Award-winning Short Story by Louis de Chazal

Louis de Chazal

This short story by 10 year old Louis de Chazal won the Berkshire Schools Summer Writing Challenge 2020.

Making the Change!

My story starts on a searing hot day.  There was a wasp tapping angrily on the window, as if there shouldn’t be a window there; it was in his way!  I was reading my Greek Mythology book but was now staring out the window, yearning to be able to go outside.  I can’t go outside.  I’m asthmatic.  The air pollution is so bad now that if I were to go out on a hot day like today I would surely have an attack.  The year is 2030 and we humans haven’t exactly done ourselves any favours and our planet is a mess.  The air is full of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides and all kinds of poisonous gases, invisible but deadly.

As I was staring I noticed that one of the white clouds was behaving in a very peculiar way and seemed to be moving towards me rather quickly.  Then I realised to my astonishment that it was actually a white horse, flying with enormous but elegant wings!  He (was it a he?) reminded me of Pegasus from my book.  Suddenly, I heard a ringing voice in my head, “I need you to see the World.  You will be able to breathe above these noxious clouds, let me take you.”  Normally I wouldn’t climb on to the back of a flying horse but for some reason I didn’t think there would be any problem if I did and so I opened the window.

We were soaring high above the clouds and I could breathe fresh air.  We flew south for some time.  Suddenly out of the blue (and white!) I saw thick black smoke rising.  I looked down and could see vast areas of rainforest burning to ashes.  ‘This is terrible!’ I exclaimed in a trembling voice.  Pegasus flew on. He twisted sharply round to the West, I held on tighter to his soft mane.  Soon we could see some islands; green and yellow blobs in the ocean.  I could see that some of them looked like they were disappearing beneath the waves and I asked Pegasus if they really were.

Pegasus didn’t answer. He flew on. We changed direction, flying North.  Up ahead of me I saw white lines stretching down from some mountains.  I knew they were glaciers because I recognised them from when I had seen them on The Frozen Planet.  As we got closer I noticed that they were melting, big chunks were falling off in to the ocean.  I shouted ‘Woah’ as a gigantic piece sprayed seawater high in to the air as it crashed in to the waves.  Pegasus flew on.  I started to notice plastic littering the beaches and water below.  I could almost see the poor sea creatures that must be getting tangled up.

I felt so, so sad, frustrated and angry at how the human race is polluting our planet without any care for anything other than themselves.  I decided there and then that I would try to make us all change when I got home.  Pegasus seemed to read my mind and I felt him change course and head back East.  I was so tired and Pegasus was so warm that I soon drifted off to sleep.

I woke up the next morning in my bed, feeling rather strange.  Had I just had a very peculiar dream?  It had felt so real but surely it couldn’t be true? The one thing though that I was sure about was that I really want to save the planet.  I need to spread the word.  All of us need to make small changes to make a big difference.  My plan is to tell 10 people to try to eat less meat, try not to buy stuff in plastic, try to make the next car you buy electric and also, simply, plant a tree!  Then I want those ten people to tell another 10 people each and tell them to also tell 10 people and so on.  I wrote a list of ten people and set off to knock on their doors.  Luckily today was less hot so I could cope with going outside.

I’m back.  I’m not sure if people listened to me. I feel disappointed; I just don’t think some people listen.  I’m staring out the window and writing this to help me feel better and also think of a new plan.  Wait….

Now my story really starts.  Pegasus has returned!  ‘I thought you were just a dream’ I murmured, losing my voice in astonishment.  ‘No, I’m not.  I’m here to help you all make the changes.  Get on!’  I climbed on and he majestically took off and we flew to my first friend.  It’s amazing how well people listen when a boy and a flying horse land on your front door step.  And Pegasus flew on and my story continues.

Changes you could make before I arrive:

Eat less meat, especially beef.  Go vegetarian if you can.

Buy less stuff. Ask yourself if you really need it.

Try not to buy anything in plastic. If you do, recycle it.

Absolutely no plastic bottled drinks!

The next car you buy should be electric.

Buy your electricity from renewable resources.

Fit solar panels.

Try to buy local food.

Reduce, re-use, recycle and never waste.

Plant a tree!

Together, we can fix this if you will listen!


Thank you for reading my story.

Louis de Chazal, age 10, Brightwalton School


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