Flash Friday 19/12/2014: Mummy Matters
As soon as three explorers entered the crypt, the mummy behind the stone desk stirred for the first time in three thousand years.
“Ah!” The mummy beamed a smile through the only visible part of his body; the eyes. “Yes, thank you, one and all, for visiting our lovely pyramid out here in the middle of nowhere. I take it you all had fun?”
“No.” The leader of the group, an old-looking man with short white hair and a hat, stepped forwards. “It was awful.”
“Oh, heavens. We can’t have people finding our little temple adventure awful, now, can we? If you’d be so kind as to give some feedback as to what you didn’t like, I’ll be sure to pass it on to the Pharaoh. Or…” The mummy scratched his head. “By now, it’d probably be the Pharaoh’s son. Or the Pharaoh’s son’s son. What century is it, anyway?”
The mummy blinked. “You know what, I’ll just hold onto your criticism for the time being. So, what went wrong? Did you find the location okay? Were the instructions on the map adequate?”
“They were.” The man pointed behind him at his companions, a younger male and female. “I brought my friends down with me. Thought we’d have a good time. Everything sounded great. And then? Well, it was a gigantic let-down. An absolute shambles.”
“Go from the top, and we’ll work out what went wrong.”
“First of all, we drove into the car park. Should have realised something was up when we were the only car for hundreds of miles. We queued at the ticket booth in the scorching sun for an hour, waiting for it to open, despite it being past opening time. It’s only then we discovered the ticket man inside the booth was nothing more than a skeleton.”
“Of course. You can’t expect someone in such an occupation to stay in the job for more than a year, let alone three millennia.”
“We left the money on the desk, stamped the backs of our own hands, and went in. Despite that hiccup, the foyer was nice enough. Torches kept maintained for no reason, sarcophagus lining the walls, the usual. We thought, you know, we’ll put that little ticket fiasco behind us and have fun. And that’s when it fell apart. Jimmy, tell the mummy what your ride was like, won’t you?”
“Tch.” Jimmy sneered from behind the elder man. “It was ridiculous. I went for the ‘snake and scorpion pit’ attraction. Thought it would be a bit of alright. Halfway through, my foot snagged on a tripwire. I thought, ‘this is it, this is how it all ends’. And then, all the snakes and scorpions get shot out of holes in the wall…and they’re all skeletons! Every one of them! How’s anyone going to be filled with ten different sources of venom and keel over when they’ve gone and died before you? Absolute let down, I tell you.”
The mummy shrugged. “I guess if you got here a lot earlier, it’d be more fun.”
“My ride was awful, too,” the woman said, raising a hand.
“Go on, Gemma.” Jimmy gave her a nudge. “Let the man know.”
“While those two went off somewhere else, I went for the ‘blades and spikes’ attraction. None of them bloody worked! I was practically stepping on every raised tile and picking up every weighted object, just for a bit of fun. The only trap that actually went off was a blade trap, and it crawled out of the wall so slowly, it gave me a gentle tap on the stomach. I came out with all my limbs, and severely disappointed.”
“Mmhmm, mmhmm.” The mummy wrote something on a stray piece of his own fabric, then tore it off like a receipt. “And you…?”
“What was your trip like?”
“I went for the ‘rolling boulder’ attraction. I mean, how can you not go on one at least once per trip?”
The mummy nodded. “I hear the movies make that one all the rage these days.”
“But the problem was — there was no boulder. The last person who went on it had already set it off, and didn’t take the time to reset it. I would have filed a complaint against him myself, if I didn’t find him flat as a pancake halfway down. After all three of us met up and shared our resentments, we went on the ‘Wild Nile’ flume ride, only to find that all the water had dried up halfway through.”
“Oh! You just reminded me. Yes, I understand that we managed to get a picture of you three on that ride. One of the spirits crafted it up while you were on it. Yes, here it is.”
The mummy passed David a tile from his desk. It read ‘I Got Soaked On The Wild Nile Ride!’ along the bottom. The tile featured a very well-done painting of three people sat in a log, looking annoyed at the general lack of water around them.
“Probably the best part about that ride,” David said, pocketing it. “Let it be known we’re never coming back here again. Not with the Aztec race having some really good attractions still going.”
“If it makes you feel any better, every attendee is entitled to one item from the gift shop.”
“Gift shop?” David looked around. “What gift shop?”
The mummy pointed behind himself. “King’s chambers. Loaded full of treasures. One per head, but make sure not to take any of the cursed stuff, unless you’re into that sort of stuff. They range from ‘plague of locusts in hometown’ to ‘itchy backside’.”
“Alright. But if we find out that any of the curses have gone past its expiry date, we’ll be back.”
The mummy gave a small bow as the three walked to the gift shop. Applying for a job with the Aztecs seemed a much better prospect for his future career.