MISSISSIPPI MYSTERY

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: on a boat
  • Character: a US Senator
  • Object: a 60% off coupon
  • Smell: roasted peanuts

 

American Queen Steamboat

American Queen Steamboat

Image courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company, New Orleans

MISSISSIPPI MYSTERY

by John Yeo

 Let me introduce you to Captain Hiram Henburger, a tolerant well liked man, Master of SS Maybelline, a steamboat that carries wealthy passengers on luxurious cruises up and down the Mississippi River.

Captain Henburger has a wealth of experience of cruising the Mississippi River,  there is nothing he doesn’t know about these impressive boats that are authentic models of craft that have sailed this historic river for years.

Today was day one of a 23-day cruise from Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans, the Master of the vessel was on the bridge as one of his senior officers welcomed each and every passenger aboard. A young couple boarded the vessel, waved off by several family members.

 

“Welcome aboard Sir, I seem to recognise you from your pictures in the news. Of course, you are Senator Planter; I’m pleased to meet you. The Captain sends his apologies, he has an urgent matter to deal with and asks if you would care to join him in the wardroom in an hour.”

“Of course, my wife Betsy here is dying to meet the Captain, aren’t you darling. Sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

Betsy nodded, smiling as the young officer replied, “I’m Staff Captain Stephen Danvers, Sir. Just follow the crew member here and he will show you to your cabin.”

 

Exactly an hour later the Captain and Senator Planter with Mrs. Planter were enjoying afternoon refreshments in the wardroom as the steamboat sailed along through the impressive scenery on either side of the Mississippi River.

  Surprisingly the Senator revealed he was the fortunate recipient of a 60% off coupon, that had arrived through the post to one of his family. The Captain smiled affably and said, “There are some reasonable cabins in the economy section, I expect you managed to get an upgrade, though.”

“No! The ship is full with no upgrades available.”

“Oh dear,” said the Captain; “We will see you enjoy your voyage, Senator.”

Mrs. Planter was concerned that her dietary information had been received by the catering department. “Under no circumstances must I ever eat nuts, as I have a strong nut allergy that could be dangerous.”

The Captain assured her that he would make the Restaurant and the Catering department aware of this at once. “I will personally inform the Maitre D, and the Head Chef,” he assured her. “Have a wonderful voyage!”

 

The next morning at dawn the ship’s alarm bells were sounded as the ship was boarded by uniformed police. Mrs. Planter had been found dead in her cabin and the Senator was helping police with their enquiries. The cabin steward who found her body had noticed a strong smell of roasted peanuts. The Senator had been stopped from jumping overboard in an intoxicated condition. The ship’s medical officer suspects Mrs. Planter has suffered an anaphylactic shock due to an extreme reaction to roasted peanuts.

There will be a postmortem.

(485 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

Friday Flasher

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Friday Flasher: On A Boat

THOUGHT TRAIN

A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Thought Train

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Three Sisters

Image © Copyright John and Margaret

TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Insomnia.

Catacombs of Norwich.

Maria, Mona, and Mary. Three sisters.

People of the night.

Security guards.

The Mall.

Bloody trail of clues.

Dead body in a doorway.

Midnight Insomnia.

Norwich Chalk Mine Tunnels.

Maria, Mona, and Mary. Three sisters bathed in blood.

THOUGHT TRAIN

by John Yeo

 The night hours dragged by as I tossed and turned, desperately trying to get to sleep. I pictured myself seeking inscriptions on the headstones located on ancient tombs in the catacombs of Norwich.

I wake my wife. “What’s the time?  Look it’s 3am.” She angrily answers her own question. “Please go to sleep, darling, or at least let me sleep.”

“Sorry I say, I’m trying, but these three sisters are haunting me, Maria, Mona, and Mary. I see them growing up together, I see them getting married, having children and each becoming a Matriarchal head of their families. A proud dynasty that is interwoven with love and tragedy combined.”

 “OK then, I’ll make us a cup of Camomile tea, while you tell me what’s keeping you awake.”  My wife says resignedly heading for the kettle.

  “Well there is one child from each of the three families, three boys who go astray, they become involved with the people of the night, criminals, addicts, gamblers, and drunken revellers. I see a fight, a death with security guards from a nearby shopping mall following a bloody trail and discovering a dead body in a shop doorway attached to the rear of the mall.”

My wife interjects. “Why is that keeping you and me awake at this ungodly hour of the morning? Drink your tea, before it gets cold!”

“I haven’t finished yet darling! These three boys were not the killers, yet they run and take refuge in the Norwich Chalk Mine Tunnels. There is a notorious coven in operation here operated by a magical sect, headed by three mysterious sisters, Maria, Mona, and Mary, bathed in the blood of the afterbirth of their three wayward sons.”

 

Norwich Chalk Mine tunnels

‘Norwich Chalk Mine Tunnels’ ~ Image from the net

 

“Welcome, we have been expecting you, the train of thought has come full circle and rebirth awaits at the next station along the line.”

My wife is fast asleep as I begin to put my train of thought on paper. A thought train or a dream?

Copyright © Written by john Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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ROUGH DIAMOND

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: Paris, France
  • Character: a coal miner
  • Object: red and blue markers
  • Smell: baby powder

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http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/friday-fiction/

 

Swans

Image ©  John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved

 

 

ROUGH DIAMOND

by John Yeo

    After their parents had died in an automobile accident, the family home was sold, leaving Jean-Pierre and his brother, Francois, homeless.

Both coal miners, they had worked together since leaving school. They shared digs together; Jean-Pierre the elder of the two brothers was in love with Marie, the landlady’s daughter. They planned to get married when they had saved enough money.

The brothers worked in the same pit in Noeux, Northern France. One busy shift, the Foreman, a nasty piece of garbage, who answered to the name of Schotter, had been particularly rough on both brothers, sending them to work the coal face in the most dangerous area of the mine. Jean-Pierre suspected he was also in love with Marie, and bitterly seeking revenge for her spurning him, and his advances.

 That memorable day when Jean-Pierre struck the rugged coal face, an unusual round stone came tumbling down between his feet.

“What do you make of this Francois?”  Jean-Paul asked his brother. Francois gasped when he saw the stone.

  

 At that precise moment, there was a low rumble that became a slide and the roof collapsed trapping both brothers. Almost buried alive Jean-Pierre was dragged out with two broken legs, no one noticed the egg-shaped stone he clutched tightly in his hand. Francois died, buried alive in the tunnel.

There was an internal investigation, a manager questioned everyone and made copious notes and drawings on a whiteboard using red and blue markers. The conclusion was that Schotter had been negligent by ordering the brothers to work in an unsafe area. He was arrested and jailed for manslaughter.

It took a while to work out what he had found in the depths of the coal mine. Jean-Pierre always carried the rough stone in a pouch.

He made a slow recovery from his injuries, but he was forced to walk with a limp, and forget about his life as a miner. Marie stood by him when they decided to get married and move to Paris. Marie-Celeste was born, and their rented apartment was soon filled with, the gurgles of a newborn baby together with wondrous smells, of  baby powder everywhere.

 

 “Marie, we are soon going to move to a new house here in Paris. I have a very valuable item that I have been working on, a lucky relic from my days as a miner.”

 After a famous pink diamond was sold on the open market in Paris, for millions. It was a mystery buyer who purchased the diamond from a mystery seller, both sides of the transaction were handled by agents.

 Jean Pierre and Marie lived in comfort, financially sound for the rest of their lives.

 It was Marie’s idea to visit the old mine, the scene of Francois sad death.

When they came to the site, Jean-Pierre the miner stopped, stunned. Two French Swans were swimming on a lake where the overgrown mine shaft was. Swimming over coals that contained the last remains of his brother.

 

(496 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

Friday Flasher

Friday Flasher: Paris, France

UNDERWATER SKY”

A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Underwater Sky

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Underwater sky

Image ©  John and Margaret

The tide comes in~As a watery dawn appears in the sky~A brick was lobbed in the water~Another fishy asteroid appears

UNDERWATER SKY

by John Yeo

    Pikey peeped out from his hideaway in a hole in the riverbank. A hungry Pikey who hadn’t eaten for three days: always on the lookout for an easy meal. When a fly landed on the water above he pounced and missed, dazzled by the magnification of the sun shining on the water from the sky above the river. Hunger pangs were boring holes into the walls of his stomach, it had been three days since he had eaten; a small fish that was already injured and easy prey.

   A shadow fell from the watery sky above the river and he darted back into his burrow, a large rock sailed by the entrance and landed with a squelch in the mud at the bottom of the river. Probably another asteroid collision, they seemed to occur with increasing frequency at this time of day. Two laughing young schoolboys walking by the river growing stones in the water were blissfully unaware they were making waves in aquatic science.

   Suddenly there was a splash as something entered the water from the underwater sky, Pikey stiffened his dorsal fin, as a fat frog began to swim close to the riverbank. He waited patiently for this edible gift from above to get close enough to allow him to strike. To his dismay, a large white seagull snatched the frog from the water and flew off into the cloudy sky above the river. Pikey entered the reed beds hunting for food as large oval raindrops began to splatter the surface of the river from the now dark watery sky. The sun had disappeared behind the clouds when a fat looking fly settled on the water above once, twice, then again. Pikey was more interested in a school of tiddlers swimming nonchalantly by, he snapped his jaws on three fish at once swallowing them whole.

    The fat fly, outlined in the sky above, now clearly visible, drew his attention, he waited for it to settle once again on the surface and he pounced. Pikey bit hard as he felt a sharp object in the corner of his mouth, he twisted and pulled to dislodge this alien object. Meanwhile, he could feel a tug as his whole body was drawn towards the sky above the river. Pikey fought hard, swimming from side to side, desperately trying to get free from the line that was slowly but surely pulling him up towards the underwater sky at the surface of the river. After a massive superfish tug and a headlong dive, there was a snap and with a feeling of joyous relief Pikey swam and swam as far away from that stretch of the river as possible.

   Two years later Professor Pikey was addressing a school of student Pikelings with a stern warning to avoid flies that drop in from the underwater sky.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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FAMILY VISIT

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/friday-fiction/

Gypsy tent

Image from the net

FAMILY VISIT

By John Yeo

 

 It was cloudy and windy as the day dawned over Westchester Towers high school. 400 students, children of wealthy, landowners, industrialists, and commoners alike were in various stages of greeting a brand new day.

The manicured school lawn this morning was blighted by the sight of a large camping tent that had appeared from nowhere overnight.

This caused a ripple of concern among the staff and a delegation was soon formed and sent to investigate.

 The Headmaster, flanked by his deputy and the PE teacher together with the school janitor approached the tent.

“Headmaster, shouldn’t we call the police?” asked Tim Sampson, his deputy.

“Not yet, we don’t want to alarm the students, and we could be accused of wasting police time if there is a reasonable explanation.” replied the headmaster.

Then with a well-rehearsed, well-honed air of authority, he puffed out his chest and called out.

 “Hello, whoever is in there, come out at once!”

There was a silent pause before a strangely familiar voice shouted back,

“Keep away! There is danger here.”

The Headmaster, said “It’s Tom Newton the Science teacher. Whatever does he mean? Stand back, I think he’s gone crazy.”

 At that moment, James Jones and his best school pal, Fauntleroy Smythe were sitting on a small stone bridge, tossing stones and twigs into a fast-flowing brook. They had a good view of the mysterious tent and the events that followed.

 “Gypsies have moved in, if you ask me, they are everywhere these days. My Dad said they are a pain and should be forced to settle down and pay taxes like everyone else.” Said Fauntleroy.

 James smiled and nodded at this remark.  “Yes, they’re everywhere!  My Great-grandad was a Romany, a traveller who settled down and made a fortune as a scrap metal dealer.”

 “Oh! Sorry James, I never knew that; good for him.”

James just grinned and said, “It’s OK Fauntleroy!”

Then he pushed him off the bridge into the stream and watched as a shocked, muddy, sorry-looking individual clambered out of the water and staggered off towards the mysterious tent.

Ignoring the shouts of keep away; from the assembled delegation, Fauntleroy entered.

 Suddenly there was a loud bang followed by a terrifying scream. The Science teacher, staggered out carrying the student,

 “Call an ambulance!”  ordered the headmaster. “ What’s going on Newton?”

“Well Headmaster, I noticed some suspicious looking characters building this tent on the lawn last night. “I approached them, but I was overpowered and held prisoner.

“What was that loud bang?” asked the headmaster, “How did this lad get hurt?”

“I’m not sure Headmaster, I think a car backfired on the road beyond those trees as they fled, this lad screamed and fainted with shock.”

Then with a siren screeching, an ambulance arrived. Two paramedics confirmed that Fauntleroy had fainted with shock and would be fine with some rest.

 Meanwhile, James was in conversation with his Great Uncle Louis, who had arrived to visit him, bringing news of the family.

 

(497 WORDS)

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: inside a camping tent
  • Character: a high school teacher
  • Object: an ambulance
  • Weather: windy
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Friday Flasher: Inside A Tent

PRACTICING SPACECRAFT

WHISTLE CODE

A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Whistle Code

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Images © Copyright ~ John And Margaret

WHISTLE CODE

by  John Yeo

     Pinto was a farmer, he grew fruit and vegetables in a fertile valley on the island of Vesta. Hidden among a group of larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, not many visitors arrived to break the monotony of the hard, day-to-day fight for survival. Steep rocky mountains engulfed the island, sheltering fertile valleys, where a hardy people who had lived and survived on the rocky, isolated, island, for centuries, scraped a living by exporting their produce to the mainland.

    Communication between neighbouring valleys was almost impossible before the dawn of the electronic age; to drive on the steep, rough and ready roads, from one valley to another could take a whole day.

     A whistling language developed over the years, from one valley to another, sharp, long and short, drawn-out whistles, would warn the people of danger or impending changes in the erratic winter weather conditions.

     The council of the island decreed that all the island’s children must be taught to communicate by whistling to keep this valuable ancient form of communication going.

    Pinto’s eldest son Paulo, resented this but reluctantly did as he was told and absorbed the skills.

     Mr. Zen, the whistling schoolteacher would drum the calls of alarm into the children….

   “Two long whistles and one short for an urgent request for help. One continuous long drawn out whistle for a helicopter rescue. Three short sharp whistles for a threatening stranger.”

  One memorable day, Paulo was working hard in the rock-strewn fields, when he vaguely heard an unusual whistle message from the neighbouring valley. It took a while for the realization that someone was in trouble to sink in, and he was quickly on the radio to the authorities who dispatched two helicopters immediately.

   “It looks like someone is lying prone at the bottom of that ravine there!”  shouted the pilot to the two paramedics. “The police helicopter is landing on a flat space a mile away, leaving that flat area clear for us!” The helicopter landed to find a young girl in a state of shock, frantically whistling the well-taught distress call.

    “Don’t move, just tell us what happened?” enquired one of the medics.

     “I came here with my boyfriend, but he tried to rape me: When I resisted he pushed me off the rock above and I landed here. My leg hurts, and I think I have twisted my neck.” the distraught young girl blurted out.

     “Lie still now, the police will catch up with him. I will have to take you to the hospital on the mainland, we will just lift you gently on to the stretcher and we will be off.”

   The police were informed of the situation by radio, and the other helicopter arrested a suspect, who was later charged with assault.

    Paulo was soon commended for his swift response to the distress whistle.

   He related the whole thing to Pinto, his Dad, and they both agreed that the whistle code was a very valuable language to pass on, and keep alive.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

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LIGHTS OUT

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/friday-fiction/

ice-road-truckers

Ice Trucker

Images from the net

dance floor

LIGHTS OUT

By John Yeo

 

Visiting hours strictly between 2pm and 4pm

 

  Sandy switched gears and climbed a slight incline, the snowy terrain was rough and stretched for miles with the edges of the forest in the near distance. The wind was howling as the truck sped along when  a blustery gust picked up some loose particles from a bank of snow at the side of the track. At that moment a shadowy figure loomed up in front of the truck, Sandy never hesitated jumping hard on the brakes and clutch, forcing the truck to slide into a long skid, narrowly avoiding a large elk that was ambling along the road. The truck skidded forward, and came to a halt as Sandy re-assumed control; then the radio burst into life,

   “Base here, come in 45. Base to 45, over, are you there Sandy?”

     “Yup! What is it?”

   “How long before you get here?” Came the tinny voice of the controller.

      “About 45 minutes,” Sandy replied.

“Good! We will all meet up at the usual Saturday evening place!”

  “OK!” Sandy replied grinning from ear to ear. “I’m looking forward to that!”

 

Please ring the bell to alert the staff before entering.

 

    Sandy parked the truck in a lot and went to her home to change to go to the Saturday night dance.

  Sandy looked stunning in a full-length blue gown with a turquoise necklace and earrings to match.

Heading for the cloakroom when she reached the bright lights of the dance hall, she suddenly realized she had picked up the wrong bag.  The cloakroom attendant came to her rescue with the loan of a hairbrush.

 Just then the orchestra began playing a quickstep and the dance floor filled with dancers, a big man, wearing a smart black suit with a red bow tie  approached her and asked for a dance. Sandy smiled and got up, and soon they were moving around the dance floor in time to the music.

 “I’m Joe! Pleased to meet you, I’m new here. What’s your name?”

  “My name’s Sandy, nice to meet you too. You are light on your feet, are you a professional dancer?”

 Whirling around the floor without a care in the world, both partners were soon overcome by the seductive dance music and with each other. A foxtrot followed a waltz, and Sandy was soon entranced by the magic of the moment.

  A little later Joe, suddenly left Sandy on the dance floor and wrestled a man to the floor.

 

 “He was stealing your bag, Sandy,” handing her a large cloth bag  he had retrieved.

“Thanks, Joe, it’s only a bag of wool, I bought the wrong bag out!”

  Grandma clutched her knitting needles and sat in the corner of the lounge   Dreamily  watching television, Strictly Come Dancing, and an episode of Ice Truckers was vying  for her attention before the nurse came in with her afternoon tea.

 

Lights out  at exactly  9pm.

 

(486 WORDS)

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: on a dance floor
  • Character: an ice trucker
  • Object: a bag of wool
  • Weather: blustery

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Friday Flasher: On The Dance Floor

Friday Flasher

PATSY

A Prompt Response for Flasher Friday

http://ourwriteside.com/category/prompts/friday-fiction/

snowy-street-554957__180

Free Image from Pixabay

PATSY

By John Yeo

 

  It was winter, just after the blizzard in early January 1999, there was still a lot of snow around, the emergency services were busy, responding to rescue calls.

 Angelo Cini, a rough, tough gang boss, had been planning this latest bank robbery for months now until the snowstorm struck and held things up. The Midwestern bank on Main Street was located between a diner on one side and a dry cleaner on the other side.

 The gang had a series of meetings in the diner where Patsy, a very pretty waitress looked after them and became so friendly with the gang members that she was  accepted as part of the team.

Everyone had been well versed in their roles, Angelo, briefly went through the final details.

  “We take over the dry cleaner’s shop, hold the Manager and his family in the flat above, break through the dividing walls from the dry cleaner’s cellar into the bank vaults, where we blow the safe and leave with the cash. I have arranged for a couple of horse-drawn sleighs to be waiting outside. I think this will be the easiest form of travel at the moment. Any questions?”

  Billy interjected. “Just one Boss, where will we meet to divide the spoils?”

   “Ah yes!” Angelo replied: “The sleighs will head North where we have hired a remote cabin. I have included the address and details of how to get there in the envelopes in front of each of you. After the raid, we will separate and meet up there. OK!”

Billy nodded, then sat cleaning his fingernails with a small bent paperclip.  

 There was a general murmur of assent from everyone present and the meeting closed.

Later that night, the gang members imprisoned the dry cleaner and his family and the raid was underway.

   Billy switched off the hammer drill and took a breather from drilling. A short, well-built, man he turned to his partner in crime and said, “This is hard work, my blisters are forming blisters of their own.”

  Dan, 6 foot 2 inches tall, a ladies man with his long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail,  grinned at that remark. “ Hopefully, we’ll get through soon Bill, I can’t wait to get my hands on my share of the loot. I fancy Patsy the waitress in the diner, will come away with me after this job.”

 Dan took a  few hefty swings at the wall and they were through the dividing wall into the vaults, then Billy set explosive charges and the safe door was swinging open.

 There was a moment of exhilaration, as piles of cash were swiftly transferred to sacks and passed back into the dry cleaner.

 Suddenly as the sacks were loaded onto the sleighs, two police helicopters lit the whole scene up from above and mounted police moved in to arrest everyone in sight.

Detective Sergeant Patsy O’Rourke highly commended for her undercover work, went on to become one of the greatest detectives of all time.

(498 WORDS)

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

This is my response to a prompt from Our Write Side to their Friday Flasher prompt. A short story in no more than 500 Words using four elements

  • Place: a dry cleaner
  • Character: a diner waitress
  • Object: a small paperclip
  • Time/Date: winter, 1999


Follow this link To comment:  Join in and have fun

Prompt: The Dry Cleaner

Friday Flasher

DISSONANT SERENITY

A prompt response for ~Inspiration Monday: Dissonant Serenity

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Images © Copyright ~ John And Margaret

DISSONANT SERENITY

By John Yeo

  Bertram was so excited!  “Today is the day! I have had a message on my PC. Today is definitely the day; my new iPhone is on the way.” Jumping up from the breakfast table, he sat down on the stairs by the front door waiting.

 “Calm down Bertie!”  Mother was desperately trying to stem the excitement generated by her 14-year-old son’s enthusiasm. “It will be here soon.”

 “I can hardly wait Mum, I have learned so much about these cool phones from my friends. I need to keep up with the class.”

At this moment, as if by a prearranged signal, there was a polite knock on the door. Bertram opened the door to see a smiling delivery man with a small box.

 “Hello young man, I have a package here for Mrs Saunders, I need a signature, is she here?”

Bertram’s Mother signed for the parcel. Then with an excited, ‘Thanks, Mum!”

Bertram quickly grabbed it and disappeared.

  Bertram had soon unwrapped his new phone and with the help of his older brother Trevor, had his new possession set up. he was soon online, relaying his number and email details to all his classmates. Then it was time to visit the Apps store, where he quickly downloaded his favourite social media App and then his favourite games. At his teacher’s suggestion, he also downloaded a rolling news App.

  “It is important to keep up with what is going on in the world.”

It was a couple of days later that the iPhone started to play up. The news App somehow got stuck, and would break into whatever  Bertram was doing with a headline.

 Bertram was checking  with his friends on the latest fad when a message popped up.

  NEWS FLASH! ~ Gunman kills 21 people in a shopping mall.

Bertram clicked a button, got back his page, and continued to have fun with his phone, he downloaded an App from the games centre to play farming.

 NEWS FLASH! ~ Crop failure.  Starvation kills thousands in Africa.

“That’s funny, I wonder why that App is popping up with news like that, I will have to get in touch with the mobile phone firm,”  Bertram said to his friend Tommy. Grinning with a happy contented smile.

“Yes, that’s not right, ask your Dad, when he gets home he should help you. Who won the football last night? Check that page on the news.” said Tommy

  NEWS FLASH! ~ Global Warming is expected to kill millions.

“Funny, I thought I pressed the Sports page button then, Ah! We won 3-0, good result.” Bertram announced grinning serenely.

  Tommy, have you seen these cool photo’s I have taken with the camera on my new phone? I like the one of our fireplace in the front room.

NEWS FLASH! Forest fires are out of control in Australia. Hundreds ordered to evacuate their homes. The damage will cost millions!

 At that moment Bertram’s Mother came bustling into the room, “Bertie, your tea is ready now, put that phone away and eat before your Dad gets home!”

 “Yes Mum, I’ll see you tomorrow Tommy”

  “OK, Bye Bertie! I love your new phone.” Tommy said smiling.

Bertram grinned back with a contented serene look of the sheer joy of ownership.

NEWS FLASH! An asteroid is approaching the earth that could wipe out all life on impact!

  Bertram’s Father, who had just arrived, looked over his shoulder and asked, “Is that your new phone Bertie?” Very smart, how are you getting on with it?”

 Bertram said, “I love it, Dad! Just one problem I keep getting strange messages up from one of the Apps”

 “Oh that’s easy son, just dump the inconvenient App. Press that button there and enjoy some uninterrupted surfing.”

 There was a click and the news App was deleted, Father and son smiled serenely as the football game began on television.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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