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Scarab

B52

Squeeky Squeeky Squeeky Squeeky Squeeky. Why does this have to be the gurney that we use to transport people down to the morgue? It always squeeks. Squeeky Squeeky Squeeky. We try to be discrete as we take former patients down to their temporary resting place. Last thing we need patients fighting for their lives and or families that are keeping their loved ones company is me rolling lets see, Mrs Dorene Fillmore.. down the hall. Least she died peacefully in her sleep. Squeeky Squeeky. That is annoying. At least most of the patients have their doors closed at this hour.

I was almost to the back elevator as the squeeks drew the attention of some poor sod that was staring out a window just watching the sun come up. Probably got sick…

“You really want to use that term?”
“Sorry Tired of sitting of the room with whomever is ill.” 

Poor guy looked like he needed a pot of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. He pretended not to see us rolling Mrs. Fillmore past him, as he turned out the window to look at the sunrise.  We walked past him, towards the floor desk.

The charge nurse was waiting for us at the desk. She, like me worked the night shift, and also had the look of needing a pot of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. She was remedying that first part with her large pink unicorn mug. Thing was offensively chipper.

 

“Morning Mo. I see you found Dorene. Such a shame, she was a such a sweet heart.” She said with a hint of sadness, but as the charge nurse of an ICU, you get accustomed to seeing death. She took a sip of coffee and handed me the paperwork.

“Never do get the pleasure of meeting people while their here.” I said. Shit probably the wrong verbiage.

“You really are good at this.”

“Yeah, that is the down side of being the nightshift medical examiner. Hopefully the family realized how much we did for her while she was here.”

“I’m sure they did.” I signed the paperwork. “I don’t know if me or Marvin will get to her. There’s a some stuff we got to take care of.

“You do. We don’t” 

“Have a good day, hope you get some sleep” I said I as pushed the gurney towards the elevator. We walked forward into it. Passing quiet room after quiet room, as squeeked past room 1048, I felt a twinge of burning on my wrist. 

“That can’t be good”
“No it can’t”

We squeeked faster into the elevator. Mrs. Fillmore would need to wait, as the elevator closed, I rolled up my sleeve. As I suspected one of the tattoos was glowing. It’s meaning clear. There was some bad going on in that room, outside the realm of normal medical problems. 

There was an imbalance. And I just happened to detect it. 

“Looks like you got some work to do.”
“Don’t remind me.”

The floors took a long time to pass, but soon we were in the basement, where I moved Mrs. Fillmore into a cooler. I closed the hatch, and gently and quietly said the ancient blessing of peace and rest.

“Such a nice blessing, how come I didn’t get one?”
“I wasn’t there when you died.”

I pulled the necklace from underneath the scrubs, and I took it off and placed it my left hand after I removed the glove. A tattoo on my hand appeared with the same green glow. The one I my forearm was still glowing and burning. This was not good. There was some serious shit going on. Not a haunting. Something darker.

I touched the necklace to the demonstration skeleton there was a green glow, and a pop. “Spirit be from this seal, return to form. I grant thee to the will to speak from this vessel.” I put my great uncle back into what used to be his body. “Well, glad you got my steps in today.” The skeleton’s mouth somehow moved, and a voice came through.

“Yeah, yeah. You know you’re the only reason I took the job here right?”

“Yes. You tell me that often. But it hard to keep royal tombs these days. But more importantly, did you feel that shit on the ICU floor?”

“Yes, am I am fearful of what’s up there. Look.” I held my arm up as the green glow on my forearm. To the eye-less sockets of the skeleton. 

“Shit. That one? Great.”

“Yup. Now, quiet, Marvin will be here any minute.”

“Yeah yeah, I know the drill. Still like fucking with him”

Uncle Ebrahim, even in death, was a prankster.


After about twenty minutes, Marvin, the Medical examiner, showed up for his shift. There was rain, so the commute was a bit slower than it should have been. I gave him the details on Mrs. Fillmore, clocked out and went home. 

The tattoo finally stopped burning and glowing and disappeared once I was distant enough from the hospital. My arms, hands, and feet are covered in these invisible, ancient tattoos. One that straddles the lines of the realms of here and the thereafter, needs protection. They are the equivalent of wearing gloves when you would handle a body, and the tattoos are the protection of when you would handle the spirit.

The day passed uneven, as I worried about the room. I wondered and waited. Slept, and waited. I came back to the hospital the next evening, with something unusual in my bag. I had to bring out the big guns for this one.

I got my soon to be partially ignored to do list from Marvin, and waited until he left. I waited for a few hours. I was lucky that Mrs. Fillmore was on the list for the evening. I had my opening. I recalled my uncle from his skeleton, with a hint of protest, and then we walked into the elevator.

“Where we going? We dealing with that bad energy?”
“We? No. Me? Yes. You’re getting your own steps into tonight uncle.”
“Oh, I cannot wait to see what you have in store.”

We came up to the ICU floor, where I first walked into the bathroom, made a quick search to see if I was truly alone in there, and then rolled up my sleeves. Skin needed to touch air. It is the way. I began to recite the incantation. “Spirit, be free once more to wander the realm of the living, through my will, and by will at my command you shall be recalled. Come forth once more.”

There was a green glow from my right hand, then a pop. My uncle’s spirt was no longer bound to my necklace, but was free to wander.  “Alright, what’s the place, master. I really can’t believe I have to say master, master” his disembodied voice echoed no longer confined to my own mind.

“Part of the spell. Sorry Uncle, you know how it works.”

“Tombkeeper’s lineage. I know.”

“On my signal, just cause a ruckus so I can go into that room. I need a distraction.”

“I’m good at those.”

I walked out the bathroom, and over to the charge nurse’s station. She was there, sipping on the unicorn mug. I felt a breeze brush past me. “Good evening” I said.

“Hey Mo, we didn’t have another one? Whatcha up here for?”

“This is going to sound really dumb, but I had forgotten to grab Mrs. Fillmore’s file last night. I need that to proceed. Mind grabbing it for me?”

“Yeah sure, no problem.”

I placed my hand on the desk, and knocked three times on it. There was a gust, and the mugged some how fell from its place on the desk, splashing the nurse with what appeared to be diet coke, and shattered on the floor. Uncle was good at ruckuses.

The nurse grumbled thinking she knocked it over. “Son of bitch. Least I got 4 more in my locker. I gotta go dry off, and I’ll grab that file.”

“Take your time, and don’t worry, I’m gonna go grab some coffee I said aloud. Four? Really?

“Yeah, Yeah.”

“Hold her off uncle.” I muttered, Even though I could not see him, I felt a smirk.

Now was my chance. I walked into room 1048. I felt the tattoo warning me not to enter. But, I am a chosen tombkeeper. The bastion between the realm of life and death. I am the gate to some, and the wall to others. And now, I was being called to be a wall. I felt that a grave had been disturbed, and now it was time to reseal it. I closed the door quietly behind me, and produced and something from my bag. Chalk. I scribbled an inscription above the door. A quiet glamor spell. No one from the outside would know I was in there.

A teenage girl. Hair dyed black. Fast asleep, no under heavy medical sedation. The energy around her was dark. I could feel that in my left arm. The left. The arm of death. Yet, the arm of life was feeling something else. That was her. What I felt was that of a different person. I grabbed her file on the foot of her bed. Flesh necrosis was beginning, organs were starting to fail. I know what this is. Shit. It was not good.

Someone who was interfering in my realm.

I did what I had to do and removed my shirt. I was going to be doing some heavy magic tonight. The skin had to be exposed. It was the way of the tombkeeper. I’m glad I put the glamor up. This would looked absolutely bizarre.

I crossed my arms and muttered a protection prayer, as the Ankh on symbol on my chest glowed. My arms began to do the say, the glow of eerie green light came forth. I was a conduit. From my back I produced a heavily inscribed bronze scrab. A prison or a beacon. I took it in my right hand.

I walked over to the poor girl, and placed my hand on her arm. This was wear the necropsy had started. I have placed my hands on all sorts of substances, but this just didn’t feel right from both a physical and metaphysical sense. My hands were protected by the magic however. I grimaced and become to speak.

Hear me, interloper. This is not your body. This is not your flesh. It is gone. You are in the other realm. Never to be return to the fields of the living. You have no place here.

 

“I just wanna live…”

You are a parasite interloper.

“I just wanna live…”

“Begone.”

“I just wanna live….”

“I see. This is not your singular victim. But, you can not draw more from her. Spirit. Be drawn to your prison.” The glow brightened in my left hand and arm. “I am Mohammed al-Binesh. Tombkeeper. Lineage of the servants of the phararohs. Wall between life and death. I command you to your prison.”

“I just wanna…..”

The glow seemed to transfer from my left arm, into my chest, and into my right arm, and finally to the scarb totem itself.

“I am a tombkeeper.”

I was exhausted. Shit was draining. The few minutes felt as If I had just ran a marathon. The tattoos no longer glowed. I quickly erased the inscription and ran out the room, back to the charge nurse’s station. She was where to be found. I went and got my coffee anyway.

 

A few minutes later, she and another nurse approached the desk I could hear their conversation. “How do you get locked in the locker room?”

“I don’t know.”

Uncle. Always the trouble maker. I received the file and went about my evening with a sense of normality, as my uncle recounted his side of the adventure. He caused a small bit of trouble as his promised distraction. I told him my bizarre theory. I believe somehow, this girl and some other people had gotten a hold of some sort of magic tome, and probably tried to summon a ghost, but it backfired. 

The patient’s recovery was immediate and nothing short of miraculous. The flesh somehow became to heal, and the organs roared back to life. I had made sure to double check the next night. But, as I returned to my apartment, I noticed my scarab’s wings had sprouted. It was buzzing around the house, the piece of spirit in the scrab was trying to find the rest of itself. I still a duty to attend too.

 

AUTHORS NOTE. I WROTE THIS SECOND PART LATER- B-52

After a few days rest and intelligence gathering, I was ready to make my move to send this spirit back to the otherside. I needed time to recover. Sealing a cooperative spirit, like my uncle is easy, like shuffling a fish from tank to tank. 

Sealing a parasitic spirit that is literally sapping the life force of some one in some misguided attempt at resurrection is hard, like stuffing a very angry cat into a travel cage heading to the vet. 

I had found out the patient of what happened. She, and a few off her friends were into the occult, and one of the friends was a college intern at their school which was associated with the history museum. There was a piece in the collection that was off limits to the public.

A few scrolls that were the same that served as my textbooks for my magic. These are extremely rare outside the families. When I told my uncle this he, like I was furious.

“I hope their lineage is extinct! What kind of tomb keepers allow their scrolls to fall out of their procession!” were his exact words.

I agreed with this sentiment, however, the group had attempted a spell to “Comunitcate this the dead” however, giving the fact that they do not have the proper training, protective seals, and even basic information There was also a mistranslation of the title of the spell. The word does mean communicate, BUT the Brit that translated the scroll in the 1920’s had no knowledge that the word does not have a direct English translation.

It means communicate but in a business sense, as the best words would be barter or trade. The group had attempted to contact the patient’s cousin that had tragically overdosed (Found DOA in the bathroom. Marvin did the autoposy) The combination proved near fatal for the patient, due to the familial connection. Luckly, it was only her that had the worst effects. Gotta love family.

What had confused me was the fact that the spirit had split. Very rare, which speaks to the degree that the group had mucked up the spell.

Now I stand in the elevator of the deceased apartment, holding a birdcage containing my bronze scarab. Having a bronze scarab whizzing around my apartment had proved disastrous to one of my lamps, several books, but luckily, it had not broken out. I had left uncle at the hospital.   

I had received a key as gratitude. I heard the deceased ex-wife still lives there, but strangely had decided to stay with family recently. I wondered what I could be walking into. The warning tattoo had roared into existence again, and grew brighter as I had walked into the apartment, yet not quite to same intensity as before.

Quiet. Eeriely quiet. Nothing was on, and the way it seemed to me was that the occupant had left in a hurry. I can only imagine when I heard a familiar whisper. 


“Yooouuu…” 

I smirked. 

“….ruined everything… must live…”

“I am sorry, but you can’t nor won’t. That spell was crocked up from the start, even a highly skilled individual like me….”

“Life…”

“No bargaining then.” The scarab in the cage jerked around, towards the urn on the mantle. This was it. “Guide, your task is down. Now rest.” I said, and the birdcage stopped jerking and the scarab stopped moving “The majority of you is in this scarab.”

“Life…”

“and all I need to do is this to put the rest of you in there.”

“Nooo… live…”

I took off my jacket, and took the urn in my left hand, and reached into the cage to pull the scarab with my right. Both arms bare to the air. Tatatoos glowing again, incantations chanted. Transfering was easier now.

“Fucking Asshole…”

“You really want those to be your last words?”

Nothing. The glows faded and the air was clear. Spirit was sealed. Now, to get him to the other side would be easy. All I needed to do, was destroy any remains. But he was cremated? No. They screwed up that spell so bad, that he was attempting to rebuild his own body using his cousin’s.

And now, I had to destroy a finger that had regenerated from the ash. I have this before. A quick call to the crematory, and the matter was settled. The seal on the scarab disappeared, telling me the container was empty. The graves had no longer been disturbed, and for now, I could go back to my day… well night job. But there always would be the potential of other tombs being robbed, the sleepers awoken, and I would have to be ready.