Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A mummy, a medical imaging scan, the return of an ancient cycle of love and death...


    The radiation scan - at a dose lethal for the living - blasted through the linen windings.
 (Excerpt - The Egyptian Mythology Murders)

She found that she had been swallowed up in the round mouth of a vault-like chamber. Not Nut’s star-lined body, but a gullet, like that of the great serpent of outer darkness and evil, Apophis.
She stirred and the bandages, though finely wrapped, crackled like dry rushes around the length of her high-waisted and long-legged form.
“Vibrations on the screen. Is there construction work going on outside? She just twitched!”
“I certainly hope not!”
Where am I? There was no sweet chanting for her here, nor the soothing shimmer of the sistra rattled by her priestesses and no burning gum of incense from Punt to celebrate her divine aroma.
Instead the sharpness of hospital antiseptic flared her nostrils.
Her supranormal awareness told her that this was not Egypt. It was a green, island place, far from Egypt, across the expanse of the rolling Great Green.
That realisation brought a pang.
But it was nothing like the pang she felt as the first powerful emotion that she had experienced since her ‘night of ointment and bandages’ thousands of years earlier speared through her. She gave a low moan.
Osiris.
Lost to me!
Isis felt her chest rise in grief, but it felt like heaving dunes of sand and not warm flesh, and there was no moisture to rise to her eyes in tears, just a trickle of dust disturbed by her moving eyelashes.
“This is unusual. The skull shows no sign of being emptied and packed with linen…”
“She’s very early period. Her mummy case is simple and severe, the earliest typological style,” the voice of a young female Egyptologist explained. “She was obviously named in honour of the goddess Isis, an extremely ancient deity…”
A beeping alarm cut across her voice and the scanner machine plunged into darkness and so did the room.
“What’s happened?”
“Power outage.”
“Our own auxiliary generator will kick in.”
It did. Immediately. The light and the whirring resumed.
“Back on stream. But it might be wise to pause and continue this later to be safe. We’ll bring her out of here temporarily and resume when the glitch is over. If we’re quick, the tea will still be hot in the hospital cafeteria.”
She felt her body moving, being dragged out of the gullet along the sliding CT tray, vibrating under her back, and she came out through the round mouth of the scanner into a wider space.
Then the hospital’s back-up power died too and the room now swarmed with darkness again. As black as the tomb.
“Curses!” a voice said.
“Is that an imprecation or an explanation,” the CT operator said.
An uneasy chuckle.
“Anybody got a pencil light? Where’s a GP when you need one?”
“Come, this way, folks. Follow my voice. I can find the cafeteria in the dark.”
She heard footsteps retreating...