In the morning, Tseya loves to step out his front door with his basket of sticks and bowls and sit in the shade of the front porch, digging holes and trenches for his imaginary city of Lilonga. Kneeling on the water's edge at the back of his home, he dips his dish in the precious watering hole and trudges back to the desert-side, filling his hand-made reservoirs. Before his very eyes, the water is wicked away, seeping into the the thirsty soil.
At the sound of his mother's voice, Tseya scurries to the kitchen for a lunch of porridge before heading back out into the piercing sun to dig more trenches and fetch fresh water, but always with the same dusty result. The moisture melts away before his eyes.
As the sun sets, Tseya shuffles to bed, a trail of desert following him to his room. His sleep is deep and he awakes rested and excited to work in the sand again, hoping to bring life to his gritty front door. Today is much like yesterday and the day before and the day before that. He works hard at his play and at the end of the day he trudges wearily back to his sandy pillow.
Soon Tseya's home is filled with sand, emptied from his sandals, dumped from the folds of his clothes, brushed from his hair and his feet. He watches his home disappear under a rippled layer of the Namib; weary from his work of digging and fetching, he is unable to stop the relentless pursuit of the desert to bury him.
And that, Ty, that is why we shake out our shoes before coming in the house after playing in the sand box. Personally, I don't want to be buried in my sleep under a layer of grit."
Ty scowls and sits up in his bed. "Mom! That's not a real story. I want a real bedtime story, something about a dragon or a knight. Please?" He squirms under his comforter for a moment before pulling back his covers and brushing a pile of sand off his sheet. "What if I promise to take off my shoes on the front porch tomorrow?"
"Okay. Once upon a time there was a dragon named Sandy..."
Linking up with Write at the Merge this week - inspired by the picture above.