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Monday - 9/10: Sneezing

Posted by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 6:26 PM
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Picked a new word today.  It's Sneezing!  Have fun with that one!!


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by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 6:26 PM
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by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 7:49 PM

   The strangest thing about my husband is his sneezing. 
   After he eats a meal, he sneezes exactly three times. No more, no less. Three sneezes. He sneezes after he smokes a cigarette, just once. He sneezes when he wakes up in the morning, sometimes a half a dozen times. Our first year together, I had to ask why.

   "I don't know, but it's been like this since I had my adnoids removed when I was nineteen." He said, shrugging. 
   "Don't you think you should ask the doctor?" 
   "Why? It's just sneezing." He went back to his newspaper. 
   So this many years later, if he doesn't sneeze after a meal, I know he didn't like it.
by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 8:52 PM
The lights were bright and the floor beneath the shimmering lamps looked on fire.  The deep mahogany red of the wood reflecting the image of the 4 stark bulbs hanging wantonly overhead.  As I moved beneath the archaic wiring I wondered at the contrast between the seemingly unkept fixture above me and the highly polished flooring below. 

 I had come in search of a story.  The old lighthouse and connecting house were going to be torn down at the end of the month.  My editor had told me to head down to the weather beaten structure to get some photos and unearth any unknown facts.  Upon knocking at the door of the wearily majestic lighthouse, I took the steps to the house.  Finding the door unlocked and slightly ajar,  I let the nose of a reporter within me be my guide.

As I stood facing a winding stairway with gleaming steps, I peered into the parlor on my left.  Wild rose patterned couches and overstuffed grandfather chairs beckoned invitingly.  I gazed dumbfounded at the open hearth piled with wood as scattered cushions, hassocks and tiny damask slippers were placed to the side of its great berth.  My mind came rushing back to me as if on some long lost journey to another time.  Course sneezing interrupting my fantasies of tea at 2:00 and dancing at 8:00. 

I turned to face the offender the realization coming to me that I was actually the one intruding on another’s home.  Not a house a home.  The tiny woman before me was bent over slightly but still had a regal bearing of one born of the sea, of nymphs and princesses.  A sparkle in her eye but a sniff to her nose.  She daintily dabbed at her petite nose and tilted her head. 

With another sneeze she was gone.  As I turned around looking for her, I realized the house was covered in dust, cobwebs strewn throughout.  No tiny slippers graced the fireplace.  The floor had lost its luster covered in a heavy carpet of dirt from years of unuse.  In the distant sound of the rolling waves I heard it again. 

by Group Admin on Sep. 10, 2007 at 11:43 PM


    I have always been a big sneezer.   When I sneeze, everyone in close proximity jumps as if shot.   Then, as soon as they realize what had transpired, we all laugh.   I wish that I could stifle a sneeze rather than make such a scene, but for as long as I can remember my mother and grandmother have regaled me with myths and stories about sneezing.

      “Don’t stifle a sneeze, dear,” My mother would say.  “You’ll burst an eardrum.”

      “Close your eyes when you sneeze,” warned Grandma, “or your sneeze will blow your eyes out of their sockets.  Don’t want that, do you?”

       So for my entire life I took a deep breath and let it rip whenever I felt a sneeze about to happen.  It has become my signature trait.

      “Wait til you meet Deenie,” my brother would say to his friends. “She has a monster sneeze.”

      I have always wished I could have a delicate little ‘kerchoo,’ but it has been with me so long that it no longer bothers me.   I know that there are good stories about sneezing as well; ‘sneeze on Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow’ is a myth that I have heard but never experienced.   Then one Tuesday as I was waiting for the elevator to take me down to the parking garage, I felt a sneeze coming.  I looked wildly around me to see who would witness my embarrassment.  There were two women from my department who had already been exposed to my outbursts, and a very attractive man whom I had never seen before.

         “Oh dear,” I thought, “why now?”   Before I could hide to sneeze in peace, it exploded out of me like a canon.  I could feel the blush begin to creep up to my face as I looked around prepared to apologize.

     “Don’t worry, haven’t you heard ‘sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger?’ asked the handsome stranger as he leaned over and planted one on my cheek.  

     The blush increased as I smiled delightedly. 

     “My name is Jason,” said the stranger by way of introduction.  “May I walk you to your car?”

     “My name is Deenie, and I would be delighted.”  I replied.   Now this is the kind of myth I can learn to live with, I thought as we waited for the elevator together.


My Home is Where I Park It

by Member on Sep. 11, 2007 at 1:52 AM
**Note... the word "sneezing" doesn't actually appear in this story, but the prompt made me think of this friend who explored religion obsessively but seemed to be allergic to all of them.

And something else totally bizarre... it's damn near 1 in the morning and just as I wrote the last line of this little essay my best friend Jake called.  Talk about ESP - now I won't even go to bed all sad and shit.


            My best friend and soul-mate.  There’s so much to say.  And so little.

            She was beautiful and adventurous, daring, bold, so much larger than life.  I saw her around campus a few times before we met and hated her for her hair.  It hung to her waist in perfect careless curls, a little bit red, but the subtle gentle red that every woman wants.  When she sat down at my table in the student lounge and introduced herself I still hated her for her hair.  “I would pay to have hair like that,” I said.

            She laughed in a way that made her perfect curls bounce perfectly.

            “I did,” she said, “two hundred dollars at the Mall of America.”

            Let me just say, I liked her better after that.  Not because the hair was fake, but because she wasn’t comfortable lying about it. 

            Our friendship grew until it was all-consuming.  If we weren’t together we were on the phone, calling ten times a day or just once to talk for hours about everything and nothing.  If anything happened in her day, in her life, I was the first to know.  And vice versa.  I was surrounded by the love of my husband and the love of my best friend, and I was the luckiest woman alive.

            Five years passed in a blink.  I was the first person in the world my godson saw with his fuzzy newborn eyes.

            Some time after the birth of her son my best friend felt something big was missing in her life.  She started trying on different religions like a high school girl tries on prom dresses – filled with anticipation and hope. 

            Wicca; we read books, learned spells, and held ceremonies by the light of the harvest moon.

            Catholicism, her husband's childhood religion; she took adult catechism classes and planned to renew her wedding vows with a full-blown Catholic wedding.  

            But I guess she was allergic either to Catholicism or her husband, because instead of a wedding there came along a boyfriend.

            Judaism.  Well.  That one stopped me cold.  Is it a religion or a nationality?  Maybe I ridiculed the notion because it was her boyfriend who was interested in Judaism and meeting with a Rabbi for teaching that would lead to conversion. 

            Her boyfriend the drug user.  Her boyfriend with a perma-smirk on his face like Batman’s Joker.  The guy who couldn’t get out of bed without lighting a joint or packing a pipe.  The guy who carried such an unpleasant odor about his person that “gag me” doesn’t even begin to cover it.  The boyfriend she hadn’t told me about.  Even when I saw him and his wife at the mall and commented, “Hey, I saw so-and-so at the mall – I wonder if they’ve moved back to town.”

            “Really?” she'd said, “I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything about them lately.”

            Liar.  LIAR.  FUCKING LIAR.  She’d helped him find the apartment that he’d live in with his wife and two kids.  She’d fucked him there while his wife and two kids were packing to move.

            And she fucked him in the apartment I gave her to use as a photo studio.  Fucked him right beneath my oblivious feet.  And I… I was the last to know.
           Today I don't know where she is, what she's doing, or what her life is like.  I know nothing except there's still a warrent out for her arrest.


            Soul-mate.  Best friend. 

            Liar.  Addict.  Thief.

            Felon.  Fugitive.

            Memories laced with bitterness

            Yet some still bittersweet.


It's not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.  ~Train

by Member on Sep. 11, 2007 at 2:06 PM

His lean, perfectly pressed form stood statuesque before the crowd. All was still, the air thick with anticipation as if everyone had taken one deep synchronized breath and held it. The silence was both thrilling and serene simultaneously.

And then it happened. “Oh God,” I thought as the most unbearable tickle imaginable waged an attack on my unsuspecting sinuses. “No, no, no!” my head screamed, “OK, focus…just focus,” I pleaded silently.

So much commotion in my head as he stood calmly continuing to breathe in and breathe out…breathe in and breathe out…

“Come on already!” I wailed noiselessly, breathing erratically fighting a battle within my own body, “hold it…hold it…”

I struggled against the urge to squirm and dance around as he stood with intense meditation over the tiny white object that sat almost aglow against the green backdrop.

“Damn pollen…”I lamented trapped within my own personal prison,” damn that woman’s obnoxious perfume…damn that bright sun!”

Eyes glued to his mark, his arms rose swiftly to his right side, hips tilted…

“Here we go…hold it!”

Then the flash of silvery steel, moving in slow motion toward the little white target…about to make impact…


Momentarily disoriented I scanned the crowd, no longer was he the focus of attention. Faces glaring, I could almost feel the impact physically. I had a flash of floating above myself.

 “Am I having an out of body experience? Am I dead? Maybe looks really can kill. Would that be such a bad thing right about now?” It’s amazing the number of thoughts that can fly through the mind in a matter of nanoseconds.

Then I made the mistake of looking over at him. Metal rod planted firmly to the ground, left hand gripping his hip, I could almost hear him grinding his brilliant white dental work, daggers shooting out of his eyes and whizzing by my head.

Unable to endure any more hostile stares, I dropped my head and shamefully slithered through the cracks of the mob, racing to my car in fear of fanatics in the parking lot.

Trying to soothe myself with affirmations pertaining to uncontrollable acts of nature that no one in their right mind would hold on to past noon, I determined all would be forgotten and I could get one with my life.  Then I made the poor judgment to turn on the evening news. Every channel had my moment of infamy on camera. What was worse was the speculation that his broken concentration may have been to blame for his not winning the tournament.

The following morning I called in sick to work, I watched my neighbors scramble to rescue their morning papers from the down pouring rain while I allowed mine to melt away, I shut off the cell phone and left the house phone off the hook, and I included a shot of tequila in my morning coffee. I determined this would be a good time to find a new passion-maybe football or NASCAR or hell, maybe I could take up bingo, anything that did not require complete silence. All of this over one lousy sneeze.

by on Sep. 11, 2007 at 10:19 PM
Those were so awesome!  All of them!!  And, the lighthouse one!!!  I can't believe you came up with all that SO FAST!  I cannot for the life of me come up with anything for sneezing...  I still have some time, I'm gonna keep working on it....

I'm just so jealous of all of you!


Attention writers! Join the challenge!!! Come check out my new group: NaNoWriMo


by on Sep. 11, 2007 at 10:32 PM
All of the stories have been amazing so far.  The golf one was a hoot.  The one about the girl seeking but being allergic tugged at my heart.  Hubbie one was funny too, hehe.  Loud sneeze oh my goodness, that was me when I worked at my office, they kept telling me i was going to burst valuable brain storage cells holding it in so i had a doozy in my younger years, rofl. 
I am so jealous of all the dialogue.  I was scared off of it again and think i really need to do some one on one with my keyboard and some studying up.  It is a mental wall right now. 
Can't wait to read more, I found myself hunkering down close to my screen and settling into the couch in anticipation of reading everyones "shorts".
Love ya
by Member on Sep. 11, 2007 at 11:21 PM
I have loved reading these!  I particularly liked the one with all the "words of wisdom" regarding sneezes...  the elevator one.

Nice job.

If I get some time I might try my hand at something that acutally *has* sneezing in it - lol - considering I've been doing it an awful lot today.

Nice work, ladies!

~Sweet De

It's not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.  ~Train

by Member on Sep. 12, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Quoting syuratick:

Those were so awesome!  All of them!!  And, the lighthouse one!!!  I can't believe you came up with all that SO FAST!  I cannot for the life of me come up with anything for sneezing...  I still have some time, I'm gonna keep working on it....

I'm just so jealous of all of you!


Attention writers! Join the challenge!!! Come check out my new group: NaNoWriMo

Don't feel bad, for a while I couldn't seem to get these awful Mother Goosey rhymes outta my head-when elephants sneeze they send such a breeze that knocks down the trees-something like that *ugh*. Guess I just had to deal with the junk first :)

Great stories! The lighthouse one was just beautiful.
by on Sep. 12, 2007 at 1:03 PM
Okay, okay, okay....  No laughing...  LOL
I'm kidding, you can laugh if you want.  I really struggled with this one!  But, that's what I'm here for, to practice and learn to be a little more creative.  Any and all advice is very appreciated!!

I have to get over my fear of posting these.... 

Courage: Acknowledging the fear and acting anyway. 

So, here goes...


Tucked here in the dark, I snuggle into my bed and rest.  With overlapping petals and leaves protecting me from the harsh and unforgiving nighttime, I remain warm and safe and a feeling of overwhelming peace and calm comes over me.    


Daytime rolls in slowly, but I am still sheltered in my cozy home.  As the sun starts to shine its rays down upon the garden, I begin to notice the smallest bit of light making its way through my shield of pink.  Frightened, I tuck myself further down and try to hide.  Petals starting to open now, they appear amazingly beautiful in the bright light.  The sunlight is much too bright, and it takes me a moment to adjust. Once I do, though, I cannot help but marvel at the beauty all around me!  The garden is filled with pink and purple flowers, all reaching and stretching out their petals towards the sun.  Lush green leaves unfurling from long stems, and a backdrop of soft green bushes.


Getting used to the warm sun didn't take me very long, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the day, all fear has left me.  I inch up out of my bed a little farther.  What else is there to see? 


I hear a voice in the distance, "Hey!  I found a ball, let's play catch!"


I hear another voice, a little closer this time, "Awesome!"


The children are running towards the yard with a ball in their hand.  I watch them come tearing into the yard, the excitement of a beautiful sunny day almost overwhelming.  Ah, the joy of being young and carefree.  How must it feel to be free and able to run about like those children can!  They begin to toss the ball back and forth between them.


Oh no, he missed!  The ball rolls towards the garden, and comes to a stop just in front of me.  The child comes running towards the ball.  He picks up the ball and in his hurry to get back to the game he swung around knocking into the stem of my flower with his foot!


So, this is what it is like to be free!  I am suddenly floating through the air, carried on a soft breeze.  I'm flying higher and higher and higher!  Until…




"Stupid pollen," the boy says, and returns to his game of catch.


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