SW09, CONTEST: December 2009 #1: The Mayas Were Right!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Tue Dec 15 16:42:51 PST 2009

December 9, 2009

Their Unliving Golem Delivers Their Message!

The tourists ran screaming as the wooden statue walked to the center
of the platform, pulled a scroll from its chest cavity, and raised its


The statue was a Wooden Man of the Third Creation, from before the
Corn Men of the current age. It drew its sustenance from wood, much as
the Corn Men fed on corn. But Corn Men lived quickly like a stalk of
corn. Like wood, the Wooden Man never slept, but it lived slowly over

The Wooden Man served the priesthood of the Corn Men. Though their
priests no longer existed, the Corn Men did, so they needed its

Its job was to watch the sun every day. Every 400 years at the end of
a Long Cycle, the Wooden Man would rise from its crypt, recalculate
the holy calendar, and subtract or add a festival day as necessary.

In the 397th year of the 13th Long Cycle, the Wooden Man saw the sun
jump closer. The sun had started a new course. The Moon had
disappeared, as had Mercury, but two new planets replaced them. The
heavens had changed, so the Wooden Man went out early.

At the end of the last Long Cycle, it had found foreign pirates upon
its temple. It drove them off, of course. Its wooden body still held
the metal slugs they'd fired at it then.

This time, foreigners again walked on the temple. They did not walk
like priests or warriors, but they aimed box-like devices at the
Wooden Man. It raised its ceremonial dagger in response.

The intruders fled, and the Wooden Man was left alone. It pinned its
calendar to the altar with the dagger, then returned to its crypt to
resume its watch.


Serge Reese came back to the top of the temple after the Wooden Man
left. He saw the scroll, and recognized it... "My God, it's redone the
Mayan calendar!"

Serge was an amateur archaeologist, on vacation to the Mayan ruins. He
knew the Mayas observed simultaneous interlocking years of 260 and 360
days. The 260-day cycle marked the typical growth of crops and

The new calendar stopped the current 260-year period after only sixty-
five days, so the next period would start at the 2009 winter solstice.

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