In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Your Days are Numbered.”
It wasn’t hard to find the number. I mean, we’d known we were looking for a number and how many numbers can one expect in the midst of a vast desert?
For a time, we stood staring at the small limestone marker, blown free from the raging sands by the winds.
“Well,” Michael said. He is always the first one to speak. And, as usual, the ‘wells’ made the rounds until coming to me.
“So what the heck does it mean?” I asked instead.
“Huh…” Another round. I was starting to feel like I was in an echo chamber. A dry, hot, sandy, echo chamber, but still.
“Number?” Susan asked.
Well, really? “But meaning what? date? time? address? Curse of the 11815?”
“It has to be a… marker for something,” Diana put in, sharp eyes red-rimmed above the scarf covering her mouth and nose.
Susan was getting bored. I could tell because she was sighing every other minute.
“Maybe it’s the entrance to a secret kingdom in the sand.”
“In the sand?”
“Yeah, well,” I replied, “you know. Under the sand.”
“A city?” Daniel said scornfully. “How would a city get under the sand.”
“There is a lot of sand,” Diane put in, trying to support me against Daniel.
“I want to go home. I’m hungry,” Susan pouted, already starting to pull off her scarf.
“If you do that,” Michael warned her, “you’ll drown in the sand.”
Susan threw her scarf on the ground, arms akimbo. Stuck out her lower lip. “I don’t care. I won’t drown in your silly little sand.” She stomped her foot.
“Stop acting like a 5 year old!” Diane snapped, rolling her eyes like Mom when Dad says something silly.
A deeper pout. “I am five,” Susan said primly, turning around and tromping out of the wood. “I’m going to get some cookies,” she threw back over her shoulder. “And I’m not going to bring any to any of you!”
Daniel started to cry. He hated missing cookies.
Michael kicked the plastic marker out of the dirt, breaking it with his boot. “I am never going to play with children again!” He stomped off, kicking at branches.
“You’re only 12!” Diane shot back, mumbling about snotty big brothers.
“I wish I was born an only child,” I sighed out and huffed away. Big brothers are….. gross.
Well….. at least, there were cookies.