The Square

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my first attempt at creative writing. I'd like your honest opinions.

Submitted: July 03, 2017

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Submitted: July 03, 2017

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“I’m almsot threre!” Kareem typed on his phone, his fingers trembling. He glanced at his message, decided not to bother correcting it and pressed “send”, only to be greeted with a red exclamation mark. He pressed again, nothing. “Bastards, they must be blocking it again”, he thought. He slipped his phone into his pocket as he turned a corner, a few youngsters ran past him while shouting excitedly.

Kareem was met with the sight and the smell of smoke, and people running purposely towards the thick of it, and shadowy figures in the distance doing things he could not discern from where he stood. He froze for a moment, and tried to take it all in; the place was familiar to him, yet its current state was far from it. Tahrir Square, he had been here many times, often visiting that soot-covered behemoth of a building in the distance. A bureaucratic hellhole, it was, where paperwork goes to exist in a prolonged state of limbo, retrievable only with a well-placed bribe. The square was almost unrecognizable now, someone had set a pile of car tires on fire, blocking one side street, a bent light pole was propped up by the building next to it, and there was a seemingly endless number of people.

He suppressed a weak cough and continued walking, unsure of where to go. But just as he was taking his fifth step, he heard a loud succession of bangs. The crowd in front of him immediately parted, like a school of fish evading a predator. Unlike the fish though, this crowd was not very agile, and their escape from the yet unseen predator was chaotic. Within moments, he could see the unmoving bodies of a few people on the floor, with blotches of red smeared on their chests and their heads. The predators were visible only a second later, heavily armored and armed, their eyes darting around, already prospecting for new victims.

Kareem could not think, could not look away, and could not move his feet for what felt like an eternity. He came to his senses as someone grabbed his arm, dragging him along and shouting. His heart contracted heavily as he turned to look at his presumed captor, but no, it was a girl with a skinny build and long, dark hair tied back with a bright ribbon. She pointed towards the narrow street he had come from, and he started to run. He looked towards the scene of the carnage, and was terrified to see that the soldiers were running after them. He ran like he had never run before, only to realize the girl was falling behind, she was limping, she was slow. He slowed down his pace to allow her to catch up. The soldiers were approaching fast, their shouts becoming more audible. The girl tripped and fell with a gasp, her arms extended to break her fall. “Get that bitch!” one of the soldiers shouted. Kareem came to an abrupt halt, she looked up to him, “Help me”, she said, raising her right hand towards him. Her hair had come undone in her fall; he thought she kind of looked like his sister. Kareem moved his left foot, taking a step in her direction, intending to help her as she had helped him. As he took that step, he looked at the soldiers, and he saw one of them raising his rifle. Kareem paused, tentatively turned his head in the opposite direction, then withdrew his left foot, changed directions, and proceeded to run.


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