2018 Winners and Honourable Mentions

Day 1: Alive
12 November 2018


Dylan Wong Yun Xian

I ran away as fast as my legs could carry me towards the dense bushes in the proximity of the field. Adrenaline surged through my body as gunshots whizzed past my body missing me by mere centimeters. The bushes ahead would provide sufficient protection by allowing me to hide in them from the poachers. It would also give me the upper hand to strike the poachers if they tried to follow me in order to take me down. I heard the poachers shouting at each other to reload their hunting rifles as I neared the dense bushes which seemed close but yet so far and was still out of reach despite me running as fast as lightning. Time slowed down and my stamina was depleting at a faster rate than ever before. The gunshots seemed to have stopped and I felt a sense of relief as my front foot entered the bushes. I knew that I could escape into the forest away from the poachers.

 My sense of relief was taken away from me as I felt an excruciating pain from my hind leg.

A stray bullet had hit me and entered my flesh. Blood gushed out of the wound at a rapid rate. I dragged my limp body towards the bushes before they could finish me off. At this point, I could neither outrun the poachers nor could I hide from them. I had to scare them off so they would not dare to chase me any longer. I tried finding a strategical spot which would have given me the upper hand in order to be able to spot the poachers. I laid flat on the ground to make myself less visible to the poachers and listened carefully for their footsteps. I heard the rustling of grass incrementally getting louder the nearer they advanced. From the corner of my eyes, I saw two humanly figures searching around the bushes cautiously with their guns at the ready to shoot anything that moved. I slowly crept behind them and braced myself. With a giant leap, I pounced on them. I tried to scratch them with my sharp claws and snapped my powerful jaw at them. They both shot their guns simultaneously hitting me in the body twice.

I caught a quick glimpse of one of the poachers and saw what seemed to be a tigers’ tooth necklace tied to his neck. It had appeared that another one of my kind had fallen to these Satan’s spawn.

They walked up to my lifeless body and laughed to each other.

One of the poachers squatted and pointed his gun towards my head and happily said “Fifth one today!” before pulling the trigger and putting me out of my misery.

I embraced death with open arms. My time alive was marked with pain and anguish.

My death was imminent as I could not keep running from the poachers forever.

In a world where men sought power and money, the tigers will never win.


Then the Bulldozers Came
Joel Pang Kai Chen

They were called the terminated but what lies beneath the cracks of the mask is far more interesting.

Alive, rainforests and jungles very much were. Multitudinous veins branching out emblazoning the towering trees and sprawled, crowning the soil. Towering greenery flourished as they bathed under the radiance of the pale sunlight as a myriad of plants embellished the interior. What words could capture its brilliance, beauty and iridescence – the million shades of emerald and jade it encapsulated.

Flora and fauna thrived under Mother Nature's wings, the undulating and meandering river that never ran dry, the sweet-smelling sap that were brimming with nutrients. The faint chirping of brooks made its humble way through the forest. Schools of lustrous fish percolated through the meandering river, reflecting alluring rays, embellishing the water. Utopia, if I may.

Then the bulldozers came.

It made headlines that night, emblazoning coruscating screens and newspapers “MASSACRE AT SWISS FOREST – Forest Cleared for Building Development”. Rows upon rows of mahogany being brutally slaughtered, the iridescence that was once ubiquitous now faded into nothingness. Barren wastelands were left, tree stumps, red, brown and yellow hues emblazoned the ground. They dubbed them the Terminators, an apt description of how the trees had been annihilated by the machines.

But it was still alive. Deforestation. For the heart of mankind was as durable as their creation.

They persisted with more advanced bulldozers and technology, armed with a fleet of pyrotechnic engineers. As technology evolved, so did their greed.

Then the bulldozers came.

More than ever before. They ravaged trees not just by conventional means but also by utilizing the element, fire. The conflagrating inferno gutted rows upon rows of trees, billowing grey smoke crowning the warm tones of the sky. Not only that, abhorrent chemicals and atrocious gases were leached into the once undulating stream.

They kicked off the carbon remnants off their shoes and paid no attention to Mother Nature’s caterwauling through the haze that enveloped the sleeping city, where golden lights could not even diffuse through the dewy leaves.

It has gone too far.

It was clear that her message had not gotten through. She had to use the right pair of scissors to tear Industry apart.

In fact, some people did listen to nature’s howls of pain and wails for help. The pure, untainted hearts young school children who still cared for nature, alive, burning spirit prolific within them. Youngsters, adults, governments who claimed to protect nature and promised to fight were all blinded by animosity and insatiable greed, bound by incoherent tergiversation. They were not the ones who bleed trying to cut their loved ones free from plastic rings. They were not the ones who suffocate due to the lack of water freely surging through their veins. They were not the ones who choke from smog. Every. Single. Day.

Armed with poison ivy darts and hemlock seeds, they stood guarding the forest. They were meant to cause instant death.

Then the bulldozers came.

They were finally terminated.

The Lost Soul
Tan Tzy Lynn

     Once, when she was still alive, she was brimmed with life; flowers adorning her hair, clear deep blue eyes sparked with kindness and long locks of green luxurious hair. That was long time ago, now she is covered with oil spills, fishing nets and plastic rings tangled her hair, plastic bags around her neck trying to chock her to death. Her soul was torn into pieces and lost ……

     Flames flicked brightly raising higher and higher surrounding the forest like a hunter waiting to pounce on its prey. In a blink of an eye, the forest was engulfed in flames and was reduced to a bare land full of ashes and dead burnt carcass. We had cleared the land without mercy to build concrete jungles for our own benefits.

     And she, devastated by the loss of her children, her creation cried in agony. Howling winds blew the ashes far and wide reminding others of the loss. Suddenly, rain poured from the sky washing the spirit of creatures that once called her Mother. She mourn and cried even though smokes from the fire filled her lungs and chocked her. As she scream in rage, thunders and lightning filled the darkening sky.

     We poured oil and toxic into her blood veins not caring about the consequences, turning her from shades of blue and green to a threatening black. Dead fishes floated among the plastic bottles, skulls of corals washed up ashore. Even the seagulls circled the ocean , intimated by the power of us human beings, wondering when it will be their turn.

     She had a heartache so painful that cracks appeared deep within the ocean trying to swallow her whole. Her tears stained the ocean making it salty. Fishes, sharks, dolphins, whales upon seeing their Mother this sad wanted to take away the pain so she do not need to suffer it anymore and rather endure it themselves, but what could they do? They do not have the power to do make her feel better, that power lies only in the hands of humans – one of her child. The child that she gave everything to; the child that she bought up with her own hands and loved.

     What have we done to her?

     We took everything she gave for granted, torn her soul into a million pieces and drive her into madness. Under the thick layer of rubbish we polluted her with, she is still fighting to be alive but we continue to suffocate her. If you listen closely in the middle of the night, the wind carries her cries and pleas to anyone who is awake wishing they could help her.

     Mother Nature lost her soul to us. How long could she be alive before we destroy her completely? Or could this all be avoided?