were walking by the Emperors Palace when out of nowhere, they started to hear screams coming from the insides of the Palace.
“Anyone help me! The Spaniards have tricked us! Help me! Be careful of the Spanish!”
Icnoyotl ran to the entrance of the palace before his sister, Ichtaca, could stop him. So, Ichtaca only ran after him, it was the only way to figure out what was happening. Ichtaca, seeing that her brother was coming near her every second that passed, decided to stop and nearly crashed into him because of that.
Icnoyotl was going to say something mean to his sister from her nearly crashing into him and probably getting the two of them into trouble, when something else stopped his train of thoughts. Several Spaniards were pushing Montezuma, their Emperor, into the dungeons of the Royal Palace.
“What do we do brother?” asked Ichtaca when they disappeared behind a column.
“I don't know what to do sister,” answered a hopeless Icnoyotl.
“Do we go back home or do you have an idea that will help us solve this big problem?” asked Ichtaca.
“I think that we should go back home and tell our parents when they arrive from work,” answered back Icnoyotl.
“Okay! Let's go back home before anything happens to us,” said Ichtaca.
When brother and sister arrived at their home they were surprised to see their parents there. As Ichtaca went through the main door of the home, she suddenly found herself in a bone-crushing hug from her mother. Icnoyotl instead found himself in a soft but strong hug from his father.
"Mum, Dad, is everything ok?" questioned Ichtaca.
"What is going on?” asked Icnoyotl.
“Ichtaca, Icnoyotl, we decided that Tenochtitlan is too dangerous for us to live. Even if it is our home,” answered their mother
“Then what do we do?” asked Ichtaca fearing for the worst.
“We will have to leave the city as soon as possible” murmured Chicahua.
“We will leave in three days’ time,” said Achcauhtli.
“Also we will have to pack resources for our escape,” said Chicahua.
As the days passed, everyone in Tenochtitlan began to panic. The reason, Montezuma disappeared from his palace. Even if that was happening Ichtaca’s family continued with their decision of leaving Tenochtitlan.
On the third night from their decision, the family was ready for this new adventure. They checked they had everything in place and set out. But simply getting out of the city was going to be very difficult and dangerous for any member of the family.
They were trapped. The Spanish were on the left of the family, and the Aztec warriors on the right. They were in the middle. It was the worst nightmare Icnoyotl could ever imagine. They accidentally entered a war between the Spanish, the prey, and the Aztec, the predator and the family was only an intruder. He felt it; he had a gut feeling that told him that no one would survive this, at least the ones wanting to escape the city. Every single Aztec would remember perfectly the distinct sound clashing and banging of weapons. Somewhere in the city a bell could be heard, one, two, three, four times. Then everything began.
Instantly both Spanish and Aztec ran towards an imaginary centre, which the family was unfortunately right in the middle of it.
Icnoyotl felt a sharp pain in his neck. He then he noticed his sight was starting to diminish before everything disappeared and he knew no more.
Icnoyotl looked at the shining light going through the half closed window that was located on one of the walls in his cell. He remembered when he was 5, which he and his sister were playing under the shining sun. He was so happy and naïve in that time, he couldn’t believe how time changed things completely. He heard faint sounds of walking, every time getting louder and louder. He shuddered, those steps meant death, and he didn’t want to die, he wanted to protect his family, his precious family. The last sound he heard before his world faded back to blackness was a loud click, like stones clashing together, and he knew no more. His last thought before he accepted the darkness was that he wouldn’t be able to see his sister, ever again.
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