Photo by Louis from Pexels

Cloth wrapped every inch of their body, hands, arms, legs, head, all covered. The cloth hid the features of their face, masking their nose and respirator, reducing them to nothing more than two small bumps. Black goggles seals it around their eyes, completing an impenetrable covering.

The sand bleached the cloth, stripping it of its original color, turning it the same tan-gray as everything else. It was the color of the monotone landscape and anything that didn’t conform, eventually would.

They moved slowly, the wind a wall of sand that they pushed through. An effort made more painstaking as their feet sank with every step they took. But, they continued, one step at a time. Slowly. Deliberately. 

It was impossible to see where they were going in the storm. They trusted their gut, and to a greater degree, the GPS incorporated into their goggles. There was nothing to see anyway, only sand. Even without opaque winds, even on the calmest day, only sand. They walked, unworried by the world around them. They moved with purpose towards their goal.

A small blinking dot flashed yellow on their display. A solid red dot remained centered. The yellow dot moved close to the red, the way grass grows when observed, imperceptibly. Still, the dark brown eyes that watched the dots, day in and day out, knew how far they’d come and how much farther they had to go. 

One step at a time, they pushed through the storm. It seemed easier now than it had in the past. Maybe, the storm was beginning to ease. The thought pleased them. Anything that made the process easier pleased them, but, in the end, it was irrelevant. No matter of how trying the journey, no matter how strong the storm, they would reach their destination, they would claim victory. The adversity wore on them, the effort drained them, but they would not surrender.

They paused to rest, a concession, they told themselves, that would make the triumph more enjoyable. They rested to allow their muscles to relax, but they did not rest for long. During these short breaks, which they took from time to time, they knelt, back to the wind, a pile of sand bleached cloth in the barren landscape. On their display they watched an old video. It bolstered them. The face in the video motivated them to carry on, gave them the determination to persist, and reinvigorated their will.

They stood again and faced the storm. They took one step, then another, and the yellow flashing dot grew imperceptibly closer.

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Sasha SciFi

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