What was that trickling sound I thought I heard……perhaps my thirst was giving to dreams of desire……but I am sure that the trickling sound was real!!
In the lower part of the slope the ground was still stony but many of the rocks were rounded….like rocks that have been rolled about by water. I knelt on the ground on the soft grass and dug my hand between the tufts where it was cooler. Gripping onto a tuft, I gave a hard tug ….nothing!!….it didn’t budge at all.
The ground under the grass was hard and rocky not soft as I had hoped. If I do dig down to see if there is some moisture…..what can I use to dig…the sticks were too crumbly and brittle to be of any use in digging through the hard ground.
I started to try and scrape the ground away from the base of a grass tuft…..it didn’t take long before the skin on my fingers to become sore with small cuts and I had hardly gotten anywhere…..I lay down on the soft grass……the frustration and weariness was getting too much….what do I have to do….why am I on this world…..the sun beat down on my back but the grass was cool on my body and face ….as I drifted off to sleep I was sure that I heard water again.
Water…….I awoke with a thirst…..rolling over, the cool relief on my back was welcomed………looking around I wanted to find some sort of a digging tool….maybe a rock from further up the slope might be suitable as the stones here were too small.
Walking back towards the ridge I hoped I would be lucky and be able to find water….allusive water…..something I desperately need to survive. but what will survival do if I am just to wander this domed world.
I hoped the greenness of the mound would lead to there being water…..water that would sustain me for some time.
I am sure I again heard the sounds of water but not being visible on actually running over the rocks and stony ground must mean that it is somehow flowing underground. How can I get below this hard baked ground to get to the water that keeps this small patch green in a desert landscape alive.
Near the top of the ridge, which is only a few meters high, there is some larger rocks which I could use to dig…..scrambling over the rocks of the scree slope once again to the base of the ridge I found a good sized and appropriately shaped rock that I could use to get below the surface.
I wonder where I was when I heard that trickling sound…….down the slope slipping and sliding as the rocks gave no solid purchase…looking left….looking right….everything looked the same…….down on the edgewhere the tufted grasses came up to meet the bare rocky ground.
I stood….straining to listen to the slightest sound other than the occasional rocks tumble…..nothing….perhaps I should move down to where the grass evens out before abruptly ending to meet the desert once again.
Lifting my stone age implement, I struck the ground between the tufts sending smaller pebbles out of the way…..again…..again….again I hit the ground making a small divot.
Now I could scrape the hole into something bigger as I tired of hitting the hard stony surface…….sweat glistened on my now brown baked skin. I managed to struggle to a point where the small rocks and pebbles changed colour….a deeper colour.