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This week’s InMon prompt conjures up so many gory, spooky scenes, but this is my offering. No steampunk this week, although …

Inspiration Monday sets a series of prompts for the writer to choose, or maybe none, just write something for Bekindrewrite. Nip over and have a look at the other stories on offer – or submit one yourself.

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Tissue paper skin

The passage led downwards, the angle of decent was constant. The light from the oil lamp only dissipated the darkness for a few feet ahead, and it closed in again just a few feet behind. The last person to walk here, never came back up. It was five thousand years ago when the priest followed the Pharaoh’s body, to guide its transition to the afterlife.

The size of the Pharaoh’s chamber surprised him. The ceiling was low, as if the huge stone blocks were pressing down, but he could barely see the walls. All the chattels that were needed for the onward journey were there, including the hand maidens, now skeletal remains huddled together in their final positions. Did they starve, or run out of air?

In the centre of the chamber lay the stone tomb containing the king. All the stories said the mummy was wrapped in gold – enough gold to keep him in luxury for the rest of his days.

He set the lamp on a pedestal and put his rucksack on the floor.

The sarcophagus lid grated as he pushed it aside. Stale gasses rose to meet him. The mummified remains were bathed in shadow. He reached in – tissue paper skin crumbed at his touch, as, behind him, a stone slab rumbled into place across the passage.

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(c) 2012, K Patrick Moody

Inspired by this week’s prompt on Bekindrewrie’s Inspiration Monday