It was a desolate wasteland, a mix of hot sand and ragged dirt. There was no air except for the few occasional breezes that blow like hotter than summer.
From the broken cracks on the ground, you can see the scorching air rising up above it like debris trying to flee a burning magma. Even the smallest of flora have died from years of neglect from the heavens.
A lone camel came idling by. He is a dromedary, all the way from some mystic Arab lands. It had traveled the Great Plains, climbed past the edges of the everglades, and crossed the empty deserts.
Exhausted and weary, it stopped next to what used to be a tree. Shielding itself away from the blistering heat, it tries to take whatever shade he could find. In this scorching atmosphere, to get away from the rays of the sun no matter how small, is like first class comfort spent in the garden of Eve.
What once looked like a tree is now inhabited by a couple of geckos that never really left this part of the desert, despite the dryness and lack of food sources. On the first few nights they were joined by a few critters that sang some old beaten tunes up until they fall onto sleep.
The nights were cool, with the stars stretching all the way to the heavens. But the days were like hell… scorching hot, arid, and airless.
It never rained here for years. Not even a drop. Not a single one. The single most source of water for the unluckiest of creatures that happen to inhabit the land was the small pond next to the tree which gets smaller by the day.
But the camel is not worried.He got his hump full of proteins and water that he’ll ever need to survive in this desert. He had his fill the last time he went to his own watering hole, his very own tabernacle of pure and fresh water.
The heat continued to dry away the pond, now only a third of what it used to be. The geckos have gone and the critters far away, the camel checked his stash behind his back. His dry lips are now ready to splurge on his imported magic beverage, to relieve him of this pain and discomfort. He spilled and drips it down his mouth, relished the coolness for a while and suddenly….spits it out.
He knew. It wasn’t the same as it used to be. All that water beneath his hump. The same water he got from the very same source, the drink that magically cures him of his weariness and his personal demons. The very drink that takes them all, what is used to be the sweetest thing…. is now bitter to the taste.
All this time, he’s carrying something that ain’t real. It used to be one hell of a camel, now it’s just one hell of a fool.
Frustrated, it sat next to the almost dry but still moist precious little pond, thumping its foot on the ground, thinking that it should have drank from it sooner… and yes, once in a while thinking about the soggy water from his hump.
Not the hump that got away, but the hump that broke his back.