A desert stretched out before her. Cold blue beneath her feet. The sun would be up soon and then the heat would be unbearable. People think this place is empty. But she had grown up here and knew it was anything but. Amongst sand, a sprinkling of scratchy plants break up the monotony and innocent looking rocks hide snakes and scorpions. When the rains come, the whole place blooms. Really, right now it was just resting; a dusty coat hugged tight over it’s party dress.
Then there’re the ghosts. The djinn. She didn’t believe in them herself, the only thing haunting her was herself. Memories and thoughts chasing each other through her head. She was so tired of trying to hold them still, so she was letting them spin, waiting to see which one would stop, play with her a little, then launch itself back off again before she could squash it.
She remembered a time she had been out here as a child. They had met another family on top of a sand dune. Their four wheel drive parked at a jaunty angle just below the edge and they were eating food in it’s shade. The parents were Bedouin but now lived in the city so they could make money and their kids could go to school. The mother sat nursing her baby as two small boys raced round them. He told us he brought them out at the weekends to camp, to show his children the life he had grown up in. Their heritage. There was a look in his eyes that she couldn’t understand as a child. Sitting in his favourite place, wild, with a look of such longing and sadness. She got it now. To be somewhere you love. That’s part of your soul and know that it’s only temporary before you have to leave again. It’s something that destroys you. It was the look she had when she was with you. Thinks of you.
And so she stands waiting for the sun to come up and burn those thoughts from her head.