Tweeprose: ‘Almost Everything’ by A. N. Gretly (For @AnanRaafat)

The dizzy streets were calmer now, but the noises and the scars of those who walked them seemed to linger on and on to infinity like ghosts of past failures. The air smelt of raw Creekwell nights, like stains of human filth unwashed for years. In reality though (which was something that could be debated, that “reality” thing), the streets of Creekwell City never really emptied. Two bums fought over a wedge of rotten cheese down on Bernard Street; the fight, of course, would only end when one of the bums was dead. A junk dealer leaned on a cracked up red brick wall in a cracked up alley off 42nd Street, pale and thin, shivering in the brisk breeze, bent over from years of scrounging here and there, and striving not to shoot up all that junk he’s supposed to sell and simply end it all. The dealer sniffled, thinking about those old days his drunken father told him about; the days when the government sold their own junk through outlet shacks all over the country. But now the shacks were nothing but splitters, just like the bones of those who tried to make it in that godforsaken city. All in all, it was a typical Creekwell evening.

And since it was a typical night in typical old Creekwell City, the sight of that three-quarters naked girl with the clearly shattered nose did not bother anybody. She limped down Bernard Street, all dirty and bruised, barefoot, and her toes bleeding on the ragged asphalt. The young woman staggered past the bums who still had their own death-match to worry about, panting, more like snorting for air. The pain that she’d been struggling with for the past hours had now subdued to a low hum that ran through her entire body, making her shiver form time to time. She did not know how long she’d been walking, but she knew very well what had caused the state she was it.

It was that damn fucked-up, sick-assed, good-for-nothing, scum-bag truck driver. She thought. The girl kept on repeating that to herself over and over again, trying to assure herself not of the fact that he tried to slice her open like a pig, but of the fact that she’d survived.

Her blue eyes scanned the streets. She knew where she was, or at last a part of her knew, but the other part was thinking about the times before her rape all those years ago, before she sold her body in the Meat Market, and before damned Creekwell City. Something whirled inside her stomach, and she felt it trying to exit her body. She stopped in the middle of the road, and threw up. Her guts twisted and turned, trying to rid themselves of what can only be named as ‘Stomach Demons’, but of course, there was not much to throw up. The blue eyed girl fell to her knees, and a rush of numbness exploded when her skin made first contact with the ground. She fell on her side, and lost consciousness.

***

Young Freddy Holland stood on the sidewalk just outside The Cave bar at the corner of 42nd and St. Martin’s, and tried to listen carefully. There was nothing to hear other than distant gunshots and groans, but no cars. He tapped his white cane on the pavement, and swung it from left to right as he crossed the street. Freddy reached the other side safe and sound, and walked along 42nd street, making sure to stay close to the buildings on his left. He thought about that weird old man back at the bar. What was even weirder was that the question the old man had asked did not even surprise him. It was true, a lot of things had changed ever since Freddy lost his sight. It was like he was beginning to see things clearly; not in a spiritual sense, but literally. The people, the buildings, and the city itself took a strange turn to the macabre in his head, and he did not know how to feel about it.

Freddy made a left turn off 42nd Street, where he heard the sound of violence. That huffing and puffing of rage, along with the pungent smell of sweat. He knew right away that this was Bernard Street, and where he lived. In his head, he saw the two bums fighting, but they weren’t bums at all; they seemed like human/vulture mixture, sick looking, blank eyed, and featherless. Their skin drooped down and hung low on their scrawny necks. There was something else though, a strange stench. Freddy took a deep breath and knew right away. It was the reek of junk mixed with the bile like aroma of the junk user. As he walked, the smell got stronger. He was about to cross the street when his ears picked up something that made him stop right there on the sidewalk. Panting. Muffled moaning. Low groans, as if someone was struggling. Something happened to Freddy, and though he did not understand what that something was, he allowed himself to let it control him. He found himself running across the street. The sounds got louder, and the stench more intense. He stopped in the middle of the road, and raised his cane.

“Get off her, you swine!” Freddy yelled.

He saw him in his head. The junky. What he saw looked sickening. That junky with his dirty ripped pants around his ankles, his legs long and thin, yellow in color with curly black hairs sticking out of his skin. His eyes, as yellow as his complexion, but gleaming like cheap peals. There he was, trying to shove his limp phallus into that poor girl.

“Fuck off.” The junky barked.

Freddy came down with his cane right on the guy’s head. He kept hitting and hitting, left and right in a rage that seemed to have taken over his entire being. Nothing was there to stop him, and frankly, he did not want to stop. It did not take long for the junky to scatter. Freddy heard him hurdling away on all fours like the animal he was.

Freddy Holland dropped his cane as he fell to his knees next to the girl. She smelt of blood, dirty, and vomit. He placed his hand on her body, and found his way to her neck. She was alive. He cupped her face with both hands, and tried to see her inside his mind. She was bloody and dirty alright, but oh so young. She appeared to be very skinny, almost skeletal; skin and bone, really. Freddy thought she looked like a broken bird, sad, and tired.

“Can you wake up, please?” He said as he gently shook her head.

She moaned in reply.

“Hello?” Freddy whispered.

He heard the girl taking a deep breath. The muscles in her face tensed a bit.

“Hello?” He repeated.

“And who are you?” The girl said in an almost inaudible voice that was very nasal.

“My name is Freddy Holland,” He said “Are you okay?”

Freddy felt the girl move her head, she tried to sit up but failed.

“Hello, Freddy Holland,” She said “They call me Angel Eyes.”

 

Now you see it.

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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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