She lived at the end of a long dirt road. In a house she lived, although many often confused it for a shed. And in her yard, it was filled with old cars and tree stumps, tangled bushes and all manner of strange and forgotten things.
The people who lived in the nice houses, before the dirt road began, in the houses that all looked the same with the yards that all looked the same, these people often passed by her house and quietly disapproved of her. They quietly felt sorry for her.
The people who lived in the nice houses were never hot since they had central AC and they all had two children. One boy named Justin or something equally cute and one named Marie or something equally pretty. The furniture in these houses was new or at least pretty and the food at these houses was always plentiful, even if the people who lived there were perpetually on “diets”.
The people in the nice houses tried to ignore this lady(who they took to calling “the Crone” behind her back, even though her name was Eulilah). They laughed at her and made jokes of her while they had their barbecues and watched inane television programs and talked about their diets and exercise fads and celebrities and diets.
So it came to pass that there was a flood. Eulilah rejoiced at the flood because she said that her plants in the wetland needed it. She said it was a good thing, but of course the people in the nice houses were not happy because the flood damaged their basements and their kiddie pools and they had not been prepared for this at all since they thought only of themselves and their inane little lives.
The people made walls to dam the flooding which only made it worse in some places where mosquitoes began to congregate and too dry in other places, making the land lifeless.
Eulilah was enraged that the public funds were used in what she thought was a stupid manner. So Eulilah began to protest and talk in town hall meetings about how flooding was good and how nature knew what it was doing and if you'd just stop and think, you'd see how we need all manner of things on this planet, not just the ones we find pretty.
The townspeople of the nice town didn't really like Eulilah, but they liked their laws which said all people are allowed to speak and so they put up with her protestations. That is, until one day she did the unthinkable and said that even death was necessary.
“You old hag” somebody yelled, “You old crone! We need to lock you up and force you to live with us and be happy!” Eulilah cackled because she knew she was right, but she was powerless to stop them as they took her away, cut her dreads, locked her up in an old persons home where she was fed a steady diet of stool softeners, Mellaril and Ensure.
Now the people of the town didn't like what the old woman said, but she did make them think and fear death, which they tried not to think about at all. Usually when someone died in this town, they hid them and tried to find a replacement who could wear the same clothes. But now, since she had brought it up, death was all they could think about.
The scientists worked day and night. They made special drinks to stop cell degeneration and they created special implants to replace DNA with a more stable XNA. When someone was in a accident or drank too much alcohol, they simply replaced the destroyed organ.
Years passed and the people didn't age. They just went on watching their TV programs and going to work and cutting their grass and talking about celebrities and diets and movies and politics and the pope.
At first, everyone was happy. But after about a hundred years, even the strongest dopaminergic enhancers did nothing to alleviate the dullness that had pervaded their lives.
A few people began to wonder about the old crone and they began to wonder if she was right about death and ugly things. The others called these people fools and made them repeat positive affirmations and to only think positive things.
But everyone knew something was amiss.
And slowly but surely it began. The death and decay that had been controlled and stopped all around the world began again.
The diseases held at bay by pills found other ways. The XNA although terribly strong began to show signs of cancerous growth. Eventually, enough people were upset at their lives that the old woman was broken free of her imposed hospitalization.
She had been forcibly changed to extend her life, but once she was off her medication she began to age again and she began to think more clearly.
“Oh old woman, what shall we do?” they all asked.
She cackled and shrugged her shoulders and said, “You decide what you should do! Just let me die.”
And with that she died and the people had no answers from her since people in real life don't have magical answers.
And instead of trying to think about the problem even more they went to where her house was and where wild plants and wild things still lived. They found something about this place beautiful.
And so they smiled and took off their spaceman suits, which they had been wearing and they stopped taking their pills. The wild animals sensed this and began to regard them as equal.
The people were of course, terribly stupid and one of them was eaten bu a wild bear and while this was terrifying, and while the people that took over the old womans home were often cold or hungry and they often didn't know what to talk about and their hair was often unkempt, they knew that there was something to be gained by wildness.
Hopefully the people in the city, in the nice houses will one day learn this, too.