2018 Winners and Honourable Mentions

CATEGORY A : 13 - 15 YEARS
Day 5: Future
16 November 2018

WINNER


Evelyn Anak Ringkai


"Dr. Jones?" 
"Dr. Smith. Come in".

I watched as she scurried through the door. She had black circles underneath her eyes, signalling that she hasn't slept for days. Neither have I. This research is taking up all our time.

"We have a problem", she said. "I don't know how much longer we can keep this up".

I hate to admit it, but she was right. This research was pointless. We all knew the answer. We were beating around the bush, trying to hide from the truth that we all dreaded. What was our research, you ask?

Whether or not humanity will still be a thing. The answer was obvious. I'm honestly surprised it didn't come sooner. Mother Nature has shown us mercy for letting us live this long. 

I turned to face Dr. Smith. I gave her a smile. She returned it with a frown.

"Let's stop researching, then", I said. "Report this to the news station. Gather everyone at the centre and let's watch the world end together".

She nodded slowly. She hurriedly left the room, and I followed after her. Once we reached outside, she took the left turn and I took the right.

I wanted to take a stroll and take a look around at my surroundings for one last time. I’ve seen it over and over again. Species of wildlife that were once alive are now decaying. The sea is black in colour due to chemicals and oil. Flowers are no longer in bloom. 

Where did it all go wrong? 

Perhaps it was the excessive deforestation? Or maybe the illegal poaching? It could be the constant littering and oil as well as chemical spilling. For all we know, it was all of the above. Humanity was doomed right from the get-go. It all started when we destroyed everything Mother Nature gave us. However, we tried to redeem ourselves. We started campaigns, gave speeches and enforced laws. But our efforts were all in vain. 

I could tell that people were staring at me through the windows in the comfort of their own home. It was understandable. Only a madman would walk around outside without using protective suits and masks. I looked up to the sky. It was dark. Just like the present. I was suddenly reminded of beautiful memories that I had shared with everyone when our home that we call Earth was still a habitable place.

We would take a stroll at the beach and take a dip in the ocean. We would watch the sunset. We would frolic around in fields as we breath in the smell of flowers. That’s all history now. 
I woke up the next day. Word of our extinction has already reached everyone. I left the house. I walked until I reached the centre. Everyone was already gathered there. They all said their goodbyes and farewells for the last time. I joined them. 

As we exhaled our final breath, the same thought crossed all of our minds:

We had it coming. 


 


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Repercussions
Joel Pang Kai Chen


Here it was again. The recurring nightmares that haunted Philip. He awoke, bathed in cold sweat as if he had bolted like his life depended on it. But it was a familiar life form that he vowed to have seen before. He just couldn’t revive the memory of the exact location and when. Peering out the window, the sublime skyline, studded with synergistic architecture greeted his eyes embroidered with the potpourri of warm tones that embellished the sky.

Philip’s day was an ordinary one. Or so he thought. “What is that peculiar-looking monster? Why does it seem so familiar though, although I have never met it before.” His mind was a seething maelstrom of unanswered questions He tried recollecting his memories at the virtual zoo that his parents brought him at the tender age of five. It looked like a dog, no it was a coyote. You see, he didn’t even had the chance to see real animals, so he couldn’t be sure. It was claimed that animals ceased to exist in the year 2100. A repercussion of human industrialization and the future cosmopolitan world’s rapid development.

His mother used to tell him stories about the animals, trees and seas. Her tales were an enigma, gilded with wit, adorned with unbridled zest. Her fabrications were like no other, all meticulously crafted with a resounding end. She left stories of a place where you could unearth its finest treasures, a realm of fantastic beasts. Tales of adventure, destiny and exploration tangled with recounts of death, torment and agony. He remembered her euphonious voice elucidating the choreographed dancers of the plains, the guardians of the ecosystem, warriors of the planet. But she never woke up, a repercussion of the torture and anguish by humans. She was Mother Nature.

However, his mind was still a clean slate, a vague memory of the animals unremittingly reverberating throughout his cerebrum. His parents used to buy him plastic miniature toys but were later replaced by digital ones. He never looked back since. Philip decided to inquire further utilizing Ultrabot – verbatim everyone had one. But big, bold, black letters printing “NO RESULTS FOUND” addressed his eyes. There was an unfathomable serenity in its gaze, adorned with intelligence and shyness, red fur brushing against his skin. But he couldn’t be sure.

“That’s it. I’m taking a breather,” he muttered, donning his windbreaker. He took the route to his old school that passed by the local park. As he walked through the plastic grass and trees, he realized that he didn’t know what they were like in reality. The future, everything was an impersonation. The plastic utopian world he had been living in was a cloak that masqueraded the destruction, repercussions by many generations of humans. And it had led to this deceptive future.

That was when he saw it. It sat there with other plastic and cement creatures. They made no noise, breathed no air.

His eyes scrutinized the word-emblazoned plaque.

“The Red Wolf. Conservation status: Extinct”

 


The Lost Art Of Nature
Tan Tzy Lynn


     In a barren filled wasteland, a wolf pup was fighting a three-headed snake. Many animals had mutated due to the Great Pollution that happened in the year 2050 affecting the genetics of the animals. The snake bared its fang and strike with one head focusing on its prey. It bitten the pup’s leg making it clumsily because of the pain slipping through its body.

      Just as the snake was about to deliver its death strike, a dart tore through the air landing right on the slithering body. Liquid from the dart rushed into its body making its eyelids heavy. In a split second, the snake was sleeping soundly on the ground. A figure appeared from the shadows walking towards the wolf pup. The pup whimpered in fright preparing for the undeniable death.

     Instead, a hand gently pet it. “You are safe now. There is nothing to worry. Let me take you back to the sanctuary to treat your wounds.” The voice was calm and reassuring, it was the last thing the wolf pup heard before it fell asleep because of the tiredness from the fight. The figure picked up the wolf pup and carried it in his lap carefully like a fragile glass that would easily broke.

     A pain seared through the body, awaking the wolf pup from its unconsciousness. The wolf pup fluttered its eyelids taking in the surrounding. It lay calmly as the figure bandage its wound. The room was a large underground sewage that had not been in use for years modified into a sanctuary for animals. Animals that had not mutated these days are rare, many do not survive the harsh conditions and attacks of the muted animals.

      Unbelievingly, this place was a paradise for animals like the wolf pup. Flocks of birds chirped happily as they flew past the wolf pup. It also herd lions growling deeper inside the sanctuary. Monkeys swinging from vines to vines, trees being planted here and there. The place was full of life and never in the pup’s life had it seen anything more greener than a few specks of grass in the wasteland.

     Cayden smiled as he eyed the curious wolf pup looking at its new home. After the Great Pollution, life had almost disappeared from the surface of Earth. Humans barely survive with the help of technology but many animals died. Ocean evaporated revealing the rubbish thrown inside them all these years. Many plants withered as well.

     As the situation worsen, Cayden could not bear to watch them suffer and that was the sole reason he built this sanctuary and started saving animals. It is the year 2250 now. Looking at the animals he saved throughout the years, the pain and hard work was worth it. He wished that one day Earth would return to how it was in the olden age, and the animals could be given back their freedom to roam the Earth again. For nature does not need people, people need nature.