Teenage and upGenre:
Evelyn O’Connell/Rick O’Connell, Evelyn O’Connell/Imhotep, Evelyn O’Connell/Ardeth BayWarnings:
Character death for the prologue.Summary:
Evelyn returns a widow to Egypt after World War II. And the past reaches out to greet her.AN:
As I disliked the third movie and only saw it once, years ago, I have completely disregarded it for the purpose of the fic. The prologue is terribly sad, I’m afraid.( Chapter 1; Imhotep )Cairo, 1947
Evelyn O’Connell returned to Egypt after the war. She came alone, trading one war-torn country for another, not sure what she was looking for. Perhaps she was lucky who had only lost a husband, when so many had lost everything, but she didn’t feel it. She had mourned Rick deeply, but as long as the war continued, she had had no time to dwell on her loss. When peace came and life slowed down, she realised how lonely she was. It was easy to leave the house she and Rick had lived in. He was not there, and the rooms felt too empty. Without him, it no longer felt like a home.
So Evy came back to the country of her mother, a slender woman in her early forties. A beautiful woman though she made little effort to appear so. She favoured practical clothes, cut for longevity over fashion fads. When most women had cut their hair, she had kept hers long, a heavy coil at the nape of her neck. Her only deference towards fashion was a slick of red lipstick which she had always licked off by lunch time. With her she brought her books and most of the artefacts she and Rick had collected. Those she donated to the museum where everything had once started. They thanked her by giving her a small office and free access to the library, where she made use of her considerable knowledge of dead languages.
In returning to Egypt, Evy had hoped to find peace and a new beginning, but she had not expected to find Rick again. Cairo was rife with memories of him. They invariably brought back how much she missed him, but she had known it would happen. To her surprise she also felt like he was close to her again, present in a way she had never felt before. It ought to sadden her, but instead it made her feel better than she had in many years. He didn’t feel like he was lost to her anymore. It felt like coming home. Evy settled down and found new routines, tentatively building new friendships, but not renewing any old ones.
But there were other memories, those she didn’t want to dwell on. Evy tried to ignore them, but the more she tried to push them away, the more she thought of them. Once she had been pursued by a man she had brought back to life, a man neither dead nor living. Now she came to realise, she was being hounded by the memories of him. Evy had not expected it, she had been to Egypt many times since Imhotep was defeated. Now the memories of him grow stronger, and more intense for every day which passed.
Only memories, even increasingly vivid ones, would not alone have alarmed her. They were, after all, only recollections of times past. But gradually she realised they did not come alone. At first she thought little about it. Later when she tried to pinpoint when it had all started, she could only say it must have been soon after her arrival. At first it was only fleeting moments. An odd sound, or a feeling of movement behind her when she walked thought the museum after closing time. A faint trace of a familiar scent, wafting against her on a narrow street. It was disturbing, but mostly because she couldn’t understand why it bothered her so much.
Then the movements turned into a shape in the corner of an eye. The random sounds turned into stealthy footsteps. There were never anything to see and hear when she stopped and looked around, but it happened more and more often. Then the dreams came. Evy dreamt of ancient stone corridors, the walls covered with hieroglyphs. She knew them, it was the buried passages and chambers of Hamunaptra. And though she walked there alone, someone was following her. She dreamt the same dream, every night, each night bringing the one following her closer. In the dreams, Evy walked faster and faster, trying to find her way out, before she woke up with a gasp in her own bed, carrying with her a growing panic, which only grew worse for every passing night.
One night she thought she heard Rick calling for her. Evy ran, following the sound of the voice through the long and dwindling corridors. She was sure she would see him every time she turned a corner. But his voice was always a little further away.
“Where are you?” Evy cried. “Wait for me!”
She ran into a chamber, following his voice, but it was empty. There was no other way out, only an ornately carved false door on the opposite wall.
“Rick!” Evy called and she could hear him answering on the other side of the door which could never be opened. She ran up to it and placed her cheek against it. Dreaming as she was, she knew he was standing on the other side, doing the same.
“I miss you,” she told him. “And I’m afraid. There is someone coming.”
“I know. I’m doing what I can to help, I promise. But you are strong and smart, Evy. You can fight him.”
“I wish you could come back,” she whispered and then woke up, crying.
The next morning came with a strong feeling something would happen. Evy went through the day in fearful expectation, but nothing happened and eventually she relaxed. There had been too many nights of disturbed sleep, it was no wonder she was overwrought. By early evening Evy felt almost back to normal. She was working late at the museum, wholly concentrated on an old scroll when her nostrils was suddenly filled with a scent. Perfume, a mixture of cinnamon, cedar and myrrh, strong and spicy. Evy looked up in alarm and saw the bulk of a man standing outside the doorway. Though in shadow she could, for a moment, see the outline of him, proud and arrogant and she thought she could see the glimmer of his eyes as he watched her. Then the scent disappeared and there was no one outside her room, no one at all. She knew it had been Imhotep, though it couldn’t have been, he was long gone. She had helped make sure of that twice. But, a part of her mind whispered, he would never have come back at all, if it hadn’t been for you.
The dream which came to her next was different. This time she wasn’t in the old tunnels anymore, now Evy was standing among the ruins of the city. It was noon, the sun enormous and hot above her, rendering everything golden. In front of her, kneeling and with his head bent was Imhotep. She wanted to run, but then he raised his head and looked at her. His face was filled with anguish and she could see tear in his black eyes. He looked like he had the last time she had seen him, the moments before he had let go and fallen into the abyss. It had filled her heart with pity then, and she felt the same way now.
“Call for me”, he said, but Evy shook her head.
“Go away”, she told him, but instead he rose, and she could feel the scent of his perfume, just as she had in the museum.
He took a step closer to her. “Say my name.”
“My Princess, why will you not say my name so I can come to you? Call me back to life and I will love only you. I will give you everything.”
He stepped even closer, and Evy found she had no longer any desire to flee. He raised his hand to her face, so close she could feel the warmth from his skin, but he didn’t touch her. Evy could feel her resolve melt away and her breath quickened.
“You have been alone for far too long. There is no one left, but me. I am waiting for you. I can make you happy again.”
He bowed down to kiss her, and Evy turned her face up to him, her lips parting. His hands slid down her arms, holding her close. But before his lips touched hers, a smile flickered over them, a smile she knew. It was the same triumphant and cruel smile as when he had broke his promise to her not to harm her friends. It broke the spell and Evy tried to turn her head away. His fingers dug into her arms and made it impossible for her to twist away from him. He kissed her, and she gagged on the taste of spices which filled her mouth. She woke up with, gasping for air with the taste still in her mouth.
She tumbled out of bed, half expecting Imhotep to be in the room when she turned on the lights. Evy caught herself in the mirror. With her hair falling over her shoulders and her eyes wide opened she thought she looked like a madwoman in an old novel. Then she saw the marks on her arms, marks from a hand much larger than her own.
Feeling wide awake and rattled by both dream and aftermath, Evy wrapped herself in a robe and left the bedroom. Tea, she thought, would soothe her mind and scald away the loathsome taste from her mouth. While the tea brewed she took pot and cup to the library. It was her favourite room, the books lining the walls made her feel safer. She opened the large windows, the night air was warm, but still refreshing. Evy curled up on the sofa with a book she had read many times before. The well-known and loved words calmed her, but when she heard the sound of soft footsteps, fear shot through her again. But the ghost from her past who stepped into the room brought no dread with him, only a sudden and overwhelming relief.