The sunlight sparks through the curtains and wakes me up with its warm embrace. I wake up, get out of bed and walk to the kitchen. I do my usual thing and open the cupboard doors. There is no cereal nor is there any bread for toast. 

“Where’s the cereal Mum?” I shout out down the hall.

“I’m sorry son, we just…we just can’t afford it,” says Mum with sorrow, “The grain and wheat prices have all gone up, I guess we’re to blame.”

You see, my Mum and Dad are farmers, wheat farmers. This drought has done quite a beating to our crops and in turn the wheat and grain prices have shot through the roof.

“Here darling, I have some baked beans here, you could have this,” said my Mum as she mustered up a quick cheap breakfast.

“Alright thanks Mum,” I shouted from the dining room to the kitchen, “Now, I have got to get to school, I might miss the bus.”

“Sweetie, listen could you please stay home today and help your Dad and I clearing the dead crops,” said Mum with her head down looking glum.

“That bad?” I asked with dread.

“Yeah, we would really appreciate the help,” Mum says with hope.

“Alright,” I said with gloom as I remembered today was the day of the big test and I would be behind next week in all my schoolwork. I get the sinking feeling again. The nervousness and anxiety encompasses me whenever something bad happens on the farm. I read that Anxiety is risen in Farmers Children due to this stupid drought. I can certainly back that fact. I feel the anxiety rising in me.`

Dinner that night was silent. Moving those dead crops with Dad today felt like moving the dead bodies of children dad cared for. He put a lot of hard work into those crops and now that we have nothing to sell, money is scarce. We have nothing. Dad didn’t say anything all day. He was extra silent. A silence that encompassed him wherever he went. This silence was darkness. The silence was suffocating. Mum and my sisters eat silently too. All of us, in silence, eating the only thing we could afford, Baked beans. I look over to the TV which is on channel seven. Seven Local News is starting, maybe there will be news about the drought.

“Breaking news. Cereal, wheat, corn and other grain prices are expected to skyrocket due to the drought affecting many farmers across Australia, mainly in Queensland and New South Wales. This price drop is a sign of the struggling farmers out there. This level of food shortages is what started the Syrian conflict in 2011 and the drought in East Africa in 2011 that caused 10,000 deaths throughout the drought. It is hoped that Australia does not fall to that situat-” the news ended as Dad turned the TV off, he then walked down the hall to his room.

“I think we all need an early night too, children. Lucy, Nora, off to bed. You too William,” Mum ordered politely.

I go to my room and as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m gone. Gunshots, so many gunshots. I sit up to see I am in one of my families paddocks. Gunshots, so many gunshots. People are running at me with guns strapped to them. I stand up and they start shooting. I feel my body being torn to pieces. Ripped apart with machine gun fire. I fall to the ground and in a pool of blood, I start to rise. Like a spirit ascending. I see my rag doll of a body on the ground as I keep rising. I look down to see the men raiding our house. I see my Mum shot and my sisters are taken. This is like the Syrian crisis. Famine turned to war. This is the worst case scenario. They break the glass on the windows and crystals of glass are scattered across the sky. Like stars spinning in motion. I see my Dad. He stands there and BOOM!

I awake to a loud sound. I get up. Get out of bed and walk to the kitchen. I see my Mother on the ground crying as she holds the body of my father. He shot himself. It was too much. A pool of blood encompasses him like the dark silence that consumed him before. The silence killed him. I can’t feel anything. He is gone. The anxiety feeling is back. It suffocates me like the silence suffocated Dad.

“The drought affects a lot of farmers in terrible ways, Suicide rates are the highest they have ever been in Australia due to the drought and this is not a good situation we need to be in. The less farmers we have, the less food. Export value has dipped 12% due to this drought and the economy will be hit hard this coming year. The less exports the less money coming back into Australia’s economy. This is not just a national crisis, if we don’t export our grains, cattle and other products then this is now a global crisis. We need to band together to save these farmers. This is a global crisis. If you need help or are struggling, contact Beyond Blue today. Thank you for watching Seven News, goodnight Australia,” I turn the TV and look around our small, cramped apartment rental. We had to leave the farm. Mum isn’t taking it well. She isn’t her best. I look after my sister’s most days because she can’t. Mentally she is silent. Mentally she cannot care for us. I get up and go to the window. I look out across the city. I look to the sky.

“I love you Dad, always.”