August is Thirsty

August opened his eyes and turned his head toward the sound. He could see the top of the squaws head bobbing in the lake. He wrenched at the sight, then he saw her arms cutting cleanly through the water. She was swimming.

The sun, now low in the west, sent crimson fingers into the clouds. August turned on his side causing an explosion of pain in his chest. He knew he had to move on, or he’d die here. He struggled to sit up, the exertion bringing sweat to his brow, and dizziness.

His vision blurred, then cleared. He was so thirsty, and the water was just inches below his scuffed boots. He blinked against the sun dancing on the ripples, as his tongue ran over cracked and sunburnt lips. He had to have water.

He fell back in the buffalo grass, and listened to the water as it lapped against the bank. No longer able to ignore his thirst he clutched the coarse grass and managed to turn himself around. On his stomach he crabbed down toward the water. Every couple of inches he stopped to rest.

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