A man stood in his hotel room near the Mayan ruins at Calakmul, Mexico, trying to stop his hands from shaking as he knotted the strings over a piece of ragged cloth.
“Señor, I have to go,” the young boy standing to the side said. He had remained silent while waiting for the package to be ready, but now the man was making him nervous.
“There, finished.” The man shoved the package into the boy’s arms. “Now, deliver this as quickly as possible, yes?”
The boy nodded.
“You remember where, right?” The man slipped a few pesos in the boy’s pocket. “Puerto Morelos. Now hurry!”
The boy took off, not looking back. The man shut the door of his hotel room and walked towards a desk. He stared at the candle sitting atop it, watching the flame flicker. “I think I’ve almost got it,” he whispered. “Almost.”
A gust of wind burst through the door, blowing the lights out and almost knocking the man down.
“Who’s there?” he called to the dark.
A woman stepped in. He could hear her heels clicking against the tile floor.
“I was afraid you’d come,” he said, breathing a silent prayer of thanks that he’d had the foresight and time to get the package out of his possession. “Please, I’m so close—”
“Enough,” the woman said. “You’re too close.” She twisted the man’s neck and let his body collapse to the floor. Then she coiled a rope around his neck and tied the other end to an exposed rafter in the ceiling, hoisting the body until the man’s feet swayed a few inches above the ground. Lastly, she carefully placed a chair upside down, a couple feet behind the body. Walking towards the door, she turned to look at the man one last time. “This was never meant to happen,” she whispered. “I’m sorry.”