Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mansfield Park: Closet

Dear guests, before we continue I must relay this story of a dinner party of last week...

For the past few months, Lady Bertram had not been herself. She had taken to muttering to herself and going through her daily routine in a daze. In addition to this odd behavior, she had been buying as many Egyptian antiquities she could get her hands on.

There were dusty crates, animal headed figures, papyrus, and things of that nature everywhere. One could hardly walk down the hall without tripping over one thing or another. Unfortunately, everyone just politely ignored her eccentric behavior instead of trying to figure out why she had changed so drastically.

As everyone was eating dinner in the dining room (which had been cleared of Egyptian artifacts for the evening), a rustling could be heard in the small closet next to Fanny Price’s room.

The rustling grew louder and became a scratching, accompanied by a muffled moan. Inside of the closet was a large crate in the center of the room with a beautiful sarcophagus in it. It was vibrantly painted and depicted a man wearing the nemes of an Egyptian pharaoh and holding a hook and flail. The sides of the coffin where covered in beautiful hieroglyphics designed to protect the dead pharaoh.

A scraping noise was heard as the lid of the sarcophagus inched slowly open. A mummified hand could be seen as the mummy struggled to free himself from the tomb he had obviously been in for some time. The lid fell to the floor with a crash and alerted Josephine, the maid, to investigate. She ran into the closet, fearful because she thought something might have broken which would surely incur the wrath of her eccentric employer. She knew how Lady Bertram treasured all her Egyptian antiquities.

She was puzzled by the open sarcophagus and slowly stepped towards it to see what could have moved such a large and heavy object. The mummy inside looked as it should: wrapped in linens and unmoving. She bent over the lid to make sure it wasn’t noticeably damaged. She heard a rustle of linens and she was suddenly lifted in the air by her neck! She gazed down at the mummy that held her and tried to scream, but the thing tightened its grip around her neck. “The mummy opened its already gaping maw wide…and it continued opening—wider, wider—and it drew forward just inches away from [Josephine’s] face.”*

This was the last thing she saw before she fainted.

to be continued...


* Taken from Mansfield Park and Mummies by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian, pg. 296

* guest post from Titania of Fishmuffins of Doom

* image source sacophagus

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