“How could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Night had fallen heavy and soundless over the sands. The air, which only hours before had been so hot that he felt his lungs might burn, now stung with bitter cold. Zoraster shook silently. The cold still surprised him; the way it crept over the dunes like a wraith, seeming to strip both warmth and life from everything it touched. He wondered if the cold would kill him. Would he notice if it already had? There was no one here to tell him that he was still alive. He had become a restless shade, refusing to lie down at the end of the day. Every lifted foot was an act of will, every jarring step one of attrition.
It would be easier, he supposed, to rest for a while. Sleep would be the end of him, but it would be a faster death than the one he was enduring now.