The Mummy

Every morning Borga, a gray man in a gray city, arose
and prepared to go to work. He stared at his grayness
in the mirror. Gradually he exposed his teeth. Long
and white, they were the thing about him that was not
gray. Frequently as he looked at his teeth he ran
his finger along them. They were smooth to the touch.
Borga studied them thoughtfully.

After work, Borga began to walk to the south and east,
towards a part of the city where the buildings became
anonymous and the graffiti incomprehensible. There
were sometimes people there who might have been asleep
or dead. Mostly he was alone. He walked through the
evenings, into the nights, and then returned home to

One day, a man who had been observing him asked him
to follow him. Borga was taken to a loft in which there
were cots, some empty and some with bodies, mostly
still, in them.

The man handed him a small drink and indicated a cot
where he might lie while the drink took effect.

Borga swallowed the drink and lay down. At first he
experienced only expectation, but then he felt as if
the ground had fallen. Soon tremendous light,
vibration, and pressure came upon him. It built up
and reached a climax -- he was shaken as if by a
great machine. Then there was utter darkness, and

After a long time Borga felt himself lying in a bed,
being embraced by a light, dried-out corpse -- a
mummy. He pushed the arm of the mummy aside --
it felt like papier-mache -- and got up. The mummy
skeletally jumped up after him, its face like the
skull of antique Death, like Borga's own skull if he
were dead. It threw its arm around Borga and said
hoarsely, "Come on back to bed...." Borga pushed it
away, and said "None of that. You and I are going to
become Sacred Wolves, running through the world."
He smiled, drawing his lips back slowly from his
white teeth.

"How did you know I was a Sacred Wolf?" asked the

"I saw you before," said Borga, "and the look of the
Wolf was over you."

Both of them now turned into wolves, and they began
barking, howling, and laughing at each other. Soon
they were running under a moonlit sky of ragged clouds,
with fear burning like ice in their veins. They leapt
and laughed -- and as they laughed: now the moon's
second ghostly head rose in the frozen sky.

copyright © 1998 Gordon Fitch