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Both barren roads lead to Khebir. The coastal longer; the desert shorter.
I wait. The horizon yellow, shimmering.
Water melon-laden, a truck brakes.
I climb up.
Pleased, he chooses desert. “Alone, I no risk!”
Blistering heat. An hour. A tire blows.
More nimble, I place the jack. I raise the axle on soft asphalt.
Time slows. I watch as jack penetrates asphalt; as the differential approaches my skull.
He jams the wheel.
I breathe, crawl back into the sun.
Neither of us speak.
The sun smiles. The desert grins. “Got you now!”