Winner

CATEGORY A : 13- 15 YEARS
Day 2: River
27 December 2017

WINNER

A Cry For Help (3rd Place)
Dylan Wong Yun Xian

I swam away as fast I could. The ever expanding darkness chased me, trying to consume my body until I would eventually suffocate from a substance known to mankind as ‘oil’. Many had already died trying to swim away from the oil that had spilled from a massive oil tanker that had a major leak. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide; my only hope was to keep swimming until I would end up in a safe place. At this point my gills had already been clogged by a layer of oil. It was not much but it had already taken an effect on my stamina not allowing me to swim for much longer.

As luck would have it, I somehow ended up in a river. I saw other fishes there as well. I took notice that majority of the fishes were weak and frail. I assumed that some of them had just been through the same as I just had with oil spillage. I swam further into the river and I was aware of the presence of some sort of substance that I had not felt before. I saw a paddy farm nearby and observed a few farmers spraying some sort of highly pressurized liquid onto the paddy. The liquid flowed though a trough into the river. I cautiously swam towards it. The scent got stronger every time I got nearer. My heart beat was vigorously increasing and before I knew it, I had passed out. Whatever that substance was, my body just could not handle it as the chemicals in the liquid overwhelmed me.

When I woke up, I was in another part of the river possibly because the current carried me away. I realized that my body was enclosed by some sort of material and I struggled for about a minute or two before I finally got myself free. I took a closer look at it and it looked familiar. It looked like some sort of transparent hand carried material people used to store their groceries in to make it easier for transporting. I wondered how in the world it had ended up in a river when it does not belong there. I swam away observing more and more of the material I was trapped in floating on the surface of the water. All sorts of rubbish turned up in rivers and were polluting our homes. If this does not stop then we would have nowhere left to live but to rot until the time for us to be extinct would arrived. The act of mankind towards our rivers has made us the victim for their actions. We do not have a voice to speak up for what is right or wrong. We do not have hands or legs to clean up our only homes. Mankind have voices to speak up and help clean this mess up but would they?

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Last Guardian
Daphne Yeo Lok Yin

“It’s such as shame we couldn’t run anymore tests on him, he’s rare and we’ve never seen anything like him”. Those were the last things I heard before unwillingly falling into a deep sleep.

72 HOURS AGO

“My dear son, you are the last of our kind, as guardians Salio River, you have to do something to save what's left of our home especially the rivers, you know how important they are.”

I woke up, sweating. It’s the eighth time I’ve been having these dreams and I waking up repeatedly. Ever since mankind have been built a factory by Salio River and polluting the river with domestic waste, I have been having dreams about my deceased mother telling me to stop all this chaos.

“Robin, you've got to help me out. Can you go check out the rivers of this forest and tell me how polluted it is so that I can think of some ways to help save the aquatic animals living in the river?”.

Robin told me it was heavily polluted and quite irreversible. Due to frequent landslides caused by deforestation, a flood is coming soon as the mud has caused rivers to overflow.

48 HOURS AGO

I’ve managed to move a quarter of animals to higher grounds to keep them safe.

“Robin, how many families left?”

“About 200 to 300.”

This is gonna be a long night but as a guardian of Salio River, I have to do this, for the well-being of all the animals living in this once guarded “fortress”. I promised Mother I would try my best to make sure Salio River and this forest are still a safe haven to all animals including mythical creatures. A human being saw the shadow of Bigfoot and brought a lot more human beings, they threw trash all over the place. Some animals accidentally swallowed flimsy pieces of transparent things by the river and choked to death. I later found out it was called PLASTIC, what a disgusting thing, why would humans invent this object?

19 HOURS AGO

I woke up on a cold flat surface, feeling dizzy and nauseous and immediately black out again.

“Dr Conwell, are you sure you want to proceed with these tests?”

“This creature seems like he can’t handle anymore of this. What if he becomes EXPERIMENT 075?”

“Ofelia, don’t be such a fool, it won’t happen again and his brain waves show that he can still handle a few more tests.”

“Prepare Team 9 for Operation 958”

120 SECONDS AGO

Lying on my “deathbed”, all I could think of was why can’t humans think about the environment more often because climate change mainly affects them. Humans portray us giants as horrible inhuman creature when they themselves are the most selfish creatures on Earth. Humans don’t deserve Mother Earth, they never will.

“Ofelia, prepare the shot.”

“How many doses?”

“It’s such a shame…....”

The River of Our Home
Joshua Jong Qian Rong

We live in the outskirts of the city.

The forest gives us fruits that are juicy and scrumptious, herbs that alleviate ills, sturdy wood for furniture and construction. The soil bears us healthy plants and gives us plentiful harvest.

The river, however, is special. Our river is different. Unlike other rivers, the water of our river is blood red. There is yet no life in it but it radiates a blinding aura of life.

Blood River, it was called, by our ancestors who first settled here. We are the Crimson tribe. We are what people from the city consider as “uncouth savages and barbarians.” We coexist alongside nature and we enjoy Mother Nature’s wonders.

People from the city had come to us many times to claim our land in the name of development, advancement, all for the betterment of mankind. They used powerful negotiation skills, trickery, even force but we managed to foil their plans again and again. As each day passed, they grew more desperate and their tactics became more extreme but, they could never gain the upper hand on our sacred land.

“Gather the young ones, I think it’s time to tell them a story,” says our chief as he motions to one of the villagers.

With the children sitting placidly in a circle around the chief, he begins his tale

Long ago, our ancestors were wandering the vast lands of Earth, in search of a place to settle. The water and food they lugged around had run out and they were overcome by thirst and hunger. They came across an area of lush trees with fruits of many varieties and a river fed by invitingly clear turquoise blue water with a slither of silver. Underneath the river, there was a distinct drumming sound, akin to the steady rumble of a drum roll. The people climbed the trees to pick the fruits to fill their bellies. The people rushed to kneel and cupped their hands with water to quench their thirst. Suddenly, the surroundings went eerily silent. An apparition appeared in the middle of the river and spoke, “As you have eaten and drunk from me, so you must now appease my spirit. Take a blood oath. Promise to keep me in pristine condition and you shall never want for anything, ever. I will feed you, clothe you, shelter you and protect you.”

“And that is why our river flows red today,” concludes the chief.

A soft, light voice, passionately spoken, comes over in the air, “Thank you for taking care of me as I have cared for you.”

I am one of the children sitting there, listening in awe to a tale of life, of nature, of promises made which must be kept. My name is Saryn and I will defend my homeland until the day I die.