Noah’s Nose Knows

Noah's Nose Knows

Noah’s nose knew something was wrong. He smelled a siege. Nervously, Noah followed the odour to the fridge. He peered inside. Organic leafy lettuces crowded the veggie bin; lumpy helmets of broccoli lined the shelves; spears of asparagus stood menacingly in a glass.

Inside the chiller drawer lay a suspicious package: tofurkey. Tof-what?

In the bottle next to the milk, a murky substance bubbled sinisterly. Its name sounded like a sneeze. Kom-BU-cha! Ew.

Noah pulled out a bottle of liquid the colour of pond sludge. Vegetable juice? Blech! No way! That was wrong—as wrong as carrot cake’.

“Mu-u-m! Help! The vegetables are taking over the fridge!”

Mum breezed into the kitchen. Don’t be silly, Noah. It’s a new year, and we’re on a health kick!”

Noah put back the gross green juice.’ He stared at his mother. Oh no! Yoga pants AND a crop-top. This was serious!

“But I’m hungry! What am I supposed to eat? Everything in there is green!” His tummy snarled. I’ll die!”

“Noah. You’re overreacting.”

“Mu-u-um!” He clutched his belly. All I want is some nice morning tea! Is that too much to ask?” He raced to the pantry and scanned the shelves. In place of his snacks were creepy packets:

Lentil crackers
Protein Balls
Millet NumNums

Quinoa Surprise

“AHHH!” Noah screamed. Where are the Iced Vo-Vos and my volcano-flavoured corn chips? I want my neon squeeze cheese!”

“Noah, please,” Mum said. I made your favourite muffins. Go sit down while I warm one up.”

Noah skulked to the table, clutching his ravenous belly and imagining a sweet muffin, warm from the microwave, oozing with melted choc-chips and slathered with butter. Mmmmm.

As the plate was laid in front of him, he closed his eyes contentedly and let his nose do its work…

He gasped. His eyes popped open. “Something’s in there! My nose knows!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Mum said sliding a Fitbit on her wrist. It’s just a muffin. Here. Have some millllk.” The corner of her mouth twitched.

Noah narrowed his eyes. Why’d you say it like that?” He squinted at the cup.

“Like what?” she said, snapping a sweatband across her forehead at a jaunty angle.

Noah’s nose sniffed and sniffed again. Wild-eyed, he pointed at the muffin. You sneaked zucchini in there. And turmeric! My nose knows! I bet you slipped in some of that QuiNOAH just to be cute.”

“It’s Keen-WAH.”

“Whatever.” He slumped in his chair and glowered at the icky muffin’. His tummy panged with hunger.

“I’m going next door to do yoga-kickboxing with Prue.” She kicked her leg sideways. YA-maste! Enjoy your snack.”

The screen door banged shut, and Noah frowned. My nose was right. It’s an all-out assault,” he muttered. He picked a crumb off the suss muffin and put it on his tongue.

A flash of green at ten-o-clock. Cauliflower paratroopers armed with asparagus spears stormed the table.

AHHHH!

Photo Credit:
Boy on River Cruise by Bernard Yeo, CC BY-2.0
Modified by Ali

The Creative Power of Restrictions

sondheim_quote

There’s nothing quite as daunting as a blank page. Gasp! That void could be filled with anything. Or everything. Or nothing. The emptiness stymies. It taunts. It goads.

According to Stephen Sondheim, restrictions can unleash creativity. It seems counter-intuitive. Absolute freedom seems as if it should loosen us up, but what gets us going are boundaries to bounce against.

Powerful Restrictions

  • Name a theme.
  • Set a word limit.
  • Pick a genre.
  • Add a deadline.
  • Break a rule consistently.
  • Enter a competition.
  • Play word games (five-word sentences; narrative through dialogue only; no adjectives; no words beginning with A; create palindromes; play with a literary device).

All of these restrictions make it easier to get started and keep going.

Poetry and flash fiction are excellent writing practice for this reason. Both challenge the writer on with their super-tight restrictions (especially if the poetry you’re writing has a form rather than free verse.)

Restrictions give you a point.

Over to You

What’s your favourite creativity-sparking restriction? Please share in the content.