Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's really not easy to move with that much sand piled on top of you. I can barely shift a finger before the surrounding sand compresses to the point I can't push any farther. My only refrain is trying to dig away at the sand surrounding my neck with my chin. You might be able to guess, but that's not exactly a fulfilling task.

I sound a small curse as another cascade of sand spills down the slope I'm making with my chin. Then I give another one as the sand dusts into my foolishly open mouth. I'm famished, but sand's not really my meal of choice. It's rather tasteless and hard to swallow. Granted, it's hard to swallow anything when you've spent dawn to dusk under a hot sun with nothing to drink. I can't even sweat anymore.

I wonder if I'm meant to die here, a withered corpse buried up to his neck in sand, dead for nothing but a dare that turned out to be a trap. I've never really been one to fight destiny, or one to go on relentlessly regardless of the odds but, sand take him, I want to kick Kerrel's ass for this. So I'll be damned if I'm dying here.

My eyes watch the setting sun as I dig my raw chin into the sand once more. As a blessedly cool breeze drifts over me, dusting me with more sand, it occurs to me. How am I going to keep digging when I've dug so deep that I can't reach with my chin anymore?

That's the thought that breaks me. My body gives a small shake as it finally hits me, it finally sinks in and pounds against my chest that I'm going to die here, that no matter what I do I'm not making it out of this damn hole. My breathing turns ragged. I close my eyes as the final ray of sun closes out on the horizon. A single tear runs from the corner of my eye as I contemplate the coming hours, doomed to die slowly of dehydration.

His deep voice startles me.

“Well, boy, this is quite the predicament you're in.” His words are tinged with amusement.

My eyes fly open and I almost crack my neck turning to look at him. He's just out of view, but I catch a flash of brown and tan robes, and the gleam of a naked sword hanging at his side.

“Calm yourself, son.” He growls. “And tell uncle Atticus what brought you here.”

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