The desert wind was like sand paper across Wenzle’s face. The
flag of the rusting hulk fluttered wickedly in the flurry. There was no place
on the Driller to hide from the constant bout of wind. Wenzle rubbed his goggle
lenses with his leather gantlets, but like everything on this rust bucket, they
were disintegrating. “Shit” murmured
Wenzle as he rummaged around his pockets for a new pair. “Dowsers!” screamed distant voice, followed by
a ringing bell. Wenzle hoped up and Dove
for the deck.
The deck was exploding with life. Hustlers scrambled around
with hoses and rope setting the deck for the Dowsers. The techs pulled levers
and turned knobs letting out steam for the water pumps. Above the deck The Drill Master burst out of
the wheel house. “This better be good Head Mate!” he howled as he looked down
on the men running about. “Best spot all day sir!” yelled the head mate. The Drill Master just nodded and spat out his chew.
“Planks are set” yelled a hustler. A quick smirk lit his face, water was close.
Wenzle emerged on the deck with his new goggles. “I need a
Dowsing spear!” he yelled. A hustler
handed him a ten foot poll. The Dowsing spear was hollow and shaped like a
pencil. The only use for this tool was
for testing for water in the soil. Wenzle grabbed the spear and balanced it in
his hand. Then he stood before the plank. This was the hardest part, the jump.
As he ran across the deck and onto the plank, wenzle’s mind
buzzed. What if we didn’t stick the landing, or what if he hit a rock in the
sand? The driller already lost one man to a rock this voyage. The stone was
just inches under the sand but it was just enough to break the man’s legs and
send his femur into his abdominal cavity.
Just then, wenzle’s dowsing spear slid into the simmering sand. The
spear dung deep into the dune, Wenzles trip only took a second, but it felt
like minuets. He leapt off the spear and landed on the sand. It was funny
walking on the sand when you have been on a driller for weeks. You had to keep moving, if not you would
become covered in sand. Wenzle looked around at his fellow dowsers; the other
three seem to be fine. In turn each man waved up to the Driller and yelled up
at the hustlers to drop the hoses.
Wenzle looked up as the 70 foot drill began to rotate. Then
without warning wenzles legs sunk into the sand. “Quick sand!” yelled the
closest man. Wenzle began to lift on of his legs out of the sand, until
something bit down on his sand covered leg, then another bite on his other.
Wenzle ripped out his bone knife and started to stab the sand quickly. The
bites just kept coming, and then he started to slip into the dunes.