Storm in the Desert

The horizon was dark purple in the west. Lightning flashed its silver fingers as if God himself was touching the earth. He pulled his hat down and his coat collar up. The horse was getting edgy and had slowed to a saunter towards the darkening sky.

Fat drops began to make communion cup prints in the red dirt. There wasn’t a rock or tree in sight to take cover; hadn’t been in days. The cliffs in the distance were not safe. He knew riding out the storm was better than trying to find safety in their shadows where Indians wanted your scalp and thieves wanted anything else that was left.

Unsaddling the horse, he held on to the reins as he sat down on the sun baked earth. The thunder was in the distance, but would be roaring through shortly. He didn’t want to lose his horse out here. His home was wherever he lay down for the night. This desert mattress was as good as any. The nearest town was still a good day’s ride. He had slept in a downpour before, and was sure it wouldn’t be his last.

Hunkering down for the worst, his mind wandered to a time in his childhood and he felt safe in his memories.

— Angel Potter Cox

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