Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: BOYCOTT (11/01/18)
TITLE: The Danger of Plastic Bags
By Louis Detweiler
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I raised my head, breathed the cool night air, and kept swimming. Always swimming. The night turned to day. A jelly fish came near me and I ate it. The jelly fish tasted good. I kept swimming. Always swimming. The day turned to night again and again. I saw turtles, fish, birds, and strange lifeless objects in the water. Sometimes gigantic fish that float on top of the water, made loud grinding noises, frightening everything. The ocean wasn’t always peaceful. Heavy seas and storms surrounded me, I tried to swim away, but couldn’t. I treaded huge swells for days. Sometimes jelly fish floated around me. I lived off jelly fish, algae, and seaweed. Months passed, my path always before me. I was always chasing the next wave, the next meal, the next horizon. Always swimming.
I made friends with the ocean, the winds, the moon, and my environment. I didn’t know where my path might lead, but I followed it every minute of every day, always intently going forward. My life wasn’t perfect, but I knew I was right in my calling.
One day a big structure on top of the water came close. The beings on the structure looked at me. The familiar grinding noise rattled my jaw. I dove deep, deep into the safety of the ocean. The water turned cold and everything was dark. I slowly came to the surface and it was quiet again. The monstrous structure was gone. Hungry, I eyed a large fish close to me. It nibbled on a piece of strange seaweed. I chased the fish away and ate the seaweed. Satisfied, I swam away. Always swimming.
Seagulls appeared in the air. They dove on objects lying on top of the water. I saw strange jelly fish all over the surface of the ocean. I caught one and ate it. It didn’t have any taste or life as I swallowed it. A bird picked up one and flew away.
After a time, I felt nauseous. I felt hungry and full at the same time. I saw another strange jelly fish and ate. Again, it had no taste and no life, but went down easily. I saw another strange jelly fish with different markings on it. I ate this one, too. I felt bloated, but weak. I drifted with the current moving closer to shore. I tried to swim but was too weak to fight the current. Closer and closer I got to shore. Sick, I felt too weak to swim. I became entangled in a fishing net. The more I struggled the more entwined I became. Numerous strange jelly fish became trapped in the net with me. I was so weak I couldn’t move. I wanted to eat one of the jelly fish but couldn’t. There was nothing I could do but wait. A shark came near and terrified me, but it too got ensnared in the fishing net. Several days passed and the net started moving. I was thrown out of the ocean and onto a dry surface. I heard voices over me.
“We caught over 200 plastic bags and bottles, little fish and one emaciated turtle. It must’ve eaten plastic bags thinking they were jelly fish. It will die. We can have turtle soup tonight.”
A different voice answered, “Eat a turtle full of plastic bags. It is probably sick and full of poop. Those plastic bags destroy everything. Birds and fish eat plastic bags and they die from it.”
“We need to boycott plastic bags before they destroy all the wildlife in the sea.”
“Some days all I see is plastic covering the surface of the ocean. Think of all the plastic on the bottom of the ocean. I’m going to put this turtle out of its misery.”
I remembered the guiding light when I climbed into the ocean for the first time. Then a being came over me and stuck a knife into my throat.”
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