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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: The Act of Rebellion
By Ruth Neilson


Simon threw a chair across the cramped cell and grinned as the fragile wood shattered. Oddly, he didn’t feel any better, though.

He was frustrated and confused. It was the middle of Winterfest when the police had plucked him off the street...for whistling his mother’s favorite song of all things! Didn’t they know who he was?

He was the man who boldly led a squadron across a minefield, saving all of their lives with his brazen determination.

Wearily, Simon sank to the floor and looked the splinters. He bit back a laugh; the wood was nothing more than hollow cane. He tilted his head to the side and squinted, carefully examining the wood.

The accusations still flooded his ears moments after his arrest.

“...openly rebelling...”
“...stirring up religious fanatics...”
“...against the law to perform forbidden songs...”

Simon’s heart began to pound in his chest as he eyed the knife left with his meal plate. Could he really? The thought remained unfinished in his mind as he stood and grasped the knife, carefully beginning his first act of rebellion.

The notches on the wall multiplied as Simon worked feverishly each night secretly constructing and perfecting his makeshift flute. He knew he had to do this.

Being arrested for a simple song...a Christmas carol at that! He had to prove that they were not dangerous.

He licked his lips, and brought the newly formed flute to his lips and tentatively blew. It had been a long time since Simon had played but he grinned as a trembling, slightly off-pitch note emerged. It wasn’t perfect, but it would work.

Carefully, he played scales, warming up his fingers and lips.

The sudden banging against the door caused Simon to hastily hide the flute in his clothes. The door slammed open and the guard glared at Simon as he looked around the room suspiciously.

Simon smiled. “Yes?”

The guard grunted and turned on his heel, slamming the door behind him.

Simon chuckled as he pulled the flute back out of his pocket and waited for several moments.

Carefully, he raised his flute back to his lips and licked them once again. Drawing a deep breath, he began to quietly play a haunting melody. He closed his eyes and allowed the music to shift into another haunting song.

His fingers lingered over the holes as he heard another voice from across the hallway singing along with the music.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel; that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.”

Simon hesitated for a long moment and in that beat another voice bellowed, “REJOICE! REJOICE! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”

Simon blinked once and then grinned as he lifted the flute back to his lips and continued in his act of rebellion, this time boldly playing, listening to the multitude of voices echoing through the hallway.

He finally lowered the flute and glanced at the notches on the wall. He smiled and called out, “Merry Christmas everyone!”

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This article has been read 670 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Catrina Bradley 10/09/08
Stupendous! The tension builds as details are filled in, and the carol the captive chose is perfect for the setting. My heart reached a crescendo along with the singers in your story.
Holly Westefeld10/10/08
I enjoyed this creative take on the topic.
Jan Ackerson 10/11/08
Scary look into the world our children might someday inherit, if things continue. A great character, and as Simon was carving his primitive flute I actually thought "I hope he plays O Come O Come Emmanuel"!
Yvonne Blake 10/13/08
I love home made flutes and the music they make. I'm wondering if he'd have a knife in prison, but it makes a good story.
LaNaye Perkins10/13/08
This story really touched me. I loved Simon's character. Well done my faithwriter friend. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/14/08
This is one of those entries that make me think, "Where in the world did this author get this wonderful idea for a story?" Wonderfully plotted and beautifully told.
Karlene Jacobsen10/14/08
An act of rebellion that may well become reality before the end of this age. Beautiful and masterful.
Joy Faire Stewart10/15/08
Very creative writing on topic and thought provoking.
Leah Nichols 10/15/08
Very creative entry (I sound like a mimic, eh?) - nice writing and interesting thoughts you have presented!
Pamela Kliewer10/15/08
Ooooh, nice! Love it!
Joshua Janoski10/15/08
Wow. This was a very unique take on this week's topic. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.
Lyn Churchyard10/15/08
Great story. I love the carol you used too. Very appropriate for the setting. Excellent job; well done!