Perchance to Dream - Cover

Perchance to Dream

Copyright© 2023 by FantasyLover

Chapter 1

The task was daunting ... no, actually it was impossible. As usual, interns had borne the brunt of the tedious grunt work, unpacking, sorting, cleaning, photographing, organizing, and cataloging over 9,500 artifacts and pieces of artifacts ranging from tiny pottery sherds to 300-pound statues. Then they managed to piece together many of the pottery sherds into something resembling what they might have originally looked like some 4,100 years ago. Finally, they had painstakingly photographed each re-assembled piece, making sure to focus once on each side of the vessel and once on any artwork or inscriptions. Photographs of those came to me to try to translate. The only good news was that classes didn’t start for eleven more weeks and my curriculum and class notes would be the same as last year, so I didn’t have to do that.

Thirteen years ago, I was the underpaid and underappreciated graduate student doing the same grunt work that our interns were now doing. Shortly afterward, I managed to land an assignment on a two-year dig a couple of hundred kilometers from where this current batch of artifacts came from. Having ancestors that had emigrated here from the Yucatan several generations ago, I took a personal interest in the people and the history of the area. The modern language wasn’t terribly difficult to pick up in the two years I was there, but then, I had learned German, French, Spanish, and Latin in high school. I majored in languages in college and did my post-graduate work in the prehistoric languages of Mesoamerica. Some people have a knack for math, science, or writing; mine was languages. I practically had to fight off the military when I got my BS. They wanted me in a bad way and promised me things I knew they couldn’t deliver.

So far, I had managed to translate less than a quarter of the glyphs from this summer. I managed many of those translations only because their meaning was the same in other related languages. Those few translations were being compiled into the only existing, albeit woefully incomplete and inadequate work on this, one of a dozen or so early languages that later coalesced to form the recognized Mayan language. The process was getting easier as I learned to recognize more of the glyphs and the context in which they were used.

Many symbols were simply decorative and others had a personal meaning that nobody but the original artist would ever understand. However, many told stories, histories, genealogies, and prayers. The more I translated, the more I proved that the “European” history of the area was inaccurate and full of their prejudices. The stories and history I was finding much more closely matched the stories and history I heard from the elders of the village we stayed near during the dig I was involved in. I spent every spare waking minute I had recording one or more of them telling those tales. Referencing those tapes had helped immensely with my translation work even though the language had changed drastically over the centuries.

The elders had been more open about talking with me after I told them of my own roots in the Belize area, although it was known as British Honduras at the time. Evidently, many of my very distant relatives--ones I never met or even knew about since our family had been gone for more than a century--still lived in the area. Unfortunately, none lived close enough to visit. One was even the chief of one of the villages.

Archaeologists learned about the site of the current dig these pieces came from through the translations of a version of the language found at the dig I’d personally been on as a graduate intern.

I’d found enough evidence of yet another previously unknown site that yet another dig had begun. While small, the unfinished temple and unfinished city at the newest dig in Belize had been almost exactly where I predicted they would be. The small temple predated any other stone pyramids in Mesoamerica by more than a thousand years and the city predated any known Mayan sites by a couple of hundred years. Burial mounds weren’t even being built during this period and the archaeology world was once again set on its collective ear. Those pieces would begin arriving in a month which is why my boss just informed me that we had to have all of this wrapped up, for now, as best we could in four weeks--Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!

I wanted to finish one project before starting another. I wanted to finish the “dictionary” of this language as completely as possible while it was still fresh in my mind, not years from now--if I was ever able to get back to it.

To speed up the process I grabbed the four interns who were most adept at using computers and had them begin laying out the glyphs on each artifact in a photographic sequence, then scanning the photos into the computer. Next, each set of glyphs was compared to the already translated ones using a matching algorithm similar to the one used to match fingerprints. Any noted matches had the current translation written right under the glyph. Any future glyphs I translated would automatically update any other matches and print out the updated translations.

Any unknown glyphs were compared to all others currently known from all other Mesoamerican languages, to potentially help with their translation. It isn’t a coincidence that the same symbol has similar meanings in more than one language.

Hence, it was that I found myself extremely frustrated as I made my way home after a fourteen-hour day at work. One of the glyphs--the one for ancestor--kept coming to mind all the way home. I knew why, but still pooh-poohed the idea. One of the stories told to me by the village elders during my stay was about their belief in the ability to pray to one’s ancestors for their insight into a problem you were facing. Of course, the ancestors would only help if the solution were to help the community or to help someone else; no selfishness was allowed. That’s how the elders of the village claimed they made their important decisions. Each would recite the prayer before falling asleep and in the morning, they would know the solutions proposed by their ancestors.

Even though I felt it was a bunch of hooey I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try it. Hell, who would understand a dead language better than the dead ancestors who used it? After a quickly prepared dinner (read microwaved frozen TV dinner here, and a stiff shot of bourbon) I got out my transcripts of all the interviews from the village and thumbed through them. At first, I jumped by several months at a time, then single months, then weeks and finally days until I found the story. Noting which CD the video was on I slipped it into my computer and jumped through the disk until I found it. Satisfied that I had, indeed, transcribed the prayer properly I re-filed the CD and printed a copy of the prayer.

Getting to sleep would require absolutely no effort tonight. In fact, I hoped I could stay awake long enough to recite the prayer before my exhausted eyelids succumbed to gravity. Concentrating on the words of the prayer kept me awake long enough to finish it, but barely.

“You are skeptical,” a voice commented from the dark recesses of my mind as I slept.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Yet still you still seek guidance from your ancestors,” the voice continued.

“I have only a short time left to finish translating one of the ancient languages into our modern language. I hope it will help us better understand the culture and the people who used it. Modern beliefs hold that the people using it were nothing but primitive savages. I know they were far more advanced than that. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover they knew things we don’t know today,” I chuckled in my sleep.

“You do not seek to gain fame and notoriety from this work?” the voice asked skeptically.

Again, I sleep chuckled. “Any fame and notoriety I gain would be among a mere handful of scholars like myself, but, no, I do not seek fame and notoriety.”

“You will know our answer in the morning,” the voice intoned and the blissful quiet of sleep again overtook me.

Twice that night I dreamed, each time dreaming I was back in the village we stayed in during the dig I had been on. It didn’t dawn on me until after I got to work in the morning that the village had been the same but the clothing, tools, and other implements were from the period of the language I was trying to decipher.

I remembered the discussion with the voice in my head when I woke up and wondered if I’d simply dreamed it in response to pressure at work and trying out the prayer. I figured that was the case since the voice said I’d know their answer in the morning and I knew absolutely nothing.

Dejected, even knowing it had been a long shot, I headed for what would be another long and frustrating day at work. Sighing heavily as I settled into my comfortable chair, I opened the screen with the glyphs I’d been working on yesterday. I gasped when the meaning of everything on the piece of one of the stellae was obvious, just as if I was reading a billboard. By lunch, two interns had entered translations for each newly translated glyph into the computer and I had translated several more of the biggest pieces.

Ted, my boss, called me into his office after lunch, concerned that I was doing slip-shod work hoping to pass it off as actual translations. I shrugged and explained about the dream where I was living in the village and how everything was as clear as if written in German or French. “If the translations aren’t accurate then the translations for each additional piece won’t make sense when the computer does the initial translation, will they? Yet, with each new set of glyphs that are entered into the computer, more new translations on other pieces are popping out like crazy, each making sense,” I reminded him. “Besides, the last thing I want to do is discredit myself and my work by doing a crappy job,” I added.

“Then get out of here before your mojo wears off,” he chuckled, waving at me as if he were shooing a fly.

I said another prayer that night, thanking my ancestors. I wasn’t sure if they heard it or not since there hadn’t been any discussion by the elders from the village about thanking the ancestors after they helped you.

My mojo didn’t wear off and I finished the translations in just under a week. Since I’d finished the job two weeks ahead of schedule, I took the time to review what I’d been able to translate from the previous dig. I corrected a few minor errors before translating the rest of the unfinished work. Even though the language was similar to what I’d already finished, it was different enough to qualify as a separate language.

“You really should publish your findings,” Ted suggested as we sat in his office on that last day reviewing everything.

Grinning, I tossed a CD onto his desk. “Know a good editor?” I asked. “That’s everything from the last two digs,” I commented offhandedly, only adding to the surprised look on his face.

“Jesus, maybe if you rub up against me some of your mojo will rub off on me,” he teased. “I’ve never witnessed anything like what you’ve done in these last four weeks. It’s like you speak the languages fluently,” he added.

“You know how quickly I pick up languages,” I reminded him. “I think it was just a matter of finally understanding the flow of the language that broke the logjam. Maybe my subconscious noted it and it came to me in the dream,” I added.

Monday morning I could see that the interns had been busy over the weekend. The first shipment from the new dig had arrived Saturday morning, less than sixteen hours after Ted and I celebrated my accomplishment. Showing some initiative, several of the interns had reviewed the original photos of each piece, choosing to first unpack the pieces with the most glyphs or the most interesting or promising glyphs. There was also a neat stack of printouts waiting on my desk, printouts of glyphs from the larger stellae and the remainder of the walls of the demolished temple at the site. Each sheet had Amanda’s name printed unobtrusively in the corner since she’d been the one to enter the info into the computer.

Even though, at 34, I was twelve years her senior, I’d gotten the feeling the last couple of weeks that Amanda was somewhat enamored with me. She was already at work each morning when I arrived and left when I did or later each evening. In addition, there was a fresh cup of coffee on my desk every morning from the coffee shop across the street fixed just the way I liked it--black with double caffeine and four sugars. Knowing how little the interns made I insisted on paying for the coffee--hers too. I told her that it was only fair that I buy since she went and got it.

Amanda was a cute brunette dynamo with a perpetual smile on her face and a look that always made me wonder if she was thinking about something naughty. She also had a pair of tits that made it difficult to look her in the eyes when you talked to her. I considered asking her out but was too nervous about all of the potential sexual harassment crap. She wasn’t the best looking of the female interns--that would be Janice--but she was a close second. It was Amanda’s smile, bubbly personality, and work ethic that moved her to the top of my “wish list.”

By noon, the name Pacotamxo had become quite prominent. Obviously the leader of the fledgling city named “Valley of Three Peaks,” it appeared that he drew many fierce warriors as well as skilled craftsmen and many other followers from cities and villages a hundred or more kilometers away. There were nearly as many mentions of Hunahpu, one of the Hero Twins prominent in Maya mythology. Hunahpu was believed to be dominant in the upper world while his brother Xbalanque was more dominant in the underworld.

Usually name glyphs were preceded by an emblem glyph for “Lord,” much like Western titles of nobility, or sometimes by another descriptor akin to “Holy” for a priest. In some cases, such as this one, both preceded it. “Holy Lord of Valley of Three Peaks Pacotamxo” was obviously a powerful man and the driving force behind the city’s establishment and rapid growth. The comments from the head of the expedition noted that it appears a huge battle was fought at the site as human bones littered the entire site, as did remnants of weapons left lying around--something very unusual for the Maya. The victor’s dead were always buried or burned on funeral pyres and weapons--even broken ones--were gathered up after battles. The obsidian from the weapons was too valuable and time-consuming to replace or re-tool to leave behind. The remnants of the temple showed that it had been burned, partially torn down, and buried under a mound of soil.

“Would you like me to pick up something for you for lunch?” Amanda’s sultry voice asked over my shoulder, shaking me from my reverie.

“I guess I got a little engrossed,” I chuckled noting that it was already after 1:00. I hadn’t even looked up from the stack of printouts since shortly after 8:00.

“That would be great,” I answered as I handed her a twenty, “or you could let me buy you lunch,” I suggested, inexplicably and suddenly feeling emboldened.

“I’d like that,” she purred, stepping close enough to me that I couldn’t help but bump into her when I stood up. She made no attempt to back up, and her breasts ended up pressed against me, sliding down my chest as I stood up. The look she gave me for that couple of seconds left absolutely no doubt what was on her agenda.

We talked about work over a romantic lunch of fast-food salad and hamburgers. She asked the obvious questions about me to make sure I was single and available--and not gay--answering the same unasked questions herself.

“Would I be too forward asking you to dinner tonight?” I offered nervously.

“Would I be too forward suggesting that we pick up something for dinner on the way to your place?” she countered as her foot slid slowly up my leg and started massaging my crotch. We shared our first kiss as we were leaving, albeit a reasonably chaste one since I don’t care for excessive PDAs.

Out of necessity, we made a short detour by Ted’s office on the way back from lunch. While it wasn’t against any school rules to date co-workers or interns, Ted didn’t like surprises and frequently made it clear that he expected to be informed about any potential office romances. Once I’d told him, I left Amanda there so that he could verify privately from her that the romance was strictly voluntary.

“Your boss thinks very highly of you,” she purred in my ear when she’d finished Ted’s brief interrogation. The warm air and her soft lips on the ear she whispered into caused an immediate reaction below my belt.

“Not fair,” I groaned.

“Anticipation is great foreplay,” she giggled quietly.

“Then you can anticipate my tongue teasing and exploring every inch of your body and bringing you to several mind-shattering climaxes before we really get started tonight,” I growled.

“Oh, shit,” she gasped, her voice quivering with excitement.

My productivity for the next three hours was considerably less than it had been before lunch as my mind wandered over dozens of scenarios of what the evening might bring. For the first time in more than a month, I actually left work at 5:00--with Amanda by my side. She’d obviously told her co-workers, and a few of the female interns looked a bit jealous as they watched us leave together.

No sooner had the doors of my car closed than Amanda’s head dipped to my lap and her hands deftly extracted her target from my pants. It didn’t take her long to claim the prize she sought, and she grinned and watched my reaction as she savored its taste and swallowed it. I surprised her when I leaned over and kissed her afterwards getting a smile of approval when we finally managed to get our tongues untangled.

We never did stop to get dinner, heading straight to my apartment. We didn’t even make it past the living room before our first time, our clothes strewn randomly from the doorway to the couch. Her eyes widened when we peaked together and the thrilled gleam brightened right before she closed her eyes and sighed happily as her body relaxed under me.

“You’re the first guy I’ve been with that didn’t head straight for my tits,” she sighed as we basked in the afterglow.

“They’re hard to miss, but they’re not the reason I asked you out,” I answered.

“Oh, and just what was the reason?” she asked coyly, her curiosity piqued.

“It’s because you seem to be a balance of everything I look for in a woman. You’re intelligent, our interests in history are similar, you’re a hard worker, you have a beautiful and slightly suggestive smile, you get along with everyone, and then there’s the minor detail that you’re absolutely gorgeous,” I complemented.

That statement earned me points and she rolled us over and tended to me until I was hard again. When she was satisfied that I was hard enough she climbed on top and we repeated the earlier process.

“Are you enjoying this?” she asked teasingly after our second simultaneous climax.

“I’m enjoying watching a beautiful woman enjoying herself,” I answered as her movements became more urgent and erratic.

Carrying her to the bedroom, I situated us for a completely different position, one I stumbled across several girlfriends ago. It has never failed to drive them to delirious ecstasy. “Ssssshhhhhiiiiittttt,” she screeched as she bucked off the bed, moments after I began, her body twisting and contorting in the throes of ecstasy.

“You ... are ... full ... of ... surprises,” she gasped as we lay beside each other catching our breath.

We called and ordered a pizza to be delivered and I spent the intervening time keeping Amanda aroused without letting her cum. I reached for my pants when the doorbell rang but Amanda stopped me, quickly pulling on her skirt before turning to the door. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I laughed, pointing to her bare breasts. “Nah, it’ll just insure that you get the very best pizza delivery service from now on,” she answered, grinning lewdly.

The look on the delivery driver’s face wasn’t quite what she’d expected. “Ummmmm... $29.76 for ... the pizza,” the poor girl stammered as she stared blatantly at Amanda’s ample charms.

“Sorry, I figured it would be a guy delivering,” Amanda apologized quickly.

“That’s okay ... you’re really ... very beautiful,” the girl answered shakily, even as she licked her lips nervously.

I gawked as Amanda turned on the charm, flirting outrageously with the girl. As comfortable as she was flirting with another female, I had the feeling she’d done it before. That thought and the mental images of her with this girl, who was actually very pretty, had me back up and ready for more. Amanda winked at me when she turned and noticed. “You’re awfully pretty yourself,” Amanda told the girl as she stroked her cheek. I gasped when she pulled the girl’s face to hers and kissed her.

The tentative kiss quickly grew heated and I could tell that both tongues were busy. I was quickly harder than I think it had ever been before when Amanda guided the girl’s hand to her naked breast. I crept over to the door and quietly took the pizza from Amanda’s hand or it would have fallen to the floor seconds later. Hearing voices outside, Amanda pulled the girl inside and closed the door, never breaking their heated kiss. Once the door closed, Amanda slid a hand under the girl’s T-shirt and inside of her bra. She’d pushed the shirt up far enough that I could watch what she was doing.

“I’m sorry, I have to get back to work or I’ll get in trouble,” the girl gasped in apology as she finally forced herself to let go of Amanda and back away. She still looked hungrily at Amanda while straightening her clothes.

“You know where to find us when you finish your shift. Make sure you eat a good dinner. You’ll need the energy,” Amanda teased. “It’s on us,” Amanda cooed, pushing my two $20 bills into the girl’s hand. “And I’m serious about the invitation if you want to join us,” she offered again. This time she stepped back just far enough that the girl could see me on the couch.

“Oh my god,” the girl gasped when she saw that my male pride had been piqued.

“And he definitely knows how to use it,” Amanda whispered conspiratorially to the girl, although loudly enough that I could easily hear.

“I get off at 10:00,” she almost whispered, still staring.

“And I guarantee you’ll get off several more times before midnight,” Amanda promised. They kissed once more before the girl left, looking back at Amanda longingly one last time right before the door closed.

“Not quite what I expected,” she laughed as she flopped onto the couch and took me in her hand. “I hope you don’t mind me inviting her but, when I checked, your horn-o-meter was pegged at 10,” she teased as she continued to slowly stroke me.

“It all depends,” I answered. Amanda looked at me expectantly. “Will you still respect me in the morning?” I asked.

When Amanda finished choking and laughing, she crawled on top of me again. “I’ve been watching you for a while now,” she confided as she slowly rode me. “I couldn’t figure out how a hunk like you could still be single. Everyone at work that I asked said you hadn’t had a steady girlfriend for more than a year. I saw no signs of alcohol or drug abuse, you’ve never been late or sick, you’re non-judgmental, and everyone likes working for you. I finally realized that you just get wrapped up in your work, and there aren’t many girls out there interested in people who died thousands of years ago. I’ve had a couple of boyfriends who got tired of me coming home after working twelve or more hours every day for a month. One day I’d get home from work and they’d just be gone, leaving only a short note,” she sighed.

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