Helen gripped Castor’s shoulder, “are you alright? You seem upset.” Helen held the horses reins as she lead the party to the edge of Pyropolis. It was still dark when they left that morning but they had walked slowly and now the sun was high in the sky. A beautiful sunny like today would be a blessing to most countries but most countries were not mostly desert and hot air.
“I am fine,” muttered Castor, “it is just that… I guess I failed right? I couldn’t bring a flower back. I was so close.. but then Pollux got in the way.”
“You don’t really think THAT is what he intended?”
“What else am I suppose to think?” grumbled Castor. He kicked a stone on the ground which rolled a foot away. Anneli held Castor’s hand tighter than usual.
“It could be worse,” replied Helen.
“It can always be worse, it doesn’t make me feel any better udade.”
“Have faith,” replied Helen and slapped Castor on the back. It stung more than she intended. Castor’s wounds besides his cracked rib had already healed but he was still sore. “Wait for me here,” instructed Helen, “I’ll see about getting some camels.”
Castor leaned against a tall fence which enclosed around a group of horses and llamas. Helen entered a small stone building, with a wooden sign above the door proclaiming ‘CAMELS AND HORSES FOR TRADE, SALE AND RENTING’ in three languages. The air was dense with the musty pungent smell of wet sweaty fur and animal refuse. Disgruntled horses neighed and kicked in their overcrowded and overheated lodgings. A camel in the fenced plot in front of Castor stared at him for an extended minute silently judging him while it chew cud.