Missing Mummy

The sound of the curators heals clicking on the hard stone floor of the museum resounded off the quiet walls in the Denver Museum of Natural History. He was checking on the old mummy exhibit. The lights were dimmed; it was after closing time. As he wound his way through the long, twisting halls, he marveled at how anyone could ever find the well-hidden exhibit. It was amazing that anyone even remembered it was here!

When he turned down one carpeted hall his footsteps became silent. A thick sense of foreboding overcame him. The air seemed thicker, somehow heavier. Soon, the walls were starting to show the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt; this should have comforted him, but it didn’t. Those glyphs told him he was heading in the right direction. Oh, there were the usual eagles, hawks, blue squiggly lines showing water, and the popular pictographs of people turned sideways; but, if one looked closer, they would realize that the images were not so benign as they appeared. Looking at them, one would see horrendous images of slaughter and mass killings. These were copies of the actual glyphs found in Queen Cyra’s tomb. The true mystery of Queen Cyra was, how did a male get into a queens coffin? DNA testing proved the mummy to be male, but he was dressed in the garments of a queen and in a queen’s coffin. There wasn’t even evidence of what had killed him, perhaps a disease. Nobody would ever know.

He entered the hot, dark room. The room was so hot he loosened his tie and took off his suit jacket. Laying the jacket near the exhibit entrance, he continued into the perfectly silent room. The dim lights flickered, for a moment he thought he was seeing the lights of candles, carried by priests. He took a step forward, and when he did, he realized the hard sole of his shoe made a scuffing noise. Looking down, he saw sand and stone, not the expected gold carpet. “H…h...hello?” he tentatively called out. “Is anybody there?” His voice echoed across the vast chambers.

He looked around. Vast chambers? Stone floors? Sand? Hot? Where in the museum was he? This certainly looked like the Egyptian exhibit, yet something wasn’t quite right. The hairs on the back of his neck raised and his skin crawled. He kept turning around, expecting to see someone, anyone, behind him, ready to steal his very soul.

A cat yowled and ran across the hallway.

The curator breathed a sigh of relief. Just a cat, he was fine. He slightly chuckled at himself. How stupid to be scared of a cat! The chuckles turned to outright laughter. What was there to be scared of, a cat? He was in his own museum, looking for that blasted mummy.

Hands grasped him around the neck, strangling him. They were ice cold and had a grip like steal. Gasping, he pulled at the hands, trying to loosen their grip. Slowly, he blacked out. Just before he did, he could hear a hoarse, raspy voice from another world.

“You’re soul for mine, mortal.”