The Infinite Desert Essay

1565 words - 7 pages

Everything was the same this night. The woman’s house still stood, isolated on the
slopping hill on the edge of the sleeping town. The single light in the house still shown
through red-veined windows, casting shadows on the chair where the woman sat, but
she was not in it. Every night the woman leaves in the unbroken night. No one sees her
leave. She silently dissolves into the night.
The woman travels to the same place every night. She is always unaware of the
journey she had taken to come to this place, to stand with weary, weathered feet on this
distant earth that was not so unfamiliar anymore. She was not concerned, just tired from
her journey here she always presumed. The earth beneath her scorched her bare feet. The
torrid sands surrounded the woman, stretching themselves like waves infinitely in all
directions. This place knew no night. It was always day and the sun, which loomed over the
sands, selfishly monopolized the sky. Having traveled to this place every night for the past
three years the woman knew that if she walked west she would come to an isolated
arrangement of statues.
She walked west, after a time not feeling the sands beneath her feet, not feeling
anything. When she came upon the statues she sat down before them as she did every night
enjoying their mild company in this desolate place. The five statues stood in a crescent
configuration. They were all depictions of human forms carved from a pure white,
metamorphic stone. The woman admired to meticulous detail. They had been carved so
perfectly: the wrinkles, the veins in the extremities, the shallow shadows cast by the
muscles underneath the white stone skin. Yet the sculptor had forgotten the faces. Where
there should have been faces there were smooth curvatures bearing no details of human
facial structures. This distraught the woman, though she continued to come to this place
night after night and keep them company.
The statue on the far left was a man. This, the tallest statue, stood six feet high and
cast a long shadow, which the woman sat under. His posture made him appear to be in
motion, as though he were walking toward the woman. There were three statues of
children arranged beside the man. They must have been children. They were perfectly
smooth and youthfully shaped. Their small, delicate hands were linked together as though
playing some kind of game. All stood perfectly straight, but one who was bend forward
with its head turned as if spying on the first child in the link. The woman could almost hear
them laughing, like a wind faintly whispering in her ear. The last statue, farthest from
where she sat, was a woman. She must have been very old, much older than the man. The
statue’s hands were long and thin with deep creases in her thin. They were so thin the skin
sunk in between the bones like all of the muscles and fat had been sucked out. She stood
hunched over as if no longer strong enough to hold the weight of her body...

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