#10 - Military testing grounds - A steemit-virus contest entry

in writing •  2 years ago  (edited)

The following story is an entry to a contest found here.

The writing prompt image was provided by @steemit-virus


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I grew up at a small farm in eastern Texas far away from any village, let alone a city. We did all the work by hand because we couldn't afford a tractor and over all lived a very simple life.

I was very interested in physics growing up. I read everything I could find in the school's library as long as it was related to physics. Part because it let me stay at school and not do physical work and part because I was truly drawn to it. But the local schools didn't provide enough and I was forced to leave my hometown.

I later graduated from Yale and got myself a well-paid job at the Edward W. Clark nuclear power plant in Las Vegas.

I loved my job, I truly did. But I couldn't get used to living in the city. So when I reached my radiation limit and was granted the rest of the year off, I left to live off the grid in complete solitude. I've been told time and time again how dangerous it was, but it has forever been what I loved most.

Besides, my job wasn't child's play either.


So far I've been to the Amazon rainforest, Russian Syberia and Australia. I figured why not try and survive in the desert next. I did excessive research on desert animals, plants, ways to get water and whatnot. I made sure I knew as much as humanly possible before endevouring on my journey. I searched the internet for the most remote desert and decided on the Sahara desert in Africa with the intention to start my journey in Egypt and make my way to Mali.

I reached my yearly radiation limit on August 19th and a phone call later, my plane ticket for 23rd of August was reserved.


I picked up the list of essentials one final time to make sure I didn't forget to pack anything. I was nodding and muttering to myself every now and then whilst reading the list.

"Head lamp, check... Water bottle, check... Frying pan, check... First aid, check... Duct tape and sleeping bag, check."

I closed the zipper on my backpack and stepped to the window. I gazed at the endless roads filled with cars and skyscrapers of all kinds.

"Las Vegas, as much as I dislike you, I will miss the sight of you."

I made sure I turned everything off one last time, then put on my heavy backpack, locked the doors and left for the cab that was already waiting for me outside.


I arrived at the Dakhla Oasis airport at 1:35 pm and with roughly 7 hours daylight left, I decided to stray from the urban area and head west the same day. The local merchants trying to make a quick buck off tourists just further increased my desire for leaving civilization.

I spent the first night about 20 miles away from the airport and judging by the abscense of any artificial lights, I was far away from any cities, too. I made myself a cup of improvised tea from some local plants I had found along the way and fried two scorpions. Enjoying a meal, however small, away from any noise was the definition of happiness to me.

I put out the fire and set out my sleeping bag. I was happy to have anticipated the cold temperatures once the sun set.


Over the next couple of weeks I've walked through many villages, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to have found them. Food was scarce in the desert, so I now grabbed every opportunity I could to restock my supplies. It was foolish of me not to pack any to start with, but I learned from my mistake.

As I continued my journey southwest, I slowly got used to the Sahara desert. I even changed my sleep cycle and walked during the night, sleeping through the hottest hours of the day in any shade I managed to find.

I met many people along the way, but breaking the language barrier beyond »I require food« was close to impossible. I didn't come out here to socialize, so it wasn't even in my interest to communicate any further. I watched them hunt sometimes and even got offered to spend the night at their homes, but I always denied the invitation. The Sahara desert was actually far more populated than what I expected it to be.


Having reached Tanezrouft after 3 months, I finally got to experience the true unforgiving nature of the Sahara desert.

Nothing lived here. Not humans, not animals, not even plants.

Sand dunes as far as the eye could reach.

I was running out of food and water, and there was neither to be found. As hopeless as it seemed, I had to continue my journey in hope of reaching an oasis that wasn't just another one of the many mirages I've had.


I rolled up my sleeping bag and picked up my backpack with what little strength I had left. I took one final sip from my water bottle, oriented southwest and started walking.

At the horizon right in front of me I saw a very bright light that was getting brighter by the second. I couldn't quite tell if the mind was playing tricks on me or not, so I rubbed my eyes.

Nope, still there. Now even brighter.

My heart started racing and I started sweating profusely. I didn't know what to think.

Was it a meteor?

An angel?

Aliens?

There were so many questions going through my head at once but one thing was obvious.

Whatever this was, it was no Fata Morgana.

I put my hands together and started praying.

I closed my eyes before it finally reached me.


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Image source


Thank you for reading my story. If you enjoyed it, please upvote, follow and resteem.

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I turn your ideas into stories, so please leave them in the comments.

Previous writing prompts fulfilled:


Tomorrow's writing prompt:

"Anything positive"

provided by: @karenmckersie

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very neat writing, which is very easy to understand. You are a great writer. GOOD LUCK I like you thanks my friend

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Thank you very much! It means a lot to me!! :D

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I enjoyed reading this, thank you so much

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I'm very happy to hear that!

And no problem, none at all! :D

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