From Another Realm: The Day Cairo Fell

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Written by Haisam Elkewidy

View of Al Tahrir Square
View of Al Tahrir Square

Nobody at the radio company wanted to verify this lead, so I smuggled one of their car keys and secretly drove to Tahrir Square. The story I just heard had no precedent in how bloated, or fictional, it was. But the outcry of many civilians at the square proved too much to ignore; they simply couldn’t be considered insane if their reactions were going this viral on the internet or even forcing an immediate evacuation of the section. People even called onto the Armed Forces’ help and, while they listened, even they appeared to prove incapable of addressing the phenomenon.

That was enough to get me to drive there.

So with a stolen FIAT 128, I cruised along the empty Corniche (waterside), and parked near El Mogama3 upon arrival to Tahrir Square. First observation noted; the people had completely abandoned the square and left the cars parked near the buildings. It was a nightmare to try and find a parking spot, even though by that logic I could simply leave the vehicle in the middle of the road. Nevertheless, I legally parked the car and pulled out my recording camera gear.

I started capturing footage. Abiding by the rumors and eyewitness accounts, I surveyed the entire square through my camera and examine all tenets of it.

Second observation; a large circular hole had been punctured out of the Egyptian Museum. Splitting the building in half, it looked like it would snap in, too. The entrance gates, and the protecting barricades surrounding them, were flattened and severely deformed. The black metal fragments were twisted and twirled, spiraling around themselves as they lay broken on the grass adorning the square. No guards were in sight.

Then I turned my attention to the hotels and the buildings.

Third observation; the Semiramis and Nile Ritz Carlton Hotels were as equally destroyed as the Museum itself. The middle section of the Ritz-Carlton exterior was missing, including its balconies and facades. It looked like something had walked right through it and took the entire section of the hotel off with it. I couldn’t even read Semiramis on the hotel logo, only Semi-. That very thought scared me like no other.

The other buildings were far worse than that.

Fourth observation; towering structures, surrounding the square, looked half-gone with no foundation to complete them. Where there were once buildings, there are now empty spaces as though something had plucked the buildings out of the ground and took them somewhere else.

I started sensing my feet stepping on something, and checked the ground below me. Fifth observation; I discover there are rocks of a different composition to the asphalt.  With a light brown color, they were reflective under sunlight, and old – ancient even. I picked up the material and scrutinized it, eventually identifying it as limestone.

Sixth observation; the street had numerous large indentations in the asphalt. They almost passed as human footprints, but not verbatim. At first I suspected Bigfoot, but sasquatches were not common in this temperate and humid climate. So it had to be something else.

Tahrir Square being abandoned in this state, at this early hour in the morning, would not be considered normal. So to that end, I confirmed a certain truth to the rumors. Yet I’m shocked why people attributed them to the imagination of museum gatekeepers. The public notoriously accused them of superstition whenever bizarre stories arose out of this particular square.

Thump.

My feet jolted, lightly jumping off the asphalt and quickly landing. My knees shake, and I firmly grasp the camera handles while trying to identify the source of the impact.

Thump.

At this point, I’m nervous beyond control. Swaying the camera at any proper direction, I try to identify the culprit. It became obvious to me that something was amiss, and the workers at my company deemed the rumors a bunch of ‘bogus’, claiming that the Museum Gatekeepers created this bogus to try and promote more awareness for Egyptian artifacts. They always attributed stories like this to Gatekeepers. What antagonized me the most, was their lack of curiosity and their sense of duty toward uncovering a story that took this much attention in such a short while. 

Thump.

That sound no longer was superstition. My camera lens still capturing the footage, swaying the video to try and find the monsters behind El Mogama3 and other towering edifices. I’m legitimately scared for my life, to the point that I start taking many steps back in an attempt to head for Qasr El Nile bridge. I’m searching for a way out while trying to get a scoop.

And then they surfaced.

Looking to the northeast, I saw the buildings eclipse brown heads trying to rummage through the labyrinthine, hectic neighborhoods. Two heads, to be specific. Large hands grabbed the sides of the towers and with but a slight push tore off the buildings from their foundations and threw them aside. The structures hovered like projectiles, plummeting eventually into the Nile…

I wanted to scream; silence escaped my throat instead.

Realigning the camera to my face, I lowered the lens so that it captured the faces resurfacing at the middle of the square. The faces became bodies, and the bodies were towering colossi, at least thirteen meters tall, rampaging through the streets like leviathans unleashing their wrath on the Egyptians. I clutched the camera with my two hands, aiming for my face and eventually disregarding the colossi destroying the victory landmark right in the square center.

I couldn’t see myself on the screen anymore, indicating that my camera battery had died out. I rushed to the Fiat 128, fully cognizant that I would not outpace that beast in a race for my life.

Clank. Clank. Claaaank.

Metal flattened onto asphalt, and the sound caught my attention. I looked above me, and watched as the colossus of Akhenaton stepped in front of El Mogama3. That had only meant one thing.

Akhenaton crushed the stolen Fiat 128 into a large, flattened sheet of scrap metal.

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