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20:12 Year 2012 (Complementary Prize - Under 9 years)

March, 2013
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20:12 Year 2012

"Bam!!" Sam woke up in shock.  He struggled to open his eyes because he thought he was having a bad dream.  It was pitched dark that he couldn’t see his hands waving in mid air and he started to panic.  He looked around him and realized that he was not on his bed anymore.  He felt like he was sitting on a water bed but he was not.  He looked down on the ground and he saw grass but when he touched it, the grass started to ripple like water but his fingers were still dry.

"Crack!  Sizzle!!  Crack!!! Crack!!!! Sizzle!!!!!" Sam looked up and saw specs of fire burning in mid air flying like shooting stars.  He heard some strange sounds like sword clashing and shouting of weird language.  "Pooo… Thooorrr!!  Schooo Porrrrrrr!!!!".  Sounded so much like a riot.

All of the sudden a green star-shaped light rose from the horizon and Sam could finally see what was happening.  Sam saw some ugly creatures where one had a body of a bear and the head of a Werewolf with its sword-like tail.  The ugly creatures slowly disappeared when the light appeared, turning transparent from legs upwards while screaming "Thoooorrrrr!!” - they vanished into thin air.

Sam found Tom sitting and shaking his head near a clover-like bush.  "What’s going on?" Tom asked while still in a daze.  Before Sam could say anything, a nearby bush started to talk to them in some weird language that they didn’t understand.  The bush has roots sticking up like hands and on the ground they saw an upside down head that could spin 360 degrees.  The bush wriggled its root-like hands telling them to come nearer and pointed downwards to some twig-like creatures on the ground.  Sam and Tom moved closer to the creature and all of the sudden it squirted liquid onto their eyes, mouth and ears.  They rubbed their eyes, spat out saliva from their mouth and jumped up and down tossing their head from side to side to get the liquid out of their ears.  Then all of the sudden, they could hear the bush talking to them in English.

”My name is Bush of Know-All.  We were being attacked by the Darklings.  The king of Darkling Kingdom, Ice J’mester is trying to take over Ainran that is ruled by the king of Illumious Kingdom, King Naam.  Ice J’mester is trying to steal King Naam’s power to conquer the whole universe".  "What powers does King Naam have?" asked Tom.  "King Naam has the power to absorb the special powers of others and the ability to be anywhere and everywhere.  Ice J’mester is a shape-shifter and can change into any living form he wants.  But beware of his 3rd eye, it can freeze you when you look at it," responded Bush of Know-All.  Sam asked the bush, "How do we get back to Earth?".  "Only King Naam can take you back." responded Bush of Know-All.  "But where can we find King Naam?" questioned Tom.  "Once you pass the Land of Nav, you will come to the Land of Natit.  Passing that land, you will then see an upside down Shining Cone, that’s King Naam’s Palace," answered Bush of Know-All while giving them an hour-glass which was filled with colorful smoke, "Once the smoke disappears from the glass, you cannot go home anymore for the rest of your life".  Suddenly Bush of Know-All vanished like fart in the wind.

Sighing while walking, both friends tried to comprehend what was happening.  They took a look at their watches and oddly it still showed 20:12.  They gave it a knock or two, but it was still not moving.  Thinking back, they could only remember a bit of how they came to this strange land…  They ran downstairs to explore the whole basement since Sam’s family moved in the old mansion a week ago. Sam took out a board game which he found behind an old dusty bookshelf.  They unfolded it which opened up to about 2 meters long and 3 meters wide.  Right in the middle of it, they saw a blue shining light.  Just then, they heard Sam’s mum calling for them asking what time will they be coming up for dessert.  They took at look at each other’s watch which showed 20:12 and shouted "3 minutes time!" back at Sam’s mum.  They continued to lean close to the blue shining light and a bluish green door popped out of nowhere.  The door suddenly opened and sucked both of them in… They were tossed and turned on a twister like strong wind that has black lines going in spiral which made them so dizzy until they fainted.

"Crush!" "Ouch!!!!!" They looked around and they didn’t see anyone.  "Down here!”  They saw a paper looking creature that has long eyebrows that flows all the way to its cheeks.  His face looked like an apple with grey eyes, long tube nose that looks like butterflies’ proboscis and a wide mouth that stretches from ear to ear.  He was no taller than a 2-step stool and was as light as a feather since he was paper thin.  Tom and Sam could hear the sound of creatures yelling and screaming and drums drumming.  "I am Gneh, guardian of the Land of Nav.  Quick it is almost dark and we are being attacked by the Darklings.  You need to get out of here!.  "Cha!  Cha!!  Cha!!!  Kalaka!!" and a portal appeared.  Sam and Tom were sucked right through the portal and they fell out and landed on their chest on the other side.

Back in the Land of Nav, Gneh closed the portal, turned around and saw a big huge figure with long frizzy snow-white hair that runs all the way to the ground.  The scary skull-like face is not as scary as the 3rd eye that Gneh dare not stare at it.  The 3rd eye has 2 crocodile like pupils slits, one of them is red and the other black, and the eye is rimmed with green and snow crystals surrounding it.  The dragon-snout like nostrils steamed at Gneh while reaching out its bony long fingers, it tapped on Gneh’s head which nearly crushed his head.  “I have sent them to our trap your highness” bowed Gneh.  "Good job Gneh!!!"  It is non-other than Ice J’mester himself.

Sam and Tom stood up and realized that they were in the middle of a battle field surrounded by the Darklings in the Land of Natit.  A loud howling was heard and in a flash of light Tom was taken away by one of the creatures.  A creature with a snake head, Werewolf body, lion legs and its backside breaths out fire charged towards Sam.  Sam spotted a razor leaf nearby, quickly picked it up and threw it at the creature.  The creature was cut into half, fell forward and shattered into million pieces like glass. Moments later, Sam found Tom fighting with another beast with a pumpkin head and cow body, which Tom manage to defeat.  The green star-like light came out and the Darklings disappeared.  "Help!  Help!!" they turned around and saw a winged beast with a body of a horse and a head of a tiger tied up in metal chains.  Sam wanted to untie it but Tom stopped him.  "What if it eats us up when you untie it?" questioned Tom.  But Sam didn’t listen to him and went ahead to release the beast.  The beast stretched out his giant wings and it roared like the sound of thunder which caused Sam and Tom to take a few steps back.  The beast went near to Sam and said "Thank you".  Looking at the colorful smoked hourglass, he gasped as there was a quarter of smoke left and there wasn’t a minute to spare.  Sam turned to the beast and asked "Can you help take us to the Shinning Cone?"  The beast nodded and flew them to the Shinning Cone.

At the Shinning Cone, Sam and Tom met with so many magical creatures such as fairies, elves, and gnomes.  They were shown the way to see King Naam and knelt before him to ask if they could be taken home.  King Naam said yes while removing a medallion around his neck and giving it to Sam saying, "This medallion gives you the ability to be present anywhere and everywhere.  Just think of where you want to go and it will take you there".  Tom got angry because Sam was given the medallion and not him that he finally revealed himself as Ice J’mester.  "Where is Tom?" screamed Sam.  Ice J’mester said "Tom is locked in an ice cage in my palace.  I have the ability to shape-shift and I took the form of Tom when he was taken away by the beast in the Land of Natit."  "Gneh, its time" motioned Ice J’mester to Gneh. The creatures of Darkling Kingdom appeared before everyone as the Shinning Cone is covered with darkness.  Just as Ice J’mester wanted to freeze all of the magical creatures in Shinning Cone, King Naam stopped him and said "Take all of my powers and my leave my people alone".  "Ahh…. the power of absorption will be mine.  With it I do not need Gneh anymore" laughed Ice J’mester as he continued "Gneh has been helping because he has the power to enhance or weaken the powers of others and in this case, Gneh helped to absorb another’s powers through his proboscis and giving it to me." 

Upon hearing this, Sam remembered he had the medallion, used it to transport himself to the Darkling Kingdom to free Tom.  There Sam saw that Gneh’s family were also captured and decided to free them too.  He brought all of them back to Shinning Cone.  "Why didn’t you use your powers to defeat Ice J’mester?" questioned Sam to King Naam.  "Boy, it is not right to steal the powers of others against their will" and King Naam turned to Ice J’mester and said "Take my powers and free my people".

"Enough of talking!" Ice J’mester opened up his 3rd eye and in a flash, froze King Naam.  "Daddy!" cried Gneh’s children… Gneh seeing that his family is finally free, absorbed Ice J’mester’s powers and transferred it to Tom who stood nearest to him.  Tom then seized the moment and quickly froze Ice J’mester with his new 3rd eye and immediately all of the Darkling creatures disappeared like steam from boiling water.  Gneh ran to embrace his family and they shed happy tears.  Sam looked at the smoke hourglass and realized that the smoke is almost gone.  "Tom, we have got to go!" as Sam wrapped his hands around the medallion.  "Please don’t go.  Illuminous Kingdom has just lost their king and they need a new king", Gneh said with a kind voice.  Tom bowed his head momentarily and lifted it up to look at Sam saying "There is nothing for me in our world.  My parents don’t even know that I existed…. they are too busy with work.  Moreover, I must find a way to unfreeze King Naam.  This is my only chance to feel important and needed.  I have to do this Sam.  I need to do this".  Sam overwhelmed with sadness, had to give in to his best friends wish.  "Oh Tom, I will miss you!" "I will miss you too!" replied Tom.  "When will I ever see you again?" "Soon I hope, soon" said Tom.  "You need to hurry because the smoke is almost gone" advised Gneh.  Sam clutched the medallion and said to himself quietly "Home".

A familiar smell… Sam found himself at the basement of his house again.  His wrist watch now showed 20:13.  Staring at the board game while clutching the medallion and fighting tears… "I will find a way to get you back Tom.  After all, tomorrow there is still 20:12".


BY Joshua Ng

Shanghai American School - Puxi


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