[Kaimee]: 5.Contest Entries.Desert Winds

Rating: 0.00  
Uploaded by:
2007-01-28 04:10:43
short story
Unfinished, for A Writing Competition - Feb "You're stuck in the middle of nowhere, with only a dropplet of water left. what now?"

The Desert Winds

© Kate-Aimee Conrick. All rights reserved!

It had to work. It wouldn’t, she knew that.
She watched the last droplet of water creep around the sides of her plastic water bottle, tipping it up and around, guiding it through the patterns in the sides. Letting it gather again.
The last drop. This had to work. Otherwise, you know, she’d be dead. Dead in a desert, with a stupid note pad beside her telling the world that this idiot had purposely gone out here without enough water and actually believed – believed, get that – that she’d somehow make it out of here with magical powers and bring her precious little baby back to life.
You are an idiot, idiot, she told herself. Still, she kept counting.
She hadn’t really considered this at first, it was more like a game she’d played with her grandmother, “And when you get out past the pinnacles girl, how many steps then?”
“308 Maryn, and then the winds will blow me west and the last droplet of water will fall on the hands of the child of Mar and there will be a tempest that the world has known none like, and Mar will be born out of it.”

Back in November she’d gone to see Maryn, to tell her that her great-grandson was dead; drowned in a pool in the middle of outback Australia, of all places to drown. She'd left not so sure the woman she remembered from so many years previous had even been there in that room.
Trying to talk to this senseless old lady, she’d received only senile ramblings, snatches of an old story Maryn used to tell her as a child. “Too much, too much, I told you girl; only a droplet in the dessert!”
In the end she’d stormed out when her grandmother started accusing her of drowning her child to give her magical powers or something! Shaking, she tried to slam the door to the nursing home only to have it slow and click home gently with it’s pressurised closing mechanism . Fucking cracked old lady, she fumed, standing outside on the creamy yellow stone pavement. Her throat ached, and she tipped her head back to stop the tears in her eyes overflowing, a constant threat. Sweat slick where the red dust didn't coat her skin like powder, she felt the heat rising up from the ground, and the sun beating down on her back. The street was empty except for a dog, asleep in the shade of the old grocery store across the way.
She faced the empty outback town from that step and stared up to the stretched balloon blue sky. She made a deal. I’ll go out there and do it, do it all, or I’ll die. Then at least she would have tried, she had to try. Burning eyes, she felt one tear track it’s way down her dust dry cheek and land in her trembling palm; a promise. She turned and unlocked the door to her car, like an oven after sitting here all day, and drove home to her dead echoing house; angry with the world.

She thought back to that dark green car, parked neatly at the edge of the Pinnacles Desert. Doors open, because it got so hot sitting there in the sun. Probably a snake would get into it. She wholeheartedly believed she was out here to die, and yet that edge of superstition had made her park her car where she could get it again, open the doors to stop it from exploding of sheer heat, and tuck the keys into her purse. A purse to travel the dessert, it seemed absurd somehow.
Less absurd than the child seat in the back of the car, or the long gone husband who’d averted his gaze as she packed it in, who’d avoided her eyes as he packed his own car and left. Not willing to save his own child, her mind tore at him angrily. Too willing to go on living.

She leaned up against the hot, flaky stone of the pinnacles, and listened to the wind moaning. Spinning between the hundreds of giant stone spires that made up this entire plain. The wind sent sand to score her skin, and a constant deafening scream to drive her from her own mind.
She leaned up against the stone and tipped the bottle back and forth, clutching it tightly lest the wind snatch it away and she die foolishly out here, without even her ridiculous purpose.

She consulted the wind whipped pages of her notepad again, 600 steps North West through the plain and then 308 till she was… wherever she was meant to end up. She was at the ending edge of the pinnacles now, sheltering in the lee of a column as wind tore out of the plain, like it had been caught in a maze and terror fuelled it out again.
The horizon shimmered with heat in the distance, and there was nothing out there except red burning sand; her skin would be either burnt or raw by the end of this. But she didn’t really believe it would work, so she’d be dead by the end of this anyway, and with relief.

She set out. There was nothing to show how far she moved, no landmarks. There was only the gently curving footprints; West. Even those faded within 20 metres, filled in by the constantly shifting sands and wind. The wind; her enemy. Tearing at her and turning her back. Furious winds, pounding at her life. 217. 218. 219. 220. 221. 222. 223. She’s tied a scarf over her mouth but it still felt filled with sand, parched dry by this leeching desert. She should have brought another bottle, a separate one from this that only had her single precious droplet left in it. But no, it had to be the only droplet in the desert; that was how the story went. No use trying to drink the other bottle empty, there’d still probably be a droplet left to ruin all her plans, to kill her.
She planned on dying, but she was going to do this one ridiculous, impossible thing first, so that in her death she’d know she’d explored every opportunity. And Mar will be born of it. Somehow, someway, that Mar had to be her child. And if it wasn’t, if it was some stranger, she’d die and rest peacefully knowing she’d tried everything. She counted.

Stumbling, it took her a second to realise she wasn’t struggling to walk through sand. Like when you reached the top step and expected there to be another, her mind just couldn’t understand why suddenly only the wind was shifting, why sands weren’t rolling beneath her feet.
She was standing on stone.
307. 308.
She was there. Sobbing, gasping, parched and burning she fell to her knees on the flat stone, with it’s edges disappearing in the sand. Jarred, she fumbled the blue twist cap off the bottle and lifted it to shake over her hand.
The wind tore, shouted and snatched the bottle from her grasp, one tiny droplet trembling out and landing on her outstretched fingertips as the bottle disappeared up into the red winds whipping in the sky.
Her cry stolen by the furious shout of wind, she felt herself whipped up and following it, skin ripped and scored away, hair tangled and whipping her cheeks. She felt her fingers reach out to scream through leaves and her body twist around stone pinnacles. One part of herself dimly recognised a green car as she whipped her way through it, whistling in the doors, madly rushing through everything she could find in that great big emptiness. The other winds joyfully grabbing her up and spinning her with them, the gurgle of a child echoing in her mind. She felt sand rush through her blood as she threw herself against stone, ground, obstacle; her every grain screaming in ecstasy.

Far away an old woman looked up at the sandstorm on the horizon and smiled gently, sadly. It was done, finally. A droplet in the desert.

PLEASE add a rating (1-9) at the top of the page!

See ratings for advice, explanations, and instructions :)

2006-02-03 pixie_shimmer: I like it but I do understand the significance of everything. I think there must be some connection with the name 'Mar' and 'Maryn' but I dont get the birth...*is dumby*

I like the imagery though :/ There are clear images in my mind :)

2006-02-03 Kaimee: I hate the word imagery xP And it's a family thing. I don't know either :P I think that the grandmother must have tried it, and it could be anyone from that line. The grandchild was in the 'desert' but with the wrong amount of water and so he drowned. She finally got it right.

And theres a beetle trapped in my keyboard, like a maze XD

2006-02-03 RiddleRose: wow... that's really... powerful!

2006-02-04 Kaimee: *^_______________________^* Thankies

2006-02-26 Nell: Oooh. Nicely fleshed out, and I personally love the 'gurgle of a child' sentance. I found the fact that she had brought her dead child with her a little disturbing. She really was filled a frightening desperation and hope in a tale, but I can understand the death of a child doing that to a person. Good job!

2006-02-28 Kaimee: ..she didn't bring him with her, she was hoping he'd come home again. Although, maybe it would be creepier if she did >:P

2006-03-12 Nell: Eeek! Sorry, misread! Thought he was in the car from the line "Less absurd than the child seat in the back of the car" and then her husband leaving her because of that. Still, both ways it's very powerful!

News about Writersco
Help - How does Writersco work?