It was the standard method of execution in the Forest of Giants.
Machelo was chained to a large yellow box on the top of a hill. Balanced atop his head was a metal bell; should he dislodge it, it would ring.
He'd been stabbed in the chest with two metal spikes; that in itself would be a mortal wound for any normal doll, but Machelo was much more than normal. His natural resilience would be enough to recover from his wounds, but not even he could withstand what would happen if the bell were to ring; if he were to make any noise at all.
Noise attracted the giant ants.
Slowly he worked his arms free. The contents of the box were always a mystery to the one to be executed, but they normally contained something that could conceivable be used to escape alive. Knowing the Giants, they'd probably put something there that was quite inadequate the task; they knew all about him, and knew just how hard to make the challenge.
His foot slipped, sending a small patch of rubble sliding down the hill. He froze, listening carefully. Had the ants heard?
A dull noise came from the wood. He would have to move quickly. He seized the lid and opened the box.