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Walking Alone

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Sand rose up, snaking around her as she stumbled. Her legs were cement blocks, trudging through the shifting sands. Still, she had to continue. There was no place for her to return to. No home, no family, no life. What choice did she have but to ask Pharaoh for help? What choice?

For weeks she had been walking, first with company, but they soon left her, so she had to trudge through the soft sand to safety alone. And it was no guarantee that Pharaoh would help her, after all, their countries had been at war for generations. The only help she could possibly hope for, was to be given life-saving water, and some rest from the harsh sun.

Yet she still had to continue; only death was behind her. She could feel his hands snaking out to grab her, yet she continued onwards, she had a mission.
After what felt like hours, she finally reached the first sign of civilisation, a small hut in the middle of nowhere. Maybe here she could get some rest; maybe here she could get some water. It was lucky she had found this hut, as she could see the rising sea of sand bellowing behind her, its painful grip ready to crush all who went before it. Hastening, she knocked on the door of the small hut. The wood felt harsh beneath her hands, and in her panic, she ripped parts of her skin off on the harsh wood. She could hear movement from within in the hut, the inhabitant moving quickly to open the door.

When it was opened, an old man with wrinkled hands greeted her. In her haste, she pushed him aside to gain entry into the hut; not asking permission from its owner. Yet the old man could see the rising sea of sand and did not ask her to leave.

With a sigh of relief at sound of the door being closed and bolted, she turned to face the owner and thank him for his generosity. As she turned she glimpsed her saviour, and saw the aged face, lined with wrinkles. Laugh lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, liver spots, and baggy eyes. These showed the experiences of a life well lived, and a life full of loss. Sad blue eyes gazed at her from beneath drooping eyelids.
Without saying a word, the old man turned around and grabbed a cup from the shelf next to him. She cocked her head to the side as the man headed for a barrel in the middle of the room. When she saw the glistening blue water she nearly collapsed. This man was willing to give her his precious water, after she had done nothing but barge into his house.

Her face split into the widest smile ever seen, its brilliance lighting up the room as the old man gave her the precious water. Gulping the water down, like the thirsty woman she was, she felt it slide down her throat, moistening the desert within her mouth. She had run out of water two days ago, any longer and she would become just another body in the sand.

Her gratitude could be clearly seen by the old man, her smile shining brighter than before. The brilliance of her smile made the old man join in with her happiness. The old man gestured towards the cup in silent questioning. Nodding, she gave the old man the cup, which he refilled for her. Instead of the frantic gulping from before, she sipped at the water, letting it fill her once empty stomach.

Outside, the world was calming, the once frantic sand storm, was now only a passing breeze. Its once painful grip lessening, it would no longer crush anything in its way, instead gently caressing. With her cup still within her grasp, she looked into the fray, noting the calmness of the outside world.
Turning to the old man, she gave him the now empty cup, as well as a hug. Silently thanking him for his help, as well as saying goodbye. The old man stopped her before she could reach the door, he gave her two flasks, both filled with precious water, enough to last until she reached the next civilisation.
Gathering these flasks, she attached them to some clips on her waist, out of sight, but not out of mind. Once again she gathered the old man within her grasp and held onto him. She again headed for the door, but this time, the old man did not prevent her from leaving.

As she stood outside the door, her vision was filled with the descending sea of sand far in the distance. Though it scared her to see the storm, she was well equipped now to continue. With this in mind, she walked towards the storm. After five minutes the urge to turn around filled her senses. Trusting her gut, she turned around to look at the hut, but it was not there. Slowly a smile lit her face. Turning back to the sandstorm, she walked. She needed not to worry about what Pharaoh would do to her, she knew she did not need his help as much as she thought she did.