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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: Toy Soldier Command
By Linda Berg


The Toy Soldier grabs the tin edge with his left hand as he attempts to stand up. His right arm is covering his eyes at a 90-degree angle, shading them from the quick blast of light. Immediately his knees buckle under him and he slouches back down, dropping to the bottom of the tin. His legs are feeble from being dormant for the past ten months while living in the family’s Christmas ornament tin.

Making another effort to stand, he grabs the tin edge with both hands this time pushing himself up with his arms. Shaking his head attempting to get fully awake, he finally stands strong to his full height of 14 inches.

Dipping his head slightly, the light is so bright, he looks around the room.

Yes, yes, there it is. The Christmas tree. It’s that time again.

“Hey guys, wake up. Come on and get up. It’s time to go to work.”

Murmurs are heard coming from the area near his feet.

“Hey Soldier, put the lid back on. I’m trying to get some shut eye here,” growled Mr. Jack-in-the Box as he scrunched his pillow and buried his head in it.

“I just fell asleep, didn’t I? It can’t be November already, is it?” Asks Girl, in Night Before Christmas Bed.

“Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! The singing coming from the Mexican Sombrero is bright and cheerful, not at all like it should sound coming from someone who has been in hibernation for the past ten months.

GB Packer, yawning, “Oh no, did I miss the first season game?”

“No, GB. But grab your football and climb out of the tin.”

“Snowflakes, oh, snowflakes? We need you to wake up,” says the Toy Soldier. “You go on the tree first. We can’t do anything until you are up and at ‘em.”

“We’re awake, we’re coming,” answered the embroidered lace snowflakes scattered in the tin.

“Glass Ornaments be careful getting out of the tin, we don’t want any of you getting broken.”

“Vroom,” says little toy car, speeding past them to the tree.

“Olive, can you help the Baby’s First Christmas Ornament. He wasn’t here last year, and won’t know what to do. You’ve been here from the beginning so you know how to help him.”

“ Teddy Bear,” when it’s time to get on the tree, you might want to hang near Baby’s First Christmas Ornament. I’m sure you will help him feel more secure.”

“I don’t see Star or Angel yet. Are you girls awake?”

“We’re over here Sir.”

Patting the snow down firmly on top of Snow Covered Cottage, Toy Soldier’s mouth turns up, pleased with the result.

“Ok, it looks like everyone’s awake. Starting with the snowflakes, take your usual positions on the tree. Fill in all the gaps, ladies.”

Moving quickly the ornaments take their places. Well, except for Star and Angel.

Toy Soldier sees they both have a grump on their face and Angel is standing with her hands on her hips.

“Star, Angel, what’s going on? You need to get on the tree.”

Angel replies, ‘It’s my turn to be on the top of the tree but Star says it’s her turn.”

“But it is my turn, remember last year you were on the top of the tree,” responds Star.

“Toy Soldier,” says Jack-in-the-Box with a big smile on his face. “Star is right it’s her turn. I remember Angel was up there last year because I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.”

Toy Soldier, “Okay, girls, I believe that’s right. Take your places.”

Toy Soldier stands back from the tree.

He reaches in and pulls Sombrero closer to the front of the limb. Moving on around the tree to the right he turns Olive Wood Nativity so that baby Jesus can be seen. Rubbing a smudge from the red glass ornament, he leans forward and sees his reflection.

“Good, very good.”

“Someone is missing…”

“Oh my, it’s Bell.”

“Bell, Bell, where are you?”

Bell jumps up and over the tin edge. “Right here. I guess I was extra tired from last year’s work.”

Toy Soldier helps Bell get settled front and center right next to Olive Wood Nativity.

“Aw, now if everyone is in place, the reason for why we are gathered.”

Toy Soldier reaches up to the bell giving it a gentle nudge.

“Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong.” The music box inside begins to play:

Ring the bells, ring the bells, let the whole world know.

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This article has been read 418 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/25/13
Oh...I simply adore this piece! Beautiful job with the topic, and glorious message annoucning the birth of our Savior! Clever,playful and reverent at once. LOVED IT! I pray this does well with the judges...

God bless~
lynn gipson 05/27/13
I have a big smile on my face for this one. Lovely story, so well written I could see each character!
Allison Egley 05/27/13
This is SO clever!

My ONLY suggestion (and it's a small one) would be to change the size of the toy soldier... If he's an ornament, 14 inches would be a bit big... If he's meant to stand beside the tree, then I'd have made that a bit clearer.

I loved this. It's like Toy Story, Christmas Edition. :)
Christina Banks 05/27/13
I wish my tree would decorate itself. :) I really enjoyed your characters.
Virgil Youngblood 05/27/13
I was missing the topic tie-in until it arrived on cue. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/28/13
This is very creatively done and an enjoyable read.
Patsy Hallum05/29/13
I love these ornaments. Well done! Keep Writing!
Marsha Barrow05/30/13
The imagery and personification used to create this well-written fiction story captured my attention right away. I enjoyed it tremendously! Well written! You have shown that you can write fiction just as creatively as you write your memoirs.I am so "envious." LOL
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/30/13
Congratulations for ranking 3 in your level and 15 overall!