Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Desert Spice, Part 4 of 17,

    “You look like a tramp Alexi,” her mother hassled daily. “Your blouse is too sheer and too low, and if your skirt were any higher your navel would show. I haven’t brought you up to dress that way.”
    Regardless of their repeated nagging, she cared about her parents and knew they loved her. She was their only child, and they always said how much they liked having her live with them until or if she ever married. Now walking in the heat, Alexi wished she had not dressed so immodestly. What was she thinking, but she had been planning to spend the night with a girlfriend in Pismo Beach, and all her friends dressed this way.
    “Can you see the bush,” Brandon asked?
    “No. I was thinking about my family at home in Santa Barbara. So I wasn’t even looking. I’m so parched, I can barely talk.” She took a shallow breath and gave a little cough as if she had swallowed hot air. “Lord knows, I wish I’d been nicer to my parents.”

      “Did I hear my King’s name!” roared the voice that seemed to echo throughout the desert? 
    The dunes in front of them moved and for a moment the sun darkened, and then came a bright light with a cool gentle breeze that lingered. Alexi and Brandon stared up at a man on an enormous white stallion. Adorned in a white robe trimmed in gold braid, the light around him flashed like lightening as he sat high on the white horse.
     The man spoke, “You are in the Meshullam Desert. I will take you to the area you pointed to and you will be protected for the night. There you will find shelter, bread, water, and rest.”
    Within a blink of an eye, Alexi and Brandon found themselves at the base of two waist high bushes surrounded by a small patch of green grass. “Look,” Brandon said feeling the cool grass. “There’s a jug of water, and a loaf of bread.”
    “Who was the man on that fabulous, white horse?” she asked, forgetting about her thirst and the searing heat.
    “All I know is that there’s shelter, food, and water for us,” Brandon said as he took a sip of the refreshing water.
    “We didn’t even thank him.”
    “There wasn’t time. He disappeared the moment we got here.” Brandon handed her the jug of water.
    She began to take big gulps, tilting her head back to allow the cool liquid to rush down her throat. Brandon grabbed the jug from her hand, spilling a few precious drops. “Do you want to vomit all over yourself and waste water as well?” he shouted. “You have to drink slowly and only a little bit at a time. We may not have any more for quite a while.”
    He pulled his watch out of his pocket where he put it when the sun made it unbearably hot on his arm. After studying the compass on his watch for a minute he said, “If we head due north we might find a village somewhere. I think we should walk at night and rest during the day.”
    “Didn’t the stranger say we could have a good night’s sleep here,” Alexi asked. “If we’re going to walk at night, I need to rest first. I’m so tired.”

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