In the cool of the morning, Yomata walked the garden, picking off pieces of fruit to eat as he went. When he came to his favorite banana tree, it looked sickly and covered in brown spots. "A shame," he said. He walked a little further and upon coming to his strawberry fields, notices that half of the plants were dark and withered.
"Hungry?" a voice came from behind him.
Yomata didn't turn around, but found one good strawberry and bent down to pick it up.
Densreale snaked around him. "Oh just offering up my fruit tree." He took a bite of what looked like an over-sized peach. "You know where to find it." Fruit juice trickled down his face and hit the ground, killing a small plant at his feet.
Yomata watched the plant wither. "I will never."
"Sssssssoon this whole place will be desolate, like the desert." he waved his hand out towards the east, where the Desert of Koreem lay. "It cannot be ssssaved."
Yomata spit on the plant and it turned green and regrew right in front of them. He gave Densreale a competitive look.
"Would you like to play a game?" Densreale asked. He took a marble out of his pocket and rolls it around on his hand, as if gravity had no affect on it.
"No," Yomata said.
Densreale fliped the marble back and forth between his hands and then hid it in one. "Which hand his asked."
Yomata rolled his eyes and walked away.
"I'll go away if you play."
Yomata stopped. with his eyes straight forward down the path and Densrele behind him, he said, "right."
"Again." Denreale hid the marble a second time.
Densreale hid the marble.
"Left." Yomata continues to walk towards the desert.
Densreale looked ruffled. He put the marble back in his pocket but put out his hands as if he had hid it in one. "Now which hand?"
"I'm not the one who put the marble in my left pocket," Yamoto said as he passed the end of the garden and the beginning of the Desert of Kareem.
For more than an hour Densreale moved the marble into different pocks and hands and waited for Yamoto to shout out the answer.
As the noon sun arose, Densreale's feet burned on the hot sand. "Blasted hot this is," he said. "This has got to be the worst most godforsaken place on all of the earth."
"Well you're here," Yomata said, chuckling to himself.
"Yeah, and so are you!"
"I happen to think it's beautiful." Yomata looked up at the endless hills of rock and sand.
Densreale gave a sly smile and threw the marble on the ground and brushed sand over it with his foot. He looked up at Yomata and saw that there was no way he could have seen what he's done. He's done it so smoothly that Yomata couldn't have possibly heard any shit in his gate. "Now which hand or pocket?" he asked.
Densreale stopped in his tracks, turned around, and headed back to the gardens. I will win, he thought.