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1st Place: Kendra Tay, P5 | A Dispute

The torrential rain lashed down on the rooftop as I scribbled furiously on my homework. Raindrops reported for duty as they flooded the drains and the streets. The usual piercing glare of the sun could barely penetrate the storm clouds that hung overhead. The gloomy weather mirrored my mood as I ploughed through my unending pile of homework. As a yawn escaped my lips, I decided to read a book.

I gave my limbs a stretch as I trudged sluggishly to my lofty bookshelf to immerse myself with a book. As an avid reader, I always relished curling up in my baby blue beanbag chair with a good book. My collection of books consisted from magazines to comics and novels. My bookshelf to contain my books was so humongous that it resembled a library. I had just recently bought a new book. I had gotten the last one! However, it was nowhere in sight!

I searched every nook and cranny of my room. Were my tired and worn-out eyes playing tricks on me? Letting out a loud moan and dragging myself out of my room. “Where on earth is my-” My voice trailed off as I caught sight of an object on the floor. It resembled my book! Why is it there? I asked myself as I remembered that I placed it on my bedside table. I didn’t think much of it as I sometimes forget where I place my books. But when I took it, I saw a tear on the cover! I searched the rest of my pages. Waves of sick terror swept over me as I saw colour drawings and marker stains were on the pages of my brand-new book!

My lower lip quivered with seething rage as I thought “My sister! She must have a hand in this!” Holding my book in one hand, I stomped into Lily’s room. What I saw at the scene made my blood curdle. Uncapped markers and colour pencils were sprawled across the room. The mastermind behind it sat on her bed grinning from ear to ear. When I saw her, my eyebrows knitted into deep frowns and I clenched my fists.

“Lily, did you colour the pages on my book?” I tried to keep my calm when I asked this, breathing deeply and trying hard to keep my rage in. Lily thought I was being funny. Bad move. She responded sarcastically “Well, I thought that your book’s pages were very plain and ugly. So, I decided to give it a beautiful makeover! Aren’t they so colourful?”

My hands balled into fists as I lunged at her like a tiger. We tumbled to the floor, jet-black hair flying in all directions. She used her razor-sharp fingernails as a fatal weapon. I thought “Sheesh those are awfully long and sharp! When did she cut this?” “Hey-” I tried to intervene but to no avail. Instead of listening to me, she clawed my bare skin like a savage animal. Soon, my softness turned into hate and anger. I masked the pain with spams of rage as I retorted by yanking her hair. Our deafening yells and shrieks soon caught the attention of our mother, who shot into the room at the speed of light.

When she saw us siblings’ brawl, she was utterly speechless and was bewildered. Hearing her thundering footsteps, we immediately disentangled ourselves and got up from the floor. Our mother had her arms akimbo as she impaled us with an icy stare. The room was deadly silent and only the drip-drop of the rain which had now slowed into a drizzle could be heard. “She is your one and only sister! How could you fight with each other!” Mother fumed as she thrust her finger at both of us. Tears threatened to spill down on my cheeks as mother turned and left without another word.

Guilt gnawed at my heart. For a moment, I was left to my own thoughts. I should have not fought with my sister over a silly book. “I am so sorry!” I apologised profusely as I faced my sister. Not wasting another minute, I gave her a reciprocal hug. We resolved our conflict and promised to share all our things with each other. We should cherish the time spent with our siblings and not waste it away with petty fights. Our relationship grew stronger with each passing day.

2nd Place: Dylan Kong, P6 | A Surprising Visit

“Wow! I have always wanted this present!” I exclaimed, punching my fist in the air like a dog with two tails. I beamed from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat, eyes twinkling like stars in the night sky. My eyes widened in surprise at the sight of the newest gaming console. This was the final present from my birthday party I had held yesterday. There is only one person who knows I longed for this— my one and only brother! Cradling the present in my hand, I started to tear, recalling the series of activities that occurred the previous day.

Ring! Ring! The house phone rang shrilly. The sharp sound pierced through the usual blanket of silence in my house early on a Sunday morning. My eyelids, which seemed to weigh a ton, slowly fluttered open, allowing light to take over the darkness. Looking at the clock that was on my bedside table, I sighed as I realised it was six in the morning. Who would call at this hour? I groaned inwardly. I sat on my bed, trying to muster my energy to answer that annoying house phone that was only a few feet away. I dragged my weary feet to the table where the phone was placed and picked it up. “Who is this calling so early!” I scolded in a tired manner.

“Oh, hi Dylan! Sorry for waking you up so early, I forgot about the time difference!. I just wanted to tell Mum and Dad that I won’t be home this June. I have to stay here in the UK to take my examination. I will not be able to see you at your birthday next month.” I went silent for a moment as I tried to process what he had said. I thought I had gone deaf and heard it all wrong.

My brother was the closest to me in my family. As two full-time working parents, my Mother and Father rarely spent time with me and often worked overtime. During weekends, they would always go out to eat, leaving my brother and me at home by ourselves, doing mountains of homework. My brother was always there for me, through thick and thin. He was at all my birthdays, all my parties, he had always stayed by my side, never leaving me. It was last year when he went to university in the UK. I was distraught but learnt to be independent and studied by myself. I managed to pull through without him. However, I could not imagine celebrating my birthday without him.

I hung up the phone and stared at the photo of my brother and me beside the phone on the table. The dams at the back of my eyes could not hold the increasing amount of water gathering there. Tears filled with sorrow flowed down my cheeks like rivulets, dripping onto the floor like raindrops. My eyes turned puffy and red due to crying buckets of water. “How could he do this to
me!” I sobbed as I threw myself on my bed, covering my face with a pillow to cry myself to sleep.

It was the day. The day of my birthday which I so dreaded. I even had to go to school on that day to make matters worse. My parents had already left for work by that time so I had to take the bus to school. I carried my schoolbag which weighed like an elephant and walked to the bus stop. The clouds in the sky darkened and it turned gloomy in a split second. The roars of thunder filled the air as lightning flashed oversea. A thunderstorm was ominous. “What an amazing addition to an already splendid day.” I remarked sarcastically to no one in particular. I had forgotten to bring my umbrella which my brother had reminded—when he was still around. Just as I was about to break down, a loud horn sounded and startled me!. Momentarily stunned by the horn, I turned around, wanting to give the inconsiderate driver a piece of my mind. The driver was in a convertible, with the roof down. He was wearing cool aviator shades and a branded leather jacket to match. He sported a pair of ripped jeans, which was all the rage now. This reminded me of my brother, a fashionable person who kept up with the trends.

At that moment, the driver removed his aviators to reveal a familiar face. It was my brother! My mouth fell agape as I stared in awe. I could not believe my very own eyes! “Get in!” my brother offered. Within moments, I was at the gate of my school, all my schoolmates rooted to the spot, shocked. “I’ll meet you back here at 1.30p.m. Ok?” my brother reminded before speeding off, as fast as a cheetah.

By the time school ended, I still could not believe my brother was here. This definitely has to be a dream. I repeated to myself. When school was over, a group of students followed me to the school gate, all eagerly asking questions as I got back into my brother’s car. My brother had certainly turned me into a ‘superstar’. I asked my brother, “I thought you had to take an examination so you couldn’t come for my birthday?” My brother chuckled and explained that he had skipped the examination and decided to take it in December. Hearing this, I was touched by this surprise visit and embraced my brother in a warm hug.

Once we reached home, my brother opened the door for me. The lights were all switched off so I turned them on. To my great surprise, everyone, including my parents, was there! The walls of the house were lined with banners and brightly coloured streamers. Presents filled the table where a triple-layered cake stood, decorated with sprinkles and strawberries. An array of gastronomic delights were on the buffet table as the mouth-watering aroma of freshly made foods wafted into my nostrils. There was even a disco ball hung in the middle of the living room, shining brightly. The weariness of the school day disappeared, giving way for a thrum of energy under my skin. All my friends wished me happy birthday and we had a dance party. The once dreaded and gloomy day had turned around by this unexpected visit by my brother and a wonderful party with my friends. I was glad to see my brother who I loved dearly and thanked him for this unforgettable day.

“You opened the gift I got you.” The sudden appearance of my brother brought me back to the present. I ran into my brother’s arms and gave him a big hug. I knew that my brother had to go back to the UK soon and I had to cherish the moment while it lasted.

After this unexpected and unforgettable incident, my brother heard how I felt about him studying overseas and promised to visit more often. As the saying goes, ‘good things never last’. However, we should not look back and want to return to the past. This was a good reminder for me to treasure family and I am looking forward to my brother’s next visit!

Budding Writer: Bernice Seah, P2 | My Most Memorable Birthday

My Most Memorable Birthday

“Ring…! I woke up in my bedroom when I saw the calendar and realised that it was my birthday! Bursting with elation, I quickly opened the door and bolted to the kitchen to look for my mother. I was ecstatic when I saw her preparing to bake a rainbow cake for me. I could not wait to tell my father about it.

With a spring in every step, I skipped to my father’s room and woke him up. “Daddy, it is my birthday today! Mummy is in the kitchen baking my favourite rainbow cake!” I exclaimed excitedly. My father wished me a happy birthday and gave me a surprise birthday present. He told me that he made it specially for me two weeks ago. Brimming with joy, I zoomed to the living room to look for my elder brother. He was sitting on the sofa, reading his favourite The Young Scientists magazine. When he saw me running towards him, he immediately put it away and stood up. He wished me a happy birthday and gave me a present too! I could not wait to open all the presents.

The aroma from the oven sparked my curiosity to get back to the kitchen to check if the cake was ready. “Mummy, is the cake ready?” I asked my mother excitedly. “Almost, just ten more minutes, my dear,” my mother replied with a twinkle in her eye. I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat because the rainbow cake is what I had always wanted.

“Beep, beep, beep…!” the sound of the oven timer went off. “Yay! The cake is finally ready!” I exclaimed as my eyes sparkled in excitement. My mother took out the cake carefully from the oven. We waited for it to cool down before we decorated the cake together. It was my first time decorating the cake and I had so much fun. I decorated it with colourful cake topper unicorn figurines, placing them neatly all around the cake while my mother added colourful icing decorations on the cake. I squealed with delight when the cake was finally done!

I followed behind my mother like a little duckling as she walked out of the kitchen, holding the tantalising birthday cake that she specially baked for me. “Wow!” my eyes widened like a saucer as I looked up. I saw pink and silver balloons decorating every corners of the house and a colourful “Happy Birthday” banner on the wall. The decorations were put up by my father and brother when my mother and I were busy decorating the cake in the kitchen. It was such a pleasant surprise. My father helped to place and light up eight little candles on the cake. After my family sang me a birthday song, I made a birthday wish and blew out the candles. We also took some family pictures with different funny poses! I was grinning from ear to ear. We chatted and giggled away as we ate the cake.

Finally, I was ready to open up all my presents! I tore open the unicorn wrapping paper carefully, revealing a unicorn necklace! It was handmade by my father. The other present that I received was a unicorn journal book from my brother. Lastly, it is the unicorn rainbow cake, specially baked by my mother that we had all eaten up. Everyone in the family knew that I loved unicorns. This was indeed my best and most memorable birthday!

Budding Writer: Li Siyao Amy, P2 | My Favourite Painting

My Favourite Painting

My favourite painting is the Starry Night. It was painted by Vincent Van Gogh. I like the way he brought forth the blow of the wind. The wind is whirling in spirals. He splashed blue for the background. Van Gogh also dabbed yellow strokes in the wind. His moon is burning in bright yellow. He drew the stars as spinning circles shining like haloes to saints’ heads. His mountains are blue waves ebbing and flowing. Tiny houses snuggle in the mountains’ embrace. I feel great joy at the bright colours. His cypress looks like a castle that is reaching the sky and guarding the village. Van Gogh cast down powerful strokes to depict the wind, mountains, stars and the moon. It reminds me that I am living in the majestic universe. Van Gogh also put his imagination into the spirals,curves and stipples. You feel love, awe and wonder at the creations of our almighty God!

Budding Writer: Maeve Chew, P4 | A Kind Act

A Kind Act

The sun shone down mercilessly on Charlie as he trudged towards the nearby crowded hawker centre for his lunch. When he arrived at the hawker centre, it was teeming with people and not a single vacant table was in sight. The never-ending queues snaked in front of the more popular stalls. The hawker centre was alive with the shouts of vendors taking orders and sounds of patrons tucking into their meals. In the distance, the clatter of cooking utensils clashing against metal woks rang out. Charlie groaned as he knew that he was going to be stuck here for a very time. With not much choice, Charlie hurried over to chicken rice stall and joined the queue.

After a long wait, Charlie was finally second in line. He waited patiently as he noticed an elderly lady in front of him in the queue. The old lady had power-white hair. She was slightly hunched as she stood unsteadily in front of Charlie. She hobbled forward unsteadily as she searched her wallet for some money to pay for the food. Not wanting to take too much time, the lady hastily rummaged her purse with her gnarled fingers before retrieving some coins. The elderly lady stared long and hard at the few coins as she started counting them. Slowly, the elderly lady’s face began to pale as a sudden realisation hit her. She did no have enough money! Instantly, her face blanched. She became increasingly nervous as she faced the stall vendor squarely.

“Sorry, I… I don’t seem to have enough to pay for the meal.” The elderly lady faltered as she flushed beet red. The stall owner stared daggers at the feeble septuagenarian upon hearing what she had just said. His face was a red mask of fury as he barked at the top of his lungs and stood with his arms akimbo. Embarrassment was etched on the elderly lady’s face as she began to move away without her food. Instantly, Charlie felt a pang of sympathy for the elderly lady. Many other customers started in shock at the rudeness of the stall owner while Charlie’s jaw dropped. “I have to help her. Otherwise, she will have nothing to eat.” Charlie thought as he immediately stepped up and offered his help.

“Here, let me help you!” Charlie offered as he took a few notes out of his pocket. Unable to believe her ears, the aged citizen could only stare, utterly speechless. After paying the rude stall owner and also ordering his own lunch, Charlie helped to carry the elderly lady’s tray of food to her seat and started chatting with her. Together, the duo tucked into their hearty lunch. Through their conversation, Charlie learnt that the senior citizen lived in the same block as he did.

“You are a very kind-hearted boy. What would I have done without you?” The old lady’s entire face lit up and a smile spread across her face. The other patrons smiled at the scene and nodded in approval.

Charlie blushed deeply and enthused, “It was nothing, Madam. I could not let you go hungry.” Meanwhile, the impatient stall owner who was within earshot began to look uncomfortable. He hung his head low in embarrassment and wished that he could just disappear of the face of the earth.

“Thank you so much for everything!” The elderly lady thanked Charlie profusely after the last mouthful. Looking at the cherubic smile on the lady’s face, Charlie reflected that kindness is the act of being considerate and helpful towards other people when they most need it. It does not take much for us to treat others with generosity, but it goes a long way in making their day if they are in need.

Budding Writer: Peh Wei Ru Shevaun, P5 | A Celebration that Ended Badly

A Celebration that Ended Badly

The eye-catching banner emblazoned with the words ‘Happy Birthday, Janet’ was hung from the wall. Boisterous chitter–chatters filled the atmosphere with a mix of loud music that blasted out from the speakers. The aroma of the delicious food laid on the dining table wafted into my nostrils. I was invited to Janet’s birthday party held at her condominium!

“Janet, here you go! This is your birthday present!” I exclaimed while handing her the present with both hands.

She replied with a word of thanks and a hug. After that, she brought me to the sofa area in her house.

The television was switched on and many kids crowded near the sofa, even parents! After everyone had arrived, Janet shouted into the loudhailer in her hands, “Let the party games begin! We would be playing treasure hunt!”

Upon hearing this, all the kids scurried into different directions of the house. I had found only three clues when it had already been thirty minutes! I walked into the kitchen, thinking that my fourth clue might be there. I went in only to find a plastic bag on the table in the kitchen with a circular subject in it. As I was a cake lover, I immediately knew that it was a cake! The plastic bag had the words ‘Le Bakery’ on it. That was the famous cake shop! Drool was coming out of my mouth. It smelt delicious! I glanced surreptitiously to see if anyone was looking before opening the plastic bag to get a nimble of the cake. I had a bite but it was too delicious! I took more bites until a quarter of the cake was gone.

“Oh no!’’ I muttered under my breath as I covered my mouth with my hands.

Knowing that I had done something wrong, I immediately rushed out of the kitchen and pretended nothing had happened and continued with the game.

“Time for the birthday cake!” Janet’s mother screamed from across the kitchen.

Everyone scurried to the dining table and sat down. Just then, Janet’s mother let out a high – pitched squeal, then rushed out of the kitchen and whispered something into Janet’s ear. After hearing it, Janet’s face turned as pale as a sheet. Curious faces looked around, wondering what was happening. Janet dashed to the kitchen and brought the cake out with her head hung low. Everyone was taken aback by the scene, a quarter of the cake was gone! She looked around suspiciously. Her eyes glanced around until her eyes fixated on me. The white icing on my mouth from the cake gave it out!

“Did you eat the cake?” Janet asked as her eyebrows knitted into a frown.

“I…I am…am so sorry! I did not mean to,’’ I stammered with my head hung low in embarrassment.

Janet was fuming mad so I quickly replied, “I would get you another cake and pass it to you tomorrow!’’

“Fine!” She replied madly as if smoke was billowing out of her ears.

Everyone was disappointed in me, even myself.

What was done cannot be undone. Ever since, I had never dared to go to any party. Janet forgave me but my conscience did not. Even if I bought Janet the cake, her birthday party was still ruined by me. I made a mistake and could not change it. I just have to accept the consequences and punishment of my mistake. This lesson has taught me to think of others and not be selfish. This will also be my first and last birthday party I attended. It was indeed a celebration that ended badly.

Budding Writer: Prajna Girish, P5 | A Dilemma

A Dilemma

Mrs Pam flipped through the photo album. Just then, one photo caught her eye. It was a photo of her beloved late father, Mr Lee, herself and her husband Mr Alex along with their two teenage daughters Lori and Luan at Sentosa. Pam placed her fingers gently on Mr Lee’s face. Tears instantly welled up in her eyes as memories of that tragic event came flooding back into her mind…

It was the time she had to make a life-changing and heartbreaking decision…

It was a typical Saturday morning. Golden rays of sunlight darted through the windows, waking up old Mr Lee. Although he was eighty years old, he was in the pink of health. After freshening up, Mr Lee made his way down the narrow and winding staircase to the kitchen. Since he had woken up at the crack of dawn, nobody else was awake to help him down. Mr Lee wanted a cup of coffee to kick start his day and he hurried his way down to the kitchen without looking where he was going and not holding onto the handrails.

As he was proceeding down, Mr Lee missed a step and tumbled head-first to the ground with an ear-rendering thud! “Thud!” Mr Alex, Mrs Pam and the two teenagers jolted up awake and bolted out of their rooms only to be greeted by the sight of Mr Lee sprawled on the floor! The four stopped dead in the tracks, their eyes widening. Upon regaining composure, Lori dialled “995” on her phone while the other three rushed to Grandpa’s side. Grandpa was immobilised in pain. He could barely move. “Father! Father! Are you ok? Speak to me!” Mrs Pam questioned, panic rising in her chest. Sadly, Mr Lee could not even nod his head! Within minutes, the ambulance arrived and whisked Mr Lee off to the hospital, the panicky family in tow.

There, the quartet were told to sit outside in the waiting room as Mr Lee was taken into a ward. The family’s hearts beat against their ribcages like African Drums as they paced up and down the lobby. Time crawled and the dull environment in the hospital did nothing to soothe their nerves.

After what seemed like eternity, Dr Raju came out of the room, a grim expression plastered across his face. They enquired about Mr.Lee. “I am very sorry to say but Mr.Lee is brain dead. Unfortunately, now you have only two options, either continue placing him under life support and letting him undergo tremendous pain. It will cost two thousand dollars per week or terminate life-support and let him pass on,” Dr Raju explained solemnly. “But if we take father out of it, won’t he d-”, unable to finish her sentence, Mrs Pam fell into her husband’s arms and broke down. Giving a reluctant and sad nod, Dr Raju opened the door to the ward.

Mr Alex, Lori and Luan took a seat beside the enormous bed while the crying Mrs Pam sat next to her father on the bed. She was horrified at the sight of many tubes connected to the many machines working relentlessly, all around and over Mr Lee! “Oh Dad! I love you! Please don’t leave me!” Mrs Pam bawled, holding his hand lovingly.

After visiting hours, the quartet headed home gloomily. Upon reaching, Mrs Pam zipped into her room and buried her face in her hands as she wailed about her father. Shortly after, Mr Alex, Lori and Luan entered the room and tried to console Mrs Pam, but to no avail. They also pondered on what to do.

Being the more practical person, Mr Alex suggested that they let Grandpa go. “Let him live painlessly. He doesn’t have to go through so much pain just so that we’d be guilt free. We know that no matter what that he is always going to be with us in our hearts and forever watching over us. Either way, we do have to draw the line somewhere.” Mr Alex finished. Lori and Luan agreed as they planted a kiss each on their mother’s cheek.

“No, no, no! I simply can’t let him go just like that! He’s my father! The person who raised me single-handedly! I’ve already lost Mom even before I could see her! I can’t afford to lose him too! I shan’t bite the hand that fed me!” She wept, refusing to say anymore.

Every day once the family reached the hospital, Dr Raju asked the family what their final decision would be. And before anyone could utter a word, Mrs.Pam would firmly shake her head.

Day after day Mrs Pam grappled with herself on what to do. “Let him go! Do you want to see your very own father suffer like this? He has to go eventually! Why let him suffer before that?” a voice at the back of her mind badgered, but another one argued immediately, “Are you simply going to let the person who raised you, your very own father, die like that! You know that brain dead people have recovered before! He may just! Everything will go back to normal!”. For a week the battle in her mind raged as Mrs Pam was caught between the two sides, keeping her beloved father in life support or terminating it. Afraid that she was making the wrong choice, Mrs Pam was unable to choose what to do. However, in a week or so, she finally made up her mind. With conflicting emotions, Mrs Pam made her way to the hospital, a persistent little voice in her mind telling her to think the whole thing again.

At the hospital, Dr Raju once again questioned what their choice was to be. “L…let….h….hi……him…..g…..go” Mrs Pam blubbered, tears flowing like a river down her cheeks. Five minutes later, the family was called inside the ward. Mr Lee was lying motionlessly on the bed. There was no medical equipment connected to him except a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM).

The four sat beside him on the bed. It seemed as every passing second made Mr Lee’s heart beat weaker. Finally, the line wave on the HRM became flat with a heart wrenching beep. Mr Lee was officially declared dead. Mrs Pam cried her heart out as she hugged her deceased father for the final time, her tears landing on his arms. She buried his face into his, thinking that her heart was going to shatter into a million pieces! She would never forget the very person who gave her so much to remember! Mr Lee was gone forever, but he would always be in the family’s heart, watching over them for all eternity…

Unable to bear it, Mrs Pam shut the photo album. Wiping the tears which had cascaded down her face, Mrs Pam placed the album back and left the room mumbling, “I love you Dad! You’ll always be in my heart! I’ll never forget you!” Mrs Pam knew her father would rather have a painless death than suffer. She truly believed that every flow must have its ebb.

Budding Writer: Jaslynn Toh Jiayin, P6 | Overcoming A Temptation

Overcoming A Temptation

“What a nice cup of coffee you made!” I complimented my wife as I flipped through the newspaper. I caught sight of an article which stated ‘Man arrested for pickpocketing’. A cold shiver ran through my spine as I thought back about overcoming a temptation during my childhood life…

Another day of empty stomach. I sighed in despair as I looked into my wallet. Empty. I looked up into the mirror. I saw many dirty spots and stains on my once pristine school uniform. A wave of sadness washed over me and teardrops hung on my eyelids. My face was etched with misery and I felt a lump in my throat. “Why? Life wasn’t like that before,” I moaned while feeling down in the dumps. I was not always wearing dirty clothes or neither do I always need to go on an empty stomach. How I wish I could go back to the time when my father had a stable job and income. How I wish my father was not addicted to alcohol. How I wish my mother did not need to work long hours just for a meagre salary. However, these ideas are far from reality.

Just then, when I was about to trudge out of the toilet gloomily, I saw a familiar figure, John. John was one of the richest students in school, known for showing off his money to others. As I was about to turn around to plod away, I caught a glimpse of something shiny hanging out of John’s pocket loosely. Curiosity surged in me. Dying to know what the object was, I turned back and reached out for it instantly, not wanting John to find out that I took his things without permission. It was a wallet and I realised that it was not just an ordinary one, but a Louis Vuitton one! “Wow!” I exclaimed in delight as I admired the shiny and branded wallet. “How I wished I had this!” I thought as my eyes were sparkling at the sight of the wallet. Out of the blue, I wondered, “Maybe take a peek inside?” Slowly unzipping the wallet, I saw a stack of cash inside it. The wallet and the money seemed to be enticing me, beckoning me to take it away from John. The money was approximately one years’ of my mother’s salary! I was grinning with greed. “My mother does not need to work that hard if I steal this wallet and I can also spend some of the money on the things that I want! What a win-win situation!” I murmured softly to myself while smirking. The temptation to take the wallet away was overwhelming me.

I took a deep breath to calm myself down while glancing around furtively. Ensuring that the coast was clear, I zipped the wallet and slipped it into my dirty pocket. A sly smile curled upon my lips. I had a sudden sense of satisfaction. When I was about to duck out of the place, another thought came into my mind. It was the angel, not the devil. “Think about what your parents had taught you. Honesty is the best policy. Be honest, Jim. Do not disappoint your parents. They will be unhappy if they knew you had stolen the wallet, not the other way round.” I scratched my head in frustration upon hearing that. I was in the horns of a dilemma. “What should I do?” It was like a battlefield between the devil and the angel in my mind. I was being pulled in both directions while brooding over my decision. “Stop!” I screamed quietly to the angel and devil. I had a sudden epiphany and I came to a conclusion finally of what that seemed like an eternity.

Reluctantly, I peeked at the wallet once more and gently tapped John’s shoulders. “What?” John asked rudely while furrowing his eyebrows in frustration. His eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up to his eyelids. He was completely taken aback when he saw my dirty uniform. He was speechless. “Um…I’m Jim and you just dropped your wallet on the ground,” I lied nervously as I passed the wallet to him. “Oh…thank you!” He thanked me while receiving the wallet with gratefulness. I smiled, thankful that I have done the right thing and lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

“What are you even thinking about? You didn’t respond to me when I called you just now!” my wife’s question brought me back to reality. “Sorry dear, I was thinking back about my childhood experience so I didn’t hear your question!” I apologised. “Do you want me to tell you the childhood story that I was thinking about earlier?” “Sure!” She exclaimed as I started recounting the experience about overcoming a temptation.

Budding Writer: Jovina Ng Hui Jin, P6 | A Mistake

A Mistake

Everytime Maxine closes her eyes, the image of how she almost lost her Integrity due to a mistake would appear in her mind. No matter how hard she tried to forget that incident, it did not seem to work. No one has ever called her a thief until that day, it definitely caused her reputation to be in shambles. It was a dreadful memory that continues to haunt her mind even till this day. Just then, memories of the incident came flushing into Maxine’s mind…

As Maxine stepped into the mall, the cool breeze of the air-conditioner caressed her cheeks, as if welcoming her. The shopping mall was packed to the brim and the stench of the sweat of surrounding people wafted into Maxine’s nostrils. “ Wow! This mall is humongous! “ She murmured to herself, mesmerised by the new mall. Just then, something caught Maxine’s eyes. She had spotted a jewelry shop filled with bright coloured, glistening jewels. Without a moment’s delay, she rushed over.

“Look at this ring! It’s so beautiful!” Maxine thought to herself as she stared at the sapphire ring with eager eyes. She was bewildered by its glowing blue coloured gem and the realistically crafted ring design. Maxine had never seen something so beautiful in her whole life! With a blissed-out smile on her face, she immediately dashed into the store and asked the staff how much the ring cost. “ Four thousand dollars.” The staff replied, eyeing Maxine suspiciously as if suspecting that a girl like her would ever have money to buy the ring. “ Four thousand dollars? Is this daylight robbery?” Maxine thought in her head as her eyes widened with apprehension. She knew that even if she were to use her life’s savings, she would still never have enough money for the ring. Not knowing what to do, Maxine stepped out of the store. She was crestfallen and a frown plastered on her face. Just then, an idea struck her. I could just steal the ring on the display stand! Maxine thought as an evil smirk curled upon her face.

Without a second thought, Maxine sneaked into the shop. She cast furtive glances around her. Every staff member seemed busy at the moment. This was her chance! Ensuring that the coast was clear, Maxine swiped the ring into her bag and made a beeline towards the exit. “ This is the easiest thing I have ever done.” Maxine thought with a grin of satisfaction painted on her face. However, right before she left the store, the ear-piercing alarm resounded through the air. The commotion attracted the attention of everyone in the store. “ Stop right there! What do you think you are doing!” The shopkeeper bellowed, bolting toward Maxine and hauling her back by the collar. She stopped dead in her tracks and her mind went blank. She did not know what to do. At that crucial moment, Maxine broke into tears and an unexpected wave of guilt swept over her.

Maxine had made the shopkeeper’s blood boil. Losing his cool, the shopkeeper started berating her and some vulgarities even slipped out of his mouth by accident. Maxine stood there and faced the music while tears cascaded down her cheeks like a broken faucet. This was all a mistake! I never should have done this! She mumbled to herself as she started to blame herself for her wrongdoings.

After the shopkeeper let out his anger, he decided to let Maxine go with a condition. She had to work there for a month to pay back what she had done. Maxine agreed gladly and thanked the shopkeeper profusely for being so forgiving before she left the store and headed home. In the end, Maxine learnt to think of the consequences of her actions before she does something. She also promised herself never to result in doing illegal things no matter what the situation was. After all ‘Once bitten twice shy’, Maxine would never want to go through such horrendous consequences just because of a tiny mistake ever again.

Budding Writer: Koh Jun Wei, S2 | The Perfect Crime

The Perfect Crime

Owen Bartley trudged wearily through the streets of London, tired after a day’s worth of work. The rain splattered on his umbrella incessantly. He decided to quicken his footsteps in an effort to get home faster. Out of the blue, Owen felt a large gloved hand cover his mouth. He frantically tried to release himself from his attacker, but to no avail. He tried to scream, but no one was there.

He felt the muzzle of a pistol pressed against his back, followed by a gruff and menacing voice which demanded, “Take your wallet out and hand it over right now. “His wallet had a great deal of cash, which he had intended to spend on jewelry for his wife for their wedding anniversary, and wanted to buy it on his way home. Fearing for his life, he obliged and gave in to his captor’s demands, pulling out his wallet and cautiously turning it in to his aggressor. However as soon has Owen did so, a bright but short light exploded from the gun, the rain, which sounded like multiple gunshots being fired out of a gun, helped to mask the discordant sound of the M412 REX being fired. The last thing Owen caught a glimpse of was his attacker’s eyes; his irises were green, with dark green pupils.

“MAN MURDERED LAST NIGHT; INVESTIGATIONS ONGOING. IS THIS A NEW VICTIM OF THE RECENT SERIAL KILLINGS?” The headlines of the London Times read the following day. “This would be a hard case to solve…” Detective James Teabing remarked, “There were no CCTVS or witnesses present in the area in the time the murder happened” he continued. “We should be getting a coroner’s report pretty soon, so do not be so soon to fret.” Damien Locke assured John while pouring a cup of black tea, its fragrant aroma intoxicating the air.

The coroner’s report came while he was slurping down the tea. He read through it hastily, learning more about the victim.

NAME: Owen Bartley, (formerly Imtiaz Bartley)
AGE: 37
PROFESSION: Journalist for the Al Hayat, an Arabian newspaper in England
BACKGROUND AND DEATH REPORT: Owen is a journalist who is married to Izuku Touko, a Japanese businesswoman, and they have one kid, named Brayden Bartley, who is currently in high school. He changed his name to Owen Bartley in 2006. The bullet which hit Owen belongs to a M912 REX, and was fired from a point-blank range, indicating the aggressor had time to get close towards Owen. However, the bullet missed the major carotid arteries, which meant that there was a very low chance it would incapacitate Owen. The bullet itself was laced with a deadly tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin that hindered neurons from firing, which lead to his eventual death.

Damien sighed and handed the report over to John, who read it rivetingly. “A tetrodotoxin… That’s interesting… The suspect likely had some ulterior motives other than plain robbery, considering that tetrodotoxins were fairly rare and hard to get.” John voiced out his thoughts loudly and Damien nodded his head in approval, “Once we get a search warrant, we should pay a visit to Madam Touko” He replied with a grim look on his face.

“Madam Touko, are you there?” John called out, rapping on her front door. Shortly after, the door opened, and a teary-eyed woman stood there and greeted them. “We are the London Metropolitan Police and we have to search the premises of your property. We are extremely sorry that we are disturbing you so soon after the death of your husband, so if you’d pleas e allow us to enter…” He said gravely, holding up the search warrant.

“Okay I understand…” Madam Touko blubbered incoherently, and opened the door for them to enter. Damien was placed in charge of Madam Touko’s room. He entered it and was instantly amazed; the style of the woman’s room was immaculately designed, reminiscent of the traditional Japanese heritage she was part of. It was complete with sliding doors with swans painted on them, a futon and even a small incense pot. Wasting no time, he immediately started searching her room for evidence that might suggest anything suspicious.

Damien started looking around the safe first, but nothing was there. Then, he went to the dressing table, foraging the drawers for a sign, but to no avail. Meanwhile, in Owen’s room, John was searching for leads with other investigators. “So, he liked to read…” John murmured to himself, rummaging through the cupboard of ancient and dusty books, where he found venerated and revered names of the book industry like J.R Tolkien, Dan Brown, Stephen King and many more accomplished authors. I liked to read the books of some of the authors during my free time… John thought to himself.

Suddenly, Damien’s voice rang out from the other room, reverberating the whole house,” I FOUND SOME LEADS!” he exclaimed loudly with a solemn undertone John and most of the investigators rushed to the scene, Madam Touko and her son included, as all of them were overwhelmed with curiosity. It was a small vial of green liquid with the label TTX pasted on it in the small incense pot Madam Touko owned. “I am afraid you’d accompany us to the station for interviewing” Damien announced gravely, handcuffing Madam Touko. The meek and petite woman could do nothing more than stare in shock as we handcuffed her.

And so, Madam Touko was arrested. As John followed her as she exited the house, he looked at her son, Brayden; his looks clearly leaned towards his mother’s facial features. John hated to hurt this family even more, on the account if Madam Touko was innocent, especially since his father just died and he might never get to spend time with his mother ever again. But it had to be done in the name of the law. And so, John did whatever he could to comfort the boy, who looked like he had a bright future ahead of him.

40 Years Later…

Damien Locke sat peacefully on a cliff overlooking the sea. The view was beautiful, the red setting sun in perfect contrast with the blue sea. The crimson rays of the sun casting towering shadows. His emerald deep green eyes twinkled; people said they could swallow you up because it was like looking into a dense forest. His life flashing before his eyes; he reminiscences his peak years, it has been 40 years since he had murdered Owen Bartley. He had regretted his actions, wishing he was able to atone for his mistake now. All because Madam Touko had hit Damien’s mother in a freak car accident when he was a teenager, he was unable to forgive Madam Touku and was bent on revenge on ruining her family. Yes, his mother had suffered unjustly, but Damien had ruined more lives by killing. What he did out of infuriation was wrong, if only he could repay back what he did… He had committed the perfect crime, but at what cost?

Budding Writer: Ang Yi Hian Zane, P5 | Contented

Contented

Have you ever lost someone you loved and were contented that you had it before? Well, I have and I’m going to share the story with you…

It was the afternoon of a school day. Golden fingers of sunlight shone onto the surface of the earth, roasting everything in its path. It was the end of a long day of dreaded drudgery at school. “Ugh, how I wish that there was no homework!” I grumbled as I trudged along the dull-coloured pavement. My bag weighed a ton of bricks and a mountain-pile of homework was waiting for me at home. The thought of homework made me feel dejected, as I dragged my feet home with my shoulders and eyelids drooped.

“Mom! I’m home!” I hollered at the top of my lungs as I fished out my keys from my bag to open the door. Bark! Bark! To my surprise, when I stepped into the house, there was a little puppy gazing at me with dreamy eyes. It turned out that our neighbour’s dog, Bella, had just given birth to a litter of puppies and there were too many, so my mom had decided to adopt one to keep me accompany and to cheer me up when I was feeling down. The puppy had fur as white as snow and its nose was shaped like a heart. My heart was erupting with joy as I picked it up and exclaiming, “Hi there little puppy! I’m gonna name you, hmmm, I know, Bolt! Just like the dog from the cartoon! I know we’re going to be the best of friends!” The puppy smiled at me as if saying yes. We would always play together and I would always help it – bathe, clean up its mess and always remember to feed it. I thought that nothing would break this friendship. How wrong I was!

It was a bright and sunny morning when Bolt and I decided to go to the nearby garden to take a walk. “Come on, Bolt! Let’s go! “I chimed as I pulled the leash gently. The breeze caressed my cheeks as we admired the flowers and trees. Suddenly, hiss! A snake approached us with its tongue flicked in and out. It was a cobra! I recognised the gray scales on its body and the large triangular-shaped head. I have learned about snakes during my science lessons. I immediately picked up Bolt and took a few steps back. Cold beads of sweat formed on my forehead and I stood rooted to the ground, not knowing what to do. That was when Bolt leapt out of my arms and tackled the snake. They fought like cats and dogs. However, this made the cobra even angrier and it bit Bolt right on its neck. “Bolt! Noooo!” I cried as tears flowed down my cheeks. Bolt was sprawled onto the ground with blood spurting out of its neck .I sobbed violently my chest heaving while I gasped. The warm tears brimmed heavy on my lashes and overflowed, trailing off my face before dripping off my chin. I dashed back home with bolt in my arms and pressed the wound with crimson red blood oozing out, and i tried my best to staunch the flow of the blood . “Don’t worry Bolt, you’re gonna be okay!” I consoled it, as sadness washed over me in waves . “Mom! Dad! Bolt has been bitten by a cobra! We need to get him to the vet now!” I shrieked at the top of my lungs. We hurriedly got into the car and drove to the vet.

When we arrived, the doctor gave Bolt some anaesthetic to slow down the venom, however, they did not have the antidote for the venom. We frantically searched our phones for a clinic that had the cure. Thankfully, we found a clinic with the antidote and my mum and dad immediately drove off, leaving me to console Bolt. Seconds turned into minutes and lady luck was no longer on our side. Bolt took one last glance at me as if saying “thank you ..for everything.”, before closing its eyes forever. I burst into tears and the vet called my parents to come to pick me up as it was too late. I blamed myself for Bolt’s death.

When we got home, my eyes still stung with tears as I immediately leapt into the bed and cried my heart out till I fell asleep. Soon, I opened my eyes and found myself standing on a cloud with rainbows everywhere and I could hear angels singing. “Am I in heaven?” I pondered to myself when I noticed a tiny figure dashing towards me. It was Bolt. We buckled into tight hug and it felt as if time had froze. Bolt glanced at me happily as it wagged its tail. However, that moment did not last as Bolt dashed across a rainbow as fast as lightning and before he went, he glanced at me on last time as if saying goodbye. “Goodbye Bolt!” I love you!” I blubbered. That was when I woke up. It was just a dream!

I always kept Bolt at the bottom of my heart and whenever I see other dogs, I would always think of Bolt and cherish the times we spent together. No pet would ever replace him in my heart. I am contented that he was once mine.

Budding Writer: Victoria Wong, P6 | An Unexpected Situation

An Unexpected Situation

As I cleaned my dusty bookshelf in my room, I came across an old and discolored gold trophy. Memories of an incident etched in the recesses of my mind came floating back to me like a tsunami. It all started like this …

The sweltering heat filled the land as sweat trickled down my face. Summer was here. I had arranged with my cousins to go to the beach for a dip. When we reached the beach, we saw boisterous children playing with beach balls and swimming in the sea. The sand glittered under the majestic sun as waves crashed against the shore. “The perfect getaway from studying!” I exclaimed as I toed off my slippers while running to the sea. Just when I was about to yell ‘Cannonball!’ and plunge into the water, one of my cousins, Eryn, hollered, “Tess, Tess! Look! It is a UFO! We can’t miss this!”

I whipped my head around, only to see a huge flying saucer, traveling at what seemed like lightning speed, coming right at us. My mouth fell agape and I stood rooted to the ground. “Is this real? Am I dreaming?” I wondered as I stared at the spaceship, oblivious to my surroundings. The UFO was coming straight at us. I was in a daze. Regaining my composure, I glanced up and realized it was heading towards us. I jumped out of its way, landing on the sand with a loud thud. “Bang!” It was just a matter of minutes before I would have been crushed and my mangled body would have lain on the sand. As I slowly stood up, I glanced around and saw that Alyssa was lying unconscious in a pool of fresh crimson red blood below the spaceship. Her arms and legs had deep gashes that were bleeding profusely.

However, before I could do anything to help her, creatures with slimy green skin emerged from the ship. An eerie bioluminescent light was emitted by them, leaving shivers crawling through my body. “We are rulers of the galactic empire! We are here to take over Earth. Guards, seize them!” the alien creature screeched. Once the news spread, pandemonium broke out. Worried mothers started yelling for their children and bolted away from the beach. People taking a dip in the water immediately dashed out of the water and scurried away. Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not on our side. Two burly alien guards managed to get hold of me and Eryn’s arms, threatening to pierce electrical spears through our necks if we did not cooperate. We stared at each other in ultimate fear as beads of perspiration trickled down our foreheads. My heart was palpitating like African drums and an unbridled fear took control of my body but I pushed the thought of dying away and saw the positive side of things. I thought, “We are going to get through this together!”

Once the alien like creatures had taken whatever they wanted, they went back to their spaceship and flew back to their empire. Holding us hostage, the guards dragged us away and locked us in a room with our arms restrained. “How are we going to get out of here?” Eryn muttered, “We are going to die!” I put my hand in my pocket, feeling around for something that could unlock the restraints and found a bobby pin. With all my strength, I stretched my arm and managed to unlock the restraints. After helping Eryn with hers, we used the pin to unlock the door. We crept out of the room and ran as fast as our legs could carry us. As I reached the control room, I thought “Phew!” as I leaned close to the wall, nearly caught by one of the patrolling guards. Eryn was already on the move and controlled the ship to go back to Earth. Suddenly, a guard busted in and caught us red-handed. Luckily, Eryn broke the controls so the ship could not be stopped from going to Earth.

Once we arrived on Earth, we scurried out of the ship and called NASA’s team of astrobiologists to come and capture the aliens for research. Fortunately, Alyssa was also rushed to the hospital and saved in the nick of time. After receiving trophies for our quick-thinking, I was like a dog with two tails, my heart filled to the brim with joy.

“Tess, Tess! Come on!” Alyssa exclaimed, snapping me out of my reverie. I knew that I was going to have to relieve that unexpected situation as I would never forget about how it had made me extremely close to my cousins and I learnt that I had to treasure my time with them as life could be snuffed out in the blink of an eye.