Ella Marie, a museum cleaning lady, who helps an ancient mummy Elioctyl, that has come back to life.
Her adventures brings her back safely to Arthur Tindale, her dear husband, and they have a run in with the Aunties when they are called to rescue Barron from his own kidnapping.
So the Story goes...
Ibn al’ Gruk was weary.
That lone grake he had seen flying over the desert settlement this morning had baffled him.
Usually, such creatures where not migrating at this season, and this one was lone too, which was all the more baffling.
The old gripshawk had seen many things in his life, but this was surely a presage of importance. In the myths of his people, the big colourful birds were once thriving in the desert oasis, where they were thought to have appeared in the Old Times. But having been extensively hunted down as food for the gripshawk tribes, they had moved away, and the balance had been broken.
It had prompted lots of the tribes to move apart, in search of food and exchanges, and few of them were now still living in the deserts as they did in the old ways. Many of them, for many generations now, had been creating cities on the coast, and the most flourishing one was Chafik’ An, where a traveling portal had been erected by the humans from Lan’Ork to facilitate exchanges and trades.
All of that, despite his old age (that his long mop of white angora hair under his chin could account for), Ibn al’ Gruk had only heard all of this through the lineage of his ancestors, but he had seen some of the conflicts that had been created, and he understood that change again was in the air.
He felt like he could weave a new tale to entertain the settlement tonight, and perhaps give them inkling as to the new changes to come.
For he felt changes were coming, and that they had been in motion already.
The night was clear, and lots of people had gathered around the big bonfire. They all loved these regular meetings where everyone would meet and share food, drinks and over all, gaiety.
He started to drum low deep sounds and cleared his throat.
A fit of cough got him by surprise, but it was just a hairball that he spat in the fire, which set ablaze immediately, providing some dramatic effect that hushed everyone down.
“In a mysterious land far far away,” started Ibn al’ Gruk, with a growling voice…
Egypt, 2657 B.C.
Lekshen had dreamt of Set that night. The god had appeared to him in one of his familiar forms, that of a long snouted animal .
Lekhsen was wondering why the god had requested such a task for him to do, but he was certainly in the perfect position to accomplish such a task.
Like Set, Lekhsen came from Upper Egypt, the arid land, and he had managed to get a high-ranking responsibility in fertile Lower Egypt as a scribe thanks to the unification efforts of Pharaoh.
But Pharaoh’s daughter had just died… right after her 10 year old brother, and Pharaoh’s himself felt He would not live much longer.
Which would mean that the closest male in the family would be likely to get on the throne of Egypt. And that would be bad news for people like him, as the brothers and brothers-in-law of Pharaoh did not appreciate much His policy.
In the dream, the strange creature had asked him to hide something with the mummy of Pharaoh’s daughter. It had told him people would forget about how Set was fighting for Ra, the Sun, each night that the bark was traveling on the dangerous underworld waters. They would forget, and would demonise him and his people, and he, Lekhsen would have to write the story, and bury it with the Princess. His status would allow him to do it unscathed.
“Would people ever remember they once were One?” had asked Lekshen to the god.
“Only you can tell” had the creature answered.
The mummy opened her eyes.
She had that uncomfortable feeling… hunger that’s it… she was very hungry.
She wondered a moment how to open the sarcophagus and just imagined it open.
She went out slowly… regaining slowly her bodily sensations.
The mummy was having some difficulties to see through the bandages… and the dim light wasn’t helping either… the colors were weird too.. the quality of the air seemed different too… everything seemed different.
Who was she? Was she a she? She had difficulties to remember too.
The mummy farted…
Oops… how was that possible?
Oops, it farted again!
Ooops… All that farting was as exhausting as being in labour, thought the mummy.
(What!? no farting mummy icon )
Nonetheless, the mummy farted again… and this time there was a light smell of roses in the air…
The was wondering where it was.
No sky, no crap.
A strange smell of fish though, and her bandages were too old and dry to be the cause of it.
had the weird impression of someone talking in the distance, but she couldn’t feel its head and thus couldn’t turn it to the voice.
Elioctyl looked down on her body being wrapped in mummification bandages and sniggered. Dear funny silly alive ones, with their darling little rituals. How sweet they were to think their physical processes would make a ha’porth of difference after their last sweet breath of terrestrial air.
Look at Hoofut, taking it all so seriously! He thinks that if he takes every possible care with those strips of cloth and smelly unguents, that he…yes he alone!…has the power to direct my next adventures. Silly man! But he means well, bless his leather sandals. And Tarfel too, see how he cries when he’s sure Hoofut isn’t watching. I see the tears roll down his leathery cheeks, I see him brush them away with the back of his hand, and sniff and snort, and then spit on the floor. He pretends it’s the malodourous vapours of the embalming mixtures that’s making his nose run, but I can see.
Shalabat cries too when no-one is watching. He rests on a cushion beside the pool, waiting for the completion of the process on my lifeless body, waiting for the ceremonial rites to take place, waiting, wondering, worrying about the future….he has every faith in Hoofut’s skills, and Tarfel’s too. But he wonders what will happen to his people now without Elioctyl.
Ah, and I wonder too, but I don’t worry. I make a pact now, in love for these dear ones, to leave a piece of me in energy in the mummy they create out of my bones and skin. The mummy is for the terrestrial ones, a poignant reminder, a mystery, a relic, a treasure, a clue! and for them, I give it life, energy, meaning….I will return from time to time, in ethereal body form, to those who ponder this mummy, for generations to come….
Elioctyl had been trying in vain for years to attract the attention of the museum cleaning lady, Ella Marie Tindale.
Ella Marie had lived in Alabama all her life, and her parents before her. Some of her ancestors were native to this land, some from the distant shores of Africa. She loved the stories of the old ones, passed down through the generations, stories told at family gatherings and celebrations. Ella Marie had never learned to read, but she remembered all the stories word for word, including her own stories. Ah, her own stories! She kept her own stories to herself, she never forgot the horrified silence when, as a child of five, she had voiced one of her stories at a family gathering. A silence had descended like a pall in the dining room that day.
Ella! It’s me, you silly goose, it’s me, I mean YOU!
Duster suspended in mid-air, Ella Marie quickly looked around to make sure nobody was watching her. All her life she’d been one step away from the funny-farm; she knew she had to be careful.
Are you speaking to ME? she asked the mummy, incredulously. She’d spoken to trees before, and heard them reply, but never a mummy.
Sheesh! exclaimed the mummy, At LAST! Over 3,000 years I’ve been whispering to you, and finally, you heard me.
Ella Marie looked furtively over her shoulder, and then whispered back: Well, what for? What do you want?
I want you to get me the fuck out of here, that’s what!
Ella Marie clamped her work worn hands over her ears. You mind your language! she admonished the mummy. I don’t wonder I wasn’t listening to you all those years, coming out with language like that! Pfft….
Metaphorically speaking, the mummy raised its eyebrows and sighed.
Ella Marie put the encounter to the back of her mind, and whistled loudy and kept her eyes averted when dusting the mummy case during the following months. It wasn’t until the floods of the following spring that she heard Elioctyl’s voice again, urging her to take action, that now was the perfect opportunity.
Pssst! Ella! Do it now, NOW!
NO! shouted Ella Marie.
Suit yourself, Honey, replied her husband Arthur, pouring himself a cup of coffee from a thermos and screwing the lid back on.
Ella Marie spun round, saying HUH? Yes, I mean yes, please.
Arthur raised an eyebrow and tutted. You said No, Ella, who was you talking to anyway?
Oh Lordy, Art, I was just saying NO to all the flooding, NO more rain, and all….Ella Marie replied, but her mind was racing.
Art Honey, why don’t you wade round to your mothers and see if she’s ok, why dontcha, and I’ll start moving stuff up into the attic. River’s gonna burst its banks tonight, I reckon, we oughta do what we can now.
Don’t get lifting nothing too heavy, ya hear? Leave anything you can’t manage for me, I’ll do it when I get back, Arthur replied.
As soon as Art was out of the door and down the porch steps, Ella Marie raced out the back door and into the garage. The adrenaline was pumping through her veins, and she felt light as air, and fit as a twenty year old. Her flashlight beam swept the garage…she didn’t know what, precisely, she was looking for, but she knew she’d find it.
Aha! Ella Marie spotted a coil of washing line rope, and a tarpaulin. Stuffing the flashlight into her pocket, she grabbed the surfboard off the hooks on the wall and dragged it outside, the rope and tarpaulin under her arm. Quickly she tied the tarpaulin to the surfboard, tethering it to the garage door handle while she went back inside for the oars out of the uninflated dinghy. The flood water was past her ankles now, inching towards her knees, as she set off for the museum, pulling the surfboard behind her, thankful for the power blackout and the dark streets.
Ella Marie Tindale was one of the many people reported missing after the floods. Her body was never found and her husband Arthur intuitively felt that she was still alive, although he had said little to the police. They hadn’t connected the mummy’s disappearance to his wifes disappearance, but Arthur had his suspicions.
One night a few weeks previously, Arthur heard Ella Marie talking in her sleep. She often mumbled aloud, that was nothing out of the ordinary, but Arthur had had a nasty jolt when he read about the theft of the mummy, and recalled that Ella had been talking to a mummy in her sleep. He couldn’t imagine why Ella would steal a mummy, let alone walk out on their marriage in the middle of a flood, of all things, but then, Ella had always been strange.
Arthur Tindale sighed. He missed his wife.
Holy Moly, that was quite a ride! whispered a beaming Ella Marie, who had been enjoying herself immensely. The dinghy and its strange cargo drifted on the open sea, the storms passed and the ocean calm and moonlit.
The floodwater currents had swept them along and Ella focused on avoiding obstacles like signposts, feeling exhilarated and alive with excitement.
Oy, we’re in the Gulf of Mexico now! she cackled, Lordy, I wonder where we’ll end up.
Elioctyl grinned.December 12, 2018 at 6:00 am in Reply To: The Precious Life and Rambles of Liz Tattler #4567
Elioctyl and Ella Marie Tindale were the next to arrive…..January 22, 2020 at 12:40 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5628
Realizing that she had to come up with a plan quickly to distract April from taking her pith helmet, June took a few deep breaths and calmed herself. It was true she was often flaky and disorganized, but in an emergency she was capable of acting swiftly and efficiently.
“Remember Jacqui who we met in Scotland at the Nanny and Au Pair convention? Called herself Nanny Gibbon and tried to pass herself off as Scottish?” April frowned, trying to remember. Europeans all looked the same to her. “Ended up with that eccentric family with all the strange goings on?” June prompted.
“Oh yes, now I remember. Wasn’t there an odd story about a mummy that had washed up from, where was it?”
“Alabama!” shouted June triumphantly. “Exactly!”
“Well excuse me for being dense, but how does that help?”
June leaned back into the sofa with a happy smile. April had forgotten all about the pith helmet and was now focused on the new plan. “Well,” she said, rearranging some scatter cushions behind her back into a more comfortable position, “Do you remember the woman who arrived with the mummy, Ella Marie? She stayed with Jacqui for a while and they became good friends. Apparently she loved that crazy Wrick family; Jacqui said Ella Marie felt right at home there. She would have stayed, but she missed her husband in the end and felt guilty about leaving him, so she went back to Alabama.”
Aprils eyes widened slightly as she started to understand. “Did they stay in contact?”
“Maybe they can find that baby for us,” April said, looking relieved. “Or at least swap it for that girl baby. Where did that come from anyway?”January 25, 2020 at 6:40 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5637
“Och aye, now that’s intriguing,” remarked Jacqui, looking up from her phone. “Well I’ll be darned.”
“What’s that, honey?” asked her friend Ella Marie, looking up from her needlepoint. She was working on a cushion cover with an Egyptian theme.
“How far away is Chickasaw?”
“Why, that’s not far away at all,” Arthur said, and then went into some detail involving road numbers that neither of the ladies paid attention to.
“What all is a happening over there in Chickasaw anyway?” asked Ella Marie.
“Can you drive me over there? I have to kidnap a baby,” said Jacqui.
Noticing the astonished looks on her friends faces she hastened to add, “Oh it had already been kidnapped. I just have to kidnap it back, the mother misses it.”
Arthur and his wife said “Ah” in unison, recalling the time when the divorced father had snatched the neighbours children, causing poor Mary Lou no end of grief.
“Of course we’ll help you, that child needs his mother,” Arthur said. “Where in Chickasaw are they holding him?”
“That’s the tricky part, Art. The exact location isn’t known. In fact, ” Jacqui said, “In all honestly I don’t quite know where to go from here.”January 29, 2020 at 4:21 am in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5660
Arthur was driving the minivan. It was an old Chewy Express van with the big bold “DRAPES CLEANING” sign on it that he’d repainted by himself over the years. The business wasn’t doing great, truth be told, so he’d cut down the marketing costs, which according to Ella Marie wasn’t a bright idea. “You never know where you next patrons could hide.” She’d said, and then had him hooked up on some social website to post random things and get some likes and thumbs up. He’d come a little late for the new century’s game and couldn’t see any of the appeal, but he’d learned over the years never to make the missus irate.
He’d been so glad when she’d come back from the floods, unscathed and full of completely batshit crazy stories. Mummies and stuff. Sounded like being rolled in shredded drapes fanfiction to him. Complete garbage, but you can’t tell people they’re crazy, they’d hate you for it, and in truth you may be wrong. You might be the one crazy and all the others the sane ones. How’s that for a thought.
Anyway, he loved his Ella Marie dearly, and had learned not to sweat the small stuff. Like this night drive to a funny place she’d just received coordinates from an acquaintance on the Net. Those were mad times, mad times indeed. At least, she could have told him she wanted to catch a new rare pokemeon go! in the dead of night, and it might have sounded… well, just as mad probably.
They were driving steadily, being careful about the road signs; the van wasn’t much for crazy stunts anyway.
“How far is that?” he asked the wife, who was busy on her phone tracking the route and chatting on the thing with her friends imaginary or else.
“Not far, luv’. Next turn right, then left, then right and we should be there.”
The last turn took them off the road, and Arthur started to wonder if that wasn’t another “turn left at your peril” GPS experiment, where they’d have to haul the van out of a tar pit, but it seemed fine so far. The place looked ominous, and full of croaking noises 🐸🐸🐸🐸.
He killed the headlights, and moved in the parking lot at a crawl. There was no point in alerting whoever was there of their nocturnal visit. A barn owl flew straight in front of the van, scaring them.
“STOP!” jumped Jacqui, who’d been sleeping the whole time, and woke up to a frightful sight.
Arthur pushed on the brakes that gave off a screeching sound that would wake up a mummy.January 29, 2020 at 8:55 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5668
“The Spanish Moss Motel? Well, I’ll be darned, so this it where it is,” said Arthur, “But hell, it’s no place for a baby!”
“What do you mean, Art?” asked his wife. “Is it one of them there broth kitchens full of painted tarts?”
Art shook his head. “Not exactly. Nobody really knows, ‘cept everybody knows that things go on here.” Art shook his head again. “Aint no place for a baby.”January 31, 2020 at 3:35 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5673
The few cars on the dark road were flying past him at speed, sometimes honking in alarm when abruptly realizing he was there at an inch of being run over. But none had stopped so far. Might have been they couldn’t see his little thumb up.
“Hitch-hiking my way back isn’t doing so well for me.” reflected Barron after a while. Oh, you may wonder how he escaped from his captors. Simple answer was he got bored waiting and he saw an opportunity.
In reality, it was an elaborate plan, and the screeching sound of a nearby car had provided the right amount of distraction for him to make a run for it. Well, not run really, more like a patient and careful tumbling around. The sound had been alarming enough for most of the forces present to run for the potential intruders without caring to leave someone to watch over the innocent sleeping baby (that was him, but he wasn’t really sleeping).
Anyway, he hadn’t made it very far outside the clandestine distillery at the back of the Motel, and was about to abandon all hope and phone his half-sister Yvanevskaia for help, when an old DRAPES CLEANING van suddenly braked to a screeching halt just in front of him.
“Why d’ya stop Art’! They’re still after us, those maniacs!”
“A baby honey! I almost ran over the baby!”
“That’s a big ass baby, it’s almost a kid, and what is it doin’ hitch-hickin’ in the dead of night?”
“I dunno my sweet cotton-candy luv,… maybe he got bored or sumthin’…”
“So what are you waiting for? Just damn’ take it, and let’s pump gas and put some distance between us and these gangsters!”
Barron was all too pleased to oblige, and as a matter of fact, had already managed to sit in the back with the funny looking lady with the long face.
“Go!” he cooed at Arthur, who pushed the engine back into a roar.January 31, 2020 at 9:22 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5676
Ella Marie looked at the peculiar child sitting on the car seat next to her. This was no normal kid, she knew that much. Looked like one, except that expression on his face, well! That was no baby looking out of those eyes. And the thoughts she was hearing coming from him! Ella Marie shivered and gave him another sidelong glance. He caught her eye and winked. Winked!
“Well if this all aint the darnedest thing,” she said aloud.
Echoing her thoughts, Jacqui agreed. “In all my years as a nanny I’ve never seen a wee bairn like this. He’s giving me the creeps.”
“Rude old bag,” thought the child, his face reddening. “Take that,” as he filled his disposable diaper.
Ella Marie gasped, reading his mind.February 11, 2020 at 9:19 am in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5783
“How in tarnation did ya do that?” Arthur looked at his wife suspiciously.
“Do what, honey?” Ella Marie replied, feigning innocence.
“This here lottery win! How did you do that? You aint been doing them there voodoo tricks again, have you? You promised…”
“Oh heck Art, it’s pure chance, a million to one, you know that! We just got lucky, is all.” But she couldn’t meet his eye. “Well I had to do somethin’! It aint for us, it’s for those friends of Jacqui’s. When I heard they’d been locked up in jail on cooked up charges, after being so excited about visiting the family, well I couldn’t bear it.”
“You promised you wasn’t gonna do that hokey pokey stuff no more,” Arthur said.
“Yes but it aint for us. This is different, just a one time thing, helping out friends. We can pay the bail money for ’em now and get ’em outta that stinking hellpit. Aint no place for decent ladies, Art.”
“They’ll need some darned expensive lawyers to fight the Beige House, and fat chance of winning.” Art looked doubtful.
“Oh they won’t stick around to fight the case. I had this idea,” Ella Marie had that old twinkle in her eye that used to get Art all fired up, back in the day. “We’re gonna buy them a boat. I been talking to Jacqui ’bout it. An old flame of hers turned up who can sail the boat for them.”
“How big’s the boat?” asked Art, an idea brewing in his head. He’d always wanted to sail around the world.
“Well we aint bought the boat yet, Art, the lottery check only just arrived. How ’bout we go down to Orange Beach Marina and see what’s for sale? We could have a seafood lunch, make a day of it.”
A big smile spread across the old mans face. ” Well, hell, Ella Marie, I guess we can do whatever we darn well please now! Let’s do it! And,” he added, planting a loud smackeroo of a kiss on her forehead, “Let’s get a boat big enough for all of us. I’ve got an adventure in me, afore I pop my clogs, I sure do.”February 19, 2020 at 12:35 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5797
“This is the life, eh!” June said, stretching out on the sun lounger sipping a fruity cocktail. “Turquoise sea and a salty breeze, this is the life for me!” she said, kicking off her new deck shoes in nautical blue and white, and hitching her dress hem up to expose her thighs to the sun.
The skipper raised an eyebrow and smiled sardonically, while simultaneously averting his eyes from the unappetizing sight of the doughy flesh. He could imagine this one rolling around below decks looking green as soon as the weather changed.
“Sure beats that jail. That had me worried, I’ll admit it. I wasn’t sure we were ever gonna make it outta there,” replied April, smiling fondly at Ella Marie and giving her hand an affectionate squeeze. “You saved our bacon, honey.”
“If it weren’t for that there Lord Wrick turning up, even the money might not have got you out.” Arthur chimed in. “Promising ole president Lump that land for the golf course if’n he pardoned you. Jacqui, you done wonders there.”
“Ah well, the young Lord Wrick owed me a favour, you might say. But that’s another story,” Jacqui replied. “The main thing was we had to get out of the country fast before Lump finds out about that land in Scotland.”
June sniggered. “Can’t imagine him in a kilt, can you? I wonder if he’s orange down there as well.”
“Oh, please! You really know how to lower the tone, dontcha? Gawd, what a thought!” April started to feel queasy. Changing the subject, she said, “Hey, did I tell you our Joanie’s going to meet us in Australia too?”April 7, 2020 at 4:14 pm in Reply To: Two Aunties au Pair and Their Pert Carouses #5966
Before the quizzical look of April, she ventured “Thought I’d forgotten all about that dolls mystery on that weirdo website, have you?”
April yawned. “Well, beats the daily boredom for sure. Wait,” she added with a second thought “how are you sure the carotene virus hasn’t travelled the Sarcastic Sea?”
“Ella Marie was formal about it, her voodoo isn’t that out of touch, you know.” She mouthed detaching all the syllables “Nothing harmful ever ventured past the Bermuda Triangle.” June was beaming. Then, she thought again. “Unless she said the contrary, you silly tart, you’re making me doubt now. No matter, it’ll just be a quick touch and go.”
“Touch and go, it is then.” pouted April not all too sure where that next chapter was heading to.