She Who Comes With a Guitar
By Arthur McMahon
Copyright 2011 by Arthur McMahon
Blue sky sits atop red sand like oil on water, stretching across the vast horizon, undulating under the high noon heat of the shimmering yellow sun. The stark contrast across the boundless desert rests unbroken in all directions. Not a mountain, not a rock or tree stands tall enough to disrupt the limitless expanse.
The center of the emptiness holds a single man to whom this view belongs; a tall man with a lifetime of age that shows on his pockmarked face. Uncut black hair mirrors the color of his slanted eyes. Brown boots flap open at the toes, blue jeans patched with an assortment of other cloths, a sweat-stained white shirt drapes over his shoulders, ripped open at its sides and sleeveless, and a wide-brimmed tan hat crowns the man's thin frame. Among the dozens of buildings that line a single road, he is the only soul that remains.
The town floats on a sea of sand. The man wanders his island with his goat, his only companion and source of nourishment. He walks as he does every day and stops to stare at the horizon, always hoping to see a way to something better. Sense of time destroyed, it's been long since he has seen anything travel in the distance.
But this day a new shape dances in the distant waves of heat. The man stands at the edge of town as he does every day, but now he finds reason to wait. The figure draws closer, and the man remains. At the end of vision to be called a dark speck, now a shimmering star growing larger as if fed by the sun. As the shape becomes more clear, the figure of a person is shown, soon a woman with a large package strapped to her back. The man does not stir.