The Observer.

So had they called him. His beard was a dusty gray, sprouting out of the craggy, wrinkled face behind. His eyes, though covered in a milky sheen, were not yet useless. In his withering hands he held a wooden staff, knotted and gnarled as he was.

The moon was up, and it was night. A warm breeze wafted across the dune sea, the massive mountains of sand murmuring as was sometimes their wont. Far away, by several teardrop-shaped mounds of rock, lay a cluster of fire-lit tents. Most within were asleep.

Suddenly, an orange tongue of flame engulfed one of the tents. With terrifying swiftness, the entire camp was ablaze. Even the Observer’s failing hearing could detect the screams and shouts of the people so far across the ancient sands, their terror and their rage mixing with the hum of the singing dunes.

“.بسّ” He whispered it, partly out of pleading and partly out of detached, sorrowful resignation. “.بسّ”

He clicked his tongue and urged his camel slowly on, leaving the sight behind.

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