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  • Writer's pictureAmr Abbas

No Rest for the Wicked

This story was originally exhibited in the Small Change Creative Writing Exhibition at Malmö University, 2022

The soft breeze whistled softly through the tree branches. The woods were silent, dark and calm. Yet, despite the gloom of the weather, the clouded sky that shaded the light of the moon and the piercing frosts that bit through my bones, there was a serene feeling about; a feeling of solitude that I was not familiar with.

The crisp air filled my lungs as I threw my head back and rested it on the back of the bench. Certainly, the cold was just a little too much, but it didn’t bother me too much. It was just a short break and then I was going to get back on my way. All that I needed was a brief rest from the busy life of the city.

To say that I was a regular at this spot would be a lie. But every time I would drive by, I would glance at that lonely seat at the beginning of the forest and I would imagine myself sitting on it. My day dreams of the past year and a half had finally come to fruition as I found myself resting on that weathered green bench.

A soft sigh escaped me, but all of the sudden a feeling of unease overtook me. I opened my eyes and there I saw a pair of emerald green eyes looking at me, studying me carefully. A soft smile curved her lips; her ashen hair flowed like ashes in the wind and there, I felt as if the cold had grown even colder; the air I breathed grew denser and my muscles that were just relaxing suddenly turned stiff.

“What brings you to my woods?” she asked in a voice sharper than knives and with a glance that froze the blood in my veins and made my heart race in my chest.

“I…” I said, “I do not know. I just wanted a change of scenery.” I struggled to bring the words out of my mouth.

She approached me and her long fingers pressed onto my neck; her nails dug into my skin and pierced me. I immediately held my arms out and pushed back, but she reached with her other hand and I could feel her claws going at me. I pushed her hard, she hissed and came right back at me. This time, her whole body was vibrating and I could feel her weight crushing my chest.

And then I woke up!

I woke up to see the green eyes of my off-white cat on top of me, his claws on my neck and chest as he purred away to wake me up. I pushed him off me gently and he jumped right back on the bed next to me, meowing at the top of his lungs. Perhaps I shouldn’t have changed his dry food after all.

Written by Amr Abbas.

Cover photo by Wilhelm Gunkel.


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