Rain pattered down on Godl's head, carrying with it the cool green mutterings of the god Chaac that drifted out of the sky. The jaguar moved not a muscle, his blocky head a graven image amongst the leaf shadows. The occasional blink and breath was the only sign Godl was alive. He had been days on the ridge, and hunger was calling his name.
A crack of thunder split the mottled pearl gray clouds scudding over the tops of the trees. Godl blinked in surprise, gold-green orbs wide open on the rebound. They shone like polished metal even in the dimmer light of the undergrowth. A small chuff escaped past his muzzle. Godl opened wide and bared fangs scarcely gone dull in the years since his first kill. Drawing a deep breath, he inhaled the jade scent of the forest, mineral tang of wet stone and the metallic chill of the river down below. Had the jaguar been possessed of a historian's mind, he would have recalled that first kill, an unlucky agouti Godl had pounced upon in the brush not far away. The wretched creature had squeaked loudly until the unrelenting force of Godl's jaws broke its neck.
The jaguar felt a rumble in his belly. He needed blood, flesh. Memories of past kills would not fill the void. Only prey would do. The rain was coming down harder, rivulets and sheets and cataracts cascading from the leaves above Godl's head. The big ears twitched and swiveled, straining at some ghostly sound arising form the valley. The jaguar expanded his deep chest. There. He sensed it. It was there, the faint scent of wet fur with an undercurrent of iron and salt. Godl felt his pulse quicken. The thought of sating his hunger induced a low rumbling in his throat. It was time.
Godl stood and stretched. His rain-soaked pelt glistened like animal gold shot through with coal and copper. He scented the wind again, getting his bearings. The strength of his namesake poured into his veins, the taut muscles, and Godl did not so much as step down as pour himself down from the knob of rock upon which he had waited for days. His sleek, golden shape slipped into the waiting embrace of the emerald forest. Chaac was being kind to Godl; the sibilant chants of the raindrops would help cover any noise the great jaguar might make as he crept up on his kill.
But Godl thought little of the noise. He rarely made any, as the fullness of his muscles and taut sinews testified to the creatures whose last vision in the world was the shadow of the jaguar.
Godl moved like oil in the river, bursting with animal confidence. Soon, soon, he would feel the crack of bone and the warmth of a full belly. He would feed, and know his place in the world.