The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
It wasn't hard to figure out that if you really wanted to sell products, you needed to have wide enough range that if someone came in with less, they could buy less, and if they enjoyed a more expensive hustle, you had that too.
Angus McRay reckoned his battery shop had all of that and more. He was a proud man of Scottish descent and had fought his way up from poverty in the moors of Scotland, harvesting moss to sell for fireplaces, to wrangling pigs for the farmers, then to breeding pigs, and finally selling his thriving pig farm to the richest man he could find and moving to London, where he could amplify his good fortunes on the backs of the latest selling trends, which he had researched profusely back in his hometown of Dumbarton, pronounced Dun Breatainn (meaning the fort of the Greater Britains). It's a town, which is the central hub of all administrators for the area of West Dunbartonshire, in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland.
He remembered with great fondness the River Clyde where he would dangle his feet getting them wet alongside his clan brothers, Rengal and Dougal, as they fished for their dinners to bring home and surprise their much overworked mom. The son of a poor farmer, they never had much, which is why he probably worked harder than most to build his fortune. Unfortunately, his brothers never got to share in his good fortunes, as they passed away along with the rest of his family during the Hollow Man Wars, which left thousands of Gaelics murdered, their head missing if they were lucky, their bodies gone to become horrid creatures of the night, if not.
He had managed to destroy their bodies before they could rise to haunt the night, but now he would be haunted the remainder of his life by the horrid events that conspired to have him take the lives of his fallen family.
He, along with many other of the surviving citizens, had been able to survive the holocaust by reaching Dunbartonshire Castle, which the good Queen Mary of Scots had set aside as a safe zone for the embattled Scots.
There he, along with the other survivors, watched as the hordes of the Hollow Man, scourged the coastlines and smaller villagers, only taking flight when the great Captain Nemo, an outlaw of England, sank many of their vessels with his great golden Nautilus.
He would never forget that day, when he saw its golden shape rise like an avenging angel in t he midst of the Hollow Man's vast fleet of vessels, and sinking them one by one, and ramming those it could not sink with its prow, when all else failed.
The great golden Nautilus launched fiery missiles in the water that struck the zombie pirate's ships and caused them to implode, not explode, sucking all their pirates and vessel into a vortex which cast them adrift in a void between dimensions.
Even at that distance, with the help of a telescope a soldier loaned him, he could see the looks of dismay on the zombies, who had little else expression as they were twisted and churned into a mass of wood, iron and guts and blood, then vanquished from their dimension forever. Even had they survived the implosion, they would never be able to return, as their parts would be scattered across that dimension's universe.
He never got to thank the good Captain, nor any of his friends, and allies, for the British War Fleet, having been alerted by horse messenger of the attack, had sailed forth in their fast steam ships to mop up what was left to destroy.
Many of their brave sailors and commanders died in that battle.
The Hollow Man's forces were shattered irrevocably, but the Queen's Men claimed the victory, ignoring the fact that most of the work had already been done by an outlaw, a man whose family had been destroyed at one time by the Greater Britain Navy in an act of cowardice and misinformation.
Now Dumbarton stands as a growing, thriving port for ship builders and an increasingly important venue of transport to the major city of Glasgow, some 13 kilometers to the east southeast.
Angus sighed as the old memories washed from his mind.
"Good evening to you, Angus." Richard Cord told him as he exited the old shop with an armful of smaller batteries in a basket that Angus had woven especially to cart the items in and give them extra value. Many of his customers resold the baskets for fruit and bread containers, which often times fetched them as much as, if not more than they had originally paid for all their merchandise.
Angus gave the work for the baskets to the disabled of his area of town, giving them a means of support and pride in themselves. And he took great pride in it as well, often times lingering for hours in their homes to swap jokes and stories of the good old dies. He was a wealthy man by many a man's standards, but not rich. He was rich because he had made many good friends over the years and he never forgot a friend.
So it was with a great smile that he shuttered his front door, sighed with relief, as he hadn't eaten since the noon, and even then only a slice of wheat bread he had managed to purchase from a wandering waif, of which there were more and more these days on the streets, striving to scrap a living together for himself and his starving family.
He frowned when he thought about it. Her Majesty had done many admirable things in the greater town of London, but the wealthy remained much the same, despite her implorements of them...decidedly stubborn about hoarding their wealth and hiring cheap and paying little.
He sighed again. He spent most of his money on supplies, a bit on himself, the majority on hiring those with less than he, so they could at least have something.
Worry and yawning like a great hippopotamus, he smiled at the image, as he did so, he locked the front door, then went to his small register, which he had purchased in trade from another merchant. Much of the local merchants did so. Trade in kind. It made the lessening of taxes, was encouraged by the Queen, thank Her and God!
He opened its drawer and began plucking out bills and sorting them by amounts, and change likewise. As he did so, he heard a strange, almost wet sound emanating from the back of his shop. It appeared to be coming from his storage rooms where he kept his new batteries.
He ignored it, thinking it was just one of the many small creatures that managed to enter his shop when he left the door open in back, which he often did to air the place out. His customers loved the smell of fresh air and batteries, and for him, it reminded him of his beloved home town and brought back soothing memories to help aid his aching later years of his life. He was a man of about eighty now. Not so tall, a bit heavy around the middle from his love of cakes and pies, and lack of serious exercise. He usually walked with the help of a cane; his legs weren't much of a help these days, though he could get around his shop easily enough by grasping the counters and shelves to help him out when winded, or hurting.
That time he snapped to attention. No rat made that horrid amount of sound.
He looked under his counter and saw the cane he kept there. It was thicker than most, because its handle could be loosened and a sword withdrawn from it if need be. He had been gifted it by a Widower of a man he had given the good death after the fall of their village by the Hollow Man.
He loosened the sword, withdrew it and stalked to the back. It was dimly lit as he was not one to waste energy when not needed. He went through each room one by one, and not until he neared the very back, where his door still remained open, did he see the peculiar trail upon the floor. He touched it with the tip of his sword and winced.
"Slime?" He asked himself. "How?"
The sound came directly from his right. The last room. Where his larger batteries were stored. He cautiously approached the door, which was slightly ajar, grasped it handle and flung the door open, ready to frighten his thief and teach them a lesson if need be.
He never got to teach that lesson. For what he saw caused more fear in him than the dreaded pirates of the Hollow Man. This creature was unlike anything he had ever seen, or would ever see again. But frightened and terrified as he was, he would not go lightly into the dark.
He screamed at the top of his lungs and charged the creature in the room, like a man about to die. And he did. Horribly!
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