Desert

DESERT

1

He wakes up to the most gentle touch. Something rubbing his chest and making its way down to his pants. His first thought was his wife, Jessica.

He open his eyes slowly. Everything is blurred and there’s a soreness in his body. There’s pain coming from his head down to his legs. He knows he’s outside because the heat from the sun burns his eyes and has made his mouth dry. The gentle touch he felt earlier continues moving towards his waist. He lifts his head slowly, the pain rushing to head even more. He looks down and comes face-to-face with the tail end of a rattlesnake. He jumps up.

Rudy

Jesus Christ!

The snake slithers off into a hole. Rudy looks around. He feels the dried up blood on the side of his face. He looks up to see the desert mountains tower above him. Suddenly, he remembers where he’s at.

Rudy

Jessica…Jessica!

He turns around to see the SUV upside down.

Rudy

Oh no…

 

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Rudy runs to it and immediately falls grabbing his leg. He looks down and sees a piece of glass sticking out of his thigh. He pulls it out quickly and puts pressure on the wound. Luckily, no artery was hit. He gets up and moves to the SUV. As he nears the broken window, the sight of three corpses stop him in his tracks. The bodies of the tourists lay over each other, covered in bullet holes, blood everywhere. His heart sinks.

Rudy

Jessica… Jessica! Where are you?!

He scans the vehicle. The soreness in his leg is overwhelming, but he continues looking. He moves to the back of the SUV and sees a woman’s hand, Jessica’s hand, sticking out of the window.

 

Rudy

Jessica!

Jessica lays unconscious, bleeding from her head. Rudy checks to see if she’s breathing. She is. He tries to pull her out, but can’t. Her leg is pinned between the seat in front of her and the floor board.

Rudy

Hang on baby.

He looks around and to his surprise, the driver is seen running to the top of the hill.

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Rudy

Hey! Hey stop! Come back I need your help!

The driver ignores him and continues running frantically.

Rudy

Stop! My wife is hurt! Hey!

The driver continues running over the hill out of sight. Rudy runs to the side of the SUV and opens the door. One of the bodies falls out of the door and near his feet. Rudy hesitates for a moment before moving inside. He crawls to the back where his wife is.

Rudy

Jessica do you hear me? Talk to me baby. I’m gonna get you out.

Jessica moans. Rudy puts his hands under the seat and lifts as hard as he can. It doesn’t budge. He lifts again. This time, the seat moves just enough, and he quickly kicks her purse under to and brings the seat down. The gap her purse provided is enough to slide her foot out. He crawls out of the rear window then grabs Jessica and pulls her carefully outside. He wraps his arms around her.

Rudy

It’s ok. I’m here. I gotcha.

Jessica opens her eyes slightly.

Jessica

Rudy?

Rudy

Yea baby it’s me.

She smiles then faints. Rudy nudges her.

Rudy

Jessica? Open your eyes. I need you to stay awake. Jessica!

But nothing. She unconscious again. Out of fear, Rudy searches around for anything or anyone, but all he sees is sand and blood.

Rudy

Somebody help! Please!

His voice echoes into the distance.

Rudy

Please help me!

2

Rudy pushes forward. Sweat drips down his forehead and into his eyes. He blinks several times, avoiding the stinging feeling he gets from the salt oozing out of his pores. Jessica dangles on top of him, a piece of clothing wrapped around her head to shade from the sun. His legs are burning and his back is in extreme pain, but he keeps moving.

His head is swirling with the many questions clouding his mind. What the hell happened? Who killed those men? Are the killers still out there? Why can’t I remember?

The high sand dune he’s climbing seems never-ending. He looks up to see how close he is to the top. As he does, Jessica twitches unexpectedly. Rudy loses his balance and drops her accidentally. Jessica starts to roll down the hill.

Rudy

No!

Rudy jumps forward and grabs her hand. With his feet dug deep in the sand, he pulls her towards him.

Rudy

I got you.

Rudy takes a breather.

 

Jessica

Rudy?

Rudy turns to her startled. He gently lifts her head.

Rudy

I’m here love.

Jessica

What happened?

Rudy

We chose the wrong activity.

He says with a chuckle, his sense of humor never fading. Jessica brings her hand to her head.

Jessica

My head hurts.

Rudy

I know. Try to take it easy. You hit your head pretty hard.

Jessica

Where are we?

Rudy

Somewhere in the desert.

Jessica looks around and sees the vehicle at the bottom of the hill.

Jessica

Oh god. How did we…

Rudy

I don’t know. I can’t remember what exactly happened, but we should keep moving. I saw the driver run this way. If we’re lucky, maybe we can catch up to him.

Jessica

I’m thirsty.

Rudy opens the plastic bag and reaches inside for a bottle of water.

Rudy

Here.

Jessica drinks it fast.

Rudy

Slowly babe. I only found three in the trunk. They need to last us as much as they can.

Jessica puts the top back on the bottle and hands it back to Rudy. He puts it away then analyzes his wife’s head. Jessica winces a little.

Rudy

The bleeding stopped. That’s good. You think you can walk?

Jessica

I don’t know.

Rudy

Let’s give it a try.

He helps her up. As soon as Jessica stands straight up, her knees wobble and she falls to the sand. Rudy catches her to make sure she doesn’t roll down. Jessica turns and vomits. Rudy holds her.

Rudy

I got you baby.

Jessica

I’m sorry. My head started spinning really fast. I can’t right now.

Rudy

It’s ok. It’s ok love. We’ll just wait here.

He pulls out the water bottle and hands it to her again. Jessica looks at him hesitant.

Rudy

It’s fine love. Go ahead and drink. You need it.

She does. Rudy looks around.

Rudy

Stay here ok? I’m gonna go to the top. Check if I can see anything. Hopefully there’s good news up there.

Jessica nods. Rudy hurries up the hill. When he reaches the top, his eyes widen and breathing nearly stops. He falls to his knees and looks back down to his wife, his eyes teary.

Rudy’s troubled expression tells Jessica all she needs to know, and it’s not good news.

3

The moon shines bright above the cold sand. The chilly breeze sends a shutter down Jessica’s back. She rubs her arms repeatedly. Rudy moves closer to his wife and wraps his arms around her. She softens a little, but the cold wind continues to to hit her face.

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Hours pass.

The sudden howl of wolves wake both Rudy and Jessica up. They look down the hill and see a wolf pack circling the damaged vehicle. Rudy whispers low to Jessica.

Rudy

Don’t make a sound.

Jessica

Oh my god.

Rudy

Follow me.

 

Rudy slowly crawls to the left side of the hill. Jessica follows behind.

The wolfs inch closer and closer to the vehicle. The sight of available flesh attracts them, and their mouths begin to salivate. One moves to the door while the others wait. In a split second, his jaws clam down on the arm of one of the dead bodies. The wolf drags the body out violently. When the head appears out of the door, the rest of the pack run to it and begin tearing the body apart.

Jessica stops and closes her eyes. Tears slide down her cheek. Rudy turns to her and grabs her hand.

Rudy

Come on baby. We have to keep moving.

Jessica continues crawling. They reach the other side of the hill. Rudy looks into the distance. The darkness makes it difficult to see anything and he knows they can’t stay there. Jessica moves closer to him and buries her head into his chest. He holds her tight. She tries to hold back her emotions. Rudy keeps browsing the area and finds a teepee looking tree not too far beyond their position.

Rudy

We need to leave. They’ll be busy eating. Now’s the time. You see those stacked logs. We’ll be safe in there. Let’s go.

Rudy quietly gets up and leads her down the hill and into the darkness.

More hours pass.

The sun blares down on the sandy terrain, it’s rays shining through the gaps of the tree and onto Jessica’s face. She slowly opens her eyes. She hears muffling sounds in the distance, but can’t make out what it is. Then, a gunshot startles her. She looks up from the foxhole Rudy dug for them hours earlier. It was a smart idea. It served two purposes, cover from predators and protection from the chilly night.

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She sticks her head out to see Rudy facing her, finger over his lips. Shhh… he orders. Jessica goes silent. Rudy turns around and peeks into a hole of the tree.

Up the hill stand a group of three armed men. They look down at the crash site, pointing and laughing. Something has their attention. Then, Rudy sees what it is. A fourth man appears holding up a half eaten head. The man passes it around like a hot potato. When the last guy catches it, he throws down the hill in Rudy’s direction. The head rolls and stops, face towards Rudy.

Rudy turns away for a moment. Jessica looks on in worry.

Jessica

What’s the matter?

Rudy

Stay there.

Rudy turns to look at them again. This time, a fifth man appears into the scene. This one however, is not laughing or holding a gun. He’s naked and scared. Suddenly, Rudy knows who the man is. The driver!

One of the armed men pushes the driver down. They yell something at him. He holds his hands up in surrender and shakes his head. The other armed man makes his way down to the crash site. Meanwhile, the others continue their harassment on the driver.

Rudy frowns, trying to understand what they’re saying. Then, almost instantly, its clear. He sees the armed man reappear from the crash holding Jessica’s purse. He whispers to himself.

 Rudy

Oh no.

The armed man points towards the crash site, holds up the purse, and points to the driver. The driver shakes his head. He points in all directions of the desert and shrugs. One of the armed men kicks him behind his knees. The driver falls. Before he can recover fully, another armed man swings his rifle at him, connecting with his face. Blood shoots out of his mouth. Rudy watches in horror. The driver gets to his knees. The men point their weapons at him. Rudy begins breathing rapidly. He locks eyes with the driver’s. The driver’s eyes widen and before he can call out, bullets rain down on him.

Rudy turns away. Jessica cowers inside the foxhole. Both cover their ears. When the shooting stops, Rudy peeks back out. The driver lays dead. The armed men chat amongst themselves. Suddenly, Rudy sees one of them eye his direction pretty hard. Rudy quickly backs away and towards the foxhole. Jessica looks up as Rudy begins to throw sand over her.

Jessica

Rudy?

Rudy

They’re coming. We have to hide. lay down.

Jessica does as he says. Rudy takes one of the shirts, wets it, and hands it to her.

Rudy

Breathe through this. Whatever happens, whatever you hear, do not move.

Jessica nods and puts her head down. Rudy continues pouring sand over her until she’s fully buried. He looks back and notices the armed man making his way down the hill. He grabs the water bottles and lays down next to Jessica, then starts to pull sand over himself.

The armed man nears the teepee. Rudy lies as flat as he can then throws sand on top.

The armed man points his weapon at the teepee. He walks to the other side and readies himself to shoot. He raises the barrel jumps to the other side and sees…nothing. He walks closer, scanning the area.

Rudy feels the weight of the armed man getting closer. He tries his best to breathe, but the sand in his nose prevents it. Suddenly, he feels his foot on top of his calf. Bastard’s on top of me!

The armed man takes another step forward. He continues scanning the area. He inches closer inside the tree. He looks into the gaps and can see his pals on the top of the hill. One of them calls to him and waves him over. He walks away, stepping over Rudy. Then he stops in his tracks and looks down. Something doesn’t feel right to him.

Rudy shutters slightly. I can’t breathe! Suddenly, he feels a sharp pain on his leg. He presses his lips tight. The sharp pain returns as the armed man stomps on his leg again.

The armed man hears the call from one of his pals once more. He looks down and shrugs, then walks away.

Rudy slowly lifts his head to peek out. He sees him on the hill making his way up. Quickly, Rudy lifts his head out and takes a deep breath. He slowly rises from the sand and makes his way to Jessica. He uncovers her head and helps her get out.

Rudy

You ok?

Jessica

What’s happening Rudy? Who are those men?

Rudy

I don’t know…

He sees the men disappear over the hill.

Rudy

I don’t know.

 

Get the hell away from my wife...

4

Jessica appears from the back of the store. The local man grabs her violently. He points at her legs and shouts at her, his tone hostile. Jessica shakes her head and tries to pull away from his grasp.

 

Jessica

I don’t understand. I’m sorry.

The local man continues yelling

The other local men join in, yelling and pointing at Jessica. She tries to get away, but the his hold is too tight. Suddenly, Rudy appears, startling everyone, and pulls Jessica away from the man’s grip. He gets right in the man's face.  

Rudy

Get the hell away from my wife…

Rudy wakes up to the sun blaring down on him, blinding him slightly. He sits up and rubs his face. He looks around and sees Jessica a concerned look on her face.

Jessica

Bad dream?

Rudy

Not sure it was a dream.

Jessica sits up and leans against Rudy.

Jessica

What are we gonna do?

Rudy

We keep moving babe. That’s all we can do.

Jessica sighs, the exhaustion getting to her.

Jessica

I’m hungry.

Rudy nods then gets up.

Rudy

Then we best be leaving. Maybe we’ll find something on our way.

Jessica

Something like what?

Rudy

I don’t know. There are animals that live in the desert.

Jessica

I know you don’t think I’m gonna eat any animal that’s out here.

Rudy

Might not be an animal.

Jessica cringes.

Rudy

Well what do you expect? That there’ll be a grocery store further down where we can buy vegetables.

Jessica

Yea! Maybe!

Rudy smiles then takes her hand.

Rudy

Come on love. it won’t be that bad.

Jessica takes a deep breath, lets it out, then regrettably gets up.

Rudy

Just think of it this way. Whatever we find, it’ll be organic.

Jessica

Eww.

Time passes,

and before long, it’s late afternoon.

The snake slithers slowly along the sand. Out of nowhere, a large piece of wood slams down on top of it. The snake’s tail lashes out violently. Rudy drives his foot down on top of the wood with force repeatedly until the snake stops. He lifts the wood to reveal the dead snake. He grabs it and takes it with him.

Moments later, Rudy pulls hard on the scales, skinning it to its meat. Jessica looks on in disgust. When he finishes, he holds it up to Jessica.

 

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Jessica

I’m not eating  that.

Rudy

You have to. You haven’t eaten anything in two days. Come on.

Jessica

No! That’s disgusting.

Rudy sighs and takes a large bite of the snake’s flesh. Jessica turns away. He holds it up to her.

 

 

Rudy

Tastes like chicken.

Jessica

Everything tastes like chicken to you!

Rudy

Just try it. If you don’t eat, you’ll lose your strength. Seriously eat babe.

Jessica hesitates.

Rudy

Do you wanna die out here?

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She sighs and gives in. She grabs it and slowly leans in for a bite. She chews off a small part. Her face cringes, but she keeps chewing. Rudy watches in amusement.

Rudy

See? Chicken right?

Jessica rolls her eyes.

"Do you wanna die out here?"

- Rudy

It's late in the day...

...and the sun has already begun to fall. Rudy and Jessica continue their quest through the desert. The heat has taken a toll on them, but at least they’re not hiking up high sand dunes. Earlier in the day, they reached dry roads and mountains, but still no signs of rescue.

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Jessica takes a break and leans against a large boulder. Rudy joins her.

Rudy

You ok?

Jessica

I need to rest.

Rudy looks around and wipes the sweat from his forehead. He pulls out the water bottle and sees hardly any visible. He hands it to Jessica. She drinks the last of their supply. Rudy focuses on something in the distance. He raises his hand to his face, shading the sun from his view. His eyes widen and immediately starts running.

Rudy

Jessica! Look! Let’s go Hurry!

Jessica stands up startled and confused. She watches Rudy run towards a small ridge nearby.

Jessica

Rudy wait!

Rudy

Come on!

He sees what looks like a small town.

Filled with excitement he speeds up and trips on a rock, but that doesn’t stop him. He crawls as fast as he can to the edge. When he reaches it, he comes to a halt. What the hell? He’s at a loss for words. The image in front of him is not a town, but giant array of sand dunes, lines up as far back as he can see. He looks around and see nothing but mountains and open spaces. It was a mirage. Jessica reaches him.

Rudy whispers out loud.

Rudy

Where the fuck are we?

Jessica hears the sadness in his voice. Rudy’s head droops down. She reaches for his hand and pulls him towards her. Rudy falls into her arms and holds back his emotions.

Rudy

I’m sorry baby.

Jessica feels his body shake. Her eyes tear up as she brushes his hair. Rudy calms down.

Jessica

How bout next time, we vacation somewhere with a large beach?

Rudy chuckles slightly.

Rudy

You mean like Aruba?

Jessica

Yea. Or Dominican Republic. Any of those white sandy beaches.

Rudy looks at her and smiles. They both get up and immediately fall back down when a bullet zooms past them.

Jessica

What was that?

Rudy looks behind them and sees the armed men running towards them.

Rudy

Run!

They take off towards the mountain. The armed men point their guns at them and shoot. Bullets pierce the rocky road near Rudy and Jessica. Rudy leads her to the other side of the mountain. He looks up and sees it attach to cliffs and mountains.

Rudy

We have to climb. Come on let’s go!

Without hesitating, Jessica climbs up the giant rock, Rudy behind her. The armed men reach the other side of the mountain. They quickly search for them. One catches a glimpse of Rudy and yells for the others. They start to climb the mountain.

Rudy looks down and see them following. He urges Jessica forward. They reach a small clearing on the edge of the cliff.

Rudy

Keep to the wall.

Jessica does. They quickly and carefully make it to the other side.

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Rudy sees a hole nearby in the ground big enough to fit both of them.

Rudy

Here.

They get inside and wait. Rudy peeks out.

The armed men arrive. The leader orders the others to search for them. Rudy squints, trying to get a better look at the man. I know that guy… The leader turns around, giving Rudy a clear view of his face.

He was in the store…

In that moment, everything came rushing back to Rudy.

Street Shop. Two days earlier.

Rudy, Jessica, and three other male tourists enter the shop. Their driver waves to the shop owner then turns to the group.

Driver

Please use the restroom if you need to and get yourselves some water and snacks. It’ll be hot today.

The group split up. The male tourists see a group of four local men, who appear like regular towns people, but are anything but. The tourists instantly taunt them. The local men stare at the male tourists with disapproval. The shop owner is quick to calm them down, but they yell at him and continue to stare at the tourists.

Jessica whispers to Rudy.

Jessica

I’m gonna use the restroom.

Rudy

Ok, I’ll be over by the chips.

Jessica walks past the local men. They look at her and whistle. Jessica feels their dirty stares and ignores it. She quickly makes her way to the restroom.

Rudy browses the selection of chips on display. From the corner of the store, there’s commotion between the local men and shop owner. The tourists laugh at something on display. The driver watches them then turns to the local men and swallows nervously. He calls out to the group.

Driver

We leave in two minutes. Please hurry.

Jessica appears from the back of the store wiping her hands on a paper towel. As she makes her way to Rudy, one of the local men grabs her arm. She turns to find the man in her face, pointing at her smiling, his tone hostile and threatening. He says something in the local language. Jessica shakes her head and tries to pull away from his grasp.

Jessica

I don’t understand. I’m sorry.

The local man comes on to her more forcefully. His friends watch in amusement. Suddenly, Rudy appears and pulls Jessica away from the man’s grip and confronts him, startling the local man.

Rudy

Get the hell away from my wife.

Just then, all the men are on their feet. Jessica pulls on Rudy’s shirt.

Jessica

Let’s go.

Rudy backs away, his eyes fixated on the man's face. The three tourists traveling with them appear from the back and witness the confrontation. One of them walks up and stands next to Rudy.

Tourist 1

Whoa, whoa, what’s up we got a problem here?

The local man yells something at him.

Tourists 1

I don’t speak Hindi you fucking Hadji!

The other tourists join their friend by his side. The local man continues yelling.

Tourists 1

Okay I see what he’s trying to tell us.

He turns to walk away. Then, without hesitation, he turns back around with a strong jab to the local man’s jaw. He falls. The place erupts in chaos, a mosh pit of American tourists and local men fighting each other.

Rudy and Jessica hurry to the door. One of the local men spots them and runs. Rudy pushes Jessica out of the way then grabs the display of souvenirs and shoves it at the local man, sending him crashing to the floor. He tries to recover, but Rudy kicks him in the face.

The shop owner, driver, and a couple other local shoppers try to break up the fight. When the brawl wears down, the local man points to the driver and says something. Whatever it was, stuns the driver.  The American tourist continue their insults. The driver urges them to go back to the car. As they exit the shop, the driver looks back to see the local men watching, a dark smile on their face.

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Some time later, Rudy and Jessica are in the back of the SUV, enjoying the extreme sport of the Safari Desert. Suddenly, the fun stops as bullets hit the side of the SUV. They look back to find the same group of local men behind them, shooting at them.

Male Tourist

What the hell?!

The chase goes on for a bit, The driver, out of fear floors it to the top of the hill. The local men try to follow behind, but their car stutters, and before they know it, the engine catches on fire. Rudy watches the men exit the vehicles and kick their car in frustration.

Meanwhile, the driver pushes the limit on the SUV as it continues raving up the hill.

Rudy

Stop! They’re not following anymore.

The driver ignores him and continues driving. The SUV shakes violently.

Rudy

Hey! You’re sucking in too much sand! Stop the damn car!

Before anyone else can react, the SUV flips and tumbles down the other side of the hill. The last thing Rudy remembers seeing is pitch black.

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He's nervous, scared even.

Rudy watches the leader cautiously approach them. Jessica holds her breath. Rudy readies himself to attack. The armed man raises his gun. He inches closer. A moving shadow catches his attention above.

He looks up to see a hungry mountain lion charge at him. The lion snaps its jaws on the man’s face. He yells and shoots sporadically, hitting one of his friends behind him.

Rudy quickly shields Jessica’s eyes.

Another appears and attempts to shoot the lion, but out of nowhere, the lioness jumps onto his back and bites his neck. The man yells in agony. The lions tear apart the armed men. Rudy closes his eyes.

Hours pass.

The moon illuminates above the horizon. Rudy peeks out of his hiding spot. The lions are gone. He slowly creeps out. The scene in front of him is a pool of red. Three of the armed men’s bodies lay in a pile of flesh and bone. Critters have already begun collecting the remains. Rudy does his best to hold in his nausea. He turns to Jessica.

Rudy

Give me your hand, but don’t look.

Jessica reaches for his hand. Rudy leads her away from the horrific site. They make their way down the mountain.

More time passes and Jessica grows restless. She stops and drops to the ground rubbing her arms from the cold. Rudy crouches next to her.

Rudy

Are you ok?

She shakes her head. Rudy sits down.

Jessica

I can’t get their screams out of my head.

Rudy

There was nothing we could’ve done.

Jessica buries her face in her hands and weeps. Rudy wraps his arms around her and holds her tight.

Some time later, they’re back on the move.

Rudy

When we get back, I’m going to buy two double doubles with two animal style fries and a giant root beer.

Jessica shakes her head and laughs.

Rudy

What do you want babe?

Jessica

I would go for ten pupupas, four orders of fries, and an ice tea. Unsweetened.

They both laugh.

POW!

Suddenly there’s a popping sound in the distance. Rudy falls to the ground grabbing his leg. He yells. A stunned Jessica looks down and sees blood coming out of his leg. Oh my god! 

Another popping sound is heard.

 

Rudy

Get down!

Jessica falls to the ground.

They both look behind them to see the last armed man shooting at them.

Rudy

Go! Go run!

They get up and take off towards the hills. The armed man chases after them.

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Rudy and Jessica reach the side of the mountain. Rudy falls to the ground. Jessica stops and goes back for him.

Rudy

Go. Up the hill. Find cover and hide.

Jessica

I’m not leaving without you.

The bullet ricochets off the mountain and blows dirt in Rudy’s face.

Rudy

Go!

Jessica

I can’t!

Rudy

Jessica! GO!

Jessica looks at him, tears in her eyes. Rudy smiles.

Rudy

It’ll be ok babe. Go.

Jessica runs up the hill. Rudy crawls away in the opposite direction. He feels another bullet bounce off the ground near him. He looks up to see the armed man closing in. He sees an opening in the mountain and rushes to it.

The armed man watches Rudy limp to the other side of the mountain. He shoots again, but misses. he runs to meet him. He can’t see him. He searches for him. Then he sees the opening. He smiles and goes to it, gun raised. When he comes to the opening he points and shoots. His smile fade when he sees the hole empty. Just then, Rudy jumps on him and tackles him to the ground. The gun falls.

The two men wrestle. Both getting the best of each other. Rudy punches him to the ground. He gets on top of him and continues hitting him. Rudy doesn’t see the armed man grab a big piece of rock and before he can react, the rock strikes his face. Rudy falls. The armed man raises the rock high in the air, but before he can deliver the final blow to Rudy.

Jessica shoots...

...the last of the bullets into his chest. The man falls, dead. Jessica hurries to Rudy’s aide.

Jessica

Rudy!

Rudy opens his eyes. The mere sight of his wife’s face puts a smile on his face.

Rudy

Did I win?

Jessica sighs.

7

The afternoon heat bears down on the couple. They fall to the ground. Both barely alive. Rudy looks over at his wife. Jessica gasps for air. Rudy reaches for her hand and holds it. Jessica looks at him. He manages a smile.

Rudy

I love you.

Jessica

I love you too.

Rudy crawls closer to his wife and puts his arm on her. Jessica closes her eyes. Rudy kisses her.

Rudy

Till my death love…till my death.

Jessica moans. Rudy looks up to the sky. In the distance he hears a strange sound. He lifts his head in the direction of the sound. His vision is blurred. A white spec scurries across his view.

What is that?

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He rolls to his side to get a better view. He squints. The white spec has multiplied. He blinks hard and opens his eyes. The white specs come into clearer view. They seem to resemble vehicles.

It’s another mirage. 

The sound gets louder and stronger. He pushes himself to sit up. He raises his hand with all the strength he has left and waves. He tries to yell but can’t.

They don’t see me.

He tries to yell again, but no luck. He falls to the ground, his eyes still fixated on the vehicles. Suddenly, he sees one getting closer.

Is this real?

The vehicle grows bigger and bigger, until it is meters away. Rudy looks up to see tourists yell for him. He can’t make out what they’re saying, but he knows they’re speaking English. The tourists rush out of the car and to them. He sees them take out water and give it to Jessica. Then one of the men sits him up and pours water on his lips.

Nothing has ever tasted so good. The tourists pick them up and carry them to the vehicle. By now, the other vehicles arrive to help. The drivers quickly clear out the back to make room for them. Rudy begins to faint. He tries to keep his eyes open.

Jessica? Where is my wife?

He sees Jessica carried to another vehicle.

No! I have to stay with her. Take me to her! Jessica!

He faints into darkness.

Rudy wakes up covered in badges. He turns his head slightly to see Jessica sleeping.

Rudy

Babe?

 

Jessica wakes up and smiles. Emotions get the best of him.

Rudy

You’re here.

Jessica looks into his teary eyes, her’s filled tears of her own.

Jessica

Till my death love…till my death.

behind the story

Recently, my wife and I vacationed in Dubai for a week. First off let me say, it was an amazing experience. The local people were extremely nice, the food was delicious, and the city was just jaw dropping. I was at awe looking at the incredible architecture built in the city. And the fact that they are not even close to finishing, just makes me wonder how glorious the city will look once all the infrastructure is complete.

There were many activities and tours we attended. One was the Desert Safari. In this tour, we got to go off roading. Our driver went all out to give us an extreme feeling of danger and excitement bashing over the sand dunes. We enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we were allowed to explore the desert for a bit before finishing off the night with a local BBQ dinner and entertainment.

While my wife and I were wandering around the sand dunes, I got this idea of what would happen if we were stranded? Horrible thing to think about when you're on vacation, but my mind races for the next story when I see something interesting. I began taking photos and video of what I thought would help narrate the story. Add to it the suspense/action element to it, and there it was, DESERT.

I had a lot of fun writing this story.

Vacationing with my wife is always a blast. We experience so many things and I can't wait for our next adventure.

- J Geronimo Herrera