Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: A boy’s treehouse is his castle.
By Josiah Kane
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Sam glanced back, to see his foe in hot pursuit. Spear cast aside, the dread warrior now sported a scimitar. The foe, introduced that morning as Andrew, was clever as well as fast, and kept up with Sam’s every twist. Sam kept running, until he reached his own impenetrable outpost. He scurried up the ladder, whereupon his squire John helped barricade the door.
Gazing out between two of the wooden slats of the shelter, Sam could see Baron Tom battling the assaults of two enemy troops. Slowly he was being beaten back toward the citadel. Sam screamed a warning just before Andrew ran into him, barging the massive soldier to the floor. Baron Tom heroically rose to hurl Andrew into the enemy general Henry. He marched to the tree house base and climbed inside. The squad was secure within the outpost.
Baron Tom barged Sam away from the slat. He strained his eyes, and could just make out the unguarded queen’s chamber. “Get Rosie—No! The treacherous girl is in league with the enemy. Look, there she is chatting to that Lady Eleanor and two little dolls. The baron wanted to charge the room and eliminate the threat of a leak. He pulled away the barricade, and jumped back. Andrew, Henry, and their young squire Ben, bounded through the opened portal. Baron Tom’s mace was useless in the enclosed space. To make things worse, Sam’s team was pinned to the wall by the barrage of blows the invaders inflicted. The fighting was fierce. Sam dropped his sword and dagger, and desperately threw up his hands.
“Enemies. Boys. Warriors,” he began. “It is time to throw our differences aside. Look to the north. A chariot is approaching. The terrible twosome of trolls will disembark. Dae, and Jae are upon us. Look to your weapons. We must resist. Andrew and I will save the maidens. All others to the field.”
“The mightiest trolls,” Sam reasoned as he raced toward the main house, “cannot stand against such a courageous charge of knights.” Andrew gave the lady Eleanor a polite invitation to follow. Sam merely picked his queen up and hurried off. Huddled in a muddy pit, the six (two boys, two girls, and two dolls) seemed to be safe. They peeped from under the pit’s cover, and watched as Henry and Ben charged the monstrous Dae, while John sheepishly trailed Baron Tom toward Jae. The mighty trolls roared rather than stagger backward. They grabbed their assailants rather than be taken. They trussed the four soldiers up and sauntered into the castle, flattening all the lovely statues and tapestries. Eleanor, Rosie, Andrew and Sam tried to mount a desperate rescue. They too failed.
The whole hoard of children was trapped in a dungeon! They gazed round the room of tools—some arcane, magical devices and some sturdy iron and wood. The room was filled with weird and wonderful things, but it was still a dismal dungeon to those eight children. Nothing could alleviate the sensation of defeat that flooded the air like arid smoke. Six heavy footsteps told the captives their foes were approaching. They braced themselves for a final fight. The door opened, and the eight leaped toward it. But a sparkling fairy queen spoke a single magic word of awesome power that returned the world to normal, the trolls to two fathers, and the armies of lords, knights and queens to a band of anxious children. The mystical term was “ice-cream.”
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