They made it to the oasis, and took long gulps from the pool of brackish water. As well as the pool,
surrounded by a patch of grass, the oasis boasted a couple of palm trees, which provided
them with some welcome shade to lie beneath after they had drunk their fill.
Princess Astra examined her reddened skin ruefully. "We're both going to have some painful sunburn after this," she said. "It was good of you to give up your shirt like that to protect me from being burnt by my fetters. It was the act of a true gentleman. Which reminds me. You don't have to avert your gaze from me the whole time, you know. I'm not so modest that I'd prefer talking to the back of your head the whole time to having you see me naked." Fred blushed, and forced himself to look at Astra, trying to keep his gaze upon her face as much as possible. "That's better," she said, and smiled at him.
The only food that the oasis offered was a couple of dates on one of the palms, so they clearly could not remain there for long. They decided to try to sleep during daylight hours, and when dusk fell they would move on. They hoped they would find somewhere more hospitable before conditions got too unbearably hot the next day, though they knew the odds were not good.
When dusk fell, and a full moon rose:
3/7/1999 9:07:12 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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