The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
"The British Museum becomes the focus of a bizarre murder where the killer couldn't possibly have gotten out of the room. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are called in to help solve the impossible case.
"A Mummy is found to be missing and there is only one way out of the room. A single vent that is not large enough for a human to use for escape.
"A night later a famous actor is murdered mysteriously and seen dissolving to death by a crowd of his fans with a trail that leads straight up the side of a building. A slime trail!
Are the two murders related? Will there be more?" Clive announces into a heavily wrapped mike in front of him that kills the outside noises and squelches anything but a nice clean voice.
"For more news on the mysterious murder outside the Mulamont Theater last night, stay tuned. This is Clive Bounder signing off for this hour. Stay tuned for Miss Lilly Draxel, the singing sensation of the nation. And now for a little word from our sponsors."
Radio Announcer Clive Bounder wriggles a finger in the air and his audio engineer, Rick Bernhardt, puts on a commercial.
Clive is a thick set man with a mop of hair that looks more comfortable in a rat's nest than on a man's head. His eyes are bloodshot and he has what could be bruises on his knuckles and a bit of a purple stain spreading across his neck. His right ear is nicked slightly and bandaged, as is his left cheek.
His blue eyes twitch as he touches a sore spot in his eyebrows, where he couldn't put a bandage. His face is ruddy and his shoulders square. He looks fit, if not exactly healthy at that moment.
Rick is thin as a broom, like the one in the corner used to clean up during the night by the Night Janitor. Rick's eyes are close set and he has humorous lips and a generous smile when he lights one up on his face. His hands are thin and delicate like a woman's.
"Hey Clive, old chap. How about a pint after the show?" Rick asks, as he gets up to stretch from behind his very tightly enclosed console. It's state of the art, with sound controls that would put his father's generation in a head spin. All of it possible because of Thomas Alva Edison and his partnership with Tesla.
Clive claps hands to his head as if it might explode. "Not tonight, Rick, my head's ringing like the bells in Big Ben up there."
"Drank a bit before work, did you?"
"No. It's my dratted daughter again. I caught her climbing out the window last night to have a meeting with her boyfriend."
He looked up with a smile, revealing a split lip and a chip in his front tooth. He played with it a moment as he waited for the next words from Rick.
"Well then. I suppose you bobbed him one or two."
"Oh at least. Trouble is, he bogged as well as he got bobbed."
Rick pulled a flask from behind his console and handed it over to Clive, who unscrewed the top, took a quick hit, coughed several times, took another and handed it back.
"Thanks!" He gasped, trying to catch his breath. "What'd you put in that...sulphuric acid?"
Rick grinned. "Edging for a piece of the cake, hey?"
"No such thing. You know I wouldn't try to put the squeeze on you for brewing your own. I'm sure Her Majesty, Mary of Scots, would have no problem with you avoiding paying the usual taxes."
Rick laughed and so did Clive. "I'm sure she wouldn't." He admitted without admitting a thing.
He stood up and stretched, then eyed the door marked exit. "When's Lilly supposed to come in tonight?"
"Usually here within the hour. She's running a bit late."
"She's probably having a hard time fitting those red shoes with the white bows on them onto her overweight feet." Rick laughed.
"No problem. I can do some of the canned jokes we've been keeping until she squeezes into the room with us."
"Sounds good to me." Rick said, then sat back down and transitioned from the one commercial to another. He put his headphones on and heard some bright young lady describing a new pair of knickers she'd bought from Trammels downtown."
"Think we'll ever see a day when knickers aren't popular?" Rick asked.
Clive shrugged. "Never thought I'd see the day a woman would rule England again, but it happened, didn't it?"
"Is that a yes or a no?"
"Definitely a maybe." Clive answered with the touch of a smirk on his face and a toothy grin. "Ow, that tooth is going to need to see the Dentist."
"You never said how the boyfriend made out."
"He didn't." Clive answered with a deep laugh. "Get it. He didn't!"
Rick threw his hands up in the air. Then froze. "Did you hear that, Clive?"
"Hear what? My head's pounding so loud it's hard enough making out your words."
Then they both heard it. Something slamming against the door. Then a scratching as something slid down the side of the door and to the floor outside.
Both men blanched with fear.
Rick grabbed a broom in the corner and raised it. "Haven't had one of them try and break in here since last Christmas. Bollocks, if I'll have it again. Stole my pint, they did."
Clive motioned for silence, went to the door, looked to Rick, who came to his side and raised the broom to strike the intruder.
There was no more noise outside.
"You think someone hurt themselves on that loose landing?" Clive asked, puzzled at the sudden silence.
Before Rick could reply, he threw the door open.
A pile of smoking flesh and clothing lays in a puddle on the landing. The stench is overhwelming. Two eyeballs stare up from the puddle, gazing sightlessly into nowhere.
Rick did something he never thought he would ever do in his life. He screamed!
Several moments later a very tall man with a thick black hat, a heavy overcoat and a cane rushes up the landing steps, then freezes in horror at the sight.
"Good God! Is this some kind of bloomin' joke?"
It's Manager Bent Bradley, a tedious man to details, but quick witted and sharp as a knife when it comes to finances, and tonight he saw his finances crumbling because the radio station wasn't broadcasting.
Clive and Rick, overcoming their fear come outside and look at the mess. "That's it!" Clive utters, not wanting to believe it's anything but a joke.
The Manager looks up at him. "Why haven't you two been broadcasting? The show's been off the air since nine."
He looks around. "And where's Lilly? Isn't she supposed to be here now?
Then Clive spots something to the right of the puddle. "What's that there?"
Rick goes over, still pale white from the fright and sweeps the object into the light. It's a pair of woman's shoes. Bright red with white bows on them.
Clive rushes to the railing and heaves up everything in his gut and then some.