The beating sun shone down on the murky green water. The water looked like an oil spill minus the reds and yellows.
“Why is it green?” I asked.
“Just algae?” My sister Phoebe guessed. I bounded onto the dried mud where water should have been and stepped into the still water making it ripple like miniature waves. I dove into the green water, with Phoebe following. We splashed around in the water for what seemed like an hour until we were worn out and swam back to the bank, we were about to leave when I saw a white sign reading:
“HARMFUL ALGAE MAY BE PRESENT IN THIS WATER CONTACT MAY CAUSE SERIOUS HARM TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS.”
I showed Phoebe the sign. She shrugged and started walking back to where we were camping. It was only a short walk back but as I walked into the clearing where our tent was set, I started feeling dizzy. I went and sat on the dead grass. I didn’t notice I had slept, but now the sky was turning pale pink but the heat was still lingering around. I looked inside to find Phoebe clutching her stomach. She immediately ran outside and threw up beside me. I realised I wasn’t feeling the best either and my throat felt like it had been scratched a million times. I flopped onto my bed inside and slept.
I woke up to my head throbbing and itching rashes scattered on my arms and legs. I couldn’t sleep so I made my way to sit against a tall tree outside. The moon was just a small white scratch in the sparkling sky. The gentle breeze was finally cold, maybe the weather was finally cooling down. I spent the rest of the night sleeping and waking up next to the tree. I stood up from where I slept, inside Phoebe was scratching at her arms. My head was still aching. Then I thought, the algae did this to us. We walked back to the Murray River, once the sickness had finally worn off, wait. There was silver floating among the green. Fish, dead fish! I wonder what is going through their minds?
I darted through the water, it was so hard to breath! Grit is scraping my gills, fish are meant to dominate water not perish. The green water was slowly suffocating us. Fish all around me from bony bream, golden and silver perch and Murray cod like myself were fleeing from the evil algae that was happily killing us. Finally, as we swum the water cleared into a murky brown colour, I was still barely breathing when I crashed into the river bank. Ow!
I didn’t think the river bent here. I swam along it and almost crashed face first into another bank. I swam the other way and unsurprisingly the other bank was there. There were fish all around me seeming just as confused as I was. The water must have lowered in this scorching weather. I must take the risk and jump. I swam back a distance, taking a last breath and shot past the water’s skin into the suffocating air. I landed on the cracked, air-less brown river bed. I squirmed and flopped around until I finally splashed into a refreshing puddle. It wasn’t green, nor was it the other side of the river.
Uh, I still need to get to the other side. I leapt out of the water, not nearly as graceful as a dolphin. I just caught a glimpse of green before crashing into the water with a soft ‘plop’. I frantically swam, until plummeting into a fish. It didn’t move as I backed away. They were dead! I kept swimming, as I noticed dead fish all around me. I finally couldn’t breathe anymore. I swam back past the dead fish and threw myself out of the water, just missing the puddle. As I flopped into the puddle, the water rippled. I stuck my head out of the water and saw rain start to form more puddles around the bare river bead.
After days of drenching rain, the green had started fading away. There was silver floating among the mottled green and brown water. There was fish, dead fish! There were at least a thousand fish scattered along the bank and resting in the water. Was it the algae? What had caused this mass fish kill?
The algae was finally gone. After a few days of rain it disappeared. The river flooded causing me to stray out of the river into another stream. The dying algae has reduced the oxygen levels, making it hard to breath. I don’t think I’ll make it. There are fish with me who have started dying off. I took a last half-filled breath and it all went black.