The young man pushed another dead from the back of his wagon. Instinctively, he wiped his eyes; however, there was not enough water in his body to give any tears away, even if it was his father. It had been days, or maybe even weeks, since he had lost his mother. All in all, they had lost nearly two dozen to the harsh travelling and now there were only two travelers remaining.
Pahe’s father had made him promise that he would take care of his little sister, and the young man meant to make good on that promise. He had been giving his younger sister, Natonaba, the majority of remaining food and water. The lack of nourishment had given Pahe a strange, grey tint to his skin which contrasted with the plum colored tattoos that covered his body. His hair was black, and he had not even attempted to keep it neatly braided as he was used to before the journey. The exodus had changed everything.
The familial duo had only one living ox remaining, so they had hitched the creature to the smallest wagon. If they didn’t find some sort of food and shelter within the next couple of days, they too would perish in the desert.
On and on, Pahe drove the ox. Natonaba didn’t have the energy to even complain about the bumping and bruising caused by the small wagon’s wobbling. Mostly she just slept until her brother woke her to eat or drink. While she slept, Pahe was dying. Finally, he too had to crawl into the wagon to rest; or perhaps to die.
“Is it time to eat?” Natonaba asked weakly.
“No, sister,” Pahe answered. “We are almost home.”