Richard Yan, Grade 8, Scotch College
Finalist in the 'Pieces of Paradise 2010/2011' competition
Three days. It had been three days since the mass murder had occurred. The young boy, no older than fifteen, stared down upon the ground, on the verge of tears. He seemed lifeless, even when he moved, as if he was a marionette controlled by invisible strings. Sadness and grief etched themselves proudly upon his face. The landscape which he had known had now vanished; the place appeared to be alien. He felt as if he had lost everything.
Still walking effortlessly across the ground, the boy could not help but let one tear slide down his unblemished, pure face. The tear travelled down his cheek and hung loosely on the precipice of his rounded countenance, before dropping, plummeting down to the cold, barren land. Wiping his face, the child surveyed the land, wretchedly moaning at the loss of his family. No longer did he feel energetic, lively. He just wanted to collapse onto the earth and weep until he could no more.
Though the sun’s rays danced gleefully around the area, somewhat creating a cheerful ambience, a sense of despondency still pierced sharply through the air. The boy stared down at the plethora of misshapen bodies sticking out of the earth. How painful their deaths must have been. They had been cut down inexorably by some inhuman beings. He examined the vicinity, but found no signs of the other halves of their bodies. Strands of green hair were scattered randomly upon the forest floor, making the ordeal all the more traumatic. Some of the victims were hundreds of years old, others were relatively young.
Finally the boy could not take it anymore. The land was now barren, not a speck of verdancy dominated the landscape. What had once been a grand majestic collection of plants, trees and animals was now reduced to dead land. The tall oaks that once lived were the only relatives he knew, apart from his actual family of course whom seemed distance to him, but these trees had solaced him in the darkest of hours. Now they were gone; murdered by ruthless machines. All that was left were the helpless deplorable stumps which were once magnificent trunks.
The boy turned away, but as he did, a cheeky glimmer of sunlight caught the leaf of a small plant; the last speck of flora in the once-existent woods. The plant seemed to be crying as drops of water dangled off the edge of its oval green leaves. Green! At the thought of this colour, the boy rushed over to the plant. It seemed so defenceless and naïve. Placing one hand on the delicate survivor of annihilation, the boy felt around in his pockets for a small bottle of water. He took the lid off and gently watered the plant like a mother nurturing her baby.
Amidst the gloom and solemnity, the boy had found hope. The age of regrowth had now begun.