Montazoa Aztozura slowly climbed to the
summit altar of the Aztec sacrificial pyramid. He glanced at the
sky, confirming by the stars that it was the hour before dawn.
Beside him trod his willing victim, aware that in a few brief
minutes he would be dead. Proud, however, that his still beating
heart, newly carved from his breast, would be held aloft in
offering to the God of Light to initiate the rising of the sun.
His victim tied, and rituals complete, the
priest raised the knife and stepped towards the altar. His foot
slid on stone, lubricated by tropical rain and blood from
previous sacrifices. As he fell, his head struck rock.
Montazoa regained consciousness two hours
later and looked up to see his still living sacrificial victim
backlit by the brilliant morning sunshine.
The Council of Priests debated. They knew
the morning ceremony was vital to spur the horses of Sols
celestial chariot on their journey across the heavens. It was now
clear, however, that the human sacrifice offered for generations
Which part of the ritual inspired the
sunrise? Each morning one element would be omitted from the
ancient rites until they found the answer.
Next morning the ceremony occurred away
from the pyramid. The sun rose.
Next, the richly carved sacrificial knife,
forged before memory in the furnaces of the gods, remained in the
temple. The sun rose.
Next, the ancient prayers to the Sun God
remained unuttered. Still the sun rose.
On the fourth day, for the first time in a
thousand years, the priest did not open his robe to reveal his
naked manhood to the sky. An hour passed, then two. The pattern
of the stars became unfamiliar. More time passed until the
priests estimated noon - yet still the sky remained dark.
Legend tells how Montazoa then leapt to his
feet and flung open his robe, his erect penis pointing to the
eastern horizon. The ancient texts record how the sun then flew
from its place of rising to its zenith in the blink of an eye,
leaving a smouldering trail branded across the sky - a seared and
sacred track which took years to fade.
Generations have passed since the Aztec
priests confirmed their destiny to initiate the sunrise. Knowing
that their civilisation might one day pass away and their
descendants be scattered across the Earth, the secret was passed
from father to son. All were committed to enact the ceremony on
every morning they were able, to ensure that at least one would
And so it was, in twenty-first century
London, that Monty Astor, wearing just a raincoat, strode onto
Wimbledon Common in the hour before dawn to discharge his
ancestral covenant. He was not to know that nuns of St Hildas
convent, virtually invisible in their black habits, were walking
there in contemplation. Nor that PC Heathcote of the Wimbledon
Constabulary cycled that route to work. Thus was Monty arrested.
There Mlud and members of the jury, I
rest the case for the defence.