“Out! Out! Out of the O-Zone!” shouts the man with a bottle in his hand, “Out, fucking gases! Y~ou’re not welcome, y~ou’re not welcome; y~ou’re not wel-come-a-ny-more!”
“But we need gases to breathe”, I say to mummy.
She picked me up from school a couple of minutes ago. She holds my hand tighter and we walk faster.
We cross the road and turn a corner before she replies to me, “We do, darling. We need Oxygen and Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen; it’s the combination of gases in our air that help us to live.”
Last week at school, Miss Gale taught us about Helium – I really loved learning about Helium. I found out where it comes from in the world, and where I can find Helium in my home town. I also found out that it makes my voice go all squeaky, which I really like.
This morning Miss Gale was very sad when we got to the classroom. The headmaster was there and he asked her if she was okay. She must have been feeling better because she started smiling again and he went away. I think the headmaster is good at fixing things, but Wendy told me that he actually makes things worse.
Mummy buys me a comic book at the shop – she says it is because I was good today.
“Mummy, what will happen if the gases have to go away?” I ask her when we’re walking again.
“Without gases in the air, plants wouldn’t be able to grow, the wind couldn’t blow, and we couldn’t breathe, darling”, she explained to me.
“I don’t want the plants to stop growing, mummy.”
“Neither do I, darling, but it looks like it might happen.”
We’re nearly home, but there’s another man shouting things on the street, and there are a lot of people listening to him – too many people to walk through. He has lots of signs around him and a machine that makes his voice louder – I think he needs his voice to be so loud because all the other people are very noisy too.
“Gases are taking our space! Gases are blowing over from across the sea, carried by the wind, without permission! They’re increasing air pressure, giving us stormy weather, they’re blowing over signs, and trees, and even houses. They are blowing over your houses, your family’s houses, and your local businesses. We don’t want them in this country anymore, and we don’t need them in this country anymore! Gases, out! Out! Out the O-Zone!” yells the man into his machine.
The other people cheer and start chanting along, “Out! Out! Out the O-Zone!”
Me and mummy turn around and take the long way round the street to get home. We walk past Wendy’s house and she is sitting by herself under her slide. I can hear Wendy’s mum and dad shouting inside their kitchen – I’m a little bit scared, but I don’t tell mummy.
I can see our driveway, so I let go of mummy’s hand and run to the front door. The door is locked and I can’t open it. I turn to mummy, who is standing on the driveway; she dropped her bag.
“Mummy, daddy’s locked the door! Silly daddy!”
Mummy starts to cry, so I go and ask her if she is okay. She doesn’t tell me.