Desert Flower

The dampness of a gray predawn awoke me. Low on the eastern horizon, a narrow strip of sky glowed the color of heated iron. I had slept too long.
Taking my pack camel by the rein, I trudged untrodden sand toward the growing light, a sense of urgency pressing me into a trot.
But as I feared, the sun soon overtook me. Uninhibited, its unforgiving rays rained upon the sand, stifling any tender sprouts the morning dew might have coaxed from it. The light reflected by the pale sand blinded my eyes and convinced me I had walked into a forge.
I collapsed beneath the shade of my camel, questing the rolling sands through squinting eyes. Why had I not arisen early, before the sun? The power of the Deep Desert in daytime could evaporate strength like dew.
The green shoot caught my vision like the North Star on a moonless night. I crawled for it, uncaring as the sand burned my hands. A single cactus-colored stalk stood unbending from a clump of green, smooth as the shaft of an arrow. A many-petaled flower, blue with a heart of white, crowned the stalk.
The flower basked in the sun as if drawing strength from its heat. Carefully, I broke it off near the earth. Then I drank the cool liquid from the stem, and tasted the sugar of each petal as it melted upon my tongue.
I felt my heart pounding anew. The tightness in my legs began to loosen. I stood and led my camel deeper into the desert.
Reason would insist I encountered a mirage. But I never knew a mirage could taste so sweet.

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9 thoughts on “Desert Flower

  1. If it kept the narrator alive, then why care if it was a mirage? An illusion more useful than truth brings the primacy of reality into question.

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    • True. The narrator doesn’t believe it was a mirage, but he doesn’t want to be taken for a fool. Perhaps he’s trying to justify himself by saying, in essence, “You may think it was a mirage, but I know what I experienced.”

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  2. ganymeder

    That was wonderful. Loved the tight writing and the description, especially the part about vision being caught like the North star on a dark night.

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  3. Pingback: The #FridayFlash Report โ€“ Vol 6 Number 49 | Friday Flash

  4. I suspect that many mirages taste sweeter than reality. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. “I trudged untrodden sand toward the growing light..” There’s beauty in that line, as in many others in this piece.

    And “reason” doesn’t hold primacy on the truth of things. I’d love to know whence came this narrator, and where the end of the journey lies.

    Nice work.

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    • Thank you! There’s a thing or two I’d also like to know about the narrator…I guess it’s for me to figure out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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