Alana collapsed to her knees; sobbing uncontrollably. Her skin itchy and burning - an added torment to her despair born the night before.
She could feel darkness closing in; even though the sun shown brightly above.
Pain. Anguish. Loss. Emptiness - words to describe her existence. No hope. No future. No life. Alana's emotions and state of mind continued to swirl deeper and deeper into the deepest darkest pits of despair.
Tormented she began to give in to the darkness. No desire to fight and free herself.
"Alana, get up." A voice echoed in her mind. Alana completely drained both physically and mentally ignored the plea.
"Alana, get up!" more urgency in these words. Alana annoyed only stirred - mentally shrugging off the voice - hoping that it would go away.
Alana, face down; raised herself up on her hands. Eyes clinched shut.
"Alana, you must get up," the voice rang through her mind.
Even though she had no desire to obey, Alana found strength in the depths of her soul. She stood, trembling with her eyes closed tight.
"Alana, you must continue," the voice softer than before "This is not the end."
Alana opened her tear brimmed eyes; the sun reflecting off the white sands. She slowly stepped forward - eyes fixed on the goal - the mountain just ahead, beyond the firey desert.
The first step; the hardest to take seemed to thunder below her. The heavy weight of her legs iron balls pressing deep into the freely moving grains of sand. Eyes fixed ahead she forged one more step; and with this foot fall she exhaled deeply. The next step a hesitation - the pain and the despair not worth the effort to move forward. Alana could feel her knees begin to buckle and her ankles relax. She fell to her hands and knees again.
"not worth it..." her voice weakly trailed off.
A different voice began in a low soft whisper. The words not clear. Each syllable rung in time to an unheard melody. Alana felt something stir within her. Something that she had not ever experienced before. Like the sun rising on a new day; Alana felt that she was waking up. Truth flashed across her face. Realization a liborator. A warm peace settled upon her. She had another chance...
She stood more resolute; eyes turned to her goal. The top of the mountain reflected back to her a brilliant light. Her gaze lowered to the base of the mountain and then closer to her where she could see the end of the desert scape. Between her and the base of the mountain, Alana could see a dark shadow that seemed to rise up from the ground with it's edges changing like water flowing through a river bed. She began to walk toward this dark mass. She was not afraid. She only knew that she had to continue forward.