The jungle leaves its noise under layers of grimy stones and dead vines. Thick air muffles the insect wings, bird calls, and my footsteps, and the parrots watch as I pick through the silent ruins. Occasionally I speak in desperation to hear a noise, but it sounds like the movement of fish underwater. I step carefully, terrified I may fall into one of the iridescent puddles and wake up in a world 10,000 years from this place. These portals sprinkle the ground like child’s glitter. History books claim that the conquistadores had never made it here, but they are wrong. The evidence is at my feet, suggesting adventures never given the chance to be heard.
My guess? Their machetes sliced through the jungle vines and they marched ahead to find their fictitious cities of gold. The natives, unconcerned for the gold, protested and shouted warnings. Once inside, Goddesses drank the men’s screams and tears like nectar shook from a flower. Like bees and caterpillars, men were only miniscule creatures to be forgotten, swords and helmets clattering to the stone floors and rusting into fragments soon buried by centuries of creeping vines and lemur bones.
I am so grateful to have seen this holy place. But please, don’t let it devour me. I promise I was just leaving.
Musical Inspiration: Loop Guru — “The Third Chamber, Part IV.” This is a perfect meditation song, and also very danceable. The prolific Loop Guru and their strange tribal experimental stuff! I don’t like everything they did, but this song grabbed me the instant I heard it.
Photo “Statue of a Woman, Angkor” by Kangotraveler. Totally different part of the world from the above story’s setting, of course. Google “Angkor Wat Trees” or “Ta Prohm” to see this amazing place in Cambodia where the trees are so huge that the roots are literally consuming the ancient temple there.