The boy looked very small against the vast expanse of the horizon. As he made his way along the rocky scrub, he sheltered his eyes from a sky so bright that he couldn't bear to look at it. He was all alone now, which was nothing new. He had been alone and ignored most of his life. But now he knew he was alone, and the weight of it was not an easy burden to carry for one so young.
The breeze was picking up, but it did nothing to relieve the heat of the noonday sun. Instead it tore across the boy's skin as a blast from a furnace, adding to his misery. Had his spirit not been broken long ago, he might have dreamt of water. But all he could think of now was the never-ending horrors of his life that pushed him onward. Ahead of him was the promise of escape, and it was enough to keep him moving when even a grown man would have faltered.
Suddenly, the small child came to a stop.
He had reached the edge of a deep chasm that spread before him for as far as he could see.
The brightness of the sun brought tears to his eyes, but they had gone before he had a chance to wipe them away. Their moisture consumed by the unforgiving heat. With nowhere left to go, the boy just stood there looking for his future in the painted landscape.
Alas, no future could be found, and so the boy sat down and shuddered with quiet sobs of defeat. Not able to continue, not willing to return, the boy felt all his hopes drift away into the desert as he began wishing that he were dead.
"What's the problem here?" Inquired the desert mouse as he wandered up to the sobbing youth, his fur covered in dust...