The Passion of the Mummy

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Ancient Egypt has long held a deep fascination for the modern world. Among the myths of that mysterious past are fantastic tales of living mummies, which somehow retained the essence of life. They include such cursed individuals as Im-ho-tep, Ra-Antef, Kaf-to-bey, Numar. Most famous is Kharis, prince of the royal house of Pharaoh Amenophis, and lover of Pharaoh’s daughter. The princess died young, and Kharis committed sacrilege in trying to revive her. For his sin, he was condemned to living death.

Four 1940s movies popularized Kharis’ legend (The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, and The Mummy’s Curse). These films cover but a small part on his more than 3,000 year existence. Kharis’ incredible life and afterlife might have been forever unknown but for the unnamed narrator of this book.

As a boy on a class trip to The Scripps Museum of Manhattan, he stood before the dormant mummy of Kharis. Somehow, the boy communed with the still sentient Kharis. Thoughts and memories transferred between the two.

Communion between adolescent boy and ancient mummy grew as the boy aged. Their intimacy attracted notice from another seemingly dormant force. The Cult of Karnak-Arkham had long tended Kharis through the centuries, and revived him with tana leaves to carry out its commands.

The mummy’s possible resurrection rekindled hope in the aging Cult members that they might learn his final secret: the magic chant from the lost Scroll of Thoth that bestows eternal life and youth.

The Cult, in its tireless quest for life everlasting, lurked behind the narrator’s life from childhood to manhood, and led him through an uncanny world that exists side-by-side with that known to us.

That world is populated by immortals who walk among us. Chief among those beings are demon women. While men of the Cult struggle with arcane chants and symbols, immortality came to some women of ancient Egypt via the Gods. The narrator meets many: some under modern guises, some living as if the age of the Pharaohs were still in flower.

His one constant companion through his odyssey is the spirit of Kharis, always at his side, whether as protector or tormentor.