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ST8

STUFF@SCHOOL, WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2009

EARTHS CALL
By HOW HAN MING, 16 Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur
Disturb not the harmony of Fire, Water, Earth, Air or Lightning. Lest these Titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though Hope shalt arise to quell their wrath, Alone its prayer must fail. O, Chosen Ones, into thine hands is all fate of nature thrust. ARKNESS invaded like a wild creature in the pale sky. While flashes of lightning sliced through the blinding darkness, creating a surreal vision with terrible strikes on plots of land, the thundering sound of Thor could be heard reverberating through the gloomy sky. Something in the air signalled that it was more than the usual thunderstorm. Indeed, it warned of the imminent doom ahead. It was the end of the world. A series of phenomena happened at that single moment: On land, the barren grounds cracked and opened into a dark abyss. Towers, buildings and schools that stood in the path of these fissures shook, then crumbled and fell into the depths beneath, taking with them countless of innocent lives. Elsewhere, red lava flowed from angry volcanoes actively hissing and spurting poisonous gases, while monstrous flames devoured forests, buildings, and their occupants alike, leaving thick clouds of smoke and ashes in their wake. Violent tornadoes joined in the destruction as they lifted homes and vehicles up into the sky and smashed them hard onto the ground. Off land, the seven seas rose and grew into raging tidal waves that swept away all lives, growths and developments by the coast. The sun that previously scorched the earth now sank behind mountains that vibrated violently as the huge magnitude of an earthquake announced yet another onslaught of fury. Alas, Man, with their innovative inventions and renowned resourcefulness could do nothing to withstand the terrible wrath brought on by these elements of nature fire, water, earth, air and lightning now united in their duels against Man. If anything, all these elements had played more than a significant role in the lives of Man. For a long time, mankind had abused them wantonly. In the name of development, Man had set fire on fertile fields and lush green forests, polluted seas, rivers and lakes with harmful substances, and ripped apart the bowels of earth in search of gemstones. Man had also allowed the release of poisonous fumes into the air from motor vehicles and factories and the overconsumption of energy to power their needs. Clearly, Mother Nature had tolerated enough and decided to strike back in full force. This time, it would seem that she wanted to settle some scores with Man, and impress upon Man that there were serious consequences that they could never afford to pay for violating the elements. The girl had felt the catastrophe approaching. She had tried to shake the

notion off but it stubbornly returned. And now, right before her eyes was the sight of utter destruction and depression. Far ahead, mere dots to the naked eye, helpless beings were running helter-skelter, begging for help and mercy. But no help came. And no mercy was given. Cities once majestic were sinking into the very depths of the seas. Skyscrapers once the pride of nations were collapsing. There was no way out for those trapped beneath the rubble. Almost all of mankind were on the verge of vanishing into nothingness. This was not Hurricane Katrina, September 11, or the legendary lost city of Atlantis that sank into the seabed. This was the end of all Armageddon, the ultimate doom of Man. Standing on top of the cliff, she watched the merciless sea drown, among others, her family and friends. Tears rolled down the childs cheeks as she realised that her family, relatives, teachers everyone she had ever known, no matter how tiny their significance, would die in a matter of seconds. She told herself that to retain even a flicker of hope would be madness ... But there it was. That tiny speck of hope that gave her the will to pray. Dropping to her knees, she prayed, Oh, Mother Nature, the approaching doom clouds my vision. I can no longer visualise the future, nor live in the present, nor lament about the past. These are my final words before I go. I beg you: bestow your mercy upon us! I know

humans deserve the ultimate punishment as retribution for marring earth beyond repair. I know our evil acts of cutting down forests and polluting the environment deserve nothing more than death. But if we could just have a second chance to start afresh on earth, everything would be different. Please ... just give us a second chance As her tears dried up, a miracle was about to unveil. Mother Nature had heard the innocent young girls plea. The dark clouds began to clear and a blue lining in the horizon was formed as the eye of heaven emerged into brilliant radiance, signifying a triumph against the stormy weather. Intense earthquakes were reduced to weak vibrations that soon ceased. Monstrous flames were doused by a sudden rain as smoke hissed from the cooling lava. The volcanoes calmed down and the poisonous smoke dissipated. Violent winds became a gentle breeze and the sky turned blue and clear with a beautiful rainbow as a backdrop. And there were survivors. Little dots of movement could be seen, emerging from the wreckage and debris. As she stood at the edge of the cliff watching the magnificent rainbow arc over the sea, she whispered, Thank you, Earth! Then, with eyes wiser than her years, she turned and walked down to join the survivors below. Man must never again disrupt the earths balance of harmony. Whether the past will repeat itself lies in your hands.

GRAPHICS2009/ZULHAIMI BAHARUDDIN

My Life My life is like the ocean, rough and angry as it can be. When I am feeling angry, Im as ferocious as the sea. When I feel sad and miserable, Im like the wind howling out my sadness in my heart within. When I feel joyful, Im like a star at night. Giving light to people in total darkness by night. When I am feeling helpful, Im like a refreshing spring breeze Giving coolness to those people who dont have shady trees. When I am feeling peaceful, Im like a swift stream Floating down the valley, it like a beautiful dream. When Im feeling guilty, Im like the grey clouds at night, hiding all my shame, keeping it to myself with all my might. When I am feeling bored, Im like a cloudless blue sky never letting others interfere or change my life. Fumi Kong Shibutani, 11 Homeschooled, Raub, Pahang