‘The Paper-men’ by Ahmed Nader Gretly

Silhouetted bodies of Paper-men hovered wearily like echos of forgotten pasts. They swam through the intense white light of their mighty creator, mingling in hollowed voices, striving to find their way back home. They journeyed on and on and on in the infinity of it all, like dust particles amid a lazy afternoon sun. On their path by a small lake they met two young Naiads dressed in moist lace gowns, greenish in hue, that stuck to their slender bodies, outlining their small breasts, baring their pearly skin, and caramel nipples.

“Where is home?” The Paper-men asked in collective whispers “Where is home?”

The young Naiads smiled their crooked smiles, and their cheeks turned a brilliant pink. Giggling, they simultaneously gestured their arms toward the west, and dived back into their lake.

The Paper-men wafted again towards their destination, yearning to be whole again. They searched and searched for some sort of divine sign, or any kind of guide that would help them find what was once theirs, what they once possessed and held dear but have so foolishly let go of. They wandered, lost in the endless smoke of their burning past, those Paper-men, and their immortal sadness.

After three eternities and a few lifetimes, they came upon a vast and desolate beach. A lonesome woman strolled in the white sand, barefooted, wearing a short black dress. A light breeze blew from the sea and ruffled the woman’s short dark hair, as well as the Paper-men themselves. The woman stopped and faced the sea, and the Paper-men closed in behind her.

“Where is home?” The Paper-men asked in collective whispers “Where is home?”

The woman in the short black dress did not look back, she merely raised an arm and pointed out beyond the surf. The Paper-men followed her index finger and saw a mammoth castle amidst the waves. They rushed whimsically towards their home, but the moment they dove in the cold water; they began to dissolve.

“Now you see it,” The woman in the short black dress smiled at the withering Paper-men “Now you don’t.”


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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