The package arrived just after dawn. It meat the travelers had braved the cold desert night, bearing up under the weight of the desolate cold, simply to deliver its contents.
"This will settle things," the doctor said. His hand glided across the packaging paper, the glittering pen knife slicing through with ease. It seemed like a dance to Ewan. The doctor could have just as easily been tying a delicate bow around the parcel. "One look at my records and we'll settle once and for all who is correct here."
The caravan had been crawling through the sands for nearly two months. Among the various distractions the travelers had concocted to entertain themselves a single debate stood out. The doctor, a genealogist by trade, insisted the history of the world--the desert in particular--was not a matter of stories. "Foolish folktales and hookum." But instead, through bloodlines.
Having been challenged, he sent away for his works to be returned to him. "Shall we say the Altoon'a Oasis, two weeks from now?"
They had arrived several days later and, much to the consternation of their leaders, halted their journey while awaiting the doctor's package.
"There is no time!" Shouted Vengar. He had frightened Ewan more than than the rest. A towering [CatBirdPerson], his skin---Ewan could still not rightly call it skin, as it appeared to be something in between skin and fur--was an endless black. Blinding in the desert sun, he seemed like a moving absence. A living abyss strolling confidently across the dunes.
Once, early in the journey, he stood atop a massive dune, his birdlike head unnaturally still as he surveyed the land. Ewan recalled how he would pause, seeing and hearing a world beyond anything the boy could fathom, then, as if some atavistic alarm went off, his head would turn in a flash, moving to the next section of the desert, where he would stop and continue his silent vigil. Only after he had done this for the entire stretch of land before them would be turn back to the group and signal for them to join him. It was a display of power and expertise that frightened the boy. What power did this creature possess? And what kept it from exerting that strength over all of them?
Ewan was busy tending to himself. His mother insisted he keep clean as best as was possible in the desert. Which, now that they had been camped at the oasis, was much easier than out on the dunes. Squeezing the slightest bit of paste from the animal skin, Ewan made quick work of his teeth, scrubbing them fiercely in the hope that he would finish and return to the group before Dr. Testerfall, "finished refreshing my views."
Most of the group was already gathered by the time Ewan returned. His mother, hired for the trip to serve as the midwife for a wealthy couple, had also taken to caring for the couple other children. A task that suited her well. One of them--the youngest, a boy by the name of Gregor--sat in her lap, tugging at a bit of string she had tied between her fingers.
Emerall, the second of the two guides, [walked] around the group offering refreshments. At first blush he appeared the kinder of the two, but Ewan had quickly caught on that kindness was not the same as being kind. An air of theatricality haunted the man's steps. As if everything he said and did had been scripted years ago. A performance forged by years of caravaning, years of tending to the needs of wealthy and powerful guests. Other than his won mother, the man smiled more than any person Ewan had ever known.
"And how do you take it?" Emerall asked the young lady next to him. Effervescence, the oldest of the wealthy children, and the most off putting, Ewan thought with a flush of shame, tilted her white linen parasol enough to the side so to look the guide in the eyes and said, "same as mother," before tilting it back into place and blocking Emerall out with the of the offensive sights of the oasis.
"Ah! Here we are." Having found whatever it was he was looking for, Dr. Testerfall slammed his book shut then stood up before the group. He always appeared as if he were ready to break into a lectur
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Event A package is delivered
Location An oasis
Words Reach 50 words
Letter Use the letter U
Character A weak genealogist
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Sentence "There is no time."
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Prop Include a tube of toothpaste
Words Reach 500 words
Character A playful midwife
Letter Use the letter W
Words Reach 600 words
Sentence "How do you take it?"
Words Reach 700 words
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