Carved Border Dreams

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Two men set off on a dangerous venture across the desert. One that could potentially terminate their lives, as they attempt to search for a better life, not only for themselves, but for their family and friends as well.

Carved Border Dreams


Asusa Susa


If borders were nothing more  than an imaginary line drawn  in the minds of man rather than a deep carved out boundary into the earth dividing two countries, perhaps life would be a smidgen better for humanity. Or at least try asking two individuals who find themselves hunkered down next to a pair of Joshua trees  under the blazing, hot southwestern desert sun.

Two men who have ventured out in search of the golden dream leaving  behind friends and family. Sacrificing   everything for a dream that has eluded countless others, while an illusion for many more.

Juan the more adventurous of the two and more knowledgeable when it comes to desert survival, for the moment is entertaining second thoughts.  The border crossing ordeal weighs heavily on his mind.

“Aren’t dreams supposed to be easier than this shit we are actually enduring?” said Juan  in a weakened state as the afternoon ball of fire  sucked up his energy, like an energy vampire.

“I didn’t ask for this, I mean being an armchair desert survivalist is not what it’s cracked out to be, especially when confronted with fucking  reality,” added Juan.

On the other hand, his childhood buddy Jose, a  more laid back kind of guy with a stubborn type of  mentality, was already set on crossing the border one way or the other. Nothing was farther from the truth as his buddy Juan was along for the ride.  For Jose it wasn’t just about survival. It was about realizing a dream and sharing it with his longtime childhood friend.

He sat  with his back pressed against a Joshua Tree.  His voice was weak and labored.

“Look man, dreams are a dime a dozen and come in a variety of colors and sizes. What I mean is that for people like us who are practically dead to the world, dreams are delusions wrapped up like Christmas gifts stuffed  with nothing more than hallucinations,” responded Jose peering at their last remaining gallon of water. Under those conditions the gallon would be considered priceless.

Jose decided to crawl over to Juan and rent some space on the Joshua tree.occupied by Juan.

Summer desert temperatures reached a scorching 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Juan’s morale was quickly plummeting. The border was beginning to look more like an illusion than a dream.

“Hey Juan, why in the hell did you decide to trek under these fucking conditions. Why didn’t we set out at night when it’s much cooler?” said Jose.

Juan didn’t have to wrack his brain for an answer.

“Do you think that I didn’t even consider it? For your information, I did. You know that traveling by day or night has its pros and cons. And we also know that there exists the other creature. You know,  the one with the technology and a gun at the side. Even that intelligent creature  doesn’t want anything to do with good old Mr. Desert heat, you know what I mean? Plus by day we just have the heat to worry about but by night the deadly creatures come out to hunt,”said Juan with parched, cracked  lips, and a wink.

He swallowed what little spit swam in his mouth and continued with his soliloquy, “as I was saying, trekking by night  in pitch darkness would be like the blind leading the blind. So here we are risking it all my man for a dream. There is no turning back now. We’ve invested plenty and we have so many people  rooting for us back home.”

Juan rested his back against the tree and relaxed. He had said his peace.




Meanwhile, Jose with his back and head still plastered against the tree, sighed. Just then his eyes gravitated to a circle of flying vultures approximately a few feet ahead of them. Jose didn’t mention anything. He knew that having vultures around only meant one thing, DEATH.

Juan broke in, as he did he  noticed Jose’s deteriorating condition.

“You want some water man, you don’t look so well,” said Juan reaching for the gallon, “it’s as if you saw a ghost,”he added.

“Nah…it’s the heat.It’s beating the shit out of me,” mumbled Jose.

“Look its cool. I see them too, you know, the feathered grim reapers of the sky—it don’t bother me none,” responded Juan.

He then reached for the gallon wrapping his sun-burned  fingers around the handle and  yanked it towards him. Suddenly a small yellowish, tanned scorpion  revealed itself— it stood with its elevated tail and needle like tip pointed at Juan; a poisonous tail that could kill a grown man within minutes, ten times over. Juan instantly retracted his legs. The scorpion stood its ground,  gawking at Juan with its tiny beady eyes.

“Shit! A scorpion,” yelled Juan.

There was only a half-hearted response by the lethargic Jose. His words sounded distant.

“Kill it!— We need the protein, man” responded Jose in a labored tone.

All of a sudden the scorpion decided to crawl slowly towards Juan. He panicked, he was trapped between the scorpion and tree. So without  much thought, he grabbed the gallon tightly by the handle, pulled it towards the sky, then  yanked it back down— smashing the crap out of the  scorpion.

“Take that you little fucker!” exclaimed Juan. And as soon as the gallon smashed the tiny poisonous bugger, the gallon erupted like a volcano spewing the entire water—their liquid gold.

The scorpion lay flat and soaked and dead. Juan didn’t realize it immediately what he’d done. It hadn’t hit him yet, not until Jose, sort of spaced out uttered, “Well, I hope you killed that little shit.  By the way, don’t forget to remove the tail before it goes into our bellies.”

Suddenly it hit Juan— the severity of his actions: “Oh shit! What the fuck did I do?” Juan said as he held the smashed up and empty gallon, dangling from his water drenched fingers.

Tears soon followed, slowly trickling down the side of his face. His machines taking a backseat momentarily.

He sobbed quietly. His words crept out jumbled as his lips quivered, “what have I done? My stupidity is not only going to kill me, but will  kill my buddy as well.”

Death was certain unless a miracle popped into existence  that very second.




The sun  hung lower on the horizon. A few cumulus clouds rented space from above casting down much needed shade.  But tackling the desert once again without even a drop of water would be catastrophic. Both weary travelers continue to find shade next a pair of Joshua trees.

Juan rolled his head over to Jose. Jose seemed at peace.  His eyes shut with his breathing a bit more relaxed.

“Jose are you awake?” he asked softly, “ I need to tell you something.”

Jose remained still as if dormant.

“What is it?”responded Jose.

“I’m sorry man, but I spilled the entire gallon of water,” responded Juan with his lips quivering and his voice breaking.

“Don’t worry about it, man.”

Juan scooted closer to his buddy. His attitude now more forceful: “Did you hear what I said? We have no water. We are going to die!”

Jose remained unnerved and cool.

“You’re a survivalist right?”

Juan nodded.

“Well, you know that we should save the gallon and use it as our portable pissing can. We are going to have to drink our piss n order  to survive. It’s our only option. Okay—?”

Fortunately the gallon was undamaged.

“Okay—“ agreed Juan.

They gingerly rose to their feet.

Juan then exclaimed: “Let’s head North shall we—?”

Finally both of them  strolled ahead once again. Then approximately  twenty-five feet into their trek, they caught a glimpse of what appeared to be two bodies laying motionless, baking under the hot sun.

“Hey let’s go help. They might still be alive!” exclaimed Jose who was more up beat and energetic.

Juan and Jose quickly scampered to the bodies arriving to a stop within a foot to have a better look.

“Damn! It looks like we’re too late,” said Juan.

Jose bent for a better look.

“Wait a minute! Don’t they look like, Ugh—“

Juan dipped his head lower,” Hey…that’s us!—“ he uttered.

“Yep, but how—?”Jose replied solemnly in total shock.

“Dunno...but...look at it from the bright side, man,” replied Juan—the more calm of the two who appears to take hiw own death with stride, “you know, we can still  cross over the border; and now, we can do it anytime we want.”




Dreams have existed in the minds and hearts of Man since the dawn of time and for some, dreams are truly there for the taking. Sadly for Juan and Jose, their dream ended only fifty yards from the border—a true tragedy.


The End



Submitted: December 04, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Asusa Susa. All rights reserved.

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