Bear is walking in the desert his way to his destination; but what is the destination? Bear has not figured that out. He does not have a map, or any idea that life exists beyond the desert boundaries. Just has a feeling that the desert does not go on forever; perhaps it was something he dreamed; or a message from the Great Spirit that he should go to the other side of the desert where he could find freedom. All that Bear has found so far is a wasteland of sand; and heat; one can imagine that all deserts are similar. A wasteland of sand, extreme heat, the bones of animals and man who dared to challenge the harshness of the wilderness. It could be the Mojave Desert, the Texas, Arizona, New Mexico or Nevada Desert; it could be the Sahara Desert, perhaps the desert on the Arabian Peninsula. All deserts have a common factor; sand, snakes, flies, heat, the presence of death and vultures circling above waiting for another desert victim to fall helpless before succumbing to thirst.
While bear is walking on his path, the desert has already claimed his horse and dog and now it is slowly creeping its effects on Bear. The thirst has started; as Bear slowly become dehydrated he gets the overwhelming feeling of hunger, he has nothing to eat; the water has gone his energy is going too; now his mind is reliving the events that led him to seek freedom.
Bear’s tribe banished him for something that he did. The tribal council said he was ruthless and showed no remorse or regard to what he done. Bear doesn’t remember what he done, except he felt that there was no sense of justice. Once the ruling was done the entire tribe shunned him; his dog and horse were the only loyal ones; he was allowed to take his loyal animals and means to defend himself and was kicked out. But it was like he was a prisoner of the land. Once banished even the scattered members of the tribe did not want nothing to do with him; and the other tribes won’t accept a rejected member of a rival tribe; and if those other tribes sight him in their territory they will drive him away; his own tribe will do the same if he remained on his tribal land. This means he was surrounded by enemies and that if he wanted freedom he would have to seek it somewhere far away.
One night he dreamed the Great Spirit told him that he’ll find freedom on the other side of the desert. Not thinking that whoever went into the desert was never seen again; Bear followed what he heard from the Great Spirit. After all the Great Spirit is never wrong; now the ones that remained loyal when everyone else turned their backs on him paid the ultimate price; the vultures, ants and flies have already stripped the flesh from their bones leaving the bones on the desert’s sand surface; a warning to all who dare to challenge the desert wilderness.
Bear now doubts the Great Spirit; what kind of freedom is he going to find? The only freedom that is coming to mind is the one where he leaves the physical life; Bear understands that means he will also become the desert’s victim.
At this point Bear is crawling on his hands and knees, the vultures circling above know it is just a matter of time before their meal is ready. Bear has accepted his fate; the Great Spirit has led him to suffer before gaining freedom in the afterlife. Just when Bear has resigned himself, he sees something coming towards him. Whatever it is he has never seen it before; it stops in front of him and a group of people wearing the same type clothing come out and surround him, pointing and being in awe of seeing a living person in a barren land. Then they all stopped their gawking when another figure exited the vehicle. They quietly looked as this figure observed what the men’s excitement was all about. Then he said with authority, what are you all staring at; get that man some water. Someone ran into the vehicle and ran back out with a cool bottle of water and throw it on the ground next to Bear. He takes it and had the best drink of his life.
They took Bear back to their command post. The command’s medical personal put Bear on an I.V so that he will rehydrate; then unit’s Psychologists established a means of communication. It was explained to Bear that the personal who found him was on an expedition of exploration and now Bear is evidence that there is life on the other side of the desert. Now that they know they will pursue going further; while the government has granted Bear a man without a home asylum; after all we are a country of Immigrants with justice, liberty & freedom.
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For Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Photo Prompt