The river is dried. The blistering earth begs for life. With fly-ridden, scarred lips, her shadow grows; there is nothing to stop it. No grass, no cattle, no trees, just the barren laugh of the scorching wind, making trolls out of dust that dance, burst in her throat and settle in. The child crawls. Her head surrenders to the implacable sun, her brittle bones crumble inside the papery skin. And she parches and whimpers and shrinks, until her watery eyes follow the river, flowing in mist to the far, far off sea. The vulture begins to eat.