Learning process

Alexis followed the merchants in silence. Who was there to speak to, after all?

When she left the oasis, there was more than a moment where she was on the verge of turning around and just let the caravan go. But it was like there was something nipping at her heels, pushing her forward.

So here she was, trudging along the sand, her heart weighing her down more than any physical burden ever could, bearing yet another scar of regret.

She had a hunch there might be many more to come until this was over.

To add insult to injury, she had developed a rapidly aggravating headache over the course of the day, to the point where she was beginning to feel dizzy and her vision seemed somewhat blurry. It did not serve to improve her overall disposition.
Most likely the result of too many missed hours of sleep and too much thinking…

Or maybe, she dazedly mused, as she barely managed to catch herself on her arms before she could unceremoniously face plant into the sand after her vision went completely black for a moment, maybe this was more serious than that.

She heard some muffled shouting before she was pulled into a sitting position by one of the caravaners. Moments later, her waterskin was pressed insistently to her lips, and she reflexively swallowed. The liquid soothed her parched throat and gradually she began to feel somewhat better.

The caravaner weighed her waterskin in his hand with an irritated yet somewhat worried expression and pressed it back into her hands, gesturing to her to drink more while talking to her in a reprimanding tone.
Apparently he had concluded she had not drunk enough?

Wait. When did she drink the last time?

With growing trepidation, she realized that it had to have been sometime mid morning. It was late afternoon now.

After making sure she had drunk a substantial amount the man helped her to her feet and pulled her closer to the rest of the caravan, clearly intending to keep an eye on her. All the while still talking to her chidingly, though she began to hear some compassionate tones among the lecture.

Most likely he thought that she didn’t cope well with the loss of her companion. Which was true enough. But as Alexis nodded apologetically, trying to convey she would be more careful now, she began to understand that her conscience wasn’t the only issue here.

She had learned quickly that just feeling parched wasn’t a good enough indication to drink, because, well, in this scorching sands she pretty much felt parched all the time and would swiftly drain her water supplies if she indulged at the first sign of thirst. Feeling like smoke was about to rise from her ears on the other hand was a pretty good pointer that some hydration was in order. And that feeling was completely missing now.
Heck, she didn’t even feel hot. She really couldn’t put a label to the temperature she was feeling, but it certainly wasn’t slowly burning to a crisp as it had been before. Clearly, that newly acquired resistance to heat was not limited to fire.
So, that warning sign was simply gone. And with all the hubbub in her mind, she hadn’t even noticed.

She seriously would have to make herself some kind of drinking schedule, wouldn’t she?
She would actually have to find a way to remind herself to drink regularly. In the middle of the fucking desert.

What a punchline that would be to this farce her life had become, to die of dehydration next to a full waterskin. She could appreciate the irony.

Alexis needed to get this thrice damned quest done as fast as possible. Or die trying. Free herself of this curse one way or the other.

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