Last Story Home Local Next

The Tomb of Tutankhamen

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


This is the aftermath of my earlier posting "The Operating Theatre".

The Head Surgeon was horrified when he saw the furred outline of the Head Nurse stuck to the floor of the bottom kitchen cupboards. "This will all have to be re-sanded and re-painted," he announced. "I'm afraid all the stuff will have to remain out of the cupboards for a few more days."

There was a low moan from Orderly No. Two. Presently Orderly No. One arrived home from snooker and decided that the kitchen looked like a demolition area. He noted that all the top cupboard contents had been replaced in the newly painted shelves and closed every cupboard door and drawer in the place to tidy up things. Unfortunately the 38, rose-bud, ceramic cupboard door and drawer catches and handles were still winging their way across the Tasman from Australia.

Orderly Two had instructions to make the coffee for the Head Surgeon and wanted to get at the coffee cups in top cupboard No. 1. But there was no way into the cupboard - it was tighter than the tomb of Tutankhamen and wasn't about to give up its secrets. Orderly Two ran her fingers along the side and bottom cracks - it held fast. She inserted a knife in the top crack and tried to prise it open - nothing. She was getting heated. The Tomb of Tutankhamen was leering at her. There had to be an answer. Perhaps she could tunnel in. Orderly Two moved to cupboard 2 - it eyed her coldly, a large freshly painted blue eye. It was rigid. Cupboard 3 was a tease. It edged open slightly and then refused to budge. The final cupboard 4 was the target of desperation time - but there was a larger crack on the side of this cupboard. Orderly Two was at fever-pitch. She attacked the crack with her fingernails - wrench, rip - a large chunk of freshly painted cupboard corner fell into her hand. The door swung open.

Orderly Two was aghast. She had violated the Tomb of Tutankhamen and would incur the wrath of the Head Surgeon (Tomb Keeper). She peered outside at the darkening sky. Would a shower of frogs rain down? Would a swarm of locusts devour her freshly budding roses. But a tomb buster had to keep going. She put her hand into cupboard 4 and pushed hard on the inside of cupboard 3. It flicked open obligingly. Heartened she tackled cupboard 3 - same result. She had reached the heart of the Tomb of Tutankhamen, success was near. Of course, she could remove the cups through cupboard 2. But somehow this wasn't enough - she knew exactly how Lord Carnarvon felt. She was a tomb buster. She reached her hand into cupboard 2 and pushed at the inside of cupboard 1. The door stuck fast.

Rage consumed the tomb buster. She would open the tomb or die in the attempt. She scowled at the door at face level and crashed her hand against the inside of the door. It suddenly sprang forward and smashed her in the nose. The curse was upon her and blood poured down her face. Orderly Two ran from the room, heading for the bathroom medicine cabinet. The curse struck again. She tripped over the electric frying pan in the centre of the dining-room and cracked her shins on the telephone table. When she limped into the bathroom she saw that the Head Surgeon was standing on a ladder in front of the medicine cabinet, painting the ceiling.

She sat on the edge of the bath and grabbed a dirty paint rag to apply to her bleeding nose. She noticed that the bath was full of paint tins and towel rails. The window sill was missing from above the wash basin - would it vanish for months like the closet door in the hallway. The shower was full of paint covers and the Head Nurse was asleep on top. Orderly Two wondered vaguely if she would ever bathe again.

When the Head Surgeon saw Orderly Two he enquired about the coffee. The Head Nurse woke up at the sound of the Surgeon's voice and yowled for his tea. Orderly Two wasn't listening. She was trying to remember where she had left the wine bottle.


Editor's note:

Last Story Home Top Local Next
Top of