Wind washed the face of the red-topped mountain, lifting his braid’s feathers in a salute to the afternoon sun. Across the valley, past the green-flanked river, goats scampered, the first in a long while, kicking their heels amongst the scarce color of flowering cactus, in seeming celebration of recent rains. A good omen, it was a welcome bounty as his family resolved to leave these desolate ancestral lands.
He’d determined that prophecies were worthless to the dead. Facing the mountain, he laid his apologetic hand reverently upon the petroglyphs of the star-people who had promised to come back -- too late.