Friday, November 11, 2005

CommonPlot: The Mummy Variation

Long ago and far away, the princess was raised in isolation from all males. She's being raised to become the bride of the god. She must be kept pure or the god will be offended. What she doesn't realize is that her marriage is also her death.

A young commoner from the villiage sneaks into her palace. They fall in love. He knows that she's going to be sacrificed but doesn't let on. Knowing that only virgins can be given to the god, he thinks that she'll be safe if she isn't one.

Their love is discovered and the boy is murdered in front of her. Since in dying she would go to the god, the priests use their ancient magicks to make her immortal and she's cast out into the world, driven away from her home.

She wanders the world for millenia, looking for the reincarnation of her lost love. Finally, she finds him, but he's a 70 year old Catholic priest.


I wrote this story about 15 years ago. I was trying to come up with more contemporary/realistic "horror," trying to figure out what is really scary. Monsters and psycho killers and such are scary, but not things we encounter regularly. Existential crisis, not understanding the point to existence, the possibility that there is no point, these things were much scarier to me at the time. What if one lived for centuries but were no closer to finding any sort of truth? That was the theme the first time around.

Over time, my immortal girl had forgotten most of the details of her first love, remebering them as facts but not the feelings. She doesn't remember if it was worth it to be punished for all of eternity. In seeking the reincarnation of her lost love she's not so much looking for love as looking to remember and understand. When she meets the priest she remembers that spark she felt so long ago. Even if she can't do anything about it now, she knows that the love was real. Since she's immortal, she can wait for another reincarnation.

I rewrote the story a few years later. That time around, the immortal gal came to terms with her existence after a few centuries. She was able to figure out how to be happy & was really enjoying her immortality. Immortality stories tend to be downers, but I don't think this would neccessarily be the case. You'd learn to cope with the fact that you'd outlive everyone you know and love, but you'd meet new people all the time. You'd have time to fix whatever mistakes you made and so on.

The story was inspired by the classic movie Robot vs. The Aztec Monster, a Mexican Wrestling Women movie, which was a ripoff of Universal's original The Mummy, only with wrestling women and a robot. But the Mummy theme has a unique twist that is different from other horror movies. In most horror movies, extramarital sex is punished by death. In The Mummy it is punished with immortality. In the original Mummy movies, the Mummy changes, subjected to the ravages of time even though he is immortal, while the reincarnated love keeps coming back as the same person (sans memory of her past selves). The "invention" in this version is that the immortal lover stays the same (physically at least) while the reincarnated comes back so radically differnt that there is no way they can resume their prior relationship.

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