Their taxi has been driving for days, against a backdrop of dunes, when at last the makeshift tents come into view. In the backseat Sunny has a temperature of 102, and the pale purple spots down his legs are no longer turning white when his mother presses on them. "Just a little further, sweat pea," she whispers into his warm ear. The car goes over a bump, and her head inadvertently knocks against his. But he doesn't cry, or even whimper; he just looks at her with his drowsy, wandering eyes.
They are not allowed inside the tents. A series of signs leads them along a winding path to a steep hill, where the mother has to stop and catch her breath before going on. Sunny is heavy in her arms. Hot and heavy, and far too quiet. But there on the other side of the hill, where the sand gives way to pale tall grass, is one last tent with its flaps tied back.
"I don't know what's wrong with him," she says. There are two women who take him from her. They nod and turn their backs toward her. "I feel kind of crazy coming here, but..."
"He'll be fine," one of them says. They have set him down inside the tent, washed his legs, told him something in their soft, braided language. A silvery glow appears in one of their hands, and they begin.
Fiction Friday is an outlet for experimentation while I slowly work on becoming a novelist. Read the rest of the stories here...