The skin on his back and the top of his shoulders was shedding and beginning to flake in the early evening Tennessee sun.
His back shined red raw and the sweat dripped off his brow staining the martian red soil, like the end of a tap that hasn't quite been fully closed.
There were blisters on his coarse labour ridden hands that were raised like soap bubbles floating on the top of the water in a wash basin.
He stops momentarily and takes a deep dust filled breath, raising his hand to protect his eyes from the sun. This harvest had been one of the roughest on record.
The lack of rain and merciless beating of the sun had caused his plot of land to turn desperately dry and most of the crops which had managed to grow were useless and had to be discarded.
Still, he ploughed on. 1, 2, 3, 4 he chanted in his head on an endless loop as he swung his pick in rhythm. He marched through the day salvaging anything he could.
He slumps through his small farmhouse door and into the cool shade of his home. He removes his sweat drenched white t-shirt and throws it on his dingy moth eaten sofa.
A large grandfather clock is skulking in the corner , looming. He cooks himself a dinner for one. Sirloin steak, green beans and boiled potatoes.
he wolfs it down, ravenous and desperate for any kind of nutrition to replenish his depleted body. After finishing his dinner the clock chimes ominously signalling that it was time.
He takes a moment to reflect. He has brief look up at a a cross he has on the wall and prays to god to forgive him. He then takes a look at a photograph he has hanging on the living room wall.
It is a photo of himself and by his side is his young wife.
She is wearing a pink flowing dress spotted with white flowers and a large pink hat that would not have looked out of place at the Royal Ascot or in any high society event.
She is beaming brightly and even he- who is not one for photos of any kind- has the light outline of a smile sneaking up onto his face.
A smile that is now appearing on his face again as he reminisces on that moment.
He sighs heavily and tilts his head down sombre upon exiting that memory.
Placing his fork and knife down he brings his plate over to the wash station and walks up the stairway to his bedroom where a rope swings like a pendulum and heaven awaits.