In the middle of great nothingness is the great palace of the divines; a gigantic one made of clear crystal glass that only reflects what stands outside which is nothing but whiteness and glory. A heavenly deep voice echoed the palace vibrating the walls threatening it to break into pieces followed by tens of voices similar yet not as strong as the first one.
“Enough,” the voice said along with a sharp knock on a glass; the vision became clearer revealing what was behind the mighty walls. An endless white room with undefined walls and ceiling; four glass tables and chairs occupied with four people looking anxious and furious in the center.
The tables were arranged in half circle shape, behind it were hundreds of people sitting sharply on white tiers of seats, they all dressed the same; in white maxi long selves robes with hoods covering their heads. Each one had an enchanted beauty that is impossible for man’s eye to sustain, their sharp crystal-clear eyes were staring angrily at one man standing right in the middle across from the four tables.
It was the man’s trail who seemed rather furious than ashamed or guilty. Everyone was eyeing his standing body angrily reflecting every word their leaders said informing them with details of his felony. “We are not here to discuss what you have done or think, we are here to witness your retribution,” the same mighty deep voice said, and it belonged to the one sitting behind the middle table, a woman with sharp features and angelic powerful aura derived from her undeniable strength.
“I have not done anything wrong to be here!” the person standing in the middle shouted angrily— he removed his hood revealing his black hair and strong dominant features that looked different from the rest; it was filled with grudge and seemed somehow foreign to their undeniable angelic beauty— “we are blindfolded, we deserve more than this world.”
“Enough Harut! This is not a game! You crossed your limits! You cannot proceed with your accusations.”
“It is not accusations! It is the truth! Gabriela, those creatures don’t deserve their world, they will destroy it and turn it to ashes! We are more powerful than them, we are luminous, we are divines; we deserve that world, not those weak creatures!”
“Who do you think you are to question who deserves what?!”— Gabriela hit both of her hands sharply on the glass table in front of her— “even if we are powerful, it is not in our nature to question, it is not our role to control destiny.”
“It is not fair or right! Those creatures are capable of hatred and destruction, they are not pure, aren’t you questioning why those weak creatures get it and not us?”
“What are you talking about?” another man sitting on the right table asked suddenly, he looked at Gabriela and saw how she warned Harut from talking further.
Harut’s furious attitude didn’t stop him from trying to tell the rest what put him into this nerve-wracking trial yet before he could spell another word, he stepped closer to Gabriela’s table and looked deeply into her fierce eyes and said, “Admit it, you know I’m right, you know how it will end.”
Her eyes widened with shock and denial. “ENOUGH.” Gabriela stood up and peered furiously at Harut. In a blink of an eye, he kneeled in front of them with metal chains trapping both his hands roughly behind his back and another wide chain covered his mouth and chin. “lock him,” she told one of the divines sitting behind her and then walked away and her body slowly disappeared into thin air. As the rest of the divines watched her go; one of them glimpsed Harut looking rather amused than scared.
Alexandria, Egypt, April 17, 1974, 12:00 am.
In a breezy spring night, the city was quiet and peaceful with silver diffuse of moonlight covering a hundred-year-old mansion on the Mediterranean Sea coast owned by the Abaza family generation after generation. This night the entire house was a block of darkness except for one room with dim lights and heavy cigar smoke. The room was enormous with walls covered in books line after line and many certificates and prizes all with the same name and title.
The novelist Ramzi Abaza.
Tones of pictures all over the walls of the room with one person in common; a man throughout the years from his late twenties till his mid-sixties; he had light blue hooded eyes with an intense yet warm look. Ramzi was sitting on a traditional brown leather carver chair next to an opened balcony door, a cigar half-smoked, and a glass of water on the table next to him. He was shaking his legs roughly as he stared at the door intensely.
His eyes shifted from the door to the clock next to it, before it hit midnight, he stood up and opened a safe embedded behind the massive row of books next to the balcony from the right. He opened the heavy door of the safe and it revealed an ancient book with unique symbols on its dark-brown leather cover. He grabbed the book slowly and went back to his chair, he left the book on the table next to him and inhaled the thick smoke of the cigar.
He looked intimidated, yet his body was moving rather fast racing the clock before it strikes midnight, he flipped the pages until he reached the page number six hundred sixty-six. He took another deep breath and then read it out loud, he looked at the clock and then held the glass. The ground vibrated from below and the lights flickered rapidly, it was a minor earthquake.
Beads of sweats covered his forehead as the white colored door with engraved flowers changed along with the vibrations into a bigger one painted in brown with hieroglyphics engraved all over it. The vibration faded away; Ramzi got up leaving the book on the table then went to the door to open it.
On the other side was a different room that has its unique vibe, the door opened to a metal railing and stairs, he looked down and saw a middle age man sitting on a burgundy couch with a coffee mug between his fingers, he looked at Ramzi and smiled. “Hello old friend, are you ready to pay your dues?” Pulse beating in his ears, blocking out any other sound. Ramzi couldn’t talk, his fear of what will happen to him left him completely paralyzed.
Chefchaouen, Morocco, November 7, 2023.
Heavy panting, fast running along with adrenaline-pumping inside his terrified veins, beads of sweat covered his small forehead. Nothing made sense, nothing seemed real, yet the feeling of terror was the most genuine thing he ever felt in his entire life. His pace was getting faster with every step, the air felt sticky and suffocating and his legs started to feel numb. His eyes shifted sharply into the fast view in front of him; it was dark and unfamiliar to his aghast soul.
He stopped suddenly catching his long-gone breath, he looked at his shaking legs and his bloody hands that rested briefly on his weak knees. “Not again,” he said and resumed running. The darkness began to fade slowly with every fast leap he took; he didn’t stop running until his eyes glimpsed something forcing him to stop roughly and almost falling from the horrific place, he was in.
A massacre was a simple word encounter with what he saw. His breath stuck between his lungs refusing to get out of his unsteady body, his hands were shaking uncontrollably, and his warm tears ran over his hot burning cheeks hurting him, yet he couldn’t move, he couldn’t believe his own eyes, he couldn’t believe it was too late. Aside from his fast-beaten heart, no muscle dared to move closer, he felt ravaged and enraged.
The city that was no longer recognized filled with burning dead bodies, shredded flesh, and running blood, his nose itched terribly from the unbearable smell of blood running between demolished buildings that looked like waterfall covering the cracked ground mixed with burning flesh.
Everything seemed slow and almost not moving; he blinked his eyes once waking himself up from the heart-dropping shock. A horrific cry filled his ears forcing him to move his head toward it; dark cold black shadowy figure standing far, the city was dim almost completely dark, yet that large figure stood out clearly. Something behind it gave the figure an absolute light and aura that seemed foreign to it.
His body moved on its own; walking in a leap to stop the dark figure even though he didn’t know how or what it was, he kept his pace and stopped again when his vision became clear, and he saw exactly what it was. A young tall, muscled man wearing an endless black cloth with an oversized hood, nothing was visual from the man’s body, but his tall defined figure clear underneath the black undefined cloth that looked merged with the cracked ground.
Hundreds of black wisps flew around his figure, the man moved to the left revealing what was giving him all this light. Behind the wisps was a beautiful woman with a devastating face and shaking beaten body and unstopped bleeding back, next to her were bright golden feathers laying on the ground with splashed blood over it.
The man laughed at her begging state and mercilessly hacked his right hand in the middle of her uprising chest, the woman screamed painfully; around his black veined hand, an unsustainable light came from within her weak standing body. He twitched his hand inside her chest, she screamed even louder almost sounded like a banshee crying threatened the ground to fissure deeper.
With his other hand caressing her raven hair, he watched her last tears ran over her luminous pink cheeks before he ripped her heart out, the light that was covering his hand inside her erupted violently over the last pieces of the city along with screams of the last two men standing.
“NO!” he screamed— jumping from his bed and falling hard on his face on the rough ground of his bedroom, he looked at his bed almost not believing his luck that he was back in his room; safe and sound— the room’s light turned on and his eyes laid on the beautiful woman sitting on the bed looking at him terrified.
“Nabil! Are you okay?” she said with a voice filled with terror and sleepiness. He looked at his wife who also looked safe and sound and sighed loudly. He stood up and went back to their bed next to her. She caressed his back whispering sweet words into his left ear, he held her other hand tightly with tears ran over his face. “same nightmare?” she asked softly after wiping his warm tears.
He didn’t answer, he just nodded and buried his sweaty head between her arms forcing her to lay back and hug him tightly. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, it keeps happening every time.” he said after a while.
“What happened this time?” she asked, kissing his forehead.
“It’s not a nightmare anymore… it’s a vision.”
She flinched and move her arms away from his body, looking shocked. “What? Are you sure it’s not just a dream?!” his tears ran again over his face, he was overwhelmed. “but… you can’t have visions! How is that even possible!”
“She told me… it’s a vision…” he said, resting on his back.
“She… oh my god you mean—”
“Jalila.” A loud gasp slipped from his wife, both resting on their backs freaking out.