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“So, tell me why they called this the Desert of Insanity,” Adani asked as he trailed after his brother.

Hameth glanced over his shoulder and said nothing. He was saving his energy for walking.

“Is it because you go insane walking through it,” Adani continued, “or because you must be insane for trying in the first place? I’d really like to know which it is.”

Hameth paused, waiting for his younger brother to catch up.

“You will get tired if you insist on talking all the time,” he said finally.

“I wouldn’t be talking if you’d just answer my questions. What are we doing out here?”

Hameth shaded his eyes and looked off into the distance. “Treasure, Adani. Riches beyond imagining.”

Adani squinted. He could see no riches; just the shimmer of heat rising from the sand.

“And that’s somewhere out here, eh? Somewhere out in the immense, formless landscape of the desert? Well, that’s easy then, isn’t it? We’ll be rich in no time!”

Hameth rolled his eyes. “Trust me, my brother. I know where we’re going.”

He set off again, not giving his brother a chance to speak again.

“Oh good,” muttered Adani, “As long as you know where you’re going, that’s fine. I’ll just tag along behind you…”

He carried on muttering for almost ten minutes before realising how much wiser it was to stay silent. The sand seemed to tug at his feet with every step, sapping his energy until he could barely place one foot in front of the other. It seemed to have no effect on Hameth, however, who apparently found the going easy. He forged ahead, waiting every so often for his brother to catch up before taking off again.

“We’re nearly there, Adani,” he said finally, holding out his hand. “Let me help you.”

Adani stubbornly ignored his brother’s hand. He could still see only the shifting sand around them.

“Nearly where?”

“You will see it from the top of this dune,” Hameth said. “Quickly now!”

He grabbed Adani’s shoulder with one hand and his wrist in the other, pulling his brother’s arm around his shoulder so he could help him up the slope.

“We must see this together,” he said. Adani grumbled, but he allowed himself to be dragged upwards.

They crested the dune and stood together, staring at what lay below.

“So beautiful,” Adani whispered. “It must be a mirage.”

“It is real,” Hameth said. “Many have sought Serenity. We stand among the few who have succeeded.”

Adani turned to his brother. “Is it true that the Last King buried his treasure here?”

“I don’t know.” Hameth smiled, a broad smile that his brother hadn’t seen for many years. “Shall we go and found out?”

Together the brothers descended the dune and entered the fabled Oasis of Serenity.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note – This week’s Three Word Wednesday challenge is to use the words “effect, immense, shimmer”. I immediately thought of a desert. This story could fit in to a fictional world I’ve been working on, so one day I might write more.)

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