The Alchemist stops and lowers from his camel. The boy, Arturo, remains in the saddle, watching. Beyond them, somewhere, the Great Pyramids sit, balking at the ages. The Alchemist kneels and drives his hand into the ground. The boy hesitates, then follows.

“What are you doing?”

The Alchemist pulls his arm out of the sand, not responding.

They watch as the hole widens and water rises out from deep in the Earth.

They drink, and Arturo smiles. “I want to be able to do what you do—to make something from nothing.”

The Alchemist laughs.

“No one can do that.”