I know it’s not cool to do so but I like corny jokes. On Mother’s Day my son surprised me with a whole list of silly jokes about Mother’s Day.
For some reason this one really appealed to me –
What is the most important day in Egypt?
And so I got to thinking : What if you had a mother who was actually a Mummy?
And this little story was born.
Thanks so much for reading…..
Alice’s mother was a Mummy. There was no point in beating about the bush about it because that’s what she was. Technically, Alice’s mother was dead – had been for years now – but she was still very much a part of her daughter’s life due to Alice’s university thesis on resonance energy transfer.
Alice had a theory that energy could be transferred and an emission image acquired by using a single camera exposure. She tested it in the kitchen of her house a few months after her mother died, exposing the film to the light, not realising her mother’s ghost was there, watching in awe as her mother’s form began to materialise. Same as it ever was.
Alice didn’t really know how it had happened but somehow her mother’s residual earthly energy and the energy from the camera combined and gave her visibility. Her shape was outlined as if she had been drawn and someone was meant to come and colour her in; she was mostly transparent. Alice could see bookshelves and floorboards and chairs behind her. Right through her. This was a problem when the shadows fell as Alice often lost the ability to see her mother at all, sometimes plunging her hands straight through her as she reached for a glass from the cupboard; or walking through her on the way to bed.
It was uncomfortable for both of them. Alice felt as if she was walking through a wind tunnel, buffeted right down to the bone; while her mother said she felt as if she had extreme indigestion; the kind that felt like you were going to explode into a thousand pieces.
That’s when Alice came up with the idea of bandaging her mother up so every part of her could be completely visible. She hadn’t thought it would work, thought the bandages would collapse into nothingness, but she found the bandages if placed not too loosely, not too tightly, held her mother’s form perfectly.
Alice could have made a fortune from her discovery – to say it was revolutionary was putting it mildly -but she didn’t have time to develop it because so many of her mother’s ghostly friends wanted to get in on the act and get all visible and Mummied Up. Alice was so busy transferring energy and bandaging up ghosts she didn’t have time to go to university.
At the last count Alice had forty two Mummies in the living room, four in the spare bedroom and three (loner types) in the garden shed. They didn’t eat anything of course and didn’t need beds to sleep in (they just stood there all night) but they were always there, lurking. Alice was amazed. Her mother had triple, if not quadruple the number of friends in death as she’d had in life. Who would have thought that being a Mummy was so desirable a thing among the dead?
Some of the Mummies started a website – MummiesWithoutMummification.com – and very soon had almost ten thousand subscribers. Seems that none of the dead had been all that keen on the process of mummification but were quite in favour of dressing up their ghostly forms with bandages. They all disliked the living walking straight through them. A friend of Alice’s, who believed in all that paranormal stuff, started making buttons and bows to decorate the bandages, holding Dress Up Your Bandages parties to shop her wares.
There were suddenly so many ‘Mummies’ living in Alice’s town that people began to comment on them. Tours were organised, paranormal conventions were held and hundreds of busloads of Japanese tourists flocked into the streets, taking hundreds of photos of the Mummies and uploading them onto Twitter and Facebook.
Local psychologists and talk show radio hosts were inundated with calls from distraught teenage girls in love with Mummies. One of the younger, boy about town Mummies – Band-Aje – was like the new Edward Cullen from Twilight – girls swooned as he lumbered by in his bandages decorated with swords, knives, and if you looked closely enough – a single, broken heart.
Alice couldn’t believe what she had started. She was overwhelmed and had developed a repetitive strain injury from all the bandaging. She had also received two letters from her Physics Professor regarding non-attendance. She was going to fail her course due to her scientific discovery.
Alice’s mother saw how stressed her daughter was. The Mummies had received a lucrative offer to scare small children in a local amusement park. There was talk of movie and book deals. The owner of the amusement park was able to provide an abandoned warehouse for the Mummies to hang out in. Alice’s mother decided to move them all over there. It was time to let Alice get on with her life. Her living life.
The next morning as Alice went into the kitchen to fix breakfast she noticed something was missing. The hallway seemed empty, the living room seemed bigger; for the first time in ages she could see the edges of the kitchen floor. She swung around, clutching at her chest – it was the Mummies – they were gone.
Alice’s Mummy, her mother, stood in the kitchen. ‘I moved the others to the warehouse. I’m moving there too. I may even go to L.A. I’ve been offered my own chat show,’ she said in her strange, guttural, disembodied voice. ‘It’s about time you got your life back. It’s about time you spent time with the living, not all of your time with the dead.’
‘But I’ll miss all the Mummies. I’ll miss you,’ said Alice.
‘You’ll still see me,’ said Alice’s mother. ‘As long as the energy transfer holds out.’
‘I’ll work on that when I go back to Uni. I’ll perfect the transfer technique,’ Alice said. ‘It won’t be the same without you. What about birthdays and Christmas and Mother’s Day?’
‘When you’re a Mummy every day is Mummy’s Day,’ Alice’s mother was giggling in an odd, glandular way.
‘Corny, but true,’ Alice thought.