Sketch of Distrust
Ich bin ja kein Wissender im Wehe-
so macht mich dieses große Dunkel klein;
bist Du es aber: mach dich schwer, brich ein:
daß deine ganze Hand an mir geschehe
und ich an dir mit meinem ganzen Schrein.
-Rainer Maria Rilke, "Das Studenbuch"
[I still can't see very far yet into suffering-
so this vast darkness makes me small;
are you the one: make yourself powerful, break in:
so that your whole being may happen to me,
and to you may happen, my whole cry.]
Beloved Readers, thinking of getting rid of me so easily? Not quite!
Another enthusiastic, if a bit mad, start to a new story, a big change from 'To Manifest Me Rightly' - no confusing parallel timelines, and set in an Alternate Universe, about 2 years after The Mummy. It's an Ardeth/Evy story this time, which I think not many people write about (I already hear the scream of protest from loyal Rick/Evy fans) and has quite a bit to do with the British Occupation of Egypt that started in 1882 and lasted all the way till 1952.
Well, that being said, I hope this works out! Thank you to those who have so happily helped me with the planning of this.
Disclaimer: The characters will belong to me, if I close my eyes long enough.
The glint that Egypt had made in the setting sun, the musty smell of the museum she had worked in and the uncomfortable humps of the camels with their ungraceful snorts...these were particularly fond memories.
Egypt had superimposed itself over The Ride of the Valkyries, and truth be told, its sounds and smells surpassed the screeching of the Nordic handmaidens who were floating about on stage, horribly enlarged when they inhaled and impressively belted out stanza after stanza written for the sole purpose of exhibiting the rare coloratura range that only few women were blessed (or cursed?) with.
Evelyn Carnahan sighed. Truth be told once again, she was part envious, part bored. Her voice was never and will never be operatic, the voice that London society had unfairly chased and glorified excessively. The fashionable, pretentious society that had to stretch its neck out to breathe when it was not busy worshipping fame and money.
The 'growing' artistry and thought in the upper class circles of the London snobbish society were not anything she cared for, but the orders of her employer were to be strictly obeyed.
The mysterious riders in black, gun- and sword-wielding, they called themselves the Medjai, Ardeth Bay, Rick O'Connell, Beni and the One who shall not be named.
Not that fond memories after all. Nostalgic, painful and still fear-inducing. Imhotep's - The One who shall not be named - she corrected herself hastily, not out of fear of rousing him once more, but that she thought he deserved no name, not even the last vestige of an identity; his soul was hopefully more securely bonded in the hands of Anubis than in the wrappings of perishable linen.
Alles zum Teufel, they could all go to the dogs, she thought, sitting stiffly in the opera box, her back ramrod straight, removing her opera glasses to rub her eyes sleepily amid the annoying screams onstage. Mr Finkley had promised her the next day off, and collapsing on her bed after a long day at work was first on her list of the utmost, most important, no-delay 'to-dos'.
The round of applause caught her unawares. She put her hands together warmly, smiled and nodded approvingly, appreciating the fact that the opera had finally ended instead of the stellar performance of the cast. Mr and Mrs Finkley were in no hurry to leave - their children were tucked in bed, secure, asleep, under the warmth of blankets, cold autumn night.
They had promised her a chauffeur and with immense gratitude she glided down the steps of the theatre, slipping on her heavy overcoat, her steps getting giddily faster and faster, oblivious to the admiring glances thrown her way, leaving the faint perfumed scent of damask rose in her wake.
She went past the swirl of conversations and the boom of the voices -
"Madam, as for the hiatus in the Continent"
"The superiority of Wagner indeed!"
"Not that I find Jazz utterly distasteful, but it seems that"
Past the plastered smiles and rakish top-hats -
"If you would allow me here"
"Oh, I am sorry, but another appointment awaits me." The dazzling smile did them in, she was convinced.
The car awaited her, and with a prayer of thanks Evelyn Carnahan slipped into its velvety softness, consumed and pampered thoroughly by its plush coverings.
The London air was polluted but she inhaled deeply from the window nonetheless, loving the way her breath puffed out in smoke, disappearing into the blackness.
Cold nights of London.
Cold nights of Egypt.
Nights that were spent gazing into the clear Egyptian night sky, breathing the fickle air of the desert that was stifling by day and cold as an iceberg's breath at night.
Alright, she missed Egypt, but not so much as to want to return.
She wondered if Jon was already home, that rascal of rascals, her hand moving down her dress to tug at the finely sewn fabric, lightly fingering the ruby red low-waisted dress and the wide hat that she wore now, that had captured her attention all those months ago, the fashion of America that had caught on so quickly.
The white shirt and dumpy brown long skirt would always remain her perennial favourites.
It was no fun to return to an empty large house - the inheritance from her parents had been considerable, but to squander their money seemed almost sacrilegious, so work was what she did; the traditional job of a governess, the single, educated woman who took it upon herself to train the next generation.
The house was lighted, which meant that Jon was home - a rare sight for her brother to return earlier, which meant it was also time she became a betting women on cards.
The loud slam of a bedroom door startled her.
"Evy! Will you see this! It will blow yer socks off."
"Can't it wait till morning, Jonathan? I need to sleep."
"Absolutely not. Uh-uh."
Jonathan Carnahan, the only kin she had, standing on the banister, scraps of paper in his hand.
"Patience is a virtue."