Xitllai and Atzi
There are many reasons why people believe there is a day and night. Many believe it is just science and the way things are, but there is a story that begs a differ. This is a story about jealously, violence, love, and sadness. This is a story about two sisters and the strive to rule. This is the story of the day and the night.
This story begins on the fateful day two twin sisters were born to the emperor Acampichthi and the emperor's wife Acaxochitl in the city of Texpan.
When the two daughters were born it brought great joy too many people, but there was something about the two girls that made many uneasy and it wasn't hard to tell why. Even though the sisters looked quite similar and were both so shockingly beautiful that you would have thought the gods took special care in crafting them. They had personalities as different as a beautiful rose and a prickly cactus.
The two sisters names were Xitllai and Atzi. Xitllai was bright and cheerful you would always catch her smiling or laughing, she was kind and gentle and brought joy to many. All her friends and many others called her Lai. The sister however was Lai's complete opposite in everything except beauty. Atzi was cruel and vicious, she had this dark air to her that made people instinctively shy away from her. She rarely smiled or laughed, and she rarely spoke unless spoken to. The only people she ever showed any form of kindness to was her father, mother, and her sister.
The sisters' childhood were very happy days for the Aztecs. These were the days that day and night were both welcome. Night was embraced and loved instead of feared, but that all changed when the emperors' wife died and the emperor fell sick.
The emperor needed an heir and since Lai and Atzi were twins and neither was older than the other, he decided to run tests of skill, wits, tactics, agility, and emotion.
The first test was of skill. Atzi and Lai were both pt in hand to hand combat against two grown men. Atzi easily passed this test dodging the man's sloppy attacks and jumped on his back and quickly snapped his neck.
Lai just as easily passed this test but used a more feminine charm. The man that they put to fight Lai just so happened to have romantic feelings for Lai and she used it to her advantage. The man just tried to dodge Lai's strikes and when he did go in for an attack he made sure he missed her. Lai knew this fight had to end soon and it sadden her. She started getting serious and the man noticed that, that is when the man valued his life more then he valued hers. It was too late though because Lai attacked him in an embrace and he momentarily forgot his purpose to kill her and embraced her in return. Lai quickly murmured an apology and just like her sister she snapped his neck.
Just like that both sisters passed the first test and it Was time for the second one to begin.
The second test was of wits and for this test their father decided to test their academic wits. He had Lai and Atzi recite many stories and solve many mathematical problems. They were taught well though and the test was soon over.
The third test was on battle tactics. The emperor Acampichti had both his daughters make a battle strategy plan with the best tactics they cold think of. He gave his daughters three Days to ready their plans and then he would pick which one was best.
When the three days were up Lai and Atzi both showed their battle strategy plans to their father. First was Lai's plan to just meet the opposing threat midway and to make peace. The emperor just laughed off her plan and asked to hear Atzi's. Smiling a snug smile, Atzi walked to her father's side and showed him her plan.
Acampichthi was impressed with Atzi's plan of stealthy sneaking to the opposing threats village and quietly killing everyone and setting everything on fire. It was easy to guess who passed and failed that test.
The next test was the one of agility. The sisters were set in an open space where they had to run to the other side while moving out of the way of the arrows whooshing at them. When the shout when out for them to start both girls had the same thought and started running in zig zags.
Since both girls were running in zig zags it was vey confusing for the archers to get a clear shot. There came close calls with Atzi but she was light on her feet and an error never caught her.
The same could not be said for Lai though. She to was light on her feet but right as she was about to reach the finish line she got an error stuck straight through her hand. It hurt very much but she kept on running, but it was too late because Atzi had already won. Lai was starting to get angry. She loved her sister, but she also wanted her fathers approval and to rule.
In the meanwhile, they moved on to the final test. The final test was the test of emotion.
The two sisters were placed in two separate rooms and were told to wait until they brought their test in. Then for both girls two men walked in with a baby and set one in front of each girl and told them the test. The test was quite simple actually, but also very hard. They had to kill the baby in front of them without letting their emotions interfere.
Atzi went straight to the baby and cradled the baby in her arms. Unsmiling she set the baby onto her lap and with no display of emotion she snapped the little baby's neck.
This test was not as simple for Lai. Lai was completely distressed, for how could she kill this completely innocent child? Then there was her answer. She couldn't kill this child and she wasn't going to. She instead picked up the child and cooed the baby to sleep. Effectively failing the test.
The next morning at sunrise both Xitllai and Atzi were called to their father's side. "I have made my decision," Acampichthi announced. "Atzi will be empress tomorrow and Xitllai will continue her role as a princess."
Then he dismissed both girls. They walked side by side, one boiling in anger and the other soaring in triumph.
That was the last straw for Lai. Sitting in her bedroom she made a plan for that night. Xitllai was going to kill her sister Atzi.
Lai spent her day waiting, planning, and preparing. When the late evening finally came Lai crept into Atzi's room and tied her up, blindfolded her, and stuffed a cloth into Atzi's mouth. When she was done with that Lai carried her sister's struggling figure to a deserted place under the bright Texpan night sky.
As soon as Lai got to her chosen destination she set Atzi on the cactus barrel and proceeded to tie Atzi to it. When Lai was finished she tore the blindfold and cloth off of Atzi and looked into Atzi's enraged face.
"Hello sister." Lai greeted her sister calmly.
"Xitllai, what are you doing?" Atzi was getting more and more confused and angry with each passing moment.
"You killed two innocent people and I have decided that you must repay them by dying yourself. " Lai answered in the same eerily calm tone.
"Xitllai, what are you saying? If I recall correctly you killed a man as well! "
"That was a kill or be killed situation," Xitllai retorted. "The child you killed however posed no threat to you and you took his life. This is why you must die."
"No that is not why you want to take my life," Atzi said. Taking on Lai's calm tone. "You are simply jealous that father chose me and not you. You are jealous that I am strong and you are always the weakest. That is why I took that child's life, because I am strong and you couldn't because you are weak."
Lai laughed a bitter laugh and said, " Weak? Weak sister? Well it seems I am not so weak anymore!" With that final sentence Lai threw out a large obsidian knife she had hidden earlier and ct out her sister's heart without a moment's hesitation.
As soon as she did that for the first time in an eternity the night air grew cold and the night sky finally grew truly dark. For the first time the night became scary and ominous.
The air itself seemed to be wrapping itself around Lai, cutting and slashing at her skin. It wrapped a cocoon around Lai and crushed her body so all that was left of her was her soul. Xitllai's soul was then thrown up into the night sky and into the moon making her a prisoner in there.
Then the sun came and the warm air started to gently wrap around Atzi's body that still had her soul trapped inside and gently crushed until it was only her soul inside the warm cocoon.
Then the warm air guided her to her new home in the sun where she would still rule over her people with all the fire and passion she would have ruled with when alive. That is when Atzi became Day.
When the Day would pass and lead into Xitllai's realm everything was dark and cold. Everything felt the rage Xitllai felt for the rest of eternity. That was when Xitllai became the Night and when the Aztecs learned to fear the Night.
Even today if you look closely, you can see Xitllai's face in the moon watching our every move throughout the night.