I remember the last time I ran along a dune. I was young, carefree, enjoying every single moment of the time spent at the beach. Dunes were just a part of the fun. We would climb them, my siblings and I. They were tall, those dunes, towering in the sky. Huffing and puffing wit stomach muscles that were cramped and wanting to squeeze us inside out, we would reach the top. Turning around, we would gaze out over the water as we caught our breath. Once we were able to, we would plunge down the side, sand flying in our faces, into our suits, on the person behind us as our feet tried to keep up with our falling bodies. Occasionally someone would roll down a few feet, but we laughed all the way, whether you ended up in a bush, or standing at the bottom.
I could almost see my older brother Tommy, younger brother Cal and little sister Jinny and me running down the dune in front of me, except, there was no water, no brush and all that could be seen for miles was sand, sand and more sand.
My throat was so scratchy with the dryness and my feet stumbled at the mere idea of water. Suddenly, my almost seeing my siblings morphed into actually seeing them. I shook my head and blinked my hot, bloodshot eyes against the pain. THey were still there, shimmering in the distance. I started to run. I wanted to hug them so bad. THey looked cool as they laughed and chased each other down the next pile of sand. Without paying any attention, I tripped and flew head first into the sand, getting it in my eyes, my mouth and even some up my nose. Coughing and sputtering, I pushed against the sand, my face and arms burning from more than just the sun now. Sand can do as much damage as a rug burn if you land wrong. I let my face fall back into the sand, the sun beating through my t-shirt, burning my back. What an idiot. The images of my siblings were just that. Images, not the real thing.
I willed the sun to take me now. Just kill me. I can’t take this anymore. I had been walking for the last two days, water gone since this morning and I had been rationing it. Next time the agency wanted a pilot, I would think a little harder about volunteering
If there was a next time.
What did you think?
By God’s Grace,