Jacob stumbled to the pool and plunged his head into the water. Somewhere in the back of his mind a voice told him to take sips, but he ignored it, gulping in the tepid liquid. Then his stomach twisted and he heaved.
Exhaustion and dehydration left him trembling in the blazing heat. Once his stomach settled he drank again, this time, small mouthfuls. He closed his eyes to ease the throbbing in his head. If only he could remember how he got here. Two days of wandering this endless, barren landscape and he still had no clue.
A deep rumbling set his heart racing. An earthquake was the last thing he needed. He looked across the deep ravines that riddled the canyon. It went on forever. One of the giant plateaus swayed back and forth and a rock at the top swung around. Two beady black eyes stared at him.
The breath caught in Jacob’s throat. It had to be heatstroke playing with his mind. Rocks didn’t have eyes. He dunked his head again, trying to ignore the sound of grinding stone.
“Share,” said a booming voice.
Jacob scrambled away from the pool, staring at the stone face above him, then waved the creature to the water. The giant tortoise drank deeply then blinked at him.
“Remember,” said the tortoise.
Tears filled Jacob’s eyes. His child, alone, in a locked car. A copper haze covered his vision then he woke to begin the cycle again.