Dust swirled around my boots. Where a swirl passed over a crease it left a bit of itself behind. I imagined I could feel the weight of those motes weighing on the material of my boots and that of the material settling onto my feet. Feet my legs could no longer lift. I could taste it in my mouth too. I was surprised I could not feel its grittiness. It was too fine. I wondered how much was in my lungs. Were they slowly clogging? I felt short of breath, but I was afraid to breathe too deeply. I swallowed but it was difficult. My tongue and throat were so dry from the silt. I could feel my pulse in my arms, my feet, my head. A mote tickled my throat and I coughed. Gasps and coughs alternated. My mouth gulped and swallowed. I knew silt was filling my lungs. It passed leaving me bent over, gloved hands on knees. I realized I could no longer see my feet. Silt was deep around my calves. How had it gotten so deep so fast?
No. The sun had moved. How had it gotten so late so fast? How long had I been coughing? I couldn’t remember. My throat hurt. Precious liquid wrung from me as I coughed still wet my eyes. Surely, it would have dried if I had been coughing for hours. Silt was up to my thighs now. Any hope or point of moving on was gone. How long would it take to make even one step? Half an hour?
I did not understand. I cried fear and frustration. One tear rolled down my nose. Red with the dust it had collected it fell and the dust around my waist drank it. There was no more water to be squeezed from my eyes though. The dust’s thirst could not be slaked. There was too much. It reached my ribs now. I tried not to think about it reaching my lips.
I tried to scream when it did, but I had no voice and no breath to power it.