From the porch Miller squints down the rugged coast toward Karratha and up Port Headland, a 240-km bite into the one/one million map of a blasted nation; the endless sweep of a continent adrift, red sand slices holding back ocean. Behind, thin red tsunamis of outback rock.
The shack is at the edge of Midpoint along a sandy jetty track, sheltered from dazzling seas by shallow dunes specked with plants. The village cafe, dirty old shacks and barn where miners danced are abandoned; Miller’s nearest neighbour thirty miles south.
There is a profound silence. Grey/blue dust covers roads, sidewalks, houses, too powdery for snowballs; Miller scoops some up to his shaking palm and inhales, rubs dirt into his flaky scalp, blows death-clouds.