2019 Winners and Honourable Mentions

CATEGORY A : 13 - 15 YEARS
Day 1: Earth
10 June 2019

WINNER

There is no Planet B
Tan Tzy Lynn


  I was there when it happened ……  10 years, was what it took for humans to completely destroy the Earth. I saw life at its fullest and death at its worst. Warnings and forecast predicted by scientist all around the world was ignored and laughed upon back then. “ It’s only a 2 degrees Celsius rise, what could happen?” “ It’s only one trash.” “ Climate change is not real.”

 

     Rising sea levels, forest fires, glaciers melting happened more often and each time more worse than the last one, proving the hypothesis. Funny enough, we still disregard the obvious signals and brushed it off, continuing with our daily lives. We had a chance back then, to reverse all the effects of climate change but we lost it . Solutions were thought of, it was us who refused to take action.

 

     And now, we had to face our own consequences. Rubbish heaps as tall as mountains, rivers all dried up, plants wilting here and there. The sun was scorching hot, we could not go out without clothes covering every inch of our skin without getting sunburn.

 

Only then we realized what was happening and try to stop it; but it was already useless. Most of the human population evacuated to space but the rest remained. I was one of those few. I watched them board the spaceship and took off to space, hoping to find another planet to live on, running from the mess humanity made in the beginning. When will they realize that if we don’t get rid of our greed and selfishness, even another planet would not satisfy us. We will just trash it again in the end.

 

Adjusting my hood, I picked up a plastic bottle from the ground. The sun was setting on the horizon, painting the sky a beautiful red. It has been some decades, we are making slow progress but progress nonetheless. Small patches of grass among the rubbish and some seedlings sprouting. Mother Earth is slowly reviving from the pollution we made.

 

“ Can I really make a difference? “ This question had been lurking in my mind for some time now. I had doubts about it before. At times during the night , I even caught myself asking whether I regretted my decision not evacuating to space. The setting sun shone brightly, casting my companions’ shadow on the ground. I saw their sweats sparking in the sun while doing their best to clean the trash. In that moment, I finally had answers for both of those questions.     

 

     


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

A Dream
SIAK CHUN SHI


It was a sunny Sunday morning and I decided to go for a hike with my friends. The atmosphere was very soothing and calm. The sun is shining, birds are singing, even the trees dance when blown by the wind. Everything was just fine until I suddenly lost my foot grip and fell into a deep and dark abyss.

                It was not that I wanted to make a big story out of it, but everything I saw there were unbelievable. When I regained my consciousness, I found that I was surrounded by the creatures and our mighty gods that we have read in legend books or myth. Suddenly, the ground shook like Tohoku earthquake that happened in 2011. It shook so much that I could hardly stand. Although it lasted only for a few seconds, but I felt like ages.

                When the vibration stopped, I looked up and saw the most astonishing sight of my life. It’s Gaea, the Earth goddess. Her robes are torn, and she’s severely injured. Her skin was covered with black patches. “Marc, so you’ve come,” she said.

“What do you want from me?” I asked. “What do I want? I want you humans to stop hurting and torturing me. You cut trees from my skin, you kill my beloved children: the animals! You built buildings that hurt me!” Her eyes are full of rage. Just when I wanted to open my mouth to protest, I noticed that there are other gods and beings around me.

“Yeah! You humans destroyed my kingdom and killed my people by dumping rubbish and oil into the sea!” said Poseidon. His eyes are red, like he’s been crying for a week. “You cut down trees that are home to us, satyr and satyress.” “Yeah!” “Yeah!” Beings of all kinds are shouting and screaming out what we humans had done to them.

“No, we ……” Just as I want to deny, it came to me that for the past few hundred years we keep destroying nature. We never care about what might happened to the other living beings when we start the land progress that we called development. Suddenly, there’s light in front of me. I lift my head and saw Poseidon was creating a water spear that is sharper than anything I’ve ever seen.

Just when he threw it at me, a sudden bright flash covered my eyes. I felt I’m being poured by cold water. I opened my eyes and saw my friends. All of them are teary eyed and hugged me. Later they told me that I’ve fell into a hole and knocked my head. Even though it’s just a dream, but I sense that it’s telling me a harsh truth: If we do not protect the Mother Earth now, we will face the adverse effects. The Earth doesn’t belong to us; we belong to the Earth. Let our children have a better place to stay.


Masks of Artifice
Joel Pang Kai Chen


Every rule and every word, written in stone.

 

No.

 

It can’t be.

 

A valley of lush greenery of endless expanse, emerald leaves basking in the radiance of the pale sunlight. Towering trees of tenacity, light bursting through the cracks of the crowns. A mellifluous euphony of babbles and crackles, humbly percolating through the forest. However, it was all deracinated by cold energy.

 

Something wasn’t right. I could sense it.

 

I whipped off my goggles and dashed towards the meeting room. It was then I caught whispers of unspoken truth. My earlobes caressed the steel doors, listening intently to the faint but sound veracity.

 

“...are you sure it really exists?...”

 

“..should we abort the mission?...”

 

“… we must not let them know about this…’

 

Maelstroms of questions swirled in my head like a whirlwind, a machine gun spewing tenaciously at my brain, racing furiously against time to figure out the answer. Clad in silver spacesuits, perfunctory nods were exchanged.

 

A click of the lock and the door opened.

 

“Mom, is it true? the fabled land?”

 

“No, sweetheart. What are you talking about? It’s bedtime now. Go to your chamber alright?”

 

Centuries old and unbending, meant not to be seen and heard.

 

I knew they were hiding something for me.

 

For months.

 

I tossed and turned in my chamber, reminiscing of all the clues they had leaked. I wasn’t going to let sleepless nights harm me any longer.

 

No. Not today. I wasn’t going to give up.

 

Once the dusk had given way to the shadows of night, I crept out of my chamber and lingered stealthily along the corridor. Footsteps, light as a feather, as I made my way towards the tower of books.

 

EARTH RECORDS” I muttered.

 

The scanner cast a net of red grids across my body.

 

“IDENTITY CERTIFIED.”

 

The shelves began to move. A myriad of towers rumbled and bellowed as giant records shifted swiftly around me. The towering stack finally stops, swaying, in front of me.

 

Shadows in the dust where the leaflets sat, pieces of parchment adorning the chamber.

 

I didn’t believe it.

 

I was right.

 

MINING ACTIVITIES AT YOSEMITE DESTROYS SEVEN THOUSAND”

 

Tears trickled down my cheek as my hands continued to flip the buff pieces of paper.

 

“CORALS BARE AS OIL SPILLS RAVAGE”

 

“FISH WASH UP UPON THAMES RIVER BANK”

 

Everything was a lie.

 

 

The human soul is indeed unpredictable, it can morph into any shape and size, dark or light. Intelligence was their strength but they misused it. Now, it had become their weakness. Greed is the very thing that destroyed them. By the time realization dawns -

 

First, it was rivers, oceans and now, they are the next target.

 

They are destroying themselves.

 

What breaks my heart is why my birth parents had to do this, concealing their own atrocities, brainwashing the young into thinking that a euphonious world still exists, veiled by their own lies.

 

I won’t be silent anymore.

 

I will fight for Earth.

 

The fabled land.

 

My only home.