Devouress of the Dead (The Ammut Murders—out of Egypt)
(Manticore: Devouress of the Dead)
((1700 BC, Egypt) (a Macabre short story, Part I))
After thinking it over, Bill and I agreed, which meant that her body could become transformed at her command. Unwrapped, we found a piece of writing, which contained a number of gods; this raiment lay at the end of her fingers on her right hand. It was no surprise at this point, she could transform herself at will, into the form of a Manticore, and she needed no sleep, somehow the dead once woken, don’t required it, perhaps some astral thing. We had kept part of the wrapping-linen to test date it, it dated to 1700 BC. The hieroglyphic symbols, Professor Bill Cogan, made them out to be, once awaked, she would be immortal, and at her will, transferable to a Manticore. Her treasure chest had been taken out from her sarcophagus (or, tomb), and the stele we had found with its hieroglyphics, indicated she was a temple goddess; she was carved on the stele as wearing a dress, and was awaiting her resurrection. We had discovered her tomb, Bill and I, under the paw of Sphinx, evidently, she knew some real magic, black magic. But I must backtrack, before I get too far ahead of myself.
I shall not trouble you with all the minor details, but when we found the second tomb, truth be told, once penetrated the walls of the second tomb, centuries old, an immense gush of some kind gas, appearing a burst of ammonia, knocked the breath out of both Bill and I, which seemed to encourage the several Egyptians behind us to move forward—evidently from some ancient priesthood— to read out loud as we lay there gasping for air, the stele (now being between the sarcophagus and the Stele, and both rooms connecting to one another, the stele centred so the mummy would be facing it, once out of its sarcophagus, and now it was): and then their prayer: “Ammut, daughter of Ammit, Devouress of the Dead, demonic goddess who attends the judging of the dead, who had the head of a crocodile, and torso of a lioness, we know you wait in the Judgment halls of the underworld, do not devour us, even though we are sinners in this life.” And as they did, the dead became alive, and turned into a Manticore right in front of our eyes, and my blurred vision caught a glimpse of her, or it. Bold the creature became, ripping the linen off herself as her body transformed, her head and face into a wild death mask, feminine, with long hair, her lower body that of a lioness. Her mother was from the dead; the daughter, —evidently was conceived by the demonic forces and humanoid existing forces—for her time.
The room was more like a pit, a rock sort of tomb, that is—the crypt was cut out of one slab of rock as if to make it more durable, the second room hand only a thick wooden door to the stele. There were pillars several within the tomb. This was surely the world of the dead, the region of the dead gods. What vengeance was threatened, I don’t know, but once she was completely formed into a Manticore, she devoured the several priests, and became fresh from their damp inners, from their blood and flesh.
She left us to alone, as if she had no grudge with us, but I heard her say as she stepped over us as if we were no more than rugs to her, “Go quick, lest my settling of scores shrivels you away!”
What had baffled me a moment ago, no longer did, she had learned the secrets of the priests, long ago, and some nameless god wanted to rule Egypt with the priesthood, and hence, they silenced her, and this was her curse. The Hostile priesthood, were now to be judged and their families, well, inherited the curse. That was why the stele showed pictures as if in a far-off time, there would be a Nile food, but it would be in blood, for those priests and tomb-builders and their families.
As Bill and I had gotten our composure back, and notified the officials of what had taken place—of course they did not believe us, we were under suspicion for holding back information—and so the truth did not set us free this time, yet neither could the officials accuse us of this misdeed. They just wanted us nearby until they got tired of trying to figure who to blame it on—tourism I think was their incentive to find some logical inherent reason for this, although it was kept quiet because no tourist got killed yet, just Egyptians.
In our hotel rooms, Bill and I talked about it the following weeks, figured she must have been an extraordinary character to say the least. I was an Anthropologist, from the University of Minnesota, and Bill, from a Texas university, an Archaeologist. We had done some work together on Easter Island, and in the Golan Heights in Israel, at the Rephaim Circle, also known as “Stone Heap of the Wild Cat,” but this was our first main discovery, which gave us some ultimate gain and influence, and also an inconclusive ending. And we were told by the police politely, that they did not believe in Egyptian mythology, that a crime is a crime, and someone was going to pay.
(No: 728) 2-8-2011
The Quest to Kill
(Ammut, the Manticore Goddess)
We took it as such a thing, that was immortal, could not be killed, not really kill I mean. The more probability rested in the strange way she became alive. From a highbred human being— 3700-hundred years ago, and a temple priestess, or Goddess as she was called, to a mummy, that turns into a Manticore at will, with the fierce body structure of a lioness. What on God’s earth could subdue this?
It was September now, and we were staying at the Sheraton Hotel, nearby the Nile River, in Cairo. I started to wear symbolic amulets, thinking I might bump into this Ammut again, and perhaps it would help, in case she’d want to devour me. In the local market outside of Cairo, in Gisa, about fifteen miles southwest of Cairo, I had heard rumours a lion had killed several people, and disappeared among the masses. It was Ammut of course.
Bill and I stayed around the hotel those months, trying to figure out what to do, until one afternoon, we bumped into a Tibetan Buddhist—a tourist I gathered, one who knew of the ancient shamanic cultures. And he gave me an idea, he said, one evening, while we were all sitting around in my room, drinking that thick Egyptian coffee, this “By definition, ancient gods, once rejoined with mortals, can become mortals. Through thought forms, or projections, made to take on their own reality, because of belief and ideas, they must dissolve within the person—a thought that becomes a real entity, through the power of thought. Thus, at that moment, the immortal becomes mortal, and you can kill anything mortal easily.”
It sounded a bit predatory, if not unscrupulous, but would Ammut stop once she got the taste of blood or the fixation for killing, like a wolf or scavenger, a devilish thinking shark, a crazed Manticore, psychotically unbalanced, could she be talked into living a normal life as a human being, a mortal once again; I should say, could she be deceived into being strictly human. Surely she had to figure sooner or later someone would put a price on her head, and some marauding band of Egyptians, would capture her, one way or anther for profit; this way she’d live a short but normal life, than storming about Egypt, under its piles of sand to the end of days, with blood dripping off her chin, and looking everywhichway to avoid capture. Realizing she had a lot of killing to first of all.
As far as Bill went, the only concession he would make was to help me find Ammut, bring her near to the discussion table, but remain silent.
We went back to the tomb, found it was empty, its superb ornamentation was gone, desolate, she had no home to return to, and I was sure she was aware of that. The only thing that was around was a few cloaked figurines of the mummy—similar to her herself, soldiers I suppose to guard her during her long sleep. I took one and put it in my pocket. A strange contorted artifact it was.
(Ammut and the Tibetan Monk)
I found Ammut—in October, while all of Cairo was on guard, and all the police that could be spared, out looking, had been looking for this mass murderer, as the hype of the media got more wild and daring and sidetracked, it was developing into a circus—I heard her moan, as she was bent over licking one of her forepaws, she looked up, had caught my scent, she snarled—a resentment came into her eyes.
It was 9:00 p.m. I was in Gisa’s Market Place, in a hidden spot between a hoard of trash and two buildings.
“I see you can no longer transform back into human form,” I said, and perhaps said it a little carelessly. Bill was behind me, about fifteen-feet, ready to run.
For a while we both remained silent, looking at one another. I noticed her face was all wrinkled, as if it lost its moisture, and resiliency, elasticity.
“I think you should talk—do so at once, please, before I use the last of my strength to devour you!” she said in sly cunning voice.
“Do you think we could have a consultation on your future? I have every confidence a Tibetan Monk, a new acquired friend of mine, may have the solution, he is immensely cleaver in the dark arts, devoted to that branch of science, and can make you mortal, and therefore, able to live a normal life among us, without being hunted—as it is, things do not look to hopeful or you! Plus you have no tomb to go back to.”
She looked dizzy and distraught in a silent hysteria—so I went about demurely, and we went back to Solomon’s house, in Gisa—he was a friend I had met at the Sheraton, Captain of the Bellboys. From his bedroom window you could see the pyramids, and on his roof he had goats, dogs and chickens running wild—Ammut paced shrilly in a half circle. However, she kept asking me questions as to the process, I took it that she was interested, or was she jus buying time?
When our conversation was finished, I sent Bill to find the Tibetan Monk, and Solomon, to have a meeting on his roof. At this point and time, she had devoured forty-pry, so she told me as I drove over to Solomon’s home to await the Tibetan Monk.
A weight seemed to have been removed from her, she had let me dress her paw, and she had several other wounds I noticed, her claws, talons, some were broken. It was all simply remarkable. ‘What a pity,’ I said to myself, and the night went on.
While on the rooftop, a haziness slowly filled he sky—her thinking became more intelligible, from hour to hour, as we waited for the Tibetan Priest, Solomon, was amazed to have captured a moment with her, just staring as if she was a freak from the Circus, as his wife and daughter cooked some camel stew, offering me a plate, we all ate with our hands.
Evidently, Ammut did not need any sleep, but there was a point of where exhaustion took over and made ones senses dull, strength weak, and endurance crippling—I imagine, even the devil needs rest to process all he’s doing, and consequently, Ammut was doing just that, recovering, because her form was starting to change back into humanoid form. It also appeared to me, at this juncture, she was willing to trust me, as if, she cared less what might happen to her. But who’s to say, I told myself, I didn’t have a Plan B, perchance she did.
Interlude: The Police and the Media
(The police, and in particular the reporters concerning the —Ammut murders, unable to find a more logical explanation, than a Manticore or lion, as the culprit, as Professor Bill Cogan had told them it was, vilified those closest to the case, Professor Bill Cogan, and the Anthropologist, Cory Richard as some kind of warlock . During this five month ordeal the media really hyped it up, this new so called modern journalism with its worldwide audience, had become more subjective than objective concerning this case, more speculative than concerned about fact finding, more exhaustive. Television reporters like Anderson on CNN, became dangerous in that, their focus was so personal, they started from a presumption, and became openly sceptical to allow any view other than their own view be paramount; BBC was a little more professional. Thus, avoiding the capture—for lack of consideration of the mythical facts—that it really could be an ancient Manticore loose in the city; as a result, the murders continued.)
A Dreadful Mystery
(Ammut & the Tibetan Monk)
Ammut was a woman, well, partly woman, who commanded attention followed by respect. And the Tibetan Priest knew her thoroughly, and gave her those attributes, as they talked—then there was a moment both their piercing eyes met, and as much harmony that seemed to reflect the moment, it turned to friction just that quick, and her great eyebrows appeared to compel immediate obedience from the Priest, as if he was trying to summons her dead soul to come forward to accept humanity fully, and the core of it was hollow, and cold, her will to continue her killing had drained her –I knew now, she was simply buying time to finish her spree of killing. Hence, she regained her strength rapidly; all this was simply a scene, some mystery still melting in my mind, to be awash in a short time. The priest turned to me, said in a whisper, “I’m not sure what to do, her will, no her spirit, no her self-control is determined to do what is necessary to take her pry to the grave one way or another—she is more devil than she is human, more beast than, creature.”
I felt as if this was to be an assassination, and I was one of the assassins. Although the Tibetan Priest had worked with marvelous efficiency, we needed to put her into a trance or some kind for deliverance, before daybreak, if indeed we were correct on the prognosis, at which time she’d have regained all her strength.
Then in the wee hours of the morning the Priest said to me again, “I must give this up, her will is too cold, and she wants to finish what she started.”
We were interrupted of course, she had regained her strength, and composure, there she was, beautiful and naked, who would ever believe she was what she had just been—a Manticore. She looked the youthful Priestess of the Egyptian Temple she claimed she once was, and honored as a Goddess—long ago by so many, only to be robbed of her destiny. Then after a long moment of just staring at her beauty, Bill and I, and Solomon, and the Tibetan Priest, were simply dumbfounded on what to do, and in the clap of an eye, she had turned back into a Manticore, saber tooth—and then an assemblage of horrors took place, it was enough to put any man into some abnormal condition, she killed Bill drug him around like a rag doll, along with the Priest and Solomon, all dead—body parts devoured, chests torn open, jugglers ripped out of the neck, bones cracked, sticking out from the ribcage, and the spine snapped, and Solomon’s wife and daughter had faced the same dilemma, whom Ammut devoured on her way out—for me I just stood in a state of mind that collapsed, right then and there. She said as she left, transforming back to the woman she was, and having taken some clothing of the Solomon’s daughter, “You don’t kill the dead, you avoid them, you pray and you bury them if you can, cast them out as Job was given an invisible wall, so none like me could penetrate it, so has your Christian God gave you. But should that wall come down, beware!”
I had prayed, yes, I had prayed, I always pray, and wear the cross, and I guess I always will.
(No: 729, 730, 731, 732) 2-9-2011