Dead trees line the sides of streets casting scraggly shadows over the town. Two lakes recede like a withdrawn nightmare – leaving nothing but cracked tiles of ground in their wake. The mood is dry and uncertain, to say the least. Some people are optimistic, some are not.
I feel rather like the girl in The Blair Witch Project, which was a successful low budget nineties film that scared the pants off everybody because it embodied the fear of the unknown which, as we all know, is much scarier than what you can see. I identify with this girl when the end is near, when she is holding the flashlight up to her face while she makes a final video apologizing to her family for going out into the woods to look for trouble.
The drought here has been much like the unseen witch – it has left clues, complete strikes on nature, and nasty, bewildering tricks all along a trail of destruction – but we have not yet seen the face of this evil. Some people are much like the girl’s companions who fell victim to the Blair Witch in that they have been oblivious and unbelieving the whole time, continuing on in their ways – until maybe, they too will be snatched away at any given moment. Like the witch, the evil atmosphere exerts a supreme power – but remains unseen.
“I can show you fear in a handful of dust,” yes it is true indeed, now I know this fear. Trees dead and dying like lost pilgrims abandoned of hope, hard-hearted incessant winds, those who gather in houses to ask why did we turn away? What is this?…The climate change predicted by men in white coats years ago? Is there no appeasing this omnipotent force? Is there a force, or just a fed up ozone? Will anyone be left to answer these questions or will all be snatched away until the last pitiful person remains hold up, flashlight in hand with their final thoughts?
Streets no more… dead trees, deserted town…over ran by starving coyotes, dust blown, battered tree branches fall in mystical patterns like the witch placed them in the forest. Who will tell our story?