She remembered. It was a Saturday morning over 30 years ago. Must have been early Winter, steam billowed from car exhaust. Sitting alone, in a diner on Vandeventer Avenue, a plate of eggs and bacon in front of her, she made a decision.
It was the land of the dead, the underworld, the abyss; the land beyond the edge of the world, where the sun never rose, where light was choked out.
Namazu sat on a worn curule in a small, stifling room. Maarika stood in front of her holding an ancient copper ankh in her right hand. She looked frantically from the altar to the curtain behind which was a hidden door. Moments before, she hurriedly stuffed papyri, small statues, and incense in amphorae leaning against the wall. On pain of death, this temple would close or be destroyed. The Serapeum at Alexandria was burning. At this moment, Christian mobs were looting temples, burning sacred writings, and dragging devotees into the streets at Rosetta. Two priests threw themselves into burning shrines.
“The Gods of old were not remote, celestial icons. They were flesh and bone, sinew and blood,” she said, standing in front of the altar. She looked at the crowded nave. More people were entering. No one was surprised more than she at increasing numbers.