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The pale man tugged his cloak around him and stared around him with haunted eyes.

“It’s all right, my friend,” his companion said to him, pouring another drink with a steady hand. “You are quite safe here.”

The man shook his head, but reached out with a shaky hand to take the drink. “Not safe,” he whispered. “We will never be safe again.”

“Safe enough,” his companion said easily. “You are surrounded by friendly faces, and you are many miles away from the desert. Nothing can harm you here. Be calm.”

“Calm?” The pale man laughed harshly, his face breaking into a faint facsimile of a smile. “I will never be calm. I found Serenity and I lost it again. Lost it forever.”

The glass was empty, and a steady hand once more refilled it.

“So it is true, is it? That you managed to locate the Oasis of Serenity?”

“Shh!”

The pale man looked around, his eyes large with fear, his gaze darting around the room looking for something that haunted him.

“Do not speak of it. You should never speak of it. Drive it from your mind, and never even think of it again, or you will be doomed!”

“But I cannot drive it from my mind,” the other man said quietly. “I cannot forget it any more than you can, Adani. You and your brother found it. The oasis. The treasure of the Last King. I must know where it is!”

Adani drained the glass once more and stood up. “I cannot help you,” he said. “It was my brother who held the maps. My brother knew the way. I only followed. I cannot show you the way through the desert. I will not show you the way.”

He staggered through the bar and pulled the door open, pausing as a subtle draft carried in the sands of a far away desert.

“It is too late for me,” he called back to his erstwhile companion, “But you still have time to save yourself. Forget about the Oasis or you will die like us!”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Three Word Wednesday this week offersthe prompt words Draft, Locate and Serenity, which brought to mind a story I wrote back in October 2010, Seeking Serenity. So this is a follow-up, of sorts…)

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