Apaula Tafea of Vaiala Beach School, submitted this entry to take out the Year 8 English prize in the Samoa Observer’s 2017 National Short Story Competition. Read other prize winning stories in the coming Monday editions of the Samoa Observer.
I roll over and stare out at the ocean. My little brother and sisters are obstructing my view. Why do I have to be sick on such a beautiful, glorious day. The birds are chirping, the trees are rustling in the breeze and the ocean licks the sandy shoreline.
Oh great, now my brother is yelling at me to take a photo of his stupid sand castle. I shout back and tell him to go and ask mum to use the camera. I can see something moving in the bushes in front of me but it’s just my annoying brother.
I guess he really wants to use my tablet I got for my birthday but I’m using it to write amazing stories about practically anything. I stare up at the roof of my outdoor fale and spot a little wasp building its nest. Suddenly my eyesight dims and I fall into a portal to another world.
I wake up on the beach. Everything seems the same but something’s not quite right. I look at the surroundings and all of a sudden it dawns on me. I’m the only person on the beach when usually there are sooo many people there. I squint through the suns rays and OMG I see dead fish floating on top of the water.
The air around me is so putrid and disgusting that words can’t describe it. It felt almost as if the smell made my nostrils die. The heat is unbearable. It feels as if my skin is peeling away from my body.
I stare at the people walking around me. They are all wearing silvery suits and jackets. There are also big billboards that are blaring ads and notifications. This is one of the ads showing “Tired of applying UV protection sun block 4000SPF?
Well buy yourself a radiation proof suit and jacket for only $20. Buy now to prevent sunburn forever.” What weird ads, what happened to the ozone layer that protects us from the UV rays?
I go up to a lady and ask her, “ Why excuse me, what year is this?” “ Don’t be silly dear, no one could forget this year because this is the year the ozone layer disappears.”
My head spins, this cant be! “But excuse me, what year is this?” I say impatiently. “It’s 2068 dearie.” I stager back to my secluded spot admits the busy world of 2068. I squish sand between my toes. It feels dusty and dirty not like the soft and silky smooth sand back home in Samoa.
I look out at the ocean half hoping to see my brother and sisters dancing and building sand castles on the shore, but I am left broken hearted. There are two crabs and a broken beer bottle sitting there.
I sink to the ground feeling something trickle down my cheek. My eyes start to sting, I miss my family so much. I slowly move towards a coconut tree. The feeling inside my heart speaks to me.
I have to change this. I kick a coconut to the side as I sit down. What did my Dad always say about sitting under coconut trees? Then it hits me hard in the back of my head. Ohhh, I say as I slump into the sand. Watch out for falling nuts. My whole world goes black and I get sucked back through the portal.
I wake up with a start. My brother is waving seaweed in front of my face. I kindly yell at him to stop that but nothing can or could spoil my mood. I tell them about my dream. We decide to set out on a quest to stop global warming.
We organise a massive rubbish clean up in the village and every one has to take part. My parent’s enforced rubbish bins and stands in our village as well. The government saw our global awareness program and now there is a law on burning rubbish.
This happened over the course of three months but everything is going great. I’ve succeeded in making my surroundings a better place for you, me and future generations.
All those days ago when I was sick, a seed was planted and now it is flourishing.