Prompt Day #299: Give a monster a makeover
“Doctor? That Khufu Mummy is here. He is pretty mad and he wants to talk to you.”
“What? I told him I cannot do anything else for him. I can’t work with tissue like that.”
“It would seem so. I think you need to see him.”
The man following Renee, Dr. Jillian’s receptionist, walked stiffly behind her. His dark colored skin had a sheen to it (likely the moisturizer cream Dr. Jillian had prescribed). His face was asymmetrical, lumpy and cracked. Thick, opaque gel oozed from multiple fissures. Dr. Jillian sighed, this would not go well. He followed them into the exam room.
“Mr. Khufu, I see the collagen implants aren’t working as we’d hoped.” He said.
“You will call me King Khufu.” The man croaked. His voice was as dry as his skin. He held a small carved ivory figure up. “Do you see this? This was carved in my image by my most skilled slave.” The man grabbed Dr. Jillian by the collar and with a strength inverse to the feeble look of him, dragged the doctor to the mirror on the back of the exam room door. “Look at me. Does this look like the countenance of a great king?”
Dr. Jillian could see in the light of the room, that things were worse than he had originally surmised. The charcoal colored skin was cobblestoned with tiny crevices, flakes of ancient skin lifted up and detached by the collagen the doctor had forced underneath in an attempt to fill out the cadaveric cheeks. The nose itself was probably only held in place by the sheer tenacity of the collagen itself. The layer of moisturizer sat on top of all this like a greased cookie sheet. The epidermis had refused to absorb any of it.
“Mr., I mean King Khufu, your skin is almost five thousand years old. There is only so much I can do. It is like leather, worse even. It isn’t absorbing the moisture, without moisture, there is no elasticity, without elasticity, the collagen isn’t going to help. It will just ooze out like what it is doing.” Dr. Jillian could feel the mummy’s grip tighten in response to the bad news.
“Mortal being, you have only a short time to provide me with an acceptable answer to this problem before I kill you.”
“King Khufu, you need all new skin, that’s it, there is nothing else I can do. And let me be clear, there is no such thing as a full skin transplant.” He said, trying to ensure that the creature didn’t get the wrong idea.
“Then you will consult the priests.”
“It isn’t like that. There are no priests that work magic nowadays. It simply isn’t possible.” He said. If he would inch the mummy over just five more inches, he could reach the light that would signal Renee. She knew the situation, she would understand he needed help. “Here, come a little more this way and turn towards the wall so I can see your hair line in the light.” He pulled at the ancient pharaoh who came without a fight. As soon as the mummy’s back was turned, Dr. Jillian flipped the light on and off several times, signaling to Renee.
“We will do this now. Today. Fix it.” Dr. Jillian watched collagen drip down the things lips as it spoke, working the subdermal jelly back out through the fractured skin.
“Khufu! I don’t have access to that much skin! I can’t just…” but he was interrupted as the door swung open and Renee came bursting in.
“What is it, Doctor?” She asked. Dr. Jillian’s hope sunk. She hadn’t understood. Khufu grabbed her by the hair and extended her head back on his shoulder. With his other claw like hand he grabbed her face and pulled. She screamed. Jillian dared not move. The strength of this otherworldly being was obviously too much to overcome. Instead he watched in horror as Renee’s face slid off her skull as if Khufu was a magician removing a tablecloth from under a dinner setting.
He dropped the bloodied thing onto the bedside surgical table and let her body crumple to the floor. Jillian could see she was still alive, but mercifully unconscious.
“You may start with that.” The king gestured to Renee’s face. “After that, if I am satisfied, you will continue with the remaining skin off the body.” Now he pointed to the ivory carving sitting on the counter by the sink. “When I once again look as my old visage, you will be released alive. If I am less than satisfied, Slave, you will be added to my tomb to serve me in the afterlife. Do you understand?”
Dr. Jillian nodded. He had no choice. He would do his best, of course, but without vessels and nerves to attach the skin to, the result would be worse than the collagen trial. The mummy got up onto the exam table. Dr. Jillian began to clean the things face, prepping as he would for any procedure. Alcohol swabs removed the moisturizer. Jillian turned to the bleeding heap of face lying on the table. He needed an electrocautery for all that oozing. He smiled. Yes, an electrocautery would help significantly.
“King Khufu, if I am going to do this, you must allow me to gather some of my surgical instruments.” He said
“Mortal, do you understand that I have returned after 5000 years of slumber? I am all powerful and eternal. If you try to escape me, I will find you and I will end you.” Khufu growled. Jillian nodded. Khufu gestured for him to be gone. As he stepped over Renee, he was happy to see her chest rising and falling signaling she was still hanging in there. Jillian returned with his electrocautery device and plugged it in.
“Now, this may hurt, but I have to use this to cut away your damaged skin. This device will ensure clean edges for me to work with.” He spoke just as he would to any patient. Khufu nodded once, giving permission. He closed his white, shriveled eyes.
Dr. Jillian leaned over and engaged the cautery button. He had turned the device up as high as it would go. The first spark ignited the layer of alcohol that had not absorbed into the desiccated skin and like a wild fire spreading through a drought ridden forest, the flames spread over the ancient king’s body. Jillian threw the cautery onto the flames and grabbed Renee’s body. Dragging her across the threshold, he slammed the door. He could hear the creature roaring in anger and the crackle of the flames spreading through a room full of flammable chemicals.
Renee would need a lot of plastic surgery and multiple skin grafts but he would do it, he would make her beautiful again. She at least had something to work with.