Amr Nasser the Explorer of Ideas (Featured Writer (12019/01/10)

My featured writers have brought us around the world, from Kenya to Japan/France, Alaska to Australia, and mostly around our back door. I ask yet again that you take in the words of someone across the globe from most of you, my readers. This week, I’d like you to look at Amr Nasser from Egypt.

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He is the kind of writer who is fascinated with a broadening scope of subjects. Spending much of his time reading, he told me his interests range from Psychology to Physics. His career goals are in medicine, and it is refreshing to know that some aspiring doctors have not only an interest in a wide range of subjects but take the time to study them as well.

To be honest, he reminds me of myself, but a smarter better educated version. His interests are similar and so is his schedule, yet I feel humbled in making this comparison- Nasser has talent. His stories tend to reflect on three points- or as he calls them, sparks: understanding conscious, life, and the general concept concerning the Big Bang.

His short book, Earthware, contains several jaw dropping moments in clarity that I am thankful writers are touching upon. His stories reveal just the amount you need to know- just the amount to get you thinking and wondering. They are quick and easy reads often with a profoundness that shows the well rounded mind from which they were created. The book is a young work, Nasser is still perfecting his craft- but well worth the read.

The story I chose is the second of 20 in Earthware, Carma. It is a story that resonates with me personally. Is it the best story in the book? No, but it makes you feel. And that is a magical thing to me- I believe this story gives you the character behind the writer that I see, a kind thoughtful man considering his world and its realities- considering what it means to be human.

*I do not own any rights to any story or to any creative license to any work by Amr Nasser. This is a featured post that I do not claim to own nor have I altered the text contained in any way except to format it to my website. All images and texts you see are from Amr Nasser himself with my understanding as to his permission to use them. Consider this statement a void of the Creative Commons to this page on this website.*

 

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Carma

She rang all night. Rang for help. She rang and called and shouted, while the thugs broke her, pried her open, poked around in her, violated her, and robbed her. Her screams echoed in the damp, half empty street. People dared not interfere; no, worse, they would not interfere. Over the noise of the beating and the slapping and the manhandling, she caught that faint, most repulsive sound of them all, the hurried little steps of passersby scurrying on the other side of the road. In her mind’s eye, she could see the askance looks and their craven faces deformed into a grimace or a frown. She could even hear their thoughts, wishing she would stop making such a fuss that loaded them with responsibility they hesitated to meet and gnawed at their consciences. Wishing she never existed, if that was what it would take.

The scum assailants finished with her quickly. No one answered the pleas while it was happening. A voice blurted from some vague location nearby, a balcony or a window perhaps, yelling at her, shouting down her wailing at that hour of the night. Sorry to inconvenience you so, she thought, if only you did what little you could do to help and dialed the police. Cued by the shout, the mob finally decided she was being louder than acceptable, and with one final blow they silenced her.

***

He found her at dawn, shattered all over the ground, battered useless.
“NO!” The man was horrified.

He ran to her and went round, watching it pried open at the door; holding the bent, charred metal at various points; inspecting the dented surface, the broken headlights, the messed up interior, and the alarm—destroyed and thrown off to the sidewalk.

“Has anyone called the cops?” He yelled to the small crowd that had started to collect.

“You bastard!”
It came from behind him. A female voice.

The crowd stirred somewhere and then parted. A woman came forward in slow, easy, measured steps. The rain had picked up again and kept hitting his eyes shut. He squinted at her.

“You’re doing it all wrong.”
It was his ex-wife, he was surprised to find.

“Have you forgotten what it was like?”

Why was she here? Was that her doing? No, it was too big a vandalism for a small woman to carry out.

She stopped several steps away and gestured to the vehicle. “You’re caring. You’re showing emotion,” she said, in a low, snide voice.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he said.

“Do you cherish that piece of metal? More than you cherished me, if you ever did?” she continued, ignoring him.

He looked around; the people watching weren’t certain what was happening. He hated them now and wished they would go away. He wasn’t going to be tried and slandered in front of strangers.

“When the same thing happened to me, you never consoled me. You never bore to touch me afterwards, not once.” Her voice was breaking as she ended the last part with a laugh, pointing to him.

He was suddenly aware of his hand gripping the metal surround of the now-gone windshield. He withdrew it in reflex.

“You never tried to pull me up and put me back together, you just DIVORCED ME!” she shouted those two words. They echoed off the same surfaces and corners as the car alarm did a few hours ago, and as her cries did a little over a year ago.

His eyes had got used to the rain by then.

He wasn’t answering her. He wasn’t doing anything, really. Just standing stiff, acutely selfconscious, staring wide-eyed at her like some threatened animal, his heart thudding in his chest, his attention divided and overwhelmed between her and the damaged car. Each one of her words a slap across his face. Each whisper between the people seeing them a crack in his ego.

“Not. Here,” he finally got out, through gritted teeth.

“Does it need the affection, more than I did? Does it need support?” Her voice was plain lecturing a child now. “Or were you doing that for your own sake, as you do everything?”

“Are you saying I care more about a car than I did about you—is that what you’re trying to say? That’s ridiculous.” It came out weak.

She stared in disbelief. “I’m not contrasting myself with a chunk of metal. I’m contrasting you with a normal human being.”

The rug was being pulled from under his feet. He couldn’t understand, his car lay bashed to pieces behind him. The victim here was supposed to be him, not his ex-wife, and not really his car either.

A synapse connected somewhere in his brain after that last part. He considered it more. It took him a moment to realize he may have said it out loud too. His ex-wife shifted to the other foot and her mouth opened as though in a silent gasp. A murmur began from the crowd.

The woman finally broke stance and reached down. He saw her grabbing a rock and managed to duck just in time as she flung it at his head. The rock dashed through one of the car windows and shattered the glass all over the wet street. He didn’t look behind.
She turned and left exactly as she had come, in a relaxed, steady walk. Most of the crowd trooped off after her, going about their own business. They all left now, just like the man, pathetic and shamed, had wished. He forgot about the car. Instead, there was a strong tug forward, in their direction, as if he was reduced to a child with abandonment issues.

This all went pretty badly, the thought pervaded him, but it could’ve easily been otherwise. He saw it. He saw himself doing better when his then wife was raped. He saw yesterday and he was parking elsewhere. He saw his ex-wife and she was taking a different street, or staying homesick. He saw himself only moments ago, and he was handling it smoothly this time, arguing back, and cast as less guilty as possible.
He saw all those timelines; they felt so close he could almost leap the invisible barrier to them; so real he could be standing in them already. He willed them so strongly he thought the gears of the ancient, single-destined arrow of time were really giving way, creaking and rattling and upheaving an untold amount of dust on a once-per-eternity journey to look the other way.

But none of that was actually happening. He considered the thought like he had done a short while back. Again, all the great lengths he imagined, all the breaks in the natural order that jumped to his head, would be meant to change his own current moment of inconvenience. To make him feel better. He was thinking in a self-centered manner again.

So he stood, waiting, drenched in the sheets of rain that seemed to wash any filth but his, until the cops arrived.

*I do not own any rights to any story or to any creative license to any work by Amr Nasser. This is a featured post that I do not claim to own nor have I altered the text contained in any way except to format it to my website. All images and texts you see are from Amr Nasser himself with my understanding as to his permission to use them. Consider this statement a void of the Creative Commons to this page on this website.*

 

If you think you might like to give Earthware a read, I highly recommend you do, you can find it on smashwords here. In the next coming months you’ll see a review of it from me as well there- as I had promised to do so when he sent me his book. I suggest you leave a review as well- it only makes a writer smile, after all. You can find Amr Nasser on social media here, and promoting his book here. He likes webcomics so there’s always a good laugh or two when you see him on the newsfeed. The ebook itself is about 64 pages, and it reads easily and enjoyably.

Nasser may have some learning in his road ahead, but he writes just fine and that sort of thing only gets better with time.

Best of luck Amr, I hope you find success in both your writing and in your noble pursuit of medicine. Hopefully when next we speak I’ll be calling you Dr. Nasser! Keep writing, my friend, and keep learning.

 

_____

 

*Extra*
I love doing this. Featuring other writers is a chance for me to learn about my craft, and to expand my abilities beyond what they were before. Now, as you well know, I read the work of these writers before I feature them, maybe not everything they create, but I try to get a feel for an author as I plow through what they’ve written. This means that every time I do one of these, I not only do it for free, but I also tend to pay full price for the work I feature. That means I not only donate my time, but my income to make these features- which I do not monetize at all (aside from the native ads).

In 12019 I would like to commit to this, but I cannot do it without your help. Over the next few weeks you’ll see a whole new reviews section on this website. There you will see what I’ve read and my two cents about it. You’ll also see my blogs and my currently reading sections getting more action. All I ask is that you take a look at those sections and follow some of the links if you feel an interest in the work they present. At the end of every story and doodle is a link to work that is similar to the content I posted. These are always some of my favorite works and I highly recommend you read them. These links pay for this website, so if you want to help me that is a great first step.

But I understand that money can be tight; I understand that work gets in the way. If that is the case, then at the very least I ask that you spread the word. Tell the writing community that I am here, ready to read and share their work and all they have to do is contact me. I don’t care if it’s a set of poems, a collection of articles, fiction or non fiction; I don’t care if it is good or bad. I want to continue to share content and help us all grow our spheres of influence. Every writer has something worth reading, the bad writing helps others learn the value of good editing, the popular writing helps others learn what sells, and the good writing helps others learn the power of words.

Help me spread the word, help me show the world that we live in a time that is more beneficial to writers than ever before. Help me and I will reward you with stories, videos, and ideas. Help me help others, and hopefully we can all benefit from this. Let’s grow together.

-ABK

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