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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)

TITLE: They Stinketh She Thinketh
By Charlotte Leonard


“Lovin' on the Body”. That was what Miriam called it when she sacrificed her precious time helping out her church family. When there was a need God could count on her to step up.

Friends had an emergency out of town so she was looking after the house and taking care of their pets. Well, that was if you could call a pair of turtles pets. Miriam didn't see anything cute or cuddly about them and after the first few days they had retracted their heads into their shells. They looked like a couple of rocks in the glass aquarium and hadn't touched the food or water she faithfully set out. Gingerly she gave each a few taps on the shell and waited. Nothing. Even whacking them with a pencil didn't get them to move. There was plenty else for her to do so she left them, for now.

Yes, winter was coming on, she thought as she made sure the windows were closed tightly. Then she ran her finger over the sills checking for dust. It amazed her that they were dust free after all of the lint she had found under the beds. Before leaving the bathroom she had another look in the medicine cabinet, carefully reading all the labels so she could pray for their health, spot-on. When she peeked into the closets earlier she had not thought about checking her friend's shoes to see what size she wore so she did it now, before she forgot. Closets will tell you a lot about a person. Some people looked so organized on the outside, but the way they stored their things told a whole other story. She had seen nearly every closet in the church and prided herself on her photographic memory. Her memory was so good she seldom forgot a single detail when she told the girls.

Mail was another good way. You got a pretty clear picture of the financial standing when you kept track of the billing statements. Sadly, most people were password protected so it was nearly impossible to get access to their computer.

The ice cream in the freezer was about to go bad so she had a big bowl as she contemplated the turtle situation that was fast becoming a crisis. Setting the bowl down she shook the aquarium with both hands and waited. Nothing. She counted her dirty coffee cups in the sink, that's right they have been gone six days now. Protecting her hands with rubber gloves Miriam lifted each turtle and gave them a
sniff. She wasn't exactly sure what they were supposed to smell like, but they didn't smell good. She was beginning to fear...the worst.

Since this television had a better picture than hers she decided to watch her stories, but she stayed vigilant for any turtle activity. They didn't even flinch when the phone rang and she gave the glass another shake on her way out to hear the message going on the machine. It was the church secretary giving notice of an upcoming event. Miriam thought she sounded a lot more cheerful than she did
when she called her. It must be jealousy, even though she maintained a humble spirit it was obvious that Miriam was special.

That night she awoke with a dreadful thought. What if those dead turtles began to smell? She had a reputation to uphold and they mustn't come home to a foul house.

Luckily she was a clever woman and at daybreak she dug two deep holes in her friend's garden. Each turtle had been placed in a zip lock bag and reverently laid to rest. Tenderly she filled the holes and pushed two little white crosses (she made them herself with Popsicle sticks) into the mounds. Stepping back she admired her work.

Three days later she gasped in horror as she read the email from her friend. After saying they would be home soon and thanking her for being such a blessing she told Miriam not to worry about the turtles as it was their season to hibernate.

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This article has been read 392 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patsy Hallum08/05/10
Wow, I love the sitter..She had a great opinion of herself. Little light on subject maybe? Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/06/10
This is a great story. You captured the MC and did her justice with your details. It might be a little weak on the topic, but I like the subtle reading-between the lines and your title that does show how one can think they smell wonderful, but actually they're a little stinky! Good job.
Jeanne E Webster 08/06/10
Enjoyed your story. The main character reminded me of my sister, feeling guilty about something she might have done because she didn't do what she should have done. LOL! Needs a bit of editing on sentence structure; overall, very descriptive and a good read. Keep writing. :)
Verna Mull 08/08/10
I loved the suspense. What a surprise for your main character amd the reader who didn't know turtles hibernate!
Lollie Hofer08/11/10
Noooooooo! What a great ending. I'm still chuckling. Your mc indeed was quite a character.
Lollie Hofer08/11/10
P.S. Loved the title...it was very appropriate.
Jody Day 08/12/10
Cute! Loved the ending. Congratulations!