The Thousand Eyes of Ahuizotl is the forty-ninth chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on February 18, 2016.
Hiding in the Grand Cannon? Not a bad idea. The only bad thing about it is that we don’t get any TV signal, so I’m having Fisk take the satellite to the top of the cannon. He didn’t like it at all, so Sarah helped him.
Hiding in the Grand Cannon? Not a bad idea. The only bad thing about it is that we don’t get any TV signal, so I’m having Fisk take the satellite to the top of the cannon. He didn’t like it at all, so Sarah helped him.
Argost’s show was about to come on and I needed to watch it.
The three of us agreed that we shouldn’t trust him. Sarah, though, says that she would much rather trust him than any of the Secret Scientists (when she first said that, she accidentally said Secret Saturdays. But, I gotta admit, it’s a catchy title), and I kind of agree.
“You’re lucky I have my aura,” Sarah said through the communication speakers. “Or these coyotes would be biting the hell out of us. You got anything, Zak?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “Nice job, guys.”
We turned the communicators off and Sarah teleported her and Fisk back into the airship. She sat down on the arm of the chair.
Weird World came on.
“Zak, your parents are coming,” Sarah said.
You’ve gotta love her powers sometimes.
I quickly turned off the TV just as my parents entered the room.
“It’s all over the news feed,” Dad said. “Weird World is back on the air.”
He wanted the remote and I handed it to him.
“But I—I thought Doyle said Argost was—”
He turned on the TV.
“Yes, boys and girls,” Argost said. “Argost lives.”
“Looks like Doyle was wrong,” Dad said. “Argost is alive and broadcasting.”
“I can’t believe I’m seeing this, and so clearly,” Mom said. “How did we get such a good signal down in this canyon?”
Sarah, Fisk, and I kept quiet.
Dad turned off the TV. “That’s more than I care to see.”
“Looks like our hide and rest time is over,” Mom said.
“Let’s go figure that out.”
Dad handed me back the remote and they left the room. Komodo stayed, though.
“Sorry, Komodo,” I told him. “Fisk, Sarah, and I need to talk. You understand, right?”
He made a noise and left the room.
“Aww,” Sarah said. “Why can’t he also be a part of this?”
“The less of us that know, the better,” I replied.
She sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. “Fine.”
I turned back on the TV.
Argost was talking about a cryptid named Ahuizotl, a native in the jungles of Mexico, and it had a thousand eyes.
Fisk looked unsure.
“Hey, I’m not stupid,” I said. “I know it’s probably something dangerous, but if I’m gonna let Argost teach me anything about my Kur powers, I’m gonna have to take a few risks.”
I turned off the TV and we went in the back to where my parents were.
They were looking at a map of the globe listing cryptids that were acting unusual, and my parents couldn’t decide which one to deal with.
“Mexico,” I said. “That one. The, um, Ahuizotl. It sounds like people are actually disappearing, and aren’t we all about keeping people safe?”
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain someone’s love of canastas, would it?”
Dad asked, gesturing toward Fiskerton.
“No, I just have a Kur kind of feeling about this one.”
Mom and Dad looked at each other.
“I’ll get the sunscreen,” Mom said.
“Nice fake reason,” Sarah whispered to me.
“Thanks,” I said, though I doubt it was all a lie.
After arriving at the jungle, we realized that the spot where the Ahuizotl’s located was right next to a vacation spot on a beach.
“I didn’t realize this sighting was so close to a resort area,” Mom said.
“All the more reason to get up river quickly,” Dad said. “These tourists have no idea the danger they may be in.”
“Do they ever?” Sarah asked.
“Wouldn’t it be nice not to be for once?” I said, then sighed. “Think we’ll ever get to have a real vacation again?”
“Not unless the—” Sarah began.
“Sarah!” a small voice called.
Then something jumped on top of her and she screamed.
She tried to get it off of her, and I tried to help. I picked up what had jumped on top of her and realized that it was a baby girl.
She started to squirm and cried.
“Emily?” Sarah asked. She grabbed the baby from me and she stopped crying. “What are you doing here?”
“I climbed up in the tree,” she said. “And I saw them, I almost screamed, but I saw you too.”
“How’d you get up in the tree?” I asked.
“Sarah taught me, but Mommy helped me up this tree,” Emily said.
“She’s a young learner,” Sarah said. “But where is Mommy?”
“Uh, Sarah?” I said.
“I think that’s her over there.”
I had binoculars with me and I pointed over to Raylee, who looked to be wearing a one-piece bathing suit and was reading a book on a chair on the sand with Pikachu on her head. Then I noticed the animals playing in the water.
Sarah had a mad look on her face. She stomped her way over to her mom.
“Mom!” she called. “What the hell are you doing?”
My family and I reluctantly followed her.
Raylee seemed to be scared when she saw Sarah. “Sarah? What are you doing here?”
“What am I doing here? What the fuck are you doing here?”
Emily was crying again.
“Sarah, give me Emily before you hurt her,” Raylee said.
She handed Emily to her and she handed her over to the man that was sitting next to her. Sarah’s father, I presumed.
The animals heard Sarah and came over to us.
“Mom, why aren’t you out there looking for him?” Sarah asked. “Instead of being here doing who-the-fuck-knows-what?”
“Sarah,” her father said sternly.
Raylee held her hand up to him. “Cj, it’s fine.” She turned back to Sarah. “Sarah, I’m doing my best to find him, but I just can’t.”
“So you’re giving up, just like that?”
“Sarah, you’re making a scene.”
She was right. Everyone that was around us was looking at her.
“I don’t fucking care if I’m making a scene,” Sarah said. “All I care about is finding him. But you, apparently, don’t care about him at all.”
Raylee looked hurt, and a tear streaked down her face. “I do care about him, Sarah.”
“If you did, then why the fuck are you here and not looking for him?!”
She was really crying now. “Have you been looking for him since you made up with Zak?”
“Don’t you dare turn this on me, Mom, to make you look innocent.”
“I’m not trying to.”
“Yes, you are! You’re trying to make me feel bad because I— What the fuck do you want?”
Shillow was sniffing around her. She whinnied at Sarah’s sudden outburst and took a step back.
“Sarah, you need to calm down,” Raylee said.
“No,” she said. “I will not calm down until you find him!”
I have never seen her like this before and I didn’t want to see her like this ever again. But I didn’t know who she was talking about.
“What is it, Shillow?” Raylee asked.
“I smell alcohol,” she replied.
We all looked at Sarah.
“Don’t look at me,” she said. “It’s probably Dad.”
“I haven’t had anything today,” he said.
“Sarah,” Raylee said.
“No, Mom. I’m done here.” She turned toward me. “I’ll wait for you guys in the jungle.”
She stomped off.
We waved awkwardly to the Hollingers and began walking away.
“Wait, Zak,” Raylee called. “Sarah’s not usually like this. It’s just been really hard for her these past couple months.”
“I can tell,” I said. “But who was she talking about?”
“I’ll let her tell you when she’s ready. But can you watch her for me?”
“Ok. Thank you, and good luck.”
I nodded and we walked after Sarah.
She still looked mad.
“Sarah?” I asked.
“You made your mom cry.”
“She always cries.”
“She’s just trying to do all that she can.”
“Well, it’s not enough.”
Her face turned sad. A tear streaked down her face. “I can’t say. We should get back to looking for that cryptid.”
We all nodded in agreement.
“But first . . .” She activated her powers and four speed boats, plus a mechanical surfboard appeared on the water with life preservers. “You guys may not have another chance at a vacation. So let’s enjoy this while it lasts.”
We all agreed.
I got the board, while everyone else got a speed boat.
“I love these things,” Sarah said.
Fisk had gotten himself a canasta.
“Hey, Fisk,” I called. “You know you’re not suppose to go in the water for half an hour after eating that?”
He finished it and said he could wait.
I moved near him and knocked him off his speed boat.
Sarah, Komodo, and I laughed.
“Zak, that’s not funny,” Mom said.
Dad laughed, but covered with a cough. “Not a bit.”
“What? I was just helping him wash down his to—”
Fiskerton grabbed me and pulled me into the water.
Fisk and I began splashing each other.
Then Sarah groaned. “Bitch alert.”
We noticed someone coming our way.
“Miranda,” Mom said.
“So this is pretty much like every vacation we’ve had,” I said.
“Zak, go. Now.”
I went off on my board and Fisk and Sarah followed on their speed boats.
“You know we’re going back to help, right?” I told them.
“Of course, Zak,” Sarah said. “We know you.”
Then Deadbolt suddenly appeared in front of us, and we barely had time to dodge him.
“Let’s show the tin man who owns these rapids,” I said.
“With pleasure,” Sarah said.
She summoned a fireball and threw it at him dead center. He fell into the water in pieces.
“I just rebuilt him!” Miranda said.
“Yeah, and you’ll keep rebuilding him if you don’t leave us alone,” Sarah said.
She threw a fireball at her, knocking her off her speed boat and onto the shore. She disappeared among the trees.
We headed that way.
“She may be calling in more Secret Scientists,” Dad said.
“Oh, I’ll make sure she doesn’t,” Sarah said.
Then we saw something moving between the trees.
“There,” Dad said.
We ran after her, but realized that the figure looked cryptid-like.
“That is definitely not Miranda.”
“Maybe it’s Ahuizotl,” I said.
“That thing that was on Weird World?” Mom asked.
Sarah face palmed herself. Then I realized what Mom just said.
“Wait, no,” I said. “I mean . . . that thing was on Weird World? Whoa, coincidence.”
“Yeah, you’re probably gonna wanna stop talking now,” Mom said.
“Yes, I am.”
We followed the creature to a small area with houses all around. There were a lot of people with masks and spear-like sticks in front of us.
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “Now it’s a real Saturday’s vacation.”
“You people have weird vacations,” Sarah said.
I had the claw ready, but Dad held it back.
“Easy, Zak,” he said. “It might not come to that with a little diplomacy.” He turned toward the people. “What have you done with the woman who crossed near the river?”
“Yeah, both of you clearly rising stars in the diplomatic community,” Mom said sarcastically.
Sarah laughed. “I have to agree with her there.”
Mom said something to the people in Spanish.
A man replied back and she translated.
“‘There is no woman like that here. Please leave immediately.’”
“Ask them if they know where to find Ahuizotl,” I said.
The people freaked out when they heard me say that. Apparently, that’s one of the only words they know in English. They turned off all the lights and it became really dark, too dark to see.
“I guess they’ve heard of him,” Dad said.
Then we got knocked and hit by them.
“No diplomat?” Dad asked.
“Ah, I move we break off negotiation,” Mom said.
Sarah summoned some light for us so that we could see, then the people fought us and we fought back. I grabbed one guy with the claw and threw him down, then his mask fell off.
I picked it up. “Should we stop? This is almost embarrassing.”
The man was frisking around for his mask, and when he looked up, I saw that he had no eyes. Literally. He had no eye balls at all, just empty sockets.
“Uh, here,” I said, handing him back his mask. “Sorry.”
Then we heard a crying sound and the guy said something. Everyone ran into the jungle.
“Uh, what just happened?” I asked.
“He said ‘Move it. Into the jungle,’” Mom said.
“Yeah, I kind of meant the freaky eyeless face behind the freaky eyeless mask.”
“Whatever’s going on, I don’t think Miranda just ran off for back up,” Dad said.
“Really?” Mom asked. “Our big concern is the woman trying to capture our son?”
“I thought we were trying not to be like them.”
Mom groaned. “I hate the high road.”
“So do I,” Sarah agreed. “Oh, and, uh, they were lying when you asked them about her.”
“And you’re telling us this now?” I asked.
“Are you really surprised?”
“Alright, let’s look around,” Mom suggested. “Fiskerton, keep an eye on Zak. If anybody shows up looking for trouble, you know what to do.”
To prove it, Fiskerton screamed.
“Yeah, that’s the one.”
She and Dad walked off.
“Is she serious about screaming for help?” Sarah asked.
Then we heard a crying sound again.
“You think it’s a baby Ahuizotl?” I asked.
“No,” Sarah said.
“For two reasons: one, it’s only making that sound to lure its prey. And two, if it was a baby, where’s his mother?”
I shrugged. “Let’s go.”
Fiskerton shook his finger.
“Mom said keep an eye on me. So if we go looking for the beast with a thousand eyes, it’s like you’re doing your job a thousand times better.”
He considered that and nodded.
“I can’t believe he thinks that makes sense,” Sarah said.
I shushed her.
The four of us went the way that the crying was coming from. We came to the shore of a lake.
“It’s coming from the lake,” I said.
The cryptid walked out of the water. He looked like a regular monkey with just two eyes in the right places.
“You must be the scary Ahuizotl. I thought you’d have a few more eyes. Come on. I’ll show you mine.”
I activated my powers. He walked toward me, but my powers went off.
“Come on,” I said. “Stupid Kur powers. You’re acting up again now?”
I tried again, but then a hand grabbed my face from behind me. Fiskerton knocked it off and I turned to face it.
“That’s its tail,” Sarah said.
A tail with a hand on the end. Weird.
The hand punched Fisk away. Then it moved toward me, but someone pushed me aside. It was a girl and she had on one of those freaky eyeless masks.
“Hey,” I said. “What are you—”
She said something in Spanish, then pulled out one of those masks from the satchel she was carrying and put it on my face.
I lifted up the mask, but she pushed it back down.
She threw her stick like a spear at the Ahuizotl, but he knocked it away. Then she put masks on Sarah, Fiskerton, and Komodo.
“She says that the masks will protect our eyes from him,” Sarah said.
“You know how to speak Spanish?” I asked.
I couldn’t see anything through the mask. I felt the girl grab my hand and pulled me along. I had no choice but to follow. I hope everybody else was able to too.
Since I couldn’t see where she was taking me, I doubt she could either. We ran into something and fell onto our butts.
“Zak?” I heard Mom say.
“Mom, we found—”
The girl said something.
The cryptid had followed us. He appeared right in front of us. The girl said something again and Mom replied back in the same language.
“Doc, she said—”
“Yeah, I got that one,” he said.
The Ahuizotl walked around us.
A moment later, I heard Mom scream in pain.
“Mom!” I called.
I took off my mask and ran to her aid.
The cryptid had its hand tail at her face and it was doing something to her eyes. Fiskerton tackled him, then I attacked him along with Dad. Sarah and Komodo were helping Mom with the cryptid’s tail. Dad grabbed his tail, spun him around, and threw him.
We gathered around Mom.
She was rubbing her eye. “It felt like that thing was trying to suck my eye right out of the socket.”
“It was,” the girl said.
“Thank you, umm . . .”
“Tiacaban. Tica. And the monster, he is called Ahuizotl. It steals eyes.”
I cringed. “Nasty.”
Tica nodded in agreement. “This monster, he was gone for hundreds of years, but for some reason, he wakes up again, say, six months past. We don’t know why.”
I automatically felt guilty. Sarah tried comforting me.
“It’s not your fault, Zak,” Dad said. “You never asked for what happened to your Kur powers six months ago.”
“Your dad’s right,” Sarah agreed.
“Ahuizotl takes eyes from most people in my village,” Tica said. “We who still have eyes always have fear. Maybe we lose ours too.”
“So, these masks, they keep it away?” Mom asked.
“It is not possible to wear masks all the time. Most times, like tonight, we would only for the ceremony of—I do not approve. This Ahuizotl still, he needs eyes.”
“And he’ll take them from anyone you can give him?”
“Miranda,” Dad said.
“Told you,” Sarah said. “But we should probably thank you people for sacrificing her eyes.”
“Sarah,” I said.
“What? It’s not like she doesn’t deserve it.”
“I am sorry,” Tica said.
“Hey, people do a lot of things when they’re scared,” I said. “But you can help us stop it. We can do this.”
“I don’t want to do this,” Sarah said.
We ignored her.
“Still, there is time,” Tica said.
She grabbed my hand and pulled me along. Everyone else followed.
She led us to a temple, stopped near the entrance, and gave us all masks.
“How can I find Ahuizotl if I’m blind?” I asked.
“It’s not that bad,” Dad said. “I’ve been halfway there for years.”
“I know, Dad, but I won’t be able to connect with my cryptid powers. I always make eye contact.”
“Then we’ll just have to stop this one without your powers,” Mom said.
I reluctantly agreed.
“I’m not going to where this, though I can probably use my powers to see through it,” Sarah said.
She activated her powers and summoned a pair of purple sunglasses to her hands. They had a loop around the lens so they covered her eyes completely.
We, unfortunately, still had to where the masks.
Tica and Sarah led us inside the temple. We lifted our masks up to see around us. The village people were standing around a pool, and hanging above the center of it was Dr. Grey, and her mouth was taped shut. The Ahuizotl was in the water and he moved his hand tail around her face.
She struggled to get free.
“Too late,” Tica said. “Cover your eyes.”
“Nah,” I said.
I grabbed the claw and activated my powers.
That got Ahuizotl’s attention. He got out of the pool.
“Can you get it under control?” Dad asked.
“Not sure,” I said. “But I can get it away from all these people. Tica, get everybody out of here.”
She did as I told her.
I focused back on the cryptid. “Come on, Nasty. Eyes on the prize.”
We ran into a different room and the Ahuizotl followed. Then my powers shut off again.
“I lost it.”
The room was dark. Sarah summoned a light for us.
“It’s above us,” she said.
The Ahuizotl lunged its tail at me and I dodged it.
“Blind it is,” I said.
We all put our masks on.
Fisk sounded uneasy.
“It’s ok, Fisk,” I assured him. “Just stay close.”
“Quietly,” Dad said. “Let your ears do the work your eyes can’t.”
“To your right!” Sarah called.
Of course, she’s the only one that can actually see.
I heard Dad groan, then I think he punched something. The Ahuizotl kept hitting us, and Sarah was trying to help us, but she wasn’t doing a good job.
“Does anyone else think this really isn’t working?” Mom asked.
“Tight defensive circle,” Dad said. “Form up on me. Just follow the voice. Nice and easy.”
Sarah was actually able to help us this time.
“That’s everybody,” Dad said. “Just keep it tight, and only strike forward.”
“So, this is the whole plan?” Mom asked.
“It’s a working process.”
“Uh, Doc?” Sarah said. “The Ahuizotl has it’s tail on your shoulder.”
Dad got knocked away and we were separated from each other again.
I was fighting the cryptid. Then I could, somehow, sense that Fiskerton lifted his mask up and the Ahuizotl went after him.
“Fisk, no,” I said. “Don’t take off your mask.”
Then my powers suddenly activated and I could sense exactly where the cryptid, plus Komodo and Fiskerton, were.
“Zak, what’s going on?” Mom asked.
“I don’t know. It’s like—” I sensed Komodo walking right next to me. “Komodo? Yeah. It’s my Kur powers.”
“Keep the mask on, Zak,” Dad said.
“I am, but I’m connected anyway. It’s like I can see them without seeing them.”
I ran forward at the Ahuizotl with the claw ready because I could sense it about to attack Fiskerton.
I whacked it away.
“Nice,” Sarah said.
“Oh, yeah,” I agreed. “This Kur power Zak likes.”
I ran toward the cryptid again, but then I tripped on a rock and my powers went off.
Sarah laughed. “Smooth.”
“Zak!” Dad called.
I stood up and my powers reactivated. “I’m fine. I just lost the connection for a second.”
The Ahuizotl jumped at me and I knocked it away. I did it again.
“Not so tough in a fair fight, huh?” I said.
He lunged at me with his claws and I blocked them.
“Keep him busy, Zak,” Mom said.
My pleasure. Sarah and I fought him.
“This is it,” I heard Mom say. “This is where Ahuizotl was buried. If we get him back inside, we may be able to—”
Ahuizotl jumped over us and headed toward her.
“I lost him,” I said. “Mom, your mask!”
A moment later, she screamed in pain.
“Drew!” Dad called.
I heard what sounded like him being knocked away.
“Hey!” I called, then took off my mask and activated my powers again. “These ones. These are the ones you want, right?”
“Zak, no!” Mom said, but I didn’t listen.
I ran to him and tackled him into the room of his tomb. We had a little stand off.
“Yeah, that’s right,” I told him. “I’m in your twisted head, and I know the whiny baby needs a nap. Come on back to your tomb.”
I sensed him moving his tail around it and behind me. When its hand began moving to my face, I grabbed it with the claw without ever looking.
“Told you I was in your head,” I said.
I spun his tail around enough to pull him into his tomb. I held him down, then I controlled Fisk to get the lid of the tomb and place it on top of him.
I deactivated my powers.
Fiskerton crossed his arms.
“Sorry, Fisk,” I said. “I needed to move fast. There wasn’t time to ask.”
“That kind of rhymed,” Sarah said.
She and my family congratulated me.
Back in the village, we had tied up Dr. Grey, though Sarah had suggested on doing something much worse than that.
“So what do we do now?” Dr. Grey asked.
“Well, we leave,” Mom said. “You stay here until Tica sees we’re all clear.” She turned toward Tica and said something in Spanish.
“I understand,” she said. “Yes.”
“You’ll like it here. They also believe in stopping the monster at any cost. Good thing not everybody does, huh?”
Dr. Grey looked mad when she said that.
Sarah laughed. “I’m starting to really like your mom.”
“Uh, yeah,” I said.
I managed to sneak back to the airship before my parents could follow. I went to the control room and turned on the video phone.
Argost appeared on it.
“My Kurling,” he said. “Surprised to see me? Because, frankly, I’m surprised you still can.”
“The beast with a thousand eyes?” I asked.
“I never said they were all his. I must admit, deep down, I was hoping he’d add yours to his collection. No eyes, no way to use that wonderful power of yours.”
I gritted me teeth.
“So helpless a target for an enterprising television host.”
“That’s not how it works anymore,” I said.
“Ah, then I did teach you something about your powers. What a treasure troll of helpful information I am. Still a pity you couldn’t lose the eyes anyway.”
I turned off the video phone. Then my parents and Sarah entered the room.
“Umm, hey, guys,” I said. “What’s—”
“What’s on television?” Mom said. “Gosh, I don’t know. You’re the Weird World expert.”
“So we’re not gonna just let that one slide in the glow of victory?”
“What were you thinking, Zak?” Dad asked. “I didn’t like it before, but at least that was a naïve mistake. You know what Argost has tried to do to us, you especially. How can you support that maniac’s TV show?”
I felt guilty, and I could tell Sarah did too.
“I—It’s not what you—” I sighed. “I’m sorry. I don’t even know what to tell you. So what’s the damage?”
“Well, for starters, let’s just say you won’t be watching TV for a very long time.”
We took flight.
Mom detached the TV and threw it out the window.
“I never agreed to get rid of it!” Dad exclaimed.
“Too bad,” Mom said. “This is the only way we can make sure that Zak won’t watch it behind our backs again.”
Sarah laughed. “That was awesome!” Then her smile faded. “Oh. Umm, I’m going to go apologize to my mom. I’ll catch up with you guys later.”
“Ok,” I said.
She gave me a kiss on the cheek, then teleported away.
The TV may be gone, but I’ll find a way to watch Argost’s show. I always do.
Lol. I loved this last scene with Drew. That's why she's one of my favorites.
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