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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Achoo (04/11/13)

TITLE: The Nose Knows
By Sandra Hartman


The Nose Knows

Old Sal had a preeminently prominent nose. Whenever someone met Sal for the first time it was the Nose they met. Old Sal had lived with this edifice upon his face for several decades and was quite comfortable hiding behind it.

Sal attended the old church on Grand every Sunday.

He always seated himself in the balcony near the railing where he had an exceptional view of the parishioners below.

He could see the tight grey curls of Claire who was the foremost gossip in town. On her right sat Jimmy a dishonest car salesman. Just below him and almost out of view sat Carl a former antagonist. The teens sat near the front and-- well he knew a few things about them too. Now he wasn’t an unfeeling man so he did the Christian thing and prayed for them as he sat in service. He prayed they’d see the error of their ways and get right.

He thought of sweet red haired Mabel that used to sit just four rows over by the wall who’d “gone home to be with the Lord” not long ago. He knew that the congregation’s Sundays were numbered. They needed to repent before their time came to meet their Maker.

One Sunday in April Sal woke up with a tickle in his nose. Sal armed himself with several white handkerchiefs on his way out the door.

Lately the church had gone through a long dry spell. People sat stiffly in their pews. Some even dozed. The minister, who’d only been there a few months, was weary and discouraged. He wondered if he should put in his resignation; since he’d failed to move even one poor soul down the aisle at invitation time.

When Sal arrived he sat up vigil from his rampart gazing down on the familiar crowd. He wondered what it would take to wake these people up to their less than stellar lives and drive them to their knees at the altar.

The minister had been laboring long in his sermon when Sal’s nose began to go into spasm. A tickle began up in his sinus cavity causing his nose to twitch and tingle. He grabbed a white hankie and pressed it to his face

“–aahh—aahhh--- ahhhhm” . He breathed a huge sigh of relief.

From the pulpit the minister continued.. Out of the corner of his eye Sal saw 20 year old Benjamin sharing notes with blond haired Rebecca. He wished his arms were long enough to tap on their shoulders and make them listen to the sermon that he knew the minister had labored upon.

Again the tickle started and Sals’s eyes began to water as he grabbed the hankie once again and pressed it to his nose.

The tickle increased in volume “aaaah—aaah---aaahm” he sighed again.

The minister was now urging people to come forward and get right with God.

“Come to the altar and kneel and pray for God’ blessings on your life!”

Then in a moment of inspiration; he began to sing---”there shall be showers of blessings” He ended the chorus and began adjuring the members once again to come forward for showers of blessings as the organist ramped up the volume.

Old Sal’s nose twitched and tingled mightily. It felt like thousands of ants were tap dancing up in its inner cavities. Sal grabbed the rail in front of him.

“Aaaaah- Aaaaaah- Achoo!!”

“There shall be showers of blessing on those that repent and come forward,” shouted the minister above the organ as he felt a warm drop fall on his brow. He looked up in amazement.

Sal continued to hold on tightly as another resounding

“Aaaah---Aaahh—Achoo!!” trumpeted forth.

Claire felt moisture on her bare shoulder and jumped to her feet.

Jimmy felt a drop on his cheek and rose in wonder.

Benjamin and Rebecca felt a rainstorm erupt above them.

Carl experienced a deluge upon his balding pate.

In preparation for sneeze number three Old Sal had managed to grab a white hankie and press it against his face.

A monster “Aaaaaaah Aaaaah Achhoooooooooo !!” blew the hankie right out of his hand and over the balcony.

The minister and the congregation would always remember that day as the greatest revival their church had experienced in years as the congregation flooded the altar.

Claire was even sure she’d seen the Holy Spirit descend like a white dove from the rafters.:)

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This article has been read 387 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W04/20/13
Yeah - this good. A couple tweaks, drop some redundancies, and you have a dandy here.
Yvonne Blake 04/23/13
Ha Ha... Showers of Blessing! You developed the character of Sal very well.
Dana Anders04/23/13
Liked this one. Very entertaining. Why is it though that used car salesman are always portrayed as 'dishonest'...? Anyway, I like the way you finished the story too. I would actually like to hear more from this guy with the nose - he sounds like he has more than one good story to tell.
Judith Gayle Smith04/24/13
Hysterical! I see a winner here . . .
Linda Berg 04/24/13
I like your character Sal. You developed him so well I believe I might know him. This was hysterical. Thank you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/13
Congratulations on ranking 8 in your level and 23 overall!