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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Smell (the sense of smell) (07/29/10)

TITLE: I Knew It Was a Dream
By Yvonne Blake


I knew it was a dream, but it was so nice that I didn’t want to wake up. I was a child again and running through the fields with my sister, Mary. Actually, it felt more like floating than running. We were giggling and gathering lilies. I buried my nose in the flowers. Ummm….so sweet! That’s strange—they smelled a bit like moth balls.

Like dreams often do, the scene changed. The sky darkened and a storm came up. The thunder banged and crashed around me, and it seemed like I was running in slow motion. I could see our farm ahead and tried to reach the barn before I got wet.

The door slammed behind me. I was safe! The sounds of the storm were quieter, but the thunder still rumbled around me. I flopped on soft hay. The cool breeze was gone, and I felt hot and stifled. I heard Mary giggling and went to look for her.

I wandered all over that barn—up in the loft, into the shadowy horse stalls, behind the grain bin, and through the tool shed. I followed long hallways that had never been in our barn. I climbed tall, never-ending ladders. I could hear Mary’s footsteps running back and forth, but I couldn’t find her.

I was hot and sweaty and tired of looking for Mary, but I didn’t know the way back to the door. I asked the chickens, who only cocked their heads and blinked their beady eyes. One offered me an egg, though I didn’t feel hungry. I just wanted to get home; I didn’t want breakfast.

The horse laughed at me and shook his head. The cow knew the way, but I couldn’t understand her directions because she was talking with her mouth full. Next, I asked the sheep, but those silly lambs kept following me instead of leading the way. The pigs ignored me, and the goose squawked at me.

I sat in the corner, curled into a ball, and cried. I just wanted out of my dream. Maybe if I jumped up and down, I’d wake up. It isn’t working. I yelled—well, I tried to yell. I couldn’t make a sound. How was anyone going to hear me? My throat felt dry and scratchy. I began coughing. It was hard to breathe.

I smelled smoke!

I must get out of the barn! Thunder crashed and banged. I covered my ears. The animals mooed and squawked and neighed. They stampeded past me, so I followed. The pigs pushed me from behind. It smelled like their tails were getting singed. We tumbled out the door—into the manure pile! A flash of lightning and water on my face startled me.

“Mama, are you awake?”

I squinted at the faces lined up beside my bed. Pete held a squirt gun. He cocked his head. “Daddy said you were sick and that we should be quiet and let you sleep, but you’ve been sleeping a long time.”

I put my arm over my face. Oh…yes…quiet. My head pounded. That’s the last time I will take two different cold medicines together.

Little Charlie mumbled around his thumb. “We made ‘ou bweakfast.”

I squinted at the cookie sheet Deena placed on my belly—a plate of scrambled eggs, toast, and burnt bacon, with a tiger lily in a glass. Ah…the lilies… I coughed. “Why are the windows closed? It’s smoky in here.”

Deena shrugged her shoulders. “It started raining.”

I glanced toward the window. “Was it thundering?”

The row of heads waggled back and forth. Pete whispered, “But Deena was banging all the pots around, and it sounded like thunder.”

I took a few bites, but my stomach churned and my throat burned and something stunk like…manure? I turned toward Little Charlie and stared at his sagging diaper.

Deena grimaced. “We weren’t going to wake you up, but Charlie has a stinky diaper.”

My dream was making more and more sense—except for the moth balls.

Clutching the walls, I floated down the hallway. The children stampeded along beside me. Cartoons blared from the TV, the dog slurped something in the kitchen, and a box sat near the front door. My heart panicked at a thought. “Did someone come this morning?”

“Yes, Aunt Mary brought a smelly box of sweaters for the community sale tomorrow. She said she hoped you’re feeling up to snuff soon—whatever that means!”

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This article has been read 765 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 08/05/10
No rest for a sick mom. Cute story.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/05/10
Haha, love this! Liked how you tied together the real smells with the dream.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/10
Your wonderful dream story was tied together perfectly--each smell pictured clearly. I love this story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/06/10
This was filled with humor. It is true how our mind works in the smells and sounds into our dreams. Nice descriptions and a great story.
Charla Diehl 08/09/10
Enjoyed how the dream and real life merged together in this piece. The pace was perfect for a quick read and you stayed right on topic throughout the entire story. Two thumbs up from this reader.
Mona Purvis08/12/10
Yvonne, this is just so special. As I read it, I felt so much like I was in the middle of the dream. How you were able to describe it so well is beyond me, but you did.
I really enjoyed this. I could feel her angst over knowing 'company came'.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/12/10
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level and the top 30 overall.