A Ghost Riders In The Sky


The Arizona sun beat down against the man’s neck. Sweat dripped down into his shirt. The sun was almost hidden; he thought there was maybe an hour left, possibly two. He lethargically continued his trudge across the barren landscape, shuffling towards his destination. Nothing was around him, just desert for miles around. He wanted water, he would do anything for water. He continued to walk. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. How long has he been walking? He doesn’t even remember.


As the sun finally went down, the air around him cooled, and the stars slowly came up, no longer dwarfed by the sun. He continued to walk, weary. “Almost there,” He said, mouth dry, throat constricting, stomach empty.

After what felt like days of endless walking, he finally sat down. His feet cried in pain, blistered and wounded. He took long, deep, breaths, drinking the air as if it were the water he so needed. Leaning up against a small rock, he looked into the empty expanse above, with small, randomly placed holes which dim light shone from. He saw the constellations, tracing them in his head to distract him. The moon reflected the sun’s light even when it was hidden from his view. Clouds slowly rolled in, the scent of a storm coming on the wind. Then, movement.

Movement in the sky, quickly passing, blocking the pinheads of light. He thought nothing of it, a trick of his old, tired eyes; he slowly drifted off, finally resting.

A cold breeze was upon his face. He slowly opened his eyes, the sunlight shining above, but it wasn’t the right color. It was a ghastly and ominous blue. As his eyes focused he realized the ground beneath him wasn’t the cracked, dry landscape of his home state; it was the coat of a horse, a beautiful, almost surreal coat of mystical blue, and a saddle made of some unknown type of leather. Before him, a living legend sat in front, steering the horse across the sky, far above the land. Behind him, the rolling thunder and the flash of lightning. He was riding- leading- The very storm itself. He gripped the back of the saddle, afraid he was going to fall off and plummet to the ground.

The horse bucked and stampeded across the open expanse. A light shone in the distance, the sun seeming to almost pop into existence. The sudden flash of light startled him. He fell. Faster, faster, faster. Diving closer and closer to the ground. He braced for impact.

He woke up with a start, the sun shone above him as dawn broke. He looked around, seeing that he still was in one piece. As he looked down he saw something- a large container, filled to almost overflowing, with clean, fresh water.