Tag Archives: short story

Blanca’s nose burned as if being licked by a little flame. Her hand shot up to paw at her upper lip at first. When that didn’t work, she pinched the sides together to douse the little fire. “Oh, hwhat is tat?”

Her roommate, Corinne, a friend of hers since college, looked up from the cup of coffee she l644885_smell_the_rosesazily stirred. “What is what? Why are you standing there like that?”

Pushing the inner skin of her nostrils together helped relieve that strange, bothersome feeling, though it still tickled. “I don’t know. I can’t eben descripeb it. My nose is, like, burning or someting!”

Corinne perked up slightly, though confusion still radiated off her. “Burning?” She gave a few tired and wary sniffs. “I don’t smell anything, just some coffee? Waitaminute. Are you smelling coffee?”

Blanca rubbed her nose, accidentally taking another whiff in the process. “Ah gad. Is tat hwhat it smells like?”

“You’re smelling? You’ve never been able to smell right?” Corinne leapt from the table and to Blanca’s side, suddenly much too awake. “C’mon, let’s get you fresh air. It’ll do you good.”

They walked out to their patio area. Out front they had plants growing, mostly flowers but some herbs too. It had been Blanca’s idea although she couldn’t taste them. She just liked being able to appear fancy enough to actually use them when she cooked. Corinne had worked with her on that, spending much time training her on what was appropriate to use and when.

Outside, Blanca breathed in deeply. Fresh, cool air drenched the burning sensation. For a moment, she reveled in the peace. And then Corinne shoved one of the potted geraniums under her nose. She gagged as a strange feeling worked its way down her throat.

She pushed the plant away. “Get it away! That’s awful!”

Corinne tilted her head and then cautiously brought the plant close to her nose and gave a sniff. “I don’t understand. It smells fine. It’s a light scent, sort of fresh and airy. Maybe you should try one of the herbs?”
Her sweet basil plant sat nearby. In her heart, Blanca believed that it wouldn’t purposely betray her, not like the geranium which had always been Corinne’s plant. She picked it up and took a little whiff. A new feeling coursed along the sides of her nose. This one didn’t burn. It was more like water bubbling through her nostrils and racing to the back of her throat. She felt like she was drowning in the scent. She put it down and covered her nose again.

“That too? Maybe you’re just not used to smelling? Give it some time, let your nose adjust. Why is it you can smell all of a sudden anyway? Did you hit your head or get struck by lightning or something?”

Blanca thought back to the day before. She’d been blissfully unaware of her deficiency as always. Then she remembered running across an overly eager woman at the cosmetics counter who sprayed some perfume into her face even after she said it would be no use. They weren’t allowed to do that anymore, were they? People had allergies, and it was rude. But this woman had assured her that this perfume would work magic, and she didn’t have to be the one able to smell it. Blanca had recoiled as a chemical scent covered every inch of skin inside her nostril and made its way to her tongue. The stink stuck with her throughout the day, just barely wearing off before bedtime. And then she’d woken to this. Was this to be her super hero origin story? Getting sprayed in the face by stinky perfume and somehow turning it into a super sensitive ability to smell things? No, she would not put up with this. She walked into the house and grabbed her coat, throwing it on over her pajamas.

“We need to get this fixed. If this is what it’s like to be a normal person with a working sniffer, I’d much rather not be.”

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Ha, so, I can’t smell. When I do sort of smell– I feel it. Just like this. Burning sensations or warmth in my nostrils. Some feel sorry because of the stuff I’m missing out on. My boyfriend thinks I’m incredibly lucky because there are so many bad smells, especially if you have gassy friends. (He changes his tune when I’m shoving something under his nose and asking if it’s still good.)

This is part of the Senseless Challenge of course. Here is the round up for sound. And in case you missed it last week, here’s the round up for sight. There are still two more senses if you’d like to participate!

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flameGold glittered in the light of the torch as far as she could see which wasn’t actually very far as darkness pressed in from all sides. Flecked among the gold were the bright and colorful sparkles of precious stones attached to beautiful jewelry. She stood on a solid ground of pressed dirt. At her feet lay a ruby which seemed to have rolled from one of the golden mounds.
She grasped the torch and tugged it out of the ground. She had no idea where she was or what had happened. The last thing she remembered… well she thought about it, and she couldn’t remember anything.

Her heart began to race, and in order to calm it down, she decided to investigate the closest shimmering mound. Up close, the mound was actually made up from tiny, round coins made from pure shiny gold. She picked them up and let the pieces slide through her fingers, keeping one to examine it closely. On one side there was the face of a very regal looking person wearing a crown, on the other there was a crest with a shield and a bird holding onto a worm. She dug through and found many different variations of such gold in a similar shape only with different regal entities and differing symbols. They lit a small flame in the back of her head, but she let it go when she noticed a few pretty rubies and one bright sapphire floating free on the pile. Those she couldn’t help slipping into her pocket for safe keeping.

She started walking in a direction, still on the dirt though at times she’d kick one of the smaller pieces of gold in her way and then she’d have a companion for a few seconds until it gave up the march. The piles merged together, each of differing sizes, there was not always a clear ending or a clear beginning. They were just one long pile.

As she made her way, she found pieces that she had to take– other loose gems in her path, a necklace with more stones than she could name, and a delicate ring with gold wires swirled along the edge. Coins fell away from her hand when she removed pieces from the piles like grains of sand, splattering across the floor and tinkling across her bare toes. She put the ring on and kept walking, every so often looking down at her fingers. The intricate designs looped around one another.

A presence loomed over her, and she glanced up from her ring. A mountain of gold rose into the darkness. She lifted the torch and still couldn’t see the top, though something about it was different from the other piles. This one was darker and almost shinier. It was somehow smoother on the sides, and she instantly wanted to run her fingers over the pile to make those strange dark coins join their lighter counterparts, but the original pile she’d been following lay between her and the new, more interesting mound. She’d have to climb over that to reach the new subject of her curiosity.

She didn’t. She kept moving, taking note of all the variation in the large mountain. It had to have been an older pile. As she walked, it became such a deep red it verged on brown. Under the glow of the fire, it nearly appeared to move. She kept going, following the large mound until it began to taper back towards the ground nearly disappearing behind the heap between her and it.

She came to a stop and gasped. A face had appeared. The eyes were shut tight and the mouth slightly open. Dark flaps of flesh gently sputtered over the sharp teeth covered with yellow slime. Suddenly she remembered the sight of her kingdom from the air, every building the size of a doll house, even her beautiful castle with the stained glass windows and the lovely little moat that had lily pads growing in it.

Just as the creature opened its eyes, she dropped the torch, killing the flame and leaving them in complete darkness.

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It’s not too late to join the challenge! Look to the end of this post by A.M. Harte to see the other participants and the basic “rules” of the challenge.