The Mummy’s Curse
“Don’t go in there!”
“What?” Mirza Khan turned to look back at Adelaide, tripped over the shin-high railings and fell over. “Ow!” He rubbed his bruised elbow and glared at Adelaide.
“It’s a mummy’s tomb. It’ll be cursed.”
“You’re crazy, man. Ain’t no mummies here.” As far as Mirza could see, it was just a standard tomb, pretty much like all the other family tombs in Highgate cemetery, London. It was about the size of a Great Dane’s kennel, but made of white marble with a wrought-iron door. Old-fashioned, maybe, but not a pyramid. It was padlocked, but that was no problem. He’d brought bolt-cutters.
Adelaide nodded violently, making her pony-tail bounce. “Sheila was a mummy though. Had four children.”
“That’s a mommy — not a mummy, you moron.”
Adelaide shook her head, whipping the pony-tail from side to side. “She was English. We say ‘Mummy.’”
Mirza rolled his eyes to heaven. “So this mummy of four cute kids cursed her tomb?”
Adelaide hugged herself, as though the mere memory of Sheila made her cold. “Nothing cute about her or her kids. She had a temper like a tactical nuke. Strange powers, too. She turned a couple of Mormon missionaries into slugs. The kids were evil little creeps. We lived next door, so I know. Her Peter used to whip our bare legs with nettles when he was only five.”
“Yeah, but why would Sheila leave a curse?”
“Sheila was sick and tired. Sick of her kids. Tired of trying to keep them in line. They say she took an overdose just to get some sleep. You wake her now, she’ll get revenge.”
Mirza sighed theatrically. “She’s dead, Adelaide. She can’t hurt anyone.”
“She can’t touch your body, but she can touch your mind. Don’t disturb her.”
“I’m not going to disturb her. I just want the manuscripts she had buried with her, that’s all. Three lovely Feghoots.”
“What in the name of all that’s unholy is a Feghoot?”
“A real short story that ends in a horrible pun. They’re coming back into fashion. Now Sheila’s dead, one unpublished Feghoot of hers will be worth serious money. And there’s three of them in there.”
Adelaide shook her head so violently that her pony-tail fell off. Damn. She should have left it on the pony. “Not worth it Mirza. You should have seen what happened to our Jimmy when he hosed down her car.”
“What’s wrong with washing the car?”
“He washed the inside. She turned him into a frog for a week.”
“Well I’m going in there anyway.” He sheared off the padlock and opened the door.
“Don’t go in there!”
It was too late. Mirza Khan took a cautious little step inside and screamed. Adelaide saw him grab his head and then collapse.
She pulled him out. His heart was still beating, but he remained in a coma for the rest of his life.
That was one small step for Khan. One giant sleep for Khan’s mind.
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About the Author
Sheila Crosby lives on a small rock in the Atlantic. She’s a mother, writer, photographer, translator, tour guide, librarian, gardener, belly dancer, English teacher and software engineer. One of her primary school teachers once told her scornfully, “Well, you’ve got a good imagination,” and she’s been proving the truth of it ever since. Her website is sheilacrosby.com.
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Copyright © 2009, Sheila Crosby. All Rights Reserved.