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

TITLE: Heaven Scent
By Patricia Protzman


I pushed open the squeaky screen door, strolled onto the back porch, and a delicious aroma bombarded my olfactory senses. Three deep purple lilac bushes were in full bloom. I raced toward the beauties and submerged my face into their heady perfume.

I gathered a bouquet and murmured, “Um...this is heaven.”

If I knew what lay ahead for me that day, I would have lingered longer to relish the fragrance.

“Karen, we’ll be late for school and work.” Dad yelled from the car.

“Okay Dad, coming.” I handed the spray to Mom.

“Please put these in my room.”

“I will. You better go.” She said as we hugged.

“How do you like being a freshman this year, Karen?” Dad asked as he turned onto the main road.

“Great, it’s fun. I’ve made lotsa new friends.”

“I’m happy for you. Do you like your teachers?”

“Yeah, their okay, I guess. My English teacher gave us a list of books to read this year. I need to...”

Dad slammed on the brakes to avoid the car in front but he rammed into the rear end. Another car swerved into ours sideways and a vehicle from behind bashed into our rear. My last memory was pain in my head.

“Karen...Karen...its Mom, wake up Karen.”

I heard a familiar voice but the black hole overpowered me, pulled my consciousness back, and covered me with it’s inky blanket. Two days later, I wakened to Mom’s voice. My eyes opened to see a nurse beside her.

“Well, young lady, how do you feel?” The nurse asked.

“My head hurts.” I moaned.

“Let me get you something for the pain. In the meantime, do not get out of bed. Lie still until I return.”

“Don’t worry.” I mumbled.

“Mom...what happened?” I asked. The room spun every time I opened my eyes.

“You and Dad were in an accident. You have a bad concussion.”

“Daddy...Daddy...” I whimpered.

“He’s fine, Karen.” Mom interjected. “The accident left him with a broken left arm and leg; surgery was done two days ago. His room is two doors from yours. Thank God neither of you were hurt any worse than you are. I have prayed nonstop.”

“Here, I brought you lilacs.” She said as she removed the vase from the nightstand and brought the purple beauties close to me.

“I can’t smell them.”

“Hmm...I just picked them an hour ago. They have a strong odor.” Mom said as she raised the vase to her nose.

A few minutes later, the door opened and the nurse entered with my medication.

“Before I give you the pain pill let me raise your bed so you may swallow easier.”

“Oh...my head,” I whined, as she elevated the bed.

The door opened and Dr. Miles entered.

“Good to see you awake, Karen. The nurse says you have a headache.”

“Ugh huh,” I said as I swallowed the pill. “And I’m dizzy. The room is spinning.”

“I’m not surprised. You slammed into the car door window. You have a serious concussion.”

“Doctor, Karen can’t smell the flowers I brought her.”

“Let me have them.” He said with his hand extended.

Doctor Miles put the vase near my nose and I inhaled.

“There’s no scent.”

“This is not uncommon for a head injury. Most of the time a person’s loss of smell is a temporary condition and returns anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Occasionally, it takes much longer and sometimes the sense never returns. What you need to do is rest. Later this evening, your nurse will help you out of bed and to a chair for thirty minutes.”

The next day Mom wheeled me to Dad’s room. We embraced and told each other how thankful we were to be alive. Dr. Miles discharged me home three days later and Dad was home in a week

The dizziness and headaches disappeared but I still was under doctor’s orders to take it easy. Dad used a wheelchair to get around the house, with Mom’s help, of course. She prepared our favorite foods but I discovered my appetite had diminished.

One sunny morning a week later, I wakened to a glorious scent. I turned to see a vase full of flowers and Mom.

“I’m afraid these are the last of the lilacs, Karen. It’s too bad you can’t enjoy their fragrance.”

I grabbed the vase, sniffed and proclaimed, “Mom, I can smell them. Oh, thank you Lord. This is heaven scent.”

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This article has been read 372 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/10
I could feel myself thinking Oh she has to be able to smell lilacs again. You did a great job with building the suspense. I could smell my favorite fragrance as you described the lilacs. I did notice a tiny typo when she was talking about the teachers- it should be they're instead of their. But I smiled at the play on words at the end and in the title.
Edy T Johnson 08/05/10
We can take our sense of smell for granted, never realizing how important it is until we experience its loss. I almost wrote on your topic, but I'm glad I didn't, because yours came with a memorable story.
Lollie Hofer08/10/10
My grandmother always grew lilacs by her front door. The smell greeted us when we arrived and bade us farewell when we left. I enjoyed your story and glad your mc was able to once again enjoy the smell of lilacs.