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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: That Sound: A Spousal Debate
By william price


“What was that?”


“That sound you made.”

“What sound?”

“The sound you made when I walked in the room and put my coat on to go shopping.”

“I don’t know?”

“No, you know.”

“Honey, I didn’t say anything.”

“Right, but you made that sound.”

“What sound?”

“The same sound you made when I told you mother was coming for Easter.”


“Don’t look at me like I’m stupid. I loathe that look.”

“Now it’s a look. First I make a sound and then …”

“Aha, you admit it. You made the sound.”

“I don’t know if it was THE sound, but I made A sound. It didn’t mean anything. It was just a simple sound.”

“No, Dear, there was nothing simple about it. It was pregnant with displeasure. If you were reading the newspaper and I heard it, okay, maybe you don’t like something Garfield said. But you looked straight at me, made the sound, and then picked up the paper. That meant something.”

“You make the same sound.”

“I do not.”

“Oh, yes you do. I heard you Sunday at church. I was just coming back to the pew from the restroom. I heard Julie ask, ‘Did Ted pick out that garnet and gold tie?’ Then you made the sound. And you both laughed. At least I do it to your face.”

“That’s not true. I must have just been clearing my throat.”

“Your mother does it too.”

“Does not.”

“Does too. It was the first thing out of her mouth when you introduced me.”

“Now, Ted, you know mother has a colon problem. That didn’t come from her mouth. She can’t help it.”

“That makes more sense. Must be where you got it from.”

“Let’s not get ugly, Ted. I was only going shopping. There is no need to make fun of mother’s irritable bowels.”

“What do you have to go shopping for? We don’t need extra air fresheners for a while yet.”

“So you did forget, didn’t you?”

“Forget what? I took the garbage out.”

“I don’t believe it.”


“If I did make that sound, I’d utter it now.”

“What are you looking all sad for? It’s just Tuesday, it’s just March …fifthhhhhh. Oh, my. I did forget?”

“You did?”

“Momentarily I guess. But the newspaper would have reminded me, I’m sure. So where were you going?”

“I don’t know if it’s important now.”

“I can’t believe that, hm…”

“Did you make the noise again?”

“No, but I started to. You’re the wife; you’re supposed to leave hints.”


“Because I can’t buy you anything if you don’t.”

“Well you should have been planning something very special for our 25th anniversary.”

“… I’m not going to make that noise, even though I would like to.”

“Me either, if I did.”

“What now? Husbands shouldn’t forget important dates like this.”

“I don’t know.”

“Want to go to breakfast? Then maybe a walk on the beach? Then maybe see that new romantic hero dies-at-the-end movie? Then maybe shopping, and maybe supper at the club and dancing?”

“But I already bought you a present. It’s at Golf -World. I bought it a while back. I just forgot today was today or I would have had it already. What are you smiling about?”

“So you forgot too?”

“Kind of, but not completely. It snuck up on me.”

“At Golf-World, huh? It wouldn’t be a new garnet and gold Florida State golf bag would it?”

“Huh? How? What are you unfolding? What is that?”

“It’s my newest credit card statement.”

“Oh, that came fast. I was going to pay for it. I just didn’t have the cash on me.”

“Well I was hoping you were going to ask me to go with you this morning.”


“Because the bag wouldn’t fit into your trunk.”

“Oh. I do have a small car. So you did remember it was our anniversary?”

“Yes I did, as a matter of fact.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Well, I might not have, if not for the statement.”

“So I did remember first?”

“Yes you did. And for your reward we are going to make a little stop before we go to Golf-World.”

“Ooooo, the Jewelry Shoppe?”

“Quit drooling, no.”

“What then?”

“Right next to the Jewelry Shoppe.”

“I don’t know? Oooooo, that new travel agency.”

“Oh, I wish I could make the sound that started all of this.”


“The OTHER side.”

“Oh, Hannah’s Restaurant. Where we first met. Ahhhhhhhh, that’s sweet, Honey. Then the Travel Agency.”


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This article has been read 929 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard03/11/10
No character names, 750 words exactly and she/he think it's going to win. HMPH! it probably will, it probably will.
It's out-of-the-box-brilliant! This kiddies is why they are in Masters. Well done!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/11/10
Oh, wow, this was too good! The dialogue is right on, I had no trouble following the back and forth conversation. So much to love about this!
Jackie Wilson03/12/10
This was too cute and funny! The dialog was just like real people!! Loved it!
Barbara Lynn Culler03/14/10
Enjoyed the dialogue-glad it ended happily!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/10
I snickered throughout it. It was quite entertaining.
Joanne Sher 03/15/10
SO much fun - great voices masterfully done.
Joan Campbell03/15/10
Very enjoyable. I wonder how it would have read with a little narration, however. Might be an interesting comparative exercise to do?
AnneRene' Capp03/15/10
No tags, loved it! I also chuckled throughout. At least this couple will never have a communications problem. :)
Gregory Kane03/15/10
I'm really digging your experimental writing. Very different, eminently satisfying.
My only quibble would be that your title was maybe a little weak.
Donna Wolther03/15/10
Very realistic, unfortunately!
Ruth Stromquist03/15/10
A classic in marital communications! So true! :-)
Marita Thelander 03/15/10
Ok, for this having only dialog it read fast and smooth. I loved the pace. great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/10
I love your dialogue-only story. It's exceptionally well done.
Pamela Kliewer03/16/10
Love it!
Sandra Petersen 03/17/10
This is simply honest roll-on-the-floor-laughing-until-my-family-asks-what's-so-funny humor. I have to say this made my day. Thanks.
Beth LaBuff 03/17/10
This was a riot! …then LOL "mother has a colon problem" What fun to overhear this conversation! :)
Mona Purvis03/18/10
What a blast! I felt just like I was a fly on the wall. Talent and skill on display.

Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/10
Told you it was exceptional! Congratulations!
PamFord Davis 03/18/10
High five! Nice to see an old friend from DeFuniak in the Top Three!
Beth LaBuff 03/18/10
Congrats on your Editor's Choice award!
Jackie Wilson03/18/10
Congrats on your EC! Great entry!
Patricia Turner03/18/10
Too real and funny nevertheless! Congratulations!
Rachel Rudd 03/18/10
LOL! This is great. I loved the line "pregnant with displeasure." Perfect! Congratulations on the win! It was well deserved!
Catrina Bradley 03/18/10
Brilliant! This dialog-story left no doubt ever who was talking, and I actually LOLed. :-D Huge congrats on your well deserved EC!!!
Laury Hubrich 03/18/10
Wonderful! So realistic. When did you have time to write this?
Carol Slider 03/18/10
The dialog here is absolutely pitch-perfect. I felt like I knew this couple. Great job at capturing the subtle nuances of a conversation! Congratulations!
Connie Dixon03/19/10
Oh...this was awesome and so realistic. Takes 25 years to get to this point of "disagreement." Loved it, brilliant! Congratulations.