Nick’s Favorite Toys

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A little boy who loved his collection of soldiers was no longer a little boy. Now a grown man it was time for him to give his playthings away.

Very reluctantly, he took the cardboard box that sat half-full of his favorite playthings over to the little boy who lived next door.

toy-soldiers“Oh wow! Cool!” The boy said gleefully as he peeked inside the brown box.
Slowly, he grinned revealing a mouth full of chipped teeth.

“You’re welcome little one,” the man replied sadly, as he turned to walk away. He needed to leave quickly before he changed his mind. “Take care of them.”

Quickly, the little boy took the box, ran up the stairs of his home towards his room and slammed his door shut with a thud. Standing over the middle of his floor, he emptied the box out and out fell all the soldiers. There were soldiers dressed in green fatigue, black fatigue, and even blue. The man had even given him soldiers with the Kung-Fu grip feature.

The little boy was amazed at how many there were. For a few minutes, he sat in awe and admired them. Until…“Nick,” a woman’s voice called; it was more than likely his mother.

Mu-ah ha ha… you’ve been saved for now, he whispered to a soldier he had picked up from the pile as he tossed him down and ran out the room.
As the door closed behind him… not a single soldier could remain calm.

“Oh no, boys! We’re not in Kansas anymore!” one said being slightly sarcastic.
“Hush, soldier, this isn’t the time! That kid may just be crazy!”
“Yeah Boss, why did we get left here?”
“I don’t know … but I don’t like it!”
“We’ve got to find a way out of here!”

The soldiers were beside themselves. They gathered into a small corner and had a meeting on what they should do.
“Well, you all know it’s against our code to leave a kid behind. It looks like we’re gonna have to just sit this out. It can’t be that bad?” said the Sergeant. “I mean he is just a boy! What could be the worse that happens?”

The opportunity to discuss anything further came to an abrupt end. Sure enough, Nick was heard making his way back up the stairs.
Nick went straight to the pile of the now lifeless soldiers and grabbed at a handful of them.

In horror those that remained behind watched as Nick dressed their soldier bodies up in brightly colored, tight hugging, Ken clothes. He had surely snatched them from his twin sister Nicole. When Nick began driving them around for a ride in the pink Barbie dream car, the soldiers were at a loss for all hope for their dear friends. Poor guys, they thought. Hang in there! They hoped.

The code to being a great toy to a human meant that you could never let a human become aware of your true existence. So the soldiers could do nothing but watch on as little Nick tossed the hand full of soldiers in the three-story pink, Barbie dream house across the hall later that night. Nick had apparently left his bedroom door open, allowing them all to see everything. But just as they thought the coast was clear enough for them to possibly go and have a word with their friends, Nick came stammering into his room, closing his door behind him. He climbed into his bed and quickly fell asleep.

It didn’t take but moments for the soldiers to spring into action. However, the closer they examined their surroundings they found it wasn’t going to be an easy escape.
There were two windows on the wall. Both of them were closed. A breeze slowly crept in from a ceiling vent, which was way too high. As the soldiers looked around for different ways to get out, one soldier, a tall bearded soldier, wearing green fatigue, poked his head under the door.
“Hey…! You guys? Come hear this…!”
His inquiries caught the attention of soldier after soldier and within minutes they were all lined up at the door.
“Why them?”
“What do you think is going on in there?”
“You know, this isn’t fair!”
“We gotta get outta here guys!”
“………..Um?”

Their questions went on and on. Little Nick hadn’t bothered to look at them once. Not once had he tried to include them in on any of the fun the other soldiers seemed to be having. And now, instead of being focused on trying to escape, they had begun to bring attention to themselves!

Nick coughed just a bit and quickly sat up. His eyes were a bit hazy, but still he scanned the room. It was the middle of the night, and everything was still quiet and at a standstill. The moon was illuminating the dark sky, and it shined brightly throughout his windows onto his bed. A glint caught his eye and for a moment, he stared at it. Immediately, the soldiers who had been watching the little boys every move, ran back to pile in the middle of the floor, and resumed their places.

Little Nick stayed up in bed and looked up at the moon for moments more just before settling himself and quickly returning to his peaceful slumber.
As morning came there was only one thing on the minds of the twins as they woke up; it was Saturday. Sitting up in his bed, Nick yelled down towards the kitchen, “Hey Ma, is breakfast ready yet?”
“No baby, not yet … couple minutes!” she responded.
Excited, Nick jumped out of bed, stretched and ran into his sisters room.
“Wanna play?”
“Okay!” she answered.
The twins played and laughed. It was fun. In horror, however, the soldiers who sat in the pile across the way in Nicks room could do nothing more but watch. They saw the other soldiers dining with the Barbies, they watched the twins take them on the shopping sprees, and then… the twins drove the soldiers along with the Barbies, in a long stretch limousine back into little Nick’s room where the two children set up a plastic movie theater set and allowed the group to enjoy a drive-in movie. The soldiers in the pile felt as though they couldn’t take it anymore, but there was nothing they could do. Nick still had not once tried to come and play with either of them.

“……..Okay, you two the food is ready come on and eat!” their mom called out to them.
Immediately they did as they were told.

As soon as they were out of sight the soldiers in the pile jumped out of position and one by one they approached the lively dolls paying no mind to what was happening on the outside of the vehicle. As one soldier tapped on the window, another soldier was already opening a door to the limousine.
“Hey! It’s you guys!” he said.
His attitude was very lackadaisical. He was wearing a pair of brown khakis and a blue cardigan. His frame left him looking more buff than the Ken doll and Barbie was very fond of how he appeared. It wasn’t hard to tell at all; there were quite a few of them hanging around the area and in the waiting limo.
As he spoke, three more soldiers poked their heads out as well. They were pretty much dressed in the same fashion.
“Those kids have no idea how to dress someone! Look at how they look Sarge!
“Shh! Now hold on, let me handle this!”
“Now you guys need to come on now! Where are your brothers? We can figure out a way to get out of here! Go on get your things put your real clothes back on, say goodbye to these …. ladies,” he nodded his head as more Barbies had begun to come around closer to the scene and check out the soldiers in the uniforms. But before he could continue he was cut off.

“Hold on now, hold on… we ain’t going anywhere, now are we guys?” One of the soldiers shouted back. It caused the rest of the soldiers that had been picked out of the pile to yell in unison. Their voices sounded heated. They definitely were not trying to leave their newfound way of life. Even the Barbies joined in the shouting. Immediately the other group of soldiers knew they had lost their pals. For a moment, silence over fell the entire group. Then suddenly, came the uproar of the undeniable sound of little footsteps coming up the stairs. The twins were done with breakfast. The group of soldiers from the pile ran back as fast as they could and assumed position, as did all the other Barbies and soldiers who were left in various playing positions throughout the room.

However to everyone’s surprise as the door swung open it was Nick and the man from next door.
“Ha! I see you have quite the imagination,” the man said to the boy when he took notice to the soldiers in the Ken clothes.
“Yeah, I was playing with my sister.”
“…And what about these guys?” the man asked as he looked over at the pile of soldiers in the middle of the floor.
“Oh them, I don’t know.”
“Let me show you what to do with these… young boys,” the man said.

He grabbed a bunch of the soldiers and leaped behind a table as if he were in battle. Little Nick picked a few up himself and quickly joined in. For hours, the two played war, hostage takeover and even participated in battling each other as if nothing else in the world mattered. It wasn’t long before Nicole had even joined in the fun. And this time the soldiers who wouldn’t return to be a part of the team and even the Barbies who instigated had to watch in agony.

Evening was upon them, and all fun had been had, so little Nick and Nicole walked the man toward their door to say goodbye.
“Can we play again?” asked Nicole.
“That was fun.” Nick said.
“…. No, you two, that it was! I simply came to show you … each soldier could be a favorite one!
Give them each a chance to shine, they’re your toys now, but once they were mine. I promise you they can be your favorite toy too …just give it some time!”

And just like that he turned to walk away.

Nicole looked at her brother in confusion. “What does that mean?”
“I don’t know sis; he told me to take care of them. That was the first thing he said.” Nick looked his sister in the eye.
As they closed the front door, Nick ran up the stairs to his room. He grabbed an empty plastic bin that sat near the radiator. Gently he began placing each soldier inside. One by one, he also claimed the soldiers who were tossed back into the Barbie dream house and carefully re-dressed them in their original fatigue outfits. Once finished, he placed them into the bin as well. As the last one went inside, he closed it up and proceeded to push the bin into his closet.

Without anything else to do, he looked upon the bin sitting in the middle of his walk-in closet. He also let his eyes wonder upon the many toys he had been given so far. His nerve gun from his Aunt Joan. His talking Sam from his uncle Kurt and many others. So far nothing had caught his attention the way his soldiers did. Yet, just as the man predicted, days went by, and Nick continued to play with only his soldiers.
Surely enough we can say they had become his favorite toys!

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