Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
By stephanie erickson
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The room was hot, suffocating and dreadfully uncomfortable. Sweat poured down Lynn’s forehead, back, and legs. Her beautiful long hair was no longer seen as her delicate, best feature but rather as a terrible curse, as it aided the intense heat around and on her. Of all days why did the air conditioner have to break down! How she yearned for a cold drink of ice water. However, the scorching heat had almost dried up her well that stood on her much cared for family owned farm. The strange thing is this overwhelming heat-wave rested on the cold state, her state, of Minnesota. Where this mysterious heat came from and why it was visiting her normally chilled state was unknown. Neighbors were few, but they journeyed out of their homes to visit the well respected Lynn, who in times past had been the small farm communities “leader.” They came to seek answers regarding this abnormal heat source and comforting words that assured them all would be well. As much as Lynn wanted to provide her neighbors with answers she too was just as perplexed. The neighbors gathered together to brainstorm and shared cold glasses of ice tea. Lynn was the only neighbor who had a television-though a very small one- the rest of the neighbors had radios to keep them updated on news events. However, all these devices were inoperable due to the recent heat-wave. Jerry the town’s sheriff had no explanation to offer the confused, weary people. Every day, for three days now, the heat continued to escalate. It now reached a high of 103. Consider this type of heat in the freezing Antarctica and perhaps a more real understanding of these peoples suffering can be felt. Flowers wilted, grass began to dry, and the family dog ran about looking for a shaded tree to find refuge from the heat. Life in this place was hot, and miserable. Lynn’s life up to this moment had been filled with peace, enjoyment, and strength of character. For the first time in years she felt physically and emotionally weak. Anxiety took over peace and misery consumed joy. How could something as simple as overwhelming heat bring such complexity to a small town? Slowly, Lynn stood up from her favorite chair in her friendly living room where her neighbors gathered around in nearby couches, and chairs. Her head felt light, her fingertips tingled, and her feet felt as if she were walking on air. She looked up at the thermometer to see the glass burst in a shattered mess as the heat escalated to 104, and then sudden darkness.
“Lynn, are you okay?” Said Mrs. Morris, Lynn’s nearest neighbor in the large apartment complex they all lived in. Doctor Jerry remained close by observing Lynn’s heightened fever. He gently placed another cold compress on her forehead as her fever surged from 103 to 104. “Can you hear me Lynn,” said the doctor to Lynn. The fever had brought on spells of mild hallucinations. She mumbled brief phrases about her childhood farmhouse several times. For three days she had suffered a fever. Reasons were uncertain. The doctor and neighbors were mystified. Lynn had been given glasses of ice cold water, and ice tea to keep her fever down but nothing seemed to help. Thank God her home had central air to offer some source of cooling comfort. Concerned friends and family had gathered around to pray for their much loved Lynn. Lynn had been a counselor, encourager, and dear friend to many. Her love for God was evident in the way she treated those around her. Her loyal dog BD for “beloved dog” stood faithfully by her side. Time seem to stand still as neighbors and friends searched for answers as to why Lynn’s body suffered such a heat wrenching fever. All they could do was offer her comforts of a cool environment, cold drinks and compresses to aid in her hopeful recovery.
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