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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Facepalm (05/15/14)

TITLE: The Sounds of Silence
By Richard Hicks


What I am about to share with you is the embarrassment of all embarrassments. Anyone who has ever gone through the hurt and humiliation of being laughed at by a group of one’s peers will be able to share some empathy with me in the following story.

Whenever I think of this story my face literally goes straight to my palms wanting to stay there and never come up for air. This story took place right after lunch in my seventh grade music class. Instead of our teacher going up to every student individually to hand our papers back for a quiz we had taken as he had always done previously; on this day we were all asked to come up to his desk to receive our graded papers.

I began praying to God for Mr. Gray to call on anyone else, just not me. Yet, call on me he did as I sat there frozen in my seat. So he calls me again; I froze again but could not make myself move from that chair. As Mr. Gray’s voice became more stern and the look on his face more tense; I knew I was going to have to face this dilemma. So, I stood up and walked very stiffly, trying to hurry, and hoping to make it back in time to my desk before everyone’s eyes would be upon me.

The pungent aroma that suddenly fueled the room along with its distinctive, accompanying baritone notes, tooted several times (seeming endless to me) as the whole class of 25 students was at first in shock and then erupted in a chorus of raucous laughter and clapping with various other sounds filling the air.

I will never forget the beyond-beet red color of Mr. Gray’s face that day as he tried to hold back his own laughter. The whole room was in the mode of one GIANT face palm during that few minutes of time that seemed to come to a total stop. It was like my ‘little horn’ had been the entire orchestra that day, as my very gaseous experience was the talk on the seventh grade halls. I still cannot believe that this happened, especially in music class of all places.

There will always be events in life that will make us feel embarrassed or less than adequate but that is when we need to remember whose we are. We are children of the King even in our weakest moments, actually-especially then. For God’s word says, “When we are weak then we are strong.”

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This article has been read 178 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/22/14
Wow- You poor thing! This is not easy for an adult to handle, yet alone an adolescent...it must have seemed like the end of the world for you. I cringed for you as I read your words.

Thanks for sharing as you wrapped it up with a good message.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/14
This is great. I hate to admit I giggled at the MC's mishap, but it was an empathetic giggle. You definitely got my attention with it.

In my opinion, the beginning was a bit slow. You don't need to tell the reader that you are going to tell them something, instead jump right in. This is an example just to show you what I mean. Passing gas is a normal bodily function, but whenever I toot, I'm instantly transplanted back to Middle School and my most embarrassing moment ever. Even today, I still bury my face in my hands as if that would make the memory disappear.
I can still picture where everyone sat, and I even can smell all of the normal scents in a classroom. Chalk, stale lunches, and dirty gym socks all assault my olfactory bulb.

I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but wanted to show you what I mean by diving right into the conflict.

Often in the challenge, the ending can be the hardest part to write. I think you nailed the ending. The only thing I would add is the spot in the Bible where it says "When we are...

You also did a great job of nailing the topic all well delivering the perfect message. I think you should tweak this some and either submit it to FW daily devotions or another devotional magazine.
Judith Gayle Smith05/26/14
Your descriptions are potent and hysterical. Loved this!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/29/14
Congratulations on ranking 7th in your level. Happy Dance!
Danielle King 05/31/14
Well, this very potent description trumps the lot! I needed a peg for my nose as I read the hilarious details. How very brave of you to share with us. I admire you greatly and thanks for a good laugh!