Walt is a farmer who is experiencing his third season of drought in a row.
As his field becomes dry and parched he disintegrates along with it, both
emotionally and psychologically.
Walt is wary of anyone who approaches his property as he fears they want
to destroy whatever crop the hot sun and dry winds have not. He is a proud
farmer steeped in the tradition of the land and deep inside feels he is a
provider of bounty to others in the country. When his livelihood is
threatened he becomes desperate.
Walt is jealous of another farmer, Frank Green, whose farm is a part-time
venture and not his sole source of income. Frank also has a car lot and
Walt bristles at the mention of this man’s name as he feels Frank could
care less about the worsening drought conditions.
Walt first defends his field from three teenagers who want to pass through
on the way to another farm…in a threatening posture he thwarts these teens
from crossing through his property…they sense his state of mind and decide
to steer clear of his field.
Walt visits the town market each day for pure and fresh bottled water to
take with him as he guards his field. To Walt, water and rain symbolize
life, cleansing, and a fresh start. His dealings with the store manager
and his young female clerk begin to show how is character is cracking like
the ground he farms upon.
At night, at home with his wife Barb, he seethes while watching a weather
report talk of no rain on the horizon. He also snaps violently at his wife
for serving him store bought corn. He feels she does not see him as a
strong provider for the family anymore.
Walt is cold towards an elderly gentleman who has driven down from the
city a few hours away .He is looking for fresh fruits and vegetable only
to find them to be few and far between in this region. Walt does not want
to talk about the conditions he finds himself forced to endure. To him
this man from the city is from another world who could not possibly
understand what he is going through. To the elderly gentleman paradise has
become a wasteland.
Finally two teenage boys decide to cut through Walt’s property on their
way to Miller’s Farm and they are not going to take no for an answer from
Walt. It’s hot and they want to take the shortest, direct route possible.
Walt finally cracks at this lack of respect for his authority over his
property, and unable to stop himself, takes action that will affect him
and his place in the community forever.
As the story ends, a teenage girl reveals what Walt has fought and
struggled for his whole life …even as she walks away, oblivious to what
she has brought to light.
Copyright 2006 Michael Ugulini
All Rights Reserved