No stars shone, but a varicose moon swelled beneath an opalescent layer of fog, lending a faint, throbbing light to the land around.
Dunes breached from the earth like sea-beasts in an ocean of black sand. Row upon row, like serpents, thick-muscled, slow-winding in the soft yet steady(more) wind. Here and there, tongues of sand were whisked from their backs, spirited off to some unknown realm in the inscrutable distance.
He looked down at the tops of his bare feet, half swallowed by warm sand. He reached out, let his fingers run through a tuft of waist-high desert grass, so fine it ran through his fingers like strands of lovers' hair.
The journey had been longer than anticipated. He had become lost many times along the way. But even in this most inhospitable of places, he felt more certain than ever that he would find his way home.
A strange calm had come over him as of late. The longer the journey wore on, the easier it became to look at his endless trials and tribulations as so many grains of sand in a desert crossing. Feeling sure of how the journey would end made it so much easier for him to wait for that ending to appear in its own time.
A faint smile crossed his face. He knelt down, dipped his hand into the ash-black sand, cradled a handful of it briefly, then watched as it ran through his fingers. A few stray grains clung to his cracked, calloused skin.
Without thinking, he planted himself on the side of the dune and decided to rest awhile. Days, months, years-- it didn't matter here. He would be home soon enough.