Sand.

The heat was everywhere. It crouched on my shoulders, an animal, pushing me down, holding me there. The steady thrumming pulse of the blood in my ears became both its heartbeat and mine, twined together for as long I could remember. There was no such thing as cold, perhaps there never had been; the word had no meaning here.

I could feel individual grains burning my arms, my legs, my face, in every crevice and against every cell of my skin - I could even taste it in my mouth.

And yet, I could see nothing.

As soon as I thought this, the solution presented itself. My eyes were tight shut. It took a few seconds to remember how to open them. Why had I bothered? It seemed to intensify the burning, stinging my eyes in the blackness. There was too much pain, too much heat.

Instinct suddenly, finally kicked in; my face jerked away reflexively from the intruding particles and the darkness lifted. I chose blindingly bright to pain in the dark. Next I flexed each muscle until I found the one which allowed me to sit up, from where I had been lying face down in the soft, solid heat.

Seconds had passed. Now I was more upright, and I could look through watering eyes at the endless golden sea that surrounded and moved and thrived with a life of its own. It was a different animal to the heat, a smooth passive being that intended no pain, if not for the heat. The heat. I could feel the beating sun ever present on my back, scalding from the neck to the base, a familiar sensation that brought with it an unexplained sense of foreboding.

I tried to turn around where I sat but my muscles failed me, twisting me back to the floor where I sprawled, wrestling with myself, until finally some self won and was once again upright. I gave up even trying to stand on two feet and sat perfectly motionless amongst the slowly shifting earth-creature, and noticed an absence, something missing from my presence here in this place. It had once seemed to be hugely important. I hadn't had a chance to examine myself, and now I did...

I could find nothing.

I had no memory of who I was, or how I came to be here in this hot, golden silence that appeared empty for all but myself. There was no sense of purpose or self - I vaguely remembered my struggle only minutes ago to try and stand on two feet, but even for this I could not remember the reason. Wouldn't walking on these - what were they called? Hands? Knees? - be just as accommodating? The one pull I felt now was that of a desire in my mouth for something...something wet, I could not remember the name. Now it was at the forefront of my consciousness, and consumed all my other thoughts as I sat there and burned in the setting sun.

The End

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