There was something ahead, reflecting the unrelenting sunlight. Quinn narrowed his eyes, but couldn't see what it was. Something metallic, or maybe a piece of glass.
He looked back down at the dry and cracked earth under his feet. He started counting again. The plain was so large, that the only way he could make himself walk across it was by staring at his feet and counting his paces. Every five hundred steps he would stop and look up at the hills ahead of him. They had slowly moved closer over the long day, but he was still so far away. Throughout the day dark clouds had gathered over the hills. He knew that if he was still on the plain when the rain began, he could easily to trapped in the resulting floods, his drowned body broken, and twisted by the deluge before landing somewhere far away when the the waters finally receded.
He put head down and counted. When he hit five hundred, he stopped, looked at the hills to check his progress and adjusted the pack on his back before continuing.
Quinn counted ten times before he reached the thing glittering on the hard packed dirt. He knelt down to inspect the metal and glass frame where it lay. Inside the frame was a photograph of a man and a woman embracing. They were young, the woman was laughing as the man pressed his cheek close to hers. They looked happy. They looked as if they had bathed and eaten a hot meal. They looked as if there was nothing in the world that could break them.
The couple were embracing in front of a large tree, absolutely lousy with green leaves. Quinn tried to remember when was the last time he had seen a tree like that. When he had last seen so much green. He looked around the plain. There was nothing and no one for miles. How had it gotten here?
He looked back at the picture, a moment captured in a time when things were better for everyone.
Quinn stood and looked down at the picture one more time. Whoever those people were, they were long gone, and whoever had dropped this picture here was probably just as dead as they were. He looked up at the hills again. The air above them was a dark, hazy gray. The rains had started, and he was nowhere close to safety.