Prologue

Smokey tendrils wrapped themselves tauntingly around the man who was not a man as it stumbled through the tall glass doors into the downtown café. The thing, whose name had once been Nour, stood there dressed in a stained galabeya looking around, not feeling the slight caress from the chess player’s smoke to its left.

Mustafa stared at the man from across the room nursing a bottle of Stella.  Taking the cigarette out of his mouth and accidentally ashing on his designer jeans, he gazed at the man with his dark brown eyes.  He watched the man’s jaw working frantically.  The high ceilings of the café were great for reducing heat, but the rectangular columns placed throughout and the odd angles of the room made it horrible for acoustics.  Moreover, he could not hear what the thing was saying, if anything intelligible at all, above the growing din of the Thursday afternoon crowd.

The chess players ignored him too intent on their games, and everyone else was too interested in their company or their drinks.  Only the waiter kept an eye on the man, but he did not get up from his seat.

“He has been standing there for too long,” thought Mustafa taking another sip of beer.

The light almost, fizzy concoction was heavenly.  To a first time drinker, it may have been stale, but for Mustafa, who worked long hours at the nearby stock exchange, it was respite from the shambles his life had become.  He regretted turning to drink as a solution, but he would never leave it.  Resting his beer on his small but developing beer gut, head sinking into his chest and stubble tickling his neck, Mustafa continued to stare the man, seeing but not really seeing him.  He pondered how difficult it was being an alcoholic in a society where drinking is prohibited by Islam.  Granted, it was freer than some Muslim countries, but it was still hard facing his coworkers some of them who were devout Muslims.

“It would matter for much longer though,” he thought, picturing the hot roof of the stock exchange at midday, “Just one quick leap.”

The man who was not a man who stank of sweat and desperation began to moan.

“Uhhhhhh…”

It would start of strong and end in little more than a whisper.  It seemed to come from the very pit of its stomach voicing the oppression, the suffering, and the hunger it had had in its life.  This man’s life, as with many of the poor, lived in a constant state of hunger; it was their curse.  Its curse.  Except the curse was different now.  It did not see it as a curse; it did not see it as anything.  Just a need—a need for flesh.

With that first moan and the two more after it, the café fell silent.  Mustafa’s eyes flicked to the waiter who had stood up and started walking towards the man.  In that instant, the slight tension that Mustafa had felt while watching the odd man turned into fear.  Coincidentally, it was also the start of the carnage.

The nearest chess player’s table was within arm’s reach or anyone entering, and it didn’t take long for the creature to step, bend down, and sink his teeth into the bulging fat of the closest player’s neck.  The fat prevented it from reaching the artery which it sought.  Blood gushing down the brown coat of the rotund man, the thing bit again.  The man struggled with the wound sending blood soaked chess pieces flying.  He collapsed to the floor still grasping the rook he had been about to move as if it would be enough to get him across the Acheron.  He had not made a sound.

The waiter now just a few feet away from the man put his hand up to subdue the creature.  The monster took this opportunity, clearing the five feet that separated them, to bite off his fingers.  As the waiter recoiled in shock, the monster spit the fingers, moved in, and tore out his throat as well.  Within the space of a few seconds, two Egyptian men lay dying silently pooling in their own blood.

Then it seemed everything happened at once.  People moved; rickety chairs were overturned and drinks were left forgotten or knocked off the table. Living human beings tried to get away from the savage murderer.  They rushed to the large windows kicking out the loose fitting wooden boards which had been erected for privacy.  The creature blocked the only actual entrance by its sheer presence, but it quickly evacuated that space in search of more sustenance.  Moving to the right, it headed towards Mustafa’s side, a now chaotic and dysfunctional mass of static furniture and frantic human beings.

Mustafa sat calmly as people scrambled around him.  He watched an obviously foreign woman, dressed in tight jeans and a black shirt with white polka dots push aside an old man in a crumpled business suit who had been trying to climb out the window.  He lost his balance on the sill, and his head hit the ground with an ugly smack.  He didn’t get back up.

“Perhaps, if I stay still enough, it won’t see me, or perhaps, I should go,” his beer fuddled mind told him, following a logic that only makes sense after too much alcohol, “Perhaps, I don’t want to leave.”

His decision was made for him as the creature knocked the bottle from its perch and ripped open his stomach with his teeth tearing through clothing with an ecstatic abandon.  Mustafa didn’t so much as move not really feeling the pain through his alcohol desensitized nerves.  His last thoughts were of the roof and how the sun had shone so brightly on that yellow paint.

By this time, the café had emptied.  Mustafa’s cigarette lay on the ground still smoking as the creature began to feast, regenerating itself. 

10 Comments

  1. aahhh… a fitting end for old mustafa. perhaps coming from a wildest dream form your subconscious to take care of an early nemesis. i like this so far – and the picture at the beginning of the blog adds to the creepability!

  2. Considering Mustafa was real, I hope this doesn’t happen when I visit.

    I really liked that first paragraph.

    Please continue writing.

  3. thanks. for the first post, this is good to hear!

  4. Watch your grammar!
    The story got so much better as I kept reading. By that I mean it got stronger. The beginning was a little weak.

  5. hey can i ask is this thing just a horror novel or does it have a lil romance in it??
    boys dont get mad but i like for there to be a relationship going on in the books i read.
    thanks 🙂
    bye

  6. kayla-there is no romance in this book. sorry.

  7. Vamperious shit…

  8. i feel it gets pretty monstrous.

  9. Its such a beautiful intro bt d entance ws kinda dull am sure its gonna come out jst fine.

  10. Wow. The start is amazing. Great.


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