“It’s not like I don’t deserve to be here—” I trailed off, bracing myself as another of the frequent sandstorms raged. On an open highway, with no shelter in sight, there was little I could do against the gale except squint my eyes and reserve the curses for later—assuming there was a later. But it ended as quickly as it began, and I shook the sand out of my hair, wiped my stinging eyes, emptied my boots, and continued walking in that order.
There was nothing else but to walk.
Although the sweat, more of a stink at this point, was a constant regardless of whether I was moving or standing still, the wheezing started again before I’d even covered another quarter-mile. The damn wheezing. I felt sand moving around in my lungs with a life of its own. I knew that eventually I’d be more sand than man, and then I, too, would join the breeze, hot and hateful.
Ash to ash, I thought. Dust to dust.