The desert is an evil, forbidding place. The plants that thrive there are prickly, and the animals, insects and reptiles that survive there are venomous and deadly. The sun is intense, and there is no solace. It cooks the earth in such a way that it radiates heat, creating an illusion of fumes emanating from its surface, obscuring the distance, turning the horizon into a gassy blur. There is hardly any water. There is hardly any shade. All that exists is an arid fervor, and the scarce forms of life that dare to live amongst it.