The fever was growing more powerful. After his dry sobs had subsided, Silas's mind became further plagued by hallucinations. His eyes saw maggots weaving within Mindy's flesh and holes where her eyes had been. And then there was Roger, Silas's college roommate, whispering things in his ears. "C'mon, just one bite. You deserve it, she's dead now," He hissed, his pointed teeth dripping with his black, poisonous words. The bile rose in Silas's throat.
"You can't make me!" Silas cried to the emptiness around him, panic threatening to consume him. Unable to escape his own madness, he clutched handfuls of luke-warm sand and rubbed the small granules in his eyes vigorously. Tears were forced to come spilling forth, cascading down his cheeks and dripping into the powdery sand. He tried to drink them, but the setting sun seemed to steal them from him, and the sand seemed to be collaborating with the enemy, taking every chance it got to soak up his fallen tears.
Roger's face contorted with rage, his blue veins pulsing beneath his skin and his eyes filling with deep blackness. "You WILL eat of the flesh," he spat, his black tongue snaking through his teeth like a serpent's.
Silas clamped his hands over his ears like a child and started screaming. "NO, NO, NO!"
Roger clawed through the tender flesh of Mindy's belly, producing a handful of spongy, bloody strips. "EAT THEM," He screeched, shoving the pieces of mangled skin into Silas's mouth and forcing them down his throat.
Silas felt the slimy meat slide down almost effortlessly, a faint metallic flavor resting on his tongue. Silas couldn't help himself then. He lapped at the blood in the sand, all the while feeling the sting of guilt in his heart. "I'm so sorry, Mindy," he cried as he devoured more and more of her carcass and drank more of her blood. "So sorry."


When the blanket of sparkling stars had descended upon the desert, Silas lay there sleeping by Mindy's twisted body. Inside his own body, his blood fought a horrific battle. The enemies of exhaustion, heat, and malnourishment all fought back with equal vigor, and only time would reveal the outcome. The enormous quantity of food to lying in his stomach was a burden to his body as well. Sweat shone like silver on his skin in the moonlight, and his lips, so caked with blood, twitched with words he longed to cry out into the nothingness that he felt. Yet at last, when the moon's shining face began to fade and the dawn announced itself into the sky, Silas's body chose to wake. And now, within him, something had changed, as if a wind of fate had shifted and blown his ship back to what was real. In him now was a steely determination to LIVE. It burned in his veins like fire, and he would not rest until he quenched this need to escape. He felt within him Mindy's love, urging him to move forward and lighting the way with her guidance. Silas looked to the rosiness of the rising sun, the warm colors reflecting like a painting in his eyes. He felt for the first time how nicely the sun kissed his skin with its waking rays, and knew that today, with Mindy in his heart, he could brave the storm