His Hand Against Every Man

Enoch wanders in the desert. His lips crack after water and the salt falls off of him as the wind dries his sweat. He sucks water from cacti, spears the large black scorpions with a thorn and crunches their bitter flesh between his teeth. It’s a wild diet but it keeps him alive.

He comes over a dune and the valley before him is filled with fire. Imps dance and caper among the flames, so bright that his eyes are dazzled and he cries out. When he can see again, the flames are gone, and so are the devils, and in their place a Bedouin encampment. They take him in and give him water and salt. He has forgotten their language, and his own, and babbles in his own angelic tongue. They chain him to a post while they try to figure out what to do with him. He refuses the meat they bring but drinks the water greedily and pants after the night soil of their camels.

They take him with them when they break camp, tied hand and foot across the back of one of the baggage animals.