J. D. Wenzel: Oma’s Oasis

Oma's Oasis

Oma and his camel came upon the old, dry oasis while the sun was still high in the sky. He slipped from the camel’s back and surveyed his surroundings while the desert winds whipped and pulled at his kaftan. He glanced over his shoulder at the camel and despite his exhaustion Oma smiled reassuringly at the animal. He pulled the brimming bag from his shoulder and let it hit the dry earth; he could see that this place had died of thirst. He crouched low and put his hand over one large crack in the dried out mud, he almost jumped when he felt the shock of life there. His eyes flew wide and in the next instant he was searching frantically through his pack.
When he found the three-hole pipe, yellowed and chipped with age, he began to strip the clothes from his body, half running, half jogging towards the oasis’s empty waterbed. He kicked off a sandal and stepped into the waterbed with his naked foot and a thrill rippled through his body. He smiled. No, he grinned. He kicked off his remaining sandal and practically skipped with joy to the center of the oasis. Clad in only his underclothes and a nearly threadbare bandanna, Oma fell to his knees.
He looked up at the sun, closed his eyes and focused. He focused everything he could into his senses, emptying his mind of all thoughts. The smile faded and when he was confident that he was empty he put the pipe to his lips and began to play. Oma played quick notes; he needed to get a feel for this place. He needed to know it as well as he knew his own skin. As he played the earth beneath him responded, guiding him towards the right melody. It didn’t take him long to find it.
The music was low, but full of life.  His fingers flew frantically over the pipe holes as he grew more confident. When he was sure of himself and the sound he sent all of his focus into the earth beneath him. It was enthralled, he knew. It was listening and he told it what needed through the language of melody.
Oma’s music came to a stuttering stop as exhaustion overwhelmed him. His hands were shaking and it took almost all of his effort to keep ahold of the pipe. The bandanna that had been dry only moments before was now sopping with his sweat. His entire body shook with exhaustion, but Oma didn’t care. He was too busy feeling the changes in the earth. Where before there was only a whisper of life now it was screaming with delight. A moment later water bubbled to the surface, a few more moments later Oma was sitting in a small puddle of cool, life-giving, water.
He climbed to his feet, pulled the bandanna from his head and dipped it into the pool. He wrapped it back around his forehead, taking pleasure in the coolness of it. He smiled down at the growing puddle then made for his belongings. By the time Oma had collected and packed away his things, the puddle was a pool. By the time he had filled his water skins and mounted his old camel once more, the oasis was an oasis once more.

J. D. Wenzel is an upstart writer who hates everything he's ever written, but can't stop himself from writing anyways. You can read more of his work on his blog or connect with him on Twitter



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2 comments Submit a comment
  • LE Jamez commented on July 12, 2012 at 11:43 am


    Loved this first time I read it & love it more with every reading

  • J.M. Blackman commented on July 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm


    How…refreshing. I like the pace of this piece. It really has an enjoyable rhythm. 

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