2019 Winners and Honourable Mentions

CATEGORY B : 16 - 17 YEARS
Day 2: Wildlife
11 June 2019

WINNER

Hunger
Alyssa Yap Xin Yi


It is suicide.

 

I have not eaten in weeks - maybe months. Hunger does not come in pangs or sudden bouts; it sneaks up on you like a cruel mistress, until you’re left with a constant aching desire that will not be sated by anything else. But there are more pressing matters at hand.

 

I will not make it out alive.

 

The cubs are starving. It was appalling how their growth has stunted so much since we were forced out of our home. I fear their pale fur and jutting bones will not last much longer. I see them in the corner of my mind, crawling around in the small cave I found. I must bring them food tonight.

 

I must.

 

I step into the underbrush, staying low to the ground. A young calf grazes silently a distance away, slightly further from the herd. It will not provide much, but desperate times call for drastic measures. One paw in front of the other, step by step. The wind whistles softly past my ear. The oblivious calf’s head is turned away from me. Almost there…

 

“TIGER!”

 

Suddenly, a dozen beam of lights cast upon my body. I flinch from the brightness, trying to shield my eyes. The movement stirs the calf, and chaos ensues. The herd is frantic, running helter skelter. My cover has been blown; my prey another escapee.

 

Shouts. Footsteps. The Men are coming.

 

I turn back towards the forest. I must defend my cubs.

 

You will lead the Men right to them.

 

I make a sharp turn, luring the mob of torches and shouts away from the den. Flashes of bloody carcasses and high-pitched whimpers cloud my mind. I must protect them, no matter the cost. They are coming closer, brandishing large sticks and weapons of every manner. They see me as a monster; a devil terrorising their village. They fear what they do not understand, oblivious of their own ignorance. Was it not Man who encroached upon our territory, destroying our home in the first place? Ungodly machines they controlled, uprooting trees older than my ancestors. The once crystalline river I loved, now tarnished by mud and chemicals from their crops. My bountiful forest was no more - barren trees and forgotten land where it once stood. All the deer were hunted down, and other prey gone or dead. Man left me and my cubs with no way to fend for ourselves. They brought this upon themselves.

 

So I will be the monster they fear me to be.

 

I turn around and roar until my throat burns. The fear in their eyes satiates my hunger for just a moment, before a sharp pain burns through my skull. I see a long tube, smoking at the edges. The edges of my vision go dark. My legs give way to the ground beneath, and I hit the cold, hard ground.

 

Cubs...safe...starve...die.

 

They call creatures like us wild - but I know who the true beasts are.

 

 


 

 

 

 


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Grey
Alison Lee Yeuh Chii


They call me Grey.

Though I have long forgotten my real name, a name no human can neither speak nor hear, I still remember my last day in the wild.

It was snowing that day. Winter was harsh and unforgiving as always, but that it felt different that year. The days were shorter, the frigid winds harsher and the ice beneath our paws colder. We ran day and night in search of prey, but no matter how far and wide we ran we could not outrun the cold that sank deeper and deeper beneath our thick coats with each passing day.

None of us had eaten weeks and I could tell my father was growing desperate. He was the leader of our pack, a gaunt, grizzly wolf, scarred from many hard-won battles. My father was old but he was wise, wherever he went, we would follow.

None of us objected when he led our family pass our borders.

The terrain we found ourselves in was a strange one. Towering wooden structures occupied by creatures that walked on their hind legs were scattered throughout the area and monsters made from metal that roared like a dozen bears raced down pathways of burnt black ground that snakes through our mountains. My father steered us clear of the strange creatures, snarling and snapping at any curious youngster that dared get too close.

He tried to keep us safe but fate had other plans.

Soon, we came across the first elk we had seen in months, a bull that would feed the whole pack for days. But as we crept closer a strange, unfamiliar scent filled the air. I lifted my head and cocked my ears, just in time to hear a strange clicking noise from the trees.

My father’s warning howl reached us too late. There was movement in the distance and a bang that sounded like a crack of thunder. My brother fell first, a dark crimson stain appearing on his handsome white coat as he cried out in pain. Many others followed.

I ran at the sound of my father’s insistent calls, but there was another loud bang and I knew nothing more.  

When I had awoken, I found myself trapped in an iron cage. The two-legged creature stood a few lengths away, washing the skins of my siblings. The scent of smoke, death and decay was overwhelming. The dead were everywhere. Antlers of great stags were piled in a corner, while the furs of bears covered the floor, their lips frozen in snarls.

The next thing I knew, I was being loaded onto one of their metal beasts. They left me in a glass cage where I have remained ever since that terrible day. Many of those two-legged monsters have visited me since then. They cheer when I howl, begging them to set me free.

Every night, I hear the cries of my family, calling me home.

Oh, how I miss them.

How I long to return to the wild.


The World Is Ending
Daphne Yeo Lok Yin


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Day 1

I finally decided to start a brand new lifestyle. I made the decision to start living off the grid. I got a cabin quite far away from civilisation and am very excited for the life ahead of me.

Day 404

  I woke up realising today was hunting day, so I decided to try my luck by the riverbank not far away. On my way, I smelled an unpleasant odour, not enough to burn my nostrils but enough to made me feel uncomfortable. The river was contaminated, the water was murky and grey. The greens turned yellow, almost brown. There weren't any fresh animal prints nearby the river. No signs of wildlife. After 3 hours, I finally found a small nest of rabbits in a warren and managed to catch most of them. They seemed exceptionally weak and couldn't run really far.

Day 429

Running in an endless forest, I struggled to find a way out. Complete silence. No signs of life.

  Fear made me shot my eyes open, I could still feel the sweat trickling down my back, wetting my t-shirt. I felt paralysed. I climbed out of bed and dragged my body into the living room. My cabin felt a lot colder than usual. I turned on my ham radio and attempted to contact the outside world. I struggled to find the correct frequency and wasn't able to contact anyone.

Day 433

  I was finally able to contact someone but I found out the disarray world. More and more wildlife were going extinct due to the changes in our environment. As pollution got worse, animals found it hard to adjust to the ever-changing living conditions. Bees were one of the first animals to go extinct. Without pollination, the ecosystem was ruined. The world went into chaos, humans were struggling to survive without food resources. Inflations happen everywhere around the globe. Death rates were on the rise. The worst possible crisis had happened to mankind and I was only finding out about it. 

"Scientists all over the world-- working hard to solve --, have faith---" that was the last thing I heard before the connection was cut off. 

Helplessness. Hearing about what is happening sent chills down my spine. Is this the end of humanity? What do I do?

Day 500

Vulnerablility made me question my decision of living off the grid. 

Did I make the right choice? Was it worth it? 

 I wanted to be more in tune with nature, with what was around me. It certainly doesn't feel like that right now.

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"The world is ending." he said to himself while letting out a wry smile.

"Humans won't be able to save themselves, they never learn."

 

 

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Day 887

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

An artificial honeybee flaps its wings 2300 times per minute. Pollinates 10 times faster than normal honeybees.

Symbolising hope for humanity, wildlife and nature.

Humans will never realise their mistake of mistreating Mother Nature and all the wildlife. Ignorant. Selfish.

 

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