Anno Tenebri

The sand was hot, and the merciless sun beat down without remorse upon the New Mexico desert.

The Man walked, plodding along slowly and methodically, seemingly unaware of the sun’s rays beating down upon his naked back, and the sweltering heat of the air. He rounded the top of the dune and came down the other side. Finally after days of walking, he had reached some sign of civilization. A dirt road broke up the wild landscape, winding in amongst some cactii, and a dilapidated old house of crumbling adobe sat next to one of its bends.

The Man reached the porch of the building. An old Mexican sat in a rocking chair, taking shelter from the sun beneath the shade of the veranda, and the brim of a straw hat which sat upon his head.

“Senor,” he said. “Did you walk here in this heat from the sands of the desert? That’s loco, senor. A man could die out there today.”

The Man said nothing, just came over to the rocking chair and bent down. The other watched in fear, transfixed, as he reached out his arm – his dry, pale arm, without a drop of sweat upon it – and placed his hand on the old man’s chest, above his heart.

No memories came flooding back, there was no bright light, no feeling of elation or hope; only darkness. The Mexican’s eyes rolled back into his head, and he collapsed back into the wooden embrace of the old chair.

The Man stood, and turned. He made his way back out to the road, and began following it to the capital.

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