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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)

TITLE: Onomatopoeia Bee
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Wrigley pulled her spelling folder out and plopped it on her desk.

She looked up as Mrs. Harris spoke. “Yesterday I had a special word on the board. Who noticed it?”

Bouncing up and down, Wrigley raised her hand. “It's onomatopoeia, o-n-o-m--”

Mrs. Harris held up her hand to stop Wrigley. “First, Wrigley, you need to wait until I call on you.”

Wrigley felt her face growing hot. “I'm sorry.”

Mrs. Harris smiled and nodded her head. “Now I’m glad you can spell it, but today I thought we'd try something different. How many know what this word means?”

Wiggling in her chair, Wrigley dipped her head and hunched her shoulders. She managed to peek out of the corner of her eye and saw a few hands raised.

Shaking her head so that her braids slapped her in her face, Wrigley mumbled, “No fair, it’s spelling class, not definition class.”

Mrs. Harris didn't answer her; instead she walked to the front of the room, and continued her speech. “If you can't use a word in a sentence, then what good is it to know how to spell it?”

Afraid that Mrs. Harris might reprimand her, Wrigley kept her thoughts to herself. I’d get a 100 on my spelling test.

Mrs. Harris continued. “Instead of a spelling bee, we'll have an onomatopoeia bee. Everyone will demonstrate that they know the definition by giving an example. If you're wrong, then you're out. Everyone line up.”

Dropping her pen, Wrigley kicked it across the room. By the time she retrieved it, she scooted into a spot near the end of the line. Her stomach rumbled, so she clicked her pen, in—out,click—click—click.

Mrs. Harris pointed to Katie. “You're up first, Katie.”


Smiling, Mrs. Harris nodded her head. “Very good. Next?”

Wrigley attempted to make some sense of it all. Maybe it’s a disease.

She clicked her pen again, and almost missed hearing Billy say, “Achoo rhymes with flu?”

Mrs. Harris’ lips turned down and Billy shuffled back to his seat while the class snickered.

Wrigley’s mind whirled. She didn't think she could handle it if her nemesis, Lynn, knew the answer and she didn’t. Nemesis had been a spelling word awhile back, and Wrigley joked that Lynn’s picture would be in the dictionary next to it. Why didn't I look up onomatopoeia? Deep down, she knew it was because she wanted to learn to spell it before Lynn did. She clicked the pen a few more times.

The next kids answered correctly with the words, "crackle, pop and snap."

Cereal slogans? No, that can't be right; achoo doesn’t fit. Wrigley watched as each student made an attempt.

Before Lynn responded, she glared at Wrigley. “Flutter.” When Mrs. Harris turned her back, Lynn made a face at Wrigley.

Wrigley bit her tongue to prevent it from escaping from her mouth. With the way her day was going, Mrs. Harris would turn around and catch her. She clenched her fist around the pen, her knuckles turning white as she clicked it in rapid succession.

It appeared that onomatopoeia wasn't a vegetable, alliteration, or a simile when the kids who answered, "zucchini; glittery gold; and a nose like an elephant" were sent to their seats. Mrs. Harris looked at Wrigley. How did it get to be my turn so fast? Think, think!

As she bit her bottom lip, Wrigley noticed her thumb felt numb from clicking her pen so much. “Hum…”

A smile spread over Mrs. Harris’ face. “Great one, Wrigley.”

Wrigley started to open her mouth to protest, but a loud snort from Lynn quickly changed her mind. She clamped her lips shut.

The next round flew by, eliminating several more kids, but a few answers like slash, murmur, and whizz received an approving smile from Mrs. Harris.

When it was Lynn’s turn, this time she made a full spin and squared her shoulders with Wrigley. “Tsk, tsk.”

Wrigley’s eyes darted to Mrs. Harris’ face. She clicked her pen again when she saw the teacher nod.

Too soon it was Wrigley’s turn. She felt her head spin and her stomach churn. She would have to admit defeat. Lynn would probably gloat about it forever; Wrigley clicked her pen as she concentrated on the common thread between the correct words. Suddenly, it all clicked inside Wrigley's brain. She pulled her shoulders back and said, “Click!”

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This article has been read 982 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dannie Hawley 04/25/13
This was such a cute story, cleverly done. It threw me back to those anxiety-filled days of school, and I felt sorry for all of the kids. Spelling was my forte so I was right there with your MC. I do so love the eleventh-hour rescue scenes in any story. Thanks for a fun read.
Patsy Hallum04/25/13
Great story! I empathized with your MC. I loved spelling to. Keep Writing!
Virgil Youngblood 04/28/13
Wrigley is delightful and makes the story a compelling read. Suspense escalated and the ending satisfied. Well done.
Alicia Renkema04/29/13
Wrigley is dang cute! I think we all have a "Wrigley" living inside of us. I love how she is thinking, thinking, thinking, the whole time during class -- with those wheels spinning, and then she KNOWS just in the knick of time by the end of the story, come the second round. Clever title too. The end is predictable but with the way the characters are written the reader is cheering Wrigley on so they are happy for her. Also, a great one for the topic. The only thing I might say is possibly a little less clicking of the pen n some of the spots. Yet maybe that is necessary for the ending to fit as well as it does.
Christina Banks 04/29/13
I enjoyed your characters. I would have been out in the first round at that age. Spelling and definitions were not my forte, but I still connected well to your character because I clearly remember what it was like to be in the hot seat with everyone snickering behind their hands.
lynn gipson 04/29/13
Hahahaha! Lynn? Did you see my post in the forum saying I had to look the word up? At any rate, this story is prime time! Loved the whole thing. Wrigley is most impressive. Excellent.
Cheryl Harrison04/29/13
I love your Wrigley character. Kind of reminds me of the Ramona series. Clever take on the topic. I enjoyed every word. This one should place well. Great job!
Judith Gayle Smith04/29/13
Thank you for reminding me of the joys of spelling bees. I miss the challenge. I love little miss wiggly Wrigley! Delightful story.
Ellen Carr 05/01/13
I love this story and could empathise with Wrigley very easily. You kept the tension going very well. I'd have done OK with the definition and failed on the spelling if I was in a line like that.I probably still can't spell that O word! Great work!
Loren T. Lowery05/01/13
You made the characters come alive and I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson as I've struggled with the word as well. Terrific job.
Cinda Carter05/02/13
I truly found the story to be suspenseful and challenging. Your little character Wrigley has a side of her that is adorable and realistic at the same time. I myself just had trouble pronouncing the word let alone spelling it or even knowing the meaning. I think Wrigley makes a intriguing character in your story. Love the way it ended.
Leola Ogle 05/02/13
Yay Shann! Congratulations! So happy for you, dear lady! God bless!
Tracy Nunes 05/02/13
Congratulations Shannon! This was SO perfect for the topic and SO well written, beginning to end.
Genia Gilbert05/02/13
Wow, Shann! First place in Masters and #2 overall. Congratulations for a well deserved recognition. Great writing.
Sheldon Bass 05/02/13
Hooray! Congratulations Lynn! I love it when someone forces me to reach for a dictionary. Thank you for bolstering my vocab!
You have extraordinary skills.
Edmond Ng 05/02/13
Congratulations on placing first at your level and second of EC!
Sheldon Bass 05/02/13
Sorry Shann, I was just talking to my friend "Lynn" on the phone, and wrote Lynn instead of Shann. What a dummy I can be at times!
Danielle King 05/02/13
Kim Norton05/02/13
Congratulations! A fine story indeed!
lynn gipson 05/02/13
Congratulations on this fine !st place win and EC! Excellent, my friend!
Alicia Renkema05/02/13
I am just thrilled to pieces for you and those adorable little characters of yours. You are such a talented writer and so good at getting inside the heads of kids in your stories and making them come alive. This was a great one. Congrats on #2 in your level and even better #2 over all. Way to write girl!
Dannie Hawley 05/02/13
Yippee, Shann, you're at the top of the pack with this terrific article! First in Masters and Second on the coveted E.C. list...way to go girl! I'm incredibly proud of you...keep on writing, so the dust stays off your FW friends' dictionaries. Seriously, a very delightful way to keep us on our toes.
Alicia Renkema05/02/13
Hey, sorry, I had clicked on EC wins instead of Master's level, I had thought I had better double check when I saw some of your other congratulatory comments. Wow -wow -woweeeee! You took the whole enchilada girl. You must be tickled purple. Great job from top to bottom!
Nancy Bucca05/02/13
Wow, what a creative entry! You nailed this one, Shann. Congrats on your 2nd place win in Editor's choice, a difficult feat to accomplish but you did it. Woohoo!
Lillian Rhoades 05/02/13
I ditto all the remarks! This is indeed a milestone, and one for which you can be proud.

Enjoy the moment, but I'm sure there's more to come.

Bea Edwards 05/02/13
Yay and congratulations on your Master level win! You deserved it with this splendidly written piece. Well done and Yay for you again!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/02/13
Congratulations, Shann, on an EC with this most delightful story!
Christina Banks 05/02/13
I am so thrilled for you, Shann. Congratulations!!!
Fiona Stevenson05/02/13
Congratulations Shann, very well deserved. God bless you.
Theresa Santy 05/02/13
Way to go Shann! Congratulations on your well-deserved placing.
Carla Rogers 05/02/13
Glad to see you in #1 place! This is a great article that incorporates the theme and a great story! No wonder you are in masters. Hope to see you there one day.
Barbara Lynn Culler05/02/13
Way to go, Shann!!! Don't you ever again feel like a nothing!
Patsy Hallum05/02/13
Congratulations!! Hooray! 1st place in masters and 2nd in E>C> What a feat! Your Great!
Ellen Carr 05/03/13
Congratulations Shann! This is well deserve 1st place in Masters and 2nd in EC. As I said earlier, I loved your story. Well done!
Francy Judge 05/03/13
Congratulations on winning with this creative, well-written story. Super job!
Judith Gayle Smith05/03/13
Claudia Thomason05/03/13
Fun story! Took me back to elementary school days. Congratulations on your second place in Masters and your EC ranking. Very well deserved!
Vince Martella05/04/13
Congrats on your well deserved win. A delightful story indeed.
Loni Bowden-Horn 05/04/13

Congratulations on your 2nd Place EC win. You can do the happy dance now.

I enjoyed your children's story and it just warmed my heart.

It seems that when you know an answer the teachers never calls on you but when you don't you're the first one chosen.

I used to like spelling bees in school so I could relate to your topic.
Ken Ebright 05/05/13
I could feel the tension as the story went. It was really good.
Ann Menschel05/06/13
Very imaginative! Those big words can certainly confuse the best of us -- and it's always nice when we stumble into the right place/answer. Congratulations!
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/11/13
I'm so excited for you. 1st place in Masters and 2nd in EC is something to be proud of. And for it to be a precious Wrigley story, too! Fun story by an awesome writer.