Audrey's Stuck Sneeze (HSK)

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(This short story is based on a humorous animatic I made and posted onto Scratch.mit.edu. You can view it here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/439996046/ All that aside, enjoy.)

It was a lovely day on Harvey Street, and the Harvey Girls - Audrey, Dot and Lotta - were hanging out together. The three of them had just saved their friends from the raccoons, and they were rewarding themselves with some quality time outside their trailer.

That being said, it wasn't until Audrey felt a tickle in her nose that they realized they still had a problem to fix.

Audrey's eyes went wide as her pupils shrunk for a brief moment, and her nose began to twitch. She closed her eyes as her breath hitched.

"Aaaah... Haaaah..." With every inhale she took, Audrey moved her neck further and further back. Upon hearing her gasps, Dot and Lotta turned their heads to look at their friend, only to immediately realize what was going to happen. She was going to sneeze... or was she? "HAAAAAH--"

After the third and final inhale, however, there was a pause. Audrey felt like her urge to sneeze was suddenly fading away from her. She moved her head back to its normal position as her eyes opened again, halfway. Her pupils were still a bit small, however, as Dot could tell.

"Are you feeling alright, Audrey?" Dot wanted to know.

"Yeah, I guess..." Audrey placed her forefinger underneath her nose. "I just almost sneezed, that's all."

She rubbed her nose a couple of times, giving a small sniffle here and there. Whether she was trying to coax her sneeze into coming out or hold it back in case it wanted to return, neither of her friends could tell.

"Sounds like you've got a stuck sneeze, Audrey," Lotta stated, a look of concern on her face. Audrey didn't reply, but her expression clear that she wasn't taking the news well.

But Dot gave her a comforting smile. "But don't worry. We'll find a way to get it out for you."

Audrey smiled as well. "Thanks, guys."

Lotta reached behind her back and pulled out a bouquet of flowers. Each of the flowers had five or six silky petals that were pink in color, as well as bright yellow centers.

"Why don't you smell these flowers I picked?" asked Lotta.

"Good idea. Let's give them a try." Audrey liked how pretty the flowers looked, but she was more focused on how sneezy they would make her.

Lotta handed the flowers to Audrey, who held the stems in her hands as she gave them a sniff. The flowers smelled as lovely as they looked, but brought a faint tickle to her nose. As soon as she felt it, her breath hitched, causing her to drop the flowers.

"Heehh... Haaaah..." Audrey tilted her neck back with every gasp she took. Dot and Lotta looked at her with smiles of both satisfaction and anticipation. They were sure the flowers' pollen were enough to make Audrey's sneeze come out... "Aaaaah--"

But just like the last time she had been about to sneeze, the tickle in her nose suddenly faded away again. Audrey tilted her neck back to where it was supposed to be as she opened her eyes halfway again. Dot and Lotta stopped smiling, regaining their confused and slightly concerned expressions from before.

"Looks like they didn't work," Dot lamented with no signs of sadness.

"Nope." Audrey rubbed her nose briefly with her forefinger again.

"Don't worry, Audrey," Dot then replied with another smile, "I have an idea of my own."

Audrey and Lotta, too, smiled when they heard her say that. Dot turned to Audrey, reached into her pocket, pulled out something and held it in her hand. She showed it to Audrey.

"Do you see this?"

Audrey looked at the object. It was a black container, topped with a gray lid that had a few holes inside, and on the front of the container was the letter "P" in white.

"It looks like a pepper shaker," said Audrey.

"Correct!" Dot immediately replied. "If my calculations are correct, inhaling this pepper should cause your sneeze to come out!"

Audrey could imagine it in her mind: inhaling a bit of this pepper, getting ready to sneeze, and releasing the kind of sneeze that brought the perfect amount of relief to her nose... If it weren't for her stuck sneeze, she would have rejected this idea immediately. But there was no way that was going to happen now. She knew what had to be done.

"I can't believe I'm saying this, but..." Audrey stated, "Let 'er rip, Dot!"

Dot held the pepper shaker right in front of Audrey's face and shook it up and down. A good amount of fine black pepper came flowing out of the holes of the shaker's lid, before finding its way into Audrey's nose.

It was then that Audrey's eyes widened and pupils shrunk until they could barely be seen. Her nose froze for a moment, but then twitched madly as her nostrils began to flare up. She needed to sneeze; absolutely, positively needed to sneeze. Audrey tilted her neck back as her eyes squeezed shut, and she began to inhale.


Dot and Lotta were watching in a mixture of concern and anticipation. Dot hastily put her pepper shaker back in her pocket, and then took a couple of steps back before plugging her ears with her forefingers. Lotta, on the other hand, moved her hand up to cover her mouth, and then moved her other hand up to cover her eyes. Even though Audrey couldn't tell, she knew that both of her friends were anticipating the arrival of her sneeze, and for good reason.

"Aaaaah... Haaaaaaaaah..." Audrey gave two more inhales, sending her neck further backward each time. It was pretty obvious at this point that her nose couldn't take the pepper any longer. She gave a final inhale, her nostrils flaring as widely as they could be... "HAAAAAAAHHHHHH--"

...and finally exploded.


Audrey shot her neck forwards as she released her loud sneeze, with a good amount of saliva being released from her mouth. Fortunately, she managed to bring her left arm up over her mouth at just the right time, preventing either of her friends from being sprayed. And the moment after they'd heard the sneeze, Dot unplugged her ears, and Lotta uncovered her eyes. They both gave a smile of satisfaction; Dot's plan had been successful.

Audrey then sulked as she rubbed her nose with her forefinger, her eyes half-closed from how forceful the sneeze had been.

"Gesundheit!" Dot and Lotta said in unison.

Audrey briefly stopped rubbing her nose to thank them with a smile. "Thank you!"

Then she went right back to rubbing her nose, giving a loud sniffle. The insides of her nose felt like it had started running after that sneeze. Dot turned back around to face her with an apologetic smile.

"I'm sorry I made you sneeze so hard, Audrey." She reached into the pocket of her pants and pulled out a tissue, which she then held out for Audrey to take. "Would you like a tissue?"

Audrey smiled as well; what her friend was offering her was exactly what she needed. "Thanks, Dot!"

She took it from Dot's hand, then blew her nose rather loudly into the white tissue. She couldn't help herself, but it was alright; the nose blow brought some extra relief to her nose. Then she smiled in satisfaction as she wiped her nose, moving the tissue back and forth against it.

"Really, though, thanks for getting my stuck sneeze out," Audrey finished.

"You're welcome!" Dot replied, sincerely.

Even though this wouldn't be the last time Audrey would have a stuck sneeze, she and both of her friends were happy to have gotten it over with. Besides, sometimes the relief a big sneeze brought was what made it worth releasing.

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