Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: Forester‘s Assignment
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
â€śStand straight, Forester,â€ť the commander yelled. â€śWhat happened to you anyway?â€ť
Forester leaned back as far as his twisted limbs could take the strain. â€śSir, Iâ€¦â€ť
â€śHush, son. Youâ€™re a disgrace to the ranks.â€ť
Forester watched cultivator Stanley as he followed the woman who turned into his row. Their conversation grew louder.
â€śMaâ€™am, what kind of tree are you looking for? They all look the same to me.â€ť
â€śI need somethingâ€¦ different.â€ť She stopped suddenly and pointed. â€śThis one. Itâ€™s perfect.â€ť
Staring forward, Forester focused on the cream and tan jacket which blocked his view of the commander.
Stanley was scratching his head now. â€śWhy would anyone want a Christmas tree like this? This tree is just a mangled mess. Itâ€™s stunted and undeveloped.â€ť He ran his calloused hands over the branches.
A fearful Forester tried to keep still while he listened to the discussion.
â€śThereâ€™s too much space between these limbs,â€ť Stanley pointed, â€śand not enough over here. Itâ€™s worthless.â€ť
â€śNevertheless, itâ€™s the one I want.â€ť
â€śOkay, Maâ€™am, but Iâ€™m not going to charge you. I donâ€™t want you coming back for a refund or giving my plantation a bad name.â€ť
Stanley removed his axe from its belt which hung loosely under is protruding belly. â€śWhere are you going to put thisâ€¦ thing? There has to be a reason for choosing such a pathetic looking tree for Christmas.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s what my son Sam requested.â€ť The woman took a deep breath and shifted her scarf. She exhaled slowly causing a tiny vapor cloud to appear before her pretty face. â€śHeâ€™s a paraplegic. He fell from our pine tree just before Christmas last year. Sam wanted a particular branch to take to the childrenâ€™s hospital. You see, Iâ€™m a pediatrician and I often have to work over the holidays.â€ť
Stanley smiled. â€śA doctor, aye?â€ť
â€śYes, Dr Anne Shepherd. Anne, please.â€ť She accepted his out stretched hand before continuing in a more subdued tone. â€śSamâ€™s father was in the army serving in Iraq and couldnâ€™t be home for Christmas. Anyway, Christmas with the children seemed a great ideaâ€¦ at the time.â€ť
Stanley stood staring at the woman for a few moments before he shifted his attention back to the narrow trunk and lifted the axe.
With one crack, Forester fell sideways and looked up at his commander. â€śSorry, Sir.â€ť
The commander glanced momentarily at his fallen comrade. â€śItâ€™s okay, son. I think you may be worthy of this important assignment after all. Do us proud, lad.â€ť
Forester swayed back and forth as he was carried behind Anne to where she had parked her vehicle. There Stanley waited while she opened the rear door.
â€śSam, I found one.â€ť
â€śCool. Let me see.â€ť
Hanging almost upside down, Forester appreciated Stanleyâ€™s strong grip and watched Anne climb into the back of the modified caravan. She pulled a small lever at the base of the boyâ€™s seat and released a belt which had held him straight. Forester became suddenly dizzy and almost lost his bearings when Stanley unexpectedly flipped him upright.
â€śHere it is,â€ť Stanley called.
â€śWOW, its perfect, Mom.â€ť
Forester blinked and opened his eyes wide so he could see clearly the twisted body which sat in a strange chair with big wheels. The boy was smiling broadly and Forester realized it was he, Forester, who Sam was so excited to see. Forester felt six feet tall.
â€śThanks, Mom. Thanks, Mister.â€ť
â€śYou can place the tree here between the seats in a moment,â€ť Anne called to Stanley. She turned Samâ€™s chair back into place and secured it before climbing back out through the rear exit. â€śThank you, we appreciate your kindness.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s my pleasure Maâ€™am and you have a great Christmas, Sam.â€ť
Resting beside Samâ€™s chair, Forester was overwhelmed by the excitement that glowed in the boyâ€™s face. Forester didnâ€™t even flinch when the door closed and latched.
"Come on, Mom. We need to get to the hospital so the kids can decorate it. Itâ€™s going to be a neat Christmas and with Dad home this year, everything will be perfect.â€ť
Forester heard the front door open and close. Anneâ€™s sweet response and cheerful laughter sounded beautiful. When the engine started and Samâ€™s fingers touched Foresterâ€™s feeble trunk, Forester shivered with pride. His assignment had begun.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.