Chapter 1

Left for dead by his own people, Zire a cunning youth, seeks a new life within a harsh world.

It had been just over a day since Zire had last eaten and his water was beginning to run low. The feet that carried him no longer resembled the feet that he had once known. Bloodied to a pulp from walking through the rough Alreah wasteland for a week straight, he often wondered how he was still standing. “I want to live,” whispered Zire through dry, chapped lips.

            That want was growing less and less a reality though as he drudged on, staring distantly at the horizon as the sun made its way across the sky. It would be night soon and it was that what Zire feared most. “Will I survive another,” he asked no one.

            And no one answered. Pity for himself was a feeling he thought he had left behind days ago at the start of this unwanted journey. It got him nowhere he figured, just as his bloodied feet had. But pity was what began to set in once again as the night drew near. How was it that he was dragging himself through this dried up desert was something that Zire could hardly remember.

            “Exile,” muttered Zire, a word that left a bitter taste in his mouth. But that thought dissipated quickly as the sun began to disappear behind the looming Kaus mountain range, creating a vast shadow cooling the Alreah. It was the hope of reaching these mountains that kept Zire from falling over in the sand and dying. Shelter was all he could think of now as the air grew colder. His eyes searched frantically and found nothing but rolling hills of sand, rock and the occasional salt deposit left over from when the Alreah was once a sea. Zire knew he could not stop walking until he found a hiding place, for at night this lifeless wasteland was anything but lifeless.

            “They will feast upon what is left of me tonight” he said hopelessly. Yet still he moved forward and still night grew nearer along with all the horrors that came with it. He had heard screams during nights past, dry screams, screams that sounded like they came from throats filled with dust. Zire knew the tales. There was a reason they had built tall and thick walls around the ancient city of Muesal and it was not to keep the wind out. Zire recalled the stories his father had told him as a child of the lost people that dwelled forever in the Alreah wasteland.

            “They rise from the sand” is what his father had told him in their small hut near the market place of Muesal. A feeling of dread flowed through Zire as he desperately limped as fast as he possibly could up a hill of sand and rock. He reached the top just in time to see the last bits of daylight fall on the land below him revealing a giant boulder formation near the bottom of the hill.

            He reached it when he could no longer see, night was here and he grew desperate. He heard a scream in the distance and then another and then more. Zire began to climb up the massive rock using the eroded surface to pull his weak self up as best as he could. He eventually came across a ledge large enough for him to lie down on. Breathing heavily he laid on his back gazing at the stars through heavy eyelids and fell asleep to the sound of dry screams echoing not far away.

The End

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