The Mummy's Curse- A Different Kind of Monster Story
Christopher Lee shown below:
A brief introduction
I don't normally publish my own stories here. Heck, I don't usually write my own stories. But this one came to me in a dream one night, nearly 20 years ago. It arrived in full, finished form. Feeling compelled,I got out of bed and started writing feverishly. Story finished, I went back to sleep.
Then next day, I expected it to be totally stupid. You know how dreams make sense at the time, but later, not really? Only this one turned out kind of decent.
So, it being October, and in the spirit of Halloween... and it seems unlikely that some publisher is going to show up and offer me tons of money for it... I've decided it's time to share.
I hope you enjoy it.
A little Mummy Humor
I woke up in the dark. Some fool had done it again, and it was once again up to me to set things right. Rising stiffly from the rock slab I let loose a guttural grunt. Stomping back and forth, I stretched my arms up, out, trying to relieve the creaks in my joints and drive the eternal chill from my bones. My grumbles rose in volume as I worked. "Damn them!", I thought, why couldn't they take MY feelings into consideration? This cold slab was no fit resting place for the deathless guardian of the hidden treasures. On reflection, I can see the logic even if I disagreed with it. All my groaning, stamping, and posturing would've made a fearful impact on any unfortunate observer.
Hmm, no audience. Too bad. It would've been so much simpler that way. Now I'd have to go out into the world terrorizing the innocent and bringing justice to the guilty. And for what? Probably some fool archaeologist plundering another royal tomb. You'd think after a while they would learn, but here I am again. Nothing for it now but to get on with the job. The sooner done, the sooner I could rest again.
Pushing the appropriate levers, I avoided the crocodile pits, ducked the razored pendulum, and negotiated the trick floor in the hall of arrows. Leaving through the secret door, I securely shut it before turning around. When I did, I got the shock of my life, or of my death; I never could keep the two straight. Either way, somebody had built a cellar right over my hidden exit!
Instead of my beloved desert, I was in some grubby little room. Stumbling around, I made an ungodly (of course) amount of noise trying to find the way out. As I located a flimsy set of stairs, the doorway above creaked and let in a sliver of light. I had been staring right at it, and my eyes are rather sensitive to begin with. Stunned, I covered my eyes and groaned.
A voice above me asked "Who's down there?"
I growled low in my throat.
"I warn you, I have a weapon!", and he turned an overhead light on.
"Hraurgh!!!" I yelled. Curses! I'd forgotten about electricity. On my last time out, they had just barely discovered it. Now it was practically invading my own home. Rearing up I waved my arms and roared. Even blinded by the light, I had faith in this maneuver. It never failed to send the locals running. But instead I heard a loud crack, and felt an impact in my ribs. Double curses! I couldn't believe the luck. Here on my own doorstep, electricity AND guns! Now I had another bullet hole, a new draft to let the cold in. By now my vision had finally adjusted. Squinting up, I saw a smallish man in slacks and shirt staring down at me.
He frowned and said "Oh, another one; sorry, I thought you were a thief."
"Hurrh?" This wasn't right, why wasn't he quivering in terror? Tentatively I raised my arms at him and assayed another growl.
"Can't find the way out? I know it can be tough at first." He came down the stairs and showed me an exit that I hadn't seen earlier. As he ushered me out, I gave a bewildered growl. He bowed, said "Good luck," and closed the door.
I moved on, wandering bemused into a place I'd surely never been. It was a city the likes of which I could not have imagined in a thousand lifetimes (no exaggeration!) Small streets crowded by overpacked buildings were being swarmed with all manner of traffic. There were strange chariots buzzing back and forth like hornets. Several times I was nearly run down, until I saw how the walkers managed the crossings.
How humiliating for me, the fulfillment of the curse for thousands of years, to be waiting on a street corner for a colored light to permit my passage. Somebody would pay, and soon!
For some reason I was ignored by those around me. It was just as well, since I had no desire to be recognized under these circumstances. Now that I had the knack of navigation, I worked my way to the source of the awakening. Arriving at what was once throne room for a dead king, I saw a deep pit filled with machinery and men. There was all manner of construction going on, much of it mystifying.
I spotted the man in charge, and determined it must be he upon whom my curse would fall. With a low growl I raised my arms to strangling height and headed for him. His back to me, he should've never seen me coming. But another man observed me, walked over to his foreman, and made a tipping motion with his hat. I was almost there, but the warning gave him plenty of time to turn around. Fine, I thought, let his doom fall upon him! They will fear me and learn the fate of those who ignore my curse!
Imagine my consternation when he planted a big fat hand on my chest, waved a cigar in my face, and said "Hold it right there buddy!"
I should warn you, I have a certain phobia about fire. Panicking, I tried to simultaneously wave the glowing ember away with my hands, back away, and 'puff' the flame out with a strong breath. Instead, the air from my hands fanned it brighter, and my breath was a drastic failure. It carried the Dust of Ages, which is apparently highly flammable. There was a "Foom!" of exploding gases, and a small fireball of perhaps a foot radius. It might've been the end for me had I not tripped while backing up. As I struggled to rise, the cursing foreman was using both hands to put out the fire in his beard. Catching my eye, he began applying his curses to me.
I've never been cursed by my intended victim before, and had no idea how to cope. Would his curses cancel out mine? Or would they only take effect if I killed him? Before I could make a decision he got himself under control.
"Listen buddy, I know you got a gripe and I feel for you. But I'm not the guy you're after." He explained the ways of bureaucracy. The real man in charge was his boss. When he told the location I growled and left, waving one arm in farewell. I should have stayed for more specific directions. I felt like a fool, wandering around gawking at street signs and counting numbers on buildings. It still amazed me how nobody paid any attention.
I remember watching this as a child!
It was getting late when I found it, but I went right in. Falling into character again, I roared, raised my arms, and staggered into a small reception room. Instead of the victim I was expecting, there was a girl at a desk. She was doing something with the ends of her fingers and a small stick.
"Hraargh!", I said, waving my arms stiffly at her.
She put both elbows on her desk and asked, "Do you have an appointment?"
She popped some kind of inflated skin with her mouth, chewed, and repeated her question. "I said, do you have an appointment?"
"Huuh-uh", I replied. It turned out I couldn't just barge in, but had to arrange in advance. So I filled out an appointment request. Under 'reason' I wrote "In fulfillment of curse", since there wasn't room for any real details.
I was proud of my graceful flowing script. When I came from, writing was a rare skill. Now that I had an appointment, I raised my arms into standard curse fulfillment position and started forward. Before I could even make a tiny bellow she stopped me again. "Now what", I wondered? Turns out it was too close to closing time. My appointment was for the next morning. And that soon only because there was a cancellation earlier. Otherwise I'd have had to wait two more weeks. So I killed the whole night waiting to kill a man for disturbing a dead man that had not cared for centuries.
And of course, the Definitive Modern Mummy Movie
I was beginning get tired of this job. Morning arrived. I came back and saw the man who would suffer torment untold for daring to yada yada yada... ad infinitum. By this time I just wanted to finish the job and go home. It turned out, so sorry, but he only owns a construction company. The real villain was the elected city official who had hired him. Heaving a long-suffering sigh, I followed his directions to City Hall. Once inside I went to a central desk marked information. There was an initial confusion.
"The Mayor? No, you can't see him. He's an important man and very busy. Besides he's not who you need to see."
He wasn't? Again, what now?
"You need to go to the Department of curses and fulfillment."
Curses and fulfillment? All right, maybe now I would get somewhere! How nice of the city to set up an office just to help you sort out all this rigmarole. I could see why they needed one... Figuring out who would receive my curse needed a full-time staff!
When I arrived, I began to learn the truth. An advisor saw me right away, and explained how the earth was running out of room. How new cities were being built, and old ones enlarged. How even the remote places like my temple were needed to house humanity.
They sent me to a new office to take a test. When I got there I found a couple of vampires (wearing sunblock) and a werewolf all waiting in line before me. When it was my turn, I answered some test questions and talked to another advisor. Based on my tests, I was sent to a publishing agent for advice. He told me to write what I know.
I think it's nice of everybody to be so helpful. Since, as they explained it, I am the curse personified, and I have an aptitude for writing, I should be fulfilled by becoming an author. I have to admit, I enjoyed writing this.
So what do you think? Was this story any good, or should I give fiction a try?
Signed, The Mummy