The Nameless One
Kathryn Meyer Griffith
$2.99 (Kindle Edition), 30 Pages, February 1, 2011
Review by Darkeva
This is a short story about an Egyptologist couple who are looking for a mummy, “the nameless one,” who was a queen married to Pharaoh Ramses II.
They’ve travelled to Egypt to find the mummy, but have also been warned by countless people not to go after the tomb. The temptation is too great for Laura, the female half of the couple, as the mummy is over 3,000 years old — she may have been a pharaoh’s wife, but she was far from a complacent, submissive damsel. She was a powerful sorceress who many believed ensorcelled Ramses and tricked him into marrying her. The pharaoh’s priests didn’t like her because she was gaining too much power, so they conspired to get rid of her. She disappeared, and her name was chiselled out of monuments, hieroglyphs, and wall displays to ensure that history would forget about her.
Turns out that saying the mummy’s true name will bring her back to life, but she will be hungry and will seek out as much prey as possible. I thought this tale had a good integration of Egyptian world-building and terms, and the story was engaging. Laura, the main character, starts to have horrible nightmares soon. The mummy has been waiting for someone to set her free, and, predictably, Laura is going to be the one who does it.
When Laura and her husband find the tomb, the walls have non-standard hieroglyphs. Instead of the usual images of warriors or animals, they all depict explicit orgies.
Inevitably (and somewhat predictably), the mummy uses Laura’s husband in succubus-like fashion to suck the life out of him and regain her powers. She leaves Laura to die in her tomb, but Laura makes it out. Also a tad predictably, it turns out to be Sekhmet, wife of Ptah, war goddess of destruction. I say predictably only because fans of Egyptian-themed fantasy and indeed of Egyptian myths and legends who know their pantheon well will recognize Sekhmet’s signature based on the descriptions of the mummy and her powers. Laura calls upon Isis’ help and gets her revenge. It’s still a fun romp and those who enjoy their fantasy with a healthy dose of Egyptian mythology will like it.
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