"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

3/6/09

Friday Fiction: "Mrs. Chillsome Chills Out"

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Shirley McClay at Sunny Glade. Be sure to stop by her blog for links to some wonderful fiction. And don't be afraid to post your own - just link up in the gadget at the bottom of her post!
This is a favorite of mine (and several others, apparently) at Faithwriters.com. It did quite well in the challenge, and was an absolute hoot to write. If you're looking for something deep and psychological - SKIP THIS ENTRY. The topic, by the way, was calm.


Mrs. Chillsome Chills Out

"Now I want you all to sit cross-legged on the floor."

"Umm... Mrs. Chillsome?"

Sarah Chillsome groaned almost silently (almost). "Yes, Amy?"

"It's Amanda Lynn, please."

"Okay, Amanda Lynn. And you can call me Sarah. What do you need?"

"I can't sit cross-legged."

"Excuse me?"

"I am physically unable to sit Indian style. My limbs don't bend that way."

Sarah forced the corners of her mouth up. "Okay, then. Why don't you just sit in whatever position makes you most comfortable? Does that work?"

Amanda grinned, her eyes sparkling. "That sounds great. I'll just be sitting here with my knees bent in front of me. Would that be okay?"

"That's perfect." Sarah widened her gaze from Amanda Lynn to the other students in her class. "Now rest your hands on your lap."

"Mrs. Chillsome, I don't really have a lap right now."

Half the class snickered.

"Well, then, Amanda Lynn, you could always rest them around the front part of your legs. It should give the same effect."

"That's a great idea, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll just do that."

"Wonderful." She took a deep breath. "All right now, class, close your eyes."

Sarah paused, waiting for an objection. After several seconds, she continued.

"Now take a deep breath through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth."

"Mrs. Chillsome? I have decreased lung capacity."

"You have what?"

"Decreased lung capacity. If I take too deep a breath I could start hyperventilating."

"I see." Sarah spoke slowly and deliberately. "I would recommend, then, that you only take as deep a breath as you can, um, safely."

Amanda Lynn hit herself lightly on the side of her head. "Now why didn't I think of that? You sure are helpful, Mrs. Chillsome."

"Thank you. Now, shall we get back to our relaxation techniques?"

"Sure. Sounds good to me."

That was a rhetorical question, you dingbat!

"Great. Return to your position, Amanda Lynn, dear, and we can continue."

"Okay - all set."

"Wonderful. Now continue with your breathing, and picture a peaceful place in your mind. Imagine yourself at the beach, on your porch swing, in a meadow: anywhere that you can just let go of all your stresses and worries. Focus on that scene, and let all your troubles flow out of you as you breathe out."

"Mrs. Chillsome?"

Sarah gritted her teeth. "Yes, Amanda Lynn."

"The hole in my mouth is too small. All my troubles won't fit."

"Why don't you just let them out a couple at a time, dear? They'll all escape sooner or later."

"Well, they keep sneaking back in up my nose."

She stifled back a snicker. "How about if you open your mouth a bit wider? Maybe that way more will get out than come back in."

"Thanks, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll definitely give that a try."

A couple minutes later, Sarah glanced at her watch and sighed. "Okay, class. Slowly open your eyes. Unfortunately, class is over. Thank you so much for coming. I hope this was helpful for you."

Sarah stood at the doorway and shook hands with each student in turn, apologizing with her eyes. Amanda Lynn was the last to exit.

She grabbed Sarah's hand eagerly. "Oh, Mrs. Chillsome, I just can't thank you enough. I feel so relaxed and calm now. That was such a wonderful class, I think I might just sign up for another!"

"Wonderful, Amanda Lynn," Sarah mumbled. "Just wonderful."

**

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to stop by Shirley's blog for more great fiction.

8 comments:

  1. giggle... "they keep sneaking up into my nose" ha, ha, ha! love that!

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  2. Just the giggle I needed today. LOVE this one!

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  3. I love the serious ones, but I love the fun ones too!

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  4. I think this might just qualify as "irony". I didn't feel very relaxed after reading about the class; I can't imagine how the other students felt. I probably wouldn't be coming back. Ugh those kind of people drive me NUTS! :) I loved it all over again.

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  5. Every class has one. :) I remember this from the challenge. Love it!

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  6. Oh this was cute! I don't think I would have felt very relaxed after that class either :o)

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  7. I think Amanda Lynn might just be my long-lost twin. She says the same kind of things I might have said, in my smart-alecky sort of way.

    Thank you for the laughs!

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