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This story begins as all story’s do; at the beginning. Why? Well, why not? You wouldn’t want to start in the middle, because then you wouldn’t know what the hell was going on. And you definitely wouldn’t want to start at the end of the story either, as you would already know what happened and wouldn’t want to bother reading the rest of the story. Which is why the beginning, my friends, is the perfect place to start……

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A figure stirs in his bed, the first rays of morning sunlight seeping in through the bedside window. The light crawled across the blankets that covered the half-sleeping figure like a snake crawling over a grass-covered hill, silent and not wanting their intentions to be known. Slowly, the light continued to crawl, starting to fill the room and push away the black veil of darkness that once existed. The figure stirs again before sitting up in bed, looking around the rest of the room. All along the wall, light reflected off the glass cases that covered the figures ancient artifacts.

There was the Toe of El-Gagadoon, once thought to have the Curse of Tripping Yourself until people realized how easily it fell out of their pockets and onto the ground in front of them. There was the Pastry Bowl of King Metboulgo, where, in it’s center, lied a large, 20,000 year old meatball that seemed to have never decayed even a bit, though people still avoided it for fear it might jump up and bite them in the butt. The Nose Hair of Snezofalot, the Holy Ladle of Sir Juu, and the Blank Journal of Nondescripto were all covered in their own glass cases as well.

This man wasn’t just a collector, though. This man was an archeologist!! His name was Proffessor Maximus Gluttinous, or Max, for short. He was a world renowned archeologist, having traveled all around the world, visiting locations not even the bravest of archeologists dared to visit while searching for artifacts that not even the smartest of archeologists tried to find.

As a child, even though his whole family had been famous archeologists and wanted him to be one too, he dreamed of being a dentist!! He might have been a good one, too, cause he had the hands for it; small, skinny fingers attached to a larger, but still small, hand. Unfortunately for him, those hands were perfect for being an archeologist as well. It was that, plus constant pressure from the rest of his family. which made him decide to be an archeologist.

But he hated his job. He hated having to get down and dirty digging for artifacts. He hated searching through ancient tombs, scared for his life not knowing who, or what, still lived there. He would have much preferred to sit in a small, light-filled room, drilling into people’s faces as the vibration of the drill went through his body, causing him to smile at the relaxing feeling.

He hated being an archeologist, but it’s that hatred that drove him. It drove him to succeed so maybe, just maybe, he could retire. It drove him to be successful, more successful then any other archeologists. It drove him out of bed that morning, to quickly whip open the drapes covering his bedside window as he looked beyond the glass to the world outside.

Working, digging, searching. That’s all they ever did. Morning, noon, and night. Did they ever get any sleep? No. Did they ever NEED any sleep? No. Did they ever want any sleep? Probably not. But that’s what made them such a good team. They worked without having to be TOLD to work. He didn’t know where he found them, though. They just….showed up. All he knew, however, was that, like himself, their families, their family’s families, and their families too…were all diggers. He wondered if any of them ever thought about being a dentist…..

No. Probably not. That’s not something they would think about. Men like them worked hard because, in his opinion, that’s all they thought about. And the more they thought about working, the harder they worked. They enjoyed working. They LIVED to work. They lived to dig and search and dig and search and dig and search all day and night. They had no time for sleep; they lived by the motto “Who needs sleep when you can work?” And work they did…They were born to work, so they lived to work and loved it. He, however, was born to be a dentist, but lived the life of an archeologist and hated it.

They rarely took breaks but, when they did, they were good company. Over the years of traveling with them, there were a few he got to know pretty well. Then…there was one who he hadn’t gotten to know, but hated.

His name was Jake McMefferson, but everyone just called him Mef. He had only been with the crew for 2 weeks, but already made an impression on them. Mef’s father was a very powerful, very rich, and very important oil tycoon. Just like everyone else, Mef’s father couldn’t stand his only son and decided, since Mef was getting older, that he should be sent to work for one of his friends. Unfortunately, that friend was Max.

So being both the newest and youngest, he was only 16 years old, member of Max’s Archeological team, Mef thought, that he should be deserving of special treatment by everyone else. He would talk down to the other workers, thinking that he was better then him just because his daddy was a millionaire. Well…..everyone except for Max who, because of his status as head of the team, got the “sucking up” treatment from Mef. If it wasn’t for Mef’s father, Max would have fired Mef already, even though the kid was pretty good at complimenting Max’s sense of taste…..

Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Max starts to walk over to the door before stopping. He looks down at his legs. Realization hit him. With a sigh, Max turns and heads towards the dresser, the knocking on the door continuing to get louder. He opens the top drawer, pulling out a pair of long, green Khaki pants. He quickly starts to put them on as it becomes increasingly obvious who was on the other side of the front door to Max’s trailer.

Max.: Damn it, man!!! Don’t you know better then to disturb me at7:30 in the morning?!? I mean, geez, couldn’t you have given me a warning before you started to knock? Yelling out my name, screaming at the top of your lungs, or starting to sing for no apparent reason would have all been great ways of getting my attention and letting me know you were coming. Maybe even starting an argument with someone would have been fine, seeing as how you do LOVE to argue as another way of disturbing the peace around here!!! Here’s the deal; you can do whatever you want, however you want, to get my attention, but please, man, don’t ever, and I do mean EVER, knock at my door at 7:30 in the morning EVER again!!! You got that?

The knocking stopped. As Max finished pulling his pants up, he realized that one of two things had happened. Either a) The person knocking on the door was psychic and had heard what he said or b) Max had obviously forgotten to whisper those comments to himself. Because of his old age, he found B to have been much more likely.

The knocking then continued, starting up from where it had left off. Now Max was angry. I mean…..was it so hard to follow a simple warning? Was it SO hard to do what you were told, especially if the person telling you what to do is your superior and could fire you at any time for being so incompetent? If only some people would follow the simple order’s given to them, Max’s mood would be less cranky thanks to people who DIDN’T knock on his door at 7:30 in the morning and disturbed him when he was in the middle of something IMPORTANT!!! Max quickly rushed towards the door and grabbed the doorknob. He took a few seconds to guess who was knocking at his door before turning the doorknob and swinging the door open. He had guessed correctly.

There stood Mef, a smug look on his face. He rocked back and forth, his arms behind his back, his eyes avoiding Max’s gaze, a large grin on his face. He was mocking Max, saying something along the lines of “Oh, no! I didn’t knock on your door, boss! It was the Boogeyman!! Honest, it was!” He didn’t have to move his lips to say it. It was written on his face with neon lights.

Mef always was horrible at sucking up to Max. He had forgotten the one golden rule; You need to suck-up ALL the time, NOT just when there’s a crowd of around to see it!!

Max: Mef, you don’t listen much, do you? I thought I remember telling you to never, EVE-

Mef puts up a finger, silencing Max and averting his attention. Max’s gaze follows the finger as it moves down to Mef’s wrist, lightly tapping the face of his watch.

Mef: It’s 8:00, boss. You said no knocking on the door at 7:30, remember? Then again, I don’t blame you for not remembering. Seems like your old age is finally catching up with you. Next thing ya know, you’ll have a bad back and will have to retire. Man….wouldn’t that suck?

Max’s eye’s flared with anger. Mef had just struck a nerve. Mef knew that, since Mef’s father had asked for Mef to be put into a second-in-command position, once Max retired, Mef would be in charge of the team. And Max knew that if Mef was in charge of the team, he would just ruin it. Mef, just like Max, hated being an archeologist. But there was still a difference. Max, though he hated it, still had respect for the job because his whole family had made a living as Archeologists. Mef, however, didn’t. He just found the whole digging and searching thing to be repetitive and useless. He just plain hated it.

Max sprang forwards, grabbing Mef by the collar of his shirt and pulling him forwards. Despite being in the presence of a very ticked-off Max, he wasn’t the least bit scared and he didn’t tremble; no, he just smiled.

Max: Listen here, you little brat! I know your not stupid, and I sure as hell know you hate my guts. Well, the feeling’s mutual. The same goes for the archeological business. But at least I respect it, Mef. And I’ll be damned if I am gonna let a snot nosed little punk take over MY job when and IF I retire!!!

Max let go of Mef’s collar and pushed him out of the door before turning back around and starting to walk back into his trailer. He then stopped, turning his head back towards the still open doorway.

Max: And another thing, kid. I told you once, I told you twice, and now, you incompetent little squirt, I am telling you for the THIRD time; do not ever, EVER, attempt to knock on my door at 7:30 in the morning again unless you want to get a swift kick in the butt! The only exception is if there’s something important that you need to tell me. That is the ONLY exception, ya hear me? If ya don’t know if it’s important, try using your common sense to figure it out!

Max moved back to the door and grabbed the doorknob. He went to close it but Mef quickly put his hand out in front of the incoming door, stopping it in its tracks. He was still smiling.

Mef: Boss, please, no need to go all postal now! I already learned all your little “rules” a long time ago and what I have to tell you now IS important. They finally found it, boss. They finally found the entrance to the Tomb of Dante Korpa!!!!

For the first time that morning, a smile came to Max’s face. In an instant, Max rushed past Mef, knocking him to the ground, as he hurried to get to the nearby dig site.


* * *

Omar Fradoo stood still, looking up towards the sky as he leaned back on his shovel, the top of which was sunk deep in the ground. His face was a mask of sweat and his bare chest gleamed in the sunlight. It was hard work digging all day with the warmth of the sun beating down across your back as you work. He had been doing it for two weeks straight without any breaks. Not even time to eat or sleep But, it was his choice to have no breaks and, naturally, he was tired and hungry. His work was complete for now but, unbeknownst to Omar, his time to take a break was still a long ways away.

He turns around in time to see his boss, Mox, and his wannabe boss, Mef, as they ran down a beaten path, obviously headed to the unearthed tomb entrance behind him. They both continued past him, but Max then stopped and turned back around, staring at Omar with a smile on his face.

Max: Your coming with us, Omar. We might need a hieroglyph translator, and you’re the best we have. Plus….”takes a quick glance at Mef who was standing behind him”…..I might need someone to protect me, just in case there’s anything still living in the Tomb. Report back here in 5 minutes, ok? That should give you enough time to get whatever supplies you might need, right?

Omar just nodded and turned to face the beaten path. He gave out a sigh before starting to walk towards it. It was just another day at the dig site for him…..

* * *

A couple minutes later, Omar had returned, now wielding a crowbar. Max turned from his inspection of the Tomb’s front door, noticing that Omar had finally come back. He smiled, looking deep into the dark and mysterious eyes of his dear old friend. He had known Omar for as long as he could remember, and his memory only went as far back as six years.

Six years ago, when Max had begun his career as an Archeologist. Six years ago, a crew had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, ready to work for Max; ready to dig and search and help Max all day and all night long. Six years ago, Max had met Omar.

They enjoyed each other’s company, of course, but weren’t what the experts might consider friends. No, not friends, as that would assume they knew each other well which, because of the way Omar preferred to stay quiet most of the time, didn’t seem to be very possible. But they weren’t necessarily enemies either as that would have required a certain hatred towards one another, which they lacked. So even though they weren’t necessarily friends, and definitely weren’t enemies, they still were, and had been for the 6 years they worked together, comrades.

They were comrades in arms; standing and working beside each other, their shovels simultaneously digging into the ground, continuing their never-ending war with the sand. They were comrades in trust; they had gained a comradic bond with each other through the 6 years they worked together and would, if need be, trust each other with their life. They were even comrades in hatred; they both equally despised and hated Mef.

Max quickly glanced behind him to the Tomb door before giving out a quick sigh as he focused his stare back onto Omar.

Max: Door’s shut tight, Omar. It’s gonna be hard to get through that thing, that’s for sure. Mef’s trying to pry it open with his hands, the damn fool, so let’s just hope he breaks a couple fingers in the process. I think we might need a drill or maybe a bulldozer to get through the entrance unless, of course, you got a better idea.

Omar smiles, raising the crowbar with one hand and tapping the side of his head with another. Max laughs before taking the crowbar from Omar’s hand and staring blankly down at it. He then looks back up at Omar with a puzzled look on his face.

Max: You’re an odd one, Omar, ya know that? You always seem to know what we might need in a certain situation before we even know we what the situation is! What are ya, Omar, a damn psychic?

Omar shakes his head before tapping the side of it with one finger as he had done before. Max just laughs and nods.

Max: Ya, Omar, your not a psychic. Psychics don’t exist. Your just smart. I mean, well, that’s just using common sense, right? The Tomb door’s are always shut tight, so a crowbar is the perfect thing to open them up. No need to be psychic to know that, right? I guess not. Now let’s see how long it takes Mef to open the damn door with a little help.

Max and Omar walk closer to the Tomb, causing Mef to turn around, sucking on his fingers, which were red and sore. He ducked, the crowbar flying over his head onto the ground behind him, before standing back up and shooting an angry glare at Max who’s face was bright red from trying to hold in the laughter. Mef, angry, just quickly turned back around, grabbing the crowbar from off the ground, before getting back to work on opening the Tomb’s front door. Max took a quick, hard laugh before glancing up at Omar who had a wide grin on his face.

Max: So how long do ya think it will take him to open the door? Those bony arms of his don’t got much meat on them, and, if he keeps dropping the crowbar onto his foot, like he just did, he won’t be getting nowhere. I give him an hour. What about you, Omar?

Omar raised his left hand, his fingers all raised. Max’s expression turned to a look of shock as he shook his head, not being able to believe what Omar was thinking.

Max: Five? Five MINUTES?!? Damn, Omar, are you crazy or something? The kid ain’t strong enough to get it open in 5 minutes!! But, hey, that’s your call, Omar. Maybe I might actually win one of these bets for once, eh? Can’t have you winning my money every time, now, can I?

Max laughed again, turning his focus back to Mef. Omar smiled. He focused his attention on to the crowbar in Mef’s hands. Omar’s eyes glowed bright red, as did the crowbar. Seconds later, the Tomb door opened, a cloud of dust coming forming in the entrance of the door. Mef then turned, smiling and raising the crowbar triumphantly, not noticing the dust veiled figure behind him.

A large, long, stick-like object slammed into the back of Mef’s head, knocking him to the ground, the crowbar falling behind him. The dust settled, revealing the figure to be a bandage-wrapped mummy, wielding a bandage-wrapped stick-like object. The mummy stepped forward and tripped over the crowbar, landing flat onto the back of a still unconscious Mef. The mummy then quickly stood back up, now very angry.

He turned back around, starting to viciously smack Mef’s back with his stick-like object. The mummy stopped, raising his arm into the air, triumphantly.

Mummy: You no trip Mike! YOU NOOOOOOOOO TRIIIIIIIIP MIIIIIIIIKKKKKEEEEEEEEE!!!!! GRRRAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!!!!!

The mummy then went back to smacking Mef’s back repeatedly with the long, stick-like object he held in his hands. Mef, who by now had regained consciousness, did the only thing he could do in a situation like this; he screamed for mercy, yelped in pain, and howled for help all at once. While Mef’s cry for help was utterly useless, and even though Mike wasn’t the kind of mummy who believed in showing someone else mercy, Mef’s high-pitched yelps of pain had still managed to garner him some attention.

A few feet away, Max and Omar stood silently, watching and smiling. Max took a glance up at Omar, laughing.

Max: Ya know, Omar, this right here is what I would call quality entertainment. It’s not every day we see a ticked off mummy beating the hell out of young Mef with a stick-like object, now is it? Nope. It sure ain’t, which is why it’s so entertaining! Funniest thing is, though, that that’s not exactly a stick he’s holding, though I’m pretty sure you knew that already, right Omar?

Omar nods, causing a puzzled look to return to Max’s face. He stared at the stick, it’s motion almost hypnotic. It rose into the air, paused, and then swooped down for another blow to Mef’s back, causing Mef to let out yet another girlish scream.

Max: Is it supposed to be that long? I mean, well, I’ve seen a lot of those things in my days and, well, they are usually much shorter, ya know, like around 2-3 feet long. That one is almost 6 feet!!!! It ain’t normal, Omar. Well, at least I don’t think it is, but you know more about them then me. So is that the normal size?

Omar shakes his head as another scream is heard in the background. Max let’s out a sigh of relief, his face going back to normal.

Max: Oh. Good, then. I mean, well, that’s not the only thing that didn’t seem normal about it, of course, but, well, now that I KNOW it’s not normal, then that explains everything. Not only is it of a freakishly long size, Omar, but it’s also missing that little knobby thing at the end! It can’t be normal without one of them on the end, right?

It was now Omar’s turn to stare back at Max, his face scrunched up in confusion. A high-pitched wail, followed closely by a loud “Me Mike!!! Me GOD!!!! You no trip GOD!!! GRARGH!!!” is then heard as a shocked expression comes to the face of Max.

Max: What? Don’t you know what I’m talking about? I mean….doesn’t EVERY staff have one of those little knobby things at the end of it? I think they might be there purely for decoration, but they might also be used to show what place you have in the royal Egyptian Hierarchy. You know…like, well, you could tell by the knob if the person was a king, or a diplomat or, well, a slave. Though I’m not exactly sure what a slave would use a staff for. Maybe he’d add a couple bristles to the end of it and use it as a back scratcher? Now do you know what I’m talking about, Omar?

Another scream rang through the air, followed by a loud “GRARGH!!!”
Omar nodded before pointing a long finger at the staff.

Omar: Yes. But it’s not a staff. It’s more like….his “pet snake”.

As Max stood there, letting the last comment sink in to his head, he let his mouth drop open. Realization hit him like a freight train hitting a poor cat with it’s foot caught in the railroad tracks. Realization hit him for the second time that day and, oddly enough, caused Max to feel sorry for Mef. No one, not even Mef, deserved to be smacked around by someone’s “pet snake”. Though, in Mike’s case, it was more of an anaconda then a snake. Max turns to run off before stopping, turning back around, and staring back at Omar.

Max: The kid needs help. No one deserves to get smacked around by some guy’s 50 year old willy. I have a lighter in the trailer. Gonna go grab it quickly and come back. Those bandages wouldn’t last long against the power of fire!

Omar just shook his head as Max ran back up the path. He knew a lighter wouldn’t do anything to a mummy. Fire, yes. But not a lighter. Omar was the only one who could save Mef now. Omar focused his stare onto the mummy’s head. Omar shut his eyes as he started muttering something under his breath.

Omar: Humminami numina. Humminami numina. Humminami numiNA!!!!

With that last syllable, Omar thrust up his hands, and opened his eyes which now had a dark red glow to them. The mummy’s head, in an instant, caught on fire. He then started running around in circles, screaming out “GRARGH!!!” in random intervals, before, almost suddenly, his head exploded. Mike’s headless body then fell to the ground, flopped around like a fish out of water for a few seconds, and then lay still. Mef quickly stood up, a pained expression on his face and one hand behind his back rubbing his sore spots, as Max returned. He looked at Mef, then looked down at the headless corpse of Mike the mummy, and then looked back up at Omar with a confused look on his face.

Max: What the hell happened here?

Omar eerily smiled back at Max, his eyes having reverted back to normal, before pointing a long finger at the corpse.

Omar: His head a-splode.

With a somewhat blank expression on his face, Max looked down at the corpse, then stared back up at Omar for a few seconds, back down to the corpse again, and then up at Omar for a final time.

Max: Oh. Good, then. I was hoping that something like that might have happened cause, well, for some odd reason, my lighter is currently stuck in the pipes of the kitchen sink. Don’t ask me how the hell it got there, but it did. Anyways, shall we enter the Tomb now? Yes? Ok. Mef, your leading as always.

Mef glares at Max for a few seconds before picking up the crowbar and heading into the Tomb. A few seconds later, a scream is heard and Omar and Max follow him in.

* * *

Max: Ya know, Mef, I should smack you for being such a damn wimp, ya know that? I really should. It was only a bloody spider!! NOTHING to be afraid of!! It wasn’t even an adult spider or a damn, evil, radioactive spider, cause those are the ones you should be scared of. It’s a baby spider, for crying out loud!!

Mef: But….it BIT me. In the neck!!! Aren’t those things poisonous?

Max: Ya, some of them are, but not the baby ones. You should learn not to be afraid of everything, Mef. It might do you some good. Then again, maybe not, because once ya go wimp, there ain’t no turning back….

He wasn’t even a foot past the entrance of the Tomb and, already, Mef was having problems. He had stepped through the doorway only to have his face collide with a spider web. A large, sticky, spider web which was the home to an equally large, green, 8-legged insect who, apparently, didn’t like house calls as it promptly fell onto the back of Mef’s neck. Mef hated spiders, but especially hated THIS spider after it bit him in the neck. He hated spiders, spider webs, and mummies. He hated Max, Omar, and all of the other damn archeologists. He even hated his father for forcing him into this job. He hated everything, pretty much.

There were very few things Mef enjoyed in life. He enjoyed mind games, the thrill of getting into someone else’s head and making them go crazy. He enjoyed mocking and annoying others, the satisfaction of poking someone in the shoulder until they just want to punch you in the face. And he enjoyed it when he grabbed the spider off his neck, threw it to the ground and then, before it could run away, beat the spider into the ground mercilessly with his crowbar, hopefully having taught the stupid thing a lesson.

A light tap on Mef’s shoulder cause’s him to quickly turn his body around, the crowbar swinging before his head does. Max barely ducks the crowbar before popping back up with a smile on his face.

Max: My god, man. What’s with you? I mean, geez! It was only a god damn spider, Mef! Your going all crazy for no good reason. Your going postal!!

Mef swiftly punched Max in the face before turning back around, heading to the door at the end of the hallway. Mef WAS postal, and with good reason. Wouldn’t you be ticked if you were bitten by a spider, beaten up by a mummy, and pushed to the ground by some idiotic Archeologist all before you even had breakfast?

Mef was ticked. Really, really, ticked. Ticked enough to have pushed the oncoming door open with one hand. He was ticked and on an adrenaline rush, which was not a good combination. Mef didn’t even stop to think of what was in that locked box on the pedestal in the center of the room. He slammed the crowbar against the lock, but it didn’t break.

Suddenly, Omar rushed to the doorway.

Omar: Mef, NO!!! DO NOT OPEN THAT BOX!!!!!

He turned around and stared at Omar for a few seconds before turning back, raising the crowbar above his head.

Mef: It’s only a box, Omar. What harm could it do?

Mef then swung the crowbar down again, slamming it against the lock, breaking the lock in half, causing the box to open and the world be thrown into utter darkness.

{- End Prologue -}



Comments

The following comments are for "Pandora's Resurgence: Prologue - Once Upon A Screw Up"
by Twiddler

Feedback.
Feedback is welcome. :D

( Posted by: Twiddler [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )





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