Having lived and traveled in Mexico, where grumpy old Gods abound, I have many tales about Gods in retirement.
My tale in this anthology Hotel Quetzalcoatl, tells about Quetzalcoatl’s hotel, logical right?
“Quetzalcoatl had lived too long. Now he was human… for a while. He had survived over two thousand years of changing shape, species and place, undergoing all those pesky cycles of death and rebirth that always befall a God who has lost his followers.
These days he ran a small hotel in Guanajuato.”
Guanajuato is in central Mexico. Its network of narrow streets, alleyways and tunnels is typified
by the Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), so named because the balconies are close enough for a couple to reach across and kiss.
It’s also know for the mummy museum, immortalized by Ray Bradbury in The Mummies of Guanajuato
The story was born when I was visiting Guanajuato with my niece Gillian.
We stayed in a hotel that consisted of four suites, each one took up an entire floor.
We were the only occupants.
The walls were covered with odd animal heads that watched us out of glassy eyes.
A deer, a lion, a leopard – realistic, but obviously not real.
The deer antlers were ridiculous, obviously papier mâché and constructed by someone who’d never seen a deer.
Nonetheless, the heads had a quality of life about them that made them peculiarly unsettling, like china dolls, with eyes too knowing, and porcelain teeth too sharp.
The owner, Arturo, lived at another location down the hill. He had a rakish charm, and an easy smile.
The weather was windy and rainy.
Gillian, we asked when we would have better weather
He said, “I won’t have any control over the weather for another 10,000 years.” His grin concealed mysteries.
I checked the internet and discovered that Quetzalcoatl was due to return in 10,000 years.
Next time I saw Arturo I said, “You are Quetzalcoatl, aren’t you?”
“I love tourists like you,” he said, and the story was born.
Of course the mummies made it in the story too.
Mine is only one of many fabulous tales of Gods gone Grumpy! So please buy, and share, and enjoy.