The boy trudged through the desert. If you could have perched upon the back of the vulture lazily spiraling the skies above him, you would have seen that even from that height, the only things that broke the endless monotony of sand were the boy, the long, winding trail of his footsteps, and the dark rock outcropping that thrust its head skyward. At his present pace, the boy would reach it at sunset.
He had been walking the desert for months, never aware of the impossibility of his journey, never aware that he should have died from a lack of nourishment ages ago. Perhaps his ignorance was his salvation – after all, one doesn’t die until one believes they are dead. Sometimes he thought about this, but never too deeply, lest it become true.
Just as the sun touched the horizon, he arrived at the rock. He knew it was the only feature of the desert, which otherwise was sand forever in every direction. Oh, its not that there weren’t other sacred places in the desert. There were many. They didn’t matter though. This was the place where the answers truly were.
He tilted his head up, scanning its jagged black surface. It glistened with an almost oily sheen in the fading sunlight, twinkling like a precious black jewel as the terminator between day and night crept up its length. Eventually the last rays of warmth slipped off its tip high above him, and night fell in earnest upon the desert.
The boy set his back against the warm stone and pulled this scabbed knees up against his chest beneath the small blanket he had removed from his pack. Eyes skyward, he marveled at the brilliance and multitude of stars that pricked the black of night from horizon to horizon except where the rock blocked their cheerful light, imposing its mass upon even the stars in the sky. Eventually his eyelids slid shut, and he drifted off to sleep while worlds danced around his head.