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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sun and Sand

Looking out across the vast expanse of sand and heat, Carl felt sick. His bruised and battered body couldn’t take much more of this. When he arrived in Cairo last night he expected trouble. He expected those bastards to be waiting for him at his hotel. He expected to have to fight his way out; spraying blood and shell casings along the way. But what he never expected was to see his dead wife sitting on his bed without a care in the world. Smiling up at him as Carl entered, he never saw the fist that was thrown. Never even tasted his own blood as his lip split or felt the boot kick that knocked the wind out of him. All sensations were trained onto one target. Esmeralda. Her smiling face was the last thing he saw before the butt of a gun knocked him into sweet oblivion.

His footsteps faltered in the sand as the image came back to him again. That smile. The dimple on her left cheek in harsh contrast to the dangerous glint in her eyes. And there's the grand mystery of it all. Who was that woman Carl had mourned for two years?

Swallowing had become a chore as his feet moved automatically to carry him across the sand. Tying his shirt around his head provided small relief from the sun but nothing could relieve the deep ache in his soul. Those bastards left him in the middle of the desert with nothing but the clothes on his back. He’d been walking for two days. Exhaustion pulling at him from all directions. He wouldn’t last much longer.

Her smile was the last thing he saw as the ground rushed toward his face. The sweet embrace of darkness welcomed Carl home...

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