At first, the gods were like the lesser beings- weak, superstitious, helpless. But in time they would kill their weakness and find their purpose.
– From The skulkers in the void, by Amoxtli.
Grangran never was willing to talk about his mother, or why he had been left with his grandmother. His mother had been a woman of means once, which was evident by the purchase of the mansion in which he and his grandmother lived and which she had in a weak moment admitted had been bought by his mother. It was after she had smashed her old smartphone. Martin had surprised her on the phone, shouting and crying, and when he had concluded who must be on the other side of the line, he had tried to take it from her. Rather than let him have it, she had smashed it. In tears, she had then pleaded with him to forgive her and insisted that what she had done was for his own good. He believed, and in time, was close to being able to forgive her. But it didn’t close the gnawing hole within him.
Nothing in the place spoke of the current owner. No paintings or pictures, no personal effects, nothing. He knew neither what it was she did nor where she was during his childhood. At the age of fourteen, that would change.
“…convey my sincerest condolences, Madame Hernándes. Oh, and that must be young Martin.” The speaker, a white man in his fifties with receding grey hair introduced himself as a notary after Grangran had tried in vain to shush him out of the entrance. Now at last Martin would find out through his mother’s last will that she had died, and that his own research into her had been bound to failure because she had taken on, for some reason, a new last name during her adolescence: Amoxtli.
He also found out that she had been a science and science fiction writer of some notoriety, though only writing under her new last name, which was Aztec, or rather Nahuatl, for her books. She also had moved from Mexico City to Massachusetts, where she bought the mansion in which she housed her mother. Now she had died and left both the estate and a not insignificant sum to both Martin and Grangran.
A letter that was never sent was to be his only link to his mother.
I do not even know how to address you. You might think me a coward for not coming back, looking you in the eyes and explaining everything to you. Martin-my child. Words can never express what I feel and how you must feel about me. You have every right to hate me if you so desire. I will not ask for your forgiveness. But know that I tried to love you and that I tried to do what was best. Your grandmother never understood why I left and never looked back- that much is evident by the way she parted ways with me. I had my reasons. There was something I had to do. I pray every night that this letter never reaches you because that would mean that I failed and thus was unable to make it back to you. To ask your forgiveness in person and to explain me. But if you read this, it was not meant to be. I have only one wish: for you to be happy. For you to move on. Forget that you ever had a mother, if that is what it takes… The ink was stained. Tears? Please, please do what you want to do with your life. Know that my biggest wish was to be there for you when you do.
Your loving Mother
That only added to Martin’s emotional turmoil. He knew that his own history had been deliberately obfuscated by his grandmother, and the letter, whatever the intention, had just left a cold and desperate longing.
Forget he had a mother? How? How was he supposed to do such a thing? Instinctively he understood that whatever her reasons were, he would have understood. And that there was no reason for her to ask his forgiveness. He only wished to tell her that, and that he would not get the opportunity to filled him with despair-fueled cold rage.
Who was this enigmatic woman, his mother? Why was Grangran so unwilling to talk about her, and why had she left both her mother and child to fend for themselves, when she had the means to help them? Where had she been all these years, and what had she done?
Much to Grangran’s chagrin he bought his mother’s books from Amazon and read them all. Her scientific work was in the field of astronomy and mathematics – two fields Martin himself, despite his grandmother’s effort to interest him in something, anything else, was very interested in. Her science fiction dealt with a mixture of Aztec and several other different mythologies, as well as Armageddon beliefs in other cultures as a backdrop for exploring the culture and deeds of an alien species she said was native to the world of Aztlan, a place in Aztec mythology they believed to be their origin.
The books were good, well written, and full of interesting concepts and subtle societal criticism. But they didn’t divulge anything about the writer.
But now that he had a starting point and resources, Martin knew what to do.
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