In his dreams, the mummy came to him. Whispering the dark secrets and ancient wisdom of Egypt before the pyramids. From before the haughty kings with their flashy monuments. From deep below in the dreamlands, in the underworld. He needed a new body, a way back into the realm of the living. He needed a willing servant, an empty sack waiting to be filled.
The sleeping man rose from his bed, and padded barefoot to the bathroom. He set to work.
He took his medicine. All of it. Pills in their multicolored array, to numb the pain, then the syrups, gulping the grape and cherry fluids. He followed the instructions to the letter.
The teeth came first, pop! With a soft crunching, twisting pull – one at a time – wet with gooey, coppery strings of blood. He pulled them one at a time until they were all out, filling his hands with black pools, pearly whites gleaming with a soft glow in the low light; the one bare bulb in the bathroom. The bathroom with the grody coral pink tiles, turned moldy forest green in damp corners, the speckled and peeling mirror over a seashell sing, furry with all his body hair clogging up the already slow drain.
He saw glimpses of himself in the freckled glass, the one stained metallic with age. He saw his sagging face, his gums now gapped with gaping small oozing black holes. Grinning, now grimacing as he choked back tears. The cuneiforms swam in his head, words of raw power. Next, he pulled out his hair. His head peeled in thick strips of dry, leathery flakes, long salt and pepper straps of matted whispey wire strands, clumped with dust and moist dead skin.
He had to be smooth, smooth as a baby and just as slick. For the plan to work, he had to be ready for his transformation. He was his own womb, his own vaginal canal, his own herpes riddled labia.
He ate sawdust in big wooden spoonfuls, and washed it down with formaldehyde. He thought it would be tasteless, but it was sour, and sickly sweet with the bubblegum Tylenol and that salty aftertaste of oozing plasma. More and more sawdust. Bagfuls. Till he was stuffed. Till he was sure he was stuffed full. Then, he sewed his mouth shut.
No more would he need to eat the bread and drink the wine of this foul sphere. He was going to be new, undying, completely whole. He would live forever now.
Almost forgot about the fingernails, crack! Pulling them back, the agony would have been insane but the drugs were running their course, somewhat dampened by the roughage, but stout nonetheless. They came off easily enough, those wet red nail beds shiny red like new polish. He was taking himself out of the rat race, out on the night.
Next, he picked up the rusty spoon. It was a grapefruit spoon, the ones with the serrated edges. Even with the pick-me-ups he needed a deep breath for this one. The voice of the Lost Pharaoh whispered in his ear, his ethereal form clutching the servant’s hand.
He plunged it in! It hurt like a sonofabitch. In with the spoon at the tear duct and out like an icecream scoop. Scraping the back of the socket and severing the connection. He screamed, stretching his lips against the black threads and choking on the sawdust. Another moment later, and he dropped two squishy flesh balls into the sink with the rest. Then, he felt around for his new eyes. Glass, completely black and featureless, and popped them in.
He stood there, naked, dripping, and face to face with his sightless reflection. He was incorruptible now. A model of perfect preservation. An Adonis. A taxidermist’s wet dream. A hollow, living mummy. Ready to be filled.