A HANDFUL OF SAND
a play by Marc Heiden and Rory Leahy
the Mummy a tall man wrapped from head to toe in bandages
Faye an overweight, undereducated housewife in her mid-forties
Sheriff a dim, overweight, balding man
Deputy an overeager, thin man
Priests #1 and #2 both have heavy Egyptian accents but often attempt to disguise them. they wear ornate robes with a good deal of religious imagery
Agents #1 and #2 intensely serious government paranormal investigators
Cloon-Ra the mummy's younger, human incarnation
Yassar Cloon-Ra's assistant healer
Heckler an old man who ridicules the healers
Man whose daughter is possessed
Girl is possessed
Priest self-righteous and well-dressed
Sick Old Man
Bill a hyper, infantile college student
Brad sarcastic and macho, the leader of the college students
Brittany a college student, obsessive about her appearance
Candy an eternally pessimistic college student
Jeremy a pseudo-intellectual pop culture fanatic college student
Tiffany a marginally intelligent college student except when distracted by Brad
Dr. Sadat the students' tour guide; a friendly British-sounding academic type
Onstage, the only permanent fixture is the couch upon which Faye lounges and from which the Mummy tells his story. It can sit off to stage right. Faye will need a spotlight from time to time; it should shine just in front of her couch so that she doesn't have to walk far between the two locations. The design of the Mummy's Tomb depends on what resources are available for the production. The only key element is the Mummy's sarcophagus, inside of which the Mummy is asleep during the later flashbacks. It should be decorated to look valuable, with gold and jewels and the like; it can even look gaudy so long as it looks like it would be appealing to thieves. The door of the sarcophagus needs to be designed so that it can fall outwards, perpendicular to the sarcophagus itself. If a door/wall can be built that separates the stage into two rooms (the tomb and another), do it; if not, have the actors mime the door slamming and the presence of an old, dusty stone wall.
(It is, of course, a dark and stormy night. A single figure, FAYE, stands alone on the stage. In the distance are heard the sounds of rain falling, wolves howling, and miscellaneous eerie ambient noises. FAYE gives the audience an intent look and, after a moment's pause, begins to speak)
FAYE: You probably won't believe my story. It'll probably slip right through your "been-there done-that" ears like so many drops of rain across the pyramids. That's all right. You'll look at me and see a madwoman who's speaking things that you don't want to believe, and you'll pass me off as another trailer-park looney. I don't care. I've heard it all before. No one's believed me yet, and I'm not concerned if anyone ever will, because this happened, and I know that, so what your eyes think means nothing to me. I saw it with my eyes, and these eyes have been forever changed for the looking. I used to be (wagging her finger) just like you...all head and no heart. But no more. I look at all of you and I see sets of eyes that haven't seen it yet...but you will, you will...it comes to everyone eventually.
(attempts a dramatic pause, then speaks but hiccups right afterwards and stumbles for a moment) HE comes.
Um. Yes. It's all in the eyes. See, I'm not what you think I am. I am actually a free soul, unburdened by convention and very deep in my insight and my perception. That's what my psychic advisor Sheila says. She also says I used to be Cleopatra in a past life. And I believe her, 'cause I can trust her. I'm no dummy when it comes to trusting, either. I'm a pretty fair judge of character if I do say so myself, and I know that Sheila has my best interests at heart when she's giving me psychic advice. Why would she lie? Anyway, my story is one of terror and passion, the kind of awesome, all-consuming passion that grips us all in its... grasp. I started out life as a little girl in a trailer park. Sure, I know what you're thinking: illiteracy, drunkenness, inbreeding...all of which is absolutely true, although much moreso (intensity dwindles as she off on a tangent) down at Valu-Lots off Route 36 than at Camper Land, which is the stretch of land I called home. Don't get us confused with the people from Valu-Lots. Those are some real sickos. Lend one of them your ear and they'll end up drowning it in endless stories about crazy alien abductions and other ridiculous stuff that never happens in real life. Can you believe that silliness? Some people just don't have a very good grip on reality. I don't know about you, but my papa didn't raise me to brook any of that kind of nonsense. Still, even at Camper Land we had our fair share of boozers and kissin' cousins, I'm not denying it. (intensity returns) But I always knew that I was destined for so much more than that. Why else would I be named Faye? Faye Dunaway is a famous actress you know. One with lots of class. All my life I knew I was special, gifted in a way that set me apart from everything around me. I could see a different side to things, you see. I was a dreamer, and I knew that one day I would be swept off my feet by a man from those dreams, a dark, dashing figure of mystery and romance from out of my deepest, darkest most passionate fantasies. And it all would have happened too, (suddenly bitter) if my fucking husband hadn't come along and ruined the whole thing! Of course, he wasn't my husband then. He was just a horny, disgusting twenty year old boy who got me pregnant. It wasn't my fault you know. I was just biding my time, waiting for my prince to come. But then my husband ruined everything like a selfish jerk, and then I was forced to spend the next twenty years as a... housewife. Even though I was obviously meant for more! My stupid husband and my eleven whiny children never understood me. Nobody does. I'm (with thick-mouthed emphasis) complex. I always knew that my prince would come, though, and all of those screaming children would be whisked far, far away. My prince would come out of the deepest depths of deepness - and he did. I had to wait a bit but he came. And now I shall unfold for you a tale of love and death, of my passionate rendezvous, of my...
(dramatic pause) INTERVIEW WITH THE MUMMY!
(FAYE steps backwards and lays down on the couch. the time and place are present day America, in a trailer park. a child cries out from offstage and FAYE responds)
FAYE: Ryan Travis Jackson, you will shut your mouth right this instant if you know what's good for you! (child screams even louder, in fear) You listen here, you little bastard, if your Daddy hears that your selfish squealing kept Mama from watchin' Oprah today then you are gonna get the whoopin' to end all whoopin's, do you hear me? (the child goes silent but a sudden loud noise is heard, and followed by a deep voice that says "Oh, shit.") That does it. Next commercial break I'm'a come in there and wash your mouth out with soap. You earned it to yourself, you little rat. Don't you be cryin' about it later.
(there is silence, then rustling noises from offstage.
FAYE begins to get a little bit nervous)
FAYE: Ryan? Is that you? Stop it. (silence) Who...who's there? (no one answers, she rises from the couch and takes a few tentative, fearful steps) All right, whoever you are! I know you're out there! Whoever you are, come out and show yourself! I have Mace! (the noises continue, she grows more scared) If you want my money, you can have it! (pause) If you want the Mace, you can have that too! (pause) My husband is a steel worker! Well, he was! But he's still pretty much in the same shape that he was before the downsizing! So you just back off! He'll be home sometime today or tomorrow! He didn't have that much drinking money! He'll be back! I mean it! Stay away!
(suddenly the MUMMY leaps out at her, causing her to scream and stumble backwards. the MUMMY screams back and then quickly speaks as she is about to fall)
MUMMY: Geez, be careful! You'll trip and crack your head open! Oh, hell...I'm so tired of this happening...(he rushes to catch her in his arms)
FAYE: (looking up, screams) Get away from me, you monster! You won't taint my fair womanhood! Away, away! Let me go!
MUMMY: Oh, come on, don't make me do this whole grunting and yelling and snapping your neck routine. I just saved your life!
FAYE: (looks up with newfound wonder) You want my body, don't you?
FAYE: Ravish me, dark stranger! I am a traveler upon your caravan of mystique!
MUMMY: Lady, I don't know if you haven't noticed or if you're simply conveniently overlooking it, but I am a mummy. I am wrapped head to toe in bandages. Believe it or not, ravishing random women that I stumble across while wandering through trailer parks is not the first thing on my mind.
FAYE: (scared again) So are you going to destroy me in your mighty arms? Crush me like so many six-packs upon a drunk man's forehead?
MUMMY: Do you have any idea how tired I get of that routine? Jumping out from behind bushes, scaring people, having them run away? Catching them, feeling them struggle, fighting the urge to break their frail bodies even as I bear no particular ill will towards them? It's all been done before. (attempts to let her go, but she continues to cling to him. he doesn't seem to notice as his voice begins to grow faraway) Do you have any idea how repetitive that gets? Yet there's nothing else to do, because the cards always play themselves out one way or the other, and there is no inbetween... I'm so tragic and misunderstood...
FAYE: O, you poor, misshapen creature of darkness...I, too, am misunderstood. It's due to my enormous sensitivity and intellect. I read books, you know, have you ever read the poetry of Maya Angelou, it's so beautiful, she really makes you empathize with her struggle...
MUMMY: (attempts to drop her again, fails) I am condemned! To thousands of years of this torture! Cursed to wander the land, friendless and alone...
FAYE: Waiting for the man of my dreams to come out from the mists of time...
MUMMY: Why must I be so ugly and deformed, when all I really want is love...
FAYE: And when he comes along, I'll nurture him, and understand him and make him mine...
MUMMY: (successfully gets her off of him and then continues) And the same fear and loathing that grip the hearts of men grips mine as well...why, 'tis mostly just a layer of bandages and a nasty skin disease that separates me from everyone else...
FAYE: Oh, Mummy!
(she throws herself at him passionately; he reacts with surprise and irritation)
MUMMY: What is your problem, lady? I'm a mummy!
FAYE: That is only your cold exterior! Underneath you are a raging torrent of manly, yet sensitive, passion which I long to immerse myself in!
MUMMY: (doubtful) Really.
FAYE: Oh, yes, truly!
MUMMY: Oh, come on, just run away screaming or something. Please.
FAYE: No! Our souls have forever been together and now our bodies are too! I'll never leave you!
MUMMY: Do you have any idea how long a time forever is? Forever is a damn long time. Not much sticks around for that long. Love and lust fall away after a few hundred years and in the end all that's left are bandages.
FAYE: If you'd had a good woman around for those few hundred years, you'd be talking differently.
MUMMY: If you say so...
FAYE: You have longed for someone to share your pain, to penetrate your heart. I am that someone, Mummy, I am!
MUMMY: Weird, is what you are!
FAYE: Yes, all my life I've been weird. Strange, bizarre, whatever the bland drones of society chose to berate me with, but the truth is I am sensitive, gifted...
MUMMY: No, you're weird. Only a very weird person would hurl herself at a strange man and not be at all bothered by the fact that he was a mummy.
FAYE: You choose to berate me too, to push me away, but I know in my heart that you only do this because you are so pained. You're unable to trust right now, I respect that. But after you kidnap me and hold me as your slave for the next several weeks...
MUMMY: Kidnap you?!?! Why on earth would I do that? What the heck would I do with you at all, let alone for several weeks? I don't have anywhere to put you.
(there is a loud banging at the door; a voice shouts "OPEN UP")
FAYE: That doesn't sound like my husband...it sounds like Sheriff Brown!
MUMMY: Come to save you, no doubt. I'd really rather not do this whole "confused law-enforcement official shoots at me and is shocked when the bullets don't slow me down" routine. If you don't mind, I'm going to break through the back wall of the trailer or something...
(banging continues, with a shout "I'M COMING IN!")
FAYE: Quickly! Hide!
(she puts a lampshade on top of his head and pushes him to the
side of the couch just as the SHERIFF and DEPUTY enter)
SHERIFF: Faye! Are you alright?
FAYE: Just fine, thank you.
DEPUTY: We thought you done got done in by the monster!
FAYE: (innocently) What monster?
SHERIFF: Way-ull, buncha teenagers came tearin' into the station sayin' they saw some kinda monster out in the fields.
FAYE: Oh, dear, a monster!
SHERIFF: Well I didn't put no stock in it at first 'cause you know these teens're always gettin' drunk an' tellin' crazy stories. An' then a couple a' these foreigner types come by, sayin' they were priests or somethin', sayin' there ain't no monster. Now this got me to thinkin'. If there weren't no monster, why would a coupla random foreigners come in an' tell me that there ain't?
DEPUTY: Yeah, 'cause you know that's somethin' ya just assume.
SHERIFF: (glares at the DEPUTY and resumes talking) And then, another coupla strangers come in, and these ones are sayin' they're from the FBI.
DEPUTY: Tell 'er about the scarecrow, Sheriff!
SHERIFF: I'm gettin' to that, Leon, now willya shut it?
SHERIFF: An' these FBI folks say their investigatin' reports a' some kinda creature in this area. Now, I don't know 'bout you, but I don't trust that dadgum president or any of them Washington DC fatcats none, so I'm sure not gonna jump 'cause some government folks say I should. But I also ain't about to put stock in no pagan foreigners neither. And there can't both be a monster and not be a monster. So I figure, either there is a monster or there ain't a monster.
DEPUTY: Tell 'er about the scarecrow, Sheriff!
SHERIFF: LEON! I'm'a make you eat that badge if you don't watch yourself!
SHERIFF: Well, so Leon and me go out for a drive, to check things out, see, and we see a mighty strange thing on our way over. In every field in the county that we done seen...
DEPUTY: It was the scarecrows! They was knocked over! Something done knocked 'em over!
SHERIFF: Dammit, Leon, gimme that badge.
DEPUTY: Aww, gee whiz...
SHERIFF: Now, Leon.
DEPUTY: Consarn it. (hands over the badge) I'm'a find a way to redeem myself, just you wait and see.
SHERIFF: So anyway, we drove here to make sure everyone was OK. When y'all had your lights on but didn't come to the door, I thought maybe...
DEPUTY: (excited) Sheriff! I found something!
SHERIFF: What? Is it monster tracks?
SHERIFF: What is it, monster tracks?
DEPUTY: No, but it's almost as good! A genuine Susan B. Anthony silver dollar! Ya don't see many a' these ya know. An' monsters are rich a lot a' the time. Maybe the monster dropped it!
SHERIFF: Leon, ya clod, when's the last time ya saw a monster pay for somethin'?
DEPUTY: (disappointed) Um, never, I guess.
SHERIFF: Moron. Well, Faye, if you see any trouble, you give us a call, hear?
FAYE: (quickly) Will do. Thank you gentlemen for coming by.
SHERIFF: My pleasure, ma'am.
(SHERIFF and DEPUTY leave; FAYE takes the shade off the MUMMY's head)
MUMMY: What the heck were they talking about? I didn't knock any scarecrows over.
FAYE: (cooing) I'm sure you didn't, darling. Now, where was I?
MUMMY: I'm leaving before this gets any stupider.
FAYE: Ah, yes...(wraps her arms around him) once I am your prisoner, I'll use my feminine ardor to break down that cold, hostile veneer of yours and I'll eventually be able to mold you into the sweet, wonderful, heroic man that I know you to be.
MUMMY: Okay. One more time. Lady, I'm a walking, talking mummy! Do you realize what that means? I'm a reanimated corpse! Reanimated corpses make lousy lovers!
FAYE: You have low self-esteem too, you poor, sweet baby!
MUMMY: I haven't been a baby for four thousand years!
FAYE: Oh, what legendary stories you must be able to tell. What tales of adventure and romance...and I want to hear them all!
MUMMY: You want me to tell you the story of my life?
FAYE: Yes, yes! Make my heart weep with yours! Make my body tingle all over with excitement! Say, did you know Cleopatra? I was her in a previous life you know...you might have been one of my hundreds of lovers.
MUMMY: Will you let go of me and sit down if I tell you the story?
FAYE: Yes, yes! Although the arms of my heart are forever wrapped around your...
MUMMY: STOP. Right there. I'm telling the story. I won't make any promises, but I guess I can do my best. I was once a man. An ordinary man, but an ordinary man by the standards of the time, which was thirty-five hundred years ago in the ancient, mysterious land of Egypt, in the burgeoning young city of Cairo. I was an ordinary, unassuming healer, and my name was Cloon-Ra.
(the scene shifts to ancient Cairo. CLOON-RA, assisted by YASSAR,
is trying to heal a SICK OLD MAN while a HECKLER watches)
YASSAR: Hey, Cloon-Ra, have you heard the latest Israelite joke?
CLOON-RA: Not now, Yassar. I'm trying to heal a man suffering from the locust plague if you don't mind.
HECK: You call that healing? There's twice as many locusts in there as there were when you started.
CLOON-RA: There are not!
HECK: Look at that! No focus! As easily distracted as a Philistine at a museum.
CLOON-RA: If you wouldn't mind letting me work, I'm trying to save a human life here!
HECK: Tell the joke, Yassar, I think you've got better odds at making me laugh than he does at doing any good for this poor fool.
YASSAR: Okay, okay, see, these two Israelites are standing in line building the pyramids you know and one of them says to the other, "Hey, this slave labor thing kinda bites. Why don't we revolt against the pharaoh?" And the other one says "Are you crazy? How the heck are we going to beat the Pharoah's army?" But the first one says "Well, we've got spears." And the second one says, "What's your point?"
(he looks expectantly at CLOON-RA, who tries to ignore him; he hovers around
CLOON-RA, waiting for him to get the joke, and CLOON-RA finally resigns)
CLOON-RA: (sighing) And?
YASSAR: (holding back hysterical laughter) He asked him, "What's your point?" "Point"! Like the end of a spear! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Spears! Ahhhh, that one cracks me up! Hey, how's the old guy doing?
CLOON-RA: (irritated but resigned) He's dead, Yassar. He died while you were telling the joke.
HECK: Rack up another ten points for magic-fingers Cloon-Ra.
YASSAR: (realizing what happened) Oh. Man. He died when I was telling the joke. (he starts to giggle) I'm sorry. It's just so funny in a way. Ironic. If I hadn't been telling the joke I might have paid more attention and he might still be alive. The irony of it. (starts to laugh hysterically, then is suddenly serious again) I'm sorry.
CLOON-RA: Never mind. (he walks away from YASSAR, towards the center of the stage) Why is the universe so cruel and indifferent that a man can die because his so-called healers simply aren't paying attention? And with cruelty and indifference like that bearing down from all sides, how can a poor healer stay focused?
(a MAN approaches him)
MAN: You are Cloon-Ra? The healer?
HECK: No, this is Cloon-Ra the crazed mass murderer. You want the fifth hut down the road.
(MAN gives a strange look and starts to walk away; CLOON-RA stops him)
CLOON-RA: Wait, please, don't listen to him. I'm a healer. What can I do for you?
MAN: I need your help, sir. My daughter, she is possessed of an evil spirit.
CLOON-RA: What are the signs?
MAN: She shakes and convulses, her eyes glow red, she spews bile and blasphemy, spins her head round and round, that sort of thing. It's nothing I didn't see during my time in the army, but my poor wife isn't taking this very well...
CLOON-RA: The usual demonic possession bit, hm? How long has she been possessed?
MAN: Ten days. We're at the end of our wits, sir. We will pay you whatever we can.
CLOON-RA: I've never performed an exorcism, sir. But...
HECK: (interrupting) That's alright, you've never actually healed anyone either.
CLOON-RA: (gives HECKLER a dirty look) But there was a course on it in med school, and I did rather well as I recall.
YASSAR: (to the MAN, in an assuring tone) If nothing else, he's a talented improviser.
CLOON-RA: (sighs) There's no guarantee that I can help you. But I will see her.
(cut quickly back to MUMMY and FAYE)
FAYE: Why have you stopped, my prince?
MUMMY: Will you please not call me that?
FAYE: You've been beaten down by society's brutal unfair standards of beauty for too long! Sure, you're a hideous decayed lumbering mess on outside, but inside, you're a prince!
MUMMY: That's not it at all. Society hasn't beaten down on me with anything. Society hasn't had anything do with me for the vast majority of my existence - I spent several millenia in a bloody casket, you know. I am a mummy. That is what I am. Do you understand?
FAYE: Darling, I've read "Bridges of Madison County" three times. I think I know a thing or two about love and longing.
VOICE: Hello? Is there anyone in there? This is the FBI, please identify yourselves!
FAYE: Just a moment! (whispers) Quick, hide!
MUMMY: (whispers) There's something you should know...
FAYE: (whispers) What?
MUMMY: (whispers) I need to apologize for something.
VOICE: May we come in?
FAYE: Absolutely, just let me get dressed! (whispers) Your disturbing aura and musty smell of decay and death doesn't bother me! You don't need to apologize for it!
MUMMY: (whispers) Not that. I just wanted to apologize for accidentally snapping that small child's neck back there. It really wasn't deliberate, it's just that that sort of thing more or less inevitably happens when I show up no matter what I do. I take it you were related to him?
FAYE: (whispers) What small child?
MUMMY: (whispers) You know, the one that was in the other room of your house?
FAYE: (whispers) Oh, that small child. Never mind that now. (pushes the MUMMY down onto all fours, like a coffee table, drops a magazine on his back, and then calls out) Come on in!
(the AGENTS enter)
AGENT #1: Hello, ma'am, we're with the (starts to produce a badge)
FAYE: (trying to hurry them along) No, no need, don't worry about it, what can I do for you?
AGENT #1: Are you alright? It looks as though there was a disturbance outside...
FAYE: No, no, no problem, just faulty manufacturing, that's all, you can never tell with doors anymore...
AGENT #2: Number One, come here.
AGENT #1: What? Have you found something?
AGENT #2: I might have. This lampshade right here (holds it up) looks normal enough. Notice, however, that it's unaccompanied by an actual lamp.
AGENT #1: Number Two, I hardly think that conclusively proves your "Mummy" theory.
AGENT #2: No, of course it doesn't. But it indicates a chaotic system at work. Things are not necessarily where they should be. Normal trends of rationality have been disrupted. This is not proof in and of itself, but it indicates something larger.
FAYE: I assure you two, we run a good decent taxpaying God-fearing home here...
AGENT #1: (ignoring her) And what do you think that it indicates?
AGENT #2: Well, look at the slight bulges towards the top of the lampshade. On a normal lamp, that is the area where the lightbulb would be. However, were a lightbulb the cause of those bulges, there would surely be accompanying burn marks on the fabric, wouldn't there?
AGENT #1: And there aren't?
AGENT #2: No.
AGENT #1: But what does it mean?
AGENT #2: I think that the Mummy has been here.
FAYE: (nervously) That's ridiculous! I...
AGENT #1: Number Two, there are countless explanations for this simple occurence that are much more sensible. Why are you persisting with this absurd "Mummy" theory?
AGENT #2: Ever since archaeological excavations in the late nineteenth century, there have been numerous reports of mummies coming out of their tombs to terrorize the living.
AGENT #1: Those reports are obvious fabrications rooted in ancient folklore and superstition.
AGENT #2: Those reports have been deliberately discredited by a vast network of shadowy organizations whose reach extends into even the furthest corners of our world and who are attempting to protect their own, nebulous and possibly devastating interests in the Mummy project.
AGENT #1: What do you propose happened here, Number Two?
AGENT #2: Mummies are known to be very clumsy beings by nature. I think that he got in here somehow, started bumping around, and knocked over the lamp. Being a very dim creature as well, he tried to replace the lampshade - but put it on the wrong end of the lamp. He then, realizing his failure, threw the lamp away in primitive rage and left the shade here.
AGENT #1: I don't understand how you can possibly stand by such an outlandish theory. Until we produce the actual Mummy...
AGENT #2: I think I know where we'll find him.
AGENT #1: Where?
AGENT #2: Exorcising his rage and confusion...at the furniture store.
AGENT #1: I hope you're wrong for the sake of those poor couches, Number Two. But let's check it out. Thank you for your help, ma'am.
(the AGENTS leave. the MUMMY struggles to his feet)
MUMMY: This is absurd. No one can see me unless I'm staggering around bashing into things. They're looking for the violence, not me. I don't know anything about any sinister conspiracies. Why would they revolve around me? I'm just some guy!
FAYE: That's all fine and good, dear, but go on with the story!
MUMMY: (sighs) ...right.
(the next scene takes place in the bedroom of the GIRL, who is lying on a bed twitching and snarling. CLOON-RA, YASSAR, the HECKLER and the MAN approach her)
YASSAR: ...so Ra says, "That's no moon, that's my brethren!" HAHAHAHA!
HECK: I don't get it.
CLOON-RA: (sighs) See, Ra is the Sun God, and the sun and the moon are both in the sky, and...
HECK: I don't get you.
CLOON-RA: Can we get on with this?
MAN: (timid) Darling daughter?
GIRL: (in throaty, demonic voice) I am not your daughter, pigfucker. I am Set, Lord of darkness.
MAN: Er, yes darling. Um, this is Cloon-Ra. He's here to help you with your problems.
GIRL: Ra was a motherfucker! Sun God my ass! Isis was a cocksucking whore!
YASSAR: Cover your ears! She blasphemes!
HECK: That's what he pays you for? To throw hissy fits about heretical children? Relax! You're as panicked as an Israelite who heard someone yell "Passover!" in a crowded theatre.
YASSAR: That was a truly awful analogy.
HECK: Thank you.
GIRL: Osiris was a drop of disease-infested vaginal fluid!
HECK: (suddenly offended) HEY! Where do you get off talking that way about Osiris? Don't you know that he died for your sins you little pottymouth?
GIRL: Yeah, well, who's gonna die for my new sins?
CLOON-RA: (steps forth, seizes control of the situation) Demon, you have no place in this girl's body. Your domain is the underworld and I order you with the power of science to leave this girl's body immediately!
GIRL: You are a perverse sinner and fornicator and a son of a goat and your dick is small and you have a big butt!
CLOON-RA: (looking around, slightly embarrassed) Look, I hardly think any of that is relevant here.
GIRL: You're a pseudo-intellectual slob, you friendless, worthless, hopeless, sad piece of shit! Nobody loves you 'cause there's nothing to love!
CLOON-RA: You're being awfully personal here...
GIRL: Truth hurts, doesn't it you shitfaced clod?
MAN: Really, I must apologize, she's never this rude under ordinary circumstances. It's the demons inside of her body, you see.
CLOON-RA: Right, perfectly understandable.
GIRL: You know your momma wishes she had an abortion! You've got hairs in yer crotch where there shouldn't be any!
YASSAR: Help, help! I'm being completely demoralized!
CLOON-RA: But she's talking to me!
YASSAR: I know, that's how weak my will is! Oh boy!
(he starts to sway around as if being telekinetically manipulated,
he grabs a knife from his coat and begins to stab himself with it)
YASSAR: (laughing hysterically) My mother always said that I was going to kill myself one of these days with this illicit lifestyle and loose morality, and now I've done it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (he dies)
(everyone looks down mournfully and is silent for a moment)
HECKLER: Come on, say something Cloon-Ra!
CLOON-RA: (stammering, overcome with grief) He...had a good sense of irony.
MAN: Sorry about your friend, there.
CLOON-RA: (growing nervous but trying to remain composed) Yeah, well, it's a tough job.
HECK: It's hellish on my good looks.
CLOON-RA: (angry) Don't you have somewhere else to go? Other healers to antagonize?
HECK: Aww, who loves you, baby? For that matter, who could love you, baby?
GIRL: (violently angry) PAY ATTENTION TO ME, YOU MISERABLE COCKSUCKERS!
HECK: Well, sorry.
GIRL: (mockingly) Poor baby, your friend is dead. Who ya gonna play with now?
CLOON-RA: Look, I've had just about enough of you.
GIRL: You can never get enough of me! There's enough of me to fill the entire slime pit of Azeron!
CLOON-RA: Look, I'm going to take your temperature and you're going to be nice and you're going to stop killing people. Is that clear young lady?
GIRL: Fuck you, you pussy! Your half-assed attempts at conviction are miniscule before the infinite terror of my wrath!
HECK: She's got a good point there, you quack.
GIRL: And you, you're the worst jokester I've seen since the Second Kingdom! You're hopelessly mired in the past and even your best days weren't all that amusing! And you're an impotent panorama of warts! Kiss my pimply ass!
CLOON-RA: Okay, I guess we're going to do this the hard way. (he puts his hand on her forehead) I command you... (she bites his hand severely) OWWWWW!!!
MAN: Look, I know the inclination here is always to blame the parents but I swear we brought her up well. She had good table manners and everything.
CLOON-RA: I don't blame you. This demon just happens to be one vicious little bastard.
MAN: What is your prognosis, healer?
CLOON-RA: Leeches will suck the demon out, and with any luck your daughter will be all right. Besides, leeches are what I prescribe for everything.
(the PRIEST enters the room)
CLOON-RA: Who are you?
PRIEST: I am a priest of the Sun God, Ra. I am here to save this child from evil. Not with your barbaric medicine, but with a much greater power. The power of faith.
CLOON-RA: Hey, be my guest. I'm keeping my advance fee, though.
PRIEST: Stand aside, you overeducated fool. The power of the Gods shall save you my child, you need only believe.
GIRL: You're a stinking bag of puss you pretentious, overblown chickenshit.
PRIEST: Excuse me?
GIRL: You heard me, you pompous, wind filled jackass!
PRIEST: That's it, you little harlot. I guess you can't be saved. (he begins to strangle the girl and kills her) There. The demon's out. Once again, the power of faith has triumphed.
CLOON-RA: Triumphed? You killed the patient!
PRIEST: Yeah, well, you know, you can't make an omelet...
MAN: My daughter, you killed my daughter! (he rushes over to the GIRL's body, and holds his head in his hands) I'm...(he turns around to face CLOON-RA and the PRIEST)
So very glad! You pretentious fools! You killed the little bitch but you didn't kill me! You can't! I can inhabit any body I choose!
PRIEST: Why is he talking like the demon?
CLOON-RA: Because he is the demon, you idiot!
PRIEST: No, I am!
HECK: Oh, by all means, please fight about it.
MAN: We both are!
HECK: Aw, don't compromise already. That's no good.
(both the MAN and the PRIEST are now possessed and face CLOON-RA menacingly)
CLOON-RA: This has been a really lousy day.
PRIEST: And it's going to get worse you mortal scum!
MAN: What made you think you could set yourself against me?
PRIEST: I have lived since time began!
CLOON-RA: I'm just an ordinary healer! I didn't want to get mixed up in this. The man asked me if I would try to exorcise his daughter and I agreed. That's all! I don't cause you any trouble...
MAN: Oh, but you do!
PRIEST: Every time you try to save the life of someone I have endangered...
MAN: Every time you cure the sick or comfort the injured...
PRIEST: You piss me off!
CLOON-RA: But healing the sick is how I earn my living...
MAN: Life pisses me off!
PRIEST: And I know just the way to punish you!
MAN: By making you one of the living dead!
PRIEST: You will be buried and mummified alive!
MAN: And cursed to wander the earth as a decayed and repulsive form until the end of time!
MAN AND PRIEST: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
(CLOON-RA falls to the ground)
HECK: Er, can I go now?
PRIEST: Don't even think about it, funny man.
MAN: We have plans for you.
(scene returns to the present day with FAYE and the MUMMY)
MUMMY: And that is how I came to be. The demon cursed me with both immortality and isolation for all of time.
FAYE: You poor, poor thing. You're not really a monster. You're a good, decent man who fought for what he felt was right and was sent to Hell for it.
MUMMY: Oh, piss off, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time! There's nothing at all romantic about that! You're making my cosmic misfortune into some silly fantasy to tickle your erogenous zones. Well I don't exist to be your fantasy! (he pauses, then shrugs) Though it's as good a reason as any I've come across. Any justification for all madness this tends to lose its luster after a few thousand years of exposure to the elements.
(someone with an Egyptian accent calls out "Hellooooo". FAYE panics)
FAYE: Oh, no, it's those foreigners the Sheriff was talking about!
MUMMY: Oh, hell, not the priests...
FAYE: You know them?
MUMMY: Just...get rid of them!
(the MUMMY dives behind the couch. having a rather stuff
body, he lands with a solid thud. the two PRIESTS enter)
FAYE: Can I help you?
PRIEST #1: (surprised to see her) Oh...I thought...
PRIEST #2: (quickly regains composure, attempts to speak like a local) Hello, ma'am. Thank you for welcoming us into your home. My name is...Bob Billy, and this here is...uh...Bill...Billy Jake. Pleased to meet you.
FAYE: And my name is Faye. Nice to meet you boys. Now, what can I do for you?
(PRIEST #1 looks around the trailer while PRIEST #2 speaks)
PRIEST #2: We are seeking...an old drinking acquaintance of ours.
FAYE: Oh? And what does he look like?
PRIEST #2: Well...he is tall...very tall...quite strong, you see...
FAYE: Go on...
PRIEST #2: Well, he's mighty...pale. And not too clean. Why, he's so very pale that if you didn't know better, you might think that he was wrapped head-to-toe in dirty bandages! (stilted laughter) Oh-ho!
FAYE: Oh, well, I can't say I've seen anyone like that around. Sorry to disappoint you, Bob Billy.
PRIEST #2: (reluctantly) Alright. But if you see him...please, find us and report his location to us. (stilted again) I would sure hate to miss out on a dynamite night of alcohol consumption with that so-and-so. Oh-ho!
FAYE: Will do. Thanks for stopping by!
PRIEST #2: Come along, Billy Jake!
PRIEST #1: (to PRIEST #2, as they exit) He has to be here! Only he could have broken that door down!
PRIEST #2: We'll find him. Patience.
PRIEST #1: We had better...our souls depend on it!
(they leave. the MUMMY groans from behind the couch)
FAYE: Darling? Are you hurt?
MUMMY: No, it's just that...well, it's a real pain to get back up when your body's as stiff as mine...
FAYE: Oh, well, take your time honey.
(the MUMMY groans again and, after some scuffling around, finally makes it to his feet)
FAYE: But tell me more about your lives and loves, your centuries of wandering, your adventures, your battles, your seductions of fair maidens...
MUMMY: (sighs) There's not a hell of a lot to tell. I was mummified. I was wrapped in bandages and buried alive. And I stayed in my tomb for millennia, until just a couple of years ago, when I was found by a bunch of American college students on an archaeological dig. And that story...is the most terrifying of all...
(the scene shifts to 1990's Cairo, where the six college students all stand facing the audience as if looking at the Great Pyramids of Egypt)
BRAD: (sarcastic) So where are the so-called "Great" pyramids of Egypt?
TIFFANY: (confused) They're right in front of us! What, did you suddenly have a stupid attack Brad?
BRAD: (smug) No, I just don't see anything great. All I see are a bunch of lame triangle-shaped rocks!
(the group snickers; BRAD looks proud of himself. TIFFANY giggles and kisses him)
JEREMY: You kick ass, man.
BRAD: Well, it's like I always say, don't take crap from anyone or anything.
BILL: That is so true.
CANDY: I don't even see why we're here. I mean, this isn't all that different from seeing a picture.
BRITTANY: It's different 'cause at home we'd wouldn't be looking at any dumb old pictures, we'd be at a party. You know what grosses me out the most? Being out here where the air has all this...sand in it. God, it's so gross. I mean, you don't even know where this sand's been and you're supposed to walk in it and let it get all over you? I don't think so?
BILL: Yeah, just think, some ancient guy's BUTT has been here!
BRITTANY: God, Bill, don't even get me thinking about that.
BILL: (doing an awful accent that is supposed to be Egyptian but ends up being something like a cross between French and Hindu) "Oh my gee golly gosh, I seem to have pooped in the sand! Oh well. No one is watching. Perhaps I will pee too!"
BRITTANY: (hitting BILL) EWW! Stop it! I mean it!
TIFFANY: (interrupting them) You two are such children. Can we move on to serious things now?
CANDY: Like what?
JEREMY: Like, why are we here?
(unbeknownst to the college students, PRIEST #1 has slipped into their group)
PRIEST #1: (attempting American accent) Yes, what a good question. Why are we here?
JEREMY: I mean, for all our lives we've been hearing all this hype about how amazing these pyramids are, but why did we have to come here to see them? I see them and I'm thinking...
CANDY: Like, I am so impressed.
JEREMY: Like, thank you! Exactly my point! Why didn't we just agree to take Econ or something? Spinner even said he'd let us have his notes, papers, and tests from when he took it last semester, so we could focus on more important things.
TIFFANY: Guys, the point is that we're here, this is a real-life experience and we should make the best of it. Okay?
BRAD: (attempting to be smooth) I heard three words in that sentence: "make", "best", and "okay". Baby, you don't need to look no further for what you're seeking.
TIFFANY: (giggles) Ooh! (they make out)
CANDY: Great, we paid like thousands of dollars to watch Brad and Tiffany make out in Egypt instead of down at the mall. Big freaking difference.
JEREMY: Oh, come on, it's not that bad. It's not like we had to spend our own money on this. Our parents and that government scholarship fund for needy kids whose parents have incomes over $2.5 million a year paid for it.
CANDY: Yeah, but why should I have had to waste all that asking nicely on this? I'm going to have to be saying "thank you" to my parents for like days after this trip to make up for it.
PRIEST #1: (again attempting American accent) What a suitable point. Let us leave the country immediately.
CANDY: Thank (turns to look at PRIEST #1, freaks out, which freaks out the other members of the group in a line)
BRITTANY: (shrieks) Who the heck are you?!?
BRAD: (steps forward) You heard the girl? Who are you? I want answers!
PRIEST #1: I am a warning to you! Leave this place! It is cursed! There is a great danger here!
BRITTANY: You're not a warning, you're a strange guy in a robe!
PRIEST #1: No, no, symbolically I am a warning, but really I am a man who is trying to tell you something that you don't know!
JEREMY: Why should we believe you? You can't even make up your mind who you are!
PRIEST #1: What?
JEREMY: Well, first you said you were a warning, and then you said you were a man, and there was all that stuff inbetween about that other stuff...
PRIEST #1: All I am trying to do is pass on a message to you. It is very dangerous in there. There are things which should not be disturbed, at the cost of your very lives!
BRAD: I'm gonna kick this guy's ass for even suggesting some guy in a robe out in North African Bumblefuck can tell a group of hard working American college students something they don't know!
(BRAD steps forward threateningly. PRIEST #1 runs off)
PRIEST #1: You have been warned!
CANDY: What a freak. God.
JEREMY: Maybe it's part of the class. We are getting school credit for this.
TIFFANY: And grades are important.
CANDY: They sure are. They're important for a lot of things, like if you're poor, you need good grades in order to be able to get a job. But we're not poor, so...
BRITTANY: I don't know. It's not all that important, like they're not something I'd get all stressed about, but if I had a choice between getting good grades and not getting good grades, I think I actually might choose good grades, because, I don't know, it makes me feel good, sort of, in a weird way, like getting a hottie guy's attention, except nowhere near as much, of course. It's sort of like...even though we're not poor, maybe say if like by some accident we became poor, then you know that if you had good grades, you'd be okay even if you were poor, you know?
BRAD: Personally, I think the worth of an individual can be judged by how much he benchpresses. That's something you can use.
JEREMY: That's an excellent point. I agree with that.
BRAD: Why, thank you sir.
BILL: (has been distracted, suddenly snaps back to attention) Hey, shut up. I'm not gay! There's a difference between talking about penises all the time because you think they're funny and talking about them all the time because you're entranced by them and can't get your mind off them because they're so fascinating and alluring and you just want to reach out and touch somebody's penis besides your own!
(everyone gives BILL a strange look and takes a step away)
BILL: What did I say?
CANDY: (ignoring him) Like when is that stupid doctor going to show up? Because I think I'm getting a headache from all this waiting and I could use some aspirin.
BRITTANY: He's not a doctor like a "when you're sick" doctor.
TIFFANY: No, he's more like a paleontologist.
CANDY: That's one of those big SAT words that means he's never coming, right?
JEREMY: No! You're both wrong. Paleontologists are scientists who study plant life. Guys who study old stuff like the pyramids are called geriatologists.
BRAD: No, this guy is like what Indiana Jones was.
BRITTANY: You mean he's dreamy?
BRAD: No, like he goes and he gets stuff out of caves, a cave guy!
BILL: (snickering) He's probably a cave gay!
(DOCTOR SADAT approaches the youths)
SADAT: Hallo. You must be the youngsters from the American university.
BRAD: (standing with his shoulders straightened, assumes leadership position) That's right, sir, and damned proud of it.
SADAT: Oh, that's marvelous. I'm Doctor Sadat, and I'll be your field instructor. And you all are?
BRAD: Brad, sir.
JEREMY: Jeremy, sir. I want you to know that I read a lot of books about history, so if you ever need help teaching the class I can help out.
SADAT: Um, thank you, that's very generous.
CANDY: I'm Candy. 'Cause I'm so sweet!
BILL: I'm Bill. But not like Bill Clinton, 'cause I think he's a communist.
BRITTANY: Brittany. I think that's 'cause my family used to be British before they were American. Like you.
SADAT: Er, I'm not actually British. A lot of us sound that way because Egypt was a British protectorate earlier in this century.
BRAD: Did ya kick 'em out?
SADAT: It was a rather peaceful independence actually.
BRAD: We kicked 'em out. (high fives with JEREMY)
JEREMY: Yeah, and then George Jefferson, our first president, came up with democracy, which is the best form of government ever.
BRAD: Yeah, democracy means having the right to say what you want to say as loud as you want. And to fix wrong things, like Communism.
SADAT: That's, ahm, a unique interpretation of democracy. We'll have to talk about that later. Let's get on into the ruins shall we? You've come at precisely the right time - we've made some of the most fascinating finds of recent years in the last few days. More fascinating than any I've made since I first became an archaeologist.
(the six students look at each other, and say "Ohhhhhhh.")
CANDY: Then what's a podiatrist?
(SADAT walks ahead and the students trail behind)
BILL: Somebody dig me up a doughnut, please.
BRITTANY: Ooh! And while you're at it, can you get me some nail polish? I just realized that mine totally clashes with the sand, and I don't want to ruin my chances with any hot arkeopaleologists that might be there.
(the next scene has SADAT showing the students the ruins of an ancient
Egyptian burial tomb, a coffin is laid out at the center of the stage)
SADAT: As you know, the Egyptians used mummification as a ritual burial for their most prominent citizens. They were often buried right along with their most treasured possessions so that they could take them to the afterlife. A stark contrast to Judeo-Christian conceptions of the afterlife.
JEREMY: (slightly condescending) Uh, sir, I don't know if all that's true.
SADAT: Jeremy, please, I don't want to have to repeat this again: Anne Rice is not a valid academic source. Please stop mentioning her.
JEREMY: Blah, blah, blah...why does something have to be "factual" to be valid? Geez.
BRAD: (aside to the other students) You know, it's true what they say about education.
TIFFANY: What's that?
BRAD: It's no substitute for getting high and engaging in promiscuous sexual behavior.
TIFFANY: I know what you mean.
BRITTANY: That sounds so good right about now.
SADAT: The burial methods are actually not unlike those of the Roman catacombs, although those were built centuries later of course...
BILL: Hey, ya know how they laid 'em all together like this. They musta been gay.
CANDY: Like, are you being homophobic, Bill, 'cause that's really bad, my womens' studies teacher told me that.
BILL: No, it's just funny, you know 'cause. Gay! (he becomes exasperated, as if trying to reveal something comically important that no one else understands) You know, gay! The possibilities are endless. I mean, they put their dicks in each other's assholes! Like, what if one of them farted like wouldn't that be awesome?
BRITTANY: Like that is so gross, Bill. Like, I don't even want to think about it.
CANDY: But, like, now it's stuck in my head and I have to think about it. It's growing on my brain like a fungus. Thanks a lot, Bill.
BILL: (as if he has proved his point) See? Gay!
SADAT: Interest in excavating these fascinating ruins ran high in the early part of this century with famous, dashing pioneers of discovery like the adventurous wine baron Daniel Freeman and the many others who followed him.
(PRIEST #2 emerges from the shadows and approaches the group)
PRIEST #2: Daniel Freeman was dashing, all right. He dashed straight into death, and so did all others who trespassed here.
SADAT: (sighs) Oh, no. Must you interfere with every class that I bring here?
PRIEST #2: Have you Americans heard the rumors about this tomb?
SADAT: The rubbish and the gossip is what you mean.
BRITTANY: I just got the latest Glamour Magazine, and it didn't have anything about any gossip about tombs.
TIFFANY: God, Brittany, the entire world isn't in Glamour.
JEREMY: Hell no, there's Entertainment Weekly too.
PRIEST #2: No, you'll not find these legends in your American magazines. You'll find them written across the sands of time using the blood of those who ignored them as ink.
SADAT: Come along, students. There is no need to listen to this tired, foolish superstition.
PRIEST #2: Some do call it foolishness. Others, who are perhaps wiser, call it a matter of life and death.
BRAD: (steps forward) Is that a threat?
SADAT: Bradley, there's really no need...
PRIEST #2: No, it is not. I do not wish to see you harmed. I've come to warn you that the tomb is a sacred place that is not meant to be disturbed by those who do not understand the workings of the spirit world. You court death itself should you step any further into the tomb. I am simply making you aware of the fact that when Daniel Freeman returned from intruding upon the private ground of a Pharoah, he came back a zombie to find his empire of wineries all converted to the production of weaponry, his entire country and indeed even the entire world at war because of his impetuousness.
BILL: Aww, that was a long time ago. People were dumber back then. We're too smart to get cursed. Besides, I know you're lying because you're totally ignoring the role of Communism as a motivating factor in World War One.
PRIEST #2: Tell them the truth Sadat! Tell them that the hieroglyphics tell the tale of a healer who fell victim to the Demon's curse!
TIFFANY: Is that true, Professor?
BRAD: Whatever it is, it's nothin' I can't protect you from, honey!
SADAT: It is true that the hieroglyphics tell such a tale but it is a myth, the way a primitive culture reacted to the strange and confusing world around them.
PRIEST #2: It is no myth!
SADAT: I have nothing to fear from it..
PRIEST #2: Are you so sure of that that you're willing to gamble your very life?
SADAT: (smiles) Yes, in fact, I am.
(SADAT pushes PRIEST #2 aside. PRIEST #2 scampers off, muttering to himself)
SADAT: Now that that silliness has hopefully been dispensed with, let us move on. Now, the most famous excavation of an Egyptian tomb was of course Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, affectionately known as "King Tut" in some circles.
BRAD: King Tut! Like the bad guy on "Batman"!
SADAT: "Batman"'s portrayal of King Tut was hardly factually accurate, Brad. He was not a supervillain but a teenaged boy, younger than yourself, whose most important accomplishment was the restoration of polytheism which had been replaced by his predecessor...
JEREMY: (ignoring SADAT) It's weird.. First Batman was all funny in the TV show, but then he got all dark and weird for no reason when they made the movies, and then all of a sudden he switched back to being funny again. You just never know what's true because they keep switching it on you.
CANDY: Yeah, you know, that's really true. That bugs me.
JEREMY: Thanks. I'd like to credit Blockbuster Video for helping me with my research.
BRITTANY: I love Blockbuster! It sucked for awhile because there was this lame store near my house, Van Weelden Brothers, and since it was there they couldn't put a Blockbuster in, we had to drive all the way out to the one near my friend's house if we wanted to go, but then this bookstore went out of business and they put a Blockbuster there and stupid Van Weelden finally closed. I don't know why anyone went there in the first place. It was all icky and they always had all these weird movies that no one's ever heard of and besides, Blockbuster's good because it's much nicer in there with the lighting and the TV screens and everything and they've got more stuff and like everyone has a Blockbuster card so if you're out with people like somebody's going to have a card so you don't need to worry...
SADAT: (clears his throat) Getting back to our ancient friends, as you can see here, this particular tomb is very well preserved. It hasn't been opened in over three thousand years, we'd estimate. Who can tell me what was going in Egypt thirty-five centuries ago, hm?
BILL: Yeah, like gay sex!
TIFFANY: Would you pervs like grow up please?
CANDY: Yeah, like take a chill pill, Bill.
SADAT: (somewhat exasperated) Your friend is right, actually. Studies have proven that there was sexual activity in ancient Egypt, although that wasn't quite what I was aiming for. That was the period of the Israelite captivity as told in the Book of Exodus, wherein, legend has it, Moses parted the Red Sea and all that. This healer was mummified at just about that time. Fascinating, no?
TIFFANY: (aside) Yeah, about as fascinating as my butt.
BRAD: Oh, I don't think it's anywhere near that fascinating.
TIFFANY: Ooh! (they kiss)
SADAT: I will now demonstrate for you my expertise as an archaeological researcher and open this tomb. There's no reason to be alarmed. This mummy has been dead for thousands of years and is thus entirely incapable of harming you...(BILL waves his hand at SADAT) Er, yes, Bill? Is there something I can help you with? (BILL whispers in his ear) No, actually, I don't know if they mummified the person's penis as well.
BILL: (embarassed) That's not what I asked! (everyone snickers. he remains insistent) It wasn't! But, uh, supposing someone was curious...um, would there be any way to find out? Like, if some pervert really wanted to know? I don't know why anyone would want to know, of course, but if someone did?
SADAT: No way that I can think of short of asking the mummy yourself, Bill. And now, ladies and gentlemen, your attention please, as I unveil to you: the mummy's tomb!
(return to FAYE and the MUMMY)
FAYE: Ooh! Was it your tomb?
MUMMY: Well, yeah.
FAYE: Did you run out at them and yell and scare them?
MUMMY: No. Actually, I was asleep at the time. When you're trapped in a tomb for a few millenia, you spend as much time as possible trying to sleep.
FAYE: How did you understand what they were saying?
MUMMY: What do you mean?
FAYE: Didn't you speak Egyptian?
MUMMY: Well, yes. But I understood English just fine when the archaeologists started arriving. I don't know why I can understand English. My guess is that the gods give me all the necessary tools to wreck my way through any culture when I encounter it. What it serves on their part, I don't know. Probably laziness.
FAYE: Aren't most mummies supposed to just grunt, though?
MUMMY: Lady, exactly how many mummies are you acquainted with that you find yourself able to make generalizations about how we should behave and what we're like inside?
FAYE: I just know. I'm attuned to the spiritual world, like Sheila my psychic says.
MUMMY: (shrugs) A lot of mummies do just grunt. Personally, I noticed one day that I was grunting in English instead of Egyptian and got curious why, and with enough practice I found myself rather articulate. Not that it changes anything, mind you. People still run away and wind up dead just the same.
FAYE: I'm articulate too! I read the vocabulary column in "Reader's Digest" almost every issue! We have so much in common!
MUMMY: Like I said, if you say so. Anyways, so the students entered the tomb...
(the MUMMY must quickly slip around behind the couch and into his sarcophagus, which should be towards the back of the stage. while the MUMMY gets into position,
the stage goes completely dark and the following dialogue is spoken)
PRIEST #1: The Mummy's slumber must continue! If he awakes now, the Plan may never recover!
PRIEST #2: Don't worry. The will of the Gods is on our side. Now let us away from here to begin the sacred rites.
CANDY: Hey, who's there?
PRIEST #1: Shit!
PRIEST #2: (stutters) Why, it is I, your close friend and fellow American.
(there is a rustling sound as the PRIESTS run away)
CANDY: Bill? Was that you?
CANDY: You're such a dork, Bill.
BRITTANY: Dr. Sadat? It's dark in here, can't you hurry up and hit the light switch?
SADAT: As astounding as it may be to imagine a world without General Electric, Brittany, the ancient Egyptians didn't have light switches.
BRITTANY: That must have sucked! Like, how did they see anything when they had parties at night?
(the lights go up; SADAT holds a candle high)
SADAT: Welcome to the mummy's tomb, ladies and gentlemen.
TIFFANY: This guy had weird taste in decoration.
SADAT: Well, if you believe the story outside, he didn't have much choice in the matter.
BRITTANY: Being dead, even if you didn't mean to be dead, is no excuse for designs that are this far out of fashion.
SADAT: Don't you have any sense of history? There is a value to things beyond their immediate aesthetic design! What we have now, today, in our world, is not necessarily the best possible thing simply because it is the most current! Many things can be good. Worth is not exclusive to one thing! What we have here is the fruit of another system of thought - we can learn a lot from looking at the result of how other people perceived their world and reacted to it. We can learn a lot about ourselves that way. Don't you see?
BRAD: I'm sorry, man, I lost you after "sense of his story" or whatever that was.
JEREMY: This is like something straight out of "Dangerous Minds".
BRITTANY: Except not quite as good. No offense, Dr. Sadat, but Michelle Pfeiffer's a really good actress. And that one song was so good! (sings) "Been spendin' most our lives..."
STUDENTS: (solemnly, together) "Livin' in a gangsta's paradise..."
BILL (breaks off from the others to do a solo) "Tell me why are we so blind to see, that the ones we hurt are you and me?"
CANDY: That song is so true.
JEREMY: It sure is.
SADAT: Alright. I can endure this no longer. Speaking to you resembles speaking into a great empty valley, but at least in a valley there is an echo. You lack the ability to comprehend anything that does not jump out at you, make loud noises, or flash brightly, and I will waste no more of my time trying to pour the tea of knowledge into cups that not only believe themselves to be full but are in truth nothing more than paper plates.
(the students stare at SADAT blankly)
JEREMY: So, ah...
BILL: Could you do a capsule summary of whatever it was that you just said?
BRAD: Yeah, like, in English this time?
SADAT: (sighs) I am going elsewhere to spend my time doing valuable research. You may look around if you wish but please do not touch anything. Since I will lose my job if I award to all the failing grades for this course which you so richly deserve, you may spend the remainder of your time here doing as you wish and I will report passing grades for each of you.
JEREMY: I think I deserve at least a B plus.
SADAT: (disgusted) Goodbye.
(SADAT leaves, setting the candle down as he goes; the students are alone with the sarcophagus. CANDY wanders closer to the sarcophagus to inspect it)
BRAD: Man, that guy had a bad attitude.
BRITTANY: Some people just have the wrong attitude for teaching. Besides, he was kind of dorky looking. Maybe our new teacher will be cuter.
TIFFANY: From the sound of what he said, I don't think we'll be getting a new teacher.
BRITTANY: (deeply confused) How can it be school without a teacher?
BILL: That makes no sense at all.
JEREMY: Hold on, I'm working on it. I know this one.
(the sarcophagus begins to tremble; CANDY takes notice)
CANDY: Uh, guys?
TIFFANY: Quiet, Candy, we're working on something.
BRAD: Unanswered questions give me a headache, hurry up.
BRITTANY: And wrinkles, too!
CANDY: But guys, I don't think it should be doing this...
TIFFANY: Come on, Candy, how much do you know about what...old Egyptian boxes are supposed to do?
CANDY: Well, doesn't there have to be something living inside to shake it?
TIFFANY: Could be a machine.
(the sarcophagus rattles harder; CANDY is standing directly in front of it, scared)
JEREMY: I've got it. See, the most valuable things in life, like walking and breathing and sex, you don't learn that in a class. It's a real life experience, and those are the most important ones because if you didn't know how to breathe you'd be really screwed. Thus, teachers aren't all that important so we don't need...
(the door to the sarcophagus falls open, crushing CANDY underneath it. the
MUMMY stands in the sarcophagus and begins to stir; the students are shocked)
BRITTANY: Oh my God!
BRAD: They killed Candy!
BILL: And there is something alive in there!
TIFFANY: No, wait, Candy's still alive!
(CANDY stirs but the MUMMY steps forward onto the door and crushes her)
BRAD: Candy's dead again!
BILL: It's alive!
(the remaining students race away, and mime closing a large stone door, complete with sound effects. the MUMMY stumbles forth and pounds on the imaginary door)
BRAD: (back against the door) My amazing pecs have saved the day once again, but for how long?
BRITTANY: The noises it's making are horrible!
JEREMY: If only the monster weren't so dumb it could speak!
BRITTANY: It doesn't talk good like us. We're doomed! And poor Candy!
BRAD: Candy's dead now. She doesn't matter anymore. What matters is showing that stupid mummy how we do things here in America!
TIFFANY: Brad, you're so strong! (they kiss, BRAD steps away from the door during the embrace, and the MUMMY bursts through) Oops. (they back away as the MUMMY approaches)
BRAD: (steps forth to confront him) Back off, freak! We've got God on our side!
BRAD: That's it! (punches the MUMMY, who grabs BRAD and grapples with him. BRAD breaks free and lunges at the MUMMY, so grabs BRAD's arm and swings him away. BRAD flies headfirst into a stack of boxes, which fall on top of him and crush him)
BILL: Quick! While he's distracted! Run!
(the students run back into the tomb and slam the door behind them, leaving the MUMMY back in the room where they were. JEREMY holds the door closed)
BRITTANY: Jesus, Brad must have gone crazy!
TIFFANY: Hey, he's dead now! Don't talk that way about dead people! It's sac...
JEREMY: Brad was just trying to save our lives. Now the burden of vengeance falls upon us. We shall have vengeance!
TIFFANY: Who are you talking to, Jeremy?
JEREMY: In moments of drama, it is customary for a character to speak out loud as if addressing the movie itself! Now shut up and let me think of a way out of this!
BILL: (panicked) Screw thinking! Thinking and education and all that crap was what got us in here! We should have never taken this class! School is a death trap!
BRITTANY: Hang on, Jeremy's right. We can't all die. And even if we do, our parents will sue.
TIFFANY: You're right. Stay calm. Now what do you think, Jeremy?
JEREMY: Well...this is a dramatic moment and all...I'm trying to remember how these work...okay, well, there's a monster trying to kill us, we're all young and attractive, and we're being eliminated one by one, so this must be a horror movie! Except it's a cleverly self-referential one where the characters know the rules!
BRITTANY: How could we be in a movie? This is real life!
JEREMY: Of course we're in a movie! Look at all the drama happening all around you! People are dying, of course it's a movie!
BRITTANY: Maybe you're right...
JEREMY: Thank you! Now you've gotta realize, our whole lives up to this point have meant nothing! It's all been preparation for this one moment, when it's decided whether we live or die! The only control we have is to follow the rules! As Blockbuster is our witness!
TIFFANY: Thank God for Blockbuster! We'd be dead right now if they weren't such a powerfully all-pervasive ideologically indoctrinating corporate entity!
TIFFANY: If they weren't so cool.
JEREMY: Okay. So we're in a horror movie. Now since it's a basic rule of dying that you get killed as symbolic retribution if you sin, all we have to do is to not sin and we won't die. That's easy enough.
BRITTANY: But what's a sin?
JEREMY: Like the Ten Commandments. Hang on, I saw that movie...it was, um...
BILL: (helpful) You're not allowed to covet your mother and father.
JEREMY: Right! And if you see a golden cow, don't pay any attention to it at all. Especially don't say anything nice to it or treat it like it's a god.
TIFFANY: I think we can avoid that.
BILL: I don't know, it's tough sometimes.
TIFFANY: Are you kidding?
BILL: I think so, but now I've got this golden cow in my head and it's looking pretty good.
TIFFANY: You have problems.
BRITTANY: We all have a big problem! We might get dead!
TIFFANY: There must be other sins we could commit, because Candy and Brad are dead and they didn't do either of those things you said.
JEREMY: Well, don't worry. This is a horror movie and it has to play by the rules, so if we just confront the mummy with that we should be okay.
TIFFANY: But we still can't explain why Candy and Brad died...
JEREMY: Relax! It's under control. There might be a third sin, but we're obviously not doing anything wrong by just standing here, so I'll just open this door and...
(the door bursts open; the students scatter backwards as the MUMMY re-enters)
BRITTANY: Get away! (she stumbles backwards over the candle and goes up in a whoosh of flames)
TIFFANY: Sweet Jesus, her hairspray caught on fire!
BILL: Her obsession with her appearance is going to destroy us all!
TIFFANY: Can't we do something for her?
JEREMY: Good idea. (calls to BRITTANY) Brittany, what's inside of you matters a little bit too! If it wasn't true, so many movies wouldn't be made about it where the guy ends up with the hot girl who is funny instead of the girl who's just hot! So you can stop overusing beauty products!
TIFFANY: Not that, you dickhead! She's on fire, damnit! Can't we put it out?
JEREMY: Oh, that. Uh, Bill, do something.
BILL: Okay! I will! And I want you to know that I'll be doing it solely to make chicks think I'm a nice and heroic guy so that they'll want me more. And notice that I said "chicks"! Not "guys"! I'm not all that interested in what guys think! I like chicks! Women!
TIFFANY: Fine, now will you just do it!
(BILL runs to where BRITTANY lies, on fire, and starts looking around for something to put her out with. meanwhile, the MUMMY stumbles around being generally distressed about the condition of his flaming tomb and JEREMY grabs TIFFANY's hand, dragging her into the next room and waiting there)
BILL: Ah, um, hang on, baby, I'm, gonna, um, save you. (continues to look around)
BRITTANY: (weakly) No!
BRITTANY: I'm a freak now! All burnt! And icky! I can't live like this!
BILL: I'd stay and argue, but you're kind of right. Still, though, you could be in a movie about people who have been burned.
BRITTANY: No...they have makeup for that sort of thing...(trailing off) they don't need me for it...how...metallic...the makeup...got me again...(sudden burst of energy, graps BILL) DAMN THE MAKEUP! Do you hear me? Never use makeup! NEVER! (she dies)
BILL: (paranoid) Why would I use makeup? Are you saying that I'm gay? 'cause only gay guys use makeup. (the MUMMY approaches him; BILL does not see) Man, where do you get off making that kind of accusation? Even if you are dead and all, that's still really rude and I'm not going to take it. I...(turns to see MUMMY behind him) Oh, SHIT!
MUMMY: Damn it, you little bastards wrecked my tomb! It has survived several millenia of everything that the Egyptian desert could throw at it, and you teenagers come waltzing in here and destroy it in a half hour through the sheer force of your ignorance. How do you people live with yourselves?
BILL: Well...uh...what do you mean? We're not freaks. Everyone's like us. You're the freak! And hey, wait, since when can you talk?
MUMMY: Since always, you twit. I've been trying to tell you kids to calm the hell down, but I had part of my bandages stuck in my mouth. Man, that tastes rotten.
(MUMMY and BILL freeze; switch over to other side,
where JEREMY is listening at the door)
TIFFANY: Well? Can you hear anything?
JEREMY: The mummy says it's going to eat all of us even though we taste rotten!
TIFFANY: Oh, no!
(cut back to BILL and the MUMMY)
BILL: So, are you going to kill me?
MUMMY: Not if I can avoid it.
BILL: But why did you kill everyone else?
MUMMY: I didn't kill them. The whirling cloud of inevitably chaotic circumstance that seems to swirl around me eternally killed them.
BILL: That's kind of cool. Can you make it flash different colors?
MUMMY: Make what flash different colors?
BILL: Your cloud thing.
MUMMY: (sighs) Forget it. Will you please run away while you're still able to?
BILL: No! I want to be a mummy too!
BILL: All my life I've wanted to belong to something, to be someone truly special who stands out in a crowd! I tried pretending that I was homosexual, but that doesn't have the same shock value that it used to! Neither does rock music, or nude modeling, or controversial films. But you! You're the real thing! I want to be a real thing too!
MUMMY: Let's not do this, okay?
BILL: No! I'm a human being, and I know my rights! I demand that you make me a mummy!
MUMMY: Having horrible random senseless things happen to you in the course of your life is a privelege, not a right. Oh...hell, I'm spending my first hour outside of my sarcophagus debating human rights with a guy whom even my old assistant made more sense than...
BILL: Fine! Watch this! (he withdraws a knife and fatally wounds himself) There! Now will you do it?
MUMMY: (exasperated) ...oh, just HOLD ON.
BILL: (weakly) Is that a yes?
MUMMY: Hurry up and die, and we'll see.
BILL: Okay. (he dies)
MUMMY: (sighs) It's not the sheer numbers of the death count that makes me desensitized to it. It's the sheer stupidity of the circumstances, large and small. It must take a brilliant god to design something as stupid as the human race and have it somehow manage to perpetuate itself through all these centuries.
(cut back to JEREMY and TIFFANY; the MUMMY approaches their room)
JEREMY: It's coming!
TIFFANY: Oh, crap! I'm too...hm, 20 isn't all that young...I'm probably pretty dirty, so beautiful is out...smart, well, this isn't school anymore so who cares about that...I'M TOO WELL-INTEGRATED INTO SOCIETY TO DIE! DAMN YOU, YOU MUMMY!
JEREMY: Don't worry. I'm going to take this sucker down with cold, precise logic. Just you watch.
(the MUMMY enters)
JEREMY: (trying to be authoritative) Alright, you can hold it right there!
MUMMY: (shrugs) If you insist.
JEREMY: See? You're stunned by my ability to react calmly to your presence and seize control of the situation.
MUMMY: Fine. If you're in control, would you mind putting out the fire in the other room? Some of us are contractually obligated to be trapped in there for centuries at a time, you know.
JEREMY: Hey! Quiet! You're not allowed to be articulate!
MUMMY: I'm not?
JEREMY: No! As the murderer in this movie, the ultimate motive for your killing should remain shadowy, if revealed at all! You are a force of nature, the personification of our moral wrongs come to wreak havoc upon us!
MUMMY: (shaking his head) Do you say that to every tall man in bandages that you meet?
JEREMY: Look, sir. This rule-stretching bit can only go on so far. Now kill me! The virginal beauty (points) Tiffany...
JEREMY: ...she's the one who gets to survive and maybe stick around for the sequel.
MUMMY: You mean you expect me to do this all over again at some later date?
JEREMY: Of course! That is, if anyone watches this one.
MUMMY: Um, kid, I've been here in this tomb for quite some time now, and I think I can safely say that no one is watching us here.
JEREMY: (exasperated) You just don't get it! (points at his head) Up here! It's just not happening! Kill me so that we can end this!
MUMMY: Why would I kill you?!?! Why are you so convinced that you have to die?
JEREMY: I've seen nearly every horror movie ever made! Even the hip, ironically self-referential ones! I know how things are supposed to progress! If you don't kill me, it won't make any sense!
MUMMY: Death is an unpleasant thing that tends to strike at all the wrong times, but it's something that's supposed to be lamented and it's something that happens largely out of random circumstance. It has nothing to do with whether you're good or bad and certainly has nothing to do with mirroring the plot of some story!
JEREMY: It's not just a story! It's a movie genre! It's available at Blockbuster! It's A WAY OF LIFE!
(there is a gunshot and JEREMY falls, much to the MUMMY and TIFFANY's surprise)
MUMMY: What the hell...
JEREMY: ...about...time...it's all very clear, now...simple...it makes sense! like...a movie!
TIFFANY: You killed him! You've killed all of my friends!
MUMMY: (flabbergasted) I didn't kill anyone! I don't even know why he's dead now!
VOICE: Perhaps I can clarify things for you...Cloon-Ra!
(DR. SADAT steps out of the shadows with a smoking gun in hand)
TIFFANY: Sir, I know our class didn't live up to your expectations, but underachievement is not a reason to kill someone! Spanking, perhaps, but not murder!
SADAT: Don't let it get you down, kid. You and your friends were only pawns in a game that's been going on for thousands of years.
MUMMY: I'm sorry, do I know you?
SADAT: Yes, but by a different name and a different face. Just call me...the HECKLER!
MUMMY: Okay, the Heckler. Now, do I know you personally or not?
SADAT: YES, you twit! I heckled you when you tried to heal people back in ancient Egypt!
MUMMY: Ohhh, you. Um. How've you been?
SADAT: I've been MAD! ABSOLUTELY MAD!
TIFFANY: So were you just making all that stuff about Egyptian history up because you're crazy?
TIFFANY: Oh. So we'll still be tested on it?
SADAT: Shut up. Cloon-Ra, after you were mummified I faced a fate much worse at the hands of those demons, and I blame you and your inept attempts to be an exorcist!
MUMMY: Hey, I said before I started that I'd never done it before.
TIFFANY: What was your terrible fate?
SADAT: Quiet. I don't want to talk about it.
TIFFANY: No, please do.
SADAT: You're really interested?
SADAT: I love you!
TIFFANY: I love you too!
SADAT: (takes TIFFANY in his arms) Well, first the two demons, who were actually one demon but in two different bodies, they replaced my pancreas with a bag of sand!
TIFFANY: Ooh! How horrible!
(they exit, arm in arm. the MUMMY is left alone with all the corpses, speechless)
MUMMY: Great. Existence has provided me with a single chance at catharsis and an explanation as to why this has all happened, and it's been stolen from me by a promiscuous teenager. I hate this world.
(return to present day; the MUMMY walks over to join FAYE on the couch)
FAYE: So do you still hate the world?
MUMMY: Moreso now than then, yes. That moment might have been the most important in my life but it floundered and dissapated. Since then, more crap has been piled upon my bandages. Various forces like the priests began to chase after me for no apparent reason other than to attempt to fit me into whatever scheme that they had. I spent the better part of a year wandering Egypt and the lands around it. A lot of things were different. I barely recognized the world. It doesn't take long to get used to people screaming and running away from you, though. Then I found that much had remained the same, that my people and the Israelites still made senseless war upon each other at the directions of their gods. People still got sick and bled to death and no one beyond their intimates noticed. Eventually I made my way across the seas, which were dirtier and slimier than I remembered them. I met an old man who wasn't afraid of me. He said that I could find a home with him, and he would shelter me from the torrent of fear and hatred outside his doors. This seemed like a wonderful reprieve. Then the old man's house caught fire and burnt to a crisp and I decided redemption was more or less impossible. Now I am here in this...America that the young ones were so proud of. And I have seen little but more of the same.
FAYE: You poor thing. It's my job now to convince you that life is worth living and that you can learn to love and...
MUMMY: You still don't get it do you? You don't have a job! There isn't some kind of plan to follow here! You just do what you do, and stop being disappointed when things turn out so differently from the way you expected because there was never any way to tell in the first place!
FAYE: (suggestively) Look, when are we going to stop talking and get down to business?
MUMMY: There's no use! You're probably the most fatuous and shallow of all the people I've met so far and you haven't caught fire or blown up yet! I'll leave you to your life. Have another kid to replace that last one. Have a couple more. Maybe one of them will grow up to transcend the hopeless stupidity and callousness of the world around him! Maybe, just maybe, one of them will grow up to be able to use a straw on his own!
(the MUMMY turns and leaves. FAYE goes to center stage
and resumes her monologue from the beginning)
FAYE: "But, Mummy, come back!", I cried, but he walked away never to be seen again. And that's the end of my story about passion and terror. It turned out to be more tragic than erotic, but I can live with that. It's got to be one or the other you know. The most important thing is to recognize what kind of story that you're in and behave appropriately for it. Thus, it is now time for me to destroy the beautiful flower of my maidenhood by throwing myself off a cliff. But there aren't any cliffs around here. I've looked and looked. I don't understand why. Why doesn't anything ever happen the way it's supposed to?
(the stage lights go down)
conceived, created and written by Marc Heiden and Rory Leahy August 1997.
this has been a mangojam '98 production, all rights reneged upon.