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The Hero Twins
The Hero twins could play ball like Gods but the Death Lords have other plans.
Long long ago in the Mayan world, twin boys were born to Godess Xquic by magic. The Hero twins’ father was a great ball player who was tricked to death by the Death Lords for being too noisy. The Lord of Death was Jealous of his skills and he invited the twins’ father to a ball game in the underworld where he was tricked to death.
The Hero twins grew up to be brilliant ball players themselves. They were so smart that they won every match of ballgame that they played. But they were really bad farmers and they had to farm their land to earn a living. They didn’t like farming! So they chose to play the ballgame in villages and towns and live off their winnings. They loved playing ballgame. So why not?!
One fine day, they were called to the Underworld, Xibalba, by the Gods of the dead, for a ballgame with the top players in the Underworld. They had heard stories of how their father was tricked into death by the Death Lords and they knew what was waiting for them in the Underworld. The boys knew that they were also going to be tricked. However, the twins were very smart. They had each other and they had survived for years by facing hardships together.
The Hero twins started off for the Underworld – Xibalba. They had to pass the river of spikes. They had to cross the lake of marsh. They had to climb the mountain of ice. They had heard stories of how their father had passed through these. They used counter-tricks and magic to move ahead. But these were only the beginning of what was to be in store for them. However, the Hero twins’ marched ahead despite the obstacles. Finally they reached the Underworld and the palace of the Lord of Death.
The Palace had group of Lords waiting for them. They knew some of them were only wooden statues, but they couldn’t know which ones were wood. But the boys were very smart. They released an army of mosquitoes into the group of Lords and waited till the Lords started squirming with mosquito itch! The wooden statues obviously would-not move! Hero Twins could easily identify the real Lords from the Wooden ones.
Twins were then invited inside the palace and asked to sit on a bench for visitors. But that was also a trick! They politely turned down the offer, correctly identifying the bench as a heated stone for cooking. Frustrated by the Hero twins’ ability to see through their traps, the Lords sent the boys away to the Dark House, the first of several deadly tests devised by the Xibalbans.
The Dark House, as you would know, was Dark. Pitch Dark. They were asked to stay in the room till daylight on a condition that they should-not use up the single torch that was burning. It was a very difficult task. How can you control a burning torch? Well, the Hero twins were too smart to be fooled so easily. They sought the help of fireflies and bright Macaw feathers to mimic the effect of fire and they survived through the night. Now the Lords were so annoyed that they sent the boys to the House of Knives in the morning even after they won the first match of ballgame with the Xibalbans
The House of knives had sharp swords and knives which would move and cut whatever was in their way. The twins sang soothingly and convinced the knives to stop moving. Even after the knives stopped moving, it was a difficult task to get through. But the Hero twins were too brave to accept defeat. The boys crawled through the stone floor like a snake, without touching the knives and reached across the room to safety.
The Hero twins would play and win ballgame matches in the daytime and they would be put through such difficult tests at night. They were put in Cold House, Jaguar House, Fire House, Bat House and so on. But the twins’ passed every test and trick the Lords had in store for them. The Lords of Xibalba were at their wits end trying to trick the boys into defeat.
However, the boys knew they had to die to achieve their final goal of defeating the Lord of Death, so they let the Death Lords trick them to death after a match of ballgame. The Death Lords happily sacrificed the boys and ground them to bits. Then they threw the bits into the river.
In the river, the Hero twins’ regenerated and they created for themselves the body of catfish and swam away to safety. Soon after, they changed into boys again. They now possessed the ability to regenerate any life at will, they had become divine! They went about the land saving many lives and helping growth and rejuvenation of the nature.
But the boys were not through with the Lords of Death. They didnot like tricksters, bullies and cheats. So they were determined to teach the Lords of Xibalba a lesson. Their ability to kill anything and bring it back to life will take them to the Lords. Soon enough their name and fame spread and reached the Underworld.
When the Death Lords heard of their great feats, they called the Twins to Xibalba again. The twins’ were putting them out of business. They had the ability to bring back the people who would be killed by the Death Lords as well! Now that is not good. So the Lords of Death called the Hero twins’ to trick them again, without knowing that it was the same set of twins’ that they killed earlier.
When the Hero twins’ reached the Underworld, the Death Lords commanded the boys to kill and bring back to life a dog. They clearly had to test the twin’s abilities. “Zappp” The twins easily zapped a dead puppy back to life. Everyone was amazed!
Then the Lords of Death asked the twins’ to bring a human back to life. “Zapppp” That was also easily done by the Hero twins. The Death Lords challenged the twins “If you are so smart and so confident in your abilities, kill one among yourselves and bring them back to life”. The Hero twins did-not even hesitate. “Zippp” the older twin killed the younger one. “Zapp” he was brought to life even more active and youthful than before!
The Death Lords got excited and asked the boys to do the same to them. “Zipp” “Zapp” “Zzoo” the Twins killed the Death Lords one by one, but they chose not to bring the tricksters back to life. The Hero Twins had won!
The twins then proceeded to the ball-court and retrieved the buried remains of their famed father. Once they paid their respects to their Father’s remains, they started the journey back from Xibalba – the Underworld. They climbed back up to the surface of the Earth. But this time, they did not stop there. They had understood their possibilities. They knew they could make a big difference in the world.
So the twins continued climbing. They climbed, climbed and went straight on up into the sky. One became the Sun, the other became the Moon. Their children went on to become the Rulers of the Earth. The Hero Twins would grace them everyday day, reminding them of their possibilities – if the Rulers of the Earth wanted to, they can also defeat the Death Lords and light up the lives of their children.