Gavin trudged towards the top of the high dune. The scorching sand made his feet sore, as they sank down with each step he took. Behind him he could hear the horse that had thrown him, as it sped off on its own, back to the hire stall. On reaching the top he wiped his sweating brow, and shielding his eyes from the late afternoon sun, looked into the distance. Dad would be annoyed – he shouldn’t have gone off alone.
Far off, he could just see the lights and movements of the small town, and to his right the dirt track that would lead him there. Between him and the track Gavin could make out a small village of mud huts, on the bank of a slow moving, yet wide river. He had no money or water; the horse had both of those now. The village looked deserted, but he knew he would have to cross both the village and the river before reaching the track. If he could only make it that far.