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Lost in the Sand

a first-line-shortstory

The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white.
The heat was such that the hills seemed to be dancing in the dim heat haze. Just like a flock of elderly sheep trying to escape from a pen, fearfull to the verge of panic. Yet their slow dancing motion seemed to have something peacefull in it. At least as you accepted the unacceptable: Motion in what you knew to be an absolutely motionless environment.

The otherwise arduous trip thus became something not too far from bearable. Or so it seemed. But things aren't always what they seem. You need, however, something to sustain you. And the dancing hills, foreboding the rocking waves of the Ocean to the desperate earthtredder, slowly groped into his limbs until he himself felt as if dancing. It would be his last dance though -- but a passioned one.

The girl from the resistance told him in every detail how once he got there he would sure be rescued, treated medically and psychologically, and sooner or later he would be restored to his normal faculties. Then. If only he got there.

He remembered his flight from the detention camp, after the police had seized him unexpectedly. They had told him he was suspicious of a breach of some decree or other. You could hear people speak, the military junta first got in the people they wanted to get rid of and just then made up some dercees to make sure they were put to the blade, however unimportant they actually were.

Was it in his fortune to get away? -- Nobody did so far. Or so everybody said. How would they know? Was it worth bothering the fortune of anybody but oneself?

Yet again he suffered the cruel murder of his best friend, who had been knocked unconscious and then, lying on the street, intentionally run over by a tank. It was declared an accident then. In those early days of their reign they were shying away from just killing people. This had changed soon after. And now the Governement of Infinite Happiness just did as it pleased.

Yet again he felt the heat of the burning parliament building which he had worked in as a facility manager. That day he was to come later to work. Otherwise he would have been incinerated like most of his legal representatives. Maybe that was why the G.I.H. wanted him. He had worked for the parliament. As a manager even, he thought shaking. Though 'facility manager' meant nothing but 'janitor'. He wasn't even particularly smart.

Yet again he saw the cheering crowd when the last parlamentarians where driven through the streets to meet their justice as it had been the oficial word. In his visions the crowd suddenly transformed into an army of darkness, a host of devils besmeared with blood and saliva, thus waving their tridents and shouting obscene calumny to the steady rhythm of utter extasy. Roaring.

Yet again he heard his father praising the benefits of the new governemen the old blockhead had helped to install. If only you had more reason you would understand that nothing else will save us from your false friends with their so called liberalism.

Yet again he smelled the fresh sea wind, saw himself crossing the sand making towards the rocking waves, where a little boat lay waiting. He waded through the shallow water, climed into the boat and dropped finally to his rest.

In a little distance a shabby figure stowed away a pair of binoculars. He seemed to be perfectly contend with what he'd seen -- even satisfied. His little plan had worked out after all. And it was now finally prooved how desperate people could be once they were discovered on the wrong side. He hadn't helped them with their inquiaries though. Yet, what ever he had known was now lost to anyone's notice -- theirs and their enemy's. The desert would sure swallow his remains. And the world would roll on oblivious of its breed.

first line from Earnest Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants
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