It hadn’t rained in one thousand five hundred and fifty days when the flood warning sirens blared. Dust plumes blossomed all across the rectilinear grid of streets in the small town as people stopped to stare. All the cars came to an abrupt and sudden halt causing chain reaction accidents, though fender-benders, and surely not their fault.

I thought back to the last time it had rained, the last time the Chicago Cubs had won a World Series game. This cognitive dissonance was too much. Mass hysteria, that’s what it is. We have collectively gone insane.

We’re thousands of miles from the coast. The President said all that climate change stuff was just a Chinese Fairy Tale, a hoax. 

Then the ground shook. When the bone-dry water tower pinged I turned my head that way and looked. But it was the distant mountains that had made that peculiar sound. It was that entire range that rumbled, not only this arid ground. 

Beneath my feet, pebbles danced like they were on top of a beaten drum. Brown dust jumped up to cover my boots of its own accord. The clouds had been white and wispy, now they were a sick yellow, and hung, like aged lace curtains on an all-day-sun window, listless and bored.

The sirens kept up their incessant squabble, eeee-aaaw, eeeeee-aaaaaw. Who picked this god-awful sound anyway, I thought, as I again calculated the distance to the sea. There’s no way in hell, and it hadn’t rained in one thousand five hundred fifty days. No way was this for real. Like, what .. a tsunami? The only water here came from the lake and the river …

Mentally I traced. North through the foothills, where three state lines interlaced. My eyes swiveled back to the siren, then the power lines. I mentally traced the river all the way up to Valentine’s, where they held back that river, said it would bring cheaper power. Of course they failed to mention the extinct species, the forest fires, the One thousand five hundred fifty days without a rainshower.

The wall so high they needed elevators inside it. Power had gotten no cheaper, au contraire. Utility commissions kissing that Governor’s ass so hard, no wonder they could smell the stench in the air. It cost just 4 percent more for the average family they claimed. That’s not so much for the luxury of electricity.

Then I realized the Dam had burst, and around here, there’d be no Jackass 3.  

M. Zane McClellan

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