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Jane Ting Mei Jin SEC4

ELC's Got Talent

I Will Never Forget The Time

I will never forget the time I almost died. It was a few years ago when my friends and I decided to go jungle trekking. We even hired ourselves an experienced, not to mention good-looking guide to accompany us. Everyone was excited about the trip but things didn't go as planned.

The sun shone brilliantly and the water in the river glittered invitingly. Fresh air filled my lungs and I felt refreshed and exhilarated. Soon, we found the perfect spot for a nice picnic.

'Wait till you taste these babies!' Ryan said, holding up his plate of freshly made brownies. Not long, everyone's sat down and exchanged tart recipes. We invited the guide to join us but he politely declined our offer. Instead, he disappeared into the undergrowth with his gun slung over his shoulder.

In the midst of our conversion, came a terrifying bang like a firecracker going off from the direction of the jungle. We all felt timorous by the sudden explosion from behind.

'I think we better check that out.' Ricky said nervously. Stephenie and I nodded in agreement while Ryan suggested that it was a bad idea. In the end, Ryan had no choice but to follow for he was afraid of getting left behind. All four of us crept cautiously towards the source of the sound. The sight of the guide's mutilated body paralysed everyone with fear. Blood was everywhere; the guide's face was mauled beyond recognition.

Terror seized us all as the culprit came into view with fresh blood dripping from its fearsome maw. Ricky screamed in muted horror but before he could utter a sound, the tiger pounced onto him. We all ran helter-skelter for cover, leaving our doomed comrade to his demise. Ricky's fearful screams and pleads for help could be heard but then it was followed by a deadly silence. It was then we knew this tiger was a man killer.

After a brief moment I could not resist the urge to see what was happening all this while. I peered cautiously from over a rotting log in which I found sanctuary. Alas, my gaze was met by the tiger's. Its hungry eyes were staring right into my fear-stricken eyes; its huge tongue was cleaning off the human matter which was all that was left of Ricky around its lips. The tiger, to my horror, slowly started pacing towards me.

Then, all of a sudden, Ryan jumped in between me and the tiger, frantically waving a branch he picked up from somewhere. The tiger was taken aback by this sudden swell of courage that presently took hold of Ryan. Ryan was shouting and throwing insults which are too vulgar to be written down. He turned his head around which was a grave mistake. As Ryan turned his head, the tiger saw its chance and leaped onto Ryan with a heavy swipe across Ryan's face, I knew, it was the end.

I stood there, rooted to the ground. My legs were heavy and frightening thoughts flooded my mind. I saw Ryan's motionless body lying on the ground. Lifeless. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. The tiger soon turned its attention to me. A loud roar boomed, sending shivers down my spine. As I turned to run, all I was thinking of was to run away, away from all this madness, but as I tried to run faster, my knees turned to jelly and I tripped over a pile of rocks.

Before I could react, the tiger sank its massive teeth into my right leg. It was trying to rip my leg apart, the pain was excruciating. 'This is it', I thought to myself. 'I'm going to die right here.' I dare not move a single inch for I was afraid it might agitate the tiger, so I lied still, awaiting my destiny. As I closed my eyes I heard something. A gunfire. 'Could it be just me hallucinating?' I thought to myself.

'Bang, bang and bang.' I peeked open my eyes, the tiger lied still next to me. I could see a bullet hole on its forehead. The bullet had hit the bull's eye. I started shouting for help. 'Hey! Anyone?! My voice sounded hoarse and desperate. I'm over here, anyone?' My head felt dizzy and my eyes felt heavy. All I remember was seeing Stephenie's face and her voice calling me out before everything went pitch black.

'Jane, wake up!' said a familiar voice. It sounded happy and sad at the same time. I blinked a few times, all I saw was white. 'Am I in the hospital?' I mumbled slowly. It turned out that Stephenie was next to me. She nodded and told me everything that happened. 'Luckily I ran into those friendly villagers or else we might both be tiger food' she laughed.

Stephenie said that the doctor did mention that I should take things slow now. I thought that was nonsense, I tried my best to get off the hospital bed when I noticed what she was referring to. My right leg was bandaged, I pinched my leg. Not a single feeling. I pinched it again, still no feeling.

Stephenie shook her head sadly. 'The doctors said that they tried everything' her voice trailed off. At that point, I broke into tears. Grief, remorse and depression covered me like a thick choking blanket; more tears trickled down my face. After a while, I thought about it again. I'm still alive, am I not? Now's not the time to be negative and sulk about it.

From that day onwards, I have to sit on a wheel chair wherever I go. I feel powerless and a burden to others. However, my attitude has changed. It was certainly a narrow escape and a close call. I'm still grateful that I still have my life. Up to now, I will never forget the day that changed my life forever.

Jane Ting Mei Jin, Secondary 4

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