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!

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