Jackie squinted at the distant red cliffs through dry sun-strained eyes trying not to think about the blisters that already covered her skin. There was no place to hide from the blazing heat and no signs of life. The animals knew better. Jackie wished she could find a rock to burrow under, but that wasn’t her mission.
If only she could remember what that mission was. She’d been trudging for hours and could barely think with her pounding head. Every beat echoed in her ears like a drum. Clouds of dust swirled around her and Jackie sank to her knees, choking on dust. Unbearable heat, no shade, no water, and now a sandstorm?
“Stop it!” she said, barely getting a sound past her parched lips.
Abruptly the wind and stinging cloud of sand stopped. Jackie blinked in surprise.
“I’m looking for water!” she said, finally remembering her task.
A trickle of water bubbled up from the ground at her feet and Jackie eagerly reached for a handful…and got hit by a torrent that knocked her down in a rapidly growing pool.
“Crap. None of this is real,” she said, and opened her eyes. Jackie scowled at the man sitting next to her.
“Even a dream can be deadly,” he said. “Check out the news.”
Jackie looked at the newscaster who stood next to a small lake.
“We bring you a special report from southern Nevada. A previously unknown natural spring just surfaced, flooding out a section of route 50…”