‘Lust’ By Ahmed Nader

The wind blew as the last truck drove out of the lot in front of Danny’s diner, only oil stains oozed its way through the asphalt. A full moon sailed behind dark clouds as a man in black walked through the parking lot. Danny stood behind the counter when the bronze bell that hung over the door rang, the man dressed in black walked in and the door closed behind him with a thump. The sound of Johnny Cash echoed through the diner, the diner’s owner hummed with the jukebox’s rhythm as his crusty hand held a dirty piece of cloth, he moved the cloth in circles whipping the greasy counter. The man in black sat on a stool on Danny’s left; he took off his hat and placed it gently on the counter.

The middle aged man who kept rubbing the counter with no hope fixed his eyes on the man who sat in silence; he noticed the deep grooves of wrinkles on the man’s face but somehow could not put an age on him.

“You know that’s dirty.” Danny said

The man did not answer; he seemed to be staring in to his glove covered hands. Silence.

“What will it be buddy?” Danny asked as he put on his apron that hung next to the payphone by the kitchen window.

The man took his eyes off his hands and peered at Danny with light green eyes. He stared at him for a few moments; a grin formed on his lips, small white teeth appeared behind the grin.

“Where did you get that scare Danny?” the man in black said; his voice hoarse, like a man who’d been smoking for years and years.

Danny put his palm on his forehead covering a fresh scare, folds formed between his eye brows remembering the blond dame who scratched him earlier as he tried to rape her.

“Them wild cat chicks get crazy sometimes.” he said forcing a smile.

“I see,” the man said without returning the smile “You’re not married Danny, aren’t you?”

“Thank God I’m not sir.”

“I see you like the ladies. Why, you have pictures of pinup girls all over the place.” the man said

“My love and joy sir.”Danny chuckled “There ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.”

The man in black stood up “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Danny stared at the man who stood in front of the counter in bewilderment “What are you, a priest?” his tone became a little bit louder, he felt sweat droplets leaching out of his skin.

“You wish!” the man in black yelled as he disappeared leaving a trail of black smoke behind him. Outside the diner a dog howled to the full moon which broke its way through the clouds, the sound of sand and dead leaves banged on the wooden building’s walls and Danny trembled as his heart beats began to hasten. The diner’s owner ran behind the counter and out of the diner into the parking lot, his grease stained apron flapped on his knees. The sound of thunder smashed as the storm picked up, he tripped and fell on to the asphalt. He turned to look towards the diner which heaved in the wind, the black smoke descended on Danny. The man’s face appeared through the smoke, his eyes no longer green now different shades of white. The man’s hands emerged from the black smoke; one hand grabbed the other and slid the glove off. Bones, only bones, no skin or flesh, just bones. The man’s scrawny index finger starched with a cracking sound towards Danny who lay catatonic on the oil stained lot.

“Have mercy!” he wept.

“Only God has mercy!” the man in black roared and his bony finger touched Danny’s bottom lip, opening his mouth “I am the angel of death.”

The black smoke entered Danny’s mouth, filling his lungs. He kicked and screamed as the last bit of smoke entered his body; a burning sensation he’d never felt before took over his body, devouring him from the inside. His eyes turned white and his face twisted and turned as if there were snakes crawling under his skin, he began to claw his face until his flesh pealed, life a rotten orange, Danny was done for. The swirling yellow leaves ceased its motion and silence fell across the parking lot, a red sign that said ‘Danny’s Diner’ flashed as the whispering sound of wind echoed the word ‘Lust’.



About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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