When the starkness began, many thought it was a result of climate change and that the starkness would be limited to the inland where it was already in the throes of the worst drought ever.
But when there started to be a mass migration of the vast kangaroo mobs from the inland to the coastal regions people began to become alarmed.
It didn’t take many years before the inland was a stark desert. All vegetation died off and with it the livelihoods of so many. The inhabitants were forced to move, the coastal regions began to swell with thousands of climate refugees as they were called.
The climate deniers were quick to point out it was a seasonal thing, that the weather would change, rain would fall, and the grass would grow again.
But it was more than that. In the regions now stark of any life it was as if the soil had given up, all life was dead. Even the seeds found in the soil were incapable of germination as if even the stored life within them had been dried out and sucked away.
The kangaroos started to infiltrate the outer suburbs looking for food. Residents unused to these animals being in their neighbourhood found managing the kangaroo mobs was not an easy task. When cornered the kangaroo can be very aggressive and can inflict serious injury if you engage with them. People were urged to stay well away after reports began of people being injured and, in some cases, killed.
It became clear a huge cull was needed, and amid protests and demonstrations, the culls began. The kangaroos were being forced from their natural habitats where they ate grasses and into populated areas where the grass was plentiful.
All the while the starkness was spreading, and when it got within three hundred miles of the coast, a crisis meeting was called with questions asked what might be done in the face of the potential obliteration of mankind.
As man had caused the problem, there was a feeling that man could find a solution. In the meantime, with the reduction of food growing as the starkness spread rationing began, people looked off-shore for other locations but the starkness was everywhere, no country was spared, and it seemed a matter of time before life as they knew it died out.
It was another hundred years before the starkness had spread across the entire country and satisfied its insatiable appetite.
The last living things died out, the country was left barren, even the oceans suffered and with changes to ocean temperatures fisheries disappeared.
One day in the still and silent landscape the snow began. Change was coming, the earth began to regenerate itself, but it would take a thousand years before any life reappeared.