The herdsman was first to notice. He leaned out from inside the small mud hut near the pump well. Behind the hut, his flock of young camels took water for their journey to market. He stood and squinted against the coming light. A dust cloud momentarily obscured the black specs in the distance. He cocked his ear to one side and heard the distant rumbling of military vehicles. A great number of military vehicles.
So, once again, I’m back to the drawing board: Yellow pages from the legal pad scribbled over with copious notes. Collections of downloaded images saved to the project folder for inspiration. A stack of clean, white printer pages ready and waiting. Red pencils sharpened.
Ah… short stories for anthologies. So much to say within a limited word count. This one will be unique. I even sought some assistance from a Professor of Cultural Anthropology in Olympia, Washington. He had great notes:
… any sort of “magical” element tends to be denounced as heretical within the dominant orthodoxy, as these magical elements are dangerous to the state and to the official religious order.
- Eric Stein, Ph.D
This one will be fun to write. Should be a great story. I hope they like it.