Three days ago Juan had escaped. Now he was lost in the desert of what would become Arizona in another 300 years. The natives had attacked and killed everyone in the expedition except for the lone escapee. They’d tied him down next to an anthill and had left him to rot. Luckily for him one of the stakes came loose which let him get away. At least now he wouldn’t have to worry about having to work for one of the missions again.
I need to find some water soon. He brushed the sweat from his forehead. His shirt, soaked with sweat, clung to his back. Soaked pants retarded the movement of his legs.
Stumbling, he fell into a cactus. The sharp needles pierced the skin of his hand, and arm. “Oh shit!” Wincing, he pulled himself free. Then he removed the sharp spines that had lodged themselves in his skin.
Think man! His eyes swept the vicinity seeking out some kind of shelter. Not spotting any he sighed and decided to push on hoping he’d find something soon. He also hoped he wouldn’t get found by those natives again. They were bad news. So were the cactus plants which he tried to carefully avoid.
With the heat of the day what appeared to be water showed in the distance. He knew that was just a mirage though he’d learned from the expedition leader. Now he wished he’d paid more attention when the leader had spoken about navigating an area.
He slogged along as the hot sun beat down on him. Though only a couple of hours it seemed like an eternity wandering through a strange land that was devoid of life. No birds flew overhead. Even the lizards, and snakes, seemed to be in hiding from the blistering sun.
His head began to hurt from a headache. Spots began to form in his vision. Trying to blink he tried clearing his sight. His mouth hanging open began to dry out and his tongue stuck to his teeth.
Just as his vision began to fade he smacked into a tree face first. He shook his head, and blinked. The shade was a welcome respite. Then, he spotted the little creek. He made his way to the bank and fell to his knees. Dipping his hands in the cool water he splashed some water on his face which instantly refreshed. Next he leaned over and took a sip. He wanted just a little of the sweet nectar to slake his thirst.
Now, he would rest in this place for a short time before he pushed on. Where he was going he did not know.