Once away from the ocean, everything looked the same in the desert. I was glad of the friends’ experience, as it would be easy to get lost. The way to the spring was marked by cairns of rocks. It was a lot of faith to put into a pile of rocks, but it worked well enough that day.
Many types of cacti dotted the landscape, all of them prickly. Hidden dangers lurked all around. Coyotes and cougars prowled after dusk. Smaller creatures like tarantulas, snakes, and scorpions might be anywhere, just minding their own business, but terrifying me all the same.
We passed by an old dry well, not covered, or marked, or barricaded. In the dark anyone could walk right into it and drop thirty feet onto rocks below.
On account of the heat, sun hats, sunscreen, and bottles of water were a must.
The chances of stumbling onto drug dealers in those days were minimal, but things have changed.
When I told our host at the beach where we stayed that I’d been hiking in the back country, he warned me not to go again. It was no place for a woman alone.
With such a perfect setting, I couldn’t resist putting this spring into my novel, Orion’s Gift, about two young people who meet and fall in love in Baja. Sylvia, a beautiful California girl, leaves her upscale home near San Diego after receiving an upsetting letter. She meets Kevin, an Alberta man, who, after receiving a substantial inheritance from his father, leaves a bad marriage behind. Their love seems perfect until they learn that their spouses are tracking them down.
In this excerpt, against the advice of her host, Alfonso, Sylvia has gone to the spring for a quiet day of sketching.
Excerpt from Orion’s Gift
A light breeze made the late afternoon heat bearable, and I soon became absorbed in my work. I had a good collection of the various types of cacti in my sketchbook. I ran my hand over the book’s cover. Kevin gave me that. The first day I met him. Sweet of him. I closed my eyes to go back to that day. My brow furrowed and I opened my eyes again. What was that whiff of something in the air? An awful smell. Then it was gone. I looked around. Everything was quiet except for the buzzing of a few flies someplace nearby. Maybe it was the skunky water of the spring. Never mind. I picked up my pen to get back to my drawing. The beautiful palo verde took shape on my pages. I was happy with the results.
I took a break and ate my orange. Back to work again. But oops, sticky fingers. I could use my drinking water, but why waste it when I had spring water. I climbed around the boulders back down to the spring. It had a bit of green stuff growing on the surface, but there was plenty of clear water near the edge and I only needed a wee bit to swish the orange juice off my fingers. Actually, the water didn’t smell bad at all.
Orion’s Gift is available on amazon.com: http://amzn.to/SFebny and at smashwords.com: http://bit.ly/Ru0EEr
Also by Anneli Purchase, The Wind Weeps is available on amazon.com: http://amzn.to/TO3AJE and at smashwords.com: http://bit.ly/yPQvEP