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Just seconds til the noon of night.
Ding Dong, Ding Dong!
’Tis the most magical hour of the most magical eve.
The wizened grandfather tolls his warning
To all who would stir from their dreams of sugarplums.
Shadows dart along the walls,
While toys shake off their year-long slumbers.
Ever on time, the evergreen, burdened with abundant baubles,
Ascends to tickle the ceiling.
Skirts rustle and wings flutter fervently,
A beat for the soldiers to march to.
The candles flicker in an unearthly wind,
Illuminating the wooden face of the general.
Hands clasped behind his back,
He surveys his army, the painted smile thin
And the rose kisses vanished from his cheeks,
The smooth face eerie in the sputtering glow.
Not a single wrinkle dares disturb his uniform,
Despite the walnut crumbs ensnared in his snow-white beard.
The hilt of a sword protrudes from a coal belt,
Eager for the blood of foes.
Silhouettes now can be distinguished
From the enlarged chink in the wall.
Enemies’ eyes smolder in the blackness,
The devil’s beacons of bedlam.
Soldiers aim their rifles,
Tails swishing, rats stalk into the light, sabers bared.
The general’s grip tightens on his sword, eyes narrowing.
Heaven help the poor lass who
Stumbles upon these battlegrounds
’Tis St. Nick’s witching hour.
The battle has begun…