Hassan was doomed.
He knew it. There was denying his fate no, as the midday sun beat relentlessly on him, burning his exposed flesh ever deeper. He lied sprawled on the shifting sand, his legs and arms to weary to continue. He could neither walk or crawl or even cry for help as the desert slowly started to devour him.
He had been mad, he sobbed, to have tried to cross the Sea of the Torturous Sands this time of year, but he had been given no choice. The camel had to get through, they were needed there to help the people, to build a new future by rebuilding the destruction the war had brought.
The camels. Allah most gracious, the camel! They were surely doomed, he mourned. He had led them to near exhaustion miles away from any water, not even they could survive out here he realized. Not only had he killed himself and failed his customers, but he had harmed his camel...
His lower body was covered by the shifting sand now, but he did not struggle, the desert had judged him unfit to live and would take him into its bosom, to be wracked with pain and thirst forever. He thought of all those he had let down, would they ever know the truth about him or how he died? He prayed they wouldn't, he prayed his god would forgive him, and he prayed his camel would make it...
He felt a tug on his ragged shirt. Slowly, Hassan turned his face to the side. Above him, looking expectantly was his lone remaining camel.
"Flee, my good camel! Away with you...there is not but death here! Leave me, for I have failed you!"