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

TITLE: Delicate Dilemma
By Ruth Brown


Addie shuffled along dragging her feet. Frustration and dread went along with her. I don't care if I'm late. Maybe they'll leave without me. How much can we take. She's nice but ooh ...

Mary Helen slumped at the breakfast table, head in hands. How can I get out of this today? I can't skip much more or I won't pass. What do I do? Her eyes gleamed as she headed for the bathroom; coughing and gagging as she went.

"Mo-om, I don't feel so good."

John McIntyre woke with a stuffy head that morning."Hun, my dose is stopped up," he sounded almost cheerful.

Hun walked to the bathroom, hands on hips, and eyeballed her husband of twenty years."Why did you say it like that, John?"

"I cansit by her today, and itwon't even phase me. I told you about the problem, right?"

"And what about the kids that have to ride in the car too; Steve, Addie, and Mary Helen? You're the adult, the Drivers Ed teacher, for heavens sake. Get it taken care of."

"You're asking a lot, I'm a guy after all. It would be easier for a woman."

"No excuses, John."

She wagged her finger and jabbed his shoulder. "Man up!"


Steveturned over, smacked the alarm, and sat up. Crud,it's Thursday, torture day. Shallow breaths might work.


Callie rolled off her pallet, pushed her Daddy's old huntin' dog off her clothes, and dressed herself. Stupid dog.
Best get out of here before Dad wakes up.

She opened the fridge, hoping she missed some bite of food. Nope just beer. No food. It'll never change. Dad's worthless.
Callie sighed, glanced at the clock and hurried to the bus stop.
Glad it's Thursday. I gotta' learn how to drive. Then things will be different andI'm outa here.


She looked at him, the question in her eyes. John grabbed his sweet wife, and pulled her into a hug,
"Thank you for being a nag."

"What happened?"

"The school nurse talked to Callie."

"That's good right?"

"Yeah, it was. Real good."


Callie liked the young nurse, Miss Kemple ... Wonder what she wants.

"You asked to see me Miss Kemple?"

"Yes, Callie, have a seat."

Her smile warmed Callie's heart

I miss my Mom, she thought.

"Callie, I need to ask you some questions so I can help you. Okay?"

"Sure, Miss Kemple. You want to help me?"

"With all my heart I do." Miss Kemple smiled hoping to put her at ease.

"Callie, do you have a working bathroom at your house?"

"No Ma'am."

"Would you like to take a shower here at school each morning?"

"Callie burst into tears, "Oh yes ma'am."

"Tell me about your home life."

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This article has been read 455 times
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Kara Dunham 08/05/10
I thought this was very clever. I was slightly confused at first, but that's also what peaked my curiosity and kept me reading. I could tell you had a specific direction the story was taking, and then it all came together and I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Then of course I had to read it again- and think its even better the second time.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/10
This is a great story. I remember the school nurse doing the same thing for some of the girls in my school too. You did a good job showing how avoiding an uncomfortable situation can have consequences we're not aware of. Sometimes it's easier to pretend the problem doesn't exist, but if the nurse had done that poor Callie never would have been helped. Great lesson.
Jeanne E Webster 08/08/10
Nice character study and well written story that plays out in real life many times. You brought out the sense of smell but also the sense of perception in confronting delicate issues. Thumbs up! :)

Philippa Geaney 08/08/10
This is a wonderful story told with much skill. It flowed effortlessly, despite the changing POVs. Very well done.
Kate Oliver Webb 08/08/10
This was extremely well-done. I had an idea where it was going, but the uncertainty made me want to race along to the end, which was ideal. I really enjoy your writing; may God bless as you continue sharing your gift!
Sandra Petersen 08/11/10
You kept me reading through to the end. I remember girls like your MC Callie. It made your story all the more believable. Good job catching the emotions of each of those kids and the teacher himself.
Lollie Hofer08/11/10
This really hit home. I had a kind, school counselor who asked the right questions at the right time. She saved my life. I'm glad there was a "turn around" moment for Callie as well. Great story.
Carol Penhorwood 08/11/10
A sensitive topic well handled! Great job!
Caitlyn Meissner08/11/10
This was fun. I like the way the impressions went back and forth from character to character, and yet you managed to keep your story on a straight course. I think you'll do well.
Judith Wolven08/16/10
Good title, good story, told very well. Even tho I knew the story I wanted to read every word, and it really touches you, because I think we all have known or been that person.
Patsy Hallum08/16/10
Good writing, this drama happens all to often in schools. Thanks for keeping it fresh in peoples minds. Keep writing.