Peta and the Desert

Slowly we slinked across the desert.

It was a difficult journey. Peta had cut her ankle on a rock when she slipped and I had supported her for most of the way.

Water was short. During our camp we made a make shift device using a dug out pit, some rocks and some tarpaulin to catch condensation. Those few drops that we collected would then sustain us for the rest of the day.

We had been going for so long we hardly remembered the city anymore. Sometimes when the sun shone down on our backs, sometimes in the haze I would still hear the children cry in the market square. The houses painted pastel to help reflect the sun, tall, decorative, designed by the Earl Postulate himself when he was still able.

But then the Engenders came. At first friendly they offered us gifts and showed us inventions that made life easier, they gave us running water — clean running water. But slowly, unseen as in dreams that unfold in a cold night, things started changing. Laws were slowly passed forbidding unmarried couples to be together in the same room. Children were forced to work after school. Slowly our peaceful existence was chipped away, grain by grain, dust by dust.

Oh! Kraken dawn, oh! colourful lord, how thou has forsaken us! The knees bent fallen on crumbling foundations that I pray to thee. We wept at the temple, we offered gifts, scraps that we stole from our children to appease you. And yet the pains, the suffering commenced and increased. The torment rained upon our backs like boulders of shame.

The only thing Peta and I could do was run. We couldn’t even say goodbye to our families for we would have had to cross the Temple Lines by day. So during the night we left a message where only Oscar would find and pass on to our parents. It said simply: ‘Condemn us not.’

Forty days must have passed and we didn’t see a soul, what little food we had had long since diminished. We ate insects, scorpions, and snakes, sometimes raw. Then we saw them, marauders on camelback. And we surrendered sweetly.

© 2016 Occasional Dreams
Image: Desert Sunset by Colin Frankland / CC BY

Another free writing exercise originally written in Aug 2016.


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