by Sienna Harney-Barnes, 10, St. Nicholas Primary
The three friends sat quietly around the dinner table in disbelief about what had just happened. All the food they had prepared, the saltfish, duccana, pepper pot and johnny cakes went crashing to the floor. The food was too heavy for the table and it collapsed. As they were cleaning up the mess, John came across a concealed trapdoor. It was below the table the whole time. When John saw it, he called Peter and Juan. They were very surprised to see it. They opened the door carefully and got all the essential supplies to go down the stairs. John and Peter were very excited, but Juan was very hesitant, however, they still went down. After about an hour, they found another hidden door, so they opened it. It looked like a never-ending hole so John being the bravest jumped in, then Peter being a copycat, did the same. Juan had no desire to do it at all, but he looked around and saw a horse-spider, so he went for it.
It turns out they were wrong, it was not a never-ending hole, but it wasn’t the same earth. You could tell, because as they walked, no litter was seen, beautiful landscaping was all around and every house had solar panels. There were fields of wind turbines, a lot of electric vehicles and pastures of green grass with all types of animals living together. People were walking, laughing, playing dominoes and just breathing air that seemed a lot cleaner. Everyone appeared to be making a conscious effort to do good for the environment. It was an earth free of climate change and pollution. As they continued walking, there was a little, brightly coloured house with a beautiful pathway lined with hibiscus flowers. As they approached, they saw a sign that said, “Peter, John and Juan’s house.” It was as if it was reserved for them. They obviously went in and put on the TV to see where they were. It turns out they were 2,000,000 miles away from the earth they called home.
Peter and John wanted to stay in the world free of climate change, but Juan was dead set against that. Juan loved his family and didn’t want to leave them in the old, polluted world. Therefore, they set out to find a way to return home and bring back all the people and things they loved. They asked some of the residents how to get back. They told them that they had to go to Palm Beach and find the red coral, so that is exactly what they did. As they walked, they saw palm trees swaying in the wind and right in front of them was the ocean. When they dove into the cool, crystal-clear Caribbean Sea, they saw something they had never seen before, bright red coral lined a pathway to a sinkhole. That is when they realized to get home, they had to go through it. They all willingly went in and in a matter of seconds they were back in the dining room. It was as if no time had passed. The hard part had just begun though. They had to explain to their families what they had experienced. Initially, their friends and families did not believe them, but with much encouragement, they had a change of heart. The three friends got their families to trust them and they all ventured back through the trapdoor.
When they arrived in the new world, they thought it was all too good to be true. Their families loved it as much as they did. At the end of the day, the boys had gone on a journey to an unknown place and it turned out to be their new home. They all adopted the lifestyle of that community to live respectfully with the environment on this new earth. If John wasn’t brave, if Peter wasn’t a copycat, if Juan didn’t face his fears and if their families didn’t trust them, they all would have missed this exciting new opportunity -A New World.
ABOUT the story: Climate change is a topic that needs to be discussed; so this story will hopefully inspire people younger and older than me. This work of fiction is honourable mention in the 7-12 age category of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge.
ABOUT the author: “My hobbies are art, cooking, swimming, dancing, and, of course, writing…I was inspired to participate in this year’s competition after running for school president. I was very nervous since it was a very tight race. When I won, I realized that overcoming challenges like this competition and facing fears can be very rewarding.”
ABOUT prizes won:
Prizes – Patrons:
Books (3) – Cindy’s Bookstore ; copy of Antigua My Antigua – Barbara Arrindell; signed copy of The Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte
Each winner is also set to receive a certificate, a selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore and cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda.
For the full breakdown of ‘who won what’, if not linked (yet), use the site’s search feature.
ABOUT Wadadli Pen: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 16 years later. It is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, encouraging writers (and visual artists) in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to create a piece on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. In 2020, there was also an Imagine a Future climate change challenge. To support the work of Wadadli Pen, contact email@example.com
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