The First Book of Iaddius Ioahann (Chapter 4, page 2 of 7)

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Chapter 4

I followed his directions and dug for the dirt. I held it in my hand and endeavored to spit in it. It took me four attempts to produce enough moisture to make mud. When Haig saw that I had done it he arose and began walking again, and I followed him.

"I'm glad that they gave us water." I said, trying to make some conversation, for thus far we had continued on primarily in silence. Haig didn't answer but continued walking steadily. I sighed and tried to ignore his silence as we traveled on.

I looked around at the landscape which surrounded us. It seemed very surreal to me: the red desert floor extending into the distance where they merged with distant mesas to the north, and with blue sky in every other direction. Vegetation had become increasingly scarce giving us the feeling of walking, walking and walking without ever making any progress. I thought of the Maikin woman's offer to return home the same road I had come and I wondered if I wouldn't have been better off doing so. However, despite all that happened, when I was faced with the prospect of going home I found that I had a greater desire to continue on. I still wanted to see and learn more about this world that was so different from my own.

I thought of that night that Haig and I had been captured by the Maikin. I remembered feeling so depressed and helpless and I reflected that when I hadn't a choice whether to return home, it was the only thing that I wanted. When I had the choice, however, I had chosen to continue on. I smiled to myself. I couldn't wait to tell my father about the desert. When I was younger we had talked a lot about the sea and the forests, valleys, and fields. Yet we had never talked about a desert. I couldn't wait to describe how awful hot it was, and how the dry dirt seemed to stretch forever. I couldn't wait to tell my mother how the sky was so much bigger out here. I thought of what I had in the pack that the Maikin had given me. I hoped that I would have some souvenir to show my younger brothers.

I looked up into the sun and instantly regretted it. The heat had become so fierce that wherever the sun shone felt like it was being scorched. I took a deep breath of the hot air.

"Can we rest?" I said after some number of hours of hiking.

"Yes." Haig answered simply and sat down.

I thanked him softly, probably too soft for him to hear, and began to walk off to relieve my bladder.

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