Friday, 25 November 2016

THE MUMMY'S GHOST












d. Reginald Le Borg (1944)

‘If the Mummy didn’t make these tracks, I’ll eat ‘em’
It’s shit being a Mummy.  Dead, but not dead, wrapped in putrid rags that reek of your own decay. One eyed, one armed, one foot dragging awkwardly behind. You can’t speak, you can’t reason and, with no will of your own, you are wide open to become the shuffling slave of any unscrupulous person who knows the evocations and boils the right number of Tana leaves during a full moon.  Your heart, that putrefying organ, is filled with ancient spores and moss and dirt but, cruelly, still functions just well enough for you to continue to suffer the acute pain of a centuries dead lost love. 

And what do you do when you’re not needed to kill, to kidnap, to terrorise, to steal artefacts? Where do you go, what space do you inhabit? Do you live under a bridge, like a bandage wreathed troll? Or do you just sit in a shed or a cave or in the heart of the woods and wait? After all, waiting is second nature to you – actually, its first nature, the thing that you are most familiar with after thousands of years of stasis.  

Then, when you find that your beloved Princess Ananka has been reincarnated, how do you plight your troth? You lumber up to the poor girl and scare her into unconsciousness, terrify her to the extent that a grey streak spontaneously appears in her hair: she isn't pleased to see you, and that feeling of deathless love over the millennia is most definitely not mutual. 

So, you scoop up her inert body and drag her off to the river like so much laundry, pursued by an angry mob and a scrappy little dog who hates your dusty guts. As you disappear into the muddy water, dragging your (now inexplicably aged) reincarnated Princess with you, what do you think you’ll find down there? Peace? Contentment? Rest? These things are not available to you. They never will be. You'll be back.

It’s shit being a Mummy.   

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