Lori's Spring Morning


Back to Main Page

Back to Female Stories

Lori knew it was spring because she woke up the same way every morning. On the edge of sleep, she would feel a twinge deep in her nose. She would bring her hand up out of the covers to rub the end of it vigorously in a vain attempt to alleviate the itch. The twinge would grow wider, expanding to the edges of her nose, and her hand would rub harder while she simultaneously tried to breathe through the mucus that was building up. The deep, shuddery breaths would begin, and the itch would build to almost unbearable. She would sit up quickly, scrambling among the used tissues lying in piles from the night before, looking for one that was even halfway clean. Sometimes she didn't make it to one in time, and the sneeze spraying out into her palm, causing her head to jerk forward violently.

"Ah... aah... uhg... aaaaGSHHOUH!"

Her sneezes sounded very wet and throaty. Lori's poor nose was allergic to practically everything. She swore she spent more money on Kleenex than she did on food.

This morning, she sat on the edge of her bed, her brown hair tied back into a braid, her nose swollen and itchy, her eyes red and watering. She looked over into the mirror and watched her face as the sneeze began. Her nose was itching so badly that it physically twitched ever so slightly. Her nostrils were flaring in and out in an even rhythm. She sniffed the mucus back loudly, and that made the itching worse. She started pulling in those familiar, shuddery breaths as her mouth opened slightly, her chin trembling. Her nostrils flared in and out faster.

"Huhh..." She breathed heavily. "Huhhu... hih, hih... aah aaHH..." Her eyes squeezed shut so she could no longer watch in the mirror. Her hand came up to her mouth and her head leaned back as she pulled in the final "aaHH AAHHCCHHUUH!" Her body jerked forward. She was a very violent sneezer. She sighed, and sniffed back more of the mucus, rubbing her nose with the palm of her hand in a circular motion. She stood up and shuffled to the bathroom. Flipping on the light, she grabbed a tissue from the box and blew her nose loudly. It took her three tissues before she felt like her nose was tolerably emptied. She picked up the Kleenex box and carried it into the bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed and picking up the remote. She turned on the television and flipped the channel to the morning news. Her nose began itching again as the meteorologist was telling the seven day forecast. She pulled two tissues from the box (she'd learned long ago that one just wouldn't cut it) and waited. The itch began deep in her septum, spreading out in a fan shape through her nose. Her eyes began to water as the itching grew.

This time, the itch just kept getting worse, with no sign of a sneeze coming. She began to fan the air in front of her nose and breathing rapidly, trying to hurry the sneeze along. It just wasn't coming. Her nose itched and burned and twinged. She tried to start the shuddery breaths, hoping to convince her nose that she was sneezing. Nothing. She took the tissue and blew her still snotty nose. The vibration made the itch practically unbearable. She rubbed her nose hard and fast. Suddenly, she heard a honking noise coming from the street outside. She turned her head towards the window and caught an eyeful of bright sunlight. That did it. The shuddery breaths started coming hard.

"Huh... huhhuh... ahhuh..." That itch! God, she hated allergies. She fanned the air in front of her face. "Huhuh... ahh... uh..." Her nostrils flared, her mouth opened as her head tilted back, her hand in front of her mouth a few inches. "Uh... aaahACHHHUH! AACHUH!" The sneezing was the greatest relief compared to the pressure and the itching. "Achuh! Ehechuh! Uhaahcchuh! Chuh!" She stopped for a breath, but her nose was still flaming. "Ah... Achouh! HAATCHHOOUH! Ugh."

She sighed and blew her nose with fresh Kleenex. The meteorologist had reached the pollen count, which was what she was watching for. Just as she thought, everything was high. She turned off the television and carried the Kleenex box into the bathroom where she opened the medicine cabinet to look for some kind of relief. Nothing ever relieved it all, not even prescription medicine, but at least she could take something to lessen her symptoms some. Thank god it was Saturday and she didn't have to go out anywhere.

She grabbed the strongest antihistamine she had, feeling frustrated that it would take at least half an hour to kick in. She swallowed two with a glass of water and then blew her nose twice more. She picked up her Kleenex and wandered into the living room. She sat down with her box of Kleenex, turning on the TV so she could distract herself from her misery until the medicine kicked in.

She flipped through the channels until she found a rerun of and old sitcom she liked. She settled back into the couch, blowing her nose again. She started laughing at something on the show, and started to forget about her nose. Then, a character on the show began to have a sneezing fit. It was supposed to be part of the humor, but all it did was cause Lori's nose to start itching again. Watching the person on television draw those shuddery breaths, nostrils flaring, pressure building, then the sneeze just flipped some switch in her own nose. She never could watch anyone sneeze without sneezing herself. Her nose started itching and twinging again. She rubbed it violently, flipping the channel to a cartoon. She started breathing hard.

"Huh... uhh..." Her eyes closed. "Ahh... ahhuh..." She pulled two tissues from the box and fanned the air in front of her face with them. She sniffed, taking the tissue wad in both hands and bringing it up to her face. "Ugh... huh... ah..." Her face relaxed, her mouth opened, her chin quivering. "HuaaaCHHOO!"

She sneezed into the Kleenex, her entire upper body jerking forward, ending the sneeze by blowing her nose. She sighed. She always seemed to end a sneeze with a sigh. She blew her nose again, feeling the warm wetness flow out into the tissue. She was feeling the pressure behind her nose begin to loosen, a sign that the medicine was starting to take effect.

"Finally," she said aloud to the television, settling back to watch the cartoon.

Her face got a frustrated look. The cartoon character in this episode had a cold. Even cartoon sneezes would trigger her nose. As the cartoon bear began to sneeze, she hurried to flip the channel, waiting for that familiar itch and tickle, but it looked like she wasn't going to sneeze this time. She smiled, relieved, and sniffled again.

She left the television on while she went into the kitchen for some juice. The sun was streaming in the window, shining on the dust motes in the air.

"God, not dust," she groaned.

She kept sniffling all the while she was pouring the juice, trying to keep the snot from running down her upper lip. She hurried back to the TV and snatched up a tissue, gently blowing her nose with one hand. She gulped the juice taking breaths in her mouth between drinks. The mucus was beginning to break up and run out her nose, but medicine could do only so much. It could lessen her sneezing fits and break up her congestion, but that would still leave her with a runny nose and a few sneezes. Still, it was better than continuously sneezing her head off all day. She thought that maybe she should just clip a Kleenex to her nose. That would be easier.

Her nose was almost in a constant state of itch now, and if she hadn't taken the medicine she would be sneezing almost non-stop. She rubbed her nose with her index finger, her face squinching up with the burning itch.

"Huh... Not again..."

She hated sneezing. Well, the itching was the worst, and the runny nose. The sneeze was a relief when it finally came.

"Aaah..." She grabbed two tissues and spread them over the bottom half of her face. "Huhah..." Her eyes squeezed shut - her face a tortured expression of pressure and itch. Huh, huh... ah... ahh... aHHUH... AAATCHHOUH!" She breathed, knowing she wasn't finished. "Heah... ATCHOO! CHOO! ECHEAU! Huhh... eah... god... AGGGHHCCCCHOOOO!!"

She leaned back, breathing evenly, her fingers clamping the tissue to her nose. She blew it, feeling it empty, then fill again. Grabbing another tissue, she blew until she thought her ears would pop. "Ugh." Sighing, she figured she'd probably better go out into the pollen-suffused morning and get the paper. Leaving the television on, she went to the front door, placed her hand on the doorknob, and took a deep breath to prepare herself. She had a handful of Kleenex for the barrage of pollen she knew would assail her nose.

She opened the door, and stood there looking at the paper that the boy had pathetically tossed at the very end of her driveway. He hadn't even attempted to make the porch this morning. She hurried down the steps to make her way across the yard to the paper, sniffing back the mucus that was already building up in her nose. It was a horribly beautiful spring day. The sun was shining, and both her neighbors had flowers in full bloom. And pumping out masses of pollen, Lori thought. She also noticed that both of her neighbors had cut the grass that morning, as if their flower beds didn't add enough to her misery.

She'd gone about halfway to the paper when it began. This was going to be bad. Her eyes began to stream, her nose plugged and flowing at the same time. That burning itch crept into her nose, spreading throughout the center of her face and even into the top of her throat. She stopped where she was and pulled a Kleenex out to blow her nose. Sometimes that would hold off the sneeze, but today all it seemed to do was vibrate her nose and make the tingling worse. She decided the quicker she got to the paper and back inside the safer she would be. She hurried to the paper, snatching it up as her nose filled and her nostrils began to flare in and out slowly. She tucked the paper under her arm as the shuddering breaths overtook her.

"UHhh... huhhuhh... uh..." She clamped a Kleenex firmly over her nose, trying to hold the sneeze back. She rushed towards the front door as the sneeze built up stronger and stronger. She was almost to the porch when it burst through her fingers and into the tissue.

"EEACCHUUH!!" And that wasn't going to be all. She sneezed and sneezed and sneezed, all the way up the stairs, through the front door, and into the living room. "AACHUH! HUHCCHUOH! ESCHUOH!" She kept sneezing as she dropped the paper on the couch, grabbing two hands full of Kleenex and bringing them up to her exploding face. "Huh...ATCHKUH! Uh... AGGCHOH!" Her nose was burning terribly, her eyes streaming, and her throat raw from the force of her sneezes. "EECHHUH! Huh...EEAAACCHHOO! ACHO! ECHUH! CHUH!" She hardly had time to breathe between them. She used tissue after tissue, dropping the used ones in piles on the coffee table. "Ahu...ATCHUH!" A pause. She took a deep breath, waiting.

"Wheew." She finally had space to breathe, even though her nose was on fire and she knew she wasn't done sneezing. She pulled another Kleenex from the box, groaning: the box was now empty. She held the tissue over her nose as she went to the hall closet for another box, sneezing twice more before she got it out.

She dropped it on the coffee table and, using both hands, scooped up as much of the used tissues as she could and carrying them to the kitchen trash can, sneezing into the crook of her arm on the way. Walking back to the table, she gathered up the rest of the tissues and threw it all away. She flopped down on the couch, rubbing the side of her nose with the heel of her hand and sniffling noisily. There was one more in there; she could feel it. She moved her nose around, trying to get at the itch, but it just kept growing stronger. She quickly opened the new box and pulled a handful of tissues out, blowing her full nose loudly and wetly. That time, the blowing seemed to help, and the itching subsided a little.

Picking up the paper, she noticed that it was covered with pollen. She rolled her eyes, still sniffling back fluid. She pulled the rubber band off the paper and shook it out to read the front page. But, that movement of the paper let loose just enough pollen to be too much for her poor nose. The itch attacked with a vengeance, forcing a sneeze out before Lori could even drop the paper and bring up a hand to shield it.

"AATCHUH!" She grabbed another handful of tissues and used it like a stopper over her mouth and nose as two more sneezes burst forth. "EESSCHUH! AAEECHUH!"

The burning was even worse after these sneezes than it had been before them, and she wanted to sneeze again more than anything, but nothing was coming out. Her nose just kept twinging and burning and tickling. She pinched her nose shut with her thumb and forefinger, moving her nose up and down frantically, trying to relieve the itch from inside the nose. It felt really good, but it wasn't getting all of the itch, so she just kept rubbing, mucus squeezing out her nostrils and coating her finger and thumb until she finally had to take her hand away so she could blow her nose and clean her hand. The vibration from the blow triggered the itch again, and she was in agony.

"Cub od! Led me sdeeze already!" She begged.

The itch wasn't even fanning out like it usually did before a sneeze, but stayed at a pencil point deep in her nose. She thought about going outside again to force herself to sneeze, but she wanted ONE sneeze, not twenty. She picked up the Kleenex box and stumbled into the bedroom, remembering how the bright sunlight had triggered one earlier.

She sat on the edge of her bed and stared out the window, but the sun had gotten higher and it wasn't bright enough anymore. She rubbed her nose hard, getting up off the bed and going to the window. She took a breath, then looked up, straight into the sun. The bright light filled her vision, causing the itch to deepen. This might work. Her nostrils began to flare - in, out, in, out. The tingle spread out to the edges of her nose, her mouth opening slightly, her eyes relaxing closed. She started to breathe hard. "Huhhu... uuuhh... huh..." But she wasn't ready to sneeze yet. The feeling kept building. And building. "Uhh... hhuuh... UUHH..." And then... nothing. "Oh god, pleeze, dis is drivig be crazy! Jusd... hah... jusd led me... hah... sdeeze..."

Her mouth closed, her eyes opening, her face taking on a look of deep concentration and frustration. She closed the curtains, plunging the room in darkness and at the same time, closing her eyes. This itch was torture! She waited for her eyes to adjust to the dark, then jerked back the curtains, opening her eyes to the full, bright sun. The rays of sunshine hit just the right spot.


The force of the sneeze jerked her entire body forward, bowing her body in thanks to the sun. She closed the curtains before standing up, not daring to tempt fate again. She took two tissues and blew her nose, feeling strangely satisfied by that last sneeze as none of the other sneezes that morning had made her feel. She expected her nose to quickly fill again, bringing another tickle, but it didn't. Her face relaxed into a peaceful expression. The medicine had finally taken full effect. She would still sneeze off and on throughout the day, but nothing like the attacks she had experienced that morning. Her nose felt as close to normal as it got during allergy season. She pulled in a deep, unclogged breath through her nose, then sighed contentedly. She walked back into the living room and turned off the television, heading into the bathroom for a shower, a relaxed smile spreading on her face. She felt surprisingly good. Maybe she would be able to go out today, after all.

Click here to read more about Lori in The Office.