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  • Short story by Plan 9 from Outer Space auteur Ed Wood, Jr.

    Short story by Plan 9 from Outer Space auteur Ed Wood, Jr.

    "The Day The Mummy Returned" is a 1971 short story written by Ed Wood, Jr. the American original who gave us Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and so much more. It's presented here for the first time in over forty years since its initial publication.

    Blood Splatters Quickly: the Collected Stories, Edward D. Wood, Jr. marks the first authoritative attempt to compile the ephemera of this elusive and transverse man's career in pulp fiction. Despite his persistent and prolific filmic and literary output, Wood is deservedly best known for being Ed Wood — the subject of the eponymous biopic directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.

    It’s never easy to be an original, either in life or art, but it’s fair to say that Wood pursued his own vision in a post-war society vastly more committed to the conventional than the America of 2014. The odds he faced were vast. Time and again he was met with resounding failure, but he persevered with his tales and stories of “killers in drag,” bloodthirsty housewives, and at times much more. Blood Splatters Quickly provides a peek inside the mind of one of the great American cultural visionaries, someone who has helped shape contemporary culture in ways he never would have dreamed possible.

    Edward D Wood, Jr.'s Blood Splatters Quickly is available from OR Books.

    Few in the Hollywood orbit have had greater influence than this patron saint of the low-brow –– and few have experienced greater failure in a lifetime. This collection features in myriad settings unbounded exploration of gore and sex, and an equally unfettered use of adjectives. Many of the stories (including “Blood Splatters Quickly”), memorable for their sheer outlandishness, appeared in short-lived “girly” magazines published throughout the 1970s. All have been verified as authentic Wood creations by Bob Blackburn, a trusted associate of Kathy Wood, Ed’s widow. And none of these stories has been available to the public in the forty years or more since their initial publication.

    Wood not only straddled the line between horror and romance: he seemed to take pure joy in the convergence of the two. He was as quick to dramatically highlight relations of violence and power between genders as he was to pervert them between, and within, his protagonists. He often started at the extreme and offensive height of male fantasy, only to let it unravel into something even more nightmarish.

    Wood died in 1978, but the legacy of the director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait and so many other beloved screen classics has only grown in importance.

    ed-wood-mummy

    The Day The Mummy Returned

    by Edward D. Wood, Jr.

    From the cloudy skies... Far across the snow covered mountain ranges... Far from the ocean's roar, where the sun beats its torture on desert sands and the pyramids nestle near the guarding Sphinx, lays the tomb of the Pharaohs...

    She of the golden hair has only fallen to the ground in a deep faint.

    Three thousand years have passed since I was placed here in my tomb, to remain forever.

    Now, infidels tear away the sands… the sands of endless time…

    They break the great doors of my tomb… They enter the very vault of my final rest.

    I can hear them. A young man! His voice is steady… strong… An older man; his voice reflecting wisdom. There is a third voice. That of a young woman. Her voice thrills with excitement as she stares at what she and they see…

    Sights not witnessed by human eyes since before the great pyramids!

    Then her voice squeals in alarm… Something has fallen and caused her shock.

    The older one speaks of a skull fallen from a great pile of bones. That would be the skull of my High Priest Talau -- he who died so that he might travel with me across the River of the Dead and intercede for me the Land of the Dead. He died in vain.

    The pile of bones… Court Guards who died so that they might protect My Royal Person in the Land of the Dead, as they had protected Me so bravely in the land of the living. They died in vain.

    Some were ordered to spear others… and others in turn were ordered to spear them… and so on until only one was left to suffocate when the air was gone. But that one was not to leave the Land of Mortals in this way. The Fire God, burning fiercely from an overturned urn, encased him first as he writhed upon the tomb floor.

    The old one has tried to replace the skull of Talau to the pile of bones. Its clattering sound as it falls back to My tomb floor tells me it will not remain where the old man has placed it.

    High Priest Talau is angered.

    The young woman has found a necklace and pendant around the neck of the charred bones of a common soldier…

    … It is the seal of the Pharaoh…

    …stolen from my person by Rukari, a guard to the high priest Talau… Rukari… a trusted soldier… Rukari… The last man alive in this… My tomb…

    They know its historic value – but little do they know its true value to Me. The old one is a very wise man. He realizes the seal must have been stolen from a great Pharaoh by this lowly soldier.

    I must draw them to my sarcophagus. All has become so clear to me now. So clear as to why, through all the centuries of the past I have seen nothing of the River of the Dead – nothing but deep blackness and troubled dreams in a black sleep. Without my chain of office, my seal which Rukari had stolen, I could not enter into the Kingdom of the Rulers where I could spend eternity.

    Doomed to neither life nor death…

    … Were it My choice now – which would I choose – Life – or death? Soon they will open the heavy lid of my sarcophagus… but first…

    … something else…

    They must see something else…

    I feel their presence getting closer to me – these infidels who have desecrated My Tomb… closer… closer… until the older one is able to read the hieroglyphics on my sarcophagus.

    It is the curse of the Pharaoh…

    He who shall have entered into this, the Tomb of the Pharaoh – shall remain in the tomb – for an eternity – until the endless ending of all time.

    I hear the outer lid of my sarcophagus being removed. After all these past centuries – just a little longer… the pendant…

    The lid has come away. The dank smell of decay greets them. A shaft of light tries in vain to pass through my closed eye lids. The young woman has stifled a scream. The young man is exuberant at his find… Me…

    They talk of my tattered burial wrappings.

    They talk of my excellent condition in which my cadaver appears.

    The old one removes a rolled parchment from my crossed hands. It is a map which was to direct my path across the River of the Dead, through the Land of the Dead and into the palace of the Pharaohs…

    Three thousand years… My eyes open slowly.

    I feel the pain of sight… of light… of long unused senses.

    There are three of them. Their backs are to me as they visit anxious eyes upon the map.

    Three thousand years.

    The young woman has golden hair which hangs long over her shoulders – soft – so beautifully.

    What are the strange instruments slung over their hips? Weapons I would venture… but weapons of a nature I do not know… But weapons all the same…

    Weapons can destroy… Three thousand years…

    My eyes have been closed…

    The last thing they saw before that deep sleep – Weapons of destruction!

    The first thing I see when I awake anew – Weapons…

    Weapons of destruction.

    I can also be a weapon of destruction… No one can make me die again.

    She of the long golden hair is screaming!

    I have killed the young man with one quick blow of my arm. The old man backs against the wall of My tomb. The weapon in his hand speaks with such loud reports. I feel several stings of the bee

    … nothing more…

    The old one dies so much more easily.

    She of the golden hair has only fallen to the ground in a deep faint.

    Three thousand years!

    … since I have gazed on the desert sands… and there – out there, the sand shift in all their golden glory.

    Yes!

    There they are – golden – shifting – the beautiful sand dunes… the seemingly endless reaches of sand.

    I can remember when the pyramids were built. The slaves carried those granite blocks over hundreds of miles of sand to their present positions. Such a perfection of beauty were those hand carved blocks…

    Time and weather have not been kind to them.

    The court lion still stands guard over the tomb of Lynkah…

    … and Kantarir…

    … and all the other of my friends whom I had known in those ages long past.

    The sky is beautifully blue now as I remembered it to be ...

    … Three thousand year ago…

    The sun blasts hot, reflecting from the sand… the sun… the sun… the sun… but the sun has become torture to my ancient withered skin…

    Three thousand years…

    … since the whispering wind, blowing softly through the palm trees has cooled my face. What is that strange bird with an even stranger sound, that I now see in the heavens…?

    It appears the bird is constructed of some metal… It shoots fire from four places beneath its wings. But it travels so much faster than any kind of bird I can remember … and so much higher… there is another… and another… another over there… and there… and there… there… there… there!

    A noise… a tremendous noise… An explosion… A great burst of flame… again and again… A temple disappears in a cloud of smoke and burst of flame.

    The Sphinx is gone… Then another temple…

    What is this madness of destruction?

    A greater power than any I had ever witnessed.

    A sound greater than any sound I have heard before. What are those things?

    They are not of my world.

    What is this world to which I have returned?

    Except for the desert sands there remains nothing left on the face of the earth of my ancient Egypt… only below… in the tomb

    … is my world.

    Would it be life…

    … or would it be death…

    … again?

    One last, lingering look into the desert… Then the quiet of My tomb again.

    So much more refreshing…

    There was nothing I knew or cared to know.

    She of the golden hair remains in a faint. She continues to hold the seal of the Pharaoh!

    Once again the seal is in my possession. Now I may ride with the Boatman as he crosses the River of the Dead… and at long last

    … I may enter the Land of the Dead.

    At long last I will have my place with those who have gone on so long before me…

    Yes… All have gone on before… Three thousand years…

    … before…

    No one remains to accompany me on my journey with the Boatman, across the River of the Dead and into the Land of the Dead…

    … Into the Land of the Pharaohs… A Pharaoh needs his Queen!

    Why does the lovely golden haired one scream too loudly and so long and painfully… so terrified as I gather her to me and enter the depths of our sarcophagus?

    She should be so proud to reign beside me in the Land of the Pharaohs…

    … ETERNALLY…

    / / 8 COMMENTS

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