I prepared myself for a blow at the back of my head. What I got instead was a shock. Not a figurative one, but a literal one. My foot must have hit some bare wire. Nevertheless, I kept staring at the unwinding drapes. But the more the mummy untied, the more there was to untie. Half an hour later, I realized that there was no head left and also that, the bandage constituted everything from the neck up! Quite an anticlimax. I won’t deny, I had better hopes. When someone denies you a pizza, you no longer feel any sense of fear or sympathy for that person, even if the guy turns out to be headless.
After stretching its arms, the mummy held out a mirror, which probably materialized from thin air. And I saw myself. This time there was no flash of light or bang on the head, neither was there any anticlimax or literal shock. Because this time, I was scared by the sight. And I promise, you too would have been, had you been on the other side of this narrative.
A daddy would have been fine, but I was a mummy? That too an Egyptian one! I felt claustrophobic. I had this weird feeling of being tied by ropes. But I realized now that I was actually tied up by drapes. That’s why I could not move my hands or my feet. But I could see somehow, although in the image my eyes were clearly under the opaque drapes.
The mummy opened its mouth for the first time, which was weird since it was headless. It said in a plain Antarctic accent, “I know you are a banker.” I promise I myself did not know that. I used to think, I was a medical student. “I know under your hands are ways to gain access to the heaviest of the accounts with the blackest of the moneys.” I am not a grammar Nazi and the situation was clearly not in favor of correcting silly mistakes. “I want you to, help us out. We are in need of money.” Who cares? Sympathy was the last thing I could have felt.
“And if you don’t,…” I calculated the probability of the sentence being completed with ‘you are gonna die’ and the answer turned out to be almost 1. “…you would not get the fifty percent of the money you help us steal.” Now I was listening. I said, “How and How much?” The how was answered by a PowerPoint presentation which was presumably prepared by the mummies about ten minutes later. The answer to how much was much more interesting.
The headless mummy pulled out a whiteboard. With a marker, wrote down 1. Then a 0.
Then another one. And another one. And it continued. When it stopped, I was sure, that 50% of that amount would make me richer than not many billionaires but richer than many countries. Many many countries.
I revised the plan in my mind once. And then I affirmed. As a result, I was untied, ‘goodbyed’ to the well-illuminated Sahara, and given enough food to cross it alive.
Within a few moments, I was transformed from being a mummified capture of mummies to a rogue banker on a mission to rob his own bank! Life, as I realized can often be awesome.
However, I changed my mind as soon as I arrived in Cairo. The flight to my destination was canceled. The next flight is after twelve hours. As I sat miserably in the lounge, I debated whether robbing banks for mummies was a good thing to do or not? Right then, someone tapped on my shoulder. I turned, but there was no one. Involuntarily I looked to my left, and in the seat next to me, well covered in a cloak, there was the headless mummy. Smiling, I supposed.
“I had forgotten to add something. If you quit or fail to retrieve the sum we need, you’ll be killed.” My prediction was correct after all! Suddenly, the speaker announced that the flight to my destination was ready for boarding. I was distracted momentarily. I regained back my focus, the mummy had vanished, along with my hopes of owning five hundred billion dollars, risk-free, provided I succeeded to steal a trillion! The flight took off like a boss. I was happy to cross the borders finally. I checked on all the visible seats to verify whether the mummy was still around. Unless the mummy had pulled off a camouflage of a frustrated human, I was sure that as long as I was in the airspace, I was not under surveillance. Weird! This meant that, if I never landed, I can theoretically quit my Trillion Dollar end and escape alive. But since I loved to be on the ground and gravity wanted me to be on the ground, I knew that this idea wasn’t worth a million dollars, which by the way, was one-millionth of what I was going after.
The rest of the flight was quite uneventful, other than the fact I once spotted a headless heap of bandaged silhouette on the left-wing of the flight. But, I ignored it with the excuses of mid-air mirage or hallucination. After stepping off of the plane and stepping onto the soil of my destination, which due to a contract with the mummy committee I cannot reveal, I did what most people in a situation like me would do. I bought a bottle of coke and drank it through. I dumped the empty bottle into a trashcan and checked into my hotel room to finally revise my plan.
The plan was simple.
Step One: Breach the security and enter.
Step Two: Steal the Money.
Step Three: Breach the security and exit.
Step Four: Deposit half a trillion-dollar to this account and run away with the other half.
I loved simplicity, but when the simplicity lacks details down to the level of imbecility, I begin to hate it. Captured by the mummies, this plan seemed to be the coolest one. But sitting thousands of miles away from the mummies, this was the worst plan I felt I could ever come across.
Hence, I decided to alter the plan slightly. What if I complete step 2 first? That way I won’t have to enter the bank. Neither would I have to exit, if I don’t enter. Thus, I have reduced the number of steps from four to two. The fourth step could also be modified. Instead of running away with half of it, I can run away with the full of it! Hence, I would not have to transfer stolen funds to a mysterious account anymore. And with the amount of money I was stealing, I could easily run away and hide myself far enough from any Earthly influence.
Since I am a fan of ultra-minimalism, I condensed the plan down to just one step and three words. It now read.
Step Only One: Steal and run.