Snakes and Pills

068 - ought to

The sudden draft of wind nearly whipped the hat right off of Anthony's head. He caught it just in time, pushing it back down onto his head, and adjusting the angle slightly so that the gust would not again pull at it so easily. Still, he considered removing it completely, as this sudden draft was quickly developing into a full-blown windstorm.

The desert's dust kicked up, and immediately Anthony noticed how his eyes, nose, and lungs filled with burning sand and dirt. Nothing in this terrible place made living any easier, and as time ground forward, things just kept getting worse and worse. Anthony pulled the sash wrapped around his neck up over his mouth and nose, hoping to filter the air going into his lungs. For his eyes, he had no option but to squint.

This storm had come out of nowhere, and as he surveyed his surroundings, there did not really seem to be anywhere he could escape to for shelter. He had to shut his eyes completely now, as much as he had tried to keep them open, the pain was overwhelming. In the darkness, he heard only the sound of the sand and the wind. The sand was biting against his skin fiercely, and Anthony was certain it was being imparted upon him with such force that, if he could only open his eyes, he would see that blood had been drawn.

In fact, he couldn't even move under his own control, now. The sandstorm was so intense he had no ability to influence what would happen, he just had to hope he came out of it alive. His hat was certainly gone, and Anthony felt his feet actually lift up off the ground. For a brief moment, he had definitely experienced flight.

Anthony knew his time defying gravity had come to an end when he was slammed harshly back into the desert floor, sending shockwaves of pain through his body and filling his mouth with sand. He managed to open his eyes. As he did so, he saw that, indeed, much of his clothing had been torn to tatters, and his skin was lacerated and bleeding. But he also saw that the dust storm appeared to be moving away from him.

He would survive! Not only that, but as his watering eyes glared on at the spinning whirlwind, he swore that it was beginning to take shape. At first, he was confident it was just an illusion, but as the distance between him and the storm steadied, he saw that indeed the spinning cloud of dust was decidedly changing into a human form.

Moments later, it had solidified into the huge, magnificent head, torso, and arms of a gigantic golden man. "Anthony!" a voice boomed from what had previously been a dust devil. He managed no reply, so stunned. "I am the great desert genie, Aias! By surviving my trials and tribulations, I shall grant you any three wishes you desire."

Anthony could not believe his eyes. "Anything?" he timidly asked. Aias confidently replied, "Any whim you have shall become reality, Aias the Great does not deceive." Anthony was still not quite sure what was happening, but as a man of many wants, being granted three wishes was something he wanted to believe in.

So, he stepped bravely towards Aias and called out the first desire that entered his mind: "Aias the Great, I would like to drink of the most refreshing beverage in the world."

Aias laughed. "Hahahaha, no way. You're kidding, right? Wow, I mean, I've heard some lame wishes, but, I mean, c'mon kid, that's just. Wow. Seriously? That's your wish? If I had known you were going to just waste the wishes on such stupid stuff I wouldn't have even bothered. Jesus Christ."

Anthony hung his head in shame.


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