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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: Mrs. Chillsome Chills Out
By Joanne Sher
09/18/07
~2nd Place


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"Now I want you all to sit cross-legged on the floor."

"Umm... Mrs. Chillsome?"

Sarah Chillsome groaned almost silently (almost). "Yes, Amy?"

"It's Amanda Lynn, please."

"Okay, Amanda Lynn. And you can call me Sarah. What do you need?"

"I can't sit cross-legged."

"Excuse me?"

"I am physically unable to sit Indian style. My limbs don't bend that way."

Sarah forced the corners of her mouth up. "Okay, then. Why don't you just sit in whatever position makes you most comfortable? Does that work?"

Amanda grinned, her eyes sparkling. "That sounds great. I'll just be sitting here with my knees bent in front of me. Would that be okay?"

"That's perfect." Sarah widened her gaze from Amanda Lynn to the other students in her class. "Now rest your hands on your lap."

"Mrs. Chillsome, I don't really have a lap right now."

Half the class snickered.

"Well, then, Amanda Lynn, you could always rest them around the front part of your legs. It should give the same effect."

"That's a great idea, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll just do that."

"Wonderful." She took a deep breath. "All right now, class, close your eyes."

Sarah paused, waiting for an objection. After several seconds, she continued.

"Now take a deep breath through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth."

"Mrs. Chillsome? I have decreased lung capacity."

"You have what?"

"Decreased lung capacity. If I take too deep a breath I could start hyperventilating."

"I see." Sarah spoke slowly and deliberately. "I would recommend, then, that you only take as deep a breath as you can, um, safely."

Amanda Lynn hit herself lightly on the side of her head. "Now why didn't I think of that? You sure are helpful, Mrs. Chillsome."

"Thank you. Now, shall we get back to our relaxation techniques?"

"Sure. Sounds good to me."

That was a rhetorical question, you dingbat!

"Great. Return to your position, Amanda Lynn, dear, and we can continue."

"Okay - all set."

"Wonderful. Now continue with your breathing, and picture a peaceful place in your mind. Imagine yourself at the beach, on your porch swing, in a meadow: anywhere that you can just let go of all your stresses and worries. Focus on that scene, and let all your troubles flow out of you as you breathe out."

"Mrs. Chillsome?"

Sarah gritted her teeth. "Yes, Amanda Lynn."

"The hole in my mouth is too small. All my troubles won't fit."

"Why don't you just let them out a couple at a time, dear? They'll all escape sooner or later."

"Well, they keep sneaking back in up my nose."

She stifled back a snicker. "How about if you open your mouth a bit wider? Maybe that way more will get out than come back in."

"Thanks, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll definitely give that a try."

A couple minutes later, Sarah glanced at her watch and sighed. "Okay, class. Slowly open your eyes. Unfortunately, class is over. Thank you so much for coming. I hope this was helpful for you."

Sarah stood at the doorway and shook hands with each student in turn, apologizing with her eyes. Amanda Lynn was the last to exit.

She grabbed Sarah's hand eagerly. "Oh, Mrs. Chillsome, I just can't thank you enough. I feel so relaxed and calm now. That was such a wonderful class, I think I might just sign up for another!"

"Wonderful, Amanda Lynn," Sarah mumbled. "Just wonderful."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Catrina Bradley 09/20/07
There's one in every class, huh? I love the humor in your writing. Great job with the conflicting emotions - the battle for "calm". I'm wondering if the rest of the class is relaxed at all? :)
Sheri Gordon09/20/07
This is so funny. I laughed out loud a number of times. Your writing made it so easy so see and hear everything. You gave great voices to the two main characters. I really enjoyed reading this. Great job.
Leigh MacKelvey09/20/07
The humor, the humor of it all! Very enjoyable read and a creative bend to the "calm" topic. Characters were interesting and beliveable. Good writing all round!
Lynda Schultz 09/20/07
Oh boy, but this is great. I'm still laughing.
Ann Renae Hair09/20/07
Chillsome...I LOVE it! What a great "non-typical" (is that a word?) story. Thanks for the smiles you brought in my day with this one.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/20/07
Cute story. I think Amanda Lynn was in my class last year...different name, though.
Kristen Hester09/21/07
Too fun! My son can't sit Indian-style, either. Amanda-Lynn sounds just like my daughter. Now, can everyone understand why I'm not calmer Wonderful writing. I enjoyed it.
Laurie Walker09/21/07
Ditto to everything the others said! It would have helped me to know what age Amanda Lynn is. I was thinking six or seven until you mentioned a relaxation class.

Delightful. Absolutely a treat.
Betty Castleberry09/22/07
Hoo boy, Amanda Lynn is certainly a patience killer. This was a fun read, and very well written. Thanks for the chuckle this morning.
Joy Faire Stewart09/24/07
This is adorable. Love the teacher's calm, patience attitude. Your descriptions are so vivid, I was there in the room!
Jan Ackerson 09/24/07
So funny! I'd have started tearing my hair out long before this. Great voice, lots of fun to read.
Loren T. Lowery09/26/07
I can see why you had fun writing this because it was such a fun read as well. Thanks for adding a bit of humor to my day today!
Sherrie Jackson09/26/07
Too, too cute! This definitely brought back memories. I had a little difficulty placing Amanda Lynn's age but other than that, this was so much fun! Great fit for the topic. Good luck!
Marty Wellington 09/26/07
Great fun. Would have liked a little more visuals on Amanda Lynn and teacher to picture them in my mind's eye and give them more characterization. Thanks for an enjoyable read. Could really feel the teacher's exasperation.
Jenny Fitch09/26/07
That was REALLY fun to read. Very funny! The interaction between the two people was priceless. I loved how the one was completely annoyed and the other completely clueless.

I too would have liked more information on Amanda Lynn - I was having a hard time getting her in my minds eye because I had no idea how old she was.

Sara Harricharan 09/26/07
ROFL! This is just too funny. Good job, I really hope this does well! ^_^
Allison Egley 09/26/07
Hehehe This was just great. I actually thought Amanda Lynn was a little kid until the end. Unless it WAS a child? lol Now I'M the confused one. ;)
Linda Watson Owen09/26/07
Oh! This is just too cute! What fun! And don't we all know Amanda-Lynns?! LOL! You're a gem of a writer... I love everything you write! :-)
Ann Renae Hair09/27/07
CONGRATULATIONS on second place EC!!! Love ya!
Sheri Gordon09/27/07
Congratulations on your EC Joanne. This is one of my favorites. I love, love, love it. :)
Jacquelyn Horne09/27/07
Very cute take on relaxation. Loved it! Congrats on the win.
Debbie Roome 09/27/07
Congratulations on a well deserved second. Loved the story - I know some adults who behave just like Amanda Lynn...
Jan Ross09/27/07
This is absolutely precious! I had a student similar to Amanda Lynn once--I was right there in that classroom with Mrs. Chillsome, biting my tongue and trying not to roll my eyes as I read this. Great work! You're a Master, for sure! Congrats on a well-deserved Seconed Place! :)
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/27/07
Ha, love it! I can certainly identify with Amanda Lynn (not Amy ;-) )'s physical limitations, but I hope I didn't give me Pilates teacher THAT much trouble! LOL
Carol Wiley09/27/07
I loved this! It was so funny and written in a way that one can just picture these two!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/28/07
You did it, Girl. I loved it. Congratulations!
Sherry Wendling09/29/07
Ha ha! This is absolutely delightful, Joanne-- congratulaions! Yes, those pesky troubles do have a way of "sneaking back up one's nose" at times! What a terrific range of styles you have. More, more!
Brenda Welc09/29/07
Woe! You are such a talented writer--this was wonderful! Congratulations you certainly deserve your placing!
Janice Fitzpatrick10/03/07
I haven't been on here for a little while now but thoguht I would read over the last entries when I saw yours Joanne. This is so comical and a piece that most of us could relate to. I love the contrasts and can almost picture the characters. Reminded me of one of my classes for our first child.:0) COngratulations on placing 2nd. Great job! Hugs,God bless and keep up the writing, you excel in many types of writing.:0) Janice
LauraLee Shaw10/08/07
Oh, I just laughed out loud! I have one of these kids on my praise team and have grown to love him so much! I love the way you are able to make these characters come to life in my mind's eye.
Dawn Thomason10/12/07
This is TOO funny! I teach an adult Bible study, and I can think of a few Amanda Lynn's in my class. Ms. Chillsome has become my inspiration. :) Congrats on a well-deserved win.