The desert can hold many mysteries.
The desert carries many hideous faces.
The sun peeked over the horizon. After a whole night of flight, it was time for the Goyles to make a landing and eat. Davina rubbed her eyes and glanced below. Bright orange sand stretched in all directions. There was an air of excitement amongst the Goyles; sand was a delicacy in Gargantuan, some even drooled as they excitedly prepared themselves for a feast.
The Goyles landed swiftly and padded about. Each found their own patch to graze. It was like watching hungry dogs run at food bowls. Crunch, crunch, crunch! The thought of chewing sand made Davina’s teeth feel funny. Instead, she turned her attention to her surroundings: the towering sand dunes undulated as far as the eye could see. They were sharp orange against the deep blue sky. In front of her, a wavering haze hung over the sand making it appear as though the sand was dancing with the air. Wiping her brow, Davina realised the sun was scorching her skin. She needed suntan lotion and a hat. Would there already be some in the bag?
‘We have news…’ were the words from a snake-like motion undulating across the sand. The winds had arrived and swirled about her. ‘You are close Regina Davina,’ they whispered.
The whirling sand brushed up and slithered over the sharply carved dunes. By her feet, tiny, shimmering, turquoise beetles emerged from the sand and made a run for it. Davina watched the patch of blue-green stampede as a mass then disperse.
‘Where is the tree at Mortvlei?’ asked Davina.
‘If you walk the path of the wind, you’ll soon find it,’ the easterly wind whispered.
Davina looked out to the desert and watched the tracks the wind was making. She smacked her lips together, already she felt parched. As far as Davina could remember, she had never been across a desert before. Although, from what she knew about deserts (which was limited) – she was going to need some water. It was not just some water, but lots of water. Without water, she would soon look like a prune – all shrivelled and dry.
Davina tapped the Shamaventus lightly. ‘I welcome water please.’ A drip of water fell from the sky and collided with Davina’s nose. Behind her, a cascade of water landed on Ghost. He was not impressed!
She shook her head in dismay, she had already ridiculed Ghost for not asking properly and now it had just happened to her. She had to concentrate on stating exactly how much she wanted or whether she wanted it in a container. Davina took a deep breath and focused. She had learned her lesson. ‘I welcome a total of fifteen litres of water contained in plastic bottles.’
No sooner had she asked, randomly somewhere else on the planet, fifteen bottles of water appeared in an office. No one in the office reacted; they all had deadlines to keep and boring work to do.
Davina looked around expecting something to appear at any moment. Ghost, even though soaked, watched with a smug grin on his face. ‘Not so easy is it?’
‘Okay I welcome a total of fifteen litres of water, contained in plastic bottles at this precise location, at this precise time with four blue straws!’
Davina frowned had she got it right? The wind picked up, something had just taken place. In front of her, the wind whipped away a dune to reveal a tidy hoard of water bottles. Davina smiled a relieved smile.
Susie sat watching the phenomenon. ‘Will that be enough for us for the whole time we are in the desert?’
Davina shook her head, ‘I’ll ask for more once our supplies get low. I suggest we take a few bottles each for now. In the meantime, I am going to start walking. We’ll leave the Goyles to graze. They can catch up with us once they’re fully fed.’
‘Don’t they have to sleep?’ asked Susie.
Davina sighed, ‘It isn’t so much sleep; it is more that they lay dormant for a while.’
‘Why don’t they sleep?’ asked Johnny curiously.
‘They don’t have organs to replenish.’
‘Well how do they eat and you know poop stones?’ asked Susie.
Davina shrugged, ‘Gargantuan is run by completely different rules, as are Gargantuan intestines.’
‘Why are there only Wolf and Beargoyles with us?’ asked Susie.
Davina shrugged, ‘I guess they were assigned to me as my Guardians. They carry a lot of my traits or what you would call my personality within them.’
‘Davina I don’t get any of this,’ said Ghost in a distracted tone. He had too many eyes and not enough arms to bat away the stray particles of sand.
‘Nor do I,’ said Davina gazing towards the sun, mesmerised by the fluid motion of the sand.
‘Well if you don’t know what’s going on then who does?’ asked Johnny.
‘Who knows? Someone must know – that’s why we’re here – isn’t it?’ said Susie.
‘What I do know is that I’m going to walk until I get to Mortvlei. Somewhere round there is a tree. That tree is where my father is – I think. When I know what is going on with him – only then will I be able to understand everything else.’
Ghost blinked multiple times with his hundreds of eyes. ‘I really don’t like sand. I think I just ate some. I don’t understand why Goyles get so excited about it.’
After an hour of trudging through soft sand, the hot and sweaty group came to an abrupt halt. With a loud gasp, Davina spotted a dark, feline figure in the distance. It was the shape of a puma. When she focused again, it was gone. Davina didn’t want to say anything, but she could sense she was close to where her father was because a rainbow encircled the sun.