This gold cannot be sold for profit; nor can it be made to encase jems. This gold
only beats at you until you are bloody and ragged; a mere skeleton of what you once were.
The only thing it has in common with the true gold is its ability to turn men, into
Sand slipped stealthily through the young woman's clenched fist. There are many
who have adapted to this harsh climate, only the strong survive. Clenching her eyes shut,
an image appears, one not made from the heat of the sun as it crushed down upon each
living creatures' neck, but of a memory. She remembers the faces of her younger siblings,
a small boy and a girl only a few years younger than herself. Her heart felt slowly
punctured with the thoughts, and a fountain of tears rose to her ears and nose,
threatening to spill.
Jerking back to the present she shook off her emotions and knelt down, sensing a
calculated stare resting on her. Turning slowly, she scanned the barren sandy plains.
Lips quirking, the young woman thought back on how her parents had told her and her
siblings a child's story of a place where plants grew so numerous that all you saw was
Her younger sibling had taken the fantasy to heart and had led their little
brother out to find the hidden land of green, the two were never found. The Root tracer
clans were the best trackers, they were always able to find nearly anything what was lost
in the sand storms, but the children had disappeared. Now after everyone had given up,
only their older sister kept searching. Who knows, perhaps little Nai and baby Judd had
found this mystical world and were playing in the shade of million plants, where there
was no sun and plenty of water.
Suddenly, an explosion of sand burst through a wall of yellow, with the sound of
a beastly roar. Hurling itself on the girl, the creature attacked from the side. Two
massive paws stomped into the ground on either side of her head. The massive beast's body
rippled as he let out another forceful roar. Reaching a deft hand behind the triceratops
first tusk, the girl gave him a quick scratch. Instantly, the dinosaur fell to the earth
in raptures under his masters attentions as she moved to the beast's belly that special
spot behind its crest.
Getting to her feet the woman swept off the sand in a useless gesture, in this
land sand was everywhere; even the air they breathed swam with the grainy nuisance. When
you were this deep into the sand dunes you needed protective clothes that would keep your
skin from eroding, and goggles to protect your eyes during the storms. "Come on O'toul,"
the sand stepper encouraged lightly, "its time to make camp," if nothing else, O'toul had
learned the patterns of command in her voice and he obediently rolled to his feet and
Quickly, she had set up the tent and pulled out some meat that had been stored in
the compartments of O'toul's side bags, and began to roast it over the heat of fire. The
girl did not like fire, it reminded her too much of the sun. She hoped soon she would
find Nai and Judd so that she could once more stay inside the cool tents and take care of
the plants where it was safe and calm. She fell asleep to the sounds of the desert, a far
off animal calling for its family, the thumping wings of large flying creatures as they
returned to their cliff edges in the west, and mostly silence.