Originally posted on August 26. 2015. Barbara’s photo and first line. Titled Gone
“Where did they go?” The words hung in the air.
The sentence repeats everyday. The voice changes. It mixes with the bristling sagebrush and weeds. The desert is not quick to answer any of them.
Wapataki lay still. Hundreds gather into slow line heading North toward the river. It’s three days. The temperatures of summer harden the ground earlier. Crops have failed to produce the last two years, and this year is the water has gone early again.
Pakitowa land back against the wall watching his people leave the community generations deep in history. His gods choose their home. The stars fell to this spot. He holds the glossy silver stone in his hands. It was last night, the stone seeped. The sign to move couldn’t be any clearer.
His heart still. His breath held fast. He is the last to leave. His people occasionally look back. He can not. The proud leader is reduced to a divining rod. Their fate cast toward the promise of water. The dream is the gods know where they can live in peace.
An hour in a bright light baths the tribe. The orange glow brighter than a million sunsets. They have returned the stone that fell back to the sky.
“Where did they go?”