Ogto, the Sand Mariner

Ogto was born on the sand. His parents were Bedouins, so he was a Bedouin, too. It was on his fifth birthday that he first moved a sand dune with his hands, his tenth when he erected his first sand shelter (hard as rock, constructed in under 10 minutes, it saved his ailing mother from the storm). He was fifteen when his emotions overwhelmed him and he ruined a squad of Egyptian tanks with a sudden and violent sand storm. He was twenty when he first road the sand, it carried him in a rolling, solid wave, with no shore on which to break. He stood on its crest and let the grains flow off of him, down and around him, filling his mouth with their joyous unnatural movement. He was thirty when the voices started, the voices of the land. They wanted something from him, he could not just command them without doing things for them in return. The desert wanted the continent, all of it. It was thirsting to expand faster. At thirty-one he stared out at the Nile river valley and he knew he could not obey the land, that he had to find a way. At thirty-five, Ogto and the desert waged war upon each other. The sand turned on him, whipping his skin to shreds, piercing his eyes with a million tiny particles. But he found he could fight back, he found the others didn't want the desert to win. At thirty-six, Ogto found allies in the sky, in the water, and in fire. He found that they too would submit to his command and the war escalated. At forty-two, the war ended. Ogto was blind from the sand, beaten by his own efforts and changed forever, but a peace had been struck. He curled up in the sand, at the edge of the desert, to dream.

written by: Phil Gelatt
artwork by: Rick lacy
all art and writing copyright Rick Lacy and Phil Gelatt