"Hold the torch higher," Ichik said as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
"My arm is getting tired," Gukumatz whined.
"Just two more..." Ichik tapped his chisel twice. "Done!'
Ichik stepped back and admired his handiwork. The flickering torch light made the carved face in the middle of the stone wheel flutter as if laughing. The blocks and symbols around the wheel's edge were perfectly shaped, some of his finest work.
"About time," Gukumatz said, rubbing his shoulder as he lowered the torch. "Five thousand, one hundred and twenty five years. Why did the High Priest need a calendar that long anyway?"
Ichik shrugged. "It's the size stone he could afford."
"So if it was bigger wheel..."
"More years of course," Ichik replied. "But, it'll be a long time before he needs another calendar. Say, did you hear about crazy Bob?"
Gukumatz rolled his eyes. "What's he done now?"
"He's telling people that when the calendar ends, the world is going to end as well."
Ichik shook his head. "He gets very fuzzy about that. Says it'll blow up, or the gods will return, or we'll be swallowed up by the sea."
Gukumatz laughed. "I think Bob's been smoking the buds from that weird plant he grows again. Did you tell him the real reason the calendar ends?"
"And spoil all the fun? Heck no. Now let's go tell the priest his calendar is done."
Copyright 2012 John Lance