A.D. 450

"Nenetl!"

I turned around swiftly, almost dropping the little golden disk I'd been trying to work on for a while. I set it down gently on the wood table and stood up. I made sure to smooth out my dress before rushing to meet my master.

"Nenetl!"

She called again. With her hoarse voice, paired with her old age, she sounded as though she was dying and using the last of her strength to call out for me. And it could possibly have been true. I was trying not to step on the shattered remains of bricks from long ago, dropped by the builders of this little hovel.

When I was younger, in order to continue living in their hut with my other 2 siblings, my parents sent me away as a gift for our village leader's wife, Citlalli. They accepted me, a bit warily at first, but we all got along. Recently, my lady's husband died and he was replaced by her son. Now we live in the home she lived in as a young girl, and it was slowly breaking.

I rushed into the room. "Yes, my lady?" She looked at me calmly. "Help me up. I would like to see my old house once more." I looked around. My direct orders had been 'Keep her in bed'. But unfortunately, she was my mistress. And I would always remember that. I took her hand as she slowly stood up, her bones creaking and shifting. The sound reminded me of the home at night, when a clay brick would ease out of its place and fall to the ground and shatter.

We started through the home. Citlalli would occasionally stop, put her hand on something and explain the significance. She would tell abut a time when she was my age and about the days before her father, and later her husband, ruled the village. Nobody disturbed us, and I felt as though these were my last days. I've lived as a servant my whole life, what was I going to do by her passing?

"My lady Citlalli…" I brought her a bit of food. Her son had given me strict orders, and since he was the new leader I had to follow them, even though I'd grown up beside him. He instructed me to slowly lower the portions of food, in hopes she would die sooner. It was cruel, but I wouldn't dare disobey. I slipped through the arch and into her room. She lay on a bundle of grass I had fixed for her.

It was like her to sleep as long as she could. I kneeled down and shook her. "Mistress?" I asked quietly in her .

"Mistress." I said slightly louder, this time setting down her meal and shaking her with two hands.

"Mistress! Wake up!" I shook her again.

She rolled onto her back. Her eyes were mostly shut, but I could see traces of brown. She didn't move nor breathe anymore. I reached out and gently stroked her graying hair. She was the oldest person I'd ever met, I believe her son had mentioned 54. But she was by far my favorite person to be with, surpassing my own parents.

Later, her son and I returned to the hut with the priest. He was a quiet man, who had gathered bowls filled with multi-colored liquids and a long, pointed stick. He wore many colorful, beaded necklaces. The priest sat down, painting symbols along her arms. I could recognize a few; wise, helpful. And I didn't recognize the others, larger symbols. He lifted one necklace of beads off his neck and placed them around Citlalli's neck. I half expected her to touch them and ask if they were a gift from her son.

She didn't sit up though.

He looked at us before simply lifting her up. I wished I could speak out, but with her son standing next to me I didn't think I could. The priest wandered out of the hom with my lady, leaving just me and her son. He looked at me. "Nenetl," He began, running his fingers through my hair. "You were my mother's favorite servant. Faithful, observant. But most of all, you didn't disobey her."

He took his hand away. " And I'd like you to serve our family forever."

I sat there for a moment, already glad to accept the offer. "Of course, Master." I choked out the 'Master'. It felt different, too different.

"Great, You will cease working for us today." He smiled broadly, taking my hand and standing up.

"What do you mean?" I almost ripped my hand away, but realized I couldn't. If I did, he might have me executed.

"I would love to stay in service with you! You have already said what I am; faithful, observant, and obedient. Why must I cease my work?"

He looked stunned. I can't imagine he'd ever heard me say so much. "I mean us of the living world. Nenetl, I would like to bury you with my mother. She will love to have you forever in the afterlife."

I looked down at my feet for a moment. I did love my Mistress, but could I really give up my future? I swallowed hard. "I would be honored to serve my lady further."

The day of the ceremony came quickly. They took us all, excluding those who were sick, to the pyramid. I wondered if anybody else had been buried here, and assumed it was true. I followed the priest up to the entrance, where he turned around.

"This is the burial of our former leader's wife, Citlalli. She was, in life, aided by many servants. Although, the most dedicated by far was Nenetl, who will be joining her in the afterlife."

Nobody spoke as he led me into the pyramid. We wound through corridors, passing chambers and other prized possessions. Until we arrived ina slightly smaller room. Lining the walls were weapons, although I hadn't been sure why. And there was a chair in the corner. I could hear the sound of two more pairs of feet following us, until two warriors stood on either side of me.

One of them was Mistress's son, Chipahua. He hugged me close, and thanked me. It was strange, I hadn't thought of him being any bit affectionate toward me. Then he and the other man weighted his mother down with gold and silver, and other metals. I handed off my finished plate as a tribute before handing off myself. After the priest carefully wrapped the mummy Cipahua and the other man led me toward the chair.

I sat down, feeling my weight shift. It was an old chair, and I thought it would break under my weight, no matter how little my weight even was. Chipahua picked up a spear, weighed it in his hand, and handed off another one to his friend.

"Thank you again, Nenetl." He looked down. "Normally, I wouldn't care. But this is my mother, and I appreciate how willingly you gave up."

My eyes got wider. "What? I didn't give up!"

I felt cool metal against my neck, and slowly I felt my own blood dripping out of me.

The cold went away, before I could regret my decision I heard the something snap, and realized it may have been my neck.

El Brujo, Peru, 2005

"Let's see what's behind door number one, shall we?" The lead archaeologist pressed against a wall. Cracks had formed in the shape of a square, indicating it was indeed a door and not just a wall.

The wall opened to reveal beautiful gold and silver items. Ranging from beautiful trinkets to weaponry, the tomb was fantastic. The leader rushed forward to meet with a simple white linen wrapped mummy. "Perfectly preserved!" He gave himself a round of applause as the other archaeologists followed suit.

"Hey, look over here!" One archaeologist rounded the platform the mummy was laying on to find a skeletal body lying next to it. The leader rounded the table and kneeled down. "I'm thinking female, perhaps a sacrifice to accompany this mummy to the afterlife. And the neck, it looks as though it were broken. Cut clean off, or snapped very cleanly."

Another archaeologist noted the chair in the corner, stained with a light red as opposed to the other colors of the preserved temple. "My guess would be she was garroted, by who I am not sure of. But she was garroted here…" He pointed to the chair, and moved his arms around behind the mummy. "And dragged there. "

The leader nodded, acknowledging the good guess. "Sounds reasonable. Let's call in and get these two out of here."

Authors Note: Hello! Okay, so I based this story off the findings of a Moche woman and her teenage servant girl who accompanied her to the afterlife. This isn't one of my favorite pieces, but I felt that the servant girl who was regarded with a pinch of salt (compared to her mistress) deserved to have her story told. So here's my take on it. I couldn't find too much about the Moche lifestyle, so I kind of had to wing-it and take some ideas from the Incas.

Thank you for reading, reviews are appreciated!

-Saran