The deserts of Tatooine had two constants.
The unrelenting sand, crawling through cracks in doors and unsuspecting walls, suffocating anyone foolish enough to brave a sandstorm.
How everything was fleeting. Dunes would only stay that way for an hour, and if you watched them for a few minutes, they shifted.
It was a constant reminder of how living worked. The prevalent metaphor allowed no one to settle in the denial present on other planets.
It was comforting, forcing people to live a life of seizing the moment. Sand would outlast them, burying their bodies and the memories of those they left behind.
Cobb Vanth lived by this, like the rest of Tatooine.
The Marshal sat on the doorstep of his semi-underground home. The suns, yet to deliver their scorching heat, were a faint line on the horizon.
His house was a few streets back from the main strip. If you could call it that. They’d named it Free Town, but Free Tiny Settlement was more accurate.
The harsh landscape bred resentment if you didn’t keep your head straight.
He never saw the people who passed through again. The Marshal had grown used to being left behind by the nomads of the galaxy.
Vanth had made his choice. These deserts would swallow him when the time came. Why couldn’t he breathe when the realization settled on his chest?
Why hadn’t he said something when that fool of a Mando had screamed off toward Mos Eisley, kid in tow, still dripping with Krayt Dragon bowel juice?
He’d been so desperate to depart, he’d refused treatment.
Cobb Vanth should’ve forced him to clean his armor. What if the acid got to the Mando’s skin? There was another reason he’d wanted that man to stay.
He had many friends. They’d built Free Town together.
Sometimes, there was a connection with others you couldn’t shake. It was rare he got along well with a stranger, as quiet and deadly as this one had been.
Pleasant events never last as long as you want them to.
He could curse the burnt-orange skies for eternity, but it would change nothing. Cobb Vanth had learned that the hard way. The bitterness would fade.
Some people made a bigger impact than others. Curse his old heart.
He had to be more careful. He’d be done if he got into a fight like ones he’d survived. Vanth’s breath hitched for the hundredth time that morning.
It had been great, but he’d been kidding himself if someone wouldn’t come for it. He’d count the lucky stars Mando hadn’t shot him and prided it off his dead body.
There were other good things too.
The Tuskens weren’t hostile anymore, so he’d have to keep it that way. Why hadn’t he got Mando to teach him their sign language?
Enough stalling. He had a town to run. It was a new day, and there came the suns.
Temporary is the only thing he could count on.