Continued from Part 1
Earl and Keller fidgeted while the mummy Sokolov argued with a bank teller. They dripped mud and sand onto the carpet. The security guard and custodian eyeballed them. Each hated the filth in this city.
"Sir, your ATM card will not work because your account has been suspended."
"As near as I can tell, it is because that you've been declared dead."
"Outrageous!" said the mummy. "What, because of these?" he said, tugging at his cloth wrappings. "How old-fashioned. Can I declare myself undead?"
"You'd have to speak with a lawyer," the teller said.
"Come on," the mummy said, "we'll have to go see my lawyer."
The trio brushed past the security guard and the custodian, who smacked Keller on the back of her leg with a mop.
"Ow," Keller said.
The mummy flicked his hand up and the custodian doubled over, wincing in pain.
"Oh my god, what'd you do to him?!" Earl asked.
"I cursed the burger in his stomach. He'll be right as rain in a day or two, after he poops himself inside out."
The three of them hopped onto a cable car and rode for a few minutes, until they reached a neighborhood whose gutters ran with unalloyed affluence. They stopped in front of a historic building that appeared to be mashed together out of oblong limestone triangles.
"I knew the architect's family, apparently this was designed during his Haunted period. I suppose it served its purpose, since the ghosts stopped taunting him, but it didn't stop his ghost from haunting the damn place after he died," the mummy said. "My attorney works here and thinks that it adds a certain flair to his business. I wonder how he'll feel about me."
The mummy barged past the protesting receptionist and straight into his attorney's inner sanctum.
The attorney stood up and straightened his tie as the mummy burst in. An old man sputtered in his chair.
"What is the meaning of this?" the old man said.
"Scram, you're going to get gouged by your ex-wife and I can't do anything for you anyway. When you get to your fifth wife, break the habit of sleeping with her sister."
The old man exited.
"Ernie!" the mummy said.
"Peter!" Attorney and mummy embraced. "I knew the reaperman wouldn't keep a bastard like you down."
"These are my rescuers," the mummy said. "Sorry, I didn't catch your names, so you'll have to introduce yourselves."
"I'm Hugh Earl," said Earl.
"And I'm Justine Keller," said Keller.
"Wonderful," said Ernie the attorney, immediately forgetting their names.
"I need to get declared undead before those scum-sucking children of mine squander my fortune on motorbikes and gigolos."
"No can do. The Constantinople City Council has removed the statute that recognizes the undead."
"What? But we're the backbone of city commerce! I'll be damned if half the businesses in this town weren't owned by zombies!"
Ernie leaned back in his chair. "Time are changing. The magic's decaying since the Gate to the magical realm was put in place, and those lions of industry have been getting put in theirs. The only money they have anything to do with now is at the funeral homes."
"Can I get declared alive? Say it was all a mistake?"
"And appear before a magistrate as you are? It'll go even worse than when Gruggles the troll tried to get declared human. His bridge was impassable for months."
Earl and Keller looked at each other. They could sense their careers slipping away from them. Keller whispered something in Earl's ear.
"I think we might have a solution," Keller said.
To be continued...
The Moral: Never trust an author not to string you along.