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Feb 2016
There she stood, staring, reminiscing the memories of the baron, dusty land. The spirits dance through the dry, heated wind reflecting the sorrows and joys that interlace her mind.

A flashback of red.
An evil waiting for death,
Forcing rains away

Crack! The old gum faints as its roots recoil from the ground. The leaves try to grasp the sky, longing for something to quench their thirst. But the happiness braids through the heartache recapturing the strength of the town when the rain never came.

Restrictions are made,
Men cart water to cattle.
The drought starts again.

The red soil is rough against her bare feet as she walks past the tall eucalyptus trees and the large boulders covered in the maroon dust. The outback is a jail, away from everything yet demonic. The sky so blue is free from clouds bringing the fire over the land with its harmful rays. The sun is a dragon, burning everything in its path, nowhere will protect you from its clutches. As she sat on the boulder shaded by a gum, she remembered the past. Heat came in like an earthquake, so unexpected. No one thought it would come; it bought nothing but desolation to the land. As the sun gazed over the baron lands, the plants and creatures melted away.

Sun’s powerful rays,
The world has become a daze.
Life melting away

She couldn’t explain how she felt, her body all just felt numb. The failure of the crops and the death of the livestock had finally hit her hard. What if the drought lasts forever? What if we never see the rain? Out of all the droughts she saw this one topped the cake. She knew she had to keep her head high, she knew she had to be strong.  But how can she do that when the lives of the town are broken and left lying around?

Dreams are too far-gone,
Death is found on every road crossed.
Everything is gone

Weeks past and a cloud formed in the sky, the kangaroos danced in the shade that had finally come almost like it’s the first time. The land looked less red but now had a brownish tinge. The towns folk looked to the sky smiling, maybe the rain will finally come again.

A cloud is in sight,
Seconds are becoming lives.
Rain rain come again.

It soon became cooler; puffy clouds rolled into the sky. The town was slowly shaded from the scorching rays. Though the sun was now almost gone the town seemed brighter, Moo! The cows sing with joy and the smiling faces of the children running around the school with so much energy after years of having to sit and eat in the heat of the sun.

Brightness of the shade,
Singing and smiling all day.
The rain is so near.

White, agile and little clouds soon turned into heavy rain-filled clouds. All life stared into the sky waiting, and waiting, then something sizzled against the burning ground. She bent over and touched the area now darker than the rest of the ground and sighed with relief, that one little drop set everyone mad, excited, relieved. That’s when the rain poured down and that’s when everyone knew that the drought was gone; we survived last time; the war has only just begun; it will come back and hit us twice as hard; but we will conquer it again.
Sophie Marshall
Written by
Sophie Marshall  Toowoomba
     Lior Gavra, Xan Abyss and ---
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