Marco and the Haunted Desert
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Song in the Wind:
The caravan captain always called a halt at noon. With good cause for there was naught that could move in the heat. Hundreds of travelers began unloading their weary beasts. Even camels need a rest from their endless servitude.
They then sat down to what was euphemistically called a meal. The same stale biscuit that had fueled the travel routes for thousands of years. Beside Marco sat one Hamid Ali; a stout man, wise in the lore of the desert.
Marco listened to the wind shrieking far off. He turned to Hamid and asked, "Why does it sound like that?"
Hamid said, "You are a curious lad. I was like that at your age. But here you must curb your curiosity."
"Why", asked Marco.
Hamid answered, "This is an evil place, cursed of Allah. Hear that sound? Those are evil spirits who prey on stray travelers. They sing out to them luring them away from their comrades. It is said that those who follow their song never return..."
Marco shivered. He listened once more as the wind howled, shrieked and muttered. It seemed to say, "Marco, Marco...".
Then they returned to their dreary meal.
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"The haunted desert" is a common legend. It comes from a strange phenomenon whereby the sands seem to "sing". I forget the cause of it but it has inspired a lot of legends similar to this one which was actually adapted from Marco's account.