(Trying my hand at longer-form fiction. I know that this first chapter is short, but bear with me. I'm getting warmed up. )
One foot in front of the other, our steps cut a monotone rhythm through the dust and scraggly brush. My companion leans into her strides, her skin baked the same ocher shade as the swirling dust. This is a hard land; jealous of color and hungry to paint the world in its somber, dun tones. Her dark hair swirls behind her, choked with silt and the dry, thorny seeds produced by the native scrub. On her back, swaddled in travel-stained robes to hide its heretical golden shimmer from man and gods alike, she carries the ancient Damutuko – the Mourning Blade she is forbidden to wield.
Three days we've trudged across this burning, desolate waste.
Three days under the merciless sun, no food in our bellies and the barest sips of water to soothe our parched lips. Were it not for my companion's uncanny facility in locating those meager damp rivulets flowing beneath the cracked earth, I fear I would have long since blown away on the winds – more dust to choke the Southern skies.
I fear that we face another three days walking.
But I fear the things behind us more.