Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 252/365 Let Sleeping Mummies Lie

When I was little, I was allowed to do my homework while watching a late afternoon TV show called Count Macabre. Count Macabre was a grown man who dressed up like Dracula,talked to a skull named Eric and introduced a different horror movie each afternoon. It wasn't enough that I had Appalachian relatives that told ghost stories and then we moved to Louisiana with its implied presence of voodoo and loup garou. Nope, my folks topped all that off by allowing me to be scared witless every afternoon while doing 3rd grade math.

I LOVED IT. (and yes I had an autographed picture....).

However, the Count led me directly to the creature that would inhabit my nightmares for years. Literally years. Frankenstein didn't bother me, I thought the Wolf Man was cute, the various giant creatures that threatened Tokyo and New York were conquered by science, and Dracula was....mmmm....interesting (the vampire thing still holds my interest).

But there was one other monster that I couldn't handle.

Right outside my bedroom window there stood a tree. That tree had long branches. The kind that scrap at your window if there's even a light breeze. Or if some wandering animal climbs up the tree at night. Or if the mummy tries to get in your window. Yep. The Mummy.
Thanks to the Count and Boris Karloff, the 1932 version of The Mummy terrified my 8 year old self with his never-relenting slow shuffle, the disintegrating bandages, the fixed stare, and worst of all - the extended arm. It was the stuff of nightmares.

At first the dreams were "I opened the tomb and now I'm cursed and here he comes." Then they shortened down to "run fast, here he comes." And rather quickly they compacted into dreaming that I was sleeping, and a huge bandaged hand was reaching for me.

Had that one for years and spent many nights lying awake, listening for the Mummy coming in the window, almost able to smell the dry Eqyptian mummy dust.

Loved every minute of it.

At least once I was fully awake and realized I wasn't Princess Anck-es-en-Amon being pursued by her lost lover Im-ho-tep (which makes sense on account of *I* wasn't the one who opened the tomb, now was I?)

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