From Another Realm: June Competition

Written by Mariem ELTagoury

So you think you can write? Practice your writing skills and show us what you’ve got!

Contest Rules:

  • Submissions start from today 1/6/2014 to the end of the week 7/6/2014.
  • Stories are to be submitted as a word document attachment in an email to [email protected]
  • Winner gets his/her story published next Thursday 12/6/2014, via Cairo Contra.
  • Submit a short story of no more than 500 words, with a title, and picture based on the background theme included in the piece bellow.
from upper left clockwise; the Baron 1941, the open terrace, the revolving staircase, the Baron
from upper left clockwise; the Baron 1941, the open terrace, the revolving staircase, the Baron

Before the end of the nineteenth century a palace, the likes of a Hindus temple, rose out of the desert lands of Egypt; erected by the Belgian Baron Empain. Now bare the palace was once home to many riches, luxurious paintings, gilded doors and extravagant Belgian mirrors; it is rumoured that beneath the palace are many chambers and tunnels, one which leads to the Baron’s tomb. But that is naught what gives the palace its eerie reputation.

It started with the unexplained death of two of its residents, the first was the wife Helena, who fell to her death from the main tower’s architecturally unique 360 degrees revolving stairs; the second was the death of the depressed daughter a few years later who was found dead in one of the basement chambers from unknown causes. Later the limping, epileptic Baron would head for his homelands, leaving the palace to his play boy son. The reputation of the haunted palace grew as it lay uninhabited and barren for years and was later rumoured in the 80s to be inhabited by Satanists where they would make a nightly appearance to perform sadistic rituals, it is rumoured that there symbolic marks are engrave on the walls of the palace. In 1997 the palace was an attraction for youth concerts; which stopped after 2 boys and a girl disappeared while dancing in one of the chambers.

Who owned the palace since 1952 to 2005, when the government decided to buy it, remains a mystery. No one knows if the palace is haunted or not but it is known that it never stays open to the public for long until its doors are abruptly shut for no reason, to be left in its dark tranquillity before a new official decides to barricade its lands with further nuisance from the public. The longest the palace was open to the public was two months in 2005.

Submit your story based on the Baron Palace, its reputation and history. The era and genre (romance horror, gothic, etc…) of the story is entirely up to you, the writer.

Pens up everyone! May the best fiction writer win!

For further inquiries or information you are welcome to send us an email at [email protected] or send us a message via our Facebook page.


Mariem El Tagoury

I am a graduate from German University Cairo. Reading novels is my passion and writing is my release. My guilty pleasures include fashion & playing around with my make-up kit. A couple of years back when I was introduced to the online world, back in 2007; I was quite surprised that in spite of the presence of thousands of young Egyptians who follow the online sphere daily, there wasn’t one site that represented us or our lifestyle. [Later we’d come to see the rise of the political, religion, social-elite, and foodie websites, but still the voice of the average Cairene youth was missing.] I was glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one who had the feeling of the outsider on the internet, that’s why I decided to gather a team to fill a gap & finally find our place online and give Cairo’s youth a real voice that reflects its true culture. I hope you find our site interesting with a new view of life. Besides running the magazine & editing, I write the “Sans Sugarcoating” column, pardon my french, and a couple of other stuff around here! If you want to contact me, my email is [email protected]; you can also use our contact form or email directly to [email protected]

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