35. Dusting Herself Off

Taking one look at the dusty rope ladder, Rosella decided that was not a safe option.  Peering down the crypt floor
below, she did get a few butterflies in her stomach, but perhaps if she hung down over the ledge, it wouldn’t be that far?  
Slipping off her heels, Rosella crouched at the platform edge.  She didn’t want to break her ankles upon landing after
all!  Slipping one leg over at a time, she slowly lowered herself over the edge, hanging by her slender fingertips.  
Groaning at the stress, she turned to look how far down she had to go, and her heart sank when she noticed it was still
many feet below.  Unfortunately her arms were already trembling with fatigue and she never had the strength in them to
begin with to pull herself back up.  Not having the courage to take responsibility and just drop, Rosella stubbornly hung
on with her quivering arms and tears welling up in her eyes until her strength finally gave out.

She landed with a thud on her side, but took a bump to the head in the process and was rendered unconscious.  It was
probably for the best, because she would not have liked what was happening next.  As her body lay still on the floor of
the crypt, the lid of the sarcophagus opened with a crack and a long groan.  The broken and bandaged limbs of the
mummy reached out like nightmarish bugs as it fought to be free of its prison.  Instantly the evil red eyes locked on to
the still form of the pretty princess.  Her long golden hair lay out like a warm blanket and her skin was porcelain white
save for a bruise on her cheek where she hit the floor.  Rosella’s dress fanned out like a red velvety pool on the floor
and her white legs were tucked to the side.  The mummy shambled eagerly toward its prize unable to resist the youth
that awaited him.  He reached down and grabbed one of her feet by the stocking clad toes and proceeded to drag her
toward the open feeling his strength grow even from the first moment of contact with the young maiden.  His evil magic
fed powerfully, and quickly and as he dragged her, Rosella’s white stockings faded to a gray, and soon the skin beneath
too became gray.  Little by little, the poor princess broke off into little bits of dust until the mummy was dragging nothing
at all, and all that remained was a trail of dust leading back to his sarcophagus.  His broken limbs straightened out, and
rotting bandages renewed, and the redness of his eyes was ever brighter.  Just one more victim and he would be free of
the curse.  Leave it to Rosella to donate to a good cause!

-The End

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