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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sweet to the Taste (08/23/12)

TITLE: Ice Cream Freak
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Lacey looked at the bowl of ice cream that her friend had just ordered. She inhaled deeply and the sweet chocolate aroma wafted into her nostrils. As her brain processed the familiar smell, she started to shake and beads of sweat gathered on her brow. Covering her mouth, she sprinted to the restroom.

Her friend, Angie, followed. She held Lacey’s hair back as she hurled into the toilet. Angie’s eyes brimmed with tears. “I’m sorry, Lace. I wasn't thinking when I ordered the sundae. You should've stopped me.”

Swiping her mouth with the back of her hand, Lacey stood up and flushed the toilet. “I thought about it but figured I could handle it. It’s not fair to you that I’m a freak.”

Angie rubbed her friend’s back. “I think it’s time you go talk to someone and find out why you can’t stand the sight or smell of ice cream.”

Hanging her head, Lacey shrugged. “I have an appointment with my minister tomorrow. Maybe I’ll talk to him about it.”

The next day, Lacey trembled as she knocked on Pastor Dave’s office door. After the niceties had been exchanged, Lacey took a deep breath. “For no reason, whenever I see ice cream I freak out. Last night I ruined the night by puking my guts out in the bathroom.”

Pastor Dave rubbed his chin. “Close your eyes and relax. Take a deep breath,in and out. In and out. Think back to the first time ice cream made you sick.”

Lacey wrapped her arms around her waist and started rocking back and forth. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She could feel the blood draining from her face. Her eyes flew open and a shriek escaped her tightly pursed lips. “Oh God, please no! I remember; I remember!”

Lowering his voice, Pastor Dave reached over and touched Lacey’s arm. “You can do this. Jesus'll give you strength.”

She bit her lower lip until drops of blood fell onto her chin. “Daddy had bought a huge container of ice cream—chocolate ripple. I wanted a taste so bad, but he yelled at me and told me not to touch it.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't stop thinking about it. I crept into the kitchen and grabbed the container. I was only gonna scoop my fingers in for a tiny taste.

"But he must’ve heard me. He stormed into the kitchen screaming ‘I’ll teach you!’ Then he dragged me into my bed and forced me to eat the whole gallon. After a while, I couldn't eat anymore, so he took it and forced it down my throat.”

Lacey yanked on her hair as she started to rock harder and harder. Her voice squealed higher and higher. “My stomach started to hurt. I told him I was gonna puke but he didn't care. He kept shoving it down my throat until I started to hurl. I threw up all over myself and the bed.”

She licked her lips and swallowed hard. “He just stood there and laughed. The milk had started to curdle and the puke was chunky. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. Even today, when I think about ice cream, I can taste the bile.”

Handing her a tissue, Pastor Dave clenched his jaw and took a deep breath. “Lacey, that's abuse. I’m so sorry; no one should ever be treated like that.”

“That was the last time I ever saw him. Mom always blamed me for the divorce. Now I know why. If I hadn't stolen the ice cream … "

Pastor Dave shook his head. “No, you were a little girl. It is not your fault. Look at me Lacey.” She slowly lifted her head and looked into Pastor Dave’s eyes. “The only thing you did wrong—-maybe--was to disobey your father, but what he did is reprehensible. No one deserves a punishment like that."

He leaned over and clasped his hand around hers. “Your father didn't follow the directive given in Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Lacey wiped her eyes. “At least now, it makes sense. My friends would rave about how delicious ice cream tastes. I didn't understand, all I tasted was bile. I’ll probably never be able to eat it, but at least I’m not a total freak.” Lacey lifted her head and attempted a smile.

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This article has been read 484 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon08/30/12
This truly touched my heart on so many levels. Witnessing child abuse of any kind leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth.An interesting take on the challenge.
Patsy Hallum08/30/12
There is all kinds of abuse that people live through. I'm sorry youR MC had to live through this. Maybe it will wake up some people to what goes on behind closed doors.
Keep writing for the Lord! You have a great talent.
C D Swanson 08/31/12
A very sad and different take on the subject. It makes my heart ache to know this and so many other things go on in this world today.
God Bless~
Dannie Hawley 09/02/12
You have done a masterful job of putting the spotlight on a very troubling subject. No one wants to even think that such things are happening in our world, but the statistics confirm that they are. As Christians, we need not turn away from the light but reach in and pull the children out of their darkness and into the real Light. Not sure that it matters, but I wondered how old the MC was. How long she had struggled with her pain.

Nicely done.
Danielle King 09/03/12
Chunky puke, guts and bile. I like a bit of realism in an entry. This was sad but unfortunately true for many children. A different take on the topic and written in an easy flowing style. Well done.

ps ... where's the snot?
Theresa Santy 09/03/12
This is a unique and interesting application of the theme. Well done.
Allison Egley 09/04/12
Oh wow. This is so powerful. You did a great job with this. I really felt connected to the MC.
Myrna Noyes09/04/12
Your story shows that normally sweet things can become bitter to us because of the memories surrounding them.

Your MC's remembrance of the sad event in her life seemed a bit hurried, but I know the word limit prevents a slower development. You did a good job within that restriction, though.

Sandra Hartman 09/12/12
You covered so much territory in so few words!! A well told story and interesting --I think it will resonate with anyone out there that has suffered abuse at the hands of a family member and maybe help them to see that the other person's abuse was not their fault.