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If you’re reading this, make sure no one but yourself gets a hold of it. I know you think that my brothers, Tommy and Andy, and I are weird. I knew that our names have been in countless news stories. Why?
My brothers and I were accidentally locked up in the Cairo Museum of Egyptology.
Yeah, it’s really unimportant, but it’s what happened inside that’s important. This incident all happened when we were visiting the museum because they had made a breakthrough discovery that shocked the Egyptologist world. They had found the actual mummy of Hatshepsut, the founder of the Valley of the Kings and one of the few female Pharaohs. Since our history teacher was so interested in ancient Egyptian culture, we had to do essays on a pharaoh, or pharaohess in Hatshepsut’s case. I was amazed how one woman could take the place of a position that only men would take. I am Egyptian, so I believe that she paved the way for Cleopatra and some other women from other countries.
“C’mon! Hurry up! I need to take notes on Tutankhamen!” Tommy whined.
Andy rolled his eyes. He never liked young kids. “Tommy, will you shut your mouth? If you don’t, I’ll shut it for you.”
I smiled at Tommy and stuck my tongue out at Andy. “Yeah. I already have my notes on Hatshepsut. And you need yours on Rameses, right Andy?”
“Yeah.” he said, unenthusiastically pumping his head up and down.
I looked towards Mom, who was talking to some other mom from school. She looked at us. “You three stick together and Abby is in charge. Here,” she handed me some money. It was enough to get dinner and even some extra souvenirs at the gift shop. “Use this to get some dinner. Just remember that the museum closes at 7:30 sharp.”
We didn’t hear the last part because we were already heading for the New Kingdom exhibit room.
There weren’t a lot of people in the exhibit room. There was little talking and everyone kept bumping into things because there was barely any light. The only lights were the ones that illuminated the different treasures of the great boy king. The boy king himself was on display in his gold coffin. That was a bit strange, because Tutankhamen usually rests in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The mummy had the appearance as if he was sleeping. I wandered aimlessly, looking at all of the artifacts. I met up with Andy at Tut’s chariot.
“Abby, we have to tell Tommy that he’s adopted.”
I looked up. The story is that Mom had me and then she found out she couldn’t have any more children. She adopted Andy three years after I was born and she adopted Tommy six years ago. He didn’t know yet. “Don’t you think he’s too young?”
Andy’s face was hard and jagged like flint. “You told me when I was seven. He’s six. I think he’s ready.”
“No,” I said. “It’ll change his perspective on life in this family.”
Suddenly, the lights flickered once and shut off completely. The only light was from the glass boxes that held the different artifacts. We were the only people in the exhibit, which was strange because the exhibit was almost crowded a few minutes ago.
“This ain’t good,” I murmured softly.
Tommy looked up from my notebook. “Is it a blackout?”
“No,” Andy replied. “The lights from the artifacts are still on.”
There was a sudden BOOM! from where Tut was and then the glass box exploded. The sarcophagus rocked and teetered because the stand had been destroyed with the glass. After waiting for five frantic minutes, the coffin finally gave up on its rocking dance. It landed with a huge thud that scraped against our eardrums. We rushed over to Tutankhamen to see if he was okay. Yeah, I know he’s a mummy, but this great king is over 3,000 years old. As we came to the old, dead mummy, it twitched. A disgusting, brown hand gripped the side of the coffin. After a bunch of heaving and pushing, the mummy stood up without any help. It blinked a few times and then it looked at us: three frightened kids who were locked up in the museum.
“Whew. That was a dramatic entrance. Wait, who’re you?” Tut asked.
“My name’s Andy, and this is Abby and that’s Tommy.” Andy said.
I managed a smile. “Hi. Nice to meet you.” Never thought I would meet a real pharaoh. Maybe next the gods will come after me and try to make me someone’s consort, I thought, a smile forming on my lips. The mummy stretched and then started to walk around on wobbly legs. Tutankhamen almost fell down and Tommy tried to help him.
“Haven’t walked in years,” he grumbled. “I feel like an old man.”
Tommy was amazed at the living, breathing (I think it was breathing . . .) mummy. He kept jotting down notes in his notebook as fast as lightning. I think he was running out of pages because I use that notebook in history class and I had about thirty pages left (well, maybe 25, because I like to doodle).
“So, were you murdered?” Tommy asked.
Tut replied, “Yeah, I got murdered. Last thing I saw was Horemheb with a war club in my bedroom swinging it towards my head.” Suddenly, the mummy turned around and looked Tommy straight in the eye. “Kid, where’re ya from?” he asked suddenly.
“Egypt. I was born here in Cairo.” Tommy replied.
Tutankhamen leaned against the wall and started talking in ancient Egyptian. I understood two words: soul and child.
“When you are mummified like I am, your soul always is with you,” he explained. “The only way that a mummy can fully be at rest is when its soul can be rested in another human host. But if they don’t, they keep waking up every so often. I have seen many people and I think I might rest my soul in you.”
I rudely cut the Pharaoh off. “So, if Tommy agrees to do this, will there be any change?”
He shrugged. “I dunno. It hasn’t happened before. You could ask some of the oldies, but I say it’s a waste of time. E could help, but he’s in getting tested on. I say we do it.” The mummy went back to its coffin and reluctantly went in it. We followed him and stayed at a distance.
Tommy looked at the mummy, whose eyes were closed. “I’ll do it. If I have your soul, I could get an A+ on my report.”
“Awesome kid. Just put your hand on mine and watch the magic.” Tutankhamen put his hand out and Tommy pressed his warm, chubby palm into the pharaoh’s shriveled, dry one. There was a crackle in the air and Tommy’s body tensed. The bout of magic only lasted for six seconds, but it seemed like six hours. The mummy’s hand went down into the coffin and it stayed there. I looked to Tommy, who was now facing us. Nothing noticeable had happened to him except for his eyes. His warm, caring eyes were now a pale jade green. He smiled a crooked grin.
“Oh this is sweet! Now I got the soul of Tutankhamen and you guys are going to get yours.”
“You say what now?” I asked, utterly confused.
“Rameses is going to manifest in you, Andy and Hatshepsut in you, Abby. I say we go for Rameses first because he’s closer.”
“Wait, which Rameses?” Andy asked.
“Rameses the Great! Duh!”
We sprinted down the hallway, looking for Rameses II.
We found Rameses trying to get the bulletproof glass box off his battered war chariot. He was on top of the box, trying to unscrew the bolts that held it together. I don’t think he was doing much damage to the box.
“Stupid box,” he muttered. “Why is all this clear stuff over it?”
Tommy, or should I say Tut, interrupted him. “Rameses, I brought him to you.”
Rameses looked up. His eyes, or more precisely eye sockets, were wide. “Whoa, Tut, you’re a six year-old. Why this little pest? By Ra, can’t you get a kid that’s at lest your age!”
Tut rolled his eyes. “Well maybe you should find an ninety year-old because I recall that you died when you were about ninety. I got you a thirteen year-old.”
“Fourteen.” Andy corrected.
“Oh whatever! Can we just get it over with because the janitor is coming soon and we don’t want to be seen?”
“Pft. Why should I care?” Rameses asked.
Tut was at his breaking point. “Well, the next headline in The Cairo Express would be, ‘Janitor Finds All the Mummies Alive with Three Children at Cairo Museum.’ How would you like that? Being stuck in maximum security, knowing that you will never be at rest and scientists will do even more experiments on you.”
Rameses sighed. It sounded deep and pathetic. “Fine, fine. Let’s get this over with so then I can sleep. Forever.”
The pharaoh got off the top of the box and held up his hand. Andy touched it and the same crackle of energy floated through the air. Soon, Rameses shuffled stiffly to his coffin and lay back down.
Andy shook his head, trying to shake off the wave of nausea he must have experienced. “All we have left is you Abby. Let’s find Hatshepsut.”
We headed down to the main lobby. We noticed Hatshepsut’s newly found sarcophagus empty. There was a small trail of dirt that led into the gift shop. Someone had turned most of the lights on and had looked at all the souvenirs. Dolls and plastic toys lay scattered on the ground. There was a conversation going on when we rounded the corner.
“Which do you like better, the green ones or the red ones?”
“I would say the green ones because when you were still pharaoh, you had gray eyes. Green goes with gray.”
“How am I supposed to know that, Nefertiti? This is the first time I’ve woken up in almost two thousand years.”
“Hatshepsut, calm down a bit.”
Andy, I mean Rameses, looked at me and gave me the thumbs up signal. I walked into the gift shop and looked at the two female mummies.
The one that wasn’t Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, was frowning. “I don’t think people are supposed to be here at night.”
“Hatshepsut, just manifest your soul into me and then we can get out of here.” I said bluntly.
“Okay, okay. Calm down.” the pharaohess growled. We touched palms and I saw memories flash before my eyes. I saw giant structures of myself being built. I saw the Valley of the Kings coming into being. I could feel the weight of controlling an empire on my shoulders. I lost track of time and I swore I was in ancient Egypt. Gift shop, Egypt, gift shop, Egypt; it went on and on. I suddenly felt a huge headache pounding on my forehead because of the ever-changing background. Almost as soon as it came, it was gone. The mummy mechanically lumbered to its sarcophagus and it didn’t move anymore. I looked back at Tut and Rameses and dazedly said, “Now let’s get out of here.”