Hello everyone! In case you didn’t know, I’m participating in a writing challenge hosted by the awesomely amazing Misty! This is my entry for Challenge Four of the Aspiring Author’s Writing Challenge (AAWC).
The prompt was Bright. Misty, I included Bright describing the sun and the sun reflecting on the sand. I also included a Swan in a mirage Jared sees. 😀
With a gust of hot air, another cloud of sand settled onto Jared’s skin. The hot sand burned his blistered feet, and he winced with each painful step. Every inch of him was covered in dry, itchy sand. His body ached for water, but his bottle of water was empty.
Jared heard a voice cry out, and he whirled around. His companion, Joseph, was collapsed on the hot earth. Jared ran, stumbling, to his side. He felt his friend all over. Joseph was still breathing, but barely.
“Joseph,” Jared’s voice was dry and scratchy from the lack of water. “Joseph, get up. We’re almost there.” Jared’s heart throbbed as he said the words. He and his friend were stuck in the middle of a desert with nowhere to go; no food or water; about to die. And it was all his fault.
Joseph’s eyelids fluttered open. With Jared’s help, he got to his feet and took a few steps. “Jared, I’m so thirsty.” Joseph’s voice was that of a scared, tired young boy. Jared’s heart broke when he heard it.
“I know,” Jared replied, “but we can keep going; we’re almost there.”
Joseph nodded solemnly, and they both began walking again.
That was all they had been doing; walking and walking, with the hope of finding something. But there was no way they would survive; it was a miracle they had lasted as long as they did.
With each painful step forward, their hope of survival grew fainter and fainter. Jared lifted his head to the sun, shielding his eyes. The rays were blindly bright and hot. He turned away and continued forcing his feet to move.
Soon they came to a sandy hill, where, after resting, they ascended. It took them a long time, for almost every ounce of strength was drained from their bodies. When they finally reached the top, Jared had to force himself not to collapse. He was afraid that if he stopped now, he would never be able to continue. He would lie roasting in the hot sun until he died.
“Jared, look!” Joseph said. His voice seemed joyful, almost hopeful. “Don’t you see it?”
“What?” Jared was puzzled. He didn’t see anything.
“Over there, beyond the next hill,” Joseph pointed, “it’s an oasis!”
Jared shook his head sadly. He knew his friend was simply seeing a mirage, a trick of the light. It had happened often to them on their trek through the desert. Joseph had claimed to see a caravan of nomads, and Jared had seen a glistening lake with a white swan swimming in the water. But when he looked back to where his friend had pointed, he was astonished to see a glistening oasis full of glistening, crystal clear water.
Jared turned to Joseph. “Joseph, I see it! C’mon!”
With the promise of water, the boys were renewed, and slipped and slid all the way down the hill. They ran as fast as their legs could take them until they came to the next hill. They scaled it quicker than the last; for they were renewed with strength they didn’t know they had.
By the time they reached the top, Jared was exhausted. The strength that had come with the hope of water had left him. He stumbled, and fell to the ground. His whole body was overcome with exhaustion and thirst. He didn’t think he would ever be able to go on. But he thought that if he saw the clear, sparkling water, he would be able to keep going.
Jared lifted his head, and gasped in bewilderment. He had expected to see the clear, sparkling water of the oasis. Instead, he saw nothing but the hot, scratchy sand that brightly reflected the sun. If there were any fluids left in him, he would have cried salty, sandy tears.
The oasis was merely a mirage.
I am so evil. 😄 😛