Young Author Award

Top 3 Winners

1st Prize RM1,000: Ariel Lim Xin Yue (17, Kuen Cheng High School) 
2nd Prize RM500: Yumnah binti Muhammad (16, St. John's International School) 
3rd Prize RM300: Gavriel Wan Yu Sheng (11, Universal Hua Xia International School Sungai Petani) 

All top 3 winners will be entitled for 30 minutes personal coaching by Ms Catherine Khoo on 21st July 2020
Time: choose the session at 4.00pm or 4.45pm or 5.15pm (first come first served)

10 Consolation Prizes

1. Anuzsa Mailvaganam (16, SMK Convent, Klang) 
2. Caeley Chang Cheng Man (11, SJK(C) Perempuan China, Penang)
3. Khoo Ken Ji (13, Gems International School Tropicana Metropark)
4. Leong Min Jie (16, SM Poi Lam Ipoh) 
5. Liew Guan Fong (17) 
6. Lim Jou Yee (12, SJK(C) Perempuan China, Penang)
7. Marissa Pui Wei Shuen (15, Chung Ling Private High School, Penang) 
8. Tan Hong Zher (13, Kuen Cheng High School)
9. Thaneish Hanz Puttagunta (12, Inspiros International School, Puchong)
10. Lim Yong Le (17, SMK Convent Father Barre, Sungai Petani)

Special Prize: Group coaching session by Ms Catherine Khoo on 22nd July 2020 (Wednesday) from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Testimonial from Ms Ariel Lim Xin Yue

Ariel Lim Xin Yue, 17 from Kuen Cheng High School won the 1st prize in the Malaysia Young Author Award 2020 with her story "Flowers in Your Hair". 

Testimonial from Ms Yumnah binti Muhammad

Yumnah binti Muhammad, 16 from St. John's International School won the 2nd prize in the Malaysia Young Author Award 2020 with her story "Bright Moon of Myeongwol"

Testimonial from Mr Gavriel Wan Yu Sheng 

Gavriel Wan Yu Sheng, 11 from Universal Hua Xia International School Sungai Petani won his 3rd prize in the Malaysia Young Author Award 2020 with the story "Typhoon"

Judges for the Malaysian Young Author Award 2020

Gan Zhejing, 22, is in his final year in Sunway University. He has an unhealthy obsession with stories of all forms and manifestations – as both an avid consumer and aspiring creator – from books to shows to games to comics to whatever medium stories may appear in. He believes that story-telling is an art-form that provides a unique form of immersion and experience, being himself a captivated fan of many great works of stories and imaginative universes. Zhejing aims to begin his professional media journey by authoring his very own novel! He is now working on a sci-fi trilogy centred on man’s unquenchable search for the elusive utopia! 

Gwendolyn Yap, 22, is the current editor of Young Reader Club. Aside from studying Literature and Philosophy in Singapore’s NTU, she frequently writes short stories and poetry on the side. Previously, she was an editor for a year-long editorial project Dance.Write.Repeat. In her free time, she unwinds through embroidery, dancing or reading a good book!

1st prize: Ariel Lim Xin Yue , 17 years old
Kuen Cheng High School
Flowers in Your Hair 

It started to pour the moment Wenxia stepped out of the shop.

Raindrops struck the asphalt road like bullets, the downpour created a song that had no melody or rhythm, mere relentless pelting against any surface it found. The rain formed a white sheen that veiled over the eyes of anyone who entered its enrapture, and Wenxia couldn’t help but worry.

The loud roar of an engine pierced through the noise of the shower. A pair of headlights, bleared by the haze, was heading towards her when it abruptly turned out of sight. The engine faded, until it came to a halt.

A figure appeared at the corner, running through the rain until he reached cover.

The boy’s entire appearance screamed delinquent. His bleached hair, ridiculously grown out, had droplets trickling off the ends, down onto his skin. The blue school logo turned navy under the presence of water, almost matching the colour of his dishevelled uniform. A foreign metal on his ear glinted under the fluorescent light.

The boy beamed as soon as he saw Wenxia.

“Good evening!” The boy jogged over to a fuming Wenxia, leaving a trail of water on the dry concrete that hadn’t been touched by the rain.

“What in the world are you thinking?” Wenxia snapped, eyebrows furrowed as she dragged the boy back into the shop she just closed. “How many times have I told you not to ride in the rain?”

“It suddenly rained when I was already on the w-” he was cut off with a yelp as he received a hard slap on the back. “What was that for?”

“You didn’t even wear a helmet.” Wenxia stated bitterly as she threw a towel over his head, ruffling his soaking wet hair.

He paused, stance drooping, resembling a puppy that had caused trouble.

“I came straight away from a race...”

“Liheng.” she couldn’t ignore how her hands faltered, or how her immediate instinct was to repeat the meaningless chiding she had always used on him. Perhaps it was from catering to the sudden influx of customers today, simply being too exhausted, she couldn’t manage anything except for muttering his name.

Picking up in the abnormality of her attitude, Liheng refrained from talking, tension filling the air.
Liheng wasn’t dense, nor was he ignorant. She knew the hazards of illegal street racing were constantly floating at the back of his mind. Every possible accident, consequence, he had already envisioned in great detail before. Nevertheless, stopping didn’t seem to be an option for him. Speeding across highways at night had already become a daily routine for Liheng, to cease a habit so suddenly would be tough.

“Do you ever plan to stop?”

Liheng looked at Wenxia, who stopped drying him a while ago. She was staring out the window, her gaze had a faraway look to it.

“Maybe in the future.”

He couldn’t help but notice the dim of glimmer in her eyes, replaced with a fleeting look of disheartenment. Just as quickly as it came, it went away in an instant.

“Wenxia!”

At the call of her name, she turned around, surprise glazing her features when Liheng ran into sight.

“Are you going to work again? You seem to be going to the shop a lot lately.”

“We’re getting a lot of customers recently.”

Liheng grinned. “Let me help!”

On the rare occasions where he volunteered to help her at the florist’s, it always had an ulterior motive. He either needed help on a test or he wanted company when his racing peers were busy. It wasn’t like he only ran to her when he needed something, and forgot about her when he didn’t. They were always together in school, and he always fetches her back home after her shift. It was just uncommon for him to hang out with her when he would normally spend time with his friends.

But as he stood in front of her, his eyes shone with overwhelming sincerity. She didn’t know the cause of his change of heart, but she desisted from questioning.

Wenxia returned a warm smile. “I’d love that.”

Ever since, Liheng helped Wenxia at the florist’s nearly every day. As if they weren’t inseparable already, they continued to entwine deeper into each other’s company. Wenxia taught him how to tend to the flowers and showed him various flower arrangements, which always left him gaping. Liheng proved his usefulness by assisting customers, enticing them with his natural charm. She couldn’t help but associate the improvement of sales with the presence of Liheng in the shop.

Liheng had his back leaned against the wall, head tilted to the side, idly playing with a leaf of a flower.

“I’m bored, talk to me.”

When he was met with silence, he sauntered over to where Wenxia was, cocking an eyebrow when he saw her focus trained on a history textbook.

“Why are you studying? Aren’t exams next month?”

Wenxia shot him a glare. “I’m not going to read an entire textbook the night before the exam.”

“Come on, take a break. Your eyes never peeled off that thing since that last customer came in.” Liheng grabbed the book out of her hands, shoving it out of Wenxia’s reach. “It’s a surprise you haven’t started wearing glasses yet,” he remarked, overlooking the scalding glare of a pair of raven eyes.

Wenxia begrudgingly followed him out into the open, watching him stop in front of a flower display.

Liheng turned around, pointing towards a posy of violet flowers.

“What’s the meaning behind daisies again?”

“Those are asters.” Wenxia gave a disapproving frown.

“Whatever, you know I have the memory of a frog.”

“A goldfish?”

Liheng waved it off, “what do these daisy-looking flowers mean?”

“Asters.” Wenxia corrected, heaving a sigh. She reached out to the nearest aster, tips of her fingers gently caressing a lone petal growing out to the side. “The meaning differs depending on the presentation, but they mainly represent patience, innocence and act as a talisman of love. Thus, they are often found in bouquets geared towards long-term partners...”

She trailed off when her eyes landed on the impish grin tugging at Liheng’s lips. It was a look that only appeared when he caused mischief.

Before Wenxia could send a retort his way, Liheng reached out to Wenxia, picking several asters out of her hair. A lock of auburn hair fell to her face, and Liheng tenderly tucked it behind her ear.

The grin stretching across his face waned to a mild smile, his muscles visibly relaxing. An expression, unknown to her, took over his features, creating a throb within her ribs.

“You look pretty with flowers in your hair.”

Liheng didn’t follow her to the shop today.

Some business to take care of, he had hastily said, before rushing off in the opposite direction.

They hadn’t talked, or mentioned about street racing for a few weeks now. In spite of Wenxia’s abundance of questions, she decided not to mention it since Liheng hadn’t had the desire to bring it up. Plus, he was his usual, spirited self, not giving Wenxia any reason to worry.

Nonetheless, she had been incredibly antsy the entire day. She found herself casting glances towards the entrance every 5 minutes, biting her fingernails, a habit she dropped a few years ago.

Her finger started bleeding when she received a call from Liheng’s mobile.

A voice much gruffer spoke through the phone, “Liheng… he…”

Her legs worked on their own accord, dashing out of the shop as she stumbled through crowds, running into a pole that left a red mark on her cheek. Honking cars, aching feet, her pounding heart, the shouts of pedestrians dwindled into nothing but the gush of wind ringing in her ears. The only thing she could make out was Liheng, Liheng, Liheng.

A fallen motorcycle, next to a limp body she wished she didn’t know.

Her surroundings started to spin, everyone around her moved like they were sped up, a crowd formed around the pool of blood, cars belted along the road. Everything felt like a blur as an ambulance arrived. As if she were turned to stone, she could only watch helplessly as he was carried into the vehicle, sirens blaring.

She didn’t know how long she was standing at the same spot, until her legs gave out. Her knees dug into the asphalt before she started to break into uncontrollable sobs.

Wenxia locks the door of the shop under the obscure street light, pulling back the jangling keys when she hears a click.

Something soft rubs against her legs, she looks down to a ginger cat walking between her legs, purring as it looks up at her with big, doe eyes.

Smiling, she picks it up, cradling it in her arms.

“Shall we go?”

Opening up her umbrella, she walks through the drizzle, a bouquet of asters in hand. 

(This story is unedited)

Comment from Judges

Zhejing: A simple story that could happen to virtually anyone but within it holding deeper implications about life and society. This story is a great read – concise, clear, poignant and heartwarming. The plot of the story is simple, but also intricate in its own way, as the readers view the world from the girl’s point of view, they struggle to understand what is going on through the boy’s eyes, but they resonate with his motivations, and come to care for him even though they probably knew deep down he wasn’t as clean-cut as the girl saw him. The entire story is shrouded in an aura of
melancholic mist, but it also shows that there is beauty in everything, as the main characters found it so within their conflicting lives.

Gwendolyn: The beginning paragraph captured my attention with the visual detailing, I can almost see it in my mind. The relationship between Wenxia and Liheng is well-developed, leading me to be curious as to how they met each other. Good use of limited third-person perspective, it made me want to know more about why Liheng chose the path he did. The plot twist at the end delivers a nice punch!

2nd Prize: Yumnah binti Muhammad Dudha, 16 
St. John's International School
Bright Moon of Myeongwol (unedited version)

With a distinct clamour of drums and bells, the Kisaeng recital had begun. Elites gathered along the walls of the Kyobang, the institution where talented young girls trained to become artists serving the King, to witness the commencement of the most renowned dance of 16th century Joseon; The Dance of the Fallen Moon.

Girls dressed in the finest of patterned garments lined up in an immaculate formation at the centre of the Kyobang yard. With the first strike of the gong, they flung their coloured ribbons into the air and begun their performance.

In perfect synchronicity, they swayed with calculated steps, seemingly performing on thin air. Sorrowful melodies filled the Kyobang as musicians strummed their Gayageum, telling the tale of the moon which could not stop the death of people in the tides of the seas. The tale was a unifying one, bringing tears to the eyes of peasants and aristocrats alike.

1
She had visited a Shaman on her path to Songdong, the town on the outskirts of the city where a famous Kisaeng troupe were holding auditions for new recruits.

She did not expect to be distracted by the shaman that called out to her, nor did she expect her prediction, as she was nothing but the daughter of a lower-class public servant with no special fate.

Yet, the shaman’s face had lit up upon seeing her palms, claiming that she was bound to go on a very important journey that could change the fate of a nation.

There was a distinct eccentricity in the shaman’s voice, as her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell into a trance. She rasped in a husky voice, “You are not born without a prophecy. My name is Raum and I am a commonor, but you are named Myeong after your brightness and Wol after the moon. Myeongwol, you have an important fate which will burden you with great guilt, hence visit me when you need answers.”

She huffed in great disbelief upon hearing this. Firstly, her name was not Myeongwol. Secondly, despite her pretty features, she had no standing in society, therefore her fate could not have great meaning.

The shaman was likely a con artist, snagging travellers of their money and her of hers. Regardless, she agreed to befriend Raum and visit her if she were to stumble upon any hurdles to make it easier for her to leave without the risk of a curse.

Her real name was not Myeongwol, it was Jini. She was the Jini who dreamed of becoming an artist, of dancing in silk shoes for and performing for the King, but never got the chance to do so. Today however, it was bound to be different, as she headed for Songdong to be part of the troupe once and for all.

Each movement was executed better than the last. Somehow, without any prior training and only by watching the dances, Jini’s body could replicate the intricate elegant movements of The Dance of the Fallen Moon like a virtuoso, adding to the dance unique colour through her sharp expressions. 

The Head Mistress of the Songdong Troupe sat at the podium before her, two Kisaeng nodding along at her side, impressed by the dance. The Mistress’s face however, was unreadable. It only became more solemn, when Jini abruptly stopped in her dance and awkwardly stood facing them.
“Is that all you have to show?” the Mistress asked, somewhat apathetically.

“I’m afraid this is all I can remember, as I could not finish watching the dance.”

She paused. “You mean to say you’ve never learnt this dance?”

Jini looked to her feet in embarrassment. “No, I could not afford to train. I only watched from the walls of the Kyobang and tried to mimic the movements.”

The Head Mistress averted her eyes. “Well, that simply isn’t acceptable.” She leaned in. “You know that you’ll have to perform for the King, right?”
Jini nodded, feeling small.

“You want to be a Kisaeng don’t you?”

Jini nodded again, her confidence sinking into the ground below her.

“What is your name?”

Jini spoke in a small voice, “Hwang Jini from the Hwang clan.”

The Head Mistress chuckled. “You must be clueless. I did not ask for your birth name. I asked for your stage name; your Kisaeng name.”

The Mistress watched as Jini shuffled in her place and sighed.

“Fine. Since you are very talented, I will give you a name; Myeong since you are not very bright, and Wol after the moon in your dance…”
“… Myeongwol, welcome to the troupe.”

2
Months had passed since winter had ended and the new recruits were now confident in their art. Jini felt like her life had been renewed when she first moved into the Kyobang; never before had she worn such refined clothing and danced to such sophisticated works of art.

Even so, her dream to perform for the King seemed so far away, as rumours of war with the Mongols had erupted and kept state affairs busy.
It was a cloudy morning in the Kyobang when the Head Mistress called Jini into her quarters. She did not know what it was for, yet she had been expectant to hear some feedback on her performance in the past months.

Jini entered the Mistress’s room, sliding the doors closed behind her and giving the Mistress a deep bow. “I heard you called for me?” she asked, keeping her voice low.

The Mistress beckoned her to sit on the bamboo pillow before of her.

“The King has ordered an important performance that we must conduct soon for the summer solstice, and you are to be a part of it,” she stated, gazing at Jini.

Jini stifled a cry of joy as the Mistress continued.

“The King’s men have asked me to help prepare for the summer festival, but during that time, I will be out of Joseon leading state troupes in the east. Because of that, the King himself has requested that he work closely with an appointed leader of Songdong’s troupe. This is going to be an important task, so I’m hoping you do not disappoint me as the leader of the new recruits.”

Jini gasped. “Why me? I appreciate your decision but, I do not think I am capable of such a duty!”

The Mistress sighed.

“I don’t have any other choice. The best of my troupe has left the Kyobang because of the unstable times we’ve experienced recently; the King doesn’t exactly have an untainted reputation, after the dispute with the Mongols up north.”

She looked towards her hands, fidgeting as if she knew something that Jini did not, before saying, “I suppose that is why he’s planning such an event; to stop the rumours once and for all. I have no one else to rely on. If you manage this task, I surely will appoint you as the highest ranked Kisaeng in our Kyobang.”

Jini felt just as honoured as she was puzzled. She did not have much experience in the Kyobang, after only training for less than a year. She did not have a particularly assertive personality, and she did not know how to lead the troupe, even temporarily. Why would the Head Mistress chose her?
“I know how much you love the King and wish to impress him,” she responded, as if she had read Jini’s thoughts. “It only makes sense that I give you this opportunity after such a long time.”

Jini smiled before standing up to bow deeply. “It is my honour to fulfil your wishes. I am extremely grateful.”

-
“What?!”

Jini could not believe the words coming out of Raum’s mouth.

She’d stopped by the shaman’s place many times during her training days at the Kyobang, and she grew well acquainted with the shaman herself. Yet today, Jini could not believe the predictions coming out Raum’s mouth on such an important matter.

“Your back carries the weight of the townsfolk. They shall blame you and come for you with pitchforks and torches. You are the Myeongwol responsible the death of many, the Fallen Moon which could not stop the death of people. War is to come, the King is no ally.”

Jini wished she could brush off Raum’s words, yet she had grown to believe her predictions ever since she predicted her Kisaeng name.
“What is that supposed to mean?”

Raum paused. “Have you never read the myths of Joseon?”

Jini’s eyes wandered, confused.

Raum shook her head as her eyes darkened. “Legend has it that the Joseon dynasty with come to an end due to a corrupt king who betrays his country by escaping before it falls into war. He is to wait for a festival where the people are gathered, distracted by the joy and the vivid performances of the Kisaeng. He then escapes, leaving his people prey to the troops from the north who will come to destroy the land.”

Jini stared blankly, not knowing how to respond. “That’s nonsense. Where did you hear of such a thing?”

Raum chuckled. “Nonsense? It is the legend behind that dance you are known for, The Dance of the Fallen Moon; the moon which watches as its people die in the seas because of its tides. It is you, Myeongwol. You will watch your people die because of your summer solstice dance.”

Jini looked at Raum in shock. “What must I do?” Raum pulled Jini by the arm, allowing them to face each other.

“You, you must not perform for the King.” 

(This story is unedited)

Comment from Judges

Zhejing: This story reads like one of the ancient myths, the backstory of a famous phrase or legendary character. In this piece, there is a ascension from commonality, prophetic divinity and upcoming disaster. It portrays the setting really vividly, as if transporting the user back to ancient Korea. The description and feelings attributed to the dance flowed gracefully into the reader’s imagination. The ‘cliffhanger’ ending is something to applaud, as the girl was faced with an ultimatum that does not seem easy to decide: to give up her life dream or become the destroyer of worlds. However, she did not give the readers an answer, choosing instead to let them ponder about the power of choice, and of belief.

Gwendolyn: Great use of descriptive language! I really like the attention paid to historical details. It is immediately noticeable which country this story is written about. Jini is immediately striking as a main character, and the mystery surrounding her is something I can’t wait to read more about. Keep it up!

3rd Prize: Gavriel Wan Yu Sheng , 11 years old 
Universal Hua Xia International School (Sungai Petani)
Typhoon (unedited version)

Prologue

Let me tell you about a person called Oliver. Before Oliver met Typhoon, his life was very ordinary. He had always thought that he was an ordinary person with no magical or amazing skills. He lived in a tall apartment building in room 109 with his parents and no siblings. He attended Bagnalore Primary school. When he met Typhoon, his entire life changed forever.

January 01 2020 / 5.45 pm

Oliver was on the beach making a sandcastle as the waves lapped against it. After making his magnificent sandcastle, he went swimming and left his sandcastle to the mercy of the waves. A monster was lurking in the dark waters of the beach. It swam gracefully in the water, unknown by Oliver.

Suddenly, the creature reared upwards and flared its cobra-like hood and looked bigger. It was at least 10 feet tall-half dragon and half snake with the colour of the deep sea. As it came down on him with its mouth wide, he screamed until he could not breathe so that his parents could hear him and come to his aid. The enormous creature sank down in the waves and dived deep into the ocean before Oliver’s parents saw him.

When he got home, he was asked lots and lots of questions until he was at a loss for words. He couldn’t say anything so he just nodded at the questions. They were extremely astonished when he tried to draw out the monster for them. Oliver’s father beckoned him upstairs. His father told him seriously in his eye when they got upstairs, “Don’t tell anyone what just happened but you are now the master of that creature. It doesn’t have a name. You were born to inherit it. With the monster you can breathe and stay dry underwater. Here.” He handed Oliver an amulet made out of amber. It looked like the monster that he had seen but without the cobra-like hood.

“Why are you trusting me in this?” asked Oliver, “You know I can’t keep things very well.” It was true. He had lost 10 pencils that year and didn’t want to lose anything else.

“Put it in this metal box.” instructed his father.

Oliver gingerly put it in the metal box. It was engraved with symbols that he didn’t understand and know. “Now what?” he asked.

“Dinner is served!” yelled Oliver’s mother from downstairs.

“We’ll talk about it later.” said Oliver’s father.

January 01 2020 8.13 pm

Oliver went up to his bedroom after eating dinner. His father was already waiting for him. He was holding on the metal box very tightly. “What is that box for?” asked Oliver. His father snapped back into attention.

“Here,” his father said, “hold the box.”

Oliver took the box from his father’s hands. He fingered with it-feeling the engraved symbols as he turned it around and around.

“Now focus. Think about making the box disappear.” said Oliver’s father.

Oliver thought of making the box to disappear and it disappeared into thin air. He was amazed of what he had done!

“How did I do it?” whispered Oliver anxiously.

His father answered, “You are descended from the original line of people that tamed dragons. The dragon that you saw on the beach is the last dragon in the world. It is a powerful sea-dragon that cannot be tamed. Until you.” His father looked away. “Go to sleep now. We will talk about it tomorrow morning.”

January 01 2020 8.29 pm

Oliver was so excited that he couldn’t sleep. He always thought that dragons were a mythical group of creatures that were made up or fictional in his comics. But now he knew the truth! Dragons were real! Not just that but he was born to have the last living dragon in the world! Finally, he drifted off into a restless sleep, not knowing what would await him tomorrow.

January 02 2020 10.57 am

“What are we going to do today?” asked a very excited Oliver.

“We go to the beach,” said his father.

“And to tame your dragon.” continued Oliver’s mother, whispering with a gleam in her eye.

“Your mother will be helping you today.” said Oliver’s father to Oliver as got on a speed boat to go to a remote island. They had a rough ride as the rough waves tossed it around. They made sure that the driver of the speed boat disappeared out of sight in the horizon before they started practising. No one was on the beach that day.

“First,” instructed his mother, “summon the square box.”

“I don’t know how to!” yelped Oliver.

“Concentrate,” said his mother sternly.

Oliver concentrated and the box with the unusual markings popped up in existence.

“Now open it,” his mother told him, “and get the amulet out and wear it. You should be able to hear the dragon in your mind even though it is not speaking aloud to all of us. Only you will be able to hear it.”

Oliver did as he was told. The amber amulet shined against the sun as he slipped it over his neck.

“Here it comes!” yelled Oliver’s father.

The magnificent dragon leaped out of the water, twirled in the air and landed on the beach gracefully. Oliver stared into its eye and immediately understood it. “Typhoon,” muttered Oliver, “that’s his name.”

He walked cautiously to approach Typhoon. Oliver jumped on the back of Typhoon and held on tight. As Oliver screamed, Typhoon dived down into the waves. When he stopped screaming, Oliver realized that he could still breathe. The amulet must be helping me, thought Oliver.

His parents stared open mouthed as Typhoon came back up and threw him onto the sands. He also realized that he wasn’t wet. His father had told the truth!

“That’s enough for today,” said Oliver’s father, “We’ll come back tomorrow.”

Typhoon took them to the beach where they original rode the speed boat from. It had been a ride of a lifetime. Oliver waved good bye to Typhoon as he walked back home with his parents.

January 03 2020 9.32 am

The next day, Oliver and his parents went to the same place as the day before. Oliver summoned Typhoon again. As Typhoon came up, Oliver asked his parents, “What are we going to do today?”

His mother replied, “To control the sea.”

Oliver was puzzled. What did it mean that he was going to control the sea?

Oliver’s father said, “Use your amulet. It will help you.”

“Now what?” asked Oliver.

“Will it to make a large wave or a storm.” answered his mother.

Oliver leaped on Typhoon’s back and dived into the sea. He made a whirlpool in the middle of the sea. It got larger and larger. Suddenly, it dawned on him that he was making a typhoon.

“Go.” he whispered to Typhoon.

Typhoon took him to the middle of the storm. Oliver raised his hands and then storm calmed down. Oliver took him back to the island. He and his parents then went back home.

January 03 2020 4.39 pm

After eating lunch, Oliver went and sat down in front of the television. He turned it on and watched his favourite news reporter.

The news reporter announced, “There is a storm in the middle of the sea and all fishermen or tourists riding in a boat in that area is required to leave immediately. Furthermore, all schools near the beach will not open until we get the situation sorted out. Thank you.”

Oliver laughed out loud. He had been the cause of the storm and the result was that he didn’t need to go the school. He went to his room and was astonished when Typhoon was curled at the side of his bed! It had shrunk in size. He quickly wore on his amulet. Typhoon communicated telepathically, “Can I stay here? I saw some people and teleported here.”

“Of course, you can. But can you teach me how to teleport?”

Suddenly, the door smashed open to reveal a man cloaked in black. He was holding a tranquilizer gun in one hand and a cage in the other. He shot a tranquilizer dart at Oliver. Oliver blacked out. Slowly, the world in front of him faded away.

January 03 2020 5.56 pm

When he woke up, he was in a metal cage that was tied up. Suddenly he realized that his amulet was missing! He tried breaking out but failed.

“It won’t help,” snarled a voice. Oliver guessed That it was the man that shot the dart.

“I have the amulet,” said his captor.

Suddenly, he heard a roar of defiance. Oliver had his hopes up.

“I am going to feed to your dragon,” said the oily voice.

Oliver’s hopes sank. He thought that Typhoon was going to rescue him. He felt himself rise up and the cage was crushed into tiny pieces. He saw Typhoon throw the man across the laboratory. Oliver picked up the fallen amulet and ran towards Typhoon. They smashed the laboratory with high water pressure from the sea around it and went back home.

(This story is unedited)

Comment from Judges

Zhejing: The beginning portions of this story reads like a fantasy novel, foretelling an epic adventure to be taken by the boy-hero and his dragon. The initial fear of the dragon, to awkward friendship then to the best of friends was narrated convincingly. It is a captivating and empowering piece, dabbling in areas that a child could envision themselves fantasizing about – a loyal powerful pet, adventure, heroism, epic training and magic.

Gwendolyn: Interesting read! I would love to find out more about how Oliver inherited the ability to command dragons. I like the use of time in marking the different scenes, it delivers a sense of urgency and anticipation for the reader. Has great potential in becoming a very unique story about a boy and his dragon, good job!

Unique English Classroom

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