We worked with Jordan Rivet, Hong Kong-based young adult fantasy and science fiction writer, to organise a literary field trip for students as part of the 2017 Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival. This charity project was done in collaboration with two participating schools –– CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School and Po Leung Kuk Ho Yuk Ching (1984) College.
Students were taken on a tour around Pokfulam Village, an indigenous district of historical Hong Kong listed on the Worlds Monument Watch by the World Monuments Fund, where they were encouraged to observe their surroundings from different perspectives –– sights, sounds, smells, the day-to-day activities of residents, old abandoned buildings, etc. Students then translated their observations into prompts for short stories in a creative writing workshop with Jordan.
Selected works by students
The Dog in Pokfulam Village
Bibi Remsha, CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
One day, Noor Hassan and his friends decided to go for an outing. They all gathered and searched for places to visit in Hong Kong. After thinking and arguing about which place to visit, they all agreed to go to Pokfulam Village. They booked a coach for themselves.
At night they all couldn’t fall asleep as they couldn’t stop imagining the place they were going to visit. They were just so excited to go to Pokfulam Village.
The following day, they all woke up at 7:00 a.m. and they got ready and got into the coach. It just took them 35 minutes to arrive at Pokfulam Village. They got off the coach and saw the view of Pokfulam Village. They walked a bit and they arrived at the entrance. They saw that there were two ways to enter Pokfulam Village. They all chose the left one and went inside.
As they were walking they saw many colorful handicrafts. They were happy to see how caring Pokfulam Village people are as they write and paint the signs by themselves. The signs were very colorful and surely very helpful.
They walked and saw graffiti on walls of houses. There was a big dragon with many colors. They were all inspired by the graffiti. They walked further and turned right. There they saw a giant black dog with wild teeth and it wasn’t tied to anything. It looked like the dog was very mad and could tear the flesh off a person in one bite.
They all stared at each other but stopped when they heard the dog barking. They were all so frightened that they ran into different directions. Noor Hassan also ran but unfortunately luck was not in his side as the dog chase after him only. He ran faster and faster. He didn’t see that there was a rock in the way and he fell down. The dog was coming near.
Then there came a girl running and saying, “Tommy, Tommy.” The dog ran to her. Noor Hassan saw her and couldn’t help but stare at her as she was so beautiful. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean. She had a mark just near the lips and it suited her a lot. She came near and helped Noor Hassan stand up. She asked Noor Hassan whether he was all right or not. She also said sorry for any trouble caused.
Noor Hassan asked the girl the way out. The girl said she would show him the way out. They walked together and talked about different things. Both of them exchanged smiles and phone numbers. They heard some birds chirping as it was evening already. Noor Hassan called his friends and said that they would meet each other at the exit of Pokfulam Village.
They arrived at the exit. The girl said goodbye to Noor Hassan and went back to the village. His friends arrived soon after the girl left. And they all went back to the coach. They all talked about what they saw in the Pokfulam Village. They all laughed, thinking about how much they were afraid of the dog.
They went back safely and this is how their day ended.
Hamal Mitchell Singh, CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
There was a young boy named Felix. He was studying in Secondary 3. He had two best friends whose names were Rick Saru and Tyrone Jordon. Rick Saru was friends with students from the higher classes, form 5 and form 6. The friends in higher classes were becoming drug addicts and Rick was becoming involved. A few days passed, and Rick’s situation became worse and worse. He was included in crimes and gang fights. Rick was so depressed that one day he influenced Tyrone. Felix was trying not to get influenced. He was focusing on his studies even though his two best were members in a big gang.
Three years passed. Felix was in form 6, about to graduate, while Tyrone and Rick had quit school and started to work in gang businesses. The gang was named “The Dragon” and its headquarter was located in Pokfulam Village. Pokfulam Village was full of dogs and old muscular men living there. The dogs there were frequently used to defend the village from rival gangs of The Dragon. And old people were the head members of The Dragon. They hid their drugs and weapon all over the village.
One Day, Felix got a call from Rick informing him that Tyrone passed away in a gang fight. Felix was in the middle of a lesson when he heard this news. He went furious and flipped the table. He shouted at the teacher to shut up and left the school. Felix went straight to his home and into his room, shouting day and night. His parents tried to convince him to open the door, but they couldn’t. Later the school called and restricted him from school.
Felix called Rick and told him to meet him. Felix decided to join the gang and enhance their power by being their marksman. He started to slowly break his good habits. He became arrogant and stubborn. He left his home and started living in Pokfulam Village. Rick and Felix were important members of The Dragons.
After 20 years, Felix was a married adult with a daughter. His wife was also a gang member of The Dragon as well. She later got shot by a police officer. Felix was starting to realize he had wasted his life on being gangster. And he also wanted his daughter to have a better future. Therefore, Felix decided to quit by requesting permission from the head of the gang. The head of the gangsters allowed him to leave but after one mission, which was assigned with his best friend, Rick Saru.
The mission was to enter the house of a rival gang member and shoot the target. Rick and Felix went on a drive. Rick was driving. They were having a conversation. Felix was telling him about how he would build a good future for his daughter after leaving the gang. Rick and Felix reached the location. They both started to load their weapons and got ready. Felix entered the house, but he couldn’t find the target. Felix asked Rick, “I don’t see the target in the hous.” Rick came up behind him pointing the gun at Felix, saying, “I am sorry…You are my target.” Rick pulled the trigger and killed Felix. The head of the gang told Rick to kill Felix because there was only one way to quit the gang, which was death. Felix’s daughter was going to be raised by Rick now.
Rai Rahul, CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
Long ago, in a time after creation, there was a monster that was so terrifying that Susan’o, the storm god, had to fight him. The monster was Yamata-no Orochi. Orochi was powerful but Susan’o was able to defeat him. Orochi’s power was so great that it was sealed away. No one knows how it was sealed, but rumors were circling around that his descendant carried his powers. Now it is all myth and legend, but for one boy it’s all real.
Ryu Aragami is Japanese boy who was travelling to Hong Kong to have a summer vacation. He was in an airplane ready to take flight. He was excited about travelling, but little did he know that this vacation would change his life. Two seats away were three mysterious people who had been following him without him noticing them. They wore sunglasses and hats so no one would know what they looked like.
Ryu was having a fun time in Hong Kong. He went to the Hong Kong Museum where he learned the history of Hong Kong and its people, saw how the streets were filled with people, and bought some souvenirs for his friends and family. He was walking through Pok Fu Lam Village, which is over 200 years old and was observing what’s it like. As he was walking he heard footsteps behind him. He didn’t think much of it, thinking it was one of the villagers, but the footsteps got much louder and closer. He was growing nervous because he felt as if the footsteps were following him. When he turned around he saw some men in black clothing. He recognized them because he noticed them wherever he went.
He ran out of fear that they might be after him. They ran around inside the village. As he found a hiding place, he heard dogs barking and thought they might be coming through that way. He didn’t take that way because the dogs were locked up there, so he kept running. As he ran the strangers used something to grab him because his hand had a purple glow on it. As he saw it, he felt something inside change.
As he felt it he saw a vision of something like memories. It was just a glimpse but he saw enough to learn a secret he thought was unbelievable and shocking. He was a descendant of Yamata-no-Orochi. At first he thought it wasn’t real, but he accepted it, thinking the reason the men were after him must be the power of Orochi because they looked like they would do anything for power. He had to stop them and defend himself because powers like Orochi’s were tempting. Luckily he was able to control some of his power after looking at the vision.
As he gathered magic energy, he used it on them and the ground around them began to glow. It started pulling them under. When they had completely sunk, he breathed with relief. Then he had a thought: if they knew he was a descendant of Orochi and was carrying his powers, then there would be others after it as well. He then said, “It’s just the beginning.”
We extend our thanks to the residents of Pokfulam Village who accommodated the walking tours and offered advice in the planning of the project.