You see a lot of fucked up shit in 5,000 years. Here Come the Mummies, via their interpreter/manager, tell of one – apparently ongoing – incident.
BY NIGEL QUENTIN FONTANELLE DUMBLUCKE IV
Shadows. Great columns. Endless space. Gold, marble, copper, lapis lazuli. Saffron in the air. Music. Incense smoke. Drums, wind and string instruments. We played and played. A wedding. A tremendous feast! Grapes, dates, figs, fishes, nuts, quail, duck, perch, catfish, carps, mullets and eels, elephant-snout fish, tiger fish, moon fish, cucumbers, melons, broad beans and chick peas, olives, cakes, pomegranates, bread, barley beer. Wine! Dancing! Seductive undulations of well-groomed nubile females. The youngest and most beautiful of the Pharaoh’s daughters was married today, to the son of the General of the Armies. Eight daughters. All off limits. Merely the thought is a danger. But it is a thought that occurs to us often…
Darkness. The Silence. Aeons passing. Time evaporates. Earth. Rocks. Worms. Pebbles. Struggle gives way to exhaustion which gives way to resignation… struggle, exhaustion, and resignation… an inexorable cycle. Impossible to move except by fractions of an inch. Can’t speak. Mouth full of sand. Suffocating!
A feast! Music accelerating. Wine! More wine. And more yet! A drunken frenzy. A great crescendo of laughter and song. A crashing gong of a night!
…I remember fragments. Quiet. Tranquility and moonlight. Torches now mere glowing embers. I’m roused as something brushes my cheek. Skin. Some woman’s neck or thigh. Still badly intoxicated, nevertheless awake and newly alert, it hits me: women’s necks, women’s thighs. Fingers and toes. Eyes, ears, lips, tongues. Hair. Raven and gold. Bellies, backs, breasts, calves. Curvy, voluptuous, and delightful in every way. Sweetly sweaty. Wine. Love! Life! A wonderful dream. An ecstatic reality…
Morning. Stillness. Silence. Everyone sleeping. Groggy. Grey light. A breeze. I look about me. We, my bandmates and I, are laying betwixt and between several (how many!) lovely naked young women. What beauty! Look at the lovely bracelets, rings and charms, and all manner of ornamen… tay…shun. What the? Oh, no! God, no! The daughters! The Pharaoh’s seven maiden daughters! The chill of recognition runs me through like a sword, as I look around. Then close behind me a horrifying shriek of terror!
…Restless underground. Underground. Can’t move. Can’t speak. Mouth full of sand.
Tossing and turning. Sweating. No escape from the visions projected on the inside of my skull. Eerie flashes of light. Screams. Shouts. Lightning running through my teeth and through the bones of my spine. Blinding light shooting out of the tops of our heads. On fire. Agony. The Pharaoh’s face glows white with rage. Unappeasable now. Un-opposable. Killing. He is speaking, uttering a supernatural curse. Booming!
“…Disgrace… festive day… daughter …never rest… eternally… most unappeasable rift…” Riff? We cannot hear. There is just a howling. A howling wind, and grievous thunder, and a shrill whine like a great drill. One that bores into the skull. A fiery wind strips our clothing from us. The sand stings our faces. Can’t see. We cannot hear. It doesn’t matter. We know. It’s all over. This is the End. It’s just beginning… Without doubt, the most fucked up thing we’ve ever seen.
Sun. Wind. Sky. Dunes. Dust. Wandering. Hungry. Thirsty. Now only thirst remains.
Falling. Flying. Darkness. Light. Darkness. Centuries. Millennia. Hurtling across a Great Nothing.
…Dim yellow light. Awake. Emaciated. Dead. Yes. Dead. But living. Un-alive? Dead-esque? Born again? Un-dead. Yes, that’s about right. Un-dead! We look at each other with a grim sense of resignation. We have been here before. We will always be here. We have been hovering on an E9 chord for the last thirty-two bars. Or has it been thirty-two days? Or years. Or decades? Longer? My saxophone is in hand, mouthpiece between my crumbling lips, but how did it get here? Mellow, if dusty, sharps and flats issue from my horn like playing cards on a nonexistent string, shot from the sorcerer’s hand. The beat is never ceasing. Always the same. Always changing. Time has ceased to be. We play and play, searching for the key. That unlocks what? Redemption? That breaks the curse? That returns us to what? A half-remembered half-remembrance? No, our doom is sealed.
…After an abominable, interminable interval, an odd scratching sound slowly becomes audible during the rests in our music. Getting louder. Strange. Then, a loud metallic scrape. We stop. We turn to each other in puzzlement. The reverberations die after what seems to be an eternity. There is quiet. A raging, pregnant quiet. My dusty heart skips an un-beat.
The sound of a pickaxe striking rock. Ding! Dink!
Whack! A shaft of blinding light. Collapse! Rock, dust, a great blinding column of sunlight. Sunlight! We have to cover our eyes. The sweetest, most fragrant air imaginable wafts through our underground prison, filling our withered lungs.
Squinting through our fingers, the figure of a man slowly takes shape. Wide-eyed. Defensive stance. Pith helmet strapped at an odd angle upon his head. Frantically reaching, trying to put it right, to no avail. Terror-stricken but putting on a good front. His flashlight teeters upon and finally plunges from the new ledge, conking him squarely on his disheveled head, scrambling very well his heretofore soft-boiled mind. A half-choked scream dies in his throat. The crotch of his pants soak through in an ever widening circle of shame. We are face to face. The most fucked up thing we’ve ever seen, y’all.
Hollywood! Flying machines! After much legal wrangling and despite the ill-will of several international powers, we are in the Burbank studios of NBC in the mid-nineties of the twentieth (!) century. Our dedicated, lovable (if not-quite-all-the-way-there) discoverer, agent, and business manager, Nigel Quentin Fontanelle Dumblucke IV, is grinning from ear to ear, very pleased with his ingenuity. We are taping an ill-conceived pilot for a TV series starring Here Come the Mummies and the reunited cast of The Golden Girls. It was thus we came to be left alone overnight with Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, Betty White, and a week’s supply of one of the early fore-runners of the drug Viagra ™.
We know what you’re thinking. And you’d be right, too. This was, by far, the most fucked up thing we have ever seen. And we are just getting warmed up. Onward!
(Translated from grunts and love-bites by NQFD IV)
Venerable 5000-year-old funk/R&B band Here Come the Mummies released Cryptic last month. Check out the live performance video for the track “Chaperone” below. You think the Stones look old? That ain’t shit.
HERE COME THE MUMMIES – “CHAPERONE”