The 757 was quiet. This late at night most passengers were napping, reading, working on a laptop or watching an in-flight movie. John Parker had taken the aisle seat and to his right Andrea was sound asleep.
As soon as they had boarded she’d slipped a cover over the headrest, pulled on sunglasses and went straight to sleep. He wasn’t surprised. Aside from the drive up from Charlotte she’d been wide awake. He didn’t see how she kept going. His sister didn’t make her coffee that strong.
He looked at the peaceful face beside him and thought of the four hours of conversation they’d shared that night. He’d enjoyed it. She was unique, someone John enjoyed spending time around.
He’d met women who only listened. Sometimes they were being nice, but sometimes they were just trying to make a guy feel good. They’d listen, agree and nod. All too often these were the kind of women his mother had warned him around. A few came to mind right away.
Andrea actually had an opinion of her own. She engaged him verbally. Sure, she listened, but she also talked. He didn’t come away from the conversation feeling like he was being manipulated. To him, this was an attractive quality. He enjoyed hearing her talk.
He turned to his leather satchel, then took one more look at her blissful face. Boy, she was attractive. Grinning, he reined in that line of thought and unfastened the clasp. The first book was a three hundred page guide to Maya ruins . It was in small print with very small maps in the back. He had the feeling it should have been a three volume set.
The second was about the Maya themselves. It was six hundred pages of their history, culture, mythology, lifestyle and geography. And it was exhaustive. His grin returned as John thought about Dr. Braun. The guy had always gone for the thickest and most exhaustive books. They’d been a pain to read but once you were done you knew all about the subject.
The next book caught his attention. The New Mythology of the Maya was a slender, older volume—only about a fifty pages. It was over a hundred years old and not in great shape. He delved into it with interest. Evidently in 1901 a Mexican archaeologist had bought a Mayan codice from a drunk in a bar. These were the stories it told.
There was the story of the god’s eyelash. A young Mayan boy found a strange shell on a lake and the elders deemed it the eyelash of a god. He was given sacred armor and sent into the water. There he entered several caves, fought the devil but was only able to bring back the god’s eyeball.
He read the story of the young girl chosen by the priests to be sacrificed to bring rain. As she was on the altar the sea god rose up and claimed her. She returned a year later with a child. The child was wise in the ways of the gods. They only lived five years but taught the priests these ways of the gods.
Thirty minutes later he was done with it and moving on to the other two. They were far stranger than even the last one. These were books deep into crypto-archaeology. The authors based their works on information that had been suppressed, recently uncovered or ignored. For example, one author based an entire third of his book on the supposed presence of cocaine in Egyptian tombs.
As the plane came in on the Yucatan runway John yawned and pushed the books back into the satchel. It had been an interesting flight but his line of thinking was still the same. Look for how the Maya had planned for apocalypse.
Now he pulled out a photo that had been paper clipped to one of the books. A pair of brown eyes looked at him from under black hair and a broad brimmed hat. This was the contact he would meet in Mexico. He tucked in his shirt pocket and fastened the bag. Now he wondered what the right way to wake Sleeping Beauty was.