“All the best stories were made up on the fly. Too much planning can kill the creative process. It’s as if planning is Johnny Cash and the creative process is a man, and the story is Reno. Planning shoots the creative process in the story, just to watch it die.”
-The Author, justifying this exercise.
The story you are about to read is true. And yet, the sentence you have just read is a lie. Hello. I am your Unreliable Narrator. Or am I?
Our story begins deep within the bowels of the Earth, known as Terra Largus Intestina. As thick, gnarly tree roots invade the soil, black as the night sky or coffee or burnt waffles, we follow them down, down, down further and further into the depths of the depths of the Earth’s deepest depths. Deeper and deeper we go, gliding through the depths like a diphthong (that’s not half-bad.) The soil getting darker and more moist, the tree roots getting gnarlier and more tangled. Watch your head, that root is especially thorny. Duck a tad to the left. Perfect.
But, wait! We’ve stopped. Something is obstructing our excursion. Something ancient, something decrepit. Something buried underground many centuries ago, before this tree was planted. Look how the roots cling to the old, old thing like a child clutching a prized toy, or a skeleton clutching a child. But what is it? It appears to be a wooden crate of some kind, with ornate drawings along the sides. The drawings, reminiscent of cave drawings, depict the life story of the resident of this box. The story of his life thus far. A life lived until it ended, abruptly, in his death. The story of his death thus far.
We see a fierce warrior slaying giant, fire-breathing lizards with a metallic fist glistening in the moonlight. We see a beautiful, raven-haired woman swooning into the warrior’s arms, his metallic fist caressing her cheek. We see the fierce warrior executing some of the fleetest tap dancing the world has ever seen. Whoever drew these drawings must have been paid handsomely, and if the fierce warrior commissioned them, the artist was paid by a handsome payer.
Is the suspense killing you as well? Are you as anxious to reveal the insides of this, this casket as I am of getting to that part? All in due time. We must first clear the tree roots in order to have unobstructed access. This is no easy feat, as they are so thick and twisty. Or are they? Push them aside, and they disintegrate at your touch. Wha??? How can that be?
And what happened to the rich, sticky soil surrounding the casket? What happened, you ask, assuming you are reading these questions aloud? The more appropriate question would be, what didn’t happen?
Look again. The bowels of the Earth were actually the surface of the Moon. The soil, black as the night sky, was in fact the night sky, black as soil. And the tree roots were intricate tendrils of smoke, or something. Space smoke. And yet, the casket is still there. But on the Moon.
Look! The casket is opening, and the fierce warrior is about to poke his undead head out. Will he be a hideous creature, deformed beyond belief? Will he be a heroic figure? Will he see his shadow? Oh. It looks like he’s a hideous, deformed creature. A mummy, in fact, wrapped in bandages, seven feet tall, mouth full of sharp fangs. And a clear helmet with a little antenna on the top. This creature is no ordinary mummy.
He is a Space Mummy.
Ooh! A Space Mummy. And he’s awake! Look out, Earth! What will he do? Is he still the heroic figure depicted on his casket? Hmm. Let’s review those drawings again.
Yup. Just as I suspected. He wasn’t caressing the cheek of the raven-haired woman, he was sapping the life force out her with his demonic metallic fist. Through the ear. And he wasn’t slaying the fire-breathing lizard, he was shaking hands with it. And that wasn’t tap dancing in the third drawing. Well, actually, it was, but it was bad tap dancing! No, this is not a Good Guy. He is most definitely a Bad Guy.
What can I say? I told you I was an Unreliable Narrator. Or did I?
END OF PART ONE