© Copyright 2005 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; mum; bandage; cocoon; cons/nc; X
Adapted from an original idea by Wrappers Delight.
Ariaza and Narell were two of a kind. Both were stubborn and independent, both secretly despised authority, and they were deeply in love with each other. But it was a forbidden love. For Narell was a priest of Pharaoh’s court, learned in the knowledge of the great faith and in matters of the spirit. Ariaza was the Pharaoh’s daughter, the princess of Egypt. She was to wed only royalty. Anyone not within a family of royal blood was not worthy of marrying a princess. But Ariaza and Narell both held a deep hatred for rules. For them, love was the only rule that they would follow.
The punishment for a priest who dared even touch a princess was horrible beyond reckoning – so horrible that no one had ever dared touch a princess. In two thousand years, the law had never been broken. It was because of this that the two lovers met in secret, always late at night when the moon was veiled by clouds. They would meet in Narell’s quarters, and under the soft glow of torches and palm trees, they would tenderly hold each other through the night. Tonight was such a night. The sands of the desert radiated a warmth that could be felt throughout the priest’s quarters.
“Ariaza my love,” Narell said, delicately pushing her ink black hair behind her ear. “I love you more then the stars of the ethereal sky itself. My love for you is like them. Eternal and unending.”
Ariaza smiled. “And that is how I feel my love,” she said, closing her large, kohl-rimmed eyes as if to hold the moment for eternity.
The two kissed in the dim light of the torches. It was an embrace that seemed to drift through eons. But eventually, the tender moment had to end. The princess was aware that she had to get back to the palace before someone realized how long she had been gone.
“I must go now,” she told her lover. “I must leave and return before my father discovers that I am missing.”
Narell nodded, his eyes filled with sadness. The partings never got easier, no matter how many times they were repeated. Ariaza held his chin up.
“Do not be sad,” she whispered lovingly. “We will meet again before the full moon rises three times.”
She gave the priest a kiss on the cheek. Then, soundlessly, she strode from the room. Narell heard a whip crack, and the thundering of hooves across the hard packed sand. Within a minute, all was silent again.
The morning came slowly for Narell. He had lain awake the entire night, thinking about his beloved, and the how unfair it was that society’s rules should separate them. Even so, he knew he could not dare break them. He must uphold the laws, even if it meant denying himself his own happiness. As the sun rose above the city, vendors were already hard at work selling their goods. Merchants’ shouts and the laughs of children greeted Narell’s ears as he walked his daily route to the palace. The great stone monuments of Egypt’s gods stood guard outside the main gate of the palace. Despite the fact that he worshipped and adored these gods, Narell felt uneasy walking past them. He felt that each were piercing him with their unyielding gaze. Especially the statue of Anubis, the god of the dead.
When he walked past the great oak doors of the palace entrance, Narell was surprised to see the staff and servants in a frantic state.
“What is the matter?” he asked a passing guard.
“Great misfortune has befallen the princess,” the worried guard replied. “But the priests will tell us nothing of what happened to her.”
Narell’s scrolls and parchment were on the floor by the time the guard finished, for he had dropped them and bolted down the hall. With his priestly status, Narell had access into the deeper chambers of the palace, where no guard or servant could enter. He made his way quickly to the princess’ bedchamber. Within the room, there was much activity. The princess was lying upon her bed of gold pillars and black silk. Her eyes were closed and she seemed not to be breathing. Bandages wrapped around her chest were stained with blood.
“Wha- what has happened to her?” Narell stammered as he went to her side.
“She was impaled by a spike on her chariot,” a fellow priest said. “Her camel tripped, and she was thrown forward onto the spike.”
Narell was only half listening as he hurriedly inspected the body of his beloved. He placed his fingers on her neck, praying to the gods as he did so. But his query was met with the cold mark of silence. News of the princess’ death spread quickly throughout Egypt. A great time of mourning went into effect as all mourned the loss of the Pharoah’s wise and beautiful daughter. Narell had to conceal what he really felt, for his feelings would betray him if they were shown in public. He suffered in silence.
Ariaza’s body was taken deep under the palace, to the mummification chambers. Her body was embalmed and mummified, bound head to toe in endless layers of the finest silk bandages. When the mummification was complete, her body was placed within a coffin, which was taken to the great pyramids. A small, separate pyramid had been built in the shadow of the great ones. This smaller pyramid was to house the bodies of the queens and princesses of Egypt, apart from the Pharaohs, but it was still held in honor.
Ariaza’s body was taken into the small pyramid, carried along by a procession of priests. Narell walked among them, using all of his willpower not to cry. He was going to help send his beloved into the journey to the afterlife. He knew that if he lived his life well, he too would be rewarded in paradise. And there he would be with her again, for all eternity. But he also knew that his physical body could not be held back. He desired his beloved too much to let her leave this world forever. With great difficulty, Narell played out his allotted part in the ceremony that released the princess from her physical body. Spells were spoken that would allow her to find her way to the land of the dead, where she could rest forever. But unknown to the other priests, Narell had other ideas in mind.
When the spells were completed, they placed the dead princess’ coffin within a black granite sarcophagus. The heavy lid was moved on, and sealed. Now within its tomb, the mummy of the princess would never be disturbed. After the priests exited the room, the Pharoah’s engineer pulled a switch, causing several tons of granite to slide into place at the entrance, sealing the body within. It was the deepest wish of all but one that the body would never be disturbed. As the priests departed the pyramid, Narell kept his face straight.
Night soon descended. All was quiet as the dark sky covered the land. Within the temples near the palace, a lone figure walked quickly and with deep purpose. The figure walked to his destination, ignoring the potential punishment that might come as a result of the deed he was about to perform. Narell’s heart pounding within his breast as he quietly went toward the most sacred room in the temple, a place that was entered only twice every one hundred years. The room that held the book of the dead, the sacred text of Egypt. Only the very highest priests and the Pharaoh was allowed to even look upon the book, for the powers it contained were beyond imagining.
He pulled open one of the stone doors to the room. Fearing for his life, if not his very soul, Narell crept into the room, his imagination casting shadows of fear and doubt. He did his best to ignore them as his eyes hunted the room for the object he sought. Then his gaze fell upon it. The book was resting upon a great marble pedestal in the back of the room. Two very dim torches lit the great book, which was crafted from black obsidian. Approaching the pedestal, Narell focused his thoughts on he and Ariaza joining together in happiness. The thought gave him the strength and courage needed to approach the ancient tome. But unseen eyes gazed at Narell as he quietly took the book in his hands and lifted it from its resting-place.
Sweat beaded on Narell’s forehead. He could not afford to be discovered now. Simply touching the book was a great sin that resulted only in torture and death with no hope of reaching the afterlife. He took the heavy book and placed it within a sack that he carried. His nerves getting to him, Narell quickly exited the room and closed the great stone doors. Sweat now coursing from every pore, he left the room and sprinted through the corridors to the chariot that awaited him outside. The stars stared at Narell as he rode through the quiet night, urging his horse onward. The book seemed to have a pulse of its own, beating in rhythm with his own thumping heart. Narell wondered if the fear encouraged the book to pound harder.
Despite his feelings of foreboding, Narell met no resistance as he entered the pyramid. Nobody would be expecting a priest of the Pharaoh’s court to re-enter the structure after the princess was laid to rest. Narell walked briskly through the pyramid’s secret passages, moving like a man possessed. His goal was so close. So close. He could faintly hear Ariaza’s voice calling to him. Wiping the sweat off of his forehead, he continued on.
The familiar sight of Ariaza’s tomb awaited him at the end of his journey. He would not be able to move aside the great stone blocks that guarded the entrance to the tomb, but he didn’t need to worry. There was another way. A secret door was perfectly hidden within the walls of the corridor. No one would be able to tell that it was there, even if they were within an inch of it. Narell pushed at the pressure point, and the door swung open to admit him. He moved inside, and the door swung shut behind him. Edging his way down the narrow, hidden passage, Narell reached the tomb itself quickly. It was the same as it was when it had been sealed. Quiet and peaceful. Dark.
Narell lit a torch and slipped it into a holder, instantly brightening the room. The sarcophagus awaited him. Moving quickly, he grasped the heavy lid and strained it with all his might. The stone cover moved slowly as he pushed, centimeter by centimeter. Eventually, there was a startlingly loud bang as it hit the floor. Paying no heed to the lid, Narell focused on opening the coffin. After a few strains and twists, the lid came off and revealed the precious object within. Narell paused to gaze upon the lifeless body of his beloved. The bandaged white form of Princess Ariaza lay quietly within the coffin. Sealed in its protective shroud – legs wrapped together, arms tightly bound to its chest – the mummy looked peaceful in death. And it would look peaceful in life, he thought, gently touching the bandages over his beloved’s face.
Placing the book of the dead on the floor, Narell reached in and lifted Ariaza’s mummy out of its coffin. Suprisingly light, Narell carried it to a stone table that lay in the corner of the room. He tenderly and gently placed the intricately bandaged body on the table. Now ready, Narell retrieved the book of the dead. He held it in his arms, then opened the heavy cover. There was a slight breeze as the book opened, but Narell was too distracted to notice it. He flipped hurriedly through the pages, searching for the right incantation. Then he found it on the very last page.
Holding the book, Narell began to chant the words written before him. The book began to tremble slightly as held it in his arms. Narell continued to speak, his love for Ariaza enriching the words as they went forth. Finally, the spell was complete. Now all he could do was wait. And pray.
For several minutes, the mummy lay still upon the table. Yet Narell did not give up hope. He had to belive that it could work. It had to work. Then, he was rewarded when he saw a slight twitch under the mummy’s wrappings. Narell hardly dared to breathe. Then, the mummy began to move, rocking slightly and letting out a weak moan. Narell dropped the Book of the Dead to the floor and ran to the mummy’s side. Taking his knife from his belt, he began to cut at the bandages. He carefully sliced off one layer, then another, and another. Finally there was one final layer covering the mummy’s face. Taking a final breath, Narell cut the layer away and looked into the face of Ariaza.
She was still beautiful. Her skin was the normal color of living skin. Her hair was still black and bouncy. Her kohl-rimmed eyes opened, eyes that had not moved in over a month. They looked around, then focused on Narell.
“N…N…Narell?” Ariaza croaked, her throat dry as if dust had settled there.
Narell nodded, tears flowing from his eyes. His beloved had returned to him. He quickly cut away the wrappings that encircled Ariaza. When they were thrown aside, she slowly got to her feet. Apart from a gash in her chest that had been stitched close, she was as lovely as the last time they had met.
“Oh, Narell,” Ariaza whispered, touching the priest’s cheek. “I had hoped that I would see you again. I was wandering through the Blue River when I felt a pull. I could sense that it was you, calling me back. I went, and now here I am with you again.”
The pair embraced, their love complete once again.
As they broke their embrace, Narell touched his beloved’s chin and spoke. “We will,” he started, before realizing she was limp in his arms.
“Ariaza? Ariaza!” he shouted, panicking at the thought of his beloved leaving him again.
He lay her naked body on the ground and felt for a pulse. To his relief, there was a slow, steady beat. Her chest rose and fell, showing that she was breathing normally. It appeared as if as if she had drifted into slumber. But what had caused this, he wondered. Suddenly, orange light filled the chamber, brighter than that of a hundred torches. Narell gasped and fell backwards, covering his eyes. But the light was so bright that his effort was completely futile. A loud voice spoke.
“Narrell,” it boomed, seeming to shake the walls. “Stand on your feet.” Trembling at the power that the voice contained, Narell obeyed and rose from his prone position.
He faced the light, though he still shielded his eyes.
“Wh....Who are you?” he asked, trembling with fear.
“I am your god Anubis,” the voice replied.
Narell gasped. "Anubis? This could not be possible."
“Yes, I am Anubis,” the voice boomed. “And I come to speak to you.”
“What do…What do you wish of me?” Narell asked, his fear rising by the second.
“You have committed a great sin,” Anubis said. “And I am here to punish you.”
“What sin have I committed?” Narell implored, knowing what the reply would be.
“You have cast the forbidden spell,” Anubis calmly but forcefully answered. “That spell was never trusted for the use of humanity. It carries too much power for you to weild.”
“I used it out of love,” Narell shouted. “I only want to have my beloved brought back to me!”
“That is irrelevant to me. I have ordered the spell never to be used by humankind. Therefore, you must be punished for your actions.”
Narell screamed in fright and tried to back away. He had no idea what punishment was coming for him, but he knew that if Anubis himself was to administer it, then it would be horrible beyond all reckoning.
“Face me,” Anubis shouted. “If you cooperate, you may be able to avoid the eternal fire that otherwise would await you.”
Trembling, terrified beyond all reason, Narell somehow managed to stand and look towards the light, which had now diminished slightly.
“Wh…wh…what is my punishment?” hee asked feebly.
“You have used the spell on this woman,” Anubis said. Narell looked at Ariaza, who was still unconscious on the floor.
“Now, Narell, you must undo the spell.”
“No,” the priest begged. “Do not kill her! Do with me what you will, but do not kill her!”
“I do not intend to kill her,” Anubis said. “She wasn’t meant to die on her chariot. Her death isn’t destined for another forty years. As a result, she will live out the rest of her life, but suffer for your great sin.”
“No,” Narell sobbed.
But the voice of Anubis continued. “I command you to mummify her. Alive!”
“No!” Narell screamed. “I will not! I cannot!”
“Then you will burn in eternal flame.”
A great and terrible heat swept over Narell, burning him and making him writhe in agony. Then as quickly as it had came, it was gone. Horrified, he examined his flesh to see that despite the scalding heat, it had not burned.
“That is the heat you will feel for eternity,” the voice of Anubis said. “Unless you mummify her. If you do this, I will spare you the torment of the unending fire.”
Narell was torn between two things he would never want to do: defy a god and be damned or commit an act of torture on the one he loved. He held back tears, wishing he could be anywhere else but here.
“Make your choice,” Anubis said.
Choking back his tears, Narell spoke.
“Do with me what you will, but I will not mummify her,” he whispered, hanging his head.
“Then she will burn as well.”
“What?” Narell shouted. “You can’t do that!’
“I am Anubis. I do as I wish. She will burn unless you mummify her. Now make your choice. My patience grows thin.”
Hating the god he once revered, Narell made his choice.
“I will do as you command," he said.
“Very well," Anubis intoned. “Now you shall have the supplies you need.”
There was a loud thud as something heavy fell on the floor. Narell looked down. At his feet were 24 immense rolls of white bandages, stacked six feet tall. Then he heard a loud clang from above. He looked up to see a pair of steel manacles dangling from the ceiling, perfectly spaced to grip and hold human wrists.
“Begin your task," Anubis commanded. “Do not tell her of my presence. I will be watching you.”
The light vanished, and Narell was by himself again. Ariaza lay upon the floor, still unconscious. Despite the fact that he had been given a command by Anubis himself, he could not bring himself to do what he was supposed to do. Ariaza moaned and twitched on the floor. Narell could tell that she was waking up. But how would he tell her what he had to do to her? He couldn’t stand the thought. The princess’s eyes began to move underneath the closed lids. Narell had to act quickly. He knew the princess well, and he knew that she would never willingly submit to being mummified alive.
Hating himself for what he was doing, he reached down and picked up the princess by the waist. Now that her body had been restored to life, she seemed much heavier. Narell grunted under the weight, yet he managed to pull her over to the manacles that dangled from the ceiling. Upon getting underneath them, they were lowered by an unseen hand, coming down to the floor. Ariaza was moving more, a sure sign that she was waking up. He had to work quickly. Narell opened one of the manacles, placing it around Ariaza’s right hand. He then closed the metal over her skin, and the two halves magically merged into a solid unit. It was now impossible to remove. He then took her left wrist and locked it within the other manacle. Although Ariaza was unaware of it, her arms were now sealed within the magical cuffs. Nothing, save divine intervention, was going to unlock them.
At that moment, Ariaza slowly opened her eyes. She appeared confused. “Narell,” she asked. “Where am I? I remember talking with you, but then I fell asleep.”
Narell tried to say something, but Ariaza suddenly noticed the cuffs that had encircled her wrists. “What is this?” she asked, alarm obvious in her voice.
At that moment, the chains holding the manacles began to move upwards, forcing Ariaza’s arms upwards.
“What is happening?” she shouted, desperately looking to Narell. She could do nothing to halt the chain’s irreversible journey upwards.
Slowly, the princess was pulled to her feet, then off of them as the cuffs hoisted her further into the air. She cried out in fear as her fingers frantically searched the manacles for a way to escape. But there were no hinges, no way to remove them. Finally, the chain stopped. Ariaza was dangling six inches off the ground, the manacles forcing her to keep her hands above her head.
“Narell, what is the meaning of this?” she demanded. “Why do you lock me up like this?”
Narell tried to find the right thing to say.
“I so wish I could tell you why,” he said, mist forming in his eyes. “But I am forbidden to tell you.”
“Forbidden? By whom? Tell me, for I will punish them if you release me.”
Narell shook his head sadly.
“Believe me, my lady, I so want to release you, but if I did, then you would suffer untold torments, as would I. I cannot.”
Ariaza stared at Narell. She said nothing, but her expression was one of complete bewilderment. Then her eyes wandered behind Narell and fell upon the bandages piled there.
“Wha... what are those for?” she asked, trembling.
Narell said nothing, shaking his head. Then he spoke, his voice low and sad. “I have been commanded to mummify you while you are still alive,” he croaked, avoiding her gaze. He felt a sudden command to go to the wrappings and begin his task. Grimily, he obeyed the unspoken command and retrieved a roll of white bandages. He turned and walked to his naked princess, already unrolling the bandages. Her eyes grew wide with fright. Her body trembled with fear.
“Please forgive me my princess,” he said as he reached toward her. He could see sweat beading at her brow and a look of dread coming over her face. “My beloved, I have no choice.”
He took her left leg and quickly began his task, winding a thick bandage around her toes. Then he began to wrap her foot, weaving the white bandage around her skin until her foot was encased. He began to work his way upwards, wrapping the bandage around her calves and knees, getting it as tight as possible. All the while, Ariaza stared at him in disbelief, the reality of the situation not hitting her quite yet. Once her left leg was wrapped from toes to hip in a sheath of tight and compressed bandages, he began to work on her right.
“Why are you doing this?” she implored as he smoothed the bandages around her ankle. “Please, in the name of the Gods, tell me.”
“I wish I could tell you my love,” he said, now working the bandage around her knee. “But as I said, if I told you, then you and I both would suffer an eternity of pain and torment. I must do this.”
He frowned as he tied off the bandage at her hip. Both legs were now encased within a soft but thick layer of bandages. He had two rolls down, twenty two to go. Picking up the next roll, he went to work on her hips, groin and waist. He worked quickly, wishing to get this horrible punishment over with as soon as possible. The bandages were woven tightly, overlapping each other. It was a task he had done countless times in helping prepare the dead for the afterlife, and he did it well. Soon, her hips vanished under a layer of white, as did her groin and her buttocks, which were now compressed and firmly encased within the bandages. Her stomach was next. He took a roll and began to unwind it around her chest, containing it within her new second skin.
As he wrapped, his mind thought of her organs within her body. Her heart would continue to beat, and her lungs would continue to breathe long after he had mummified her. Her organs would sustain her for the remainder of her life, yet she would never move again – and it was would be his doing. His desire had brought this horrible punishment upon her, and she would suffer because of him. He tried to banish the thought, tried to focus on completing his grim task as soon as possible.
With her chest and tummy wrapped, her breasts and shoulders were next. At first he wrapped quickly, but as he looked at her smooth, creamy breasts, he found himself becoming hypnotized by them. He remembered how she had willingly let him touch and kiss them when they played together. He remembered those times as he wove a supportive silk cocoon for her breasts to rest in. As he continued to envelop them, he longed to feel them one more time before he locked them away forever. Narell reached out with one of his hands and ran his fingers over the smooth and creamy skin, feeling the soft yet buoyant globes, beautiful beyond all measure. But the distraction was brief. He knew he had to complete the task. With a broken heart, he locked her breasts away forever into her expanding interwoven silk cocoon.
As he worked on mummifying her shoulders, Ariaza spoke again, but in a quiet, reserved tone.
“What do you plan to do upon finishing your task?” she asked. “Will you lock me away within this tomb and leave me? Will you bury me within the desert, sealed within a coffin? What will you do with me?”
Finishing her shoulders, he spoke. “I must keep you like this.” He cried quietly as he began to slowly wrap her neck. “I must keep you alive for the rest of your natural life. You will never be allowed to be released from your wrappings. I do not wish to do this my love, but for you own sake, you must be kept like this.”
“Is it for my sake, or for yours?” she snapped. “Do you really love me Narell? If you do, then I command you to release me! Do it!”
But Narell knew what his answer had to be. He slowly shook his head.
Ariaza screamed in anger and frustration. This was not supposed to be her fate – to be wrapped head-to-toe as a living mummy and be locked away, never to be released. She was supposed to live her life in a palace, surrounded by servants, loved by her people. Instead she was chained, dangling, and being wrapped into a cocoon by the man she loved. How could the gods allow this? She screamed again. This time, tears streamed down her face. And soon her body was racked with sobs. The screaming bored into Narell’s skull. He hated to hear her suffering. He couldn’t take the sound. He quickly cut a two-foot length of bandage, and avoiding her gaze, reached up and stuffed it into her mouth. Surprised, the princess tried close her mouth. But Narell was moving too quickly. He stuffed the bandage deeper and deeper into her mouth, her screams and shouts of protest become a faint, muffled moan.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered as he tied another bandage around her mouth to keep the gag bandage inside. She glared at him furiously. If her gaze could have killed, then Narell would have become a steaming pile of dust on the floor. That look alone was the worst moment of his punishment. But Narell knew he had to keep going if he was to save both of them from eternal damnation. And the sooner he finished, the sooner the torture would be over.
He began to wind the bandages around Ariaza’s head. She let out muffled cries of “Ssstwooppp!” and thrashed as hard as she could. Narell did his best to ignore her protests and concentrate on his task. It was difficult, but after roughly ten minutes, her head was completely wrapped. The only feature still showing was her eyes, which he had avoided wrapping over. With her protests sealed inside her mouth, she could only stare at him and let out occasional grunts of anger. Her large, kohl-rimmed eyes bore a look of hurt and betrayal. It was another ten minutes before her arms were bandaged as well. Narell found it extremely difficult to bandage them at first, but when he started wrapping, the bandages seemed to flow by themselves onto the princess’ arms, binding and overlapping while slipping under the cuffs that held her. Soon her arms were completely enshrouded in white fabric.
Narell stepped away to examine what he had done so far. The princess was now wrapped head-to-toe, the bandages clinging tightly to her shapely form. As quickly as he was working, she looked as good as any mummy he had ever prepared. Now, there were only a few final steps to complete. A thick second layer of bandages had to be applied. He would start with her legs. It should go even easier this time, he thought. He only had to wrap Ariaza’s legs together. But she was not going to go quietly. She could still kick at him with her legs, and she did so, jabbing at him as hard as she could. The blows did not bother Narell. It was her anger that worried him. He had to do something for her. He wanted to comfort her, assure her in some way that this was not as bad as she thought it was. Slipping his left arm around her mummified chest, he looked into her eyes, which were filled with fires of hate.
“Ariaza,” he said quietly.
She glared at him.
“I know you can’t forgive me for what I’m doing, but I want you to know, that no matter what happens to you, no matter what I’m forced to do to you, I still love you.”
Ariaza calmed down for just a moment. The burning fire of rage in her eyes dimmed slightly. Sensing that it was working, Narell continued.
“If I had not done what my… ruler had commanded me to do, then you would have suffered so much. Suffered so much pain and torment – more then you could ever imagine.”
He paused for a moment, wiping away a tears from her eyes and his, then trying to steady his voice.
“My ruler threatened to torture you, unless I did this. But... but he said I could remain with you. So I’ll still be here to watch over you. You won’t be alone. You’ll still have me.”
Princess Ariaza looked into the eyes of her captor and her lover. She couldn’t say what she thought – the thick layer of bandages over her mouth prevented that – but Narell could tell that she had understood him. She was not a creature of anger. Within her bandaged breast lay a kind and forgiving heart.
“My love will last,” Narell said, as he stroked her encased head. “It will last longer then the stars themselves, last for all eternity. No matter what happens, I will love you.”
All of Ariaza’s hate and fury left her. She was left dangling there, but she could now understand the torment that her loving caretaker was going through. She cared for him as well. She wished to Anubis that she could reach out, take him in her arms and hold him. But she knew that she could not do that. So she decided to do at least one thing to help him. Ariaza stopped all her struggling. Knowing what he had to do next, She placed her bandaged legs together. Narell knew that she now understood.
Taking another roll of the bandages, he wound them tightly around Ariaza’s legs, combining both into a solid, single unit. As he wove bandages tighter and tighter around the legs, her ability to move them at all was taken away, wrap by wrap. Soon her legs no longer existed as two, but as a whole. Narell wrapped upwards, placing the princess under a second sheath of bandages. He paused occasionally to smooth them out and make sure they were applied evenly. Within minutes, her hips, her chest and tummy, her breasts, shoulder, and head were all encased under a thick second layer of bandages. Her arms were wrapped as well, the bandages weaving themselves around her arms and under the cuffs. Narell wanted to finish here, but a small unheard voice told him there was one final layer to complete.
The cuffs suspending Ariaza suddenly lowered her to the floor. Startled, she was helpless to do anything about supporting herself. She was dumped rather unceremoniously onto the stone floor. Sensing that their task was complete, the cuffs quickly undid themselves, releasing Ariaza from their cold grip. They retreated into the dark ceiling. Narell quickly stooped down over his love as she lay bandaged and immobile on the stone floor. A quick inspection told him that she had not been hurt by her unexpected release. The princess calmly looked up at him, her love now becoming trust, knowing that he would keep his word to take care of her.
“I must do one final layer,” he said. “And then it will be finished, and you can be with me forever.”
Sensing that she should try to help him out any way she could, she silently crossed her arms over her chest and patiently waited. She did not have to wait long, as Narell quickly began her final application of confining bandages. He began yet another layer over her second skin of bandages, compressing and squeezing her entire body in a tight vise. He smoothed the third layer over her already bandaged breats and tummy. When Narell reached her arms, he tenderly bound them in place, pinning them tightly to her chest. Three, five, then nine wraps and her arms were beginning to melt seamlessly into her bandaged chest. After twelve tight wraps, her arms were now imprisoned and incapable of movement. She tried a few experimental moves, but her arms were held fast and immobilized.
Narell bit his lip as he thought of the way he had felt in her embrace when they were thrown around his shoulders. Now, she would never embrace again. He collected himself and looked down at her. Only her head remained to placed within a third layer of bandages. Narell decided that he would leave her eyes unwrapped unless Anubis otherwise ordered it. Perhaps he could take her with him into the sun one last time. There she would see again the wonders of their world. Yes, he would grant her that one last gift. He took a roll of bandages and wrapped it tightly around her head. Ariaza’s eyes were closed, expecting to be wrapped over at any moment.
Finally, Narell secured the final inch of the bandage in place. Narell sighed. His punishment was over. The task was done. Princess Ariaza was mummified. She was an incredible sight. Wrapped head to toe in a layer of white bandages an inch thick, her body was tightly compressed under the smooth layers of wrappings that encased her. She wiggled a little, but that small movement was almost impossible to detect. Narell had done his task well.
Narell kneeled next to his beloved, who looked up at him with curious eyes. He tried to say something, but the words were stuck within his throat. All he could do was take her bandaged body and hold it close to his own. He squeezed her, relief sweeping over him. It was over. Finally, truly, over.
Narell looked down at his mummified princess, only to see that her eyes were closed. Why was that, he wondered. Unless she was…
A bright light filled the chamber. Narell knew full well what it meant. He gently lay the sleeping princess down on the stone floor, standing to face the light.
“I have done as you commanded,” he said to the light. “I have completed the task you gave me.”
“Excellent,” Anubis said. “You have done well. She has been saved the torture of eternal flame. She will lie there unable to move, talk or see the world for the next 40 years, but you have saved her.”
Narell did not look at the light. He was just glad the terrible task was over.
“Now that her punishment is underway,” Anubis said. “We must begin yours.”
“What?” Narell said, his ears not comprehending what he was hearing. “But… but the punishment was to mummify her, which I did. You mean it wasn’t punishment enough to be forced to mummify alive the only woman I ever loved?”
“I never said that was your punishment,” Anubis’ voice boomed.
Shaking, Narell instinctively backed away from the light, even though he knew it was useless. He was trapped here. There was no way out. What terrible punishment did Anubis have for him? His eyes wandered the tomb for a moment before he noticed the remaining rolls of bandages on the floor. He had started out with 24 and used half to mummify Ariaza. There were 12 left. The bandages threw themselves at Narell with explosive force. He instinctively threw his arms up to protect himself, but the bandages ignored his arms as they worked with a mind of their own. The shocked priest looked down to see his legs rapidly becoming encased within tightly wrapped bandages. The same process was being carried out with his chest and torso. The bandages were claiming him, and there was nothing he could do to stop them.
Suddenly, the bandages grasped his arms as well. He watched as they
were rapidly sealed away behind the ever-tightening strips of fabric that
were cocooning him in their tight embrace. Narell staggered backwards,
but his legs were now completely encased, and were rapidly becoming wrapped
up in a solid unit. His entire body below his neck was now cocooned within
the bandages that were still winding themselves around him. Unseen hands
grabbed his wrists and forced his arms a crossed pattern over his chest.
The bandages went to work, wrapping themselves over his arms, pinning them
forever in place. Narell felt his freedom being taken away from him forever
with each wrap of bandage that wound itself around him.
Terror engulfed Narell.
“Please stop,” he shouted. “Please! Stoommmphh!!!”
The bandages had noticed his shouts of protest and responded by flying into his mouth, packing themselves in as deep as possible.
Narell shouted as the bandages forced themselves into his mouth. When they was so tightly packed that breathing was difficult but not impossible, more bandages wound around his mouth, sealing it shut. With that task completed, the bandages went to work on his neck and head. Narell screamed and thrashed as much as he could, his animal instincts driving him to escape. But there would never no escape. He was being mummified alive, and soon would be like Ariaza – forever entombed. He continued to panic as the bandages found his face and engulfed it. Within a minute, Narell was mummified. He was completely encased within a tight cocoon that contained him in a tight hug that was anything but affectionate. Like Ariaza, he was bound into an inch of bandages that refused to release him. The only thing left to him was his sight, for his eyes had been untouched by the bandages. The light moved close to him.
“You will now join Ariaza in mummification. You will lie with her here in this tomb, never to be released. Because you know the spell that awakens the dead, you will never again see the sun shine so long as you live. You will live as long as she lives, and you will die when she dies. This is your punishment: to never move again and to know that your beloved suffers alongside you because of your selfishness.”
And with that, the light vanished.
A force picked up the mummified priest and princess, carrying them to a wide casket that awaited their bodies. The two were lowered in, side by side, then a lid lowered and sealed shut. The tomb itself was then locked forever, sealed shut by Anubis himself. No one would ever disturb the priest and his beloved. The mummified priest Narell lay next to his princess, now motionless for the rest of her life under layers of confining bandages. He wanted to reach out to her and hold her within his arms. But he, like she, was denied the ability to move at all. Their arms lay locked to their chests. They would never move them again.
He wanted to speak to her and comfort her. But he, like she, was denied the ability to speak at all. Their mouth was sealed shut under bandages. They would never speak again. His thoughts turned to the next forty years. He knew it would be terrible. He knew that they would probably go insane. But… something told him that there was a reward waiting for them at the end.
Anubis said that they had been spared the fire. That meant that they must have been saved. They would go together to the afterlife.
Keeping that in his mind, the mummy Narell closed his eyes.