He felt the burden of the curse upon him still. The black mark, spreading across his chest like cobwebs, felt numb and cold to the touch. He could no longer feel his own heartbeat. The pilgrim let out a half-choked cough and spat a drop of grimy saliva on the dry and cracked soil. His last drink of water had been almost two day ago, and it was starting to show. His legs felt incapable of supporting his gaunt and corpse-like frame. His boots dragged on the ground. His mind seemed to try to escape from the confines of his sagging head. If he had been a romantic, he would have said that he could almost hear the angels calling his name. But he wasn't, so he didn't.
A dark spot in the distance caught his attention. The distance was too great to make out what it was - if anything. Likely it was just another mirage. He'd seen plenty of those the last couple of days, his hopes crushed time and again.
Didn't make much difference, really. He was still going to keep walking, follow the sun. Keep heading west, he told himself, and eventually he'll find his home.
Author's note: The 'Coming Home' stories are inspired by The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Credit where credit is due.