The mummy sat in the museum thinking about curses. About 4,000 years ago his underlings had taken his corps, removed it of its fluids and organs, turned his body into a dried husk and then thrown his wrapped corpse into a box and buried in a bunch of big stones. They had also buried him with a small fortune; golden idols, coins, offerings of fruit and foodstuffs, even live animals. Heavy stones had also been placed on top of his tomb, in the hopes of keeping his body safe from scavengers, both animal and human. Just to be sure the grave was not disturbed they carved a curse onto the tomb, a curse meant to inflict fear and horror in anyone who might want to see what might be buried with a formerly living god that was too precious to be left in the anterior chamber. However, as with so many things in life, the curse didn’t work the way it had been supposed to work.

The curse says quite firmly that if the king’s grave was disturbed he would return from the dead to wreak vengeance on the offending parties. All well and good, but if a soul has completely crossed over, he’s not exactly going to come all the way back now, is he? So in the tomb the mummy sat, waiting for years, centuries even, as the world went by. Sure, he’d be pissed if someone messed with his grave, he thought, but certainly it wasn’t worth all this. Only once had his grave been disturbed, somewhere around 400 BC. A couple of grave robbers looking for loot. It had been nice to kill the offending parties and their entire families, it had been nice to do anything for a change, but still. Once it was done, back to the grave. Wow. Great.

And then it happened. 4,000 years after he was first interred a whole group of grad students stumbled onto his grave. "The burial tomb of a minor figure," one of them had said. "Possibly not even a king." Not even a king? When he was alive the mummy had had insubordinate, smart ass jerk-offs like this pantywaist strung up and eaten alive by tigers for fun. "Minor figure." After 4,000 years of laying in wait the rage that burned through his cold, dead form was a comforting, welcome warmth. However, as quickly as it came it faded. It had been 4,000 years. Who the hell cared who he was, anyway?

Besides, vengeance would be such hard work. These weren’t two local douche clowns robbing graves, this was an international team of research students. The mummy got tired thinking about how long it would take to not only kill the whole team, but to hunt down their entire families? It’d be exhausting! There were a good fifteen countries represented between them all. Just because he was dead doesn’t mean travel couldn’t still take it out of him.

Speaking of travel, they’d shipped his grave to a research lab at Yale, where he found himself currently. It was after hours and the mummy was sitting in the student lounge. No one was around. He was watching late night television and drinking a soda from the vending machine. Being dead was an odd thing. While he was entombed he had certainly been stuck, but his soul, his consciousness, still received information. Being dead was sort of like swimming in the collective unconscious. Still, it was different to be in it. It was interesting to see that television was actually as awesome and as horrifying as he’d thought it would be. And Coca-Cola tasted fucking delicious, if he did say so himself.

So there he sat, sipping his soda and watching some infomercial selling Girls Gone Wild videos. What if I don’t wreak my vengeance, thought the mummy. What if I just let it go? These kids had it bad enough as it was, they were archeology grad students in the current economy. There was nothing he could do to their families that were worse than the student loan debts they were accruing one meaningless class at a time. The mummy chuckled. Talk about a curse.

What would he do, he wondered? He couldn’t just go out and get an apartment, work at some shopping mart. He couldn’t just say who he was, that would be awful. They’d run tests, there’d be huge philosophical debates, even worse, they might make him do the talk show circuit. Of course, these days there was weirdness all over the place. And with all the liberal government social service foo-ferrah freaks were openly tolerated, even accepted. In his day anyone even remotely malformed was sunk in a river or thrown off a cliff. These days he could just say he had some crazy skin condition and no one would probably bat an eye. Maybe he could get a job working on a farm somewhere. He could go out to California. From what he’d heard he felt like he’d like California.

The girls on the television were still bouncing around. It’s a shame they removed all my bodily juices, thought the mummy, it’d be nice to get a little bit of that after 4,000 years.

The mummy finished his soda and threw the bottle in the recycling container. He broke into a handful of offices until he found one with a coat and extra pair of shoes in the closet. They were a bit snug but they’d work, at least of a bit. On his way out he saw a hat that said "1 Dad hanging on a coat rack. He put it on. He snuck out a side entrance and walked out into the cold morning air. The movement felt good. Maybe he’d try one of those cappuccinos he’d heard so much about. He started whistling an old, old tune. Just because he was cursed, doesn’t mean he couldn’t have a good time.

Jake Thomas

Story Writer. Marvel Comics Editor. Wrangler of Squids.