In California, the fire quickly spread to a wildfire. He forced people to flee by burning their homes. Oliver, who was 8, also ran away with his family. After the firefighters put out the fire, they headed back home like the others to assess the damage.
Their house burned down, the only home Oliver knew. He saw his parents’ concern and wondered why this had happened to them. He fell asleep in his mother’s arms, exhausted.

A woman started to approach him, looking worried. She had transparent skin, almost like she was made of water. As she helped him up off the ground, he saw fish glistening in her.

“Come, I have something to show you. “, she said.

Oliver nodded and followed her, startled. They found themselves in a forest that looked strange, dark and burnt. They walked past huge trees and bushes, with strange creatures hiding behind them; some looked like a water girl leading him through a giant forest, others were completely different.

“My name is Nima,” said the girl, Oliver wanted to introduce himself but was too scared.

After a long walk, they arrived at a large tent. “You will meet my friends here, they are different from yours, but don’t be afraid of them,” said Nima, leading Oliver into the tent.

There were five creatures sitting there, all of them looking haggard, two giant men looked old and dirty, but surprisingly majestic, they had long green hair and intelligent eyes, next to them sat a little girl with red skin and orange hair. When Oliver looked at her, his eyes were blinded. In the circle he saw a boy who looked like Nima and an inconspicuous girl with clear skin, hair and eyelashes. Even her clothes were hard to see; she looked almost transparent and he wouldn’t have noticed her if  she hadn’t been full of black soot. He was a bit afraid of the creatures, as he had never seen anything like them before. Everyone in the circle began to introduce themselves, and he learned that they represented the four elements. Water, air, fire and earth.

“We are fighting because they are trying to destroy the Earth,” said a boy, who looked like Nima. Now Oliver saw that the fish inside him are either pierced with plastic particles or trapped in plastic bags.

“Who’s trying to destroy it?” asked Oliver worriedly.

“Your people,” Nima replied. “How is this possible? My parents say that killing is the worst sin. “

“That’s the problem, they don’t even realize it. “

“It’s the exhaust fumes from factories and cars that are killing us,” said the girl, who was almost invisible, representing the air.

“We are being poisoned by oil and plastic, the fish in us are dying and so are we,” said Nima, representing the water.

“We are being exploited and destroyed by pesticides,” said the two representatives of the earth, wearily.

“I am the last member of the fire fighting for the Earth, all the others are just fighting against humans, trying to make them see what they have been doing for such a long time now,” said the sad fire girl at last.

“and where is Earth? How will you protect it?” asks Oliver.

“We are all the Earth and we cannot protect it until people realize they are fighting against themselves,” said Nima.

Oliver woke up and began to think. Indeed, his parents no longer let him drink the water, because it was no longer clean enough. Even when he went for a swim in the sea, he always came across pieces of plastic and packaging. He also saw smoke coming from the factories and noticed that breathing was painful sometimes. He heard on TV that in some places they even have to wear masks because the air was no longer healthy.

He has heard about terrible landslides and seen how his parents are very careful when they buy food, because it is full of chemicals that they put in the ground.

And of course, he has experienced first-hand the wrath of fire and its life-changing power.

Now Oliver realized that us humans, we really are fighting ourselves.

Naja Novak, 3.a