Author : Daniel Fairbairn

A wind that started a billion years ago ended today. It sighed past my apple tree and ended its journey. The breath of an age of warriors, poets, beasts and storms lay in the marks in the dust. The grass stood still as if in some moment of buffering. The clouds hung heavily in the streaked and azure sky. Even the Sun looked bewildered as it shone into my eyes between the white bulks. The birds usual shrieking and cawing had taken on a ponderous tone, as if they were gossiping around the subject, conjecturing what outcome was most likely.

The rest of my race were no better. The airwaves and internet abounded with debate, panic, ratings vultures pawing the carcass of our predicament. None of that changed the fact that as Autumn arrived, our leaves fell straight down, weather was a non event. The oceans calmed disturbingly, and wind borne seeds and spores simply dropped to the ground. Although it wasn’t entirely evident, there was a rising sense of panic, certainly among the thinkers among us. Unfortunately the majority of us remained pinned to our screens, awaiting instructions from the incessantly talking heads.

One thing did improve. Turbulence during flights had ceased to be. It was a pleasure to rise up into the eerily still yet diaphanous clouds, seemingly gliding across glass before slowly lowering to the next airfield.

I took lots of flights during that time. Lots! I felt as if time had somehow paused, and I was drinking in this moment for as long as I could.

War broke out in America first. A country of high tension at the best of times, it seems that excessive rioting escalated and finally the government collapsed. Next was western Europe, then across the Middle East. It seemed that panic had turned us inward. The UK and the Nordic countries seemed to be like quiet children in a room of fighting parents. Or, I suppose that could be written the opposite way, but you know what I mean. We clung to our dignity as all about us fell and burned. I stopped watching the news, YouTube and Facebook. In the end, I had to be here for me. I could no more help those people than I could turn the Moon with my hand.

My apple trees leaves lay dead and dried on the ground. A troubled Blackbird studied me for answers to questions it couldn’t understand, from the barren branches of my despondent tree. ‘You tell me’ I said to him.

I saw the last insect the next day, and the day after that, the last bird flew over my house and headed south. I noticed later that day the cows, sheep and pigs had all abandoned their fields and headed away from us too. In an effort to find some answers I admit I did turn on YouTube again. All over the world, those that could were reporting that all indigenous life in their areas were heading south. Even into the North Sea, the Channel, the Atlantic.

The next day it was apparent why. From nothing came the wind. All across the northern hemisphere, the winds roared for a day and a half, all in a northerly direction. Until they stopped again, as if an enormous deep breath had been inhaled, before a deafening shout…