A tiny mote, spherical, multifaceted, pauses ... poses — a miniscule acrobat bobbing, back-pedalling on thermals; hangs for an instant, suspended by invisible threads.

The old man stares fixated ... watches the grain of sand revolve, scintillate, captured in the twilight interplay of twin suns.

One grain, solitary, like him. A tiny planet spinning in its own microcosm, marking the passage of time, tick by tick.

His gaze shifts to the sultry horizon, and beyond to the unseen, unseeable — the empty reaches, where lonely atoms spin like grains of sand, bobbing on gravitic tides, watching as the galaxy wheels, watching with limitless patience, watching, like him, and waiting for the moment when the tide turns and they can ride the crests back in.

He squints, adjusts focus, traces the undulations of dunes striped with alternating lines of sunlight and shadow — light and dark in eternal opposition; his history, his destiny lie in the pattern etched across those end- less sands. And the desert holds few surprises for him, the hermit — wizard of the Jundland Wastes.

He blinks twice ... each movement is quantified and measured; each is a careful step in the process of survival, calculated to balance necessity and output. The desiccated air craves moisture, leaches it from human and animal and plant alike.

To waste energy or expend too little is death; it is that simple and that difficult ...

... for all but the sand: sand forever sifting, cycling from tiny singularity, to flurry, to seething maelstrom; sand blasting trails of wanton destruction, cutting to the heart of the desert and gouging out its memories.

The old man huddles under his cloak as the tiny grain of sand rises, falls, quivers in expectation — a warning signal to which he responds with a nod, smiles.

This is his world and he knows the rhythms of this place, knows the pattern, knows that all storms begin with a single grain of sand.

He huddles and waits for the storm to begin.

Paintings of He Tricked Me! and Solari Sunset by Wraith6.

Disclaimer: All content is made up, and no profit or lucre is expected, solicited, advocated or paid. This is all just for fun. Any comments, please email the author or WOOKIEEhut directly. Flames will be ignored. Characters and situations are based on those which are the property of LucasFilms Ltd., Bantam Publishing, Random House, and their respective original owners and developers. The rest is this story's author's own fault. This story may not be posted anywhere without the author's knowledge, consent, and permission. This story is presented by