Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)
TITLE: A Touch of Sal Minella
By Mona Purvis
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That was the night we single-handedly put our little town on the map. That's what happens when CNN Headline News gets a hold of a good story. They call it going viral...and that's just what it did.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. My name is Sally Minella; but, all my friends know me as Sal and it's just fine with me if you call me Sal, too. I've lived all my life in Clover, but up until the intrusion, my life was quiet as could be.
I guess it was a natural thing for me to do, going into the antique business what with my folks all dying and leaving me this big old house overflowing with family treasures from years gone by. Right away, I knew just what I would do with it all. My mama always said if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Now, I don't suspect she was the first to say it, but I betcha no one has said it more.
Speaking of this big old house, I should tell you right away that's what started the trouble. This house is surrounded on all sides by some of the finest Azaleas in Clover or anywhere else for that matter. And growing right along with the finest Azaleas in the country is some of the finest Poison Ivy you've ever seen. Don't touch the Poison Ivy ! My mama talked about Poison Ivy almost as much as she talked about lemonade.
The day had been so hot as days get here in mid-summer in the south. I spent most of the morning cleaning weeds from the flowerbeds and then I went to get my hair touched up at our local Beauty Shop, Kurl Up 'N Dye .
Things went down hill from there. For one thing, I was almost run over by a pimply-faced kid behind the wheel of a blue sedan with Rex Carr's Driving School on the side. A white-haired man, Rex I guess, looked right at me with eyes as big as saucers and a mouth wide open as he jerked the wheel and saved my life just as I stepped up onto the porch at the Kurl Up 'N Dye .
Now with all that commotion, I failed to see the sign Wet paint, Don't Touch! until I had white paint all over not one, but both hands. Calamity held the door open and used about a whole bottle of nail-polish remover to get the paint off.
Even with all the excitement of the day, I was faring pretty well until I started itching while sitting under the dryer. At first it was just a little here and a little there, but by the time Calamity had finished my do, I was in full itch mode. I could hear Mama calling from the Great Beyond, Sal...Sal Minella! Don't touch the Poison Ivy!
When I finally got home, I put all the camomile lotion I could find on my wretched, itching body and about half a bottle of Benadryl into the same body. The night was hot and without a breath of a breeze. Opening all the windows in my upstairs bedroom, I lay down for the night, praying sleep would come and remove me far away from my misery into a land of dreams.
Somewhere in the middle of the night , I was awakened to men in dark clothes with guns drawn swarming my bedroom. Now, that's not the way one ever wants to be awakened, trust me.
On patrol in my neighborhood in the dark of the night, Clover City Police had seen a light blinking on and then off again from the upstairs window above the Den of Antiquities . Thinking it a robbery, they had come to my rescue.
What we came to learn after I settled down and made sure I wasn't having a heart attack, was that in my drugged sleep and intense itching I was flailing my arms. Sitting on my nightstand was the Touch-On, Touch-Off lamp given me by my Sunday School Class. Evidently, I would touch-on and then touch-off every time I tossed and turned. From the outside it appeared to be a signal for help that the local police couldn't pass by.
Things might work out. Captain Milo Minute said he'd keep in touch.
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