The signs were all there but ignored by most except for Gus who sat in the front bar of the Stags Skull, his crazed eyes focused on something far away.
Every so often he’d make a proclamation. “We’ll all be done for,” he says in his now familiar hysterical tone.
“It’s the locusts. The locusts have gone. There’s not been a drop of rain in months, the crops are dying, the harvest isn’t happening, its all a sign I tell you, a sign.”
Around him, the fellow bar dwellers would nod and order him another beer and nudge each other that Gus was off and running and they’d enjoy goad him until he’d become so loud the barkeeper would eject him.
All the while Gus would sip his beer and mutter under his breath, and on occasion make audible threats about the safety of our community and that he’d seen it all before.
“Back in ’48,” he said, “no rain, no locusts, dirt as far as the eye could see. We had to ration everything. Water was the worst. Boiling the stuff day and night for fear of disease, my mum going crazy as she never had enough to feed us. It was tough times I have to tell you, tough times.”
There was more nodding as another round was bought and Gus found a newly poured beer in front of him.
“It’s all on your own heads you know. You ignore the signs, and it’s on your heads.”
Having had his say he settled in his spot as outside the sound of thunder came closer and the men in the bar breathed a sigh of relief as now maybe Gus might shut up.