One Thousand Word Challenge 81: The Bridge in the Desert

It was a warm day, as was the shift from winter to spring to summer would allow at any rate. Technically it just was spring, but I’m referring to the transition of seasons. Soon it would be summer as that was the way the time was meant to pass. There was no other choice; not at any rate in the present time of which I am referring to, which currently resides in the past, but that is another story entirely.

It was a warm day. It had been relatively cool for the past few weeks and even months. There had been some spikes, but nothing too verbose. They hadn’t lasted and it had remained relatively cold for a little while. However, this particular day was warm. It would be warm on the following day, as well as the day after that. The previous day to the current one had also been warm. After two days hence the temperature would once more drop and there would be a little bit more coolness in the air, which of course would be greatly appreciated. There was a little too much warmth for those who were interested in the patterns of temperature, but it was only a fleeting thing, as it always was and always will be, but of course none of that has anything to do with what is being discussed at this very present moment. This is all just for setting so as to be able to help experience the atmosphere that was being created by the art of making it up as one goes along, but you’re not meant to know that, so pretend that I said nothing about that at all. Please.

Anyway, it was a warm day and it was a particularly warm one. It was a long day, too. Perhaps too long, but sometimes that is the way that things go and there’s little you can do about it. The day was almost as long as the vast expanse of desert that lay in front of those who were looking to cross a desert, or spend time in a desert based on whatever reasoning was appropriate to them at the given time.  That was the way that things go sometimes.

As it was a warm day and the desert itself was warm and the sun was bare, the heat was a dry one. It was almost too much to deal with at the given moment of which this particular narration takes place within. The desert itself was not featureless; far from it. There were plenty of features.

Windswept dunes of varying sizes and seemingly impossible proportions pockmarked the view depending on where you were. There were craggy ranges, some low, dry vegetation around. Sometimes there were great patches of desert flora among rocky surfaces and sandy vistas, somehow looking like they were holding it all together.

This particular desert was not the driest around either, for there were locations where rivers flowed freely, though those locations certainly were few and far between. Of course those places had more vegetation and the psychological strain placed on crossing this particular desert was severely diminished when among the rivers, for they provided an easy way out, though of course easy was relative to the other was though the desert, which of course could involve lengthy crossings that felt aimless. Despite attempts to carve paths, it could be easy to lose yourself somewhere in the place if you were not careful. Careful was easy to do; you just needed to pay attention and heed advice. It also helped if you were not new to the desert. Dangerous was hard, but there of course were plenty of those who would be willing to not listen and think they could carve their way through with relative ease. However, these people who would do such a thing were decreasing in numbers and those who didn’t listen were becoming easier to rescue.

What the rivers allowed was a direct route out to some greater region of water, and perhaps a traditional port town or city. There was, of course, the chances of seeing greater amounts of vegetation which would mean more food, or at least the potential for more sustenance. However, of course there were other things to worry about along the way and the patience required for flowing along a river was often great. There also was the issue of shifting flow rates, though depending on where you were, this was not the greatest of concerns.

There were plenty of reasons as to why people would enter the desert. Despite its overwhelming size, there were settlements and it often provided a quicker pass than going around; something of which was generally not recommended, even though it meant journeys took far less time with greater chance of opportunity. For many a person, the fast way through the desert involved crossing a bridge situated over a chasm, joining two precipices of which on either side was a large expanse of earthen-coloured rock. One one side of the bridge there were guard buildings, and a little further on was a city, large and mercantile in design. It was there that many a people would look to reach and potentially pass through, and whilst the city was generally a much-welcomed visual both upon approach and arrival, it could also feel menacing.

Whilst they let people through without issue more often than not, the bridge guards themselves were highly unnerving; their expressions often much like the rock of the precipices themselves. Even those not aware of their reputation were more often filled with a sense of unease upon setting their eyes on the guards than they were a sense of calm.

The bridge’s location was an intentional choice both for efficiency and for perception; its figure and presence cast a long shadow and firm impression.

For many the bridge provided mixed feelings. Whilst it signaled a desired sense of safety and confidence, it also signified uncertainty for what lay ahead.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 20:02:62

So this started off pretty… I don’t know. I think this got better the further on it went. Perhaps a little too much meandering.

This writing is kind of a continuation of something I wrote a while ago. After I wrote the prior bit I had the idea of perhaps turning it into a full narrative, though it might’ve been just beforehand. Not entirely sure, but turning it into a full narrative is what I wanted to do, but I put it aside for some reason.

Written at home.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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