William Doonan

I write books and stories.

The Mummies of Blogspace9: Chapter Thirty-Eight

with 2 comments

July 24, 2011
Seville, Spain
Hanson       http://www.historyismine.blogspace9.ex

Although it felt as if we were traveling to another world, the Alcazar was only a few blocks away, so it only took us about five minutes to get there.  Seville’s public parks are not empty at 4:30 in the morning, far from it. 

Beer was flowing in great quantities from tall bottles, wine too, and love in all its forms was being made and played on benches, in flower beds, even in the playgrounds that would soon be turned over to Spanish children.  But since we didn’t appear to be police or prostitutes, nobody paid us much mind.

Baltazar soon led us off the path and through a tangled maze of vegetation.  The hidden door in the fortress wall had been padlocked, but a pair of giant clippers made quick work of it.  Our small army was soon inside.  The last time I was here, I was terrified.  This time too, but it was a different sort of terror.  This time I didn’t feel helpless.

Leon remarked on the foul air, noting that the liquid dripping from the walls reminded him of an apartment he once sublet in Muncie, but the rest of us paid him no mind.  Sacromonte shone his light about the room as Baltazar led the way.

We were cautious, conscious of the noises our movements made on old stones and old boards.  Most of us were, I should clarify.  Cuellar, who would not be excluded from our mission despite our protests, proved to be more flatulent than anyone could have anticipated.

We turned a corner into a great hall which I dimly remembered from my last visit.  In my haste to leave, I had apparently neglected to admire the exhibits of ancient weaponry.  Duran could not look away.

“A toledo sword,” he said, hoisting one from the rack.  “Now there’s a weapon you can trust.”

“If you take the time to train,” Cuellar reprimanded him.  “You were never an effective swordsman, not even at Cajamarca.”

“No,” Duran agreed, tying the scabbard to his belt.  “No I was not.  And for all I know, this was my very sword, the one General Ruminavi used to cut off my feet.  How I miss those feet.”

“You’ll want to see this,” Cuellar called to him, even as we tried to move our party forward.

“Oh, my yes.  Now there’s a weapon I can manage.”  Duran purred as he hefted the harquebus from its pegs.  “A tortuous weapon on a good day – two minutes to load, half again if your hands are shaking.”

“And louder than an Andalusian whore on All Souls Day,” I said before he could.  “We’ve heard this all before.  We can come back another day, but we need to move.”

“There may be no other day,” he said, inspecting the weapon.  “Vasco, fetch me the powder.  I’ve just spotted a fine ball to load.”

So we waited until Cuellar returned with a powder horn and Duran loaded the harquebus.  Suddenly, a stranger jumped in front of me, aimed a gun at my face and fired.  I froze, imagining myself to be both dead and deaf, but the stranger quickly threw me aside and fired two more times.  It was a full moment, how ever that can be measured, before I realized he was shooting past me, saving me.

Three men lay on the ground, each shot in the forehead.  They wore slippers, which is possibly how they had snuck up on us.

“Sopay watches us all,” Cuellar spat.  “He will have our souls for a poor snack between his breakfast and his lunch if we do not come to him now.”

I turned back to my protector.  “Who are you?”

“Segovia,” he said, as he reloaded a pair of antique pistols.  “You were careless.”

“He’s with me,” Leon said.  “I’ll explain later.  It’s time to split up.  Gentlemen, we’ll see you later for cocktails.”

I was willing to leave it at that, but I felt a stab to my heart when I saw the look that passed between my lovely Naya and Segovia.  They had been lovers too, I realized, some two hundred years ago.  And yet Segovia was a human, not a mummy.  By now I could easily distinguish the living from the…the not quite living.

Baltazar pointed to a low doorway which I remembered.  We had raced through it when we escaped from the harem.  “We go this way,” he said, and we bid farewell to him, to Leon, and to Segovia.

And so I led my own squad through the hall of ancient weapons.  I can’t use the term fearless to describe my sense of mind.  I don’t think I ever could, but my fear was manageable.  I had only some idea of what was waiting for me behind that broad door in front of me, but I was confident it would be something unimaginably terrible.

Even so, I walked first, my lady behind me for her protection, which was probably not necessary given the unique nature of her existence.  But knowing she was with me gave me great comfort, as did the presence of my benefactor Sacromonte, and the two long-dead conquistador knights I now called friends.

A month and a half ago, I knew not one of these individuals, and yet each was now somehow precious to me.  I felt certain that they would be the great friends of my life.  But when that door opened and I saw what stood behind it, I didn’t have much faith that life would transpire for very much longer.


Written by williamdoonan

August 6, 2012 at 2:11 am

2 Responses

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  1. Love all the local color. I feel like I am there. Thanks, Bill.

    marta chausée

    August 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

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