Lian Yu Chi

Save the Secret Caves of Mogao Grottoes

Brrr! It was a dark and chilly night. Two children named Anson and Scarlet had read all the books they could find, played all the games that they could think of and were still bored.

Anson had spiky black hair, an oval face with a pair of sharp blue eyes. Scarlet had long, straight red hair, a round face with sparkling green eyes. Unlike Anson, she was very quiet and thoughtful. Anson and Scarlet were twins of nine years old. Anson was proud that he was two minutes older than Scarlet and called himself the big brother.

“Mom and Dad are at work and grandma is asleep in the living room,” Anson thought. Suddenly, he got a playful idea. “Scarlet, let’s explore the attic!” he suggested. Scarlet got a bit worried and replied, “What if we get scolded.” “Gosh! Scarlet, you worry too much.” Anson interrupted.

“Fine, if you want to stay here! Go ahead!” Anson said rolling his eyes as he fled upstairs. Scarlet unwillingly caught up with Anson. The attic was dark and cold but once the twins got there, they both stopped dead in their tracks because there was a brilliant light in the middle of the attic.

Anson and Scarlet ran excitedly towards the light. They found a chest, opened it and took a script that glowed with a blinding light. The script was a bamboo scroll with masses of unknown characters upon it. The moment they unrolled it, a portal opened up and sucked them in.

Scarlet screamed at the top of her lungs while Anson yelled, “Yikes!” as they teleported through a portal. When they opened their eyes, they found themselves in a dark cave filled with scripts and pictures related to Buddhism. They looked around and saw a beautiful golden Buddha statue in front of them. “Wow! How magnificent!” cried Anson with amazement.

As Anson took a few steps forward to take a closer look, he accidentally stepped on a lever. The gems on the statue immediately projected different holograms. Scarlet exclaimed “I recognized one of the holograms! I read it before in a book! We are in the Mogao Grottoes.” “The Mogao what-oes?” Anson said. “The Mogao Grottoes! O, Anson, I think you should read more.” said Scarlet.

In the first hologram, they saw a gang of thieves riding a horse-drawn cart. The second showed the thieves stealing valuable treasures including the Buddha statue and made a big fortune. The third showed the destroyed Mogao Grottoes and the last one showed the thieves causing chaos everywhere. The holograms were telling the future of Mogao Grottoes.

Anson and Scarlet were astonished. “We must stop them!” they exclaimed yet puzzled on what could be done. Suddenly, Anson noticed a colorful light around the statue. They walked closer and saw in the palm of the statue was a bright ruby ring. He told Scarlet to put it on. As she placed it upon her index finger, a bolt of shining red light appeared and dashed forward. “Run after it!” Anson shouted. As the bolt of light disappeared, they found themselves inside a maze. Anson said “What? A maze! Gah!” “Calm down or we will never find what we came for.” Scarlet tried to comfort him. They walked and walked; they came to one dead end then to another. Anson got impatient “When can we get out?”. He kept asking Scarlet and the conversation became more and more heated. Without looking, Scarlet almost bumped into a girl. They were shocked to see someone else in the maze and together they asked “Who are you? Why are you here?” “I am Kate.” The girl replied tossing her short, wavy, golden hair. “I am here to save the Mogao Grottoes.”

Kate joined them and together they walked for a long time. Anson noticed a loose stone near the side of the maze. He could not resist pushing the stone back in place. Suddenly, the ground beneath them gave way, Anson and Kate tumbled into a ditch. Scarlet saw her brother and her friend in trouble. She quickly looked around and found a pile of vines and platted them together. She lowered the rope into the ditch. Anson insisted Kate to climb up first. As Anson was half way up, the ditch began to crumble and the rope started to break. “Anson, climb quickly!” Kate shouted. “It’s ok, you guys just go on without me!” Anson called back. “I am not going to leave you behind!” Kate replied.

At that moment, the vines pulled Anson up and wrapped around his, Kate’s and Scarlet’s wrists and turned into three armbands. Anson’s was orange and engraved with the word “courage”; Kate’s was yellow engraved with friendship and Scarlet’s was pink engraved with wisdom. As they touched the engraved words, a shimmering white Pegasus, a stout black dragon and fiery phoenix flew over to them.

“Magnificent creatures!” they exclaimed. They petted the legendary creatures and flew off on them. A few minutes later, they were back near the caves of Mogao Grottoes. They saw the thieves rummaging through the caves. The magical creatures roared fiercely. Swarming with fear, the thieves fled at the first sight of the creatures. With all the damage, the caves already became unsteady. “Run!” Anson shouted. The moment they got out; the caves collapsed burying everything inside. Tears rolled down their cheeks. The creatures bowed and turned into light and returned to their armbands. As the three friends said they goodbyes, Kate said, “I have a feeling we will meet again and we will make things right!” In an instant, the portal took them home.

Years later, Anson and Scarlet graduated from university and visited the Mogao Grottoes. In the shining sun, they saw a young lady with golden hair digging in the ruins. “Kate!” They shouted and ran over to hug her. After the reunion, they looked over and caught sight of the familiar palm of the golden Buddha, echoed by the shimmers in their armbands.

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