William Doonan

I write books and stories.

The Mummies of Blogspace9: Chapter Twenty-Five

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July 1, 2011
Seville, Spain
Hanson       http://www.historyismine.blogspace9.ex

I can’t explain how happy I was to see Cyrus.  I’ve been through a lot, so seeing him here in Seville gave me great relief.  Maybe things were going to be OK after all.  So you can imagine how disappointed I was when we had to kill him.

“We need to talk,” Cyrus told me. He had already been in Seville for two days, meeting with Sacromonte, convincingly making the case that he was a friend, someone who could be trusted.  We headed over to a little sidewalk café by the bus station and got some lunch. 

“This has gotten out of control,” he said.  We made small talk until our sandwiches arrived.  “We stepped into something big.  Didn’t we, Bruce?”

“You’re telling me.”  I nodded in agreement.  “Otherwise I wouldn’t be hiding from the police, wearing a yarmulke and sidecurls, calling myself Melman Brezlov.”

“It suits you.”

“Thanks.  Can you tell me what’s going on?  Undead conquistadors, undead Grand Inquisitor, undead Kim – there’s actually far more undead mummies than I anticipated.”

He shook his head.  “No, no.  Someone is clearly paying attention to our discoveries, but there’s nothing supernatural here.  Kim is going to be fine.  I don’t believe in any of this demon nonsense.”

“Really?”  I yelled.  I yelled because we were closer to the bus station than any sidewalk café had any right to be, and every time one of those huge lumbering busses left the station coughing exhaust, the noise was deafening.

“We’re scientists, Bruce.  There are no walking mummies.  Snap out of it.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  “If I hadn’t recently wandered through a harem of long-dead concubines, I’d probably agree with you,” I told him.  “But I have recently wandered through a harem of long-dead concubines.  So I’m not going to be snapping out of it.”

“I’m disappointed.”

I ordered a beer which never arrived. 

“Alright,” he said,  “let’s set aside our interpretive differences.  Mummies or not, we have a problem.  It would seem you have something that somebody wants.”

“You mean I have something that Gaspar Quiroga y Vela wants, the undead Grand Inquisitor who is also possessed by a demon of old Peru.”

“That’s all nonsense and you know it.  Here’s what I think – I think our excavations are attracting attention because we’re digging near a hoard of stolen Inca gold.”

“Agreed.  The sopay wants his gold back.”

“No.”  Cyrus shook his head.  “No, you’ve been doing a lot of research.  Maybe you found out more about the gold, maybe you figured out where it is.  That could be why they’re after you.”

“I don’t think that’s what this is about,” I told him.  “This is about the Malleus Momias book.  It scares him.”

“Bullshit.  That’s nothing but ancient superstition.  Besides, if it was about Sebastiano’s journal, then why would they come after you?  The journal is in Peru.”

“No, it’s not.” 

He looked up.  “What did you say?”

I waited until the bus bound for Jerez rounded the corner.  A Granada-bound bus was close on its tail, so I finished most of my sandwich.  “I’ve been thinking this through – I think Sebastiano’s journal references Malleus Momias, but it isn’t the book itself.  The book itself is here in Spain somewhere.”

“Why would you think that?”

“OK, let’s assume the gold hoard is real.  Let’s accept that Duran and Cuellar hid the gold in our pyramid at the request of Francisco Pizarro, to hide it from the King.”

He glared at me.

“I think we can agree that the gold is no longer in the pyramid.  Someone took it.”

“Of course someone took it,” he spat.  “That’s why we’re searching for it.”

“Hmmm.  I didn’t realize we were searching for the gold.  I thought we were excavating to learn about colonial history.  In any case, Sebastiano moved the gold.  I’m sure of it.”

“Impossible,” he shouted over the din of a luxury long-haul coach bound for Barcelona.  “The hoard was untouched when Duran returned for his share.  Sebastiano would have been long dead by then.”

I sat back in my chair.  He was breathing heavily, and I was starting to get nervous.  “Hey boss, I thought we didn’t believe in undead conquistadors.”

We spent an uncomfortable few moments, both looking down at our plates.  “I don’t know, Bruce.  I don’t know what to believe.  But if Duran is telling the truth, Sebastiano couldn’t have touched the gold.  He would have died more than a century earlier.”

“Like I said, Cyrus, I’ve been thinking it through.  Sebastiano moved the gold, then he came back to Spain to tell everyone about the mummies, to write a book about how to destroy them.”

“No.  No.  No.  The timeline doesn’t work.  Sebastiano would have to be hundreds of years old for that to happen.”

I nodded.  “That’s right.”

“No way.”

“Yes way.  It’s the only way this makes sense.  Sebastiano is a mummy too.”

Two busses chuffed by in a row, their LED signs blinked their destinations –Madrid, both of them.

Cyrus was breathing heavily.  “Where’s the gold, Bruce?”

“I don’t know.  Honestly I’m more interested in the book.  And I’m going to find it.”

He slammed his fist down on the table, bouncing his fork into the air.  “Fuck the book,” he screamed, though there were no busses passing at that moment.  “Where is the fucking gold?”

Everything happened quickly after that.  A gypsy woman came begging at our table.  I recognized her as Sacromonte’s granddaughter.  She had a crumbled up paper cup in one hand and a pistol in the other.  

I remember staring at the next bus, an old clunker bound for Rota.  When I turned back, Cyrus had a dagger out.  It was a mean-looking thing, a foot long at least, hafted in some kind of curved horn.  He was shouting at me. 

I turned as Sacromonte grabbed my arm and pulled me to safety, but I caught the gist of what Cyrus was trying to convey.   “…dare defile his name, Bruce, he’ll flay you alive and wear your skin like a coat for your insolence.  You’ll burn in Sopay’s holy fire for eternity.”

He came at me, but the gypsies shot him.  It might have been the granddaughter or someone else, or all of them, I don’t know.  It took Cyrus a long, angry, screaming time to die, but for some reason, all I could think about was that bus headed for Rota.

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Written by williamdoonan

April 27, 2012 at 2:30 am

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