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40 x December 15, 2016 -

40 x December 15, 2016 - January 4, 2017 x CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 me, which happened to be a vase. I slowly walked to my living room to see if there was someone in the house, and there was! I dropped the vase in my surprise and let it shatter to millions of pieces on the floor. What had made me stop dead in my tracks was the love of my life standing in front of me. This is now becoming the best Christmas of my life! Honorable Mention Christmastime From a Dog’s Point of View by Parker Andreson Windermere Do you enjoy Christmas? I do, but no one thinks about how a dog feels on Christmas. I’m William, a golden retriever. My owners, Joseph and Susan, have two kids — Maria, who’s 7, and Isaiah, who’s 11 months old. It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is getting ready. Maria is in her room, and Susan is playing with Isaiah. Joseph is out shopping, so I’m laying down on my bed in the hallway. No one can wait for tomorrow. We can SPOT and treat ... They are now eating dinner, so I decide to eat my meal. It’s the usual, dog food with water in a separate bowl. Maria, Joseph and Susan are having mac and cheese with peppers on the side. Susan is feeding Isaiah his baby food, so I finish my meal and walk under his chair to wait for some food to drop. I get some, but only a little. It’s now 7:35 p.m., and we are watching TV. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is on. When I hit my paw against the door to go out, Susan gets up and opens the door. I bolt into the yard and start sniffing. Suddenly, I smell a squirrel. There it is, down the slight incline. I run after it, and it takes off for a tree. The squirrel just makes it up the tree before I grab for it. Darn! I’ll get it next time. You just wait squirrel. “Woof,” I bark. “Will! Will!” Susan called. I trot up to the house and go inside. Everyone has gone to bed. It’s 12:06 a.m. I hear a thud, then a creak in the floorboards. I decide to investigate. There stands the man himself, Santa. “Hello there, Will,” he says. “I have some treats for you.” FREE Single Vision Lenses with any frame purchased. Are you noticing your child's glasses getting stronger and thicker each year? Ask us about Myopia Control at your next visit! ... And come to us for your everyday eye needs Mmm hmm, I sure could use something to eat right now. Santa gives me three treats and pets me. I lay down. He takes out many gifts and puts them underneath the tree. I go back to my bed and fall asleep. I wake up and hear Isaiah crying. Suddenly, Maria comes running down the hall and into Joseph and Susan’s room. “Mommy, Daddy, wake up!” she says. Isaiah continues to cry. “Merry Christmas,” Joseph says. Susan picks up Isaiah and takes him into the family room. Maria, Joseph and I follow. Joseph pets me and says, “Merry Christmas, Will.” “Look at all these presents!” Maria said excitedly. “Can we open them? Please, please, please, please?” “Yes,” Susan says. Isaiah makes a weird noise, and Susan pats his back. I lay there while Maria tears into the first present. It’s what she wanted, a makeup kit. “Yes!” Maria shouts. Next, everyone starts opening presents until they are gone. While I lay there, I think about how I saw him, Santa Claus, and no one knows. It’s a weird feeling. Now you know how a dog feels on Christmas. If you have a pet, you should think about how it feels during the holidays. Honorable Mention The Christmas Disaster by Derin Rohleder Windsor Landing It was two weeks before Christmas, and my family was decorating our Christmas trees. We had both a big and a small tree. My brother and I always decorated the smaller one. We were all happy, and we watched a Christmas movie almost every night. On Dec. 24, my mom and I baked cookies for Santa. When I got to bed, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. When I woke up, I rushed to the tree, and, oh no, there were no presents under it. We were devastated! The following day at school I was talking to my friend, Sean, and he told me that he didn’t get any presents either. No one did. It was a Christmas disaster. The next day, Sean and I walked around at recess, asking everyone if they got presents or not. “Sean, what do you think happened,” I asked. He told me that he thought Santa had turned evil. “We have to find a way to get to the North Pole,” he said. “My dad is going there on a business trip tomorrow,” I said. “Really?” Sean asked. The next day was Saturday. I called Sean on my phone and asked him where we should meet. He said in his backyard, so when it was 8 a.m., we could sneak into the car to get on the plane. When we arrived, we went to every single house, asking where we could find Santa. Everyone thought that we were crazy until we saw an old-looking house that Sean was too scared to go into, so I went in. The old man in the house told me that deep in the snowy mountains there was a cave, and in that cave was a scroll protected by a dragon. On that scroll was a map of how to get to Santa. So we traveled into the mountains until we saw the cave and went in. We were scared by the huge dragon guarding the scroll, and we thought we had no chance of getting past the dragon until we saw two swords on the wall. We fought the dragon. It was a hard battle, but we won! We looked at the scroll, and it said that Santa worked undercover at the same place my dad was having his meeting. It was risky, but we had to do it. When we got there, we immediately started looking for Santa. After what felt like years of searching, I saw a familiar man with a big white beard. It was Santa. We walked over to him and demanded an answer for why he didn’t deliver presents this year. He said that he was too lazy and that after delivering presents since the beginning of time, he needed a break. After a long talk, he finally agreed to deliver presents every year from then on. Honorable Mention The Strong Squad Saves Christmas by Michael Wong Stoneybrook West Once upon a time, there was a group of teenagers called The Strong Squad who saved the North Pole from super villains. The members of The Strong Squad were Spencer, Layla and Devin. These teenagers each had special gifts given

to them by Jesus, because they were chosen to protect and preserve the holiday of Christmas. Spencer had superintelligence, Layla had super-strength, and Devin had super-speed. The super villains were Evil Santa and Evil Elf. Evil Santa kidnapped the real Santa every year to steal his powers, and Evil Elf hypnotized elves to control them. “Yay, it’s Dec. 23,” Devin said. “Only two more days until Christmas.” “Mom, Dad, where are our presents? I think I know who did this. I have to call Spencer and Layla.” “Spencer, Layla, Evil Santa and Evil Elf are striking again,” Devin said. “Time to squad up.” Everyone in the village was in chaos, because Christmas was ruined, but The Strong Squad would save the day. The teens met up at their headquarters so they could find Evil Santa and Evil Elf’s coordinates. To do this, they used Spencer’s high-tech computer. As soon as they found the coordinates, Devin supersped to their location to observe what they were doing. “Guys, they’re destroying all of the kids’ presents,” Devin said. “We have to attack now.” “We have to attack when they least expect it,” Layla said. “Guys, it’s Christmas Eve, and the kids are counting on us,” Spencer said. “Alright, let’s attack now!” Devin and Layla said together. Devin super-sped Spencer and Layla to the evil lair. “Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Evil Santa asked. “We came here to stop you,” Devin said. “Children are very upset with both of you.” “Then let’s settle this with a fight, and if we win, you let us destroy Christmas every year,” Evil Elf said. “If we lose, we’ll buy back all the Christmas gifts and be good citizens.” Evil Santa and Evil Elf started attacking with the increasing power of Evil Santa. He was stronger than ever. Before they could reach The Strong Squad, Devin ran around them, creating a tornado and which made them dizzy. When both of them fell down, Layla punched the ground, causing it to shake. Eventually, Evil Santa and Evil Elf were knocked out. Spencer used his power to steal handcuffs to turn them in to the police. In order x December 15, 2016 - January 4, 2017 x 41 for them not to use their powers, their cells had to be underground, covered in pure steel. Christmas was saved once and for all, but the only thing left was the presents. Devin took all of the presents from the lair and super-sped them back to all the families. “Hooray! Hooray! Christmas is saved!” the children chanted. Eventually, when Jesus found out about the Strong Squad’s good deeds, he thanked them. He also enhanced their powers. Devin had invisibility and superspeed, Layla had teleportation and superstrength, and Spencer could fly and had super-intelligence. The Strong Squad was known as the heroes of the North Pole, and they formed an alliance with Santa. Although Christmas was saved, there is a new, powerful threat coming. This means The Strong Squad will have to train even harder. Stay tuned for the sequel, coming next December. Honorable Mention Christmas Magic by Emma Pohlhammer Roberts Landing “Kimi, come here quickly!” Mom said. “Yes, Mom, what is it?” I asked. “Look, the hail is damaging the town Christmas tree! I am so glad you came home early, because if you had stayed out any longer, you could have been ... gone,” Mom said. The next morning. “Look at what the storm did to the tree,” Mom said. "But Mom, look at the townspeople, I said. "Look at what they are doing." "Hmmm, all I can see is that all of the townspeople are still celebrating Christmas, even after the storm nearly destroyed the tree.” Mom said. OK. So now I will tell you how it all started. It started when we had a major hurricane, tornado, blizzard and earthquake all at once. When we thought it was over, we all came out of our houses. That was a mistake! We had a major aftershock as you can see. I am going to describe it whether you like it or not. The wind said, “Whoosh,” as it zipped across the sky. Hail the size of bowling balls with equally as strong force had taken on our strongest Christmas tree, the one in the town square. Sleet ruined the strong, healthy grass, and the blizzard covered the houses of the town of Berry. Worst of all, the berries had been destroyed, as if they were the main target. It was a total nightmare. Nobody in the town of Berry could get to sleep, but one person did. Her name was Kimi. That’s me! I got to sleep, because I have a mysterious mystical power. It lets me save the world, according to an old town legend. It says the person with the power will save us all and our most prized holiday, Christmas. I have that power, but all I’ve been doing with it is saving myself. But one afternoon during the storm, something happened. I had the courage to step outside and face the storm. “Ouch!” I said. “Aww man, battling hurts! I think I broke my arm! And I am at the end of the battle I have been fighting against the storm. I can’t give up now!” “Ha, ha!” the storm mocked me. “Hey, can you talk?” I asked. “Oh, I am so going to get you! You are so dead! All energy blast!” “Ahhhhh,” the storm said. Yeah, it really hurts, but I single-handedly saved Christmas. “Hey, look!” the people in town shouted. “That little girl saved us all. She’s a hero!” “Mom! Where are you, Mom?” I shouted. “I’m right here, honey,” she answered. “Oh, look at you. You’re all grown up.” “But, Mom. You should be sad. The Christmas tree is ruined.” “Honey, Christmas is not about the tree. It’s about people coming together and enjoying time with each other. It’s also about celebrating peace, joy and happiness. Now, let’s celebrate!” I am truly sorry for telling this story so short, but hey, let’s celebrate! I deserve it, I think. “Mom, I have a present for you,” I said. I hope you have an adventurous Christmas, and remember this: Have a merry Christmas. Your Christmas can be magical, too, if only you believe. And remember to keep the heart of Christmas in your heart. The staff of the Southwest Orlando Bulletin extends special thanks to everyone who participated in the 25th annual holiday short-story contest. Editor’s note: Entries may have been edited for grammar, punctuation, length and content. To honor as many holiday short stories as possible, School News does not appear in this issue. ª